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.

Submitted by Lily Lahiri, Mwanzo Board Member

Harambee isn’t just Kenya’s official motto – it helped to form the nation after British colonial rule (Credit: Ludovic Marin/Getty Images)

Perhaps many of you, like me, delight in learning new words and learning more about words that are already in our vocabulary. I find that knowing the etymology of certain words helps me appreciate the depth of meaning they carry, and expands and deepens my empathy, and humanity.
Let’s take a look at some of these kinds of phrases and words from Africa that have expanded our moral thinking in the United States:

“It takes a village to raise a child.”
And then, there’s this new (to me) word with riches to offer our sensibilities:

Harambee is a Kiswahili word meaning “All pull together” and is the motto of Kenya featured on its coat of arms, but it isn’t just that. It is a way of life that the BBC has called “The law of generosity that rules Kenya.”

When Kenya shook off British colonialism in 1963, the first president, Jomo Kenyatta encouraged Kenyans to practice an active lifestyle of harambee, where the good of the group is prioritized. Building a thriving economy in the face of limited government funds became the patriotic, self-determination effort to pull the country together as a post-colonial nation. In that context, harambee was the practice of self-help initiatives to bring people together to contribute towards the provision of communal goods. Through the practice of harambee, communities contributed funds for the improvement of infrastructure including roads, rural electrification, and water provision.

The second president, Daniel Arap Moi, motivated Kenyans to support government-wide building of schools and colleges, planting trees to reverse deforestation, and building gabions (retaining walls) to stop soil erosion. A 1988 study showed that harambee events spread by word of mouth and seeded by government funds mobilized more than $55 million (US) between 1963 and 1988 to improve the lives of Kenyans.

This tradition continues today as community self-help fundraising events or development activities. We see this spirit in Rabuor in the savings and loan groups, and entrepreneurial activities, and the many ways members of the community invest in one another, meeting needs with generosity, and celebrating one another’s well-being.

I take inspiration regularly from the reports we receive each month from our country manager, our head teacher, and the women’s groups. (Please review last month’s Church and Home if you missed it.) With much joy, I will continue to share these reports with you.

Let us all incorporate this vocabulary and life-giving practice of all pulling together for the joy and well-being of our own community and beyond.