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 – and acting to change the world.

Right now, during the pandemic, we are still united as church. Our service is streamed on YouTube and Facebook. You will find the links just below this section on our home page. New services are offered weekly at 10 am on Sundays, and are available on line after that.

We strive to walk in the path of Jesus, and to offer an authentic welcome to everyone who walks through our door. 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 worship service starts at 10 am and includes hymns, prayers, scripture reading and a sermon. It usually lasts about an hour. Right now we are worshiping online and will adjust this message once we are able to meet together in our sanctuary once again.  More information here.

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 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.

 

“The baby is already dead. But baptism is important to the mother. She doesn’t care that you’re not Catholic. Could you please come now and baptize the baby?”

“I’ll be right there.” I gathered up the baptism essentials from the office cabinet: battery operated tea lights, shells and decorative gauze pouches.  How to carry these things? Nothing around except a white paper bag. I looked like I was delivering a hamburger and fries.

It turns out that the baby girl was born at 27 weeks with serious abnormalities—too serious to live. But when I arrived at the patient’s room, the nurse stopped me. “The baby still has a heartbeat,” she said.

Perhaps she was waiting.

The young mother, who I’ll call Olga, was sitting up in bed. She was holding a teeny tiny baby wearing an enormous frothy white gown. She looked like a sesame seed on a cappuccino. Gathered around the bed were Olga’s mother and sister. I introduced myself and asked the baby’s name. “Tatiana,” Olga said.

“Is there a story to her name? Someone in your family?”

“No, just a name I like.”

I nodded and then realized I hadn’t quite thought through everything. The nurse saw me desperately looking around, quickly left and returned with a little soup bowl filled with water.

This was an emergency baptism so that meant no statement about raising the child, no introduction of the godparents, no dipping my hand into a beautiful baptismal font, no chuckling at the baby’s reaction, no joyful parading the infant through the crowd.

No laughter, just tears.

I explained to Olga that as part of the ritual I would ask her the baby’s name even though I knew it was Tatiana. Then I took out the battery powered candles. I softly said, “I’ll be very careful lighting these candles because we don’t want to start a fire.” Then I flicked the switch on the bottom of the candle and they all smiled.

I handed everyone a candle but since Olga was holding the baby, where to put hers? I said, “Well, I’ll just put it down here.” And I put the candle down on her bed.

She jumped and said, “Careful! The blanket might catch fire!”

I gasped and instinctively snatched the candle off the bed. Shocked and horrified at my own carelessness, I looked up at Olga who had a huge grin on her face. A joke. She was making a joke. And without thinking I blurted out, “Oh, you booger!”

Then everyone really laughed, even Olga’s mother who spoke no English, because it was clear the joke was on me.  I was wrong about no laughter. I forgot that laughter and tears often go together and that joy and sorrow always do. How could we have one without the other? I forgot that life includes death and that we cannot separate them.

I also forgot that it is not customary for the officiant to call the mother a “booger.”

The laughter died down and I said, “Let’s pray.” I gave thanks for Tatiana; for all the love surrounding her and for her mother’s gift of faith.

When I said, “Amen,” Olga looked up at me, her eyes filled with tears.

“By what name shall this child be called?”

“Tatiana.”

And I dipped my fingers in the soup bowl of water and touched them to her head. Her hair was so delicate, it was as if I was touching a fine suede. “Tatiana, I baptize you in the name of the Creator, the Son and the Holy Spirit.” She did not react to the water dripping on her tiny head. I said a closing prayer asking that Tatiana would have a safe journey back to God.

I reached into the white paper bag and pulled out the scallop shells. I put each one in a colorful gauze pouch. “This is for you to remember this moment. The scallop shell is the symbol of the pilgrim so let this represent Tatiana’s pilgrimage back to God.” I turned to Olga. “And your journey back to health and to your home.”

They thanked me for the shells and then we all stood silently looking at the baby until Olga looked up at me and said, “Thank you for coming.”

“It was an honor,” I said.  “Please keep the candles—but of course be very careful.” We all looked at one another and smiled.

Tatiana died 10 minutes later.