Saltwater Church Newsletter May 28, 2021

To join the church zoom room go to:
Each Sunday we offer online worship through zoom at 10:30 am. For any of our worship services or meetings, you can join by computer or by calling in on your telephone. You can find more information about how to connect through zoom towards the end of the newsletter.


May: What does it mean to be a People of Story?
In the month of May we’re exploring what is means to be a people of story. Stories are a way that we make meaning in our lives. Stories shape how we understand our past, our present and our future, both individually and collectively. Soul Matters describes the practice of being a people of story as living by narratives of our own making, reclaiming memory, and re-membering ourselves. Join us as we explore and deepen our faith together.

May 30: “We Act for Justice”, Rev. Kristen Kuriga

Cards for Bridging Youth 
On Sunday, June 6 during worship, we will recognize our youth who are bridging into adulthood this year. This year’s bridgers are Gustavo Finney-Sanchez and Jared Bjornson. You are encouraged to write a card or note of encouragement and congratulations for each of our bridgers. Cards may be dropped off at or mailed to the church or mailed directly to the bridgers’ families. Please contact Melinda Einander with questions:

Summer Worship Collaborative
This summer, in July and August, we will be worshipping together with Northlake UU and Tahoma UU over zoom. We will be using the Saltwater Church zoom room, and you will have the opportunity to connect with local UUs from other congregations. More details coming soon!

Upcoming Events

Continuing the Conversation: Facilitated Discussion around UUA Tensions
Saturday June 5, 9:30am – 11:00am
Church Zoom Room
Join the Board and the Healthy Congregation Team for a continued conversation about tensions related to the direction of the UUA. The first session, called “Listening to Understand” took place on Saturday, May 1, prompted by conversations on the SUUC Listserv. The session was facilitated by Quinn Rose, HCT, and Mayda Taney, Board Vice President. At the session Quinn offered an overview which you can read here, along with the opening and closing words.

We then asked the questions:
What are the central issues from your perspective?
Why does this matter to you?
How do we have contentious conversations in constructive ways?

At the session on Saturday, June 5, we will have an opportunity to talk in small groups. Join us to continue the conversation, in person over zoom, so we can listen to understand.

crop woman with watering can standing near flowers in garden

Let’s Get Ready To Meet In Person
Saturday June 5, 10:00am – 2:00pm
In person – Saltwater Church Grounds

It’s time for a work party.
Come and cure your cabin fever while seeing some friends!

In anticipation of being able to meet at church we need to clean up the outside areas around the picnic tables etc. so that during nice weather (whenever that may happen) we can meet and eat together. Help out for a little while, or the entire time, all assistance is appreciated.

Wear proper clothing for removing weeds and invasive plants (including NETTLES). Bring your own tools, gloves, and any other supplies. Washington State pandemic rules dictate that all in attendance must wear a mask. If you do not have one, a disposable mask will be available. There’s plenty to do and no such thing as being “late to the party” so come when you can. The Welcome Room building will be open to use restrooms, otherwise we will remain outdoors.

Growth and Learning

Racial Justice Common Read Breathe by Imani Perry
4th Tuesdays – June 22nd, July 27th, & August 24th, 6:30pm – 8:00pm
Minister’s Zoom Room
Please join the RJOT Racial Justice Organizing Team as we participate in the UU Common Read Breathe by Imani Perry. Saltwater RJOT has purchased some copies of the book to make available to participants. Please contact our Office Administrator, to arrange to receive a copy!

This will be a three-part monthly series over the summer. We would love to see you at one, two, or all three sessions.

6/22 Session 1: Breathing, We will discuss through page 50.
7/27 Session 2: Aren’t We All Human?, We will discuss through page 118.
8/24 Session 3: Claiming or Reclaiming Joy, We will come together and discuss the whole book.
(Click image for details about the book)

Our first two dates will have two discussion groups: one for white participants and one for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) participants and those parenting BIPOC. Please RSVP, including which discussion group best fits your identity, to:

Saltwater Pen Pal Project
Do you suffer from Zoom fatigue? Consider joining the Saltwater Pen Pal Project to exchange snail mail (or email) correspondence! Each month you would be paired up with someone from the group to exchange your thoughts about the monthly Soul Matters theme. Contact Joanne at if you are interested in participating.

