Saltwater Church Newsletter November 3, 2023

We offer worship in two ways: in-person multi-platform service held in our sanctuary and online in our Church Zoom Room at 10:30am. Doors and Zoom open at 10:15. To join the Church Zoom Room go to: You can find more information about how to connect through Zoom towards the end of our Saltwater Church Newsletter. Our newsletter also provides ways to connect and live our values through both in-person programming and via our Church Zoom Room.


Live multi-platform worship in the sanctuary and online through zoom!

Theme for November: Generosity

In the month of November, we are engaging with the theme of generosity. What does it mean to give generously of ourselves? In what ways does life give generously to us, and how can we share that generosity with others and the world? Join us as we contemplate generosity from different perspectives.

Worship In November at Saltwater Church 

November 5 Cultural Sensitivity – Jaya Garcia

Jaya Garcia is a direct descendent from the White Mountain Apache Tribe from Whiteriver, Arizona. She has been a Native American community member for her entire life beginning as a newborn in a cradle board sitting with her father at the drum. Today she is an active supporter of all Native and Alaskan Natives residing in and surrounding areas of what today we call Seattle, Washington. She is a member of United Indians of All Tribes. NOTE: This service will include a brief smudging ceremony where herbs will be burned. We have air purifiers in the sanctuary, but those with significant respiratory challenges or smoke allergies may wish to join via Zoom. ****Image credit: White Mountain Apache Tribe

November 12 From You I Receive, To You I Give – Rev. Alison Duren-Sutherland (in-person)

In her first sermon as Saltwater’s minister, Rev. Alison will explore the ways that congregations, and especially this congregation, are important sites of giving and receiving. From acts of community care to the mutual promises of covenant, we hold and are held by the generosity of beloved community.

November 19 Giving Away the Moon – Koshin Cain

The Zen monk and poet Ryokan shows us the way to a natural and broad generosity. How might we cultivate a heart that gives away the best of us?

Koshin Christopher Cain is Abbot of the Puget Sound Zen Center ( Koshin lived at Mt. Baldy Zen Center in California from 1990 to 2003, where he was ordained, trained as a monk, make an Osho or teacher, and for the last few years, served as Vice Abbot of Mt. Baldy Zen Center. In 2003 he founded the Puget Sound Zen Center on Vashon Island. Since 2009, Koshin has also been the formal teacher of the Rinzai Zen Center in Oslo, Norway.

November 26 Thanxgrieving – Rev. Alison Duren-Sutherland (online)

In late November of 1991, HIV/AIDS activists Ibrahim Farajaje and John Paul Hammond lost a dear friend to AIDS and struggled to imagine facing Thanksgiving without him. Out of their pain and love, Thanxgrieving was born. Rev. Alison will share the history of the Thanxgrieving observance and explore its continued relevance in the 21st century.

New at Saltwater

From the Faith Formation Team

We’ve heard from the board and our church community that we want to create a culture of fun, personal growth, and belonging…AND that we loved the Worshipful Workshops that were shared on Sunday mornings this past Summer.  Do you remember them?…Collaging as a Spiritual Practice…Qi Gong…Forest Bathing and Labyrinth Walk…Music and Movement…Yes! You can Write!  Well, buckle your seatbelts!  We are about to have fun, experience growth, and feel the warm hug of belonging.

Starting in November, our community will engage in monthly Faith Formation Sundays that will extend to all ages of our community.  Faith Formation Sundays will be on the 3rd Sunday of every month, starting with worship like usual.  After worship, we will share a meal together: sometimes a potluck, sometimes you just show up and eat (yes, please!).  In the afternoon, all ages will gather for a short ritual, then break off into groups for age-specific programming (adults, youth, and children), delving deeper into the monthly Soul Matters themes that our worship services are built on.  This portion will last about an hour, ending around 1:30.  

Following the programming, the youth group will continue to meet.  Those currently parenting youth may stay for the support group, where we will connect with each other through the Soulful Home curriculum, facilitated by Director, Jessica Nash.

