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.

On Sunday, November 20th, members of UCUCC gathered online and in the sanctuary for an annual meeting and budget vote. This year’s budget, unanimously recommended by the Church Council, included an unusual proposal: to cover a $173,000 deficit with a draw from the endowment. After much discussion, with folks sharing thoughtfully and from the heart both in favor of and against the motion, a vote was taken and the 2023 budget passed with around 70% voting to approve.

Here is the motion approved by congregational vote:

To accept the 2023 budget of $1,518,729 in revenue and $1,691,851 in expenses, as presented and recommended by the Church Council, consisting of $1,200,000 in pledges, and additional revenue from other sources, and expenses as outlined.

Furthermore, Council unanimously recommends that the congregation vote to cover the deficit gap in this budget by using up to $35,000 from the Council Designated General Endowment ($250,000 current value) and up to $140,000 from the Permanent Endowment (current value almost $1,700,000) because we feel that the future of this church depends upon continuing to support our staff, programs and services.

For more specifics and background material for the 2023 budget, we invite you to look over the 2023 budget packet: https://www.universityucc.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/Nov-2022-Budget-packet-and-congregational-meeting-agenda.pdf

Or view the Church Finance & Budget Q&A presentation video from October 2022:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/i7bbnb0n57qyuyf/UCUCC%20Budget%20%26%20Finance%20Presentation%202022.mp4?dl=0

We celebrate the generosity and support of UCUCC members and friends who have pledged and contribute to this ministry in so many ways. 30% of you have increased your pledge this year. Thanks be to God! We also recognize that financial gifts are not the only ways that to support the life and mission of this church. Your prayers and presence, time and talent are significant contributions. Thank you to all who share these gifts as well.

The budget committee offers these observations on the 2023 budget:

Personnel

  • In 2022, the Assets Enhancement Task Force (supported by the Personnel Committee) brought a wage justice proposal to Council: to increase the pay of our lowest wage workers by 20%-30% to move everyone towards a living wage. This resolution passed unanimously, and was funded (in 2022) by a $49,000 loan from the council-designated endowment (current balance $250,000). This important affirmation of our values as a fair and just employer has added almost $100,000 to the 2023 budget. The personnel committee has not recommended any further wage adjustments in 2023 for staff who received mid-year updates, but did present a proposal for pay adjustments for our director-level staff, pastors, and staff who didn’t qualify for the mid-year wage justice increase. The 2023 budget packet includes an article about the mid-year wage increases, from the August Church & Home.
  • This budget includes pay for a 3rd settled pastor starting April 1st, 2023, at the highest end of the posted salary range. The budget committee feels strongly that the budget is the wrong tool to make strategic decisions that impact the future of the church, such as a decision not to call a 3rd pastor. The 2023 Budget Packet includes information about the current profiles for our three-pastor team, as well as information about how staff and pastors are budgeted to support each ministry area.

Love & Justice and Outreach Ministry

  • This year the budget committee is making the unusual request for a 10% draw from the Love & Justice Endowments, to support their vital work. The operating budget support for L&J has been reduced proportionately. With this proposal, the Love & Justice Ministry will have $10,000 more than in 2022.
  • This budget area also includes support for the UCUCC Child Care Program Scholarships (at the same level as 2022) and a reduction in support for Our Church’s Wider Mission (OCWM).
  • Much of our justice work can’t be captured in a budget line item: reduced rent or donated space to justice and mission organizations using our building, and countless hours of volunteering and advocacy our congregation engages in.

Impact of Inflation

  • Some of this year’s increased costs are caused by inflation: health insurance, property insurance, utilities, supplies, etc. Our building is a blessing and a resource to our ministry, and normal upkeep cost increases are part of what it means to be a church in Seattle.

Pandemic changes

  • We celebrate all the ways we have adapted to the challenges of the pandemic, including upgraded air filters in our building, hybrid zoom spaces, online streaming worship, video editing staff, new faster internet (coming soon!), IT support for the hardware and software to keep us connected and support our staff in this hybrid work environment.

Budget cuts and additional resources

  • Faced with the size of the initial deficit ($244k), each ministry liaison took on the difficult task of proposing budget cuts or utilizing restricted funds to offset expenses. This current budget uses a lot of creative one-time solutions to reduce expenditures.
  • In addition to the increased L&J endowment draw, this proposal includes an increase from 5% to 7% draw from the general endowment for operating budget support (permittable within our investment policies and supported by the investment committee), and an increased draw from the music endowment (supported by council). We are blessed with $600,000 in designated funds and $4,000,000 in endowment funds (plus the $1.5 million Swanson endowment). We offer deep gratitude to those who have remembered the church in their wills; their commitment and faithfulness continues to bless our church’s ministry into the future.

A vision for the future

  • A budget is a moral document, one that tells a story of who we are and who we want to become. This budget, in particular, tells a complex story of a church that has undergone a historic period of rapid change. Some folks are feeling increasingly disconnected and anxious. Some folks are feeling more connected and energized. We all love this church and want the best for our future. The vision behind this budget is to give us some time to discern where God is calling us – and to use some of our resources to support us today, instead of saving them for a future unknown. The need is here and now. Efforts are underway to address the bigger questions that cannot be answered by the budget, through the work of the Church Health Task Force, the Assets Enhancement Task Force, the Personnel Committee, and the Church Council. This budget is a leap of faith. We will live into the promise of God’s plan for us, as faithful stewards of these resources, with Harambee – All Pull Together.