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.

The season of giving is upon us. Well, it’s always the season of giving for followers of Jesus, but you know what I mean. According to the Gospel of St. Hallmark, “T’is the season!”

On the Camino de Santiago it’s always the season of giving: water, band-aids, shampoo, protein bars, wine, chocolate, flashlights. I was delighted when I had something I could share: Manchego cheese, roasted almonds, an apple or ibuprofen. These moments happened spontaneously and naturally. But some people walk the Camino and that is their mission: to be a Helper—with a capital “H.”

One of the Pilgrims I met we called Dr. Bob. He wasn’t a real doctor. But he said he wanted to be a “trail angel” and help other Pilgrims. He carried band-aids and duct tape and antibiotic cream. He carried electrolytes, three liters of water and fifty pair of earplugs. He carried a chair. Yes, a chair—a folding aluminum camp chair. His pack must have weighed fifty pounds.

He so badly wanted to help people. But no one needed those things. Almost every Pilgrim already had earplugs and band-aids and duct tape. Everyone carried their own water. And then there was the chair. Nobody wanted it. When people stopped to rest, they simply sat on the ground or a rock.

The things we carry! The gifts we want to give! Sometimes what we want to give is not what someone needs. And sometimes what people need is not what we have. So we do the best we can and that is when I had my “Little Drummer Boy” moment.

Moritz and I had started walking just before sunrise. It was a beautiful morning; we had both slept well, had our cafés con leche and were making good time. Just as the sun rose, we came upon a Pilgrim lying in a ditch just off the path. Her pack was on the ground and she was lying there moaning and clutching her stomach. We knew her! It was our friend Tamara.

We jumped down into the ditch with her. She had diarrhea and acute belly pain. Her face was white, her lips were blue and she shook violently. She kept saying, “I have so much pain and I’m cold. I’m so cold.”

Moritz unpacked his sleeping mat and we moved her onto it. He put his sleeping bag over her and we both put every piece of fleece we had on top of her and yet she was like ice.

Now I will tell you that I have had severe hot flashes for fourteen years—ever since chemo hurled me into menopause. But I was always hot and sweaty even as a child. I failed to make a coil pot in 2nd grade because my hot little hands kept drying out the clay. In high school my sister wouldn’t lend me her clothes because I sweated in them. And on the Camino, I left every morning in shorts and a very light shirt when other Pilgrims were wearing down jackets.

            Our finest gifts we bring, to lay before the king. . .

So here was freezing and shivering Tamara. I really wanted to be a Helper–with a capital “H”–and diagnose, treat and heal her. But I didn’t possess those skills.

            I have no gift to bring that’s fit to give our King. . .

But what I could give her was my hot hands. So while we waited for the ambulance to arrive, I knelt beside her and held her frozen hands in mine. She kept saying, “Oh, my God. Your hands are so warm, so warm, so warm! Thank you so much.”

 

            I played my drum for Him; I played my best for Him. . .

Okay, I can’t take this Little Drummer Boy thing too far. I wish I could say, Then she smiled at me, but the most she could do was a sort of grateful grimace.

As a hospital chaplain I’ve held hundreds of hands as people faced death, loss, uncertainty, overwhelming grief, but never have I held hands simply to warm them. I’d always considered my hot hands something of a drawback.

So we have to ask, what have we dismissed in ourselves that just might be our finest gift to bring? What are we trying to give that isn’t needed? And where was the trail angel when we needed him? Here’s the answer to that last question: we are all called to be trail angels because it’s not about being prepared for any and every emergency but being willing to give whatever we can whenever we can.

The ambulance took over an hour to find us. By the time they arrived her hands were warming up and she was shaking less violently. They hauled her off to the hospital and she was released a few hours later. They told her to rest and not walk that day—no definitive diagnosis.

She finished her Camino a few weeks later and when we had to say our final goodbye, the first thing I did was put my hands around her face. She said, “They’re still so warm!”

 

Then she smiled at me.

Pa rum pum pum-pum.