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.

pixabay.com

As I entered retirement, I was looking for a purpose I could set my time and abilities toward doing. Most of the opportunities I had pre-pandemic were on hold indefinitely (and still are). Having helped with the sanctuary sound system on occasion, I was intrigued when I learned of plans to install video technology into the sanctuary, so I quickly volunteered to help.

I am proud of the work our church has done to keep worship going throughout the Pandemic. We never missed a Sunday worship, even though the world was falling apart around us. The very first Sunday in
lockdown we had worship broadcasted live from the sanctuary, using a cell phone. Today we have in-person worship and virtual worship. Where we are today is light years ahead of where we were in March 2020.

Looking ahead

Here is a rundown of the technology capabilities we have today: our sanctuary sound system was already in place as part of the Imagine capital campaign. It features multiple input locations throughout the chancel, wireless and wired microphones, an ALS system (hearing impaired), and an audio mixer, which can be operated from the sanctuary using an iPad. It has served us well. You have likely seen Margaret Stine operating it. Additionally, Jeff Coleman and I have served as back up.

As we moved cautiously back to in-person worship, new technology was needed. We wanted to be able to record worship services, and provide elements of that service to the virtual worship community. We wanted to create safe spaces within our building for people who wished to attend in-person, but did not feel comfortable in the sanctuary.

Presently, we can broadcast from the Sanctuary to the Lounge (for families with children), and the library (for people with health concerns). We will be adding these capabilities to the Youth room, Choir room, and O-Hall in the future. This is accomplished with physical wiring that originates in the sanctuary. Additionally, these spaces will serve as teleconferencing (Zoom) rooms. The Sanctuary is central to this because of the installation of a media controller (Tricaster) and cameras, now integrated into our Sanctuary system. The Tricaster is a professional broadcast audio and video mixer, which allows the operator to create a continuous recording, and follow the central worship elements with varying camera angles, in real time. It is run by a Windows 10 PC with propriety software and unique audio and video capabilities.

Worship services are recorded from two different angles using the cameras and existing audio mixer. At the end of worship, these two feeds are uploaded to a Dropbox, where James Krick receives them andintegrates parts into the evening virtual worship. This ability has also enabled us to give recordings to loved ones after memorial services.

More recently, we realized that we needed capability to broadcast what is happening in the sanctuary to the outside world, such as for memorials, christenings, and other events where friends and family cannot attend in person. This is more complicated to accomplish. For one thing, we need a secure online place to host a broadcast for people to watch. We also need the internet bandwidth and infrastructure to operate all of the teleconference rooms, sanctuary equipment, and broadcast. Several experiments with broadcasting events led us to using the Zoom Webinar feature. Essentially, this involves broadcasting from the sanctuary via a one-way Zoom.

We are still learning all of the capabilities our technology has to offer. Much of the infrastructure has not been installed yet, but is in the works. For all of this we owe gratitude to our church leadership, who had the vision and found ways to make this happen.

Call for volunteers

Presently, we have three people who are part of the Sanctuary technology team (Margaret Stine, Jeff Coleman, and myself). It takes two people to operate the systems for worship, and three if there is a Zoom Webinar happening. Fortunately, there are three of us. That being said, it means having a week off is noteasily done. Three of us doing this every Sunday is not sustainable. Which brings me to this invitation to join us: If you are looking for a way to help the church, contribute to worship, and do something good for our virtual community, please consider joining us in this important work. We need people who are willing to learn our new systems and be part of the team operating them during worship. You do not need to know how to do any of this. We will teach you.  All of us started from zero knowledge to accomplishing what we can do today. Only one of us is an actual IT person and understands Windows (Jeff!). Nevertheless, we have learned together and will happily share with anyone wanting to join the team. It is our goal to have a handful of folks able to operate our systems, so that we can have a rotating schedule of people available. If you are interested and would like to join our team, feel free to contact one of us. I can be reached at: santobottom@gmail.com.

If you are curious and want to see what is involved, talk to one of use after worship. We can offer tours of our system and answer your questions. Personally, I am very excited about the possibilities and new ways we will find to utilize the incredible resources.

Submitted by Vince Santo Pietro