Saltwater Church Newsletter May 6, 2022

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 our Saltwater Church Newsletter. Some events also offer in person opportunities. See the event details for additional information.


May Worship Services

During the month of May we invite you to attend services over zoom or join our
Worship Watch Party in the sanctuary. See our upcoming events for addtional details.

May 8: “The Power of Kindness,” Rev. Kristen Kuriga

May 15: “Widening the Circle,” Rev. Kristen Kuriga

May 22: “My Grandmother’s Hands,” Lay Leaders from the Racial Justice Organizing Team

May 29: “Embracing Power With,” Rev. Kristen Kuriga

Theme for May & June: “Power”

In the months of May and June we are exploring the spiritual theme of power. What is your relationship to power? What is more powerful than yourself? Power comes in different forms: power over, power to, and power with. Together we will explore these different ways to relate to, and to engage with, our own power and the power of others. We will also be invited to reflect on how we can use our power as individuals and as a faith community to reflect our most deeply held values as Unitarian Universalists. Join us as we learn from one another!

Summer Worship

In the month of July we will be sharing worship with three other congregations: Olympia UU Church, Northlake UU Church, and Community UU Church in Tri-Cities, WA. Each Sunday in July a different church will host the worship service for all of our congregations. You will be able to participate by zoom or through a worship watch party in the Saltwater Sanctuary. After service there will be two different opportunities for social hour: in-person, outdoors on the Saltwater front lawn, or online in breakout rooms, with the opportunity to meet and connect with UUs from different congregations. As we get closer, we will share connection details for each of the Sundays in July. In August we will return to worship at Saltwater, both in-person and over zoom. If you have questions, feel free to reach out to Rev. Kristen:

Upcoming Events

To view our complete calendar of events, click here.
If you wish to schedule an event, click here to fill out a request form.

Game Night – sponsored by Saltwater UU Social Club (SUUSC)
Saturday May 7, 6:00pm – 9:00pm
In Person – Welcome Room

Join our Saltwater community for an evening of fun. Friends and visitors are welcome. We play all types of board games (ranging from lighter games like Clue to more complex games like Pandemic). We also play thematic games, card games, and party and social games. Almost anything is possible, bring your favorite game and let us know about it. This event will follow our current COVID-19 Guidelines. We hope to see you there.

Worship Watch Parties
Sunday May 8, May 15, May 22 & May 29 10:30am – 11:30am
In Person – Saltwater Church Sanctuary

Join us in the Saltwater Sanctuary where the zoom service will be shared on the big screen. Our doors open at 10:15. Connect with others, sing along together to the hymns, and experience the view of nature out the sanctuary windows.

The Board’s recent changes to our COVID-19 Guidelines allows the following:

  • The sanctuary will be open to a maximum of 40 people (3ft social distancing) and overflow in the welcome room. There is no need to register in advance.
  • Those attending will be required to wear masks. Family groups can sit together and will be asked to distance from others.
  • There will not be an in-person “coffee hour” after the service. However, we encourage people to connect after service outdoors when the weather is good.

People of all ages are welcome. We hope to see you in person for worship one Sunday soon!

Stance for Racial Justice
Sunday May 8, 2:00pm – 3:00pm
In Person – Des Moines

Rain or shine, we stand for racial justice every other Sunday.  Join us as we stand together in solidarity with our signs for justice. Please wear a mask and practice social distancing. We will gather on May 8 in Des Moines at the intersection of 272nd St. and Pacific Hwy S (near Jack in the Box and Arco gas) Contact Colette DeMonte at for more information.

Office Administrator Out of the Office
May 10 through May 24
Out of Office Notice

Starting on May 10th, Katherine “Bubba” Miller, our Office Administrator, will be on vacation. They will begin returning messages on May 24th. If you need immediate assistance during this time please contact one of the following persons:

Congregational Budget Information Sessions

Join members of the Board, the Finance Team, and Rev. Kristen for an informational meeting about the proposed budget for the upcoming 2022-2023 church year. This will be an opportunity to learn about the financial health of the congregation and ways we are adapting to the financial challenges posed by the pandemic. The presentation will focus on changes to income and expenses and copies of the detailed line-item budget will be provided. The presentations will be the same, offered at two different times.

