Saltwater Church Newsletter October 21, 2022

We offer worship in two ways: in-person multi-platform service held in our sanctuary and online in our Church Zoom Room at 10:30 am. 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 in-person programming and via our Church Zoom Room.

September Worship

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

October 23

The Many Faces of Courage,” Saltwater Scribes

October 30

The Sacred Everyday” Rev. Kristen Kuriga

Ancestor Altar Building for Samhain
Saturday November 5, 4:00pm
In-person in the Saltwater Sanctuary

Join us to celebrate Samhain (pronounced saw-when), the Pagan New Year when the veil between this world and the next grows thin and we can feel the presence of our ancestors and loved ones. We will build altars to celebrate our ancestors – the family, mentors, and people whose lives have inspired us. We will also create communal altars for the Sunday morning service of remembrance on November 6, including an altar for ancestors, for the earth and wild creatures, and for those who have died due to violence or injustice. Some basic supplies (empty boxes for tiers and altar cloths) will be provided. You bring your photos, sacred objects, special decorations, favorite foods of your passed loved ones, etc. to personalize an altar to honor and call those special souls. We will take turns visiting each other’s altars and learning about each other’s ancestors. For those who are comfortable, we invite you to leave up your altar for Sunday morning worship. Questions? Feel free to contact Suzanne Laurel, Galen, Guffy, Neysa Peterson, or Rev. Kristen.

Theme for October : Courage

Throughout the month of October we are exploring the spiritual theme of courage. According to Brene Brown, “The root of the word courage is “cor” – the Latin word for heart. In one of its earliest forms, the word courage meant ‘To speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart.’” What does courage mean to you? When have you been courageous? What does courage have to do with living and speaking from the heart? What does it mean to be courageous as Unitarian Universalists?  Join us to reflect, learn, and grow together!

Notable & 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.

Pair Sharing Cancelled October 23, 2022

Pair Sharing is canceled for this Sunday, October 23. Our next session is scheduled for Sunday, November 27. For more information, contact Janeane Weprin.

Ancestor Altar Building for Samhain
Saturday November 5, 4:00pm
In-person in the Saltwater Sanctuary

Join us to celebrate Samhain (pronounced saw-when), the Pagan New Year when the veil between this world and the next grows thin and we can feel the presence of our ancestors and loved ones. We will build altars to celebrate our ancestors – the family, mentors, and people whose lives have inspired us. We will also create communal altars for the Sunday morning service of remembrance on November 6, including an altar for ancestors, for the earth and wild creatures, and for those who have died due to violence or injustice. Some basic supplies (empty boxes for tiers and altar cloths) will be provided. You bring your photos, sacred objects, special decorations, favorite foods of your passed loved ones, etc. to personalize an altar to honor and call those special souls. We will take turns visiting each other’s altars and learning about each other’s ancestors. For those who are comfortable, we invite you to leave up your altar for Sunday morning worship. Questions? Feel free to contact Suzanne Laurel, Galen, Guffy, Neysa Peterson, or Rev. Kristen.

frozen wave against sunlight
image credit: Hernan Pauccara

Celebration of Life for Art Anderson
Saturday November 12, 2:00pm
Multi-Platform: In Person – Sanctuary
& via Church Zoom Room

Join us to celebrate the life of Art Anderson, long-time member of Saltwater Church.
All are welcome to come together as we share memories and offer care to Art’s family, friends,
and community. Masking will be required for the in-person service. A light reception will follow
the service.
Saltwater Church Sanctuary, 25701 14 th Pl S, Des Moines, WA 98198
Saltwater Church Zoom Room:

Pledge 2022 motto

Save the Date: Fall Leadership Convening
Saturday October 29, 10:00am to 12:00pm
Multi-Platform: In Person – Sanctuary
& via Church Zoom Room

The Board is inviting all leaders and future leaders for our Fall Leadership Convening! One of the board priorities for this year is to have a vibrant re-opening of our church. What would you like in order to make it happen? Let’s get together for reflection, creative imagination, and planning. Childcare will be provided. If you have any questions, please contact our Office Administrator at

