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.

Anyone who has been to my farm knows that while I am a shepherd, I am not a gardener. It’s not that I don’t try. I wish I had a way with plants. I wish I could imagine where flowers could be planted and how they might unfold through the summer. I wish I had an eye for landscape design and a knack for helping seeds grow. I even wish I was simply better at weeding. Alas, I am not. I grow some strawberries some zucchini and some tomatoes when I’m lucky. Anything more than that it’s pretty much beyond me.

But I do admire gardeners. There are things that gardeners know how to do that I admire from afar.

My congregation knows me as a shepherd pastor. I am the one ever ready with a sheep metaphor. But this week my sermon focused on “A Time to Plant,” and I was taken out of my comfort zone. Still, though I am not a gardener, I am a preacher. I know enough to recognize a powerful metaphor when I see one. And while literal gardening and its attendant spirituality might be beyond me, the metaphors of gardening and their attendant spirituality do seem within my capacity to grasp. I love reflecting on what gardeners know. And gardeners know a great deal about hope and something about mystery.

Begonias from Margaret Stine’s garden

Which leads me back to my sermon. When I started this blog a decade ago, I thought of it as a place to put all the sermons and sermon illustrations I did not have time to preach. Through the years the blog has kept my sermons from being twenty to thirty minutes long- something I’m sure my congregation is grateful for.

The text I am preaching on this Sunday is from the book of Ecclesiastes, has some things to say about gardening. (It’s Ecclesiastes 11:1-6 if you’d like to take a look). One point the writer makes is this: “Whoever observes the wind will not sow; and whoever regards the clouds will not reap.”

In other words, gardeners know that they can’t base their decisions only on the immediate circumstances they find themselves in. It is often too hot, or too cold, or too windy, or too dry, or too wet in the moment. Gardeners take the long view. And don’t we need a long view right now?

We know that the deepest kind of hope, the hope that can sustain us, is not based on our own immediate situation. This has been a hard week. On top of a hard month. On top of a hard year and a half. I feel exhausted by all the news that surrounds me. But my hope goes deeper than my exhaustion and despair. My hope is grounded in the love of God, and I trust that soil.

And that brings up the other piece of wisdom the gardener knows. We are surrounded by mystery. The Ecclesiastes preacher says it this way: “In the morning sow your seed, and at evening do not let your hands be idle; . . . for you do not know which will prosper, this or that, or whether both alike will be good.”

The ever-clever Eugene Peterson translates that verse this way in The Message: “You never know from moment to moment how your work will turn out in the end.”

That’s the mystery of our lives. So much of what we do, we do on faith. We do not see immediate results. We have to trust the mystery of the seed.

So this is what the gardener knows: the ground of hope and the depth of mystery. As it turns out, this is something the shepherd knows too. And the preacher. And any spiritual pilgrim.

So in this hard time, gardener or shepherd or pilgrim that you are, may you know those gifts as well.