From the Board and HCT

Membership News
Have you been telling yourself, “I want to join the SUUC family.”? Is the time right for you to take the steps necessary to join our church? Members should be in alignment with the mission, vision, values and covenant of our church and Unitarian Universalism. Members are asked to make a pledge to support the church financially within their means (waivers are available) and to seek ways to share their gifts by volunteering and/or serving our community. If you answered “yes” to the above questions, you are encouraged to request an application for membership from Bev Ross; email: OR from Rev Kristen; email: Once completed applications are received, a book signing page will be forwarded to you and arrangements made to have you sign it.

Congregational Meeting
June 13, 11:45am – 1pm
Church Zoom Room
Greetings all! Please join us via Zoom for our very important annual business meeting. The meeting will follow Sunday’s church service (rumored to be a stupendous music service) and will be both informative and productive. A copy of the agenda (click here) is now available and includes information about the nominees (click here) to fill positions opening in July. We will also be voting on the proposed “Covenant of Right Relations” (click here). This, and the need for quorum in order to do business, should inspire you to want this meeting included in your afternoon activities. If you have any questions, please contact any member of your Healthy Congregations Team or our Office Administrator. See you there!

UUA General AssemblyRegistration is open!
June 23-27, 2021

The Unitarian Universalist General Assembly will be all virtual this year. This is a wonderful opportunity to worship and learn alongside UU’s from throughout the country. The cost of registration is $200. You can find more information here:

New Celebratory Art in the Saltwater Sanctuary
The Executive Committee of the SUUC Board suggests that Bet Chaverim Synagogue proceed with their desired plan to install a “Tree of Life” display adjacent to the Aron Kodesh (Ark of the Covenant). The purposes of the display are to celebrate the longstanding relationship that the Synagogue has with the Church, to be a Bet Chaverim story symbol, to honor the memory of one of the Synagogue’s founding members, Jack Kornberg, and to acknowledge gifts from donors to the Synagogue. The proposed “Tree of Life” would be approximately 7 ft. tall (not to extend above the wood cross-piece which is there) and up to 5 ft. wide. Click the links for a depiction of its placement on the South wall, approximate shape of the wooden tree, and the shape and size of the brass donor leaves. The quilts that hung in that location were requested back by their owner earlier this year. Please feel free to contact any one of us (Ray Valpey, Mayda Taney, or Rev. Kristen Kuriga) if you have questions or concerns. 

Ways to Live Our Values

Share the Plate for May: Birth to Three Developmental Center
Half of all undesignated donations received in the month of May will be shared with Birth to Three Developmental Center in Federal Way: You can make a donation to share the plate through the donate button on our website or mail a check to the church office with “basket” in the memo line: Saltwater UU Church, 25701 14 Pl S., Des Moines, WA 98198.

Saltwater Climate Action Now! (SCAN!)
Monthly on the 1st Sunday, 12:00pm – 1:30pm
Church Zoom Room
SCAN! will meet again Sunday, June 6. Please come and join us for our monthly meeting. We will be discussing what our next environmental challenges will be and the results of the most recent legislative session. So, please come, join in, and bring a friend too. You’ll be most welcome.

Stance for Racial Justice
Monthly on the 2nd and 4th Sundays, 2:00pm – 3:00pm
In person
Rain or shine, we stand for racial justice every other Sunday.  Please wear a mask and practice social distancing. We will gather on 6/13 in Des Moines at the intersection of 272nd St. and Pacific Hwy S (near Jack- in- the Box and Arco gas). On 6/27 we will be in Puyallup at the intersection of 136th and S. Meridian (near post office and Sonic restaurant) Contact Colette DeMonte at for more info.

Racial Justice Organizing Team (RJOT)
Monthly on the 3rd Tuesday, 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Rev. Kristen’s Zoom Room
Saltwater’s RJOT will not be meeting in May but encourages you to join them in June to discover more ways to support our community in our anti-racism efforts. Share ideas, provide support, learn about additional opportunities, and work together to advance our commitment to racial justice. The next meeting will be Tuesday, June 15.

