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Saltwater Church is an intentionally inclusive, spiritually progressive,
justice seeking community of all ages, serving South King County since 1954.

Saltwater Church Newsletter April 26, 2024

We offer worship in two ways: in-person multi-platform service held in our sanctuary and online in our Church Zoom Room at 10:30am. Doors and Zoom open at 10:15am. 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 both in-person programming and via our Church Zoom Room. If you wish to view the newsletter on the web, click here.


Live multi-platform worship in the sanctuary and online through Zoom!

Theme for April: The Gift of Interdependence

Rev. Alison writes, "Like fractals that maintain a similar form at any level of magnification, interdependent webs are part of every aspect of life -- our families and communities are interdependent webs, embedded in ecosystems that are interdependent webs. Noticing the webs of relationship, from the microscopic to the galactic, including the human and more than human, leads me to wonder at the incredible complexity of life on this airy, watery rock. It is in that space of wonder that I find the presence of the Sacred."

Upcoming Worship Services

April 28  Living Your Purpose: A Potato-based Guide - Liz James (guest-speaker)

(Services at BOTH Saltwater Church and Seabeck Retreat) Liz James from the UU hysterical society returns! In a world that is vying to sidetrack us using everything from injustice to smartphone games, how do we carve out space for joy and purpose? This service will be a celebration of joyful dedication to what matters most. Join us for music, poetry, and several entertaining stories about potatoes.

May 5  Solidarity Forever: Celebrating International Worker's Day - Rev. Alison Duren-Sutherland (remote) and Dorothy Gibson

Rev. Alison and special guest former union organizer Dorothy Gibson will share the connections between faith values and the rights of working people. Music Director Tom Burt and the Saltwater Choir with Betty Beck on banjo will weave workers' anthems from Dolly Parton, Woody Guthrie, and Pete Seeger through this celebration of the power of working folk.

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 Spring!

Saturday May 4, 10:00am - 3:00pm

In Person - Church Grounds

Now is the time to show off your Jedi Powers! Join SCAN! and our Facilities Team for some much needed spring cleaning of our church grounds. Dust off those overalls, grab your favorite pair of gloves, and come help us beat back the dark side. We'll be removing weeds, picking up trash, and trimming up the overgrowth from the winter. Help out for as little or long as you like. There's plenty to do and no skill required!

Pizza will be provided and you are encouraged to bring your own drinks or snacks to share. Saltwater has tools to lend out if you'd like to use some of ours. This is the first of our seasonal work parties. All are welcome! Have fun with your fellow Salties while improving our Saltwater Home. Hope to see you there.

Contribute to our Virtual Flower Communion

Deadline Monday, May 6

In Person - Saltwater Church

Saltwater Flower Communion will be on Sunday, May 12. Originally created by Unitarian minister Norbert Čapek of Prague, Czechoslovakia, the Flower Ceremony was introduced to the United States by Rev. Mája Čapek, Norbert's widow, and has been celebrated for 100 years. In the ceremony, everyone brings a flower to share, and has the opportunity to take home a different flower. This year, in keeping with our commitment to multiplatform worship, we're also including a virtual flower communion as part of the service. If you'd like to participate, please email (by May 6) photos of flowers that you've taken yourself to be included in a flower communion montage to Rev. Alison at ***image credit: Bubba

Our Next Chapter - Live Auction

Saturday May 11, 6:30pm - 9:30pm

In Person - Saltwater Church

We're having a party and a live auction to celebrate Our Next Chapter! Church members will offer opportunities and experiences such as a week in a vacation home or extraordinary art pieces. We will also be conducting a fundathon to fund a special project for the church. Come celebrate and support our church home! To purchase tickets, contact Anjali at

Sound Alliance Assembly

Wednesday May 15, 6:30pm - 8:00pm

In Person - Saltwater Church

On Wednesday May 15, Sound Alliance is hosting our first assembly of 2024 at Saltwater Unitarian Universalist Church. An assembly is a place for us to show up together and build our work for the common good. The May 15 Assembly will include institutional updates and invitations to our ongoing work including:

- Wrestling with the Truth of Colonization and Education

- The Implementation of the Crisis Care Centers Levy

Register today for the Assembly here:

May Action Assembly - Sound Alliance (

Sound Alliance:

An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States - Book Study

Continues Tuesday May 14, 6:00pm - 7:30pm

Faith Formation Zoom Room

The Saltwater UU Racial Justice Team invites you to join a book study of An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States (Youth Edition) by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortez. The 2-hour sessions began March 26 and meet the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of April, May, and June. Worksheets and suggested resources will be provided for each session. The depth of your study will be up to you. To sign up or if you have questions, please contact: Miriam Woito - or (208) 890-6074

Staff Transition Announcement

Farewell to Nina

With deep gratitude and more than a little bit of sadness, we share with you that Nina will be leaving her role with Saltwater in June to return to California to be nearer to family, and to work on a documentary about the environmental degradation of the small town where she grew up. While we will miss Nina's incredible work to support the multiplatform presence of our congregation, we are also so excited for her next chapter, and we look forward to welcoming her back to screen her film at Saltwater in the years to come. In partnership with Nina, we are beginning the hiring process to find a new person to support our mutliplatform worship and other events at Saltwater. Thank you, Nina, for your service to this community. You will be missed!