Our first Faith Formation Sunday is November 19, where we will explore generosity through Buddhist teachings and practices.  Bring a generous dish to share for our potluck!  For those who join worship remotely on Faith Formation Sundays, we are working to make this multiplatform in the new year.

So, join us on this adventure of self-discovery and connection…not only to our church community, but to our UU faith as a whole.  

Questions?  Contact Director of Faith Formation, Jessica Nash, at, or a member of the Faith Formation Team (Susan Aigner, Christina Frueh, Lisa Key, and Amanda Radak). ****Image credit: Jessica Nash

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.

Greeting Card/Book Sale – benefiting Saltwater Church
Sunday November 12 and 19, 11:30am – 12:00pm
In Person – Welcoming Room

Please join us after church on November 12 and 19 for our card and book sale. Cards will be exquisite creations by church member Joanne Stonebraker (in time for holiday sending) and the books will be Saltwater Writers Group Anthologies and other books by Saltwater member writers (just in time for holiday mailing in addition to gifting today.) Rev. Alison will also make available for purchase her new poetry chap books. Cash or check sales please. All proceeds benefit Saltwater Church. Questions: Contact Debra Valpey ( or Joanne Stonebraker ( or find us at church. ****Image credit: Joanne Stonebraker

First Aid/CPR Training
Saturday December 2, 9:00am – 12:00pm OR 1:00pm – 4:00pm
In Person – Saltwater Sanctuary

Feel confident in an emergency – and be prepared to save a life! Sign up for First Aid/CPR training on December 2nd: 9 AM to noon, or 1 to 4 PM. Before the class, you’ll have a couple weeks to complete 2-1/2 hours of online training. Then, after the in-person practice and demonstration, you’ll get certification. This can be valuable in your personal life, your job, and for our community. The cost is $40, but funding is available if that is a barrier. If you would like childcare, send a request to Lisa Key at least one week in advance at ****Image credit: Roger Brown

If you are interested (and to request financial assistance), please click here to register for the class. Registration deadline: Nov. 14.

With response times increasing, having these skills is truly lifesaving. This class is offered through the safety team: a collaboration between Saltwater UU and Bet Chaverim – and the first in a series of classes to increase everyone’s safety.

Holiday Bazaar – Our Next Chapter
Saturday December 10 and 17, 11:30am – 1:00pm
In Person – Welcoming Room

We envision baskets and holiday gift quality items for members, friends, and visitors to purchase and enjoy. Please contribute an item, basket or something that would be part of a basket. The item could be something lovely to own, eat, drink, read, wear, or share. ****Image credit: Pavel Danilyuk

We are accepting donations NOW, and the final collection due date is November 12.
Anjali or Debra will be collecting donations. Feel free to contact either of them.

Anjali Lopez:, 206-650-6359
Debra Valpey:, 206-953-5704

New York New Years Eve (Eve)
Saturday December 30, 6:00pm – 9:00pm
In Person – Welcoming Room

SAVE THE DATE! Saturday, December 30th is a New Year’s Eve (eve) party at the church. We will offer spots for sign up during the December holiday fundraising bazaar, and we NEED you and your kids and grandkids to come party with us!! Family friendly, and our “toast” will be at 9:00pm. Time to party together again, folks!

From Our Minister

Beloved Saltwater Community,

It was a pleasure to turn the wheel of the year together with you at our Samhain ritual last Sunday led by Saltwater’s Covenant of UU Pagans (CUPPS) chapter. Our congregation’s observance grounded me in Spirit as I dressed up as a green witch and gathered at a “witches’ tea” with friends from my home church later that afternoon. 

My sister witches and I have been raising our kids together for over a decade at Rogue Valley UU Fellowship in Ashland. These ladies are the village of mamas who’ve seen each other through it all. Like many people I’ve talked to at Saltwater, my mama friends and I came to church looking for something for our children – and found something we needed here as well.

