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.

We would love to welcome you at our in-person service each Sunday at 10 am. 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. The weekly 5 pm service is  available on line after it is 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 if 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 and fifteen minute.. 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.

From time time we host lunches for people who are interested in learning more about our church and/or possibly becoming a member.  We are also happy to meet with you over coffee or at the church to explore and explain a range of topics about our church, from history, to theology, to membership. Click here to arrange a meeting with a Welcome Committee Volunteer or pastor or to set up a meeting and/or to learn when the next Welcome Lunch is planned.

Thank you for your interest in our church community.

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 or email Margaret Swanson, our Director of Children, Youth and Family Ministries..

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.

Remember the last time you were really thirsty? You know, the kind of thirst where you can barely swallow because your throat feels like it is sticking to itself? The kind of thirst where your tongue sits in your mouth like a piece of old leather? Yeah—really thirsty. It’s easy to describe.

But how to explain when you are thirsty for something that is intangible and elusive? Something that can only be experienced and not seen? Last week, I went to an unfamiliar sanctuary and felt my thirst begin to slake the moment I sat down.  There was a warm, dynamic silence; a kind of energy that was calm, welcoming and yet crackling with possibility.

There was no Passing of the Peace, instead, at the beginning of the service we were invited to turn to someone nearby who we didn’t know (this is key) and ask them, “When was the last time you asked for help?” We had two minutes.

I told the man next to me that the day before I had asked directions to a room in the Convention Center. He had asked for computer help about a spam bot. Somewhat superficial answers, but it didn’t matter. What mattered is that we looked one another in the eye, spoke, listened and connected. This man was so kind and present that I wanted to ask him for help right there. I wanted to say, “Can you tell me why I am drinking up this experience like a dry sponge dropped in a puddle of water?”

The scripture was the story of The Woman at the Well. But before the sermon, we sang this hymn, “We Seek You With Our Questions, God.” *

We seek you with our questions, God, with open heart and mind;

 We long to live a fresher life and leave  our past behind.

For all that we have known has faded and grown worn.

We see you with our questions, God, that we might be reborn.


 We wonder why things come to pass and how to come alive,

Where do your living waters flow? How can dry bones revive?

Who are you, God, who meet us here with wisdom and with sign?

We seek you with our questions, God, we yearn for truth divine.”


I felt as if I had written this hymn myself. I couldn’t sing the last two verses (below) because I was all choked up.

The preacher began by pointing out that the well was a place of community and connection and that every one of us gets thirsty—just like Jesus. And we get thirsty in spirit, just like this unnamed woman. Then the preacher asked, “For what does your soul thirst?”

That question—once again my eyes filled with tears because suddenly, I am the Woman at the Well talking with Jesus.

Jesus says,  “I’m thirsty. Would you give me a drink?”

I get uncomfortable because as the biblical Woman at the Well, I am Samarian and Jews have nothing to do with us. Also, I’m a bit slutty so people don’t speak to me. I file my nails against the rough terracotta of my jug. Finally I say, “I don’t think you are supposed to be speaking to me.”

“I’m Jesus. I speak to everybody and anybody. Now, may I have a drink?”

I look him straight in the eye and say, “I’m sorry, but this well is dry.”

He smiles and raises an eyebrow. “Then why do you keep coming back?”

I say, “I come back because every once in a while there is a random splash, an isolated droplet that gives me hope. I come back because this is the well of my family.” I pause because I realize I’m in too deep now to back out.  “I die a little each time I come, for the journey is arduous, this jug is heavy and my disappointment is even heavier.”

“What do you seek?”

Jesus and I often go back and forth between speaking metaphorically and speaking literally. I can’t say why this is. Now I am literal in my answer.  “Community, connection and inspiration, so that I may go out renewed and ready to serve.”

“And yet—”

“I know, I know. I am still thirsty.” (Back to the metaphors!)

“Why do you not seek another well?”

He’s got me there because we both know there are lots of “wells” in this area, but even more important than that: I can quench my spiritual thirst in other ways that have nothing to do with a well. This realization snaps me out of dry, dusty Israel and into the cool, minty air of the Pacific Northwest. So I grab a Bible and turn to John 4 to read what Jesus said about where to worship. (Bold-face mine.)

Jesus: 21-24 Woman, I tell you that neither is so. Believe this: a new day is coming—in fact, it’s already here—when the importance will not be placed on the time and place of worship but on the truthful hearts of worshipers. You worship what you don’t know while we worship what we do know, for God’s salvation is coming through the Jews. [God] is spirit, and is seeking followers whose worship is sourced in truth and deeply spiritual as well. Regardless of whether you are in Jerusalem or on this mountain, if you do not seek [God}, then you do not worship. (The Voice)

So time and place is not important; what is important is seeking the Divine. The last two verses of that hymn summed it up for me.


We search for you in garden green where once you gave us birth;

We search for you in desert parched and all throughout the earth.

With wonder, worry, doubt and awe we search through night and day.

We seek you with our questions, God, at home and far away.


You seek us with your questions, God, inviting us to dare

To know you and to love you more, to grow through act and prayer.

“Who will you trust and follow now? My truth is all around.”

You seek us with your questions, God, you seek and we are found.


“My truth is all around.” Of course it is! I’ve felt Spirit moving through me digging in the garden, chopping vegetables, sipping tea, holding a dying patient’s hand, kissing a dog, looking at art, walking Green Lake.

I’ve tried to parse out why this Sunday experience was so gratifying. Was it the differences: a compelling sermon; no shouting or performance without content; no words read in unison (none!), no doxology. The prayer of confession was folded into the pastoral prayer. There was a time of reflection where people came forward and lit a candle or gave an offering.

Or was it the similarities? Was it the beautiful music, the time with children, the hymns, the scripture, the benediction, the postlude?

Or was it the coffee hour and the eye-popping amount and selection of Girl Scout cookies?

I think it was all of these things and it was also that mysterious, nebulous, inexplicable energy I felt when I first walked in.

All I can tell you is that I didn’t know how thirsty I was until I started to drink.



*Text: Hannah C. Brown. B. 1980© 1980 2022 GIA Publications, Inc. Tune : KINGSFOLD