Saltwater Church Newsletter November 5, 2021

Fall is officially here . . . TIME to reset the clocks!!!!!

A reminder that starting at 2am this Sunday, November 7, our months of
time travel will come to an end, so don’t forget to

Turn Back Time
1 hour and catch a little extra shut-eye.

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.


November Worship Services

November 7: “God of Many Names,” Rev. Kristen Kuriga

November 14: “Spiritual Journeys: The Search for Truth and Meaning,”
     featuring reflections by Aida Sanchez-Vela, Colette DeMonte, Ray Valpey and Rosie Olds

November 21: “Unitarian Universalist Prayer,” Rev. Kristen Kuriga

November 28: “Wisdom in Today’s World,” Rev. Anthony Mtuaswa Johnson, Guest Minister

November & December’s Theme: Spirit
In the months of November and December we’ll explore our relationship to something larger than ourselves which has many names and expressions: spirit, God, Goddess, great mystery, creation, nature, and all that might be, to name just a few. Through this exploration we will reflect on our own personal spiritual journeys, engage in spiritual practice, and ask questions that will bring us deeper into relationship with ourselves, one another, and the spirit of life and love. Join us as we journey together!

Interfaith Thanksgiving Eve Gratitude Service
Wednesday, November 24th at 7 pm
Church zoom room:

Join Bet Chaverim and Saltwater Church in an evening of reflection, gratitude practice, and music. On the eve of Thanksgiving our communities will come together on zoom. If you have a poem or reading on the theme of gratitude that you would like to share, please sign-up to participate in the service by contacting Galen Guffy, Worship Operations Lead: We would like to have six worship co-creators from each community in addition to Rabbi Jim and Rev. Kristen. We hope you will join us to nourish your spirit! ***image credit: Rodnae Productions

Upcoming Events

Leadership Convening
Saturday November 6, 10:00am – 12:00pm
Church Zoom Room

Calling all Saltwater Church leaders and aspiring leaders! Are you a current group leader or a newish member or visitor wishing to become more involved? The last 1.5 years of COVID restrictions has changed the world, including Saltwater Church. Our isolation has made it more difficult to see what is happening in the church and who is making it happen. It has been a long time since we have met in a group to share with each other. We want to consider our priorities as we move toward in-person/digital Sunday services and other activities. Let’s put our heads together and sort out who does what at Saltwater Church.   

The morning will be facilitated by your Operations Leaders and Staff: Susan Aigner, Galen Guffy, Melinda Einander, and Rev. Kristen.

Grief Workshop
Thursday November 11, 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Church Zoom Room

Save the Date for the Saltwater UU Grief Workshop. The psychologist Erich Fromm once said “To spare oneself from grief at all cost can be achieved only at the price of total detachment, which excludes the ability to experience happiness.”

Loss and the grieving process is an integral aspect of the human experience. Perhaps you are grieving a loss of some kind, or trying to support one who is grieving, or just curious about why grief and loss is so prevalent in our lives. Either way, please plan to join Debra Valpey and Toska Rodriguez, two Saltwater lay ministers, as we explore the nature of grief and loss and the myriad ways they find expression in our lives. When we conclude this workshop we will have a clearer idea as to whether or not there is enough interest in forming a grief support group here at Saltwater. In the meantime, or if you have further questions or wish to speak to a lay minister about loss and grief, please contact Debra (206-953-5704 or or Toska (253-839-1921 or We are here for you. ***image credit:

Christmas Singing Circle
Thursday November 11, 7:00pm – 8:30pm
In Person – Saltwater Church Sanctuary

Join us to sing this Christmas! There will be a small group singing circle led by Tom Burt, our Music Director, for five Thursdays in November and December (Nov 11, Nov 18, Dec 2, Dec 9, and Dec 16). The group will learn Christmas Carols which will be recorded and shared in our Music and Christmas Eve worship services over zoom.

Rehearsals will be in-person, indoors, masked and distanced. Since singing is a higher risk activity, we are requiring vaccination for all participants, and limiting the size of the group to a total of 15. We also ask that you make a commitment to all five rehearsals, and the church will be providing specially designed “singer’s masks.”

If you would like to sing with us, please contact Tom Burt: Once you sign up, you can send a picture of your vaccination card to Katherine, our office administrator: or you can text them. Please email them to request the phone number for sending a text. *** image credit: Brigitte Tohm

Movie Discussion Night – Pete’s Dragon
Saturday November 20, 6:30pm – 8:00pm
Church Zoom Room

Pete’s Dragon” is the adventure of an orphaned boy named Pete and his best friend Elliot, who just so happens to be a dragon. For years, an old wood carver has delighted local children with his tales of the dragon that resides deep in the woods of the Pacific Northwest. To his daughter, Grace, these stories are little more than tall tales…until she meets Pete–a mysterious 10-year-old with no family and no home who claims to live in the woods with a giant, green dragon named Elliot. Grace sets out to determine where Pete came from, where he belongs, and the truth about this dragon.

