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.

We would love to welcome you at our in-person service each Sunday at 10 am. 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. The weekly 5 pm service is  available on line after it is 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 if 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 and fifteen minute.. 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.

From time time we host lunches for people who are interested in learning more about our church and/or possibly becoming a member.  We are also happy to meet with you over coffee or at the church to explore and explain a range of topics about our church, from history, to theology, to membership. Click here to arrange a meeting with a Welcome Committee Volunteer or pastor or to set up a meeting and/or to learn when the next Welcome Lunch is planned.

Thank you for your interest in our church community.

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 or email Margaret Swanson, our Director of Children, Youth and Family Ministries..

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.

mud lambLast March, while we were shearing sheep, I lost my most useful shepherd’s staff. I was out in the ram pen trying to catch a particularly wild boy, and in the process fell backward into the mud. Filthy as I was from that adventure, I was proud to have caught him. I wrote about it in a post called “How to Catch a Wild Ram,”, and if you look closely at this picture, you will see my useful staff. That is also the last I saw of the staff for six months. He was the last fellow we had to shear, and I went up to the house right after that and took a long, warm shower. By the time I went back for my staff, it was nowhere to be found. I figured maybe someone else had picked it up and put it in the barn, or perhaps the disgruntled ram had hidden it. In any case, I thought it would show up.

But it didn’t. My searches for it were unsuccessful all summer, and I ended up catching all my lambs by hand. Then, about a month and a half ago, I found it. The grass around the fence had finally died back, and there it was. The wood shaft was warped and cracked, but the strong metal hook was fine, and so once I have repaired it, the staff will be a useful shepherd’s tool.

imageThere could not be more of a contrast between that hard working shepherd’s staff and the shepherd’s crook I brought home from Scotland two years ago. The Scottish crook was hand made by a “stickmaker” from the Isle of Harris in the Outer Hebrides, who told me, as I admired his work, that he had once made a crook for Prince Charles. The shaft is a lovely polished hickory, and the hook is from the horn of a Jacob’s ram. I purchased it with an anonymous gift someone gave me just before I left for my sabbatical. I have never been able to thank that anonymous parishioner, so if you are reading this now, please know how grateful I am for that gift. I have always wanted to own such a beautiful crook, and I visited the craft tent at every sheepdog trial I attended, looking for just the right one. I finally found this one at the International Trial in Tain, in the Scottish highlands. It was the best of the bunch, in my opinion, and I bought it the first day. It stayed in the stickmaker’s booth until I could pick it up at the end of the trial, and he told me many people had come by and admired it in the meantime, sorry to discover it had already been sold.

However, for all its beauty and grace, the shepherd’s crook I bought in Scotland is “for decorative purposes only.” It can be a nice walking stick. It looks lovely in my office at church. I could even walk to the handler’s post with it in a sheepdog trial, if I ever get there. But this crook will never be used in a mucky ram pen to snag a sheep that is trying to dodge his haircut. I’m sure if I tried to use it for that, the stick would lose and the ram would win.

When Luke told of shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flocks by night, he had in mind the muddy kind with the useful, battered staffs. They no doubt had their share of reluctant rams and upendings, with no quick retreat to a shower. Angles appearing to these shepherds definitely included dealing with the dirty.

imageThat difference between our images of Christmas, and the story Luke tells is highlighted in the story of these two sticks. Both of them are beautiful in their own way, and each has deep value. I do love all my Christmas decorations, the pretty images of porcelan shepherds and pristine sheep. Even the Joseph in my creche on the piano carries a lovely little bent medal staff. But Christmas is not intended to be for decorative purposes only. Living out the deepest meaning of this season might mean I get a little less decorative and a little more useful.