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.

There is an old joke that I heard in seminary more than forty years ago. Paul Tillich and Karl Barth are at a baseball game. The game is tied and goes into extra innings. As play goes on and on, Tillich turns to Barth and says, “I don’t get it. When is this game going to be over?”

Barth answers,”Paul, baseball isn’t played in chronos time. It’s kairos time. It’s kairos time.”

If you aren’t laughing just now that’s o.k. You have to be something of an old-school theology nerd and a baseball nerd to get it. And yes I understand that explaining a joke is almost never a good idea. Nevertheless, let me explain.

Theologian Karl Barth was not the first to notice that “time” shows up differently in our lives, but in the mid-20th century, he described some of those differences in biblical language. In the Greek of the New Testament there is “chronos” time (you might recognize the root of “chronology” in that Greek word) and there is “kairos” time. Chronos time is similar to clock time. It is measurable, consistent, and predictable. On the other hand, kairos time is better understood as a moment in time. Kairos time is unpredictable and unmeasurable. It is, in some sense, God’s time. It is more like “timeliness”. The New Testament writers call it is the “fullness of time“, when God is about to break into human history.

So if you’re still with me, the sports joke I referenced above is a nod to the way baseball, unlike games such as football or basketball, measures time in indeterminate innings which can be short, or very, very long. While the football game is over when the clock runs down, the baseball game isn’t over until all the innings are played, and someone is ahead. Baseball time has no concern for the clock.

In 1984 the Milwaukee Brewers played for eight hours and six minutes, over two days, until they finally defeated the Chicago White Sox in 25 innings. On the other hand it took the New York Giants just 51 minutes to defeat the Philadelphia Phillies back in 1919.

And since, in baseball, time does not “run out” in the chronos way, a comeback is always possible. Seattle fans might remember a 2016 game where we were down 12-2 in the 5th. But with rallies in the sixth and the seventh, the Mariners went on to beat the San Diego Padres 13-12.

From a different perspective, there is also that painful game in 2001 when Cleveland overcame a 12-0 deficit to beat us in 11 innings with a score of 15-14. That contest included five runs in the bottom of the 9th with two out to put the game in extra innings. Ouch. Sometimes kairos time stings.

So, there. I warned you about baseball and theological nerdiness.

Of course, now the whole world has been invited into a consideration of time. Many have appreciated this observation making the rounds on social media: “Until further notice, the days of the week are now called, Thisday, Thatday, Theotherday, Someday, Yesterday, Today, and Idon’trememberwhichday.“

All of that is to say that many of our ways of marking time have fallen away. Time is rearranging itself and is not the predictable, measurable thing we have known. To say that this experience of being not quite sure what day it is feels disorienting is an understatement. I have taken to using the phrase “the Before time” in a way that assumes we all know what that means. And we do. I am hearing it more and more these days. I must have heard someone say it, at some time, but I don’t remember when.

And if there is a before time, we also anticipate an after time. But no one knows when that will be. Folks who compare this COVID season to running a marathon overlook these fact that with a marathon at least you can predict the approximate location of the finish line. But in this race, we are just running. We have no idea how long we will have to be at it.

Here on Whidbey, I am measuring time on a seasonal scale. We have gone through shearing and lambing and the summer solstice. It is now blackberry time. The lambs are half grown and the grass is drying up. Soon the apples will begin to ripen.

And where you are, how are you measuring time? How has it changed for you as so many “chronos” markers have fallen away?

Here is the thing about kairos time. For everything else it is- unsettling, hopeful, anxious- kairos is also a sacred time. It is an invitation to tune oneself to What is Happening Right Now, and to watch for what is coming into fullness. Kairos is an opportune time for crucial action.

It is no surprise that with chronos set aside, the kairos of racial justice shows up. Kairos gives eyes to those who would see and who would act. Karl Barth’s concept of kairos emerged out of his despair with 1930’s Germany and the support the German church gave to the government. For Tillich, that time in Germany history was kairos time and God was calling.

Of course one does not have to go all the way to 1930’s Germany to recognize a kairos moment (although sometimes the comparisons can make one shutter). The Kairos Center at Union Theological Seminary, whose Director Is also the cochair of The Poor People’s Campaign, put it this way: “We believe we that we are living in a kairos moment: a moment of great change and great transition, where the old ways of doing things are breaking down, new ones are trying to emerge, and decisive action is demanded.” They add this recognition: “A kairos moment brings serious dangers, and also rare opportunities.“ Yes, that does feel like the world in which we now live. Serious dangers. Rare opportunities.

So what shall we make of this time? What shall we make of this moment? Since it has already been established that I am a Bible nerd, let me throw in a timely quote from the Book of Esther: “Perhaps you have come to the place you are for such a time as this.”