Saltwater UU Church Newsletter May 27, 2022

Each Sunday we offer worship in two ways: our Worship Watch Party in the sanctuary and online through Zoom at 10:30 am. 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. Throughout the newsletter you will also find ways to connect and live our values through both in-person programming and through Zoom.


May Worship Services

May 29: “Embracing Power With,” Rev. Kristen Kuriga

Introducing Multi-Platform Worship Service: The Reopening Taskforce continues to work hard to help us live into our full multi-platform future with live worship in the sanctuary and simultaneous zoom worship from home. We will be trying out multi-platform worship on June 5 and 12 with our worship leadership in the sanctuary. Join us!

June 5: “Sources of Faith,” Melinda Einander & Rev. Kristen Kuriga
Join us for a multigenerational worship service exploring the six sources of our faith as Unitarian Universalists. We will also celebrate our youth who are bridging from youth to young adulthood.

June 12: “Music Service & Flower Communion,” Thomas Burt & Rev. Kristen Kuriga
This Sunday we will share the gifts of music, singing, and flowers. Featuring music by the Saltwater Singing Circle, and Oleg Dusaev, our pianist. If you are joining us in-person, please bring a flower or flowering branch with you for our flower communion ritual.

June 19: “Unfolding Our Full Powers of the Soul,” Rev. Kristen Kuriga
Attend our Worship Watch Party in the sanctuary or join us through Zoom.

June 26: TBA, Rev. Kristen Kuriga
Attend our Worship Watch Party in the sanctuary or join us through Zoom.

Theme for May & June: “Power”

In the months of May and June we are exploring the spiritual theme of power. What is your relationship to power? What is more powerful than yourself? Power comes in different forms: power over, power to, and power with. Together we will explore these different ways to relate to, and to engage with, our own power and the power of others. We will also be invited to reflect on how we can use our power as individuals and as a faith community to reflect our most deeply held values as Unitarian Universalists. Join us as we learn from one another!

Summer Worship

In the month of July we will be sharing worship with three other congregations: Olympia UU Church, Northlake UU Church, and Community UU Church in Tri-Cities, WA. Each Sunday in July a different church will host the worship service for all of our congregations. You will be able to participate by zoom or through a worship watch party in the Saltwater Sanctuary. After service there will be two different opportunities for social hour: in-person, outdoors on the Saltwater front lawn, or online in breakout rooms, with the opportunity to meet and connect with UUs from different congregations. As we get closer, we will share connection details for each of the Sundays in July. In August we will return to worship at Saltwater, both in-person and over zoom. If you have questions, feel free to reach out to Rev. Kristen:

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.

Worship Watch Party
Sunday May 29, 10:30am – 11:30am
In Person – Saltwater Church Sanctuary

Join us in the Saltwater Sanctuary where the zoom service will be shared on the big screen. Our doors open at 10:15. Connect with others, sing along together to the hymns, and experience the view of nature out the sanctuary windows.

The Board’s recent changes to our COVID-19 Guidelines allows the following:

  • The sanctuary will be open to a maximum of 40 people (3ft social distancing) and overflow in the welcome room. There is no need to register in advance.
  • Those attending will be required to wear masks. Family groups can sit together and will be asked to distance from others.
  • There will not be an in-person “coffee hour” after the service. However, we encourage people to connect after service outdoors when the weather is good.

People of all ages are welcome. We hope to see you in person for worship one Sunday soon!

Unitarian Universalist Logo

UU 101 Class
Sunday May 29, 1:00pm – 2:00pm
Church Zoom Room

Do you have questions about Unitarian Universalism? Have you been attending worship for a while and want to get more connected? Join Rev. Kristen for a UU 101 class. Together we will explore:

  • What does it mean to be Unitarian Universalist?
  • Who historically were Unitarians, Universalists, and Unitarian Universalists?
  • What are the values and beliefs that shape our faith tradition?
  • What is the membership process at Saltwater UU?

Bring your questions and explore whether this might be your spiritual home. Questions or to RSVP, contact Rev. Kristen:   

Recognizing our Bridging Youth
Sunday June 5, 10:30am – 11:30am
In Person – Saltwater Church Sanctuary

On Sunday, June 5 during worship, we will recognize our youth who are bridging into adulthood this year. This year’s bridgers are Erin Bjornson, Ridley Race (previously known as Violet Wilson), Adrian Burt, and Michael Townsend. You are encouraged to write a card or note of encouragement and congratulations for each of our bridgers. Cards may be dropped off at or mailed to the church. Please contact Melinda Einander with questions:

Congregational Meeting
Sunday June 12, following service
Saltwater Sanctuary & Church Zoom Room

Please mark your calendar for Sunday, June 12, 2022 at 11:45 for our annual congregational meeting. The meeting will be held both in person and via zoom. We will review the work of the past year, elect two new board members and two new members for the nominating committee, and present the budget for the 2022/2023 fiscal year. Additional details will be provided in future newsletters.

