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.

 

In 2014 we moved to a little village in Switzerland, just outside Geneva. We moved there at the beginning of July, just when the sunflowers were at their peak. I walked our dog Max by these sunflowers fields every morning. It was like strolling by a crowd of celebrity models. They were young and supple and glowed with life. You couldn’t take your eyes off them.

But by the end of August their leaves were streaked with yellow, their flower heads bowed, heavy with ripe seeds. I often walked with an American friend and when she saw them she said, “Oh, they are so ugly now—all withered and getting brown. They look so depressed.” This same friend also wore the chicest clothes—even for walking our dogs! Cashmere sweaters, expensive European jeans, shiny boots, Hermes scarves and Chanel #5. She also may have had a face lift—but I digress. You get the picture.

I didn’t agree with her—about the sunflowers.* I didn’t see them as depressed and looking downward, but thoughtful and looking inward. I saw them as a field of wise elders at their greatest power, their wisdom ripe for picking. It was only at this point could they offer true nourishment. Earlier in the summer they were lovely to look at, but now—well, now they offered a different kind of beauty and sustenance as well.

We know our culture values youth and beauty. But we’re not so interested in the aged in spite of what they have to offer. There are exceptions. My sister lived in Hawaii for a several years and in Hawaiian culture, the kapuna are highly respected. The older people were offered the best seats, went to the front of the line, always greeted warmly. Most important, they were consulted and expected to speak out on important decisions for both the community and the family.

I love the term kapuna because it has three related meanings: 1) an honored elder who has practiced love, righteousness, caring and spirituality, 2) our ancestors, and 3) the source of experience, knowledge, guidance, strength and inspiration—a source of nourishment! The old sunflowers have the ability to deeply feed us.

For both kapuna and fully grown sunflowers it’s useless to stand back and simply regard them. We have to access their wisdom/nourishment and then ingest it. We have to pick the seeds and eat them. We have to ask for guidance and counsel and think on it.

My maternal grandmother was born in Pepeekeo, on the island of Hawaii. My mother was born on Maui. I always wondered why my mother always asked her parents for advice and my father never asked his. She thought nothing of picking up the phone and asking either parent, “What do you think _____?” I believe it was cultural and not just because my father’s mother was so hard-of-hearing that we had to shout at her. Well, there was that and the fact that she wasn’t very thoughtful or wise.

So, okay, not every mature sunflower offers sustenance because the seeds can mold before they are ripe or animals and birds have started gnawing on them. And hey, sometimes there is an amazing young sunflower who offers food for thought.

Just look at that whipper-snapper Jesus in Matthew 13:54:

“He came to his hometown and began to teach the people in their synagogue, so that they were astounded and said, “Where did this man get this wisdom and these deeds of power?”

Where indeed?

I’m not saying that all older people are wise and younger people are not. I’m saying that on the whole, as a culture, we value youth and beauty. As a hospital chaplain I spent time with people who are often not young nor beautiful—outwardly. I receive wisdom from them all the time. They are in my eyes, mature sunflowers in hospital gowns.

As a multi-generational community, with a strong passion and commitment to children, youth and families, we must be passionate and committed to our kapuna as well.

 

 

*I coveted those boots.