Saltwater Church Newsletter October 9, 2020


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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: What does it mean to be a People of Deep Listening?
In the month of October we are exploring the theme of deep listening. Deep listening is about giving our full attention to this moment and the people in our lives. It is a kind of mindfulness practice that is about not only listening with our ears, but with all of our senses. Throughout the month of October we will be exploring listening as a spiritual practice, how to stay present with one another when we disagree or are having difficult conversations, and listening to voices that are often marginalized. Join us as we learn to be a people of deep listening.

October 11: “Tending: Listening as a Spiritual Practice” Rev. Kristen Kuriga
October 18:
“Deep Listening to Uplift & Connect,” Debra Valpey, Quinn Rose, and Bev Ross, Healthy Congregation Team
October 25:
“Many Voices,” Rev. Kristen Kuriga

Upcoming Events

Covenant Listening Sessions
Sunday, October 11 after worship
Monday, October 12 at 7 pm
Saturday, October 17 at 11 am
All covenant listening sessions are in the church zoom room: 
Unitarian/Universalism is a covenantal faith. In place of a dogmatic creed, the bedrock of our community is the commitment we make to each other. In preparation for revising and updating SUUC’s Covenant of Right Relations, the Healthy Congregations Team (HCT) invites you to attend one of three scheduled Listening Sessions.  Our covenant is a promise for how we treat each other and how we relate to each other as a loving community. The HCT will be asking you to respond to questions pertaining to our mission statement in order to learn from each other how we will build a covenant for us all. The responses will be used to create a draft of a Covenant to be presented to the congregation at a later time. Plan to join us for one or more of these sessions.  We need your input for this important work as we move forward in our Mission.   Debra Valpey, Quinn Rose, Bev Ross – Healthy Congregations Team 
Practice Love. Foster Connection. Nurture Spiritual Growth. Act For Justice. 

Growth and Learning

Racial Justice Organizing Team Education Discussion Group
Saturday, November 7, 2020, 10AM to Noon,         
Your Racial Justice Organizing Team (RJOT) has been meeting regularly since June.  We focus on three projects…Racial Justice Education, forging ties with Racial Justice partner organizations, and Racial Justice actions we can all take.
The RJOT Education subgroup has been researching and practicing ways to engage the congregation in learning about Racial Justice. Our goal is to make folks more comfortable talking about race.  In September we held our first SUUC Racial Justice Education Discussion Group, about Systemic Racism. We are planning a second Discussion Group Saturday, November 7, 10AM to Noon.  Please put this date on your calendar. Contact

Ongoing Opportunities for Racial Justice Education

Supporting Our Saltwater Community

The Pledge Team is looking for support!  We need people of all kinds to help us focus our energy for the 2021 Pledge campaign.  This church is generous and has been overwhelmingly financially supportive of our work here and in the wider world.  Still…each year we use the pledge campaign to renew our commitment to this faith community, our core values, morals, ethics, and beliefs.  To get us there in strength and hope, the pledge team creates a unifying theme, together with the artwork, music, and celebrations in support of that theme.  Will you join us?  It is fun, creative, energizing and at the very heart of our collective vision.  Please contact Saphronia @ or (253) 632-9553 to offer your energy and ideas.  THANK YOU!!!

Online Fundraiser
Since the Winter Bazaar fundraiser has been canceled this year due to COVID-19, Joanne Stonebraker is selling her handmade cards online to benefit Saltwater Church. This will be an ongoing fundraiser, where $5 for every item sold from her Etsy store ( will go to the church. Fall and Winter designs are now available, with new designs being released weekly! If you planned to sell handmade items at the bazaar this year and are interested in selling your items online, please contact Joanne at

Book Donations for Saltwater Family Ministries Library
Thank you to everyone who have donated books to our library, expanding our collection of multicultural and social-justice themed titles.  Our families appreciate having access to children’s books while school and public libraries are harder to access.  If you would like to donate a book to our library, visit the wish list:  If you would like to borrow books for a child or youth in your life, contact Melinda at