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.

Ways to Volunteer

Sunday Worship Watch Parties Need Your Help
Join our volunteer teams today!

We need to grow our team of volunteers and positions are open to all ages! Now that we are offering watch parties, our teams need a few more people to help share the time commitment. Each position will take only a couple hours of your time and will ensure your seat in the sanctuary on the day you work. The larger our team, the smaller the commitment. We have 3 roles that need more volunteers; Greeter, Usher, or working at our AV Desk. If you are available but are nervous about using our new equipment, don’t be. We will help you become an expert. Job descriptions can be found by clicking the title of the role that interests you. You can sign up for a position by contacting our Office Administrator:  

Facilities Team
Monthly on the 1st Wednesday, 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Church Zoom Room

Our Facilities Team is comprised of volunteers who help organize the maintenance of our buildings as well as the upkeep of our grounds. We encourage you to join our team. Your time commitment would include attending monthly meetings over zoom, occasionally helping with collecting bids for odd jobs, and supporting work parties throughout the year. Discover how you can help support our community by attending one of our meetings. Our next meeting is Wednesday June 1. ***Image credit:  Karolina Grabowska 

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 will not be meeting in May. Our next meeting is Thursday June 16.

From The Board & HCT

UUA Board of Trustees Election

Throughout June 2022, delegates to the Unitarian Universalist Association General Assembly will be voting on members of the UUA Board. There are two contested Board seats, and you can read more information about the candidates here:
There will be a candidate forum on Wednesday, June 8 at 5 pm. Pre-registration is required. More information about submitting questions and registering is at the above link. The current UUA Board also released a statement on the contested election you can read here:

Staff Transition – Director of Family Ministries

We are grateful to Melinda Einander for the fourteen years of service she’s given to Saltwater UU Church as our Director of Family Ministries. Melinda has brought her passion, care, creativity, commitment to UU values, and teaching experience to this role, and supported countless families in our community. In August 2022, Melinda will be leaving the position as Director of Family Ministries to focus on her family and work in Aberdeen. In August, we look forward to celebrating Melinda’s gifts and offering our blessings on this transition.

The Board is currently identifying members to serve on a hiring team and we will update you with more information soon. If you have any questions, feel free to contact Rev. Kristen:

Growth & Learning

click image

Find a Partner, Make a Team, Take the Challenge
The 21-day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge
(running all summer long.)

Designed to lead us into lasting habits of furthering Equity and Racial Justice, the 21-day Challenge (click here), introduces us to many approaches to racial justice work and issues. There are a selection of themed challenges each full of resources, exercises, and ideas to contemplate and each includes readings, videos, music, blogs, actions, reflection questions and more. 

The free challenges are supported by optional (RJOT encouraged) donations and self-guided; You choose what you want to do for the day, how much time you want to spend, how many days or which days you want to participate (there is enough for months), and who you want to do the challenge with. It could be solo, or…

Find someone or a group to do this with. Your accountabilibuddies will help keep you going, chat with you about what you are discovering, or just give you email reminders. It’s up to your team to decide the structure for your challenge.

We look forward to hearing about your discoveries and your feedback at our fall participant reflection gathering. This challenge is brought to you by the Saltwater Racial Justice Organizing Team.

For more information, if you need help finding a partner, and/or to let us know you are taking the challenge please contact:  Miriam Woito

Harold & Ogden: a COVID era love story
Pre-order the newest book by Saltwater Writers
Now through June 2022

Hello Saltwater Folks, many of you will remember this serialized tale by the Saltwater Writers of how a dog brought love to Harold and his friends during the height of the pandemic. Please let Debra Valpey know if you would like to purchase copies. We will be printing them on an as needed basis. Cost is $5 with proceeds going to the church. Questions? Just contact Debra or call her at 206-953-5704.

Saltwater Pen Pal Project

Do you suffer from Zoom fatigue? Consider joining the Saltwater Pen Pal Project to exchange snail mail (or email) correspondence! Every 2 months you would be paired up with someone from the group to exchange your thoughts about the current Sparks of Wonder theme. Contact Joanne at if you are interested in participating.