Widening the Circle of Concern Conversation
Sunday May 15, 11:30am
Church Zoom Room

Since the fall of 2021, the Saltwater Church Board has been reading together and discussing the Widening the Circle of Concern Report published by the UUA. During worship, Rev. Kristen Kuriga will share some highlights from the report, which is an analysis of systemic racism in Unitarian Universalism. After the service, the Board will offer facilitated small discussion groups, both over zoom and in-person. This will be an introduction, and we encourage members and friends to get familiar with the report:

We also want to give people time to read the report over the summer before we engage more deeply as a congregation with the recommendations. The entire report can be read or listened to at the link above. In the fall, the Board will convene further conversations and explore the possible actions we would like to take at Saltwater Church that are in alignment with our mission and emerging vision.

If you have questions, or would like more information, you can contact any member of the Board: Mayda Taney, Karin Leisy, Kathy Jorgensen, Aida Sanchez-Vela, Lauren Crowder, or Katie Baker.

Apply to be a delegate at the 2022 UU General Assembly
GA is in Portland this year and available in person AND virtually
Deadline May 18, 2022

The Saltwater Board is asking for folks to apply to be a delegate and represent our awesome community at the GA this year in Portland, Oregon June 22- 26th, 2022. Additional details about this year’s GA refer to the UUA website:

We have a Delegate Application (click here) to make sure folks who are interested, but have not gone before, know they can apply. GA being in Portland is a wonderful opportunity to experience connection with the larger UU community. It is inspiring! We encourage our youth and young adults to apply.  It is important to support leadership development in our community and this is our chance to do that. Applications need to be received by May 18th, 2022. The Board will decide on our delegates at the May Board meeting the following week. 

Save the Date
Congregational Meeting, Sunday June 12
following Sunday’s service over zoom and in person.
More details coming soon.

Current In-person Activity COVID-19 Guidelines

Please see our website at for the most up to date information. We continue to review current guidelines for King County and the state of Washington to ensure we adhere to their standards.

Ways to Volunteer

Sunday Worship Watch Parties Need Your Help
Join our volunteer teams today!

We need to grow our team of volunteers and positions are open to all ages! Now that we are offering watch parties, our teams need a few more people to help share the time commitment. Each position will take only a couple hours of your time and will ensure your seat in the sanctuary on the day you work. The larger our team, the smaller the commitment. We have 3 roles that need more volunteers; Greeter, Usher, or working at our AV Desk. If you are available but are nervous about using our new equipment, don’t be. We will help you become an expert. Job descriptions can be found by clicking the title of the role that interests you. You can sign up for a position by emailing Reopening Task Force member Anjali Lopez:

Church Picnic – Looking for Leaders & Volunteers

Want to help throw a church party? Create an opportunity for members and friends of the church to gather and connect in person, outside? We would love to host an all-ages Saltwater Church picnic in June. We need your help. If you would like to be part of a team of leaders to help organize, contact Rev. Kristen:
***image credit: koolshooters

NomCom is seeking new members

Our Nominations Committee is on a mission to find candidates interested in becoming more active in church administration and in leadership opportunities here at Saltwater. NomCom is responsible for finding volunteers annually for two positions on the Church Board and two positions for the “NomCom” itself. Team members serve a two-year commitment. The meeting time is variable. If you are interested in participating in one of these volunteer opportunities, please contact one of our current NomCom members.

Facilities Team
Monthly on the 1st Wednesday, 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Church Zoom Room

Our Facilities Team is comprised of volunteers who help organize the maintenence of our buildings as well as the upkeep of our grounds. We encourage you to join our team. Your time commitment would include attending monthly meetings over zoom, ocassionally helping with collecting bids for odd jobs, and supporting work parties throughout the year. Discover how you can help support our community by attending one of our meetings. Our next meeting is Wednesday June 1. ***Image credit:  Karolina Grabowska 

Saltwater Church Safety Taskforce
Monthly on the 3rd Thursday, 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Church Zoom Room

Our Safety Taskforce encourages members of our community to join in discussions about our facilities and community. Common topics include building safety, necessary upgrades to our facilities, and emergency planning. We will not be meeting in May. Our next meeting is Thursday June 16.

From The Board & HCT

Reopening Update

Our services are now available over zoom and shared in the sanctuary during our worship watch parties. At this time, worship leaders will continue to lead on zoom in the gradual process of reopening. Please see our website at for the most up to date information about our COVID-19 guidelines for in person events.

Growth & Learning

Unitarian Universalist Logo

UU 101 Class
Sunday May 29, 1:00pm – 2:00pm
Church Zoom Room

Do you have questions about Unitarian Universalism? Have you been attending worship for a while and want to get more connected? Join Rev. Kristen for a UU 101 class. Together we will explore:

  • What does it mean to be Unitarian Universalist?
  • Who historically were Unitarians, Universalists, and Unitarian Universalists?
  • What are the values and beliefs that shape our faith tradition?
  • What is the membership process at Saltwater UU?

