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.

35%.  Along with seeing old friends, basking in 70 degrees, and hearing words of challenge and inspiration from historian Diana Butler Bass and theologian Brian phoenix 073McLaren, it was that number, 35% that I imagine most of us are going to take home.

Catherine and I just returned from a conference with UCC senior pastors of large churches in Phoenix.

phoenix 045Three years after Diana Butler Bass was with us for our lecture series, right before the publication of her book, Christianity after Religion, it was striking for me to hear how the landscape of American religion has changed in the past three years.

From 2007 to 2012, those naming themselves as “Christian” fell 5%.  White mainline Protestants and white evangelical Protestants had similar losses in membership (3% and 2%) in these five years alone.  What was equally striking was the rise of those naming themselves “unaffiliated” with any faith tradition and the growth in number of those identifying themselves with other faith traditions (up 2%).

In 1950, under 1% of US citizens said they were “unaffiliated” with any phoenix 062faith tradition.  Whether they went to church or not, most identified with a particular faith.  In 2012, almost 20% of us list ourselves as “unaffiliated”, an increase of 4.3% from 2007 to 2012.

And that 35% number?  That’s the percentage of those 18-29 who consider themselves “unaffiliated”.

What to make of it all?  For one thing, while Protestants made up 66% of the population in 1960, today we make up 48%.  That means today, for the first time, that there is no religious group with a clear majority of the population.   (Protestants and Catholics together make up 70% of the population.)

phoenix 009Today, in other words, we live in a religiously “pluralistic” world without any one predominant group.  Some 15-20 years from now, the same will be true for us as a country racially.   Bass noted, religious communities now have the opportunity to set the pace for how we as a nation will live into a being a racially pluralistic nation.

How is community made without a clear majority that dominates?phoenix 074

Some say it’s impossible.  As Bass noted, that’s why we are seeing a backlash from political and religious groups who are afraid of pluralism and want to reclaim political and religious dominance from their group.

Like in all times of change, there are some who want life to continue as it had been.

phoenix 032And there are some who see new possibilities.

In times of change, some live in wonder.

And some are trapped in the spiral of fear.

I know both ways well.

What about you?

Bass noted that those of us in the Northwest, where so many are religiously “unaffiliated”, have more experience with religious pluralism and an advantage in learning to navigate these new waters as people of faith.  Our challenge, she noted, is to articulate and express how to think “Christianly” in a pluralistic context.  How might we express, talk about a “Jesus way of life” that is compelling here?

Brian McLaren encouraged us to save some time every week to engage phoenix 064with those 35% who have written off faith traditions.   To listen to them, learn from them, and find ways to connect the faith we have and the faith that is forming that makes sense in their world and meets their world and needs.

In a time of deep religious change and loss, it’s easy for a group of clergy to feel like failures or inadequate to the times in which we live.

sunIt’s also possible to feel like there is no better time to be the church and a leader in it.  To be called to find new ways to live and share Jesus’ call of love and inclusion in a time when so much might otherwise collapse into fear and hate.

As for me?  I’m betting on those 35%.  That together with them, we might form and find a way that is life-giving for all.

Something is dying, yes.

And something new, yes, is being born.

It’s happening in my life and in yours.  In this world that we share.

But I have my sights out there on a new life that is forming, a resurrection within and among us, that even now, is rising forth.