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 here 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.

imageIn less than a week now, the northern hemisphere will arrive at the winter solstice. This is the point at which the planet tips us back toward the sun and the darkness which has been lengthening for months begins to retreat. In the middle of the fourth century, this also became the season when Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus. Christmas is coming.

But even before there was a “Christmas,” human beings knew the rhythm of the planet. Folks noted the solstice and marked it with celebration. Even before we Christians proclaimed in our stories all the ways that the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness does not overcome it, other traditions also affirmed that human vision. Before the Roman emperor Constantine celebrated a December 25th Christmas in 336, the Romans celebrated the solstice as Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, or the “birthday of the unconquered sun.”

imageOn the farm, we are waiting for the light. Nighttime temperatures are below freezing, and I get up in the dark to begin my chores. The ice in the water troughs has to be broken up every morning these days for the sheep to get their morning drink. The metal water font set out for the chickens was frozen shut this morning. I had to take it inside and run hot water on it to get it open so my hens could drink. It will freeze again tonight and I will repeat the ritual tomorrow.

In Seattle, my congregation looks forward to this solstice time in our particular “Christmas” way, with the proclamation of Good News to All, and Peace on Earth, with shepherds watching flocks and magi traveling from the East to honor a newborn king. We are preparing for three worship services on Christmas eve, including a pageant where everyone who wants to gets to play a role, just by showing up.

I know that the return of the sun and the lengthening of days will not change things immediately. January and February will still be cold. and in fact most likely even colder than December. In our human world, darkness seems to be everywhere. As I write today, there is horrific suffering in Aleppo, and throughout Syria, in places not far from where Jesus was born. Bethlehem and Jerusalem and Gaza all know pain. In our own country, we are witnessing a significant rise in hate crimes since the November election, and the prospect that much of what we have understood to be the “common good” will be ignored or even worked against by the incoming administration. As our work to limit human impact on climate change, on the warming of our planet, is threatened, even our sense of the “return of the sun” seems different.

imageBut our solstice observations and our Christmas celebrations still serve to remind me that the return of light is inevitable. We humans are just one part of the rhythm of our world. We are called to be children of the Light. We will still rise, even in the dark, to do our winter chores. Water, as the Protectors at Standing Rock remind us, still needs to be attended to. Just like in our December 24th pageant, everyone who wants to gets to play a role, sometimes just by showing up. This year, with December 25th falling on a Sunday, the day actually named for the precious star that gives our planet life, may our work ahead be energized by our stories of unconquered light.