Bring your questions and explore whether this might be your spiritual home. Questions or to RSVP, contact Rev. Kristen:   

Harold & Ogden: a COVID era love story
Pre-order the newest book by Saltwater Writers
Now through June 2022

Hello Saltwater Folks, many of you will remember this serialized tale by the Saltwater Writers of how a dog brought love to Harold and his friends during the height of the pandemic. Please let Debra Valpey know if you would like to purchase copies. We will be printing them on an as needed basis. Cost is $5 with proceeds going to the church. Questions? Just contact Debra or call her at 206-953-5704.

Saltwater Pen Pal Project

Do you suffer from Zoom fatigue? Consider joining the Saltwater Pen Pal Project to exchange snail mail (or email) correspondence! Every 2 months you would be paired up with someone from the group to exchange your thoughts about the current Sparks of Wonder theme. Contact Joanne at if you are interested in participating.

Ways To Live Our Values

Share the Plate for May:
Food Innovation Network, SeaTac/Tukwila & South King Co.

Half of all undesignated donations received in the month of May will be shared (and matched) with Food Innovation Network A program of global to local, the Food Innovation Network enhances the local food system, provides opportunities for immigrants and refugees,increases access to healthy foods, and supports local food businesses in the diverse communities of SeaTac/Tukwila and South King County. Visit them on Wednesdays, beginning mid-June, 4-7p at the Tukwila Village Farmers Market.

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.   

Exciting Changes to “Share The Plate”

We have some exciting news to share! Due to a generous donor, our Share the Plate donations will be matched starting in May 2022, doubling the amount that goes to a local organization working for justice.

Currently, our share the plate program splits all undesignated donations between the church and an organization recommended by our members that meets our criteria:
–Organization must be a 501 (c) 3 non-profit
–The organization’s mission must align with UU values and principles
–We prioritize organizations that serve South King County  

Under the matching program, if you give ten dollars, $5 dollars will go to the church, and $10 will go to the organization. We are excited about the ways in which this will increase our capacity to live our values as UUs. The program is currently planned as a one-year trial. If you have any questions, feel free to contact Rev. Kristen at

Saltwater Climate Action Now! (SCAN!)
Monthly on the 1st Sunday, 12:00pm – 1:30pm
Church Zoom Room

There are big things happening this month. Tacoma citizens need our help stoping the approval of a 160 acre Industrial Park being built over their groundwater aquifer. A petition is in need of signatures by May 9th. Click here and make your voice heard!

Are you experienced in using solar energy for your home and/or business? Share your knowledge with our Church Solar Energy sub-committee and help us explore ways to make our green sanctuary even greener. Contact Bill Adams at to learn how you can help. We encourage you to in our monthly Zoom meetings and Act for Climate Justice. Our next meeting will be Sunday June 5. *** image credit: Margo Rolf

Sound Alliance
Monthly on the 2nd Saturday, 10:00am – 11:30am 
Church Zoom Room

The Sound Alliance team works on multiple issues in alignment with our commitment to Social Justice. Our next meeting will be on Saturday May 14. 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 in our conversations and Act for Social Justice.

Racial Justice Organizing Team (RJOT)
Monthly on the 4th Monday, 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Church Zoom Room

The next meeting will be on Monday May 23Our Racial Justice Organizing Team meets monthly to discuss more ways to support our community in our anti-racism efforts. During the meetings they share ideas, provide support, learn about additional opportunities, plan events for our members, and work together to advance our commitment to Act for Racial Justice.

Climate Message of the Week

image credit: Chris Earle

Trees are rock stars in the climate crisis—they store and sequester carbon, improve air and water quality, reduce energy use in buildings, and even result in lower crime rates!

Learn about some of our local climate hero trees at Tree Tour 22, which is co-sponsored by King County Library System and South King County Cultural Coalition. Each month the Tour will feature a different tree topic starting with Trees in Native Culture on May 14 at the Kent Historical Museum. There will be separate programs for adults and kids (ages 3 – 8). Register or find dates and locations for future Tour events at

Did you know that in the Puget Sound area there are 192 tree species, including 28 native varieties?

Are there topics or questions you’d like to see covered in future Climate Messages? Email suggestions to Sheri Jacobson at

Ways to Connect

Weekly Meetings

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

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. Would you like to join our group? Contact Jean Spohn or (206) 200-7524.

