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 here 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.

Today we are two weeks into the Christian season of Lent, and still there are more than four weeks until Easter. Here in the Pacific Northwest we have had three weeks straight of rain, twenty one days in a row, and mud is the main feature of my farm landscape. We are almost sixty days into a new administration in Washington, D.C. that seems determined to dismantle much of what I hold as basic to our common good. I feel like we are on a long and winding journey.  The image of labyrinth has certainly been prominent in my mind.

A labyrinth is basically a path, but it is a complex path. The path twists and turns in surprising ways as it leads the pilgrim who is walking it into the center. People who design labyrinths, myself included, are fond of saying that a labyrinth is different from a maze. A maze has dead ends, and wrong turns. When one walks a maze, one often has to back track and take a different route before finding a way through. And a maze is indeed a passage through, designed purposely to mislead. A maze is meant to make “getting through” difficult.

A labyrinth, on the other hand, complex as it might be, has no dead ends. The complexity of the twists and turns may be surprising, and the one walking the labyrinth might feel lost, but if that pilgrim just keeps walking, the path will lead on to the center. And that’s another thing about a labyrinth. It is not designed as a puzzle to “get through.” It is a path that, despite the complicated and surprising twists and turns, eventually takes one to the center, to the heart. There the pilgrim is invited to rest and find renewal, before turning and walking that same complex path back out again into the wider world.

This is what I appreciate about walking a labyrinth. The process of walking, in itself, reminds me to trust the path. I might think I am almost at the center, and then the path takes a turn and I seem to be farther away than ever from where I hoped to be. But I trust the path. I keep walking. Because the reality, underneath whatever I am thinking, is that with every step I am getting closer to my heart.

 

Whenever I invite folks to walk a labyrinth for the first time, I try to tell them this. Trust the path. Trust it more than you trust what you think you see. Even though it seems this turn will take you farther from your center, the truth is it is taking you right there. Just keep walking.

But still I watch the novices stop half way in, and look around, and consider turning back, thinking they have lost their way. When children walk (or more likely, because they are children, run) a labyrinth, and reach that point of turning, when they fear they are not as close to the center as they thought they were, they will often step out of the path and take the one that seems more direct. This stepping out almost inevitably is what gets them lost.

Trust the path.


I can be like a novice in the labyrinth too. I have been in so many mazes in my life, on those dead-end roads where I have had to turn around and back track, that I can forget that the spiritual journey is a labyrinth path.
In the midst of Lent, I can trust the path to Easter. Under their muddy wool, the ewes are carrying lambs. Even as it seems that all is lost, I can take do the next kind thing. I can take the next compassionate step, right in front of me. On this labyrinthian journey I am not lost. I am only turning, for a moment, as I move toward my heart.