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. 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.

 

“I’m done.” “He’s so done.” “I’m done with you.” So much anger, weariness, frustration in this phrase. It’s not a young student brightly proclaiming, “I’m done!” after finishing a math test.

“She’s done,” the nurse says. There is a sense of finality and grief in her voice. She is calling me to be present at the death of a COVID patient. The patient’s husband requests a chaplain. The patient is a 44 year old woman who is on ECMO, which sounds like a friendly Muppet, but it’s not. It’s a machine that acts as her heart and lungs. Her heart is too weak to pump; her lungs too damaged from COVID to oxygenate her blood.

I walk in and introduce myself and the first thing her husband says to me is, “She’s been here for three months. She said she’s done.” I nod and he says again, “She said she’s done and wants to go—now.”

Now. Her teenage daughter arrives this afternoon but this patient cannot wait. Her six year-old is in school. Her teenage son is here showing me pictures of her on his phone. She was vibrant, active, smiling.

I reach for her hand, black and blue from so many needles. She is sedated but conscious. She looks up at me with enormous blue eyes. Her long hair laid out on the pillow, her cheeks a perfect blush pink. She looks so beautiful and healthy. And in that moment, the enormity of her decision hits me. She will be dead within the hour. I am speechless. I finally say, “You have such beautiful blue eyes.”

She just regards me. What a stupid to say! I wish with all my heart I could take back the words. Is she thinking, “Well, I won’t be using them an hour from now?” Or, “I can’t believe that is what you are saying to me.” But that is what women do—we compliment one another on our looks. Because

we are taught that is the most important thing about being a woman. A male chaplain seeing a male patient about to die would never say, “You have such beautiful blue eyes.”

Her husband calls their daughter and puts her on speaker phone. Weeping, her daughter says goodbye, says how much she loves her, that she was a great mom, that she will get to see Jesus and that later they will all be together again. Her son weeps. Her husband strokes her forehead.

I say a prayer of gratitude for the life she has lived, for the way God has loved through her and loved her through others and for the many hands who cared for her.

More sedation medication arrives. “We will make her comfortable,” the nurse says. She is young and speaks in such a soft voice I can hardly hear her. She and the ECMO tech have a secret language of nods and blinks.

He slowly turns down the machine. As the noise subsides, I watch the perfect pink drain out of her cheeks. I have an itchy spot on my chest and I dig my fingernails into the itch. The pain grounds me.  Later I see that I have made myself bleed.

“You have such beautiful eyes.”

Now there is absolute silence. Her body gives three last gasps. Honestly. And then she is done.

I tell you this story because anyone who is tired of COVID restrictions: home schooling, video worship, Zoom meetings, mask wearing, isolation; anyone who refuses vaccinations—Well, you just have to decide: are you ready to hear, “I’m done?” Are you ready to watch a loved one die? Are you willing to be so ill that you would leave your child forever?

I told a friend how I felt stupid telling this woman she had such beautiful eyes. My friend said, “It wasn’t like you were commenting on a scarf or a pair of shoes.  The eyes are the windows to the soul. You told her that her soul was beautiful.”

I take comfort in that.