Saltwater Church Newsletter October 22, 2021

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


October Worship Services

October 24: “The Queen’s Loaves,” Melinda Einander and Susan Aigner
Bread is a staple food in many different cultures, a nearly universal symbol of sustenance.  For worship today, you are invited to bring a food item that sustains and nourishes you.  We will as we explore the theme of humility through story, song, and sharing of that what nourishes us individually and in community.

October 31: “The Veil is Thin,” Rev. Kristen Kuriga and CUUPS Leaders (Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans)
Our annual service of remembrance focuses on honoring and connecting to those who have died, especially our ancestors. Join us to connect with, celebrate, mourn, and love those who came before and influenced our lives.

October’s Theme: Humility
Throughout the months of September and October we will be exploring the theme of humility. Humility is about acknowledging that we don’t have it all figured out: not as individuals or as a people of faith. We are all still learning. Humility is about valuing other people’s perspectives as we value our own and engaging the world with wonder and curiosity. When we approach life with humility, we are invited into reverence for this earth we are made of and the beings we move through life connected to. Not knowing is an opportunity to let go of our desire for perfection, and instead embrace vulnerability and the need for forgiveness when we miss the mark. Join us as we explore the theme of humility in worship, small groups, and religious education, and deepen our faith 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!

Upcoming Events

Ancestor Altar Building for Samhain
Saturday October 30, 10:00am
In-Person, Saltwater Church
This event will be outdoors, masked, and socially distanced

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. 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. Those not building altars are encouraged to visit and learn about the people who made your Saltwater friends who they are today. ***image credit: Anna Tukhfatullina

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. ***image credit: Anna Shvets

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:

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. 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. To care for the well-being of our church and local community, and to live into our mission and values, we will not be scheduling any new indoor activities at this time.

From The Board & HCT

A/V Equipment Update

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, contact

Saltwater Church Re-Opening Update

On Wednesday, September 22nd, the Saltwater Church Board met with Judy Featherstone of the Pandemic Taskforce to consider the potential timeline for reopening the church for in-person worship and programming indoors. Given the continued high case numbers of COVID in South King County, we will continue to pause reopening.

To care for the well-being of our church and local community, and to live into our mission and values, there will be no indoor in-person activities at this time. Additionally, we are not currently open for private rentals of church facilities. The Board will continue to monitor the local conditions and will coordinate with the Pandemic and Reopening Taskforces as conditions change.

Outdoor, in-person, small group activities will continue as weather and air quality allows. For outdoor programming, everyone will be required to mask and practice social distancing. We will also continue to offer worship, small groups, and ways to act for justice over zoom. You can find more details about upcoming worship and programming in the church newsletter:

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

Growth & Learning

Leading from the Heart: Fall Leadership Development series hosted by staff of the Pacific Western Region of the UUA

October 13th, November 10th, December 8th, 7-8:30 pm Pacific Time
We know that leading in these times can be hard. To have sustainable and effective leadership we must lead from the heart.  In this 3-part series for budding and experienced leaders, participating will ground you in your own spiritual soil, acknowledge roots that nourish you, discern the flowers of your gifts, find abundance in living generously, and preserve seeds to keep the harvest going. Topics will include: UU and ancestral theology, the synergy of passion and mission, living out of conviction. Participants will spend about 4 hours a month in a variety of solo work, small group discussion (1 per month on group’s time frame), and a full group monthly meeting. Register here. image credit

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 October: Duwamish Tribal Service

Half of all undesignated donations received in the month of October will be shared with Duwamish Tribal Services: Each Sunday we acknowledge the land of the indigenous peoples of the Duwamish Tribe.  In 1983, after more than 100 years of broken United States treaty promises, the Dxʷdəwʔabš established Duwamish Tribal Services as a non-profit 501[C]3 organization to provide social and cultural services to the Duwamish Tribal community.

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!

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 10/24 in Puyallup from 2pm until 3pm at the intersection of 136th and S. Meridian (near post office and Sonic restaurant) On 11/14 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.

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

SCAN will meet again on November 7. Please keep in mind this will be right after Daylight Savings so be sure you adjust your clocks accordingly. 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.

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.

Climate Message of the Week

Would you like to connect with other UUs who are working for climate justice? Or see a calendar of upcoming climate events and learning opportunities? The UU Ministry for Earth (UUMFE) at has launched a Create Climate Justice initiative ( that is a network for UUs interested in a healthy climate for everyone. The UUMFE is also a great resource for working on climate issues. Its website has lists of campaigns, climate news, and resources with activities. (Spring 2022 activities will be listed soon.) On October 28, UUMFE will hold an online event about the crucial COP26 climate summit titled “Getting Ready for COP26”. It will be “focused on how the summit will work, priorities, how to participate remotely and what to expect”. Use the tools offered by UU Ministry for Earth to join other UUs as they act to create climate justice.  *** image credit: UU Ministry for Earth Facebook

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, October 27. 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
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. If you would like a statement of your donations for calendar year 2020 for tax purposes to email or call our treasurer Gaye Greeves at or (253) 508-3961. 

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *