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.

This final blog post is now three days overdue and I’m having trouble pushing “send”.

It’s the same way with that final part of the sermon for tomorrow that wakes me at 2 in the morning and sets me scribbling with yet more things I want to say and not enough time to say it all.

These past three months of saying goodbye have been truly life-changing for me.  I’ve learned to open myself to receiving – receiving expressions of love and gratitude and sharing myself in the messiness of my tears.  Receiving the gift of time to just be together when there’s nothing more to fix, solve, worry over  – but just the incredible gift of time to be together.  As I have felt myself emptying from my place in this ministry I found myself already being refashioned into the new man and pastor I will be in the next season of my life.  And how is it that it takes saying goodbye for all of this to happen?   And yes, of course it does.

And so, amidst all the tears, it’s a gift to have a chance to say goodbye.   And no, we don’t always get the chance to do so.  So many times endings come with abruptness and disruption and there is no time for the gifts of a parting.  Such a gift of grace when a goodbye happens full of tears of love and gratitude as these months have been for me.  The faith, hope and love I have met here in serving this congregation that now gives me the faith – in fear and trembling, hope and expectation – to set my sails wide and allow the Spirit of the Living God to guide me into the unfolding of the next chapter of my life.  And yes, an invitation for you as well, and this church to do the same.

A few weeks ago I came across an article for our church newsletter written thirty years ago by Bert Rutan.  Bert was retiring from his ministry here thirty years ago and he wrote an article to the future minister that would serve in his place. I shared with Bert that I could echo the same things he said about his experience with the congregation here.  He said that I could share his letter again and have us both sign off on it.  So here, future ministers of UCUCC is a word written thirty years ago – and lifted up again this present day – from two pastors who served here a generation apart about our experience in this congregation that has changed our lives.  We hold in prayer and hope that it will be for you as well…

 

To Our Future Ministers….

We don’t know your names yet, of course.  We will eventually, when the Search Committees have completed their work and the Council has acted on the recommendation.  For whatever help it may be, let us indicate some things we have experienced that you can expect….

Expect to find colleagues here who genuinely like each other and who will warmly welcome you, care about you, challenge you, and help you grow.  Expect a staff that will work hard to make your ministry possible, a staff deserving frequent expressions of appreciation from you.  

Expect a congregation that cares both about this church and this world, supporting each other but ministering beyond this building in Christian compassion.  You’ll find here a ready willingness to disagree and an individualized articulation of faith and commitment that makes this congregation stimulating rather than bland.

You’ll need to be there for them in their times of grief and doubt, in their frustrations and their failures.  But that will be balanced by the joys you will share:  weddings, baptisms, confirmation class, supper.  (They do like to eat!)

Occasionally you will question your effectiveness in a sermon or counseling situation or class.  But if they know that you care deeply about them, and if there is congruity between what you say and who you really are, you will discover that mysterious thing we call Christian love sustaining their lives through you and deepening your relationship with them.

Concerning things you would like to see done – you may have to prod a bit at times.  You may also have to learn to let go.  (Bert and I both sometimes had trouble with that!)  But you will find that, due to dedicated people on boards, committees, task forces and Council, you certainly won’t have to do it all yourself.  You’ll meet retired professionals who rise early to make doughnut delivery runs to a mission downtown; families deeply involved in refugee or emergency feeding or mission programs; members willing to spend hours on the phone concerning pastoral care matters or stewardship; and many faithful people constant with their encouragement. 

Expect something else.  Though you may begin overwhelmed by the extent of activities and responsibilities here, as we did, you are apt to end up feeling that these were some of the best years of your life as we do.  You will hear appreciation expressed when you feel that you don’t really deserve it and you will have someone tell you how much a sermon helped when you thought it was one of your least memorable ones.  We give you fair warning:  these folks will grow on you.

In the midst of it you may wonder if the long hours and the endless meetings, the frustration of not visiting enough or not knowing or doing enough, are worth it.  But at the end of it, from the appreciation and encouragement that you have received, and from the love that you will have felt for them and from them, you will know it was all worth it.

As you seek to follow in the footsteps of Christ in this church, you will discover that you are walking with some of Christ’s finest disciples.  And you will be thankful for all the joys experienced in serving God in and through the life of this congregation.  Shalom!

Thank you Bert for reminding me, us, of all that stays the same in all that changes in life including the gifts of grace that this congregation has been and will be.

In faith, hope and love,

Peter Ilgenfritz – and Bert Rutan