Saltwater UU Church Newsletter August 26, 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.

August Worship

August 28: “Season of Change” Melinda Einander & Rev Kristen Kuriga

Live multi-platform worship in the sanctuary and online through zoom!
Join Melinda Einander, our Director of Family Ministries, and Rev. Kristen Kuriga, for a service to celebrate Melinda’s ministry, reflect on the ways we have grown and learned together, and to send Melinda off with our blessings.

Themes for the 2022-2023 Church Year

We are excited to start another year of theme-based ministry. This year we will be returning to the themes and materials from Soul Matters to coordinate our faith formation across worship, religious education, and small groups. Together we will explore the challenges and paths of:

September: Belonging
October: Courage
November: Change
December: Wonder
January: Finding Our Center
February: Love
March: Vulnerability
April: Resistance
May: Creativity
June: Delight

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 tech support 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.

Celebrate Melinda Einander, Our Director of Family Ministries
Sunday August 28
In Person – Saltwater Church &
Saltwater State Park

Sunday, August 28th will be Melinda Einander’s final Sunday with us as our Director of Family Ministries. We hope that you will join us to celebrate Melinda’s 15 years of ministry at Saltwater Church. There are several ways you can express your gratitude.
***image credit:

  1. Join us for worship: Melinda and Rev. Kristen will lead worship on Sunday August 28th. Join us in person or on zoom for this service of celebration, ritual, reflection, and blessing.

  2. Write a card, draw a picture, or create a family video sharing your favorite memories and the way that Melinda has made a lasting impact on you or your family. There will be thank you card materials available at church on Sunday, August 28 th before service. Come early and share your gratitude. You can also mail your card or picture to the church office: Saltwater UU Church, 25701 14 th Pl S., Des Moines, WA 98198, or email your videos to Christina Frueh:

  3. Join us for some treats and playtime at Saltwater State Park on Sunday, August 28 after service. You are invited to hike down to the park from the church around 11:45 am. Or you can drive to Saltwater State Park and meet us by the playground around 12:15 pm. We will bring some sweet treats—cookies, cupcakes, and fruit—and invite you to bring your lunch and drinks if you wish. There will also be a few creative opportunities to continue expressing our gratitude down at the park.

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 the Board

Changes to Our Covid-19 Safety Guidelines 

This week the Board reviewed our current Covid Guidelines for Sunday morning worship and have approved changes that will allow more people to gather in-person while still caring for the health and well-being of our community. Starting on Sunday, August 28, the following guidelines will be in effect:

  • Masking is required indoors, and we recommend wearing a high-quality mask like an N95 or KN95. Masks are available at the front doors if you do not have one.
  • We will continue with the reduced seating set-up in the sanctuary. Currently there are 90 seats, with each row spaced by three feet.
  • We will no longer have a capacity limit for the sanctuary.
  • Social distancing is no longer required indoors. We will have cards available for you to place on seats if you would like to continue distancing from others in the sanctuary.

All of the Covid-19 Safety Guidelines will be reviewed at the next Board meeting and a full update will be shared in the newsletter and the website once those changes have been finalized. Thank you for continuing to care for one another and our larger community. We look forward to seeing you at worship in-person or on zoom!

image credit: cottonbro

Director of Multigenerational Faith Formation Hiring Process – Update 

Earlier this summer, the hiring team posted a job description for a half-time Director of Multigenerational Faith Formation. Like many UU congregations throughout the country who are searching for religious education professionals, we received few applications. We are currently reviewing applications, as well as exploring other arrangements, including the possibility of hiring an Interim Consultant. The hiring team, Christina Frueh, Lisa Key, and Rev. Kristen will continue to think creatively about our next steps and keep you informed through the newsletter. Below is the link to the job description. Please share it with your networks or with individuals if you believe there is someone who may be a good fit for this position.

Update on the Hiring Process of Our Church Pianist 

Rev. Kristen Kuriga and Tom Burt are currently working on a job description for our Church Pianist. We hope to have the job posted in the next week and to start the process of auditions. In the interim, we have permission to continue to use pre-recorded preludes and offertories. We look forward to sharing more news soon.

Ways To Live Our Values

Share the Plate for August:
Blue Legacy of Port Orchard, WA 

Half of all undesignated donations received in the month of August will be shared (and matched) with Blue Legacy of Port Orchard, WA.