Sound Alliance Team Meeting
Monthly on the 4th Saturday, 10am – 11:30am
Church Zoom Room
The Sound Alliance team works on multiple issues. The issues we focus on change from year to year, depending upon the concerns voiced by members of the congregation. Currently we are working to address and prevent homelessness, protect immigrant rights, and ease social isolation during the pandemic through the Social Connection Project. All members and friends of Saltwater UU Church and Bet Chaverim are most welcome to join us and act for Justice! The next meeting will be Saturday, June 26. 

A Message of Gratitudefrom Diane Dobrowolski
A HUGE THANK YOU to everyone for the Move-in Baskets Donations received earlier this year. The Share the Plate recipient for December 2020 were move-in baskets for guests of the Federal Way Day Center who were moving into permanent, supportive housing. Both Saltwater UU Church and Bet Chaverim Synagogue contributed to this cause. Not knowing how much might be donated, I purchased about $225 worth of bed linens, bath towels, dishes, pots and pans, cleaning supplies, etc. 

Much to my surprise, I was informed a couple of months later that the 2 congregations had donated over a $1,000 that month for this project. And Saltwater’s contribution to this amount was half of the funds donated! 

I recently learned that some of the items from my initial purchases were given to a 58 year old woman who had been experiencing homelessness for over a year. She was found in the parking lot of the Federal Way Day Center, sobbing in her car with all of her belongings. She couldn’t take another night sleeping in the cold. Her health had taken a turn for the worse and she could only work part time. As a result, she lost her home to foreclosure. The staff found her temporary shelter through the Reach Out program, but she moved into a permanent apartment in March 2021 with items from our move-in baskets to help her establish her new home! 

But what happened with the rest of the money that was donated? We learned from the Day Center staff what some of their guests’ needs are as they transition to permanent housing – and went shopping again! Last week Lucia Faithfull and I spent the remainder of the funds donated on bed linens, bath towels, pillows, mattress pads, blankets, gift cards to grocery stores and a microwave for the Day Center.

So, this is a HUGE THANK YOU for being such a giving community! I continue to be truly amazed by your generosity and so thankful to be a part of this congregation. We act for justice!

photo of plastic bottles
(Click image to read about items made from ocean waste)

Climate Message of the Week:
Washington State became a leader in legislating the use of plastics when Governor Inslee signed SB5022. The bill bans expanded polystyrene products, mandates minimum recycled content in bottles, jugs, and trash bags, and is the first in the nation to comprehensively require opt-in for utensils, cup lids and condiments. That’s great news but there’s much more to do to solve the problems that plastics pose to the climate and environment. The current issue of Yes! Magazine which is “Solving the Plastic Issue” ( covers effects and actions related to the plastics we use. One action listed is to support the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act. For information about the Act and resources to learn about how to reduce plastic waste go to *** Image Credit: Magda Ehlers

Ways to Connect

Saltwater Genealogy Club
(Church Zoom Room)
2nd Wednesdays, 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Do you love to talk about your family history and research? Saltwater Church has a Genealogy Club! We are not experts; we just share stories and research ideas. Our next meeting will be June 9. If you would like to join us or have any questions, please contact

Pair Sharing
(Rev. Kristen’s Zoom Room
Sundays, twice a month 11:45am – 1:00pm
The next meeting will be on June 6th. The second meeting in June will take place on June 27. There is healing power in telling truth and bearing witness. Pair Sharing is the spiritual practice of deep sharing and listening. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Janeane Weprin at

Al-Anon Support Group
(private zoom, contact for link)
Mondays, 6:30pm – 7:30pm

Creative Hands
(Church Zoom Room)
1st and 3rd Wednesdays, 5:00pm – 6:30pm
Please join us to learn or practice hand work (knitting and crocheting, sewing, drawing, jewelry making or?) along with fun conversation and a supportive atmosphere. Pour yourself a favorite beverage, grab a snack, and join in the fun. The next meeting will be on Wednesday, June 2. Questions? Contact Lynn Crow at (206) 429-2005.

Meditation Group 
(Church Zoom Room)
Tuesdays, 7:00pm – 8:15pm
We follow a UU modified Zen practice that includes lighting a candle, chiming a singing bowl, sitting & walking in silence, listening to words of wisdom, sharing tea and conversation, now all virtual via Zoom. Questions? Contact Jean Spohn or (206) 200-7524.