Then, on Halloween/Samhain night, my partner Jamie and I let our nerd flags fly as a cleric from the planet Bajor (me) and a Starfleet ensign (him). I’m delighted by stories that imagine what religion looks like in other worlds, and a love of Star Trek is something that Jamie and I share that I also shared with my father, Alan. 

At the end of the night, I offered pie, eyeball Jello (my youngest daughter Frances’ contribution) and coffee to dad on my ancestor altar, and even though he is always with me, I shed a few tears that his embodied human existence is over. I’m grateful this year that Saltwater was a part of my observance of this day that has been honored by so many of my ancestors both in Scotland and here in North America, in sacred and secular celebration. 

The next day, November 1, Jamie and I celebrated 21 years together. The interdependent web of human relationships was on my mind this Samhain season, including those I’m related to by blood, those who I’ve chosen to bind myself to with love, and those who have become ancestors. 

Now, onward into November, Native American Heritage month, which we kick off with Jaya Garcia of United Indians of All Tribes in the pulpit this coming Sunday. In November, we’ll also consider our Soul Matters theme of Generosity, and I’m looking forward to all we will share together when I come to visit November 12th through the 19th

In Community, 
Rev. Alison 

(206) 627-5119

Ways to Offer your Gifts

Your Community Needs YOU!
Volunteer Now

We invite you to take part in creating the kind of community that you want to be part of! We need volunteers of all skills and ages. Opportunities include:

Sunday Morning Opportunities: Contact Bubba ( if you’re interested & need to get training/ orientation. For job details click here.

Sunday Morning Opportunities

  • Usher
  • Digital Usher
  • Greeter
  • Welcome Kiosk
  • Worship Assistant
  • A/V Desk Assistant
  • Multigenerational Activities Assistant

Other Opportunities

Facilities Team
3rd Wednesdays, 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Church Zoom Room

Our Facilities Team helps organize the maintenance of our buildings and the upkeep of our grounds. We are looking for volunteers to help contact contractors, manage coordinating repairs, and assist with volunteer events. Our meetings are monthly and your time commitment is quite flexible. Discover how you can help support our community by attending our next meeting on November 15. ***Image credit: Bubba 

next safety meeting

Saltwater Church Safety Taskforce
November 21, 7:00pm – 8:00pm
Private 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 are beginning multiple new projects and welcome your knowledge and skills. Join our monthly meeting to learn how you can lend a hand. The next meeting is November 21. For more information or to attend, please contact Diane Schairer at

Ways To Live Our Values

Share The Plate for November
Hummingbird Indigenous Family Services

Half of all undesignated donations received in the month of November will be shared with Hummingbird Indigenous Family Services.

Hummingbird Indigenous Family Services (HIFS) helps address the astounding inequity in maternal mortality for indigenous women. This program grew out of United Indians of All Tribes doula and lactation counseling program funded by Best Starts for Kids (of which SUUC was an active participant).

The Hummingbird program believes that healthy mothers and babies are the foundation of a healthy community. By centering Indigenous people in all their work, they demonstrate the importance of providing culturally relevant care with Indigenous doulas and Indigenous lactation counseling as well as addressing other family needs.

American Indian and Alaska Native women who give birth have a higher maternal mortality ratio than any other ethnic group—eight times greater than white people and twice as large as Black people, with 80% of these pregnancy-related deaths being preventable. They have developed a guaranteed income pilot program called “The Nest”. Hummingbird works in Seattle and King County.

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.

Now Accepting Share the Plate Nominations

As we approach 2024, it is time for a call for new nominations! We are asking that all past recipients resubmit a request for funding if you want your group included in 2024. All requests will be reviewed by our Leadership team. Deadline for submission is Nov 15th. The form is located on the toolbar under JUSTICE on the SUUC website.
Our congregation has been so generous in past years. In times of crisis, YOU have stepped up and we so appreciate it. Thank YOU! To see a list of organizations we have supported in the past, go to: Share the Plate – Saltwater Unitarian Universalist Church (
Any member may nominate an organization to be considered by the Leadership Team. Our criteria for selection will continue to prioritize local organizations that serve South King County but we will also accept nominations that allow us to respond with support for emergencies, natural disasters, or pressing social issues, that serve a larger area: such as offerings for the UU Service Committee or UUA disaster relief fund. Minimal requirements are:

