Saltwater Church Newsletter August 27, 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.


Summer Worship Collaborative

This summer, in July and August, we will be worshipping together with Northlake UU and Tahoma UU over zoom. We will be using the Saltwater Church zoom room, and you will have the opportunity to connect with local UUs from other congregations.

August 29: The Joy of Collaboration, Rev. Joe Rettenmaier, Sabbatical Minister of Tahoma UU and Rev. Kristen Kuriga, Minister of Saltwater Church.
This summer we came together as three congregations in one worshipping community. In our final week of the summer collaborative we will reflect on the joys we experienced by being together. What gifts have we received? What have we learned together that we couldn’t learn on our own? Come celebrate the joy of collaboration!

Themes for 2021-2022 Church Year
This church year we continue with theme-based ministry as a way to deepen our faith formation across the generations. Themes will provide inspiration and be a source for reflection in worship, religious education, and small groups. For this year, we are working with new material from the book Sparks of Wonder written by Becky Brooks and Erika Hewitt ( Also, each theme will be explored over two months, allowing more time to go deeply. We look forward to learning together over the coming year!

September & October: Humility
November & December: Spirit
January & February: Chaos
March & April: Journey
May & June: Power

Upcoming In-person Events

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.

Campus Clean-Up: The Sequel
Saturday August 28, 10:00am – 2:00pm 
In-Person, Saltwater Church

Please join us to help us get the campus ready for re-opening. We will be weeding and cutting back foliage. The church has a few hand tools but we encourage you to bring your own if you have any. These plants are sticky and prickly so don’t forget your gardening gloves! Face masks will be required even though the event is being held outdoors. If you have any questions, please contact Glenn at ***image credit: Bubba

Ingathering Event at Saltwater Church
Saturday September 11, 2:00pm – 4:00pm 
In-Person, Saltwater Church (25701 14th Place S, Des Moines)

Join us for an afternoon of celebration, ritual, connection, and justice-making for all ages! We will be hosting an outdoor ingathering event with different stations around the church campus. There will be rock painting, a healing ritual space, movement and music, a place to drop off donations to support refugee families, and a gathering of our water communion offerings. This event will be in-person, outdoor, socially distanced and masked. Please bring a mask, water from a local source or somewhere that is meaningful to you, and if possible, an in-kind donation to support refugee families. Your staff and lay leaders look forward to connecting with you!

Collecting In-Kind Donations & Gift Cards
For Refugee Families from Haiti
Saturday September 11, 2:00pm – 4:00pm 
In-Person, Saltwater Church (25701 14th Place S, Des Moines)

Haitian Christians United, our partner at Saltwater, is providing support for refugee families coming from Haiti across the US-Mexico border. In the last three months they have welcomed 20 families, and they anticipate at least 12 more families coming to King County to settle. The Racial Justice Organizing Team at Saltwater is partnering with Haitian Christians United to provide support to families of essential needs.

Below is a list of in-kind donations which can be dropped off on Saturday, September 11 from 2 – 4pm at our outdoor ingathering event at the church.

In-kind donation needs (new only please): 
cleaning wipes, hand soap, hand sanitizer, body lotion, soap/body wash, toothpaste, toothbrushes, bath towels, feminine pads/products, razors, deodorant, baby wipes, diapers (6 months through toddler), combs, hair brush, toilet paper, paper towels, and washcloths. You can sign up here: If you would prefer, you can make a donation through paypal on our website—please include the note “refugee support” : or mail a check to the church office with “refugee support” in the memo line: Saltwater UU Church, 25701 14 Pl S., Des Moines, WA 98198. We will use these donations to purchase gift cards.

***image credit: Yan Krukov

Help Rebuild A “Sound” Community
Saturday September 18, 10:00am – 2:00pm 
In-Person, Saltwater Church

Preparing for multi-platform services and in-person activities takes a village. We need your help getting our space ready for all our exciting upgrades. Saltwater invites the members of Bet Chaverim, Haitian Christians United, and any able bodied friends & family to join us in yet another work party. We need to relocate a lot of furniture and prepare the Welcoming Room for some construction. It’s a big task and we really need all the help we can get. It’s wonderful when our communities can all work together and this is the perfect opportunity.