From Our Leadership

Congregational Meeting

Sunday June 9, 11:30am - 1:30pm

In Person - Saltwater Sanctuary

Come to the June Congregational Meeting to hear about the coming year's budget, and to elect two members to the Board and two members to the Nominating Committee. Celebrate a wonderful year together! If you will need childcare, please contact Jessica Nash at by June 2.

Minister's Messages

I am so pleased to welcome my colleague, Rev. Jennifer Alviar, as an affiliated community minister with Saltwater Church. To learn more about community ministry and Rev. Jennifer, read Rev. Alison's full Minister's Message, which can be viewed through the home page of the church website or here.

Rev. Alison is excited to spend time with folks at this weekend's church retreat! Rev. Alison will be on study leave from April 30 through May 3. She will be in-person again at Saltwater Church from May 19 to May 26.

Ways to connect with Rev. Alison

Phone (voice only): (206) 627-5119


Online Meeting Scheduling:

Social Justice Announcements

UU the Vote Postcard Writing

Now through Thursday May 9

It is not too late to support Saltwater’s UU the Vote postcard writing efforts. We are writing postcards to registered underrepresented voters in Georgia providing them nonpartisan information about voting in their Congressional primary election. Postcards need to be mailed between April 22 and May 9. Let me know how many postcards you want (in multiples of 20, please) and I will give you the postcards and all the info you need (scripts, directions, etc. You provide stamps.).

Susan Aigner—for your Saltwater Racial Justice Organizing Team:, (253) 569-8156

UUA Condemns Violence Against Gaza, Urges Immediate and Total Cease Fire

On February 14, the UUA released a new statement regarding the events in Israel and Palestine. In keeping with the desire to keep the congregation informed of what our Unitarian Universalist Association has to say about these events, here is a link to that statement: 


Additional resources and statements from the UUA on this issue can be found here:



Ways to Share Our Gifts

Be a Part of Welcoming New Members

Join our Welcoming Team

The Welcoming Team is seeking long-time Saltys to revive our tradition of pairing new members with folks who know the community well and can help answer their questions about getting involved. If you are interested in being a mentor or buddy to our newer Saltys, please contact Rev. Alison at

Facilities Team

3rd Wednesdays, 7:00pm - 8:00pm

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 on May 15. ***Image credit: Bubba 

Saltwater Church Safety Taskforce

2nd Thursdays, 7:00pm - 8:00pm

Private 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. The next meeting is May 9. For more information or to attend, please contact Diane Schairer at

Ways to Live Our Values

Share The Plate for April

Hospitality House of Burien, WA

Half of all undesignated donations received in the month of April will be shared with Hospitality House:

In September 2000, Hospitality House was founded by twelve sponsoring churches. Saltwater UU was one of the founding churches. Several of our members continue to volunteer, make a meal and provide supplies.

Hospitality House is a transitional shelter and 90-day program for homeless women. It can accommodate a maximum of nine women at one time. Each client’s objective is to find permanent housing and financial stability but how this is achieved is based upon the needs of the individual client. Case managers support clients throughout the program.

Due to the generosity of a matching donor, the total amount of all undesignated funds in the offering basket will be donated to Hospitality House AND half of what we collect will go toward Saltwater UU’s general operating fund.

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. ****image credit: Kindel Media

Racial Justice Organizing Team (RJOT)

1st Fridays, 5:00pm – 6:30pm

Church Zoom Room

The next meeting will be on May 3. 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.

Sound Alliance

2nd Saturdays, 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. 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. Our next meeting will be on May 11.

Stance for Racial Justice

2nd & 4th Sundays

In Person - Des Moines 12:30pm - 1:30pm

& Puyallup 2:00pm – 3:00pm

Rain or shine, we Stand for Racial Justice two Sundays a month. Join us as we stand together in solidarity with our signs for justice. Our April gathering is canceled due to the church retreat. The next gathering will be on May 12 in Des Moines from 12:30pm – 1:30pm at the intersection of 272nd St. and Pacific Hwy S (near Jack in the Box and Arco gas).

We will meet again on May 26 in Puyallup from 2:00pm – 3:00pm 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!)

