Saltwater Church Newsletter, September 11, 2020

Saltwater Church Newsletter September 11, 2020


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.

September: What does it mean to be a People of Renewal?
This month join us to explore the theme of renewal. To renew: to begin again, to restore, replenish, or recommit. At the opening of each church year, we renew our commitments to each other and our church community. We renew our energy for another year of journeying together. This month we will also work with the questions: What renews our spirits? How can we practice renewal? What is the relationship between forgiveness and renewal? Join us to explore our faith together.

September 13: “Blessed by the Waters,” Rev. Kristen Kuriga
September 20: “It Takes Practice,” Matt Meyer, Guest Musician and Worship Leader
September 27: “Forgiveness as Renewal,” Rev. Kristen Kuriga

Water Communion Ritual & Start of the Church Year
On Sunday, September 13th, we will celebrate the start of the church year with our Water Communion ritual. We will gather in zoom, so this year’s ritual will be shared together virtually from our homes. I invite you to bring a small amount of water to worship with you from somewhere local: the sound, a stream or lake, collected rainwater, or water from your hose or faucet. In our ritual we will be receiving blessings and offering blessings for the year to come.

Soul Matters Themes for this Year
This church year we will continue to work with the Soul Matters themes in worship, small groups, and religious education. This is an opportunity to deepen our exploration on a shared theme and facilitate spiritual growth across the generations. Below are the themes this year:

September:  Renewal
October:  Deep Listening
November:  Healing
December:  Stillness
January:  Imagination
February:  Beloved Community
March:  Commitment
April:  Becoming
May:  Story
June:  Play

Saltwater A/V Team Volunteers Wanted:
Come join our Saltwater Unitarian Universalist Tech Team. The mission of the Sunday Tech Team is to deliver seamless technical transitions to enhance worship. If you possess computer and technology skills and desire to help prepare services by way of rehearsals, warm-up, test runs, and practice, we invite you to thoughtfully consider applying to join the exceptional volunteers at Saltwater Church.

A/V Team volunteers must be available one Sunday per month for two hours (for Prep & Service) and available the Saturday before for an hour rehearsal.  Currently, our services are conducted remotely due to COVID-19.  A/V Tech Training (including Zoom) will be provided. If you are interested in learning more about this important and exciting volunteer opportunity, please contact our A/V Tech Lead, Bert Snipes, or SUUC Worship Operations Lead, Galen Guffy.

Upcoming Events

Socially Distanced Work Party On Campus–POSTPONED
The socially distanced work party originally scheduled for this Saturday has been postponed, due to smoke and poor air quality.  This event will be rescheduled.  For more information, contact Jean Ray:

SUUC Racial Justice Education Discussion Group
Tuesday, September 15, 2020  from 7 to 8:30 pm
Rev. Kristen’s  Zoom Room –
Please join us to watch a short video about Systemic Racism in America. We will then move to breakout rooms of 4-6 people for facilitated discussion. Hosted by the Saltwater Racial Justice Organizing Team. Our goal is to make folks more comfortable talking about race.  Please let us know if you plan to attend with an RSVP to Susan Aigner

Getting to Know You Gathering
 (right after service in the zoom room breakout group)
Sunday, September 20
The Membership Development Team invites visitors, friends, and members to the next “Getting To Know You” session scheduled for Sunday, September 20. The purpose of our time together is to meet others in our church community and for all of us to get to know each other better.  We will share information about the many opportunities available for you to get involved in our fellowship and there will be time for you to ask questions about our church.  This will take place in a breakout room immediately following the worship service on Zoom. Please mark your calendars and plan to join us!

From the Board & HCT

Recent Church Break-In

On Sunday night, during the recent holiday weekend, the church suffered a burglary in which there was loss of many of the electronic devices, as well as the entirety of the office safe!  Otherwise, the only physical damage was to two doors; there was no defacement of property, so the arc, piano, art work, and so forth remain untouched, and there did not appear to be any attempt to enter the Lighthouse or any storage shed.  This comes at a time when the Board and Facilities Team were already upgrading some security measures, and a time when, because of the pandemic, the Church campus is often unoccupied (other than the Planting Flowers school).  A newly formed Safety Team includes representatives of all 4 major groups who use the facility begins its work next week, looking at everything from earthquake preparedness to security. If you have any questions, please be in touch with Ray Valpey, Board President. 

Staff Transition
As of September 2, 2020, CJ Lewis is no longer employed at Saltwater UU Church as the Office Administrator. We wish CJ well. We will be gathering a search team who will consider the responsibilities of this position moving forward. We will also be in touch with more updates soon, including who to contact for questions related to administration.

Door Code Changes
The door codes to the office and welcoming room have been changed. Since the campus is closed to programming at this time, and we would like to keep the campus secure, the codes have been shared with a small number of leaders. If you need access, please be in touch with a staff member.