  • 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

Click here to complete an online form
Click here to download a printable form

Due to our ongoing relationship to a few local organizations, we will continue to have an annual share the plate for Hospitality House and Federal Way Day Center. We will also have an annual share the plate for Duwamish Tribal Services, an expression of our commitment to live into right relationship with local indigenous communities. You do not need to submit a request for these organizations. ****Image credit: Kindel Media

Saltwater Climate Action Now! (SCAN!)

SCAN! will have a new meeting time and date starting in November. Watch the newsletter in the coming weeks for more details. Contact Sheri Jacobson at for additional information. It’s never too late to Act for Climate Justice.

Pajama Making Party
1st Tuesdays, 12:30pm – 2:30pm
In Person – Welcoming Room

Please join Sally Caldwell and others who sew to make pajama bottoms and receiving blankets for local charities including Hospitality House and the Pediatric Interim Care Center. If you have a sewing machine, please bring it. Everything else will be provided. Don’t have a sewing machine or know how to sew? Please feel free to join use to cut out patterns and help with other tasks. Our next meet up will be November 7. ****Image credit: Pavel Danilyuk

Stance for Racial Justice
2nd & 4th Sundays, 2:00pm – 3:00pm
In Person – Des Moines & Puyallup

Rain or shine, we stand for racial justice every other Sunday.  Join us as we stand together in solidarity with our signs for justice. Our next gathering will be on November 12 in Des Moines at the intersection of 272nd St. and Pacific Hwy S (near Jack in the Box and Arco gas). We will meet again on November 26 in Puyallup from 2pm until 3pm at the intersection of 136th and S. Meridian (near post office and Sonic restaurant). Contact Colette DeMonte at for more information.

next alliance meeting

Sound Alliance
3rd Saturdays, 10:00 – 11:00am
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 November 18. The issues we focus on change from year to year, depending upon the concerns voiced by members of the congregation. 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)
4th Tuesdays, 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Faith Formation Zoom Room

The next meeting will be on November 28. Our Racial Justice Organizing Team meets monthly to discuss more ways to support our community in our anti-racism efforts. We 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

What nerve–PSE wants its customers to pay for construction costs for the Tacoma LNG fracked gas refinery! They’ve filed a request with the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) to raise natural gas rates to recover expenses related to the facility. Although the Public Hearing took place on November 1, there is no deadline listed for written comments.

Stand up and be counted by writing against PSE’s proposal! For some talking points, go to Send written comments to the UTC at one of the following: Online: or Email: In your subject line, please reference Docket UG-230393. ****Image credit: Markus Spiske

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

Ways to Connect

If you are planning to host an event in the Church Zoom Room please contact our Office Administrator ( the day before your scheduled event. They will need to verify your device has been registered to use the Church Zoom Room.

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
For the fall and winter months we will be meeting over Zoom. 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, 9:30am – 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! For more information, contact Janeane Weprin (630) 824-8343 or

Twice a Month Meetings

Game Night Sponsored by Saltwater UU Social Club (SWUUSC)
In Person – Welcoming 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.) Our group also plays thematic games, card games, and party & social games. Almost anything is possible! Bring your favorite game and let us know about it. Our next meet up will be November 4.
  • 1st Saturdays are all-ages. Bring a game your whole family will enjoy! 
  • 3rd Saturdays, childcare will be available. Please rsvp for childcare at least 1-week in advance to Lisa Key