3rd Thursdays, 6:30pm

Church Zoom Room

Mark your calendar–The May SCAN! meeting will be Thursday, May 16 at 6:30pm. Join us then! Contact Sheri Jacobson at for additional information. It’s never too late to Act for Climate Justice.  *** image credit: Mark Spiske

Climate Message of the Week

Have you heard of blue mind science? In his book, Blue Mind, author and marine biologist Wallace Nichols writes that “People can experience the benefits of the water whether they’re near the ocean, a lake, river, swimming pool or even listening to the soothing sound of a fountain.” Being near water engages our senses and helps reduce anxiety or depression. Studies have shown that even looking at photos of environments which include water helps to calm people. Plan to spend time at some of the beautiful options that we have here to be near water. If you’re unable to visit our natural water areas, Nichols says taking a shower is a “proxy for the . . . ocean." ***Image credit: Manuela Adler

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

Mondays, 6:30-7:30 pm

Contact Saphronia Young at for the link.

Meditation Group 

In Person - Welcoming Room

Tuesdays, 7:00pm - 8:15pm

Starting April 30 the Meditation Group meets in person in the Welcoming Room. Starting Sept 3 the group will meet in the Church Zoom Room. We follow a UU modified Zen practice that includes lighting a candle, chiming a singing bowl, sitting and walking in silence, listening to words of wisdom, sharing tea and conversation. Contact Jean Spohn if you have questions or would like to join us! 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! Please join us. Our mission is to support one another in our writing. For more information, contact Janeane Weprin 630-824-8343 or

Lunch Bunch 

In Person - Location Varies

Wednesdays, 1:00pm

We meet weekly for an informal lunch together. The restaurant location varies week to week. Email Diane Dobrowolski at to find out where to meet us. All are welcome!

Twice a Month Meetings

Game Night -- Sponsored by Saltwater UU Social Club (SWUUSC)

In Person - Welcoming 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 May 4.

  • 1st Saturdays are all-ages. Bring a game your whole family will enjoy! 
  • 3rd Saturdays childcare will be available upon request. Please rsvp for childcare at least 1-week in advance to Jessica Nash at

Coffee & Care with a Lay Minister

In Person - Saltwater Sanctuary

2nd and 4th Sundays, 11:30am

After the service on the 2nd and 4th Sundays, one of our lay ministers will be available in-person in the Sanctuary to talk one-on-one with anyone who needs some support. Get your coffee or tea in the Welcoming Room, and then peek into the Sanctuary. If the lay minister has an open chair, please come in, sit down, and receive the benefit of compassionate listening from a trained lay minister. Join us next on April 28.

Monthly Meetings

Online Caregiver Support Circle

Caregiver Support Circle Zoom Room

1st Saturdays, 11:00am – 12:00pm

Are you caregiving for a significant other in your life? Having a parent, partner, or adult child experiencing physical, neurological or mental health challenges requires so much from the caregiver — YOU need care and support too! Join Rev. Alison and other caregivers in our Saltwater UU Community to share the joys and sorrows of caregiving and to give and receive support with others who are also in this essential and tender role of caregiver. Our next meet up will be May 4. Contact Rev. Alison at with any questions.

Quiet Connections

In Person – Saltwater Sanctuary

1st Sundays, 11:30am – 12:00pm

If the Welcoming Room is too busy for you, or you are enjoying the conversations that start there, but would like to deepen them, the Newcomer and Visitor Team is offering “Quiet Connections” in the Sanctuary to welcome both new folks and longer-term members. We want to get to know you, invite you to get to know us, on a bit quieter, deeper, and more intimate level. A few snacks and drinks are provided. Join us next on May 5.

Paint n’ Sip

In Person – Welcoming Room

2nd Mondays, 6:00pm – 9:00pm

All ages welcome! Bring any size canvas. No experience required. All paints and supplies provided. Our next meet up is May 13. RSVP to Jessica Alexander at If you would like childcare, send a request at least 1-week in advance to Jessica Nash at

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

Speculative Fiction Book Group

Typically 3rd Saturdays, 3:30pm

Saltwater Conference Room and Speculative Fiction Book Group Zoom Room

Our next meeting is May 25. Our scheduled reads for the rest of the church year are:

May: The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K LeGuin

June: The Mountain in the Sea by Ray Nayler

Creative Hands

In Person - Welcoming Room

3rd Tuesdays, 12:30pm - 2:30pm

Join us for an afternoon of visiting and working on our creative projects. Bring your knitting, crocheting, jewelry making, or whatever with you. We gather to foster connection through sharing our creative processes. We also support the Saltwater community with small craft projects throughout the year. Our next meet up will be May 21. If you would like to join us or have any questions, please contact Joanne Loeliger (206) 870-1939.

