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.

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.

 

 

Remember the story of the man who was born blind? Jesus spit in the dirt, made mud and then applied it  to the man’s eyes. When he washed off the mud the man could see. When I was told this story as a child I thought, “Eww!”

But I went right out in the backyard, mixed some spit and dirt, took off my blue glasses and carefully applied the mud to my eyes. I waited a moment then groped around for the garden hose. I carefully washed off all the dirt, my face wet and dripping. I blinked and then blinked again. I could see!

It didn’t last. I later realized the water had acted like lenses on my eyes and that’s why I could momentarily see.

Spit and dirt would not have been my first choice to restore vision. Why couldn’t Jesus have rubbed a precious oil or pressed some flowers on the man’s eyes or waved a feather around his head? Why did he have to use something dirty and gross?

I wonder if this COVID-19 pandemic is like spit and dirt. It seems that already COVID has forced us to see the inequalities in our world; how we are destroying the earth; how we are destroying on another. Why did it take a deadly virus to open our eyes?

Couldn’t we have been sent a gorgeous shower of shooting stars visible all over the world? Or perhaps a new species of beautiful bird that appeared in every country? Would we wake up then? Probably not.

Do beautiful, pleasurable experiences ever help us grow? Not usually. Richard Rohr reminds us that growth is possible only through prayer and suffering. And it’s usually suffering that takes us there. Damn.

I had a conversation this week with a man in heart failure.* He was fairly young, in his fifties. He had been very successful in school, in athletics, in his career. He admitted that he was aggressive, selfish, and sometimes unethical. In other words: heartless.

It was not lost on either of us that he is now waiting for a new heart.  

“I was pretty much a jerk,” he said.  “I think it took something as serious as heart failure to open my eyes.” He is determined to change, to become a more loving, compassionate person.  Post traumatic growth. It is possible.

Why does it take the most extreme, sometimes horrifying experiences to open our eyes? Is this the point of COVID-19? Can we make it the point?

It goes back once again to what we decide our experience means. As followers of Jesus, what can we make this mean? It has forced us to look outward and see the mess our world is in. It has also forced a lot of us to look inward and see where we are there.  What kind of action will we take?

The disciples asked Jesus why this man was born blind. Jesus answered,  “This happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.”

I think that the works of God—miracles of love, compassion and courage—are already being shown. My hope and prayer is that we continue to display these miracles, both outwardly and inwardly. May our sight remain permanently clear, not like watery lens of my childhood.

 

 

 

*Any time I write about a patient I will always change identifying characteristics.