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.


He appeared as a very large, bearded figure in a heavy black cassock. I assumed he had just done some kind of service and hadn’t had time to change into his sweater and a pair of Dockers. (Dockers—already you know this was long ago.)

But no, for the next six  months, I never saw this Greek Orthodox professor/priest in anything but  his heavy, black cassock. He taught my seminary class, “Christian Mystical Tradition.”  Not only did we study the mystics, but we also studied Orthodox icons. I loved this class so much that I signed up for two quarters with him.

I got so interested in icons that I took a weekend workshop on icon painting. It was taught by Greek ladies who once they realized I was married, started asking me every couple hours when we were going to have children.

In spite of the repetitious (but well-meaning) interrogation, I learned how to paint an icon.  So as I type, Jesus Pantocrator is sitting on my desk reminding me that he holds the Bible in one hand and NO SNACKS in his other one. He is never subtle.

Anyway, I loved that icons were symbolic and often gave the feeling that Everything was happening Everywhere All At Once. (EEAAO—not to be confused with the Farmer in the Dell.) And who’s to say that Everything isn’t happening Everywhere All At Once?! (If you saw that movie, take heart. I’m thinking of starting a support group.)

I’m particularly fond of the Nativity icon because guess what? Jesus was born not in a stable, but in a cave—and like most caves, it was really dark. In Biblical times they didn’t keep their animals in barns, but in caves,  so this makes sense. Symbolically it makes sense because Jesus was born into a dark world that was/is struggling.

And if you look closely at the manger—which is a food trough for animals—this does not look like one. In fact, yes, it looks like a coffin and his swaddling clothes look suspiciously like a burial shroud. All this foreshadows his death but also his resurrection! (EEAAO!)

So there is Light, there is Darkness, there is Light. I like this approach because I feel that Western Christianity pushes joy, gladness, stars and shining light in our faces. It makes no room for the Darkness or the sadness that many of us experience this time of year. It makes no room for our emotional reality. Everyone—and I mean everyone—lives with some personal sorrow that isn’t erased by Christmas carols, snow, and twinkle lights. (Or even Egg Nog which we know is a modern miracle.)

There is more trouble going on in this icon. Mary is not looking at her newborn baby but then why should she since there is a Heavenly Divine Light shining down on him? Why look for pre-schools when you live with Mary Poppins?

No, she is looking worriedly over at Joseph who is listening to some trash talk about Mary by the Devil in disguise. Joseph looks troubled. We may sing, “What Child Is This?” but Joseph is wondering, “Whose child is this?” He knows it isn’t his. Perhaps those angels at the top are there to reassure Joseph although he was already notified in a dream.

This kind of thing can happen to us when something amazing comes into our lives and then we start to doubt either the happening or ourselves. Maybe we don’t think we deserve it. Or we don’t want to do the work of it. Or even worse, something wonderful happens for the good of all, but it bruises our ego. I can see Joseph falling into this category.

The angels on the left are there to guide the Wise Ones who probably didn’t come around for months—maybe a year. But remember, Everything is happening Everywhere All at Once. (EEAAO!)  And even though this is a miraculous event, the shepherds are acting like that angel is COVID positive. They’re not used to seeing miracles—and neither are we. Did you sleep through the night? Did you draw breath this morning? Did you see the leaves curl up to protect themselves from the freeze?  Miracles.

Who is this guy on the right playing music? A shepherd oblivious to the angel, but strangely, perhaps through his music, very close to the Christ child. This reminds me of how often, when listening to the choir sing or the musicians play, I feel transported. I find myself beyond the concrete walls, the bulletin, the announcements, and the words, words, words. Like that lone shepherd I feel closer to the Divine.

The women in the bottom right? Midwives of course, ready to bathe the newborn because let’s face it: birth is messy. Jesus was  not only fully Divine, but fully Human. Hence the washing off of the vernix.

Also found somewhere in most icons of the Nativity is a “Jesse Tree.” Again, symbolic, not a real tree, but a Family Tree. It’s named after an Old Testament patriarch, to remind us of another fulfilled prophecy from Isaiah: “A shoot shall sprout from the stump (tree) of Jesse and from his roots a bud shall blossom. The spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him” (Isaiah 11:1-2). Jesus can trace his ancestry through both His mother and adoptive father Joseph, all the way back to Jesse.

I’ve saved my favorite—the ox and the ass—for last. (Of course I could use the word “donkey” but it doesn’t have the same ring to it, does it?) The ox was considered a pure animal and symbolized the Jewish people. The—donkey—was considered impure and symbolized the Gentiles. And yet here they are together loving on the Baby Jesus!

That is just what Jesus does: He brings us all together; the elite Wise Ones, the humble shepherds, the troubled and doubting, the helpful midwives.  All this in the midst of Darkness with the promise of ever present Light.

May you find comfort, peace and joy in the midst of your sorrow, for unto us a child is born—God WITH us—and not just on Sundays, but always, everywhere, all at once.