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.

People who know me know how competitive I can be. While I was away on vacation last week, I was in a triathlon down in Oregon. I was delighted to come in first place for my age group. Never mind that I was the only one competing in that group. There is something about the ring of “First Place” that I enjoy.

But while I was down in Oregon, back on my island it was the weekend of Whidbey Island Fair. For the first time, I had entered a fleece. It was a pretty one from my one year old black wether lamb. At least it looked pretty to me.

Every year at shearing time I love watching as the locks of wool fall away from sheep after sheep. Every fleece looks beautiful to me. We gather them in bags and take them to Lydia, the owner of the small, local mill. She will clean them, spin them and sell the yarn produced. This year I asked Lydia to pick out any fleeces she thought could be shown in our little island fair. She chose two.

But I have never entered a fleece in the fair. I have never really learned to evaluate a fleece. Truth be told, I’m not even sure what to look for. Still, for years, I have wanted to learn. I am a shepherd after all. And the breed of sheep I raise, Romneys, are known for their nice, spinable wool.

But it is that distance between wanting to learn something and not wanting to be a beginner that stumps me. I like being first. Even if it is only me and the race, I still like me first. But when one is a beginner, one is almost never first.

I chose one of the two fleeces Lydia had set aside to enter in the fair, on no other basis than to me it looked like the prettiest one. Because I was away, my friend Meighan took the fleece to the fair, and collected it when the judging was over. It came home with a white “Third Place” ribbon.

It turns out there were three fleeces entered.

Attached to the ribbon was a hand-written note. It clarified the fleece’s faults. “Too many second cuts” the judge had written. “The fleece is not clean,” the judge added. “Too much ‘vegetative matter.’” And the final comment:”Some nice locks of wool, but the fleece is not uniform and consistent. Are you sure the sheep is full Romney and not a mix?“

It is easy in the face of such feedback to begin my list of “shoulds.” I “should” know what “second cuts” look like. The truth is, I don’t. I have heard shearers and spinners say they are not good, but I really don’t know how to spot a second cut myself.

I “should” know what a “uniform fleece” looks like. I have heard judges say, when looking at a sheep, she has nice, uniform wool. But I really don’t know what I’m looking for in a uniform fleece.

And as for “vegetative matter?” Well, given how the hay falls down their necks while my sheep stuff their heads into the feeder, or tromp on top of it, somehow I am going to have to figure out how to make my flock into neater eaters.

Even though it stung a bit though, I was grateful for the feedback the anonymous judge gave me. It reminds me of how all growth happens, spiritual growth included. There’s the risk of trying. There’s the falling short. There’s the trying again.

I am grateful that “grace” is a central tenet of my faith. I don’t have to be perfect. I don’t have to be first. There is beauty and triumph in just showing up.

While I was on vacation, I purchased two new lambs for my flock. They come from my friend Ruthann down in Oregon. She is the one from whom I purchased my first sheep, over 20 years ago. This time I got a lovely little ram lamb, and a nice ewe lamb as well.

Ruthann had them shared just before she sold them to me, I went over to her place to help. When Andy, the shearer, arrived, Ruthann warned him. “No second cuts please.“

“Absolutely,” he agreed.

Then he caught my little ram lamb and began his work. “This is a beautiful fleece.” he commented as the wool fell away.

“Nice and uniform.” Ruthann agreed

“Clean, too,” he added.

All I noticed was how pretty all the fleeces looked.

Ruthann gave me the fleece after the shearing. I brought it home and will compare it to my fair fleece. Maybe I will learn something. Maybe not.

I am open, and willing to try