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 had been seeing this lovely patient in the ICU for many months. Now, she was getting discharged into a nursing home. So this was my goodbye visit. We had a wonderful conversation and then she asked if I would say a prayer and bless her on this next part of her journey. Well, of course! After I prayed and gave her a blessing,  she said announced, “And now I would like to bless you.”

I must have looked shocked and surprised. Well, I was.  She started laughing. She put her hand on my arm and said, “Oh, honey, I can’t believe that nobody’s blessed you before. Let me bless you now.”

She sat up, leaned over and put her hands on my shoulders. I don’t remember her exact words but you know what? I felt different when I walked out of her room. It was sort of like I did when my dad slipped me a twenty the day I left for college. That felt like a little extra boost, a kind of cheer, an affirmation of my choice.  This blessing was all that and more. It felt powerful and mysterious.

Last weekend I went to an outdoor wedding—in October. This is serious optimism. Outdoor weddings in the Puget Sound area are always a gamble no matter what time of year.

I once officiated at an outdoor wedding in August. The aisle was lined with helium balloons tied to the chairs. So joyous, so festive—until started raining. Do you know what happens to helium balloons in the rain? Without giving you a physics lesson, let me just say that those balloons looked like so many dead sperm lying in the aisle with their sad little tails caught on the chairs. The bride cried and the wedding was halted until someone produced a gigantic red and white striped golf umbrella under which the bride, groom and myself huddled. We looked like we were doing a drug deal under a circus tent.

This is why I now always throw a rain coat in the car whenever I attend an outdoor wedding. But last weekend the weather was a splendid. A sixty-eight degree October day with some early tinges of color. This couple was blessed—in so many ways. Which brings me to the ring part of the ceremony and back to the concept of blessing.

Usually the officiant asks for the rings and then one or two members of the bridal party cough up the jewelry or in the case of my own wedding, my five year-old godson the ring bearer, untied the rings from the dopey pillow we made him carry and Wes’s ring went ding-ding-dinging on the concrete floor under the pews which caused our best man to do an Olympic worthy gymnastic dive under the third pew and catch the ring before it rolled any further. He stuck the landing.

But at this Optimistic Wedding they did something totally different. The officiant obtained the rings from the best man without any drama. She then explained that each one of us was going to bless the rings. She said something like, “Simply hold the rings in your hand when it is given to you and warm it up with a blessing, wish, prayer, or good thoughts for the couple. Then pass the rings on to the next person.”

She paused and then said, “Don’t drop them,” which got a huge laugh because that is exactly what everyone was thinking. I mean, here we were outside on a ferociously grassy lawn that could gobble up the Hope diamond if it felt like it.

So much intention had already gone into these rings: ethically sourced diamonds and recycled gold for hers, koa wood, turquoise and antler for his. They were tied together with a piece of lowly piece of sisal twine—kind of a Messiah in the Manger touch.

Here’s the thing that struck me: Asking everyone to bless the rings meant that we’re all in this together. Each one of us matters to this couple. Giving our blessing meant that, yes, we approve of this union. But it also meant that we were calling on the power of Spirit within us to bless these rings and this union. A true blessing is not chance or good luck or simply a wish, a true blessing is calling on a power greater than ourselves.

I couldn’t see every single person, but the people I did see took the blessing seriously. Almost everyone closed their eyes. Some held it for just a few seconds; other held it between their hands as if they were warming it; a couple of people held it in a namaste pose. Nobody giggled or rolled their eyes. In fact, many people wiped their eyes. Maybe, for some people, it was the first time they felt their own Divine Spirit within. Or perhaps it was the recognition that no one needs a collar, a robe or a stole to bestow a blessing.

We all have the power within us.