Ways To Live Our Values

Share the Plate for May:
Food Innovation Network, SeaTac/Tukwila & South King Co.

Half of all undesignated donations received in the month of May will be shared (and matched) with Food Innovation Network A program of global to local, the Food Innovation Network enhances the local food system, provides opportunities for immigrants and refugees,increases access to healthy foods, and supports local food businesses in the diverse communities of SeaTac/Tukwila and South King County. Visit them on Wednesdays, beginning mid-June, 4-7p at the Tukwila Village Farmers Market.

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.   

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

Are you experienced in using solar energy for your home and/or business? Share your knowledge with our Church Solar Energy sub-committee and help us explore ways to make our green sanctuary even greener. Contact Bill Adams at to learn how you can help. We encourage you to in our monthly Zoom meetings and Act for Climate Justice. Our next meeting will be Sunday June 5. *** image credit: Margo Rolf

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 June 11. 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.

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. We will gather on June 12 in Des Moines at the intersection of 272nd St. and Pacific Hwy S (near Jack in the Box and Arco gas) On June 26 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 4th Monday, 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Church Zoom Room

The next meeting will be on Monday June 25Our 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

image credit: Artist Unknown

Let your clothes be part of your commitment to a healthy climate. Every year 18.6 million tons of clothing are thrown away globally. Here are a few strategies to reduce your clothing burden on the planet. 1. Find new ways to wear what you already have. 2. Buy secondhand or trade clothing with friends. 3. Buy less and, if you can afford it, buy better quality. 4. Visit King County’s Threadcycle at to find out how to responsibly donate clothing that’s damaged or worn out. “People seldom notice old clothes if you wear a big smile.”—Lee Mildon

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

Ways to Connect

Weekly Meetings

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. 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
Our next support circle will be on Thursday, June 2

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.) We also play thematic games, card games, and party and 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 June 4.

Creative Hands
In Person – Welcome Room
2nd and 4th Wednesdays, 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Join us for an afternoon of visiting and working on our creative projects. Creative Hands will be meeting in person in the welcoming room, if at least four people RSVP to Vicki Carey by the day before the meeting. If fewer than four people are available the meeting will be cancelled for that date.Bring your knitting, crocheting, hand sewing, jewelry making or whatever with you.

Pair Sharing
Rev. Kristen’s Zoom Room (
2nd and 4th Sundays, 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. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Janeane Weprin at

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  It would be so great to hear from you and to welcome you to the Saltwater Weekend Writers’ Group. Our next meeting will be Sunday May 29.

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 June 8. If you would like to join us or have any questions, please contact

Saltwater Chalice Circles
Our chalice circle program has offered the opportunity to deepen and broaden spiritual growth while forming closer relationships with others. Currently, our circles are scheduled through June, see the Saltwater Church Calendar for zoom links. If you have an interest in participating in our program contact Susan Aigner at

Ongoing Grief Support Group
Church Zoom Room
2nd Thursdays, 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Grief is a recognition of endings, but it’s also a birth and a beginning (Judy Lief). Saltwater’s Grief Support Group (facilitated by Debra Valpey and Toska Rodriguez, lay ministers) is a safe place to explore loss and open ourselves to opportunity. Our next meeting will be June 9. All are welcome. Contact Debra Valpey (206-953-5704 or Toska Rodriquez (, 253 839-1921 if you would like more information or support in the interim.

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

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

Family-based Religious Education

This is “church in a box” for families. Families who sign up will receive story books, manipulatives, craft supplies, and discussion questions to help you and your children explore what it means to be a Unitarian Universalist family. New supplies will be distributed every 1-2 months, and will include seasonal and holiday activities as well. (Kits may be picked up at the church or delivered to your home).  Email our Director of Family Ministries  at if you would like to participate.

Religious Education Class Schedule

Religious Education Class for Children ages 5-11
Sunday mornings at 9:45am
email our Director of Family Ministries at to get the class zoom link

Middle School Virtual Youth Group for grades 6-8
Sunday afternoons at 1:00 p.m.
email our Director of Family Ministries at to get the class zoom link

High School Virtual Youth Group for grades 9-12
Sunday afternoons at 1:00 p.m.
email our Director of Family Ministries at to get the class zoom link

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:  Saltwater staff are primarily working from home while our Office Administrator will be on-site Tuesdays and Fridays from 9:00am until 1:00pm begining May 24. 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 have resumed in-person gatherings with a limited capacity on Sunday evenings. Bet Chaverim has also resumed hosting some events in the Welcome Room & Sanctuary. 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 any 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)