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.

Right now, during the pandemic, we are still united as church. Our service is streamed on YouTube and Facebook. You will find the links just below this section on our home page. New services are offered weekly at 10 am on Sundays, and are available on line after that.

We strive to walk in the path of Jesus, and to offer an authentic welcome to everyone who walks through our door. If you are new to us, we would love to get to know you and answer your questions about our church, even though we cannot greet you in person. A member of our Welcome Committee, or a pastor, would be happy to correspond on email or talk with you on the phone. Click here to arrange for a “meeting.”

Our worship service starts at 10 am and includes hymns, prayers, scripture reading and a sermon. It usually lasts about an hour. Right now we are worshiping online and will adjust this message once we are able to meet together in our sanctuary once again.  More information here.

Children are an important part of our community, and are welcome for all or part or the service. 

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.

During this pandemic, we have discontinued our in-person lunches. We would love to meet with you via email or phone, however. Click here to arrange a meeting with a Welcome Committee Volunteer or pastor.

We can explore and explain a range of topics about our church, from history, to theology, to membership. Please contact us at the link above for more information.

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.

Our programs for children and youth continue during this pandemic. Sign up at the bottom of the home page to receive our Children's Ministries and/or Youth Ministries newsletter.

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.

 

WARNING: THIS POST CONTAINS A GRAPHIC PHOTO AND DESCRIPTION.

 

Some people dread it and skip it altogether. Others—like me—are curious and fascinated by it. I am talking about the Spanish meseta, the seemingly endless plain on the Camino de Santiago. Some say the Camino is in three parts: the physical, the mental and the spiritual. The meseta is the mental stage so people either lose their minds, find themselves, start hallucinating, or give up and go home.

They are far fewer villages and hardly any trees, mountains or shrubbery of any kind. If you walk the meseta in spring and summer at least you have boundless fields of green wheat and wild flowers. But in the fall, the meseta is like an old man’s face. The wheat fields are stubble and the earth itself is dry, aged, creased, tired—ready to turn over and turn go to sleep for the winter. But fall demands it stay awake and the sun shines without mercy on the already arid fields.

I parted from Moritz one morning in Navarette when he decided he simply could not walk on. We walked over 100 miles together and he was brutally exhausted. I, however felt a magnetic pull to keep walking. So I went on alone. This was not an easy decision for me. For one thing it was just fun walking and talking with him. For another it was nice that Moritz was naturally good on directions and I didn’t have to pay so much attention to the road. So honestly, I was a little bit nervous about going alone—more work.

Nevertheless, I reminded myself that I would much rather be lost on the Camino de Santiago then driving in downtown Seattle on a rainy night. Making that comparison helped me to pack up and carry on.

But most of all: after Burgos, the meseta began. That was something we wanted to walk together. But things change. So it was with a heavy heart that I set off.

I managed to make it to Burgos with a woman from New Zealand I met on the trail. I will call her The Kiwi. We got along great and I thought, “Well, I could walk a long way with this new friend.”

Except for one thing.

I had a horrible time understanding her because of her accent. And English is her native language! Approaching an albergue she said, “I hope there are lots of bids.”

And I thought, “Bids? Are we bidding on bunks now?”

Or looking into a café to see if it was open, I asked, “Is anyone in there?”

“I can see someone’s hid,” she said

“Who’s hid?”

“Well, I don’t know.”

“Then how do you know anyone’s there?”

“I can see their hid!”

I’m sure by now you’ve figured out that every bed was a “bid,” every head was a “hid,” every check a “chick,” every peg a “pig.” And so on.

That coupled with the fact that she often walked just slightly ahead of me made conversation difficult. In one day I’m sure I asked a hundred times, “What’s that?”  You’d think I’d get used to her accent, but I felt like I had to work so hard to understand her. Each day I understood less and less, and each day she got more and more irritated.

Also, unlike Moritz who liked to stop eight thousand times a minute to take photos, The Kiwi liked to walk fast and skip things. So she skipped the scenic routes in favor of ones that got us there faster.  These routes were often next to noisy roads so our communication stopped altogether.

Finally we reached Burgos where she announced she had reservations in a hotel. After many nights of sleeping with twenty to fifty other people I decided I, too would spring for a private room. It was bliss. So quiet.

And that’s when I heard the crackling—in my ear. It was as if a tiny frustrated writer was scratching on parchment then taking the sheet and crumpling it up. Every time I turned over I heard crinkling.

Then I had my Ah-ha! moment and got up and did what horrifies doctors everywhere: I stuck a bobby pin in my ear.

TMI Department

Now here’s the part that may disgust many of you but there will be some readers who will vicariously experience tremendous gratification. I pulled out what seemed to be half-eaten carmels, bottom-of-the-bag potato chips or embryonic dragons. What a difference! I could hear an ant fart.  Even the air seemed loud.

Even though it was one o’clock in the morning, I immediately sent a photo to The Kiwi explaining that now for sure I’d be able to hear her and I was so sorry. It wasn’t her accent it was my ear wax! I was thrilled.

As I lay there waiting to fall back asleep, I thought about what else keeps me from hearing others.  I wished I had some kind of mental bobby pin to dig out my opinions, biases, and preconceptions. If I could remove my judgments and intolerance perhaps I wouldn’t have to work so hard to understand some people. I fell asleep thinking that in comparison, removing ear wax was pretty easy.

I woke up the next morning and read a text from The Kiwi sent a few hours earlier. She said she had a “wonderful sleep and felt energized so decided to walk. We’ll have reunion drinks!” she wrote.

But of course I never saw her again. Who could blame her?

That meant I would be walking the meseta alone. No one to talk with for miles and miles.  The meseta. Alone. So be it. In a depressed state I went in search of my first café con leche. Sipping my coffee I felt the buzz of my cell phone. It was text from Moritz.

“On my way to Burgos! I consider to go to the municipal. Where do you stay?”  

Oh, my God thou hast not forsaken me! Yay. 

We had dinner that night in Burgos and the next morning set off. Here is what I learned walking the meseta with Moritz: companionship is not about talking. There were long stretches of time where we walked in a companionable silence—no words said at all. The endless road ahead seemed sacred—not something to be avoided.

We didn’t lose our minds, hallucinate or give up and go home. Did we find ourselves? Maybe in the safe silence we found parts of ourselves that we had never met before.

I can’t help but think of Jesus and his followers walking those dusty roads together. They must have enjoyed the same safe silence with him. They didn’t lose their minds but I bet they often thought they were hallucinating. I’m sure that some of them gave up and went home. I know they heard God but for the most part didn’t know it. 

Like a nun’s habit or a monk’s robe the meseta was simple and free of distractions. A good place to hear yourself. A good place to hear God.