No matter who you are, or where you are on life's journey, you are welcome here at University Congregational United Church of Christ. Young, old, sure of your path, or still searching --- we invite you to join us in imagining love and justice - as Jesus did - in acting to change the world.

Right now, during the pandemic, we are still united as church. You are welcome to attend our in-person service at 10 am each Sunday. A digital service is also offered on line on Sunday evening at 5 pm. Our service is streamed on YouTube and Facebook. You will find the links just below this section on our home page. Weekly services are are available on line after they are initially presented on Sundays..

We strive to walk in the path of Jesus, and to offer an authentic welcome to everyone who walks through our door or joins us online. If you are new to us, we would love to get to know you and answer your questions about our church, even though we cannot greet you in person. A member of our Welcome Committee, or a pastor, would be happy to correspond on email or talk with you on the phone. Click here to arrange for a meeting.

Our in-person worship service starts at 10 am and includes hymns, prayers, scripture reading and a sermon. It usually lasts about an hour. During the 10 am service we also offer live-streaming to a nearby room that offers those with compromised immune systems to be more isolated. We also offer a separate space for children, with supervised play and crafts during the 10 am service. Sections of the 10 am service are programed into the 5 pm digital service, which is offered as a "vespers."

Children are an important part of our community, and are welcome for all or part or the service.

UCUCC Parking Map

View for detailed Google Map.

Parking can be a challenge in the University District! Persistence, patience and an early start are keys to success.

UW has free parking on Sundays. Enter the main campus gate at NE 45th and 17th Ave NE and turn left past the toll booth. It's about a three-block walk to the church. The UW Meany Garage at 15th Ave. NE and NE 41st St. is a five-block walk.

The church also owns three parking lots - Lot A is across the street from the church on 16th Ave. E. Lot B is beneath Sortun Court, just north of the church on the east side of 16th Ave. E. (It closes at 2 p.m.) Lot C (for those with difficulty walking, young children and visitors) is at the corner of 15th NE and NE 45th St., next to the church.

If you need to be assured of a close parking spot, you can call the church office before noon on Friday to reserve one: 206-524-2322.

During this pandemic, we have discontinued our in-person lunches. We would love to meet with you via email or phone, however. Click here to arrange a meeting with a Welcome Committee Volunteer or pastor.

We can explore and explain a range of topics about our church, from history, to theology, to membership. Please contact us at the link above for more information.

We are an inter-generational church and strive to be family-friendly, with an active ministry for children and youth. All ages are welcome in worship. We also offer nursery and child-care, Younger children begin the 10 am service with us and usually leave after about 15 minutes. Older children have the option of leaving for a special sermon time. Junior high and high school youth meet at 9 am and then often sit together in worship. Give us a call at 206-524-2322 for more specifics.

Our programs for children and youth continue during this pandemic. Sign up at the bottom of the home page to receive our Children's Ministries and/or Youth Ministries newsletter.

Hearing Impaired: Our sanctuary has an induction loop system that uses the T-Coil mode of your hearing aids. You can get the necessary equipment just before entering the Sanctuary on the right or ask any usher.

Visually Impaired: We offer each Sunday's program in large print for easier readability.

Wheelchair Access: The front entry is wheelchair accessible as are the rest rooms. Please don't hesitate to ask for assistance.

At the UCUCC Women’s Retreat in January, the focus was on “Self Care.” We looked at this theme from many perspectives: physical and emotional self-care, as well as mental and spiritual self-care practices. I’ve been reflecting on how meaningful that time was– in part because I’m missing being physically present in large groups! But also because the theme we explored that weekend seems so important in this time of increased isolation.
We’ve been sharing a lot about how to stay safe physically (Wash your hands! Don’t touch your eyes, mouth, or nose!) but I want to be mindful of how I’m caring for my heart and spirit, too.
Personally, I have a playlist of my favorite hymns that I listen to, including Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing, How Can I Keep From Singing, and Lift Every Voice And Sing. After this past Sunday’s worship service, I added the Mahalia Jackson version of His Eye Is On the Sparrow  to my list as well. These hymns have gotten me through grief and loss, and it lifts my heart to sing them even if I’m sitting at home singing by myself.
How are you tending to your heart, in these anxious times? As a church, we are thinking about ways that we can care for each other, physically and spiritually, and we wanted to share those thoughts with you.

Kyna Shilling, Director of Finance and Operations

Spiritual self-care:

Worship
This week, we will bring you worship from Pastor Catherine’s farm! Please look for an email tomorrow (Saturday) with more detailed information about how to participate, along with the “announcements” section of the order of worship which will include updates about what upcoming church events are postponed, cancelled, or happening online. If you don’t see those email instructions, please check your spam folder, and check the church website at www.universityucc.org.
Our plan is to update the ‘Sunday Service’ section (in the middle of the home page) with information about the this weekend’s worship as soon as it is finalized. Like we did last week, we’ll also email out the worship recording and the order of worship after the fact, so if you are unable to join us “live” Sunday morning, you can worship with us later.
Lenten Prayer Groups
Have you signed up to be part of a 4-week Lenten Prayer Group? These groups will be focusing on connecting with Spirit, praying for and with each other, and on trying 4 different prayer practices.
There are some in-person groups available:
Sundays 7:00 pm in Ravenna (Bart & Lisa Klingler leading)
Mondays 7:00 pm in Ballard (Bob Perkins & Lynn Willman leading)
Some groups are meeting online:
Sundays and other days for a young adult group (Linnea Nasman leading)
Thursdays 1:00 pm (Carol Kassner leading)
Wednesdays 12:00 pm (Pastor Todd leading)
The first prayer groups start Sunday the 16th. Please note that online groups have a phone-in option.
Have questions? Want to sign up? Contact:
Pastor Todd TSmiedendorf@universityucc.org
Carol Coleman parishcaresupport@universityucc.org

