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.

Yesterday the kitchen table turned over on me. The leg broke exactly where I sit which would make you think I pile my plate with whole turkeys, pounds of potatoes and quarts of ice cream. That is only partially correct. Where it broke is also where I rest my foot.

But having the table turned over on me seemed perfect considering what happened the day before.

I was complaining to a colleague that when someone finds out I’m a chaplain or a minister, they often get all squirrely and proper. They tuck in their shirt and stand up straight. Or they apologize for swearing which makes me want to say, “Are you kidding? I can swear like a sailor on a drunken holiday.” My fellow minister and I both agreed how people hear the word “clergy” and have all these preconceptions.

Now don’t you just hate it when suddenly you find yourself in Hypocrite Hell completely unaware of how you got there? You don’t remember taking that exit and yet here you are. Stay with me. 

My first patient this week was an elderly man found sleeping on the street and then brought into Harborview because he could not stand up. I perused his chart—they also treated him for scabies.  We are supposed to keep a six foot distance and I was pretty sure scabies mites couldn’t jump that far. No known address for either him or the mites. Homeless.

Based on absolutely no evidence I made some unconscious judgments that I’m sure had Ruth Bader Ginsburg spinning in her grave. In the Supreme Court of my mind I judged him as being a lazy, shiftless, loser. But here’s the Really Important Part , this was not an immediate conscious thought. I didn’t even realize I built that case in my mind until he started talking to me. Honestly, I thought I was entering that room full of compassion, understanding and openness.

He was quite thin, very bald and had big eyes. I don’t why I thought, “This is what St. Paul looked like.” This is how a mind can work when watching someone scrape at their own skin like they’re a scratch-off lottery ticket.

Now the upside of being clergy is that people are not afraid to share their numinous experiences with you. That is if they have any. This man had two. He told me a story of how when he was a child there was a “very scary” staircase near his house. One night something told him that he must go out and take that staircase down to the bottom.

“I was scared,” he said. “But I felt compelled to do it.” So he did, shaking with fear until he got about halfway to a landing. “And then I felt something come over me, like a presence that told me everything was going to be all right.” So he went all the way down and all the way back up. And everything was all right. The end.

But not quite.

Almost twenty years later he’s in the military. He’s got a good gig mainly working indoors at a base in Germany. He stood up to take some documents to someone when suddenly, “I felt this complete peace and calm come over me and I was paralyzed. My commanding officer stood in front of me like, ‘What’s your problem?’”

“Then what happened?” I asked.

“I went back to my desk and sat down. But I’ve never forgotten that feeling.”

So it turned out that this man went to art school and painted in water colors and made sculpture. “Art,” he said. “It was always art for me. I had a knack for it. I loved painting and I loved sculpture—especially kinetic art.” He described how he made a “drip machine” which allowed rain water to fall on steel drums and make music. “The song was always different, depending on the rain,” he said.

“Wow,” I thought, “What an artist!”

This is when it hit me that I had gone into that room, not with an open mind but with an unconscious judgment. And that’s why I said earlier that this is the Really Important Part: it’s totally unconscious. That’s why we have to be aware, have to be actively searching for our preconceptions, our misconceptions, our biases.

This man was a puzzle. I knew how he started out and I knew where he ended up but I have no idea what happened in the middle. How did he become homeless? Did someone break his heart? Was he mentally ill? I do know that alcohol was involved. And that makes me ask the question, “What pain was he covering with his addiction?” Those are pieces in the middle. But I didn’t ask him that. Instead I listened to him talk about creating art.

I can still feel RBG shaking her head at me for making such a judgment. And Jesus, well, he’s Jesus and just looks at all of us with love and compassion.

We never have all the puzzle pieces on anybody—not even ourselves! We know how we started out and often we wonder what happened in the middle to make us who we are today.

It wasn’t all bad to have that table turn over on me. Maybe Jesus did it. He’s been known to do that. It’s fixed now. I think he did that too.