Saltwater Church Newsletter September 8, 2023

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.


Theme for September: Welcome 

Throughout September we are engaging with the theme of welcome. What can we welcome within ourselves to elevate our wholeness? How can we welcome others more meaningfully? What does it mean to welcome as opposed to assimilate others? Join us as we ponder what it means to be truly welcoming.

Worship In September at Saltwater Church 

September 10  Water Communion – Janeane Weprin, SWUUC Member

Please join us for our annual Water Communion service. We will mingle the waters we have saved from the places and times we have visited this past summer, places and times we hold dear, that are special and/or sacred to us. It could be water from someplace exotic, or it could be from our own backyards or kitchen sinks. What matters is the meaning of the water, what it symbolizes for you. In this way we will honor our connection to each other, to the Earth, and to Life itself.

September 17  Welcoming the Sacred Wild – Saphronia Young, SWUUC Member

Join us for a lay-led service to explore welcoming the Wild Sacred through poetry. Three Saltwater poets will share their poems in that theme, and we will write short poems at the end of the service. Those poems volunteered to be shared will be gathered into a “Saltwater Prayer Book” to be shared with all.

September 24  Welcoming Mara to Tea – Quinn Rose, SWUUC Member

In the final trials to enlightenment the Buddha is beset by the great demon Mara, who attempts many methods of diverting him from his peace. The Buddha responds by inviting him to have tea; showing that our greatest enemies are best met with loving acceptance. In the ways we speak about the enlightenment we seek it is easy to slip into language of “overcoming” or “conquering” our fears and vices. But our flawed humanity is not something to surpass, but to warmly welcome into a deeper relationship with. In today’s lesson we will discuss the benefits of welcoming your own personal demons.

To view our complete calendar of events, click here.
If you wish to schedule an event, click here to fill out a request form.

Leadership Convening
Saturday September 9, 1:00pm – 4:00pm
Saltwater Sanctuary & Church Zoom Room

Have you helped lead one of our volunteer teams? Are you interested in the future of the Saltwater community? This is an opportunity for community and planning. Convening is one of the most powerful, life-altering forces in the universe. This combining of energies in our community can stir us to rise in our current situation and envision what might be possible. Join as as we combine our visions and plan how to make them happen. Help us create a new year of growth in spirituality and leadership as we work together to create what we want to have in our lives. This event will be in person and over Zoom. Childcare is available, RSVP to Lisa :

Youth Opening Night
Grades 6th-12th and their adults
Saturday September 9, 5:30pm-8pm
Saltwater Welcoming Room

A first gathering of the year for middle school and high school youth and their guardian(s). Youth are welcome to come solo as well as Guardian(s) without their youth. We want to hear from everyone with Youth! We will be including:
– Give input on what the year should look like and meet each other.
– Basic expectations & meeting structures.
– Pizza & Games!
Looking forward to gathering with you all. -Fernando & Amanda

The Great Ivy Eradication!
Sponsored by SCAN!
Sunday September 10, following service
In Person – Saltwater Church Grounds

Join members of SCAN! and the Saltwater Community in our efforts to free our majestic trees from ivy suffocation. Bring yourselves, gloves and other protective wear, and favorite tools if you have them. The church also has tools to borrow. Come make new friends, build community, and conquer the English Wilds!

Did you know we have a Honeycrisp apple tree? Its located at the entrance to our large parking lot and the apples are starting to ripen. Help yourself and don’t forget we still have plentiful blackberries! A bucket of blackberries or a fresh crisp apple will be a sweet treat after beating back the enemy. Together, we can conquer all!