Ways to Live Our Values

Share the Plate
The Share the Plate program is looking for more organizations that we might potentially support! What is Share the Plate? Share the Plate is the practice of sharing a portion of the undesignated funds in the Sunday collection with a worthy organization that shares UU values and principles. Any church member may nominate a nonprofit organization to receive offerings from this program by submitting a nomination form to Rob Maurus at The criteria for selection are: 1) The organization must be approved by the IRS as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, 2) Preference will be given to South King County organizations, 3) The organization’s mission must be in alignment with UU values and principles. You can find the nomination form on the church’s website under the “Justice” tab and then scroll down to “Share the Plate”.

Share the Plate for October: Duwamish Tribal Services
Half of all undesignated basket donations received in the month of October will go to Duwamish Tribal Services. You can learn more here:  You can make a donation to the basket through the donate button on our website: mail a check to the church office with “basket” in the memo line:  Saltwater UU Church, 25701 14 Pl S., Des Moines, WA 98198.

UU Justice Summit
Registration is open for the 10th annual UU Justice Summit on Saturday, October 10th! This year’s program will occur online, starting at 8 a.m. and concluding at 6 p.m. There will be panels on Racial Justice and Equity, Environmental Justice, Refugee, Immigrant, and Migrant Solidarity, and Legislative Advocacy. You can attend one or all of the panels. This is Part 1 of the Justice Summit. Part 2 will occur on December 4-6. To register go to:

Living our Values through UU the Vote
Around the country, Unitarian Universalists are organizing to #UUtheVote, working to increase the participation of millions of disenfranchised eligible voters-especially people of color. UU the Vote ( is a national campaign working with the non-profit Center for Common Dreams. Their Reclaim our Vote initiative is engaging voters who are prevented from exercising their electoral rights through voter suppression and voter list purging. Volunteers inform and mobilize voters in the six most affected states, to make sure they are registered, and they know how to get a ballot and vote. We can live our UU values by working to ensure that all voices are heard in the democratic process, and that we work for policies that increase love, not hate.

Weekly Reclaim our Vote phone banking

Training provided for volunteers each Monday afternoon. Learn more and sign up here:

Voter Turnout Postcard Campaign
Are you willing to write 20 postcards to ensure our democracy?  UU the Vote is working to engage voters in key states, so they know how, where and when to vote.  You’d receive training, script, cards, and postage.  Kits will be distributed weekly at the Stance for Racial Justice or can be delivered if needed.  Please reach out to Amanda, if you are willing to take on 20 postcards.

Stance for Racial Justice
Rain or shine, show up for racial justice every Sunday in October! Please wear a mask and practice social distancing.  10/4 and 10/18 in Des Moines from 2pm-4pm. Intersection of 272nd St. and Pacific Hwy S (near Jack- in- the Box and Arco gas).  10/11 and 10/25 in Puyallup from 2pm-4pm. Intersection of 136th and S. Meridian (near post office and Sonic restaurant).
Contact Colette DeMonte at for more info.

Racial Justice Core Team meets on the 3rd Tuesday of each month from 6:30-8:30 p.m. 

SCAN! (Saltwater Climate Action Now!) (Church zoom room) meets monthly on the 1st Sunday noon – 1:30 pm

Climate Message of the Week:  Act to celebrate World Food Day (October 16) which is sponsored by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. According to the FAO “Consumers are more than just eaters; you also have the power to influence what is produced through healthy food choices, which in turn contributes to more sustainable food systems.” Here are some easy actions the FAO recommends: Eat a healthy diet to encourage biodiversity. Buy local foods whenever possible. Eat foods that are in season to reduce your carbon footprint. Tell grocery stores and restaurants that you want foods that are produced sustainably. Share information about eating sustainably with others either online or in your conversations.

