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. We strive to walk in the path of Jesus, and to offer an authentic welcome to everyone who walks through our door. We invite visitors to wear a name-tag from the pew register folder so we may more easily greet you by name.

Our worship service starts at 10 am and includes hymns, prayers, scripture reading and a sermon. It usually lasts about an hour and 15 minutes. More information here.

Children are an important part of our community, and are welcome for all or part or the service. You will be met at the door with a warm handshake and welcome, and our friendly greeters can help direct you and answer your questions.

Wear clothes that you are comfortable in and sit on the main floor or in the balcony - wherever you feel most at ease. We look forward to welcoming you.

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.

We offer a complimentary "inquirers Lunch" on the second Sunday of the month for people interested in learning more about us. It is an informal session over soup, salad and dessert where you can meet others who may be on a similar spiritual journey and learn how to plug into this church community from long-term members and clergy.

We'll explore topics from history, to theology, to membership. To RSVP, or let us know about special needs (Including childcare or food sensitivities) email us at gro.ccuytisrevinu@sreriuqni or call 206-979-7539.

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.

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.

 

The beginning of my Camino de Santiago was about having just a tiny spark of faith—and having someone there to fan that spark into a flame.

I was crying as I boarded the plane in Seattle. “Oh, is it your first trip to Paris?” the kindly flight attendant asked.

I just shook my head and wiped my eyes. I knew if I tried to talk I’d start sobbing. I couldn’t tell her that I knew I couldn’t walk the Camino. I had horribly painful shin splints that I caused myself by over training.

She patted me on the back sympathetically. When it was time for beverages she immediately brought me a plastic glass of champagne. God bless Air France. The entire flight I prayed—begged—for healing.

I was very fortunate that on the morning after I arrived in St. Jean Pied-de-Port I met Moritz, a 28 year-old German graduate student. He was sleeping in the same bunk room. As everyone packed up he politely pointed out that someone left their toiletries on the bathroom counter.

“Ooh, too bad for that poor sucker,” I thought to myself as I closed my pack and realized that I left my toiletries on the bathroom counter. He instantly became a saint to me. (They named a town after him!)

We were the last to leave because I was in pain and very slow and because Moritz just keep eating bowl after bowl of cereal. He spoke nearly perfect English. As we were strapping on our backpacks he said, “Yah, I am a little shobby.”

I looked at him and thought, “Shabby? You’re wearing one of those trendy Merino wool T-shirts.* You have on a really nice jacket and quick-dry hiking pants. There is nothing shabby about you.” So I said, “I don’t think so.”           

Then he patted his round belly and said, “Ja, my belly here. I’m—how do you call?—shobby.”

Computing, computing, computing.

“Oh, chubby.” Right away I decided that anyone who is comfortable calling himself chubby and saved me from leaving my toiletries behind is someone with whom I wanted to walk. We started off together.

The very first day of the Camino Francés you have two choices: cross the Pyrenees by walking two hours to a small village where you spend the night and then continue the next day OR do it all in one day.

Considering how much pain I was in, of course I would spend the night in the small village. Except there were no beds left at the albergue there. But we stopped in the village and bought coffee. Moritz happily talked with other pilgrims while I frantically worried how I was going to cross the mountains with this swollen leg.

He came back from filling his water bottle with a big smile on his face. He handed me a card. “See? You do not have a worry now. There is a taxi! If you cannot walk properly then you can call them. But I know you can do it.”

“Oh, sure! Thanks so much.” Smiling and nodding I took the card although inwardly I was frowning and shaking my head. I knew—and I think he knew too—that there could be no taxi rescue. There are places on the Camino that are just rocky trails. Helicopter maybe, taxi no way. I knew that once I had left that village I was committed. It was cross the Pyrenees or bust. But I continued to finger the card in my pocket and pretend that I could always call this taxi.

We started out again. Pilgrims will tell you that there is something about walking the Camino that causes you to drop past all the superficial chatter and deep into a pool of conversation that is usually reserved for the closest of friends. Moritz and I plunged right past where do you live? and how many siblings? into talking about religion, death, spirituality, relationships.

He talked about his personal crisis over his parent’s divorce and how therapy helped him. I talked about questioning my life path. He spoke of being moved by the Catholic Mass. I spoke about crying when our choir sings. Of course there was the mundane: what kind of socks are you wearing? How many shirts did you bring? Are you carrying any food? And all the while he would see me wince and suggest that we slow down or perhaps “take a proper rest” so that we could “get over these beautiful mountains.”

The little spark of faith I had that I could do this started to grow. Nothing changed physically. I still took 200 mg. of ibuprofen every three hours and my shin was still swollen and red. But his faith in me was contagious and I started to think that yes, we would “get over these beautiful mountains” together.

It was only later that I realized how blessed we were to get a clear day. The very next day was completely foggy and Pilgrims reported they saw nothing but mist. Between discussing the importance of communication in relationships and pondering exactly how does the Holy Spirit work, we marveled at the beauty of the Pyrenees. Horses wandered the hills. Statues of the Virgin Mary appeared out of nowhere. Sheep dotted the hillside.

“I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from?” asks the Psalmist. “My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.”

And sometimes that help comes in the form of a chubby graduate student who is not afraid to plunge into deep conversation or suggest a proper rest.

We walked into our destination Roncevalles together. We mingled with other pilgrims and I overheard Moritz saying about our climb, “I have to say I would not have made it without her.”

What? I would not have made it without him!

It turned out that he was struggling as well. He was out of shape, didn’t train and well—a little “shobby.” I had trained (yes, over trained) but was injured. We were the perfect pair.

I kept that taxi card and have it on my bathroom mirror. It reminds me that sometimes we need something like training wheels to get us started but at some point we need to commit. It also reminds me of how even if we have a just a tiny spark but are open, Spirit will provide what we need to make that spark a flame.

           

 

 

 

 

* Those Merino wool t-shirts? You really can sweat in them for days without any body odor. You do smell like a sheep but no human B.O.