Saltwater Choir Practice Resumes in September
Thursday evenings, 7:00pm – 8:30pm
In Person – Saltwater Sanctuary

Join the Choir! We rehearse Thursday evenings 7:00-8:30 and sing in worship two Sundays a month (usually 1st and 3rd). We always welcome new members, but Right Now is the very best time to join. Childcare is available with advance notice. Questions? Contact Tom Burt:
phone: 206-304-3830

Community Potluck – Welcoming Reception for Jessica Nash
Sunday September 17, following service
In Person – Welcoming Room

Welcome to Saltwater our church’s new Director of Faith Formation. Sunday, April 17, stay for the Community Potluck after church and meet Director Jessica Nash. She joined us in August and is doing amazing work! Come and introduce yourself, she’d love to meet you.
The Faith Formation Team is providing cake for the Potluck. Fewer dessert donations required!

Chalice Circle Orientation
Saturday October 14, 10:00am
Church Zoom Room

We are about to welcome back our Chalice Circles! We are hosting a zoom meeting for all of those interested in Chalice Circles this year. If you have wondered about what a chalice circle is, if you would like to try out facilitating, if you want to learn about a new idea of Sharing Circles, this is the meeting for you! 

We will be doing an overview of our current circles and introducing a new format available. Facilitators are needed as we go into our new season of circles, we will discussing what is involved in this role. Connect with other others and your own spiritual needs through our Circles. 

Join us on zoom as we explore this amazing opportunity for growth in community. Our circles will begin again in November. Contact Jessica Nash at Or Susan Aigner at with any questions. 


Special Announcement from Sue & Nelson Schmitz

Sue and Nelson Schmitz, former members of SWUUC, who moved to Raleigh South Carolina have a request for us. We are saddened to say their son Evan Schmitz died earlier this week. For those of you who may remember, a few years ago while still in our community, they lost their son Andrew. 

They ask for our Saltwater Community to hold them in our thoughts. Cards, messages, or even phone calls would all be appreciated. Their phone number is: (425) 444-7494 Their email is: Their mailing address is:
3613 Long Townsend Ave
Fuquay-Varina, NC 27526

Celebration of Life – Julie Dickinson
Saturday October 7, 1:00pm
Saltwater Sanctuary & Church Zoom Room

It is with sadness that we announce the passing of Julie Dickinson. Please read her obituary by following this link: The family is making arrangements, and more details will be in future newsletters.

From Our Leadership

Message from our Search Team

Here’s an update on where we are with our search for a new minister.

In early June, we posted the Congregational Record — which is kind of like a profile on a UU Ministers’ matchmaker site. Who we are, who we’re looking for. We are considering any minister who indicates an interest.

Like the search for a called minister, this search is a confidential process. The Search for a Called Minister takes at least one year, maybe two. The Search for a Contract Minister is measured in months. We don’t know how many months, although clearly we didn’t find the right match to start by August 1, which was our (ambitious) goal.

We will let you know when we’ve found a good match.

We can’t tell you how many people applied, how many we’ve interviewed, or if a specific minister has applied. However, ministers who are looking for another position know where to look and how to indicate interest. There is only one process, created by the UU Ministers’ Association, and that’s what we’re following.

Don’t worry; this uncertainty is part of the transition process. In a way, it’s good. We have a chance to stretch on our own. When a beloved minister departs, we miss their presence and skills– and we can forget the significant skills within our own community. I’m energized by people stepping up to help with Worship Arts, Faith Formation and so many other ways.

Hope to see you in church – maybe at the Water Ceremony, or the Leadership Convening.

Diane Schairer- on behalf of the Search Committee:
Daniel Key, Carol Mitchell, Galen Guffy and me

Message from our Board

Leadership Convening, on Saturday September 9, 1 – 3 pm.

What does the coming year hold?

During this year of transition, the Board set three goals aimed at supporting our mission.

  • Creating a culture of fun, growth and belonging
  • Cultivating volunteers to support the ministry
  • Safeguarding our financial health, to support the mission and ministry

How does this translate into action? What are the events that you want to participate in, the actions that inspire you? What’s your niche? Come to the Fall Leadership Convening to find out!

Saturday, September 9, 1 – 3 pm. In the sanctuary and on Zoom. See you there!