Greeter & Usher Training
Saturday November 19, 10:00am
In Person : Welcome Room

Are you interested in supporting Sunday morning worship? Join us for training to become a greeter or usher. Greeters and ushers work together as a team to open up the space, set up sign-in tables, welcome people, talk with visitors, make people aware of COVID-19 protocols, count the offering, and close up the space. Are you already a greeter or usher? You are invited to attend the training as well. As COVID-19 guidelines have changed, so have the responsibilities for greeters and ushers. Join us for a refresh and share your best practices with one another. Questions? Contact Rev. Kristen at

From Our Leadership

image credit: Bubba

Staff Update – Office Administrator 

Katherine “Bubba” Miller continues to be out of the office. They are recovering from Covid and also caring for their father who is in the hospital. Please send care and healing to Bubba and their family. We are unsure when Bubba will be able to return to the office. For immediate and urgent needs, please contact Rev. Kristen: Please also offer grace to staff as we have very limited capacity at this time.

Updates to the COVID-19 Safety Guidelines

On September 28, the Board met and reviewed our Covid Safety guidelines and approved changes. Below are highlights. You can access the full revised guidelines here:

— For events in which the purpose is food related, such as coffee hour and potlucks, unmasking indoors is permitted. At all other times, masking is required indoors.

— Small groups of adults, twelve people or less, can remove their masks during an indoor program if all members of the group consent. Food and drinks are allowed as long as there is group consent.

If you have any questions about the COVID-19 Guidelines, feel free to reach out to members of the Board or a staff member. Thank you for continuing to care for our community.

UUA Article II Study Commission Draft & November Sessions

The Article II Study Commission of the Unitarian Universalist Association has released a full draft of proposed changes. You can read the draft and sign up for feedback sessions in November here: Below is also information about how you can engage with this important moment in our faith tradition to articulate who we are as Unitarian Universalists, what we most deeply value, and what commitments those values ask of us.

The Article II Study Commission is excited to share a full draft of Article II (PDF, 3 Pages) for feedback. The Study Commission’s outreach team will be hosting Zoom feedback sessions in the first half of November, along with gathering feedback through a forthcoming online form for individual comments.

The Study Commission will present its final draft to the Board in January for inclusion on the agenda for General Assembly 2023. It will then be the subject of mini-Assemblies before the initial vote at GA 2023. If it passes that delegate vote by a majority, it will require a 2/3 majority vote at GA 2024 to become the new Article II of the Bylaws.

This draft makes significant changes to Article II. We invite you to read it using one of the
practices we have started following in our work:

  1. Read it the first time to observe how it makes you feel.
  2. Read a second time, observe what it makes you think.
  3. Finally read it a third time before thinking about any suggestions.

Zoom Feedback Session Registration:

Growth & Learning

Transforming Conflict: A Congregational Opportunity for Learning and Skill Building

What’s your relationship with conflict? Is it difficult for you? As a congregation, we want to learn how to engage with conflict in loving and covenantal ways. Join the Healthy Congregation Team and the Board for a congregational study of the book Transforming Conflict: The Blessings of Congregational Turmoil by Terasa Cooley.

Over five months we will read, reflect, and learn new skills. Sessions will be offered on zoom and in-person, and we encourage learning to continue between sessions through learning pairs. You can purchase a copy of the book here: There will also be copies available to borrow from the church office starting on Wednesday, September 14. See below for the schedule and join us!

The same session will be offered each month in two different modalities:
1st Wednesdays, 7:00pm – 8:30pm, Church Zoom Room &
3rd Sundays, 12:00pm – 1:30 pm, In Person – Church Welcome Room

November 2 & 20: Revelations of the Self
& From Me to We: Covenantal Dialogue
December 7 & 18: Congregational Systems
& The Repercussions of Misconduct
January 4 & 15: Conflicts about Race
& Creating a New Culture of Learning
February 1 & 19: Tools for Change
& The Courage of Creative Imagination

Questions? Contact a member of the Healthy Congregation Team: Bev Ross, Quinn Rose, Debra Valpey, or the Board Liaison to the Healthy Congregation Team, Aida Sanchez-Vela.


