Saltwater Church Newsletter October 8, 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 10: “Seeking Right Relationship” Rev. Kristen Kuriga
Each Sunday, in our land acknowledgement, we commit ourselves to seeking right relationship with the local indigenous communities and tribes whose land we live, work, and worship on. In honor of Indigenous People’s Day, we will hear poetry and stories from indigenous authors from the Pacific Northwest and learn together about what it means to seek right relationship as a people of faith.

October 17: “Living into Covenant: Opening to Different Perspectives,” Rev. Kristen Kuriga
This is the first in a series of sermons about living more deeply into our new covenant at Saltwater Church: What insights might the theme of humility bring to our understanding of sacred and covenantal relationship?

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!

Upcoming Events

Join us for a conversation about Safety at Saltwater
Saturday October 10, after service (around 11:45am)
Church Zoom Room

There have been multiple safety issues at the Saltwater Church campus since the beginning of the pandemic, including break-ins to the buildings and sheds. The Board convened a Safety Taskforce, bringing together lay leaders from Saltwater Church, Bet Chaverim, Haitian Christians United, and Planting Flowers, to discuss concerns and come up with strategies for increasing safety. The Board has now approved funds to implement some safety improvements and we want to create space to share information and answer any questions you might have. The conversation will be facilitated by Rev. Kristen, Glenn Andrews, our Facilities lead, Karin Leisy, Board Member and lead of the Safety Taskforce, and Katherine Miller, Office Administrator. We hope you’ll join us for this important conversation.

Stance For Racial Justice
Sunday October 10, 2:00pm – 3:00pm
In person – Des Moines

Rain or shine, we stand for racial justice every other Sunday.  Please wear a mask and practice social distancing. We will gather on 10/10 in Des Moines at the intersection of 272nd St. and Pacific Hwy S (near Jack in the Box and Arco gas)On 10/24 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.
*** image credit: Colette DeMonte

Movie Discussion Night
Saturday October 16, 6:30pm – 8:00pm
Church Zoom Room

How to Train Your Dragon is a classic coming-of-age adventure story that explores the theme of humility through the gentle, humble relationship between a boy and a dragon.  Through authentic, open minded interactions, the boy comes to understand and even love dragons.  But first, humility must unlock the door to relationship. 

We’ll meet on Zoom to watch clips from the movie and discuss the role of humility in our relationships and in learning and growing together in community.  You are encouraged to watch the movie in advance, but it is not required for participation in the discussion.  How to Train Your Dragon (2010) is rated PG, and available through several streaming services or on video. Click on the image for one of many free options. An ad will appear on the screen, click the ‘x’ in the top right corner of the ad and the movie will start. ***image credit: New York Times

Saltwater Youth Group Service Project
Sunday October 17, 3:00pm – 5:00pm
In Person – Kiddie/City Park, Des Moines
This event will be outdoors, masked, and socially distanced

Our next in person youth group event will be a service project to help a local park. (Click the image for a map and additional information about the park.)

Youth in grades 6-12 are invited to have fun, do good, and get involved with the Green Des Moines Partnership. Join the Forest Stewards at Kiddie/City Park in Des Moines. We’ll be removing invasive weeds to make room for trees and native plants to thrive. All tools and training will be provided. Bring a water bottle, a snack if you want one, and closed-toed shoes that can get dirty. Wear long pants and and a long-sleeved shirt to protect against prickly blackberry. Parking is available at Grace Lutheran Church. Those under 18 need a Youth Waiver signed by a parent or guardian. Contact Amanda Radak for more information and to RSVP.

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

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

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.

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.

Saltwater Climate Action Now! (SCAN!)
DATE CHANGE FOR OCTOBER – Sunday October 10, 12:00pm – 1:30pm
Church Zoom Room

We are proud of how SCAN!, along with many other like-minded PNW environmental groups, made a difference. SCAN! helped stop what would have been an environmental disaster with its voracious appetite of 130M cu.ft. of mostly fracked gas daily. More than all other commercial gas users in our state combined. We helped prevent.4.6 million tons of climate pollution every year for 40 years. That’s something worth celebrating. If you are interested in participating in future SCAN! efforts, please join in our monthly Zoom meetings and Act for Climate Justice. Our next meeting will be October 10.

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

Pets are affected by climate change too. For example, warming temperatures expand the range of ticks associated with Lyme disease and of mosquito-borne heartworm infections. And last summer’s heat dome killed a still-undetermined number of domestic animals. You can protect the planet and your pets by being a climate-responsible pet owner. Buy products that use sustainable materials, processes and packaging. Let pet shops and retailers know that climate-friendly products are a priority for you. Dispose of your pet’s waste responsibly. (Never flush cat feces down the toilet.) Find out more about how pet owners can use green practices at Get creative and think of ways to be a greener pet owner like making DIY dog toys ( Read tips about pets and climate change at Not a pet owner? Animal shelters are trying to be green too. Check their websites or call them to ask if they need used towels, blankets or other supplies.  *** image credit: Katy Gordon

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

Ways to Connect

NEW GROUP – Join our Grief Support Group
(Church Zoom Room)
1st and 3rd Thursdays, 7:30pm – 9:00pm (tentative)
Are you grieving the loss of a loved one, of a relationship, of your health or vitality? Perhaps you are grieving the loss of a job, or maybe you are grieving over how the pandemic has been affecting you. You don’t need to grieve alone. We can be here for each other.

Debra Valpey and Toska Rodriguez, two Saltwater lay ministers, will be facilitating a grief support group this fall. Our hope is that, together, we can support one another through difficult times. It is not a therapy group, but it might prove therapeutic for you, and we will be emphasizing support and resources around loss. If you think a group like this might be a good fit for you, please contact Debra (206-953-5704 or or Toska (253-839-1921 or

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 6. 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 October 13. 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)