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.

I grew up hearing that the hymn, “Silent Night” was written in haste on a Christmas Eve when the organist showed up for the midnight service and discovered that the organ wasn’t working. Apparently mice had eaten through the bellows and therefore no air could get through the pipes. The organist took a poem he knew and quickly composed a melody that could be accompanied by guitar, and the popular hymn was born.

I live on a farm. I’ve seen how mice can eat through things they have no business gnawing on. One winter they totally destroyed the wiring in my pickup truck. Mice- what were you thinking? There is no nourishment in wire insulation!

So knowing what I do about mice, and knowing also how much creativity can be unleashed by the pressure of a last minute need at a Christmas eve worship service, I find this story totally believable. Turns out, though, it is most likely a legend.

imageBut this legend is what immediately came to mind for me when I arrived at church very early last Sunday morning, two days before Christmas Eve, and discovered a stranger standing at the north doors waiting for someone to let him in. He introduced himself to me and told me he was there to repair the organ.

The Sunday before Christmas is a big one in most churches. In my congregation, we save up our singing energy, having tried to remain faithful to Advent hymns up until then. The advent hymns are beautiful, but every year we have folks asking “Why don’t we sing more Christmas carols?”

“Because it is still Advent,” we reply.

On the last Sunday of Advent, though, it seems like the energy can be contained no longer, and we pretty much burst out in full Christmas carol mode. This year in particular we had been building to the whole congregation singing together all the verses of “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear.”

Please, sir, repair our organ.

“Where are the bellows?” the repair man said as I unlocked the doors. “I think I know what the problem is.” I immediately began imagining that we would be quietly singing “Silent Night” before the worship service was over.

As our Sunday morning opener Tim took the repair man upstairs to look at the inner workings off the organ, I went on with my own Sunday morning preparations. But before long, I got word that indeed the bellows were not functioning. The problem wasn’t mice, though. Our organ is an old instrument. We have been planning to repair it for the whole time I have been at this church. Twelve years ago at my first Christmas eve service with this congregation, a note on the organ got stuck and played all the way through one of the hymns, then carried on its own solo performance for awhile after every other sound had stopped. And finally, after all these years, “Organ repair” was one of the top items on this year’s capital campaign, and is scheduled for this coming spring.

imageBut in the meantime, on this Sunday, an old seam on the bellows had ripped. Tim had called his wife Betty, who brought their sewing machine over. They had set up a repair station downstairs in the fellowship hall and were trying to get things sewn together in time for worship.

There was a kind of frantic calm when I went downstairs to watch the action. There was Betty bent over a heavy duty canvas tube, inspecting the seam she had just sewn while the repair man suggested adding another row of stitches “just in case.” I had more to do, so left them to it.

And they accomplished the task! An hour later, as worship began, the notes of the organ prelude called the congregation in. We did indeed get to sing all the verses of “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear,” to wonderful organ accompaniment.

Then, at the very end of the service, Bob Perkins came up to the chancel with his guitar. His daughter Ashlin was with him. He began strumming so quietly that it took a while for the noise of our “Passing of the Peace” to subside.

It was not “Silent Night” he was playing though. It was his own original song, written a few years back for a Christmas pageant, that he was singing for us.

Bob and Ashlin sang the first verse, to let the congregation get the feel for it. Their soft voices were beautiful:

“A long time ago the story says
A baby was born
To a poor girl and a carpenter
And that was Christmas morn.”

The plan as Bob understood it was that after the first verse, the congregation would join in the singing. But what Bob didn’t know was that our music director Heidi had invited all those who had sung this song in the pageant over the years to come forward and stand with Bob, singing together. Bob’s eyes got wide as people began to come forward. My eyes got misty as they sang:

‘No inn was found to hold the three
So they laid him in a stall
But oh, the love that was born that day
The world can’t hold it all.’

We sang all five verses:

“Came shepherds, yes, and wisemen too
And on their knees they fell
And wherever people live in peace,
They worship him as well.

Did angels sing to worship him?
In song his birth proclaim?
If we ever truly touch his grace
An answer will be plain.”

imageI hope this song becomes associated with a legend one day. Maybe people will forget that we had sung Bob’s song before. Maybe they will say he wrote it on the spot, and the congregation rose spontaneously, knowing it in their hearts before it came to their lips. Maybe people will say the miracle was that the organ bellows was repaired at the last minute, so the organ joined us all on the last verse of the song. Any of those myths would certainly capture the wonder of that moment, as on the final verse the sound of the congregation swelled. We all sang together:

“Our wish for you this Christmas Day
Is that you will find the star
That shone up over Bethlehem
Shining in your heart!”

Merry Christmas.