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.

In this remote-gathering time it has become a tradition for our congregation to begin our Sunday morning worship service with “The Release of the Sheep.” My Whidbey Island flock spends the night in the barn to keep them safe from the coyotes that roam outside. But in the morning, after their food is set out in the pasture, and once the barn door is opened, the sheep head out to breakfast. The first worship service we held from the farm here during this covid-time began with me opening the barn door so the whole congregation could watch this morning release. Now that release time has become a liturgical element of worship- The Release of the Sheep. As worship begins, I stand outside the barn door as the sheep push at it from the inside. The sheep doing the pushing is almost always my old wether Junior. If you have watched the Release, it is usually his nose you see poke out first once the barn door swings open. After six months of this, it is as if he knows he is now a star.

And over the last six months, as they make that run from barn to pasture, we have watched the flock increase by four lambs. I remember how excited I was when the first lamb was old enough to leave the barn with the rest of the flock. I didn’t tell anyone ahead of time that the lamb would be part of the Sunday morning parade. I just waited for the clip of the lamb, taking her tentative first steps into the Outside. Sure enough, as she peeked around the door, someone posted, ”There’s the lamb! Hooray!” I was ridiculously happy to have that little “surprise” as part of worship that Sunday, like somehow the congregation might sense my great love for them when they saw that little gift.

Over the summer the lambs have grown. The congregation has watched them leap with the simple joy of being alive, as they head out to the field. The church folks have watched as the lambs discovered they don’t always have to go straight to the field, and if they turn left there are apples and fresh grass for them to enjoy. Some mornings almost half the flock has made that left hand turn, and attendance in the pasture is down. All of it has seemed to match my Seattle congregation’s own summer wanderings, as they leap with joy, find their own summer sweetness, and then find their way back to church to tell us all about their adventures.

A friend of mine from Southern California who has been worshipping with us now that the commute is so much easier texted me last week- “Had to be out this morning so didn’t get to go to church with you all. Thanks to technology we are getting to enjoy it now. There go the sheep! Love you.” And I could just picture her settling into worship with us. The sheep had led her in.

In the Before Time, when I would be up and out doing chores by 5 a.m. on Sunday mornings in order to get to Seattle early enough to prepare myself for all that a Sunday morning would hold, I was always tuned in to sunrise. In the winter I did my Sunday morning chores in the dark, but there would come a time every spring when I would notice the light of sunrise on the horizon even at 5 a.m. I could leave my flashlight in the house. That early morning light has marked my summer Sundays for almost two decades. But this year, I haven’t experienced Sunday dawns in the same way. This summer the sheep and I “sleep in” every day, even Sunday. Since March I have marked the passage of time more by the growth of the lambs and the length of my hair than by the morning sunrise.

I miss my early Sunday morning commute into Seattle. I miss getting to church and being the first one there, or maybe seeing one of the Sunday morning openers who would come to unlock everything and prepare the building for our arrival. I miss wandering into the kitchen and greeting the Sunday morning breakfast crew. I miss watching the narthex fill up, and then the sanctuary. I miss our singing, praying, worshipping together. I miss you all.

But I love that you have adopted the Release of the Sheep as a marker to begin worship in this season when we can’t gather in person. There is something about this new tradition- however long it might last- that makes me feel more connected to you at the same time I feel more connected to this farm. When I open the door to the barn, it is as if I am also opening the door to my home and inviting folks into another part of my life.

Then, last week, as another Zoom committee meeting was drawing to a close, I realized it was also time to put the sheep up. So as the meeting was ending, I turned off the camera, put my phone in my pocket, and listened in as I headed down to the pasture. The sheep saw me coming and gathered around the gate to head to the barn for the night. As I was preparing to release them, I heard the chairperson say my name.

“Catherine, would you close us in prayer?”

I pulled my phone out of my pocket and unmuted. “Sure,” I answered, as I always do. I love praying with my church. And then I told them I was down with the sheep and if they wanted, they could stay on line and watched the sheep go back to the barn that they watch them run out of every Sunday. I turned the camera on and flipped it around so everyone could see the sheep there, waiting.

“God, thank you for the opportunity to gather, and for this good work you have called us to. Be with each of us as we end our day. May we be held safe, as a flock of sheep in a barn, until the morning comes. Amen”

I’m pretty sure everyone stayed on line then, as I swung open the gate. Junior’s nose pushed through first and then the whole flock trotted back into the barn. As I closed the barn door and set the latch, I placed my hand there in blessing. “May you all rest safe tonight” I said again, talking to my sheep in the barn and to those from my church who were right there with me too, at the end of my farm day as well as my church day. Maybe the return of the sheep to the barn could become a church tradition too.

Even in this time of being apart, I love being the shepherd of two flocks.