Ways to Volunteer

Your Community Needs YOU!
Volunteer Now

We invite you to take part in creating the kind of community that you want to be part of! We need volunteers of all skills and ages. Opportunities include:

Sunday Morning Opportunities: Contact Bubba ( if you’re interested & need to get training/ orientation. For job details click here.

Sunday Morning Opportunities

  • Usher
  • Digital Usher
  • Greeter
  • Welcome Kiosk
  • Worship Assistant
  • A/V Desk Assistant
  • Multigenerational Activities Assistant

Other Opportunities

Song Leaders Wanted!
Upcoming Sunday Services
Saltwater Church Choir

Love to sing? Want to be of service to our church, but can’t do choir every week? Be a Song Leader! Looking for singers who can model and encourage singing to help the congregation join in the hymns. You do not need to be a “soloist” – just share your joy of singing! Preparation and coaching provided.
Questions? Contact Tom Burt
phone: 206-304-3830

Facilities Team
September meeting To Be Announced, 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Church Zoom Room

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. ***Image credit: Bubba 

next safety meeting

Saltwater Church Safety Taskforce
Thursday September 14, 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.

Ways To Live Our Values

Share The Plate for September
Federal Way Community Care Giving Network

Half of all undesignated donations received in the month of Sept will be shared with Federal Way Community Care Giving Network

The FWCCN provides help with partial emergency gas and bus vouchers, and 2 free meals a week. The meals are provided at Christian Faith Center and at Church of the Good Shepherd and St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church. The organization also operates 2 large gardens which provide food for the free meals, the Federal Way Senior Center, the Federal Way Food Bank, and Shag apartments.

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.

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 September 10 in Des Moines at the intersection of 272nd St. and Pacific Hwy S (near Jack in the Box and Arco gas). We will meet again on September 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.

Saltwater Climate Action Now! (SCAN!)
Sunday September 10, following service
Saltwater Church Grounds

The September meeting of SCAN! will be September 10 in person. We will be joining the Ivy Pull after church. Regular Zoom meetings on the first Sunday of the month will resume in October. SCAN! members work to make an impact on our current climate crisis. Contact Sheri Jacobson at for additional information. It’s never too late to Act for Climate Justice.

next alliance meeting

Sound Alliance
Monthly on the 3rd Saturday, 10:00 – 11:00am
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 September 21. 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.

Racial Justice Organizing Team (RJOT)
4th Tuesday, 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Church Zoom Room

The next meeting will be on Tuesday September 26. Our 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

The climate is changing but the most important individual actions you can take to reduce climate damage from CO2 are still the same: Limit your air travel (one trip per year is the goal). Eat a plant-based diet by reducing or eliminating meat (especially beef and lamb). Walk, bike or use public transportation as much as possible. Finally, make your vote count for the climate by supporting and voting for candidates who put a priority on a healthy, fossil fuel-free future.

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

Ways to Connect

If you are planning to host an event in the Church Zoom Room please contact our Office Administrator ( the day before your scheduled event. They will need to verify your device has been registered to use the Church Zoom Room.

Weekly Meetings

Al-Anon Support Group
Private zoom, contact for link
Mondays, 6:30pm – 7:30pm
Meditation Group 
Now in Church Zoom Room
Tuesdays, 7:00pm – 8:15pm
For the fall and winter months we will be meeting over Zoom. Our meditation group meets in person in the Saltwater Church Sanctuary. 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.
Writers Group 
Church Zoom Room
Wednesdays, 9:30am – 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

Twice a Month Meetings

Game Night Sponsored by Saltwater UU Social Club (SUUSC)
In Person – Welcome Room

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. Our next meet up will be on September 16.
Pajama (making) Party! sponsored by Creative Hands
In Person – Welcome Room

1st and 3rd Tuesdays, 12:30pm – 2:30pm
Join our Creative Hands group in sewing pajamas for Hospitality House.  They will meet the first Tuesday in September. Please bring a sewing machine if you have one. Materials, designs, and guidance will be provided. Our next meet up will be on September 19.
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 Our next meeting is on September 17.