Our Facilities Team will have tools available but you may want gloves. Due to the surge of the delta variant, masks are required for this indoor event. Disposable masks will be available to those who need one. If you’ve been sick or have any concerns about COVID-19, we appreciate your desire to help but ask respectfully that you stay home. If you have any questions or concerns, please email our Facilities Team Lead: Glenn Andrews.

From The Board & HCT

Saltwater Church Re-Opening Update

On Wednesday, August 18th the Board considered the potential timeline for reopening the church for in-person worship and indoor programming. Although we had tentatively hoped to launch multiplatform worship and programming in September, the Board no longer feels like this is safe given the current spike of COVID cases in King County due to the delta variant.

To care for the well-being of our church and local community, and to live into our mission and values, the Board has paused the reopening timeline and determined that there will be no indoor in-person activities at this time. The Board will continue to monitor the local conditions and will coordinate with the Pandemic and Reopening Taskforces as conditions change. You can stay up to date on local transmission rates here:

We know this news is hard and disappointing. There are still many ways to foster connection, nurture spiritual growth, and act for justice. Outdoor, in-person, small group activities will continue as weather and air quality allows. For outdoor programming, given the rise in infection rate, 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. Save the date for a special, in-person, outdoor afternoon of Celebration and Ritual on Saturday, September 11! More details coming in next week’s newsletter.

Upgrades to the Church Campus

There are a number of upgrades happening at the Saltwater Church campus! As you may know, we are installing new audio-visual equipment in the sanctuary which will allow us to offer multi-platform worship and programming. While we hoped to have the new equipment installed by the end of August, the timeline has shifted due to manufacturer backorders. The new tentative timeline is the end of September. We will be sure to keep you updated!

In the meantime, Katherine “Bubba” Miller, our office administrator, has been hard at work streamlining our systems and vendor relationships. We now have a new copier in the office which will meet our needs but also provide significant cost-savings. We will also have improved internet after the installation of underground wiring connecting our three buildings. We have started the process of working with a new membership software database, Realm, which has a lot of potential to foster connection. Thank you Katherine for all of your hard work to get us well equipped and organized with an eye towards financial sustainability.

Finally, the office has a new furnace and heat pump! Thank you to Mary Paynter who managed the bid and installation process, and to Tom McDavid and Katherine Miller who provided support. The new heat pump will not only save us money but also be more energy efficient.

Growth & Learning

Saltwater Pen Pal Project

Do you suffer from Zoom fatigue? Consider joining the Saltwater Pen Pal Project to exchange snail mail (or email) correspondence! Each month you would be paired up with someone from the group to exchange your thoughts about the monthly Soul Matters theme. Contact Joanne at if you are interested in participating.

Ways to Live Our Values

Special Share the Plate for UU Service Committee Haiti Emergency Response Fund

Our share the plate on Sunday, August 29, will be received in support of the UU Service Committee’s Emergency Response Fund for Haiti. On August 14, a 7.2-magnitude earthquake hit Haiti causing widespread destruction. Thousands of people have died and been injured, and over 53,000 homes have been destroyed. Just a few days after the earthquake, Haiti was also impacted by Tropical Depression Grace. Our offering this Sunday will go to the UU Service Committee who works with nonprofits on the ground to provide humanitarian relief and recovery. You can learn more here: Thank you for your support of this essential and life-giving work. 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 “Haiti” in the memo line: Saltwater UU Church, 25701 14 Pl S., Des Moines, WA 98198.

Engage In Racial Justice

The Racial Justice Organizing Team at Saltwater is partnering with Haitian Christians United to provide support to families of essential needs. Consider making a donation in-kind for refugee families from Haiti. Additional details shown in the Upcoming In-person Events Section of the newsletter.