Writers Group 
Church Zoom Room
Wednesdays, 9:30 am – 12:00pm
Do you like to write? Would you like to share and receive feedback on your writing? We welcome all writers at all levels! Please join us. Our mission is to support one another in our writing. For more information, contact Janeane Weprin 630-824-8343 or

Support Circle 
Church Zoom Room
Thursdays, 12:30pm – 1:30pm
Our next support circle will be on Thursday, May 12

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

Twice a Month Meetings

Game Night – sponsored by Saltwater UU Social Club (SUUSC)
In Person – Welcome Room
1st and 3rd Saturdays, 6:00pm – 9:00pm
Join our Saltwater community for an evening of fun. Friends and visitors are welcome. We play all types of board games (ranging from lighter games like Clue to more complex games like Pandemic). We also play thematic games, card games, and party and social games.

Creative Hands
Church Zoom Room
2nd and 4th Wednesdays, 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Join us for an afternoon of visiting and working on our creative projects. We are returning to meeting over zoom until further notice. Bring your knitting, crocheting, hand sewing, jewelry making or whatever with you. Our next meeting will be Wednesday May 11.

Pair Sharing
Rev. Kristen’s Zoom Room (
2nd and 4th Sundays, 11:45am – 1:00pm
Our upcoming gatherings will be on May 8, and May 22. Discover the 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

Weekend Writers Group
Church Zoom Room
Alternating Sundays, 6:00pm – 8:00pm
There’s no time like the present to start writing that novel you have been dreaming about for years!  Or maybe it’s time to share the poetry you have stashed away in your file drawer or to start immortalizing by writing down those unique memories that have been your precious life!  And it’s a lot more fun if you have an audience of other writers to share them with. We welcome new members, WE WELCOME YOU! Any questions?  Please phone me at 206-898-5452 or email me at  It would be so great to hear from you and to welcome you to the Saltwater Weekend Writers’ Group. Our next meeting will be Sunday May 15.

Monthly Meetings

Saltwater Genealogy Club
Church Zoom Room
2nd Wednesday, 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 May 11. If you would like to join us or have any questions, please contact

Saltwater Chalice Circles
Our chalice circle program has offered the opportunity to deepen and broaden spiritual growth while forming closer relationships with others. Currently, our circles are scheduled through June, see the Saltwater Church Calendar for zoom links. If you have an interest in participating in our program contact Susan Aigner at

Ongoing Grief Support Group
Church Zoom Room
2nd Thursdays, 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Grief is a recognition of endings, but it’s also a birth and a beginning (Judy Lief). Saltwater’s Grief Support Group (facilitated by Debra Valpey and Toska Rodriguez, lay ministers) is a safe place to explore loss and open ourselves to opportunity. Our next meeting will be May 12. All are welcome. Contact Debra Valpey (206-953-5704 or Toska Rodriquez (, 253 839-1921 if you would like more information or support in the interim.

Paint Night
In Person – Welcome Room
4th Mondays, 6:00pm – 9:00pm
Bring any size canvas. No experience required. All paints and supplies provided. RSVP to Jessica Alexander at Our next night of creativity will be on May 23.

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, & Families

Family Ministries Zoom Room

Family-based Religious Education

This is “church in a box” for families. Families who sign up will receive story books, manipulatives, craft supplies, and discussion questions to help you and your children explore what it means to be a Unitarian Universalist family. New supplies will be distributed every 1-2 months, and will include seasonal and holiday activities as well. (Kits may be picked up at the church or delivered to your home).  Email our Director of Family Ministries  at if you would like to participate.

Religious Education Class Schedule

Religious Education Class for Children ages 5-11
Sunday mornings at 9:45am
email our Director of Family Ministries at to get the class zoom link

Middle School Virtual Youth Group for grades 6-8
Sunday afternoons at 1:00 p.m.
email our Director of Family Ministries at to get the class zoom link

High School Virtual Youth Group for grades 9-12
Sunday afternoons at 1:00 p.m.
email our Director of Family Ministries at to get the class zoom link

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:

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:

A quick guide for our Zoom room can be found here. Feel free to download the file to keep a copy readily available at your fingertips.

Saltwater Church Building

The church building has opened for in person small group gatherings. If you wish to plan an event please use our online request form:  Saltwater staff are primarily working from home while our Office Administrator will be on-site Tuesdays and Fridays from 9:00am until 1:00pm begining May 24. If you need on-site assistance outside of regularly scheduled hours, email to schedule an appointment.

Planting Flowers has resumed providing essential childcare support to families. Haitian Christians have resumed in-person gatherings with a limited capacity on Sunday evenings. Bet Chaverim has also resumed hosting some events in the Welcome Room & Sanctuary. Currently our facilities are closed for all rentals involving indoor activities.

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 have any questions, 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)