Monthly Meetings

In Person – Saltwater Sanctuary

2nd Wednesdays, 6:00pm – 9:00pm
Join us on November 8 for our next movie night. RSVP to Robert at If you would like childcare, send a request to Lisa Key at least one week in advance at ****Image Credit: Pixabay
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 November 8. If you would like to join us or have any questions, please contact
Faith Formation Sunday
In Person – Saltwater Church
3rd Sundays, 10:30am-1:30pm (2:30pm for youth families)
Join us for fun, growth, and belonging as we delve deeper into the monthly Soul Matters themes our worship is built on. Faith Formation Sunday includes worship, lunch (sometimes potluck), then age-specific programming (adults, youth, and children). Our next gathering is November 19, and there will be a potluck. Questions? Contact Director of Faith Formation, Jessica Nash, at
Creative Hands
In Person – Welcoming Room

3rd Tuesdays, 12:30pm – 2:30pm
Join us for an afternoon of visiting and working on our creative projects. Bring your knitting, crocheting, jewelry making, or whatever with you. We gather to foster connection through sharing our creative processes. We also support the Saltwater community with small craft projects throughout the year. Our next meet up will be November 21. If you would like to join us or have any questions, please contact Joanne Loeliger (206) 870-1939.
Paint n’ Sip
In Person – Welcoming Room
4th Mondays, 6:00pm – 9:00pm
All ages welcome! Bring any size canvas. No experience required. All paints and supplies provided. Our next meet up will be November 27. Childcare is being provided. RSVP to Jessica Alexander at
Pair Sharing by Zoom
Janeane’s Zoom Room
One Sunday a month, 1:00pm – 2:15pm
Discover the healing power in telling truth and bearing witness. Pair Sharing is the spiritual practice of deep sharing and listening. If you would like to attend, please contact Janeane Weprin at

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 our Office Administrator for additional information

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

Multigenerational Faith Formation

Questions about Children’s and Youth Programming? Contact our Director of Faith Formation, Jessica Nash: To join the Faith Formation Zoom Room go to:

Middle and High School Youth Group Game Night
1st Saturdays, 6:00pm – 9:00pm
In Person – Welcoming Room

Join us at the Tabletop Family Game Night on November 4. Youth are encouraged to come hang out and play some games! Bring a favorite game to share. If you wish to try out a new game, we have a wide selection that will leave your brain and belly tired. Laughter and popcorn provided.

Elementary Faith Formation
3rd Sundays, 10:30am – 1:30pm
In Person – Lighthouse Large Room

Join us on Faith Formation Sunday during and after the worship service for fun, growth, and belonging with our Director of Faith Formation, Jessica Nash. Our next meet up is November 19, where children will explore this month’s Soul Matters theme of generosity, with a potluck lunch in-between. ****Image credit: Yan Krukau

Middle and High School Youth Faith Formation
3rd Sundays, 10:30am – 2:30pm
In Person – Lighthouse Youth Room

Our Youth Group meets on Faith Formation Sunday during and after the worship service. Youth Group discussions and activities are tied to the monthly Soul Matters themes. Come find some community and conversation, with a potluck in-between! Our next Youth Group is November 19, starting with baking cookies together. ****Image credit: Josh Sorenson

Parenting Youth Support Group
3rd Sundays, 1:30pm – 2:30pm
In Person – Lighthouse Room 1

Those parenting Youth (grades 6-12) are invited to join Director, Jessica Nash, on Faith Formation Sunday during the afternoon Youth Group meeting. We will connect with each other through the Soulful Home curriculum, supporting one another on our shared journey of parenting. Our next meet up is November 19. ****Image credit: Andrea Piacquadio

Support for Children, Youth, & Families

Parents Facebook Group 

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

Childcare for Church Events 

Childcare may be requested for any church activity at least one week in advance by contacting our Volunteer Childcare Coordinator, Lisa Key via email at We will do our best to make accommodations whenever possible.

General Information

How to Access the Church Zoom Room 

To access Zoom, go to and 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 Bubba:

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 our Office Administrator:

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 gatherings. If you wish to plan an event, please use our online request form:  All gatherings are asked to follow the current COVID-19 guidelines. If you have questions about the guidelines or need assistance, our Office Assistant is on-site Tuesdays and Fridays, 10am to 2pm. If you need on-site assistance outside of their regularly scheduled hours, email to schedule an appointment.

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 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 the website form (click here)