Ways To Live Our Values

Share the Plate for October
UU Disaster Relief Fund 

In the month of October our offering is being shared (and matched) with the Unitarian Universalist Disaster Relief Fund: response. Hurricane Ian devastated communities in Puerto Rico, Florida, and South Carolina. UU congregations have been seriously damaged, and many Unitarian Universalists have lost their homes. The UUA’s Disaster Relief Fund is a concrete, material way that Unitarian Universalists support fellow UUs and their communities as they recover from increasing climate disasters.

Your generosity today will truly make a difference.

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. (P.S. Due to the urgent need for support, we are sharing the plate with the UU Disaster Relief Fund in October. Duwamish Tribal Services will be the recipient in the month of November).

next SCAN! Action meeting

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

Please join us on Sunday, November 6 to see how you can help make an impact on our current climate crisis. If you’re in the main breakout zoom room following church services just hang in there and the meeting will start at noon. You may follow this link: to view the agenda for the October 2 meeting. Contact Bill Adams at for additional information. We encourage you to bring a friend to participate in our monthly Zoom meetings and Act for Climate Justice. *** image credit: Margo Rolf

next alliance meeting

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 November 12 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.

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. Please wear a mask and practice social distancing. Our next gathering will be on October 23 we in Puyallup from 2pm until 3pm at the intersection of 136th and S. Meridian (near post office and Sonic restaurant). On November 13 we will meet 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.

Racial Justice Organizing Team (RJOT)
Monthly on the 3rd Wednesday, 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Church Zoom Room

The next meeting will be on Wednesday November 16Our 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

“Imagine walking out of a grocery store with four bags of groceries, dropping one in the parking lot, and just not bothering to pick it up. That’s essentially what we’re doing.”—Dana Gunders, Food and Agricultural Scientist

In America we throw out more than 200 pounds of food per person each year. Worldwide, wasted food accounts for the use of 28% of agricultural land, 8% of global emissions, 24% of freshwater, and it increases methane emissions. Do your part to reduce food waste. Now almost all King County single family households can recycle food scraps and soiled paper in their curbside yard waste bin. For details and tips go to King County also has a website to help you prevent food waste with topics like how to shop, prep, and store food at

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

Ways to Volunteer

Multi-Platform Worship Services
Various opportunities to help support our multi-platform services

As we move forward with reopening for more in person events our multi-platform services need your support. We have many opportunities for people of all ages and skillsets. Volunteer positions are available for both in person support and virtual support from the comforts of your home. If you are interested in joining a volunteer team, please contact our office administrator via email at

next facilities meeting

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

We wish to thank all the volunteers that joined us for our Groundskeep Work Party in the beginning of August and hope to see you again soon. 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 Thursday November 3. ***Image credit:  Karolina Grabowska 

next safety meeting

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 are beginning multiple new projects and welcome your knowledge and skills. Join our monthly meeting to learn how you can lend a hand. Our next meeting is Thursday November 17.