We’ll meet on Zoom to watch clips from the movie and discuss our understanding of spirit, and how we engage with the mysteries of life.  You are encouraged to watch the movie in advance, but it is not required for participation in the discussion.  Pete’s Dragon (2016), rated PG, is a remake of the classic Disney film, and available through several streaming services or on video.

Fundraising Event : Handmade with Dove

All of Handmade With Dove’s revenue during November and December, less shipping and fees, will be donated to Saltwater Church!

Shop for unique handmade UU cards at


Current In-person Activity COVID-19 Guidelines

For outdoor programming, given the rise in infection rates, everyone will be required to mask and practice social distancing. This includes persons who have been fully vaccinated.  Indoor programming is limited to groups of fewer than 15 people over the age of 18. Please see our website at for the most up to date information.

We believe that this approach reflects our commitment to welcome and care for those who are more vulnerable, including children, those who are immune-compromised, and those who are unable to be vaccinated.

From The Board & HCT

Board Focus for this Church Year

The focus of the Board’s work for this church year has been split into two parts. In Fall/Winter, the Board will be reading and learning together through the UUA report Widening the Circle of Concern.  We are learning how we as a faith can move forward to be truly welcoming to all people.  In Winter/Spring we will be facilitating a visioning process for the congregation informed by our learnings in the Fall. 

The Board will also continue to support the committees of the Board, the Healthy Congregation Team and the Nominating Team, and the Taskforces convened by the Board, the Reopening Taskforce, the Pandemic Taskforce, and the Safety Taskforce. If you have any questions about the work of the Board feel free to reach out to any of our Board members. 

Board meetings are held in the church zoom room and are open to members of the congregation. In November and December the Board meeting is on the third Wednesday of the month from 7-9 pm due to the holidays. Starting again in January and through the rest of the church year, Board meetings are on the fourth Wednesday of the month. 

Would you like to volunteer with our Technology Team?

Our new audio-visual system has been installed! We are excited about the capacity this will allow us to create multi-platform worship and programming when we are able to return to in-person, indoor programming. Although we had an initial training with our installation company, Neurilink, our focus now is on learning to use the equipment well and training all of the communities that share our campus.

If you are someone who would like to join our technology team email our office administrator at Opportunities for training will be coming soon!
***image credit: B Lehman

Safety Upgrades On Campus

Thank you to those who were able to join us for a conversation after service on Sunday, October 10 about safety. The Board has approved funding to implement safety upgrades on campus, including installing a monitored security system with panic buttons in all three buildings, improving lighting, replacing the front doors of the Lighthouse, putting in window coverings in the welcome room, and putting in door handles in the interior of the sanctuary. These upgrades are being coordinated by a joint team of lay leaders and staff: Glenn Andrews, Facilities Lead, Karin Leisy, Board member and Safety Taskforce Lead, Katherine “Bubba” Miller, our administrator, and Rev. Kristen Kuriga, our Minister. If you have questions about these upgrades, feel free to contact one of these people. If you would like to help with these projects, contact

Saltwater Church Re-Opening Update

On Wednesday, October 27, the Saltwater Church Board voted to open our main building to small groups meetings in the Sanctuary and Welcoming Room. Groups of 15 adults or less are able to meet indoors masked and distanced. You can access the guidelines for meeting here.

If you are part of a small group that would like to meet in-person, or you would like to create an event to foster connection, you can schedule that event with our office administrator: If you need support in planning for a small group gathering, please contact a member of the Operation Leads Team: Rev. Kristen Kuriga, Melinda Einander, Susan Aigner, or Galen Guffy.

The Board is continuing to monitor the local covid transmission rates through Covid Act Now: Due to continued high transmission rates, we will continue to worship through zoom and hold most of our programming virtually. As weather allows, we will also plan in-person outdoor events open to all ages. The Board each month assesses our local conditions to see when we are able to start multi-platform worship. We are keeping in mind guidance from both public health and the UUA:*** image credit: Anna Shavets

If you have any questions about the Church Reopening timeline, please contact Mayda Taney, Board President.

Growth & Learning

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 November: Hospitality House

Half of all undesignated donations received in the month of November will be shared with Hospitality House: Hospitality House is a transitional shelter and 90-day program in Burien for homeless women.  It can accommodate a maximum of nine women at one time.  Each client’s objective is to find permanent housing and financial stability but how this is achieved is based upon the needs of the individual client.  Case managers support clients throughout the program.  You can also provide support by volunteering, making a meal, shopping via Amazon, Fred Meyer and Bartell’s and donating.