Sound Alliance (Church zoom room) meets monthly on the 2nd Saturday 10:00 – 11:30 am

Federal Way Day Center Donations Needed
The Federal Way Day Center for homeless adults is providing important support to our local community while practicing social distancing. Currently the most items most needed are: cup noodles, hand warmers, rain ponchos, and trash bags. You can park in front of the Day Center and call (253-893-7895) and someone will come out to pick up the donations.  33505 13 Pl S behind the Multi-Service Center.  Or you may contact Lucia or Diane to arrange for your donations to be picked up. 

Ways to Connect

The host login information for zoom meetings has been recently updated.  If you host a zoom meeting or event at Saltwater, and have not received the new login information, contact  (The login for participants has not changed.)

Al-Anon Support Group (church zoom room)
Mondays, 6:30-7:30 pm

Creative Hands (church zoom room)
Tuesdays, 1:30-3:30 pm
We will support one another in our creative ventures, as well as discuss ways that we can help our communities during this time.

Meditation Group (church zoom room)
Tuesdays, 7-8:15 pm
We follow a UU modified Zen practice that includes lighting a candle, chiming a singing bowl, sitting and walking in silence, listening to words of wisdom, sharing tea and conversation, now all virtual via Zoom. Contact Jean Spohn if you have questions. or 206-200-7524

Writers Group (church zoom room)
Wednesdays, 9:30 am- 12pm

Support Circle (church zoom room)
Thursdays, 12:30-1:30 pm

Over Eaters Anonymous (church zoom room)
Fridays, 5-6 pm

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. Are you in a higher risk group and do not want to venture out to the grocery store? We may be able to connect you with someone in your neighborhood to help you get the supplies you need. If you have lost income from being sick or unable to work, or do not have enough money to buy extra food and supplies, the Minister’s Discretionary Fund is available for one-time emergency support for members and friends of the church. Contact Rev. Kristen: Do you need to go to work but don’t have childcare? Are there other needs that your family has? Please be in touch with Melinda at

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

Support for Children, Youth, and Families

Family Ministries Zoom Room

Religious Education Class for Kids and their Grown-Ups 
(Note the class address.)
Sunday mornings at 9:30 a

Junior and Senior High Youth Group 
(Note the class address.)
Sundays at 12 pm,

Family Support Circles
First & Third Mondays, 7:30-8:30 pm
Family ministries zoom room

Parents Facebook Group 
You can also connect with other Saltwater Church families with children and youth for support through the Parents Facebook group:    

The Saltwater Church Family Ministries Library Wants to Visit Your Home!
Have your children run out of books to read, with school and public libraries closed? The Saltwater Family Ministries library has books to share! Contact to borrow books.  

From the Board & HCT

Staff Transition Update
A search team has been formed following the staff transition of our office administrator. The team includes Galen Guffy, Tom Spohn, Suzanne Laurel, and Rev. Kristen Kuriga. In the interim, we want you to know how the administrative needs of the congregation will be covered. Gaye Greeves, our Treasurer, is providing support for payroll, bill paying, and processing pledge payments. Melinda Einander will be working five more hours per week, and will be responding to administrative emails, creating and posting the church newsletter, calendaring, and assisting with online communications as time allows. All other administrative needs will be covered by Rev. Kristen. The best way to be in touch with administrative questions is to email: The office phone line is also regularly checked: 206-651-7358. 

HCT Guidelines for Having Difficult Conversations  

General Information

How to Access the Church Zoom Room 
To access Zoom, go to
and click on “To join a meeting-click here.” Or from the main church webpage, select Zoom Room from the drop down menu under “news and events” on the top menu bar. If this is your first time using Zoom, follow the prompts to download the application to your computer.

If you would prefer to join by phone, dial 1-669-900-6833 and enter Meeting ID: 736 142 4210 when prompted. You may need a password. If you do not have the password, please contact 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:

Saltwater Church Building
The church building is closed to all in-person programming, groups, and meetings.  Staff are working from home.  Staff members will be going by the property to collect the mail and to check on the campus.  Planting Flowers has resumed providing essential childcare support to families.

Please Note:  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 at

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