Ways to Connect

Weekly Meetings

Al-anon Support Group
Private zoom, contact for link
Mondays, 6:30pm – 7:30pm
Support Circle – New Fall Schedule 
Church Zoom Room :
First & Third Thursdays, 12:30pm – 1:30pm, led by Rev Kristen
Fourth Thursdays, 7:00pm – 8:00pm, led by lay ministers Debra Valpey and Toska Rodriguez
Support circle is open to all members and friends and is a space for deep check-in and reflection on a question related to our monthly theme. In support circle we come to be nourished by authentic relationship, to mutually support one another through the joys and sorrows of our lives, and to create space for spiritual insight. All are welcome.
Meditation Group 
Church Zoom Room
Tuesdays, 7:00pm – 8:15pm
Our meditation group has returned to zoom only for the fall & winter seasons. 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.
wonder what they are writing next
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! For more information, contact Janeane Weprin 630-824-8343 or
Choir Singing Circle
In Person – Welcome Room
Thursdays, 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Saltwater Choir is Back! This group will rehearse each Thursday evening and will sing in worship twice a month. Anyone who wants to share their vocal gifts and help create music for worship is welcome to join. We have found that singing together is a spiritual practice that helps us feel whole and well, as we minister to our congregation through our music. Come join us! We will follow our current COVID-19 Guidelines and have special “singing” masks available. For questions or more information, please contact Tom Burt, Music Director. email: phone: 206-304-3830.

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.) 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. This event will follow our current COVID-19 Guidelines. Our next meet up will be on November 5.
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

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 November 9. If you would like to join us or have any questions, please contact
Creative Hands
In Person : Welcome Room
3rd Tuesday, 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Join us for an afternoon of visiting and working on our creative projects. Bring your knitting, crocheting, hand sewing, jewelry making, or whatever with you. We gather monthly to foster connection through sharing our creative processes. We also support the Saltwater community with small craft projects throughout the year. Our next meeting will be November 15. If you would like to join us or have any questions, please contact Joanne Loeliger (206) 870-1939.
Pair Sharing
Rev. Kristen’s Zoom Room (
one Sunday a month, 11:45am – 1:00pm
Discover the healing power in telling truth and bearing witness. Pair Sharing is the spiritual practice of deep sharing and listening. November 27 will be our next meeting. We will also meet on November 27. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Janeane Weprin at
next grief support
Grief Support Group
Church Zoom Room
4th Thursdays, 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Grief Support Group Changes: Our Grief Support Group has changed. We will now be joining Support Circles monthly on the 4th Thursday. Our next meeting will be on October 27. Grief is an ongoing part of life and sometimes even released us from its grip for awhile. So, if you would like support for whatever challenges life is sending your way, or would like to share some joys in your life that balance those challenges, please join us on fourth Thursday beginning in September. Debra Valpey and Toska Rodriguez will be hosting. All are welcome.
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 evening of artistic expression is October 24.

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:
Toska Rodriguez:

Support for Children, Youth, & Families

Family Ministries Zoom Room

Children and Youth Registration for Family Ministries Program

Families are encouraged to fill out a registration form for any children and youth participating in classes and activities at Saltwater Church.  This helps our staff and volunteers with planning programs, and helps us know your family better.  Register online at:

Middle and High School Youth Group (grades 6-12)

Youth will meet for social events several times a month. The Youth Group works with adult advisors to plan programs which include personal sharing, discussion of religious and ethical issues, guest speakers from other religions and from the community, service projects, participation in district youth conferences, and worship. This year youth will explore the monthly church-wide themes. Contact Amanda Radak or see the church newsletter for more information.

Family Support Circles

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

Are you are looking for like-minded parents to support you through the challenges of family life? Look no further than the Parent Support Group! Join us 1st and 3rd Mondays at 7:30pm in the Children’s Ministry zoom room For questions, contact Jessica Alexander at

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 is available upon request for any church activity if requested at least one week in advance. To request childcare, contact our office administrator via email at Childcare is currently being offered for the paint group 4th Mondays from 6-9 p.m. (This event is also open to youth participants.)

Our Whole Lives (OWL) 

Comprehensive sexuality education classes will be held jointly with Westside UU Church for youth in grades 7-9. The class schedule will be available soon. Contact Steve Radak for more information.

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 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, 9am to 1pm. If you need on-site assistance outside of their regularly scheduled hours, email to schedule an appointment.

Planting Flowers has resumed providing essential childcare support to families. Haitian Christians has resumed in-person gatherings with a limited capacity on Sunday evenings. Bet Chaverim has resumed events in the Welcome Room & Sanctuary while also continuing to have virtual options. 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 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)