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.

Share the Plate – New Opportunities for 2022!

Share the Plate, our practice of sharing half of our Sunday collection with a non-profit that reflects our Unitarian Universalist values, is approaching a new year ahead.  Our congregation has been so generous. In times of crisis, YOU have stepped up and we so appreciate it.  Thank YOU!

As we approach 2022, 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 2022. All requests will be reviewed by the Operation Leads.

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.

We have also slightly modified our criteria for selection. We will continue to prioritize local organizations that serve South King County but 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.

  • 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 

So, we need your help!  What organization do you feel we should be supporting?  On the church website you can download the form and also see a list of organizations that we have supported over the last three years: Please submit your completed form to Kathy Linnell, You can also contact Kathy by phone and her number is in the church directory. The deadline is December 6th.  Let’s make 2022 another stellar year of giving!

Engage In Racial Justice

The month of November is Native American Heritage Month. The month is a time to celebrate rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and histories and to acknowledge the important contributions of Native peoples. Last month our Share The Plate contributions were shared with Duwamish Tribal Services: In addition to learning more about the Duwamish and our impact on their community, you can support other tribes in our region as well.

For example, the Snoqualmie Tribe is currently petitioning to have the new ferry in Seattle named after the Tribe. Their Tribal Council invites supportive members of the public to sign an informal petition of support that can be located at: Also, were you aware of the negative impacts that fly-overs are having on Snoqualmie Falls? To learn more about how to support the Snoqualmie Tribe in stopping this harmful activity visit

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 11/14 in Des Moines at the intersection of 272nd St. and Pacific Hwy S (near Jack in the Box and Arco gas)On 11/28 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.

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

Join us on November 7 and discover how you can help make an impact as far as our current climate crisis is concerned. Bring a friend too! Please keep in mind this will be right after Daylight Savings so be sure you adjust your clocks accordingly. This month’s meeting will include discussions about COP26 and community outreach. We are a group who takes actions to help protect our environment and combat climate change. If you are interested in participating in future SCAN! efforts, please join in our monthly Zoom meetings and Act for Climate Justice. *** image credit: Margo Rolf

Sound Alliance – Schedule Change
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. 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 3rd Tuesday, 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Rev. Kristen’s Zoom Room

Our 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. ………….

Project Giving Tree is on its way!

Every year, Saltwater Church provides holiday gifts for Mark Twain Elementary students & siblingsHere’s how you can participate:

Monetary donations are being accepted now through December 9th.  Please send to Saltwater Church with Giving Tree in the memo. Donations may be mailed to the church or you can use our donation link on the church website (click here)

Or, starting November 21st, you will be able to visit our virtual tree through SignUpGenius.  This is where you will see the children’s wishes and choose which gift(s) you’d like to give.  Thank you for your generosity!

Climate Message of the Week

COP26—which some people describe as our last, best chance to avoid catastrophic climate change—is happening now through November 12.

COP26 is a meeting of UN signatories to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement came out of previous COP meetings. So far there have been agreements to end deforestation and to cut methane emissions. Stay informed about COP26 proceedings. (click the image to read Biden Administration’s Climate Efforts)

Find coverage at the Guardian ( or at Climate Change News ( or other climate-dedicated sites. Search online for virtual COP26 events that you can attend at sites like   *** image credit: Nataliya Vaitkevich

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

Ways to Connect

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. Our meetings have returned to Zoom meetings only until further notice. 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

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

Creative Hands
(Church Zoom Room)
2nd and 4th Wednesdays, 1:00pm – 3:00pm
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, November 10. Questions? Contact Lynn Crow at (206) 429-2005.

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 November 10. If you would like to join us or have any questions, please contact

Weekend Writers Group
(Church Zoom Room)
2nd and 4th 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.

Pair Sharing
(Rev. Kristen’s Zoom Room
4th Sunday, 11:45am – 1:00pm(SPECIAL NOVEMBER DATE)
Due to Thanksgiving, November’s Pair Sharing experience will be on November 21. 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

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

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 p.m.
email our Director of Family Ministries at to get the class zoom link

High School Virtual Youth Group for grades 9-12
Wednesday evenings at 7 p.m.
email our Director of Family Ministries at to get the class zoom link

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.

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 is closed to most in-person programming, groups, and meetings. Saltwater staff are primarily working from home while our Office Administrator is on-site Tuesdays and Fridays from 9:00am until 1:00pm. 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.

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)