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.

We would love to welcome you at our in-person service each Sunday at 10 am. 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. The weekly 5 pm service is  available on line after it is 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 if 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 and fifteen minute.. 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.

From time time we host lunches for people who are interested in learning more about our church and/or possibly becoming a member.  We are also happy to meet with you over coffee or at the church to explore and explain a range of topics about our church, from history, to theology, to membership. Click here to arrange a meeting with a Welcome Committee Volunteer or pastor or to set up a meeting and/or to learn when the next Welcome Lunch is planned.

Thank you for your interest in our church community.

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 or email Margaret Swanson, our Director of Children, Youth and Family Ministries..

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.

Photo by Jennifer Butner

Last Saturday, I hosted my farm’s final UCUCC Apple Day. It was a day of joy, delight, and connection. It was also a day of goodbye.

As I move into retirement in less than two months, I am also, for a season, moving away from my beloved Seattle flock. Best practices when a pastor leaves a congregation include making room in the life of the church for a new pastor. That means refraining from contact with church members for as long as it takes for that new pastor to settle in and establish new relationships. And we know that takes awhile.

So this Apple Day marked the end of a tradition. I don’t remember exactly when “Apple Day” on Sleeping Dog Farm became a thing. I do know that shortly after I moved to my Whidbey Island home I began inviting folks from my church to come on over. People didn’t get much advance notice. The first invitations were random, related more to days when I could get myself organized enough to plan a few weeks ahead than specific seasonal events. But from the very beginning, I knew this place, this beauty, this life and this land were for sharing.

Now it’s been over 19 years, and the memories of that sharing permeate this place as much as the dog hair and sheep’s wool that is everywhere. I can still see Sara Stoppels at my piano, playing Bach’s “Sheep May Safely Graze” (what else?) as a christening of my new farm. I remember a 5th grade sleepover when the kids proclaimed “We get to do chores!” and woke up early to come out to the chicken coop and the barn with an enthusiasm I suspect they never had at home. Those “kids” are all grown now. I remember fence-building workdays and trail-building parties and a senior high girl’s retreat where they shared their dreams for the future and then went out to the pasture to hold the lambs which they promptly named after themselves. One of those girls was Margaret Swanson, who is now our Director of Children, Youth, and Family Ministries and brings her children to the farm. I remember the staff retreat when we drove into Langley for the screening of the sing-along version of Mama Mia (yes, your Leadership Team knew all the words to those Abba songs) and when Peter Ilgenfritz discovered to his surprise and delight that sheep don’t bite.

The memories are everywhere I turn.

It was about 15 years ago that George and Mary Jo Dvorak sold me their old apple press and we started making cider in the fall. Rebecca Schmidt is the one who helped make those pressings, and farm visits in general, predictable. As our Children’s Ministry Director, and the mother of two kids, she saw the advantages of being able to plan ahead. Thus, the rhythm of Lamb Day in the spring and Apple Day in the fall was born.

Those two events became woven into our liturgical year. We persisted through rain, power outages, farmer illness, lack of lambs (we hatched chickens that year) and even storm-related ferry closures to stay faithful to those two days. In the pandemic we went “virtual” for a year and a half. And finally, last Saturday, our last Apple Day, in person, to say goodbye.

This year we pulled out all the stops. Ed Coleman brought his trebuchet and we flung apples into the pasture, where the sheep first ran from, and then consumed gifts from the sky. We had the straw labyrinth, lined with pumpkins to take home for Halloween, and this year the brick labyrinth I built during the pandemic and a mowed lawn-labyrinth as well. This year I even added a lawn chess set and a corn hole game.

In spite of a chaotic ferry schedule and the threat of rain, the congregation came. We had a wonderful outdoor, distanced, masked crowd. For some, it was their first visit to the farm. For others, it was one more of the “more than I can count” visits of two decades. And for all of us, it was a final visit as I move into this season of goodbye.

I had a moment of tears at the end of the day, as one family was leaving and the reality of the farewell hit us all. “It’s just for a season” I reminded us. But still, it’s hard. And I know there are more tears to come.

I love this congregation. I love the way the stories of this community have been absorbed into this farm and into my life. Those stories surround me here and will hold me as I move into retirement.

This year Apple Day marked a turning for me, from the sense that retirement was coming “some day” to the knowledge that I am leaving very soon. My next six weeks will pretty much be focused on goodbye. As we move into this time I am recalling that our English word “goodbye” is an abbreviation of the blessing “God be with you.” Investigating that history, I discovered that one of the first uses of what became goodbye was in a 1573 letter written by Gabriel Harvey: “To requite your gallonde of godbwyes, I regive you a pottle of howdyes.”

We are part of one another, even as we prepare to take different paths. This congregation is blessed with a team of pastors. As I step away, Pastor Amy becomes the “longest serving” and Pastor Steve, whose installation is next week, becomes the “newest.” And we all continue to be held in God’s care.

So know that you will always be in my prayers and in my heart. Know how grateful I am that we have shared this journey of faith together. Know that my tears in the next six weeks- which will probably hold back when I expect them and come just when I don’t want them- are tears of gratitude and blessing. Thank you, church.

Photo by Margaret Swanson