Blue Legacy is dedicated to educating and empowering artisans marginalized due to race, gender, age, ability, size, sexuality or economics. Founded in 1989, with a focus on education and breaking stereotypes, Blue Legacy pioneered the way publishers, record labels and studios work with their artisans including how books, films, games, and albums are made and marketed. Blue Legacy maintains its integrity, quality and mission by remaining a traditional studio with a noncommercial twist: Instead of paying their artisans a royalty and then pocketing the profit, they use the remaining funds to create a legacy account for that artisan so their book, album, game or film stays available indefinitely.

Gregor Fjellrev, who some may remember as Greg Laurel, celebrated the publication of his science fiction novel series, as well as his three music albums with this very publisher, in addition to his work as a professional film actor.

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.   

next SCAN! Action meeting

Saltwater Climate Action Now! (SCAN!)
Monthly on the 1st Sunday, 12:00pm – 1:30pm
Church Zoom Room

In September SCAN! will continue our discussions about ways our church can be less fossil fuel energy dependent. Bring a friend to our next meeting on Sunday September 4. Contact Bill Adams at for additional information. We encourage you to 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 September 10. 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 August 28 in Puyallup from 2pm until 3pm at the intersection of 136th and S. Meridian (near post office and Sonic restaurant). On September 11 we will meet in Des Moines at the intersection of 272nd St. and Pacific Hwy S (near Jack in the Box and Arco gas) 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 September 21Our 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: Markus Spiske

Now is a great time to set personal climate goals.

Maybe this is the year you’ll winterize your house for energy efficiency. Or resolve to write a letter to the editor about a climate change-related issue. You might be ready to work even harder to lobby your representatives about eliminating fossil fuels. Inspire others to act by telling them about what you’ve done. For more ideas about making a difference go to the Audubon Guide to Climate Action (

Get the word out–A letter to the editor in The Seattle Times may be read by as many as 566,900 daily readers and more than 717,700 readers on Sundays.

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

Ways to Volunteer

Worship Services and Worship Watch Parties
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 suppport. 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 Wednesday, 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 cordinating 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 Wednesday September 7. ***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 September 15.

Ways to Connect

Weekly Meetings

Al-anon Support Group
Private zoom, contact for link
Mondays, 6:30pm – 7:30pm
Meditation Group 
Multi-platform, Saltwater Sanctuary and 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. 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
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.
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
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 August 20.
Creative Hands
Debra Valpey’s House
On Hiatus resumes September 14, 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Are There Creative Hands Out There? Creative Hands, our Wednesday afternoon (twice monthly) long running gathering of folks who like to make things with their hands (knit, crochet, weave, paint, draw, make jewelry or ?) has been on hiatus this July and that will need to extend through August. BUT, on Wednesday, September 14, interested folks are invited to meet at Debra Valpey’s house (18225 Terrace Court SW in Normandy Park, 206-953-5704, to decide if there is sufficient interest to continue this group. We can have a “show and tell” regarding what we have been up to, discuss goals for the church year (Hospitality House gifts, church projects, maybe a bazaar, share some yummy treats, etc.) We will meet outside on Debra’s deck. When folks enter the house to collect food, or use facilities, we will mask. Debra asks that you be vaccinated against Covid if you decide to come since we are meeting in one’s home occupied by seniors. We will limit the size to 10 participants total, and five minimum. Please let Debra know if you plan to come. P.S. If the weather is too scary (monsoons or tornadoes), we will meet at church.
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 September 14. If you would like to join us or have any questions, please contact
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. September 11 will be our next meeting. We will also meet on October 23 and November 27. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Janeane Weprin at
next grief support
Grief Support Group
Church Zoom Room
On HiatusTo Be Determined, 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Is it Time to Begin Anew? Saltwater’s Grief Support Group met several times during the spring. We were on hiatus later this summer due to travel and other “complications of life.” As attendance was small in the spring, the facilitators (Debra Valpey and Toska Rodriquez) are now wondering if there is sufficient interest to start meeting again. This would be on 2nd or 3rd Thursdays, 7 to 8:30 PM, beginning in September, over Zoom. If you are interested, please contact either Debra or Toska by August 24. One of us will then get back to you right after that to let you know if and when the group will start meeting again. If you have a preference of 2nd over 3rd Thursday, OR if neither of those days works and you would like to suggest another time, please do so. In the meantime, please know that Debra and Toska, your lay ministers, are only a phone call or click away if you desire pastoral support or just want someone to listen. After all, grief IS a fact of life. Debra, 206-953-5704 (text OK too), Toska, 253-839-1921,
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 August 22.

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

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 has opened for in person small group 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 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)