Sound Alliance
Monthly on the 4th 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!)
Sunday September 5, 12:00pmm – 1:30pm 
Church Zoom Room

SCAN! encourages you to write letters to your local paper as one way to advocate for climate action. Read a recent Letter to the Editor by one of our SCAN! members that was published in the Seattle Times by following this link: Join in our commitment to Climate Justice and consider writing a letter to share with your local paper, or publish on social media. Share your passion, inspire others, and Act for Climate Justice. SCAN! meets one Sunday a month, watch the newsletter to learn when the next meeting will be held. Your participation is more than welcome and strongly encouraged. Thanks!

Stance For Racial Justice
Monthly on the 2nd and 4th Sundays, 2:00pm – 3:00pm
In person

Rain or shine, we stand for racial justice every other Sunday.  Please wear a mask and practice social distancing. We will gather on 9/11 in Des Moines at the intersection of 272nd St. and Pacific Hwy S (near Jack in the Box and Arco gas). On 9/25 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 info.

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

Wendell Berry wrote about the man who cherishes the world because he knows that “. . . the world is not given by his fathers, but borrowed from his children”. The young people in our lives need our help in finding age-appropriate ways to cope with the uncertainty of climate change and the future. All of the resources about talking to children and teens about climate change agree on the need to listen to their concerns and to focus on hope and actions you can take together.

Find age-related tips for talking to young people at The Parents’ Guide to Climate Revolution by Mary DeMocker is a book filled with family climate activities. For a list of climate-related movies go to NASA has a fun site with climate information for kids at

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

Ways to Connect

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)
1st and 3rd 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, September 1. Questions? Contact Lynn Crow at (206) 429-2005.

Grief Support Group
(Church Zoom Room)
1st and 3rd Thursdays, 7:30pm – 9:00pm
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. 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, bit 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 We hope to be able to start this group in September and (tentatively) plan to meet on the first and third Thursdays from 7:30 to 9 PM (or on some other mutually agreeable time) on Zoom until we can begin meeting again in person. You don’t need to grieve alone. We can be here for each other.

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 8. 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
Sundays, twice a month 11:45am – 1:00pm
The next Pair Sharing meeting will be on and August 29 and will be temporarily suspended during the month of September.
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 Kids and their Grown-Ups 
(Note the class address.)
Sunday mornings at 9:30am

Junior and Senior High Youth Group 
(Note the class address.)
Sundays at 12:00pm,

Jr./Sr. High Youth Group Game Night (Joint with Northlake UU)
3rd Friday of each month, 7:00pm – 9:00pm 
We will be using an online game platform as one of the options for games ( – free account is plenty), so if possible, please let Margaret know if you plan to attend so we can get set up ahead of time. We hope to see you there!
Meeting ID: 309 145 529
Password: NUUC

If you are interested in having your youth (and/or yourself) receive reminder texts directly for game night and Sunday youth group, you can sign up for them by clicking this link and entering the information: Contact Margaret Rogers for more information:

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 at least twice a week to collect the mail and address any additional needs. Planting Flowers has resumed providing essential childcare support to families. Haitian Christians have resumed in-person gatherings with a limited capacity on Sunday evenings. As of August 1st Bet Chaverim has also resumed hosting some events in the Welcome Room & Sanctuary.

Volunteer Opportunities Serving the Saltwater Community
As we return to more in-person activities, the need for volunteers has increased. Saltwater relies on small volunteer teams to coordinate activities and projects. These team members are invaluable to our community and they need our support. Historically volunteers are able to discover opportunities by attending services and reading the bulletin boards in the Welcome Room. The pandemic has made it difficult to discover new opportunities to contribute to our community.

If you are interested in learning how you can volunteer with or without officially joining a team, please contact Katherine Bubba Miller at They would love to help you discover where your time and talents may contribute to Saltwater’s success. Sometimes, it takes a village to thrive. Can you help our village prosper?

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)