Saltwater Church Newsletter September 30, 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!

Important Staff Update for Sunday, October 2

Due to the illness of several staff members, including Rev. Kristen, we will have a Worship Watch Party jointly with Tahoma UU Church on Sunday, October 2. Please check the worship services section for details about how to connect to this Sunday’s service. We look forward to being live in the Saltwater Sanctuary again next Sunday, October 9.

October 2
“Feast of Losses,” Rev. Dr. Linda Hart : WORSHIP WATCH PARTY with Tahoma UU
Poet Stanley Kuntz writes, “How shall the heart be reconciled to its feast of losses?” We’ll explore the difference between being broken apart and being broken open. 

This Sunday we will join with Tahoma UU for worship. You can attend a worship watch party in the Saltwater Church sanctuary, or connect with the Tahoma through their zoom room:

The connection information is below: 
Join us for worship service via Zoom Webinar at:

Webinar ID: 847 5531 1106, Password: 253

You can also listen on your phone by dialing 253-215-8782 with Webinar ID: 847 5531 1106 and Password 253 to hear the worship service.

October 9

The Path of Courage,” Rev. Kristen Kuriga

October 16

The Changing Nature of our Faith,” Rev. Kristen Kuriga

October 23

The Many Faces of Courage,” Saltwater Scribes

October 30

Wholehearted Living,” Rev. Kristen Kuriga

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!

Ways for All Ages to Participate in Sunday Morning Worship Time

Children and youth are welcome to worship with their families in the sanctuary.  People of all ages who prefer hands-on activities or space to move or make some noise are welcome to participate in the Welcome Room, where we will have activities related to the morning’s worship theme. For our younger guests, we provide childcare in the Welcome Room and outside. Youth are encouraged to volunteer as ushers, greeters, worship leaders, or to join our Tech Team if they are interested. Volunteers are needed to assist with childcare as well. Please contact Katherine (Bubba) Miller, Office Administrator, with questions or to discuss your family’s particular needs for in-person participation.

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.

frozen wave against sunlight
image credit: Hernan Pauccara

Celebration of Life for Julie Ann Traub
Saturday October 1, 2:00pm
Multi-Platform (in person & by zoom)

Join us to celebrate the life of Julie Ann Traub, long-time member of Saltwater Church. She died peacefully at home at age 97 on September 2, 2022. You can read Julie’s obituary here: All are welcome to come together as we share memories and offer care to her family, friends, and community.
Saltwater Church Sanctuary, 25701 14th Pl S, Des Moines, WA 98198
Saltwater Church Zoom Room:

Chalice Circle Sign-Up: Last Week To Register
4 different group options
In Person or Zoom

Want to connect with others and enrich your spirituality? Join a chalice circle! They meet once per month either on zoom or in person. They will dive deeper into the Soul Matters theme of the month through thought provoking questions and discussions. You don’t want to miss out. The following group times are available October-May: 1st Sundays at 12:30pm (drop-in at church) 2nd Tuesdays at 10am (zoom) 3rd Wednesdays at 7pm (in person at facilitator’s home) 4th Thursdays at 10 am (zoom) To sign up, contact Jessica Alexander at

Pledge 2022 motto

Save the Date: Fall Leadership Convening
Saturday October 29, 10:00am to 12:00pm
In Person : Welcome 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

Current In-person Activity COVID-19 Guidelines

Please see our website at for the most up to date information. We continue to review current guidelines for King County and the state of Washington to ensure we adhere to their standards.

From Our Leadership

Share the Plate: New Opportunities for 2023!

Share the Plate, our justice ministry of sharing half of our undesignated donations on Sunday morning with a local non-profit that reflects our Unitarian Universalist values, is approaching a new year ahead. Since May of 2022, those donations have been matched, and this match will continue until May 2023. We would love to receive your nominations!

In the past year we have supported: International Rescue Committee (Ukrainian refugees), Federal Way Day Center, Duwamish Tribal Services, Hospitality House, Federal Way Community Caregiving Network, Sound Generations, New Horizon School, Food Innovation Network, Puget Sound Keeper, Blue Legacy and the UU Service Committee. The share the plate criteria is simple:

  • Organization must be a 501 (c) 3 non-profit
  • The organization’s mission must align with UU values and principles
  • Organizations that serve South King County will receive priority

What organization do you feel we should be supporting?

We are asking that all past recipients resubmit a request for funding if you want your group considered for 2023. A few organizations will receive a share the plate each year as a reflection of our ongoing relationship and commitment to these organizations: Hospitality House, Federal Way Day Center, and Duwamish Tribal Services.

Please complete the form or submit it to Kathy Linnell, with your recommendations or phone her at (206) 651-7787. The deadline is December 6, 2022. Let’s make 2023 another stellar year of our giving. You can make it happen!