New Outdoor Preschool Program
We are excited to share that there will be a new outdoor preschool on-site. As you may know, Forest Kinderland, which had been offering outdoor preschool for the last three years, ended their program in March. Teshia Flowers, who runs the Planting Flowers Learning Center in the Lighthouse, will open a non-profit, licensed program called “Little Explorers Outdoor Preschool.” The new program will provide outdoor education opportunities to low income families in our community. We will keep you updated about when the program will begin!

Task Forces being Formed
There are two new task forces being formed: Pandemic Task Force and a Safety Task Force. The role of the Pandemic Task Force is to review guidelines from local and national public health to help create an eventual reopening plan, as well as provide guidance to the Board on the pandemic. The Safety Task Force will bring together representatives from each of the communities that call Saltwater Church home to come up with collective solutions to safety challenges. Due to the extended period of time that many of our communities have not been able to meet in person, we have seen an increase in loitering in the parking lot, a break-in to the shed, and illegal dumping. We will share more information as these task forces begin their work.

HCT Guidelines for Having Difficult Conversations  

Ways to Live Our Values

Share the Plate for September: Federal Way Day Center
Half of all undesignated basket donations received in the month of September will go to the Federal Way Day Center. You can learn more here: You can make a donation to the basket 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.

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:

Phone Banking Days of Action
In the next 53 days leading up to November 3rd, we need to make sure every day counts. If you’ve been writing postcards for UU the Vote, many thanks! Did you know that you can also make phone calls? UU the Vote is mobilizing UU’s to call voters in critical states targeted by voter suppression. UU’s called over 8,000 voters in Florida on August 25th and 10,000 voters in Wisconsin on September 2nd. What’s next? The state of Georgia! UU the Vote is joining forces with the New Georgia Project to make over 10,00 calls to Georgia voters on September 27th. RSVP to Get Out the Vote in Georgia on September 27, 2-3:30 pm ET:

Have questions or need more information? Contact Diane Dobrowolski at

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
Show up and shine bright for racial justice every Sunday in September! Please wear a mask and practice social distancing.  9/6 and 9/20 in Des Moines from 2pm-4pm. Intersection of 272nd St. and Pacific Hwy S (near Jack- in- the Box and Arco gas).  9/13 and 9/27 in Puyallup from 2pm-4pm. Intersection of 136th and S. Meridian (near post office and Sonic restaurant). Contact Colette DeMonte at colette.demonte for more information.

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. 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.

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

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

Ways to Connect

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, 8-9 pm
Join the meditation group on zoom to help nourish your spirit. The group will have a teaching, sitting meditation, walking meditation, and an opportunity to share.

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:

Growth and Learning

Beloved Conversations—Virtual, Meditations on Race and Ethnicity
Registration Now Open!           The UUA has made their Beloved Conversations curriculum virtual!  Join in this course from the comfort of your own home. The curriculum includes specific lessons for individual work, including strategies to connect and reflect with both your personal past as well as with small groups of other learners in your area and/or across the nation. This fall course is done entirely in race-based caucuses that will use two different courses. One caucus is for Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color (BIPOC), and one caucus is for white people.
Register before September 20, 2020. Course work, individual and group, runs October through December. Cost:    $150 per individual.  Partial and full scholarships are available.    has all the details, including course schedules.
Please contact Susan Aigner if you are interested.

Justice on Earth: UUA Common Read Book Discussions
Offered by Northlake UU Church’s Climate Action Team
Wednesdays, September 16, 23, and 30, 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Books (as well as an ebook version) are available by order through local bookstores, or online at the UU Bookstore
These discussions will offer us the opportunity to:
–Explore religious reasons for individual Unitarian Universalists and our faith movement to work at the intersections of race, class, and environmental justice issues.
–Challenge participants to act from their Unitarian Universalist values,  beginning or deepening partnerships and learning to follow the lead of those who bear the brunt of environmental injustice.
–Prompt us to consider how we as a congregation can respond to climate justice issues
If you have any questions or to register, please contact:Clark Reid-McKee, Northlake  

Opportunities for Racial Justice Education
Webinars and videos of Racial Justice related resources from the UUA

Taking a Collective Breath (Side with Love, UUSC) Led by Black organizers, this series is meant to deepen support for the current uprisings in defense of Black lives.  
Webinars and Online Courses (Side with Love) Videos of past webinars, 2015, 2016  

Unfinished Business (Side with Love) A political education series about the reconstruction era post-slavery, after the end of the civil war. It is available online for individual and group use.   
People of the Land (A series of conversations with the Carrizo Comecrudo Tribe of Texas.)  

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.  And I’ve just created a wish-list so that folks in our congregation can donate books to make our collection more diverse and justice-focused.  Check in out:

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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