Writers Group 
(Church Zoom Room)
Wednesdays, 9:30 am – 12:00pm

Weekend Writers Group
(Church Zoom Room)
Sundays twice a month, 6:00pm – 8:00pm
The next meeting will be on June 13.

Support Circle 
(Church Zoom Room)
Thursdays, 12:30pm – 1:30pm

Over Eaters Anonymous
(Church Zoom Room)
Fridays, 5:00pm – 6:00pm

Support is available

Do you need support? Please let us know, we want to help. Are you feeling lonely or isolated? We can connect you with a lay minister or another member of the congregation. If you have been affected by the pandemic financially, the Minister’s Discretionary Fund is available for one-time emergency support for members and friends of the church. Contact Rev. Kristen:

If you are in need of emotional or spiritual support, you can reach out directly to a Lay Minister:
Debra Valpey:
Mike Yanega:
Toska Rodriguez:

Support for Children, Youth, and Families

Family Ministries Zoom Room

Religious Education Class for Kids and their Grown-Ups 
(Note the class address.)
Sunday mornings at 9:30am

Junior and Senior High Youth Group 
(Note the class address.)
Sundays at 12:00pm,

Jr./Sr. High Youth Group Game Night (Joint with Northlake UU)
3rd Friday of each month, 7:00pm – 9:00pm 
We will be using an online game platform as one of the options for games ( – free account is plenty), so if possible, please let Margaret know if you plan to attend so we can get set up ahead of time. We hope to see you there!
Meeting ID: 309 145 529
 Password: NUUC

If you are interested in having your youth (and/or yourself) receive reminder texts directly for game night and Sunday youth group, you can sign up for them by clicking this link and entering the information: Contact Margaret Rogers for more information:

Family Support Circles
First & Third Mondays, 7:30pm – 8:30pm
Family ministries zoom room

Parents Facebook Group 
Connect with other Saltwater Church families with children and youth for support through the Parents Facebook group:

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The Saltwater Church Family Ministries Library Wants to Visit Your Home!
Have your children run out of books to read, with school and public libraries closed? The Saltwater Family Ministries library has books to share! Contact to borrow books.  

General Information

How to Access the Church Zoom Room To access Zoom, go to click on “To join a meeting-click here.” Or from the main church webpage, select Zoom Room from the drop down menu under “news and events” on the top menu bar. If this is your first time using Zoom, follow the prompts to download the application to your computer.

If you would prefer to join by phone, dial 1-669-900-6833 and enter Meeting ID: 736 142 4210 when prompted. You may need a password. If you do not have the password, please contact Melinda:

If you have a smartphone, you can download the Zoom app and join with Meeting ID: 736 142 4210 for video and audio connection. You will need a password. If you do not have the password, please contact Melinda:

Make Sure Your Zoom is Up to Date
It is a good idea to update your zoom software from time to time. If you are having difficulties with zoom, such as not being able to hear sometimes, or not being able to be heard, it may be time for an update. Updating zoom will occasionally also provide new helpful features. To update your zoom, click on your user icon on the desktop client, or login to your zoom account at This video has helpful instructions for updating Zoom: Contact Melinda Einander or Robert Snipes if you need additional help.

Saltwater Church Building
The church building is closed to most in-person programming, groups, and meetings. Staff are primarily working from home. Staff members will be going by the property to collect the mail and to check on the campus regularly. Planting Flowers has resumed providing essential childcare support to families. Haitian Christians have resumed in-person gatherings with a limited capacity on Sunday evenings.

Donations to Saltwater Church
When making a donation on the church website (click here), please indicate where you want your donation to go. After entering the amount of your donation, if you select “Donate with a Debit or Credit Card” you will see a line which starts with a pencil and has “add special instructions to the seller.” Please click on those words to specify “pledge” or your desired purpose. It will help our treasurer get money into the right places if that line is filled in. If you would like a statement of your donations for calendar year 2020 for tax purposes to email or call our treasurer Gaye Greeves at or (253) 508-3961. 

Please Note: Announcements, updates, and additions to the newsletter must be received by noon Wednesday to be included in that week’s newsletter. Send your submissions to or use the website form (click here)