UUA Article II Study Commission
Next Zoom Feedback Sessions: late October 

The UUA is working on revisions to Article II of the UUA bylaws: the section where our sources, principles and purposes are written. A study commission has been working through feedback from General Assembly, and is also taking feedback through Zoom sessions.

Be informed and make your voice heard! The next opportunity to attend a feedback session will be in late October/early November, before the commission completes their proposal in early 2023 to send to The Board. The proposal will be considered in mini-assemblies before the vote at General Assembly 2023. Check this website for details, and to register for a session. Article II Study Commission : 

Staff Updates

image credit: Mikhail Nilov

Join Us In Welcoming Our New Pianist 

We are excited to announce that our new church pianist is Cami Celestia. Cami will be with us for her first Sunday on September 25. Join us in welcoming Cami to our congregation.

Cami Celestia (she_her) is a Seattle-based musician, artist, and technologist excited to join the SUUC worship team! Originally from southeast Michigan, she has over 20 years music experience including 15 years of classical piano study, two degrees in music and technology from the University of Michigan, and extensive performing experience spanning jazz, pop, country, and electronic music. She is also an active artist and inventor, and enjoys life alongside her wife Andy and cat Sonny.

Update on the Hiring Process for Director of Multigenerational Faith Formation 

The Hiring Team for the Director of Multigenerational Faith Formation, Lisa Key, Christina Frueh, and Rev. Kristen Kuriga, conducted interviews for our open position in the month of September. After careful consideration, we did not find a candidate that was a match for our needs. This means that the essential work of this role will be held by current staff and volunteers for the immediate future. The hiring team and Board will continue to think creatively about our next steps and keep you informed through the newsletter. The position will remain open and below is the link to the job description. Please share it with your networks://

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

October 5 & 16: Introduction, A New Way of Looking at Conflict: Why Transformation?
& The Physiology of Conflict
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.

Wrestling with the Truth of Colonization
A community organizing program brought to you by Sound Alliance
Introductory Briefings: October 4, 2:00pm-3:00pm OR
October 6:30pm – 7:30pm

Sound Alliance, in collaboration with United Indians of All Tribes, are offering 5 (2hr) virtual training sessions in October with United Indians of All Tribes member organizations. Sound Alliance member organization members are invited take part in this opportunity to join with indigenous members in reflection and learning around the truth of colonization and its ongoing impact in our region. The goal is to take the learning from these sessions and turn them into long term community organizing efforts toward upholding native sovereignty and to build real solid relationships between indigenous and non-indigenous communities. Introductory briefings are offered October 4 from 2-3pm OR October 6 from 6:30 to 7:30pm. Join us in Fostering Connection and Acting for Justice. For additional information contact Diane Dobrowolski at to register.


Ways To Live Our Values

Share the Plate for October
Duwamish Tribe 

Half of all undesignated donations received in the month of October will be shared (and matched) with the Duwamish Tribe.

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 Duwamish Tribal Services established a
non-profit 501[C]3 organization to provide social and cultural services to the Duwamish Tribal community.
The Duwamish Tribe currently has around 600 enrolled members.  Many more people have dxʷdəwʔabš ancestry but have chosen to enroll with federally recognized tribes, in order to obtain health and other human services.

In the absence of federal recognition, funding, and human services, Duwamish Tribal Services has struggled to provide numerous social, educational, health, and cultural programs during the past 35 years.

We are pleased to support their efforts.

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.   

Engage in Racial Justice

2022 Indigenous People’s Day Program
Monday October 10, 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Zoom Room (linked below)

Your Racial Justice Organizing Team & Boise UU Fellowship’s Racial Justice Ministry invites Saltwater to join them Monday evening, October 10, via Zoom, 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. for Darren Parry’s program, “History, Healing and Restoration.” Darren Parry is a member of the Northwestern Band of the Shoshone Nation. He says, “My message is one of Hope and peace in the face of violence.”  This program co-sponsored by the Idaho Sierra Club.
Zoom to:
Meeting ID: 891 4458 2407
Passcode: chalice

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, October 2 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 October 8. 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 9 in Des Moines at the intersection of 272nd St. and Pacific Hwy S (near Jack in the Box and Arco gas). On October 23 we will meet 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.

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

The next meeting will be on Wednesday October 19Our 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

image credit: Bubba

Maybe it’s time for a new perspective on climate change.

Too often climate activism is perceived to be an unending struggle. The approach at the UUA Climate Resilience webinar on September 27 was different — “Save what you love; don’t fight what you hate.” Climate change touches on so many things. What do you love that’s being affected by those changes? What can you do to support and protect what’s being impacted? Instead of working from a mindset of scarcity and anxiety, look for ways to find joy in taking action, knowing that you’re acting for what you love.

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 October 6. ***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 October 20.

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 – October 1st meet up is CANCELLED
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 October 15.
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 October 12. 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 October 18. 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. October 23 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)