Pastoral Care
We are here to support you! Please reach out and let us know how you are.
You can connect with Carol Coleman at ParishCareSupport@universityucc.org
You can email the Prayer Chain at PrayerRequest@universityucc.org
If you would like to connect with a pastor, they are available by phone or email:
Catherine, cfoote@universityucc.org (206) 524-2322 x 3307
Amy, aroon@universityucc.org (206) 524-2322 x3312
Todd, tsmiedendorf@universityucc.org (205) 524-2322 x3309

Giving
The three common practices for Lent are prayers, fasting, and almsgiving. Perhaps we could consider “social distancing” as a Lenten practice of fasting from each other’s company. If your giving patterns have been disrupted as we move to worshiping online, remember that you can mail a check to the church office for your pledge or to support our monthly special offering recipient:
4515 16th Ave NE
Seattle WA 98105

You can make a donation at any time on the church website:
https://www.universityucc.org/give/
Just click the links that say “Give Now” or “Online Giving.”

Or, if you’ve been meaning to set up monthly or weekly online giving, now is a good time to ‘Dare Greatly’ (as our fall pledge campaign encouraged us to do). Here are the instructions for online giving via MyUCUCC:

  • Follow the link above the church giving page, and on the right-hand side of the page you’ll find a button that says MyUCUCC.
  • If this is your first time, select “Need a login? Click Here
  • Type in First Name, Last Name, and email (make sure to use the email address that we have in the church database).
  • If what you typed matches the church director information, you will get an email confirming your login to MyUCUCC. If you get a bouce-back then give us a call at the church office and we can assist.
  • The confirmation email will include a link to create a password.
  • Log into MyUCUCC and use the “Giving” tab at the top of the page to make a one-time or recurring gift from your bank account, credit or debit card.
  • You can use the “optional memo” field to make a note if you want your gift to be part of your 2020 pledge, or to go to our monthly special offering!

March’s Special Offering is One Great Hour of Sharing, a UCC fund to help people recover from disasters both domestic and international.
https://www.ucc.org/oghs

Physical self-care:

Using the church building
As the outbreak of Covid-19 comes closer to our personal circles, we’re becoming more aware of how connected we are and how many people we are in contact with. At this time, the church building is still open for groups of less than 10 people to meet. One new measures we are taking is the creation of a “ building sign-in sheet” for the church, so we can track who is in the space, where, when, and with whom. That document will be in the church office (during office hours) or on the comma table next to the parking sign-in sheet. This will help us focus our cleaning efforts on spaces that are in use, but it also helps us understand and evaluate potential risk of exposure within our community.

Tech Deacons
Social distancing (6ft or more between people) is still the best protective measure against this virus. Please consider meeting online if possible! We are commissioning some church members to be “tech deacons” who could help folks who are uncomfortable or just unfamiliar with the technology. We encourage you to just try it, and to give each other (and yourself) some grace as we sort out what works and what doesn’t work.

Zoom meetings
We have held several meetings online through “Zoom” which allows for people to connect via phone or computer. If you have a group that is planning to meet in the next few weeks, we would like to help you use our zoom account. Here is some feedback that we’ve gotten from meetings this past week:

  • “I was satisfied with our online Zoom meeting. I solved the problem of my picture display, so if we have a repeat for April, it will be more than just my voice attending.” – Tom
  • “It was great! I appreciated your instructions as I had never ‘zoomed’ before. I’m really glad that we had such a tool to make it possible to meet in these challenging times.” – Kathy
  • “I had no problems with joining or participating in the online F&E Board meeting. The amount of information provided before the meeting was fine and all I needed. I have no problems with continuing our meetings using Zoom.” – Bill

Physical health updates and recommendations 
If you have been with someone who later develops symptoms of Covid-19 (such as fever, dry cough, or difficulty breathing), you might be concerned that you are at risk. Casual exposure to someone contagious is fairly low risk, if you are taking reasonable precautions such as cleaning, frequent hand-washing, and avoiding handshakes. Your risk might be considered “medium level” if you’ve spent more than 10 minutes in close contact (six feet or closer) to someone who is sick. Here are some things you can do:

  • Keep washing your hands. Hand sanitizer is out of stock in many places, but plain old fashioned soap and water is more effective (and still readily available). Try to avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Soap and water is very effective for cleaning surfaces as well! You don’t need the fancy disposable wipes to clean shared surfaces.
  • Minimize contact with others. The reason “social distancing” is so effective is that when we are in close contact the virus is more contagious and able to spread from person to person. Staying more than 6 feet apart makes a big difference. If you have an underlying condition that makes you more susceptible to illness, be especially thoughtful and diligent about your contact and proximity with others.
  • Trust your body. If you are feeling unwell, take extra precautions if you are around anyone who might be vulnerable to infection.
  • Monitor your symptoms. It could be helpful to pick two consistent times throughout the day to take your temperature and write down the results and more easily notice if you have a fever.

Please stay in close conversation with us, so we can support each other. Stay calm and compassionate, and take extra precautions with your health and the health of those around you—we are all connected to each other, and that care for one another is what will carry us through this difficult time. Amen