Monthly Meetings

Leading From the Heart” small group meeting
Church Zoom Room/In person to be determined
Time and day to be determined by group
We will be discussing the “Leading From the Heart” class and finding ways to share our learning with our community. This is a great opportunity to widen your circle and deepen local connections; to learn about yourself and be inspired by others. Email Jessica Nash at  for more information about this way to grow.
Pair Sharing by Zoom
Janeane’s Zoom Room
One Sunday a month, 1:00pm – 2:15pm
Discover the healing power in telling truth and bearing witness. Pair Sharing is the spiritual practice of deep sharing and listening. If you would like to attend please contact Janeane Weprin at
Creative Hands
In Person – Welcome Room
3rd Tuesday, 12:30pm – 2:30pm
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 September 19 . If you would like to join us or have any questions, please contact Joanne Loeliger (206) 870-1939.
Saltwater Genealogy Club
Church Zoom Room
2nd Wednesdays, 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 September 13. If you would like to join us or have any questions, please contact

Quarterly Meetings

After Service Potluck
In Person : Welcome Room
Sunday September 17
Church-Wide Potluck, Yummy! Please bring a generous dish to share. Kindly mark ingredients if not clearly visible (like nuts, soy, etc.) We will also need folks to step up and help us set up before church and take down after church. Questions? contact Debra Valpey, 206-953-5704 or

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 our Office Administrator for additional information

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

Multigenerational Faith Formation

Multigenerational Faith Formation’s Zoom Room

Youth Opening Night and Pizza party!
Grades 6th-12th and their adults
Saturday September 9, 5:30pm-8pm
Saltwater Welcome Room

A first gathering of the year for middle school and high school youth and their guardian(s). Youth are welcome to come solo as well as Guardian(s) without their youth. We want to hear from everyone with Youth! We will be including:
– Give input on what the year should look like and meet each other.
– Basic expectations & meeting structures.
– Pizza & Games!
Looking forward to gathering with you all. -Fernando & Amanda

*** image credit: Bubba

The Great Ivy Eradication!
Sponsored by SCAN!
Sunday September 10, following service
In Person – Saltwater Church Grounds

I want to extend this invitation to our Youth as well! English Ivy pulling is a fun way to get out and into the woods. Come relive your younger days of playing in the woods. Pulling English Ivy, destroying invasive plants, finding “treasures” in amongst the foliage. Come join the quest to bring back a healthy eco system to our treasured forest.  Bring yourselves, gloves and other protective wear, and favorite tools if you have them. The church also has tools to borrow.

Did you know we have a Honeycrisp apple tree? The apples are starting to ripen and don’t forget we still have plentiful blackberries! A bucket of blackberries or a fresh crisp apple will be a sweet treat after beating back the enemy. Come join our community as they conquer the English Wilds!

Tabletop Family Game Night!
Saturday October 7, 6:00pm – 9:00pm
In Person – Saltwater Welcoming Room

Members and friends of all ages will attend the churchwide Game Night sponsored by SWUUSC. Join Bert and Fernando and discover new table top games. Participants will play old classics or introduce new board or card games to the community.

Middle and High School Youth Group (grades 6-12)
Sunday September 17, after potluck
In Person – Saltwater Youth Room

Monthly youth group begins again this September. We will be discussing how often we meet and other details at our Youth Opening Night listed above.

Contact Amanda Radak or see the church newsletter for more information.

Support for Children, Youth, & Families

Parents Facebook Group 

Connect with other Saltwater Church families with children and youth for support through the Parents Facebook group:

Childcare for Church Events & Services 

Childcare may be requested for any church activity at least one week in advance. As our Director of Faith Formation position is in transition, at this time all requests for childcare should be directed to our Volunteer Childcare Coordinator, Lisa Key via email at We will do our best to make accommodations whenever possible.

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 Bubba:

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 our Office Administrator:

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, 10am to 2pm. If you need on-site assistance outside of their regularly scheduled hours, email to schedule an appointment.

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)