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.

Repent.

It’s a theological word I usually associate with the faith of my youth. Or with fire and brimstone preachers pointing fingers at quivering congregations. Neither of those images are of use to me anymore. But the word “repent” is still a precious part of my faith journey. Although it is rarely used in the progressive church and has often been seen as a term of judgement and reproach, for me It is a term of hope.

The word is a translation of the Greek “metanoia” which means literally “to turn around” or “to change one’s mind.” Repentance is an invitation to a new way of thinking and a new way of being. And that is exactly the invitation I want from my faith and from my spiritual practices- a new way of life in this weary world.

Once when I was in college, I spent three days wandering in the Sierra wilderness because I refused to believe I was lost. “Those landmarks don’t seem to match this map,” I kept noticing, “but I’m sure I’m not lost. I don’t get lost. Must be something wrong with the map.”

On the morning of day three I met hikers coming the other way. When I told them where I was going, they looked at each other and then back at me. “You’re going the wrong way,” one of them said.
“Oh.” I responded. Then I turned around and started walking in the opposite direction. And because of that, I found my way home. Repentance. Literally.

To repent authentically requires at least three things. First, I have to see that I am wrong. I am going the wrong way. I am on the wrong path. The very way I see myself and the world is off. Then I have to get some direction- back to a right path, back to a sound mind, back to an honest view of the world. And finally, I have to walk that new path.

In these last three weeks our nation has been offered a chance to repent. I have been offered a chance to repent. Once again the reality of racism, baked into the American system, has been starkly revealed to white people by another murder of a black man at the hands of state-sanctioned authority. The casual, blatant disregard for George Floyd’s life unmasked the casual, blatant disregard for Black lives, and the lives of indigenous and other people of color that has been this country’s story for over 500 years.

“I’m not racist,” I might reassure myself, and just keep going. But by God’s grace I have encountered travelers who know this terrain far better than me. When I tell them where I am going, they gently or forcefully tell me, “You’re going the wrong way.” And I am invited to repent.

Let me tell you that on that summer day now over forty years ago, when those wiser travelers pointed out for me my error, I was not pleased. To turn around and go the other way meant a lot of hard work ahead. It meant trusting in something bigger than myself and my own mis-calibrated “inner compass.” It meant climbing back over mountains I thought I had already climbed. By the time I got to where I wanted to be, I was out of food and water. I was spent.

But that day, repentance saved my life.

Today, we are being invited to save our lives. The racist system we are all caught up in is a system of death. It will hide from us, try to convince us we are fine, tell us we have done enough, suggest that we don’t need to change. We must see it, name it, and change it, again and again and again.

This is no three day walk in the woods. This is an every day commitment to faith and to practice and to life. So here is the other thing those who repent know. Repentance, in the theological sense of the word, is not a one time thing. It must happen over and over, and throughout life.

Any traveler knows that one does not just look at the map once, choose a path, and start walking, never to consult a map again. All along the way, a faithful traveler calibrates and checks the compass again and again, watches for landmarks, listens to wiser travelers who have walked the path as well, and makes constant course corrections. The power of racism is strong and it is a part of everything I touch. It is in the stories I’m told (and then tell myself), in the privilege I don’t see, in the unconscious way I perceive myself and others. A journey of constant repentance is not a journey of shame, it is a journey of hope.

The Greek word I mentioned earlier not only means to change one’s mind and to change one’s direction, it also means to change one’s story.

This is my chance to do just that. To begin a new story. To listen, and learn, and walk the path of justice. To repent. Well you join me?