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.

Back in February’s Along the Way, I said if I were to write a book titled Why I’m Still a Christian, it would have a number of chapters and the biggest might be titled Original Blessing. That’s still true, but the second biggest chapter would be “Thank God for Job.” (It’s pronounced Jobe like robe, long O sound.) I truly would not be a Christian, let alone a pastor without this sacred story.

Pixabay

Have you read this book of the Bible?

Short story: Job, upstanding, faithful man, has a great life.

God says to The Accuser (Hebrew ha-satan), one of God’s court, “Have you noticed Job and how faithful and good he is?”

Ha-satan responds, “Let me have him for a while and you’ll see.”

Enter misfortune. Job loses his children, his fortune, and his health. His friends come over to weep and then tell him to repent for whatever sin of his has brought on this misfortune. They have a super long debate, his friends maintaining that he must repent, Job maintaining that he is undeserving of his suffering and that God has messed up.

Finally, God answers Job’s accusation, essentially telling Job that he, as a human, has no ability to comprehend what it takes to create or hold a world together, that he is in no position to critique the Creator. God’s impressive speech quiets Job into repentance and humility. Enter massive plot twist. Instead of ending the story there as if Job was simply wrong and his friends right, God then tells Job it is his friends who must go and repent. Job goes on to have his health and blessings restored.

Wait, what?

The common theological frame of the time was that people got what they deserved and soon. The equation of faithfulness and morality with the blessings of health and wealth was a simple one. As a mythic tale, the story of Job defies such theological simplicity and certainty. It makes room for a world in which bad things happen to good people (See Kushner’s book, When Bad Things Happen to Good People).  Job is the one whom God ultimately honors as one who humbly bows into the Mystery of life and the unknowing about such matters.  God’s admonishment is for those who think they have it all figured out and don’t make room for any mystery in misfortune and suffering (Job’s friends).

I am indebted deeply to Rabbi Harold Kushner’s book and grateful to the Spirit that got the story of Job included in our sacred canon.  As I see history and biography, it is difficult to see that those who do good always escape suffering, and vice versa.

There is plenty of suffering that humans have brought on themselves, individually and corporately. Such suffering has been an occasion for me and others to wisely re-view and repent of certain ways of being. More is needed. Yet, there is also an inexplicable kind of suffering in life that can happen that does not correlate to one’s own morality or karma or character. Whether through systems of injustice or the actions of others, some people and Creation suffer. Beyond that, inexplicable suffering happens. Job makes room for that mysterious truth and I thank Spirit for that room, for the acknowledgement of that truth.

Whether it’s Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, or the Longest Night service, I always take a little of Job with me.  Couldn’t be a Christian without it.