Faith Formation Sunday

In Person - Saltwater Church

3rd Sundays, 10:30am - 2:00pm

Join us for fun, growth, and belonging as we delve deeper into the monthly Soul Matters themes our worship is built on. Faith Formation Sunday includes worship, lunch (sometimes potluck), then age-specific programming (adults, youth, and children). Our next gathering is May 19 and lunch will be provided. Questions? Contact Director of Faith Formation, Jessica Nash, at

Pair Sharing

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

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:

Jean Spohn:

Multigenerational Faith Formation

Questions about Children's and Youth Programming? Contact our Director of Faith Formation, Jessica Nash: To join the Faith Formation Zoom Room go to:

Lighthouse Closed due to retreat

Sunday April 28th

In Person - Welcoming Room

The Saltwater Retreat is happening April 28. If you are joining us at Saltwater in person on Sunday April 28th, the welcome room will be open for children to play in. Here adults and children can watch easily as we stream out to the welcome room. We do not have enough volunteers this Sunday to be able to provide our normal Sunday children's experience in our Lighthouse. Make yourself at home in the sanctuary as usual and if your children need more space to move and make more noise... feel free to head out to the welcome room where there are more play opportunities. Don't forget to be in the sanctuary for the story for all ages!!! this will be a fun one!!! and our reader Mayda will need your help!!!! ****Image credit: Photo by Elen

Middle and High School Youth Group Game Night

1st Saturdays, 6:00pm – 9:00pm

In Person - Welcoming Room

Join us for Youth Group Game Night on May 4. Youth are encouraged to come hang out and play some games! Bring a favorite game to share. If you wish to try out a new game, we have a wide selection that will leave your brain and belly tired. Laughter and popcorn provided.

Divination and Card Reading Workshop: An Introduction to Cartomancy Including Tarot, Oracle and Other Cards

Saturday, May 4th from 3:30pm—6pm

In-Person at Westside UU Congregation in West Seattle


This is a special workshop that Leilani Davenberry and Jade Wilde are offering for 5th-9th graders from Saltwater, University and Westside churches.

 We'll offer pizza for everyone!

 In this workshop, we'll learn about tarot and oracle card reading. To begin, we will create a sacred space

through space clearing and a collective altar. We'll learn about considerations in selecting decks, how to get started, and ways to use the cards. We'll offer suggestions for further learning, ritual making, beginning card layouts, finding meanings, clearing/cleaning energy on our decks and making our own decks. And we will provide etiquette and demonstrations of card readings and opportunities for youth to practice mini readings together.

Please complete this simple registration form to let us know if your youth is coming, so we can be prepared!

Faith Formation Sundays - Elementary and Youth

3rd Sundays, 10:30am - 2:00pm

In Person - Saltwater Church

Join us for our last children and youth's 3rd Sunday of our church year. Our last meet up in person (restarting in September!) is Sunday, May 19. We will have a community provided potluck (bring your favorite food to share) after service and then will be exploring the theme of Pluralism to feed our soul. Playing along with our adults, we will learn about pluralism through playing together in community. We have invited our friends and neighbors and why don't you bring along yours? We are playing our way into our summer break. Puzzles, games, oobleck, water beads, playground fun, chalk painting, large group games. We will have challenges and opportunities for everyone to win prizes from the Lighthouse store. Join us as we play together with pluralism. Please bring a generous dish to share for our potluck lunch. ****Image credit: Jessica Nash

Camp Blue Boat - Youth grades 6-12

Sunday June 30 - Friday July 5

In Person - Camp N-Sid-Sen in Harrison, Idaho

Get ready for an unforgettable summer experience at Camp Blue Boat at Camp N-Sid-Sen in Harrison, Idaho! This year, registration includes a bus from Denver, so no need for a second registration. Don’t forget to look for the discount if you’re not taking the bus. And the sibling discounts return. Registration deadline is June 1.

This summer camp is perfect for youth from rising 6th-grade to 12th-grade graduates. It offers age-specific housing and programming, where campers, counselors, and staff will explore being in relationship with oneself, others, and the wider world. The camp is based on four basic pillars, including community, spirituality, justice, and equality. After attending, youth will be able to articulate beliefs grounded in UU theology and values, develop spiritual discipline, engage in social change, and build personal and religious resilience. There are plenty of fun activities such as field games, crafts, hikes, swimming, bonfires, and more. Come join us! Register here: Camp Blue Boat in the PNW | Pacific Western Region |

Why are we moving? Because our old site wants to use their camp for their campers, so we get to go back to N-Sid-Sen, where Camp Blue Boat started.

Support for Children, Youth, and Families

Parents Facebook Group 

You can also connect with other Saltwater Church families with children and youth for support through the Parents Facebook group:   

Childcare for Church Events 

Childcare may be requested for any church activity at least one week in advance by contacting our Director of Faith Formation, Jessica Nash, 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." You may also visit 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 any questions please 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 the website form (click here) 

25701 14th Place South
Des Moines, WA 98198
(206) 651-7358
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