FAQ

For your convenience, our most common questions are answered right here.

Not finding what you want? Reach out directly through our Contact Us page!

First Things First

Q: When and where do you have a service?

10:50 am, Sunday mornings, 2007 University Ave. Austin, TX 78705. We meet together in our main sanctuary on Sunday, which is right inside the big double doors on the corner of University Ave. and 21st St. There is also a side door to the left of the double doors, which is barrier free and accessible for any using mobility assistance equipment (including wheelchairs, walkers, etc.).

Q: Where can I park?

We own the lot directly behind (south) of the University Catholic Center on University Ave. It is paved and though it is across the street, there are curb cuts and crosswalks for pedestrians. Additionally, there are a handful of accessible parking spaces on 21st Ave. directly in front of the sanctuary. Parking is always free for our services!

Q: What should I wear?

Clothing.

Beyond that, wear what you are comfortable in. Our ministers often wear robes, unless it is too hot (same goes for our choir). But we have people in jeans, khakis, suits, shorts, dresses, nicer stuff, casual stuff, all across the board. Many of our folk like to wear their nice clothes to church, because where else can you wear pearls? But there is honestly no dress code, and if you end up coming in mismatched socks and sweatpants, we’ll treat you with the same respect and love as anyone else!

Q: Okay, be honest – am I actually welcome to join you all?

Of course you are! In fact, everyone is always welcome, whether you are a student, a family with loud (and sometimes smelly) little ones, a divorced single person, a blended family, a person with Tourette syndrome (or Down syndrome, or Williams Syndrome, or any other kind of syndrome), someone who uses a wheelchair, someone on the Autism spectrum, Black, white, Hispanic, Latino/a/x, Asian, Pacific Islander, young, old, young-at-heart, an old soul, introverted, extroverted, LGBTQI, straight, anti-labels, cool, intentionally uncool, unintentionally uncool, conservative, liberal, in-between, questioning, traditional, an iconoclast, or… well, no matter how you describe yourself, you have a place at University Christian! It may not always be easy, but we don’t think “comfortable” and “church” are meant to be synonyms, either.

Our official welcoming statement reads, “Responding to the call to be a movement for wholeness in a fragmented world, University Christian Church extends the grace-filled welcome of Christ to ALL persons equally, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, class, sexual orientation, political affiliation or ability.” We take this seriously, and truly desire to welcome ALL to the life of the church.

Q: What about college students? What is Labyrinth?

College students who wish to become members can do so even while maintaining membership in their home congregations – so we welcome you to step into a leadership role as you feel called, even if you aren’t planning on staying in Austin forever.

Labyrinth is a collaborative ministry, supported by several local churches (including University Christian). They are a student ministry organization at the University of Texas, and often utilize our student lounge. University Christian is proud to be one of the many churches that work in partnership to provide a faith-based student experience at a time when many people are questioning and learning much more deeply about their own lives. Read more here, or visit their website.

Of course, Labyrinth is only one way for students to become involved.

Q: What does (Disciples of Christ) mean?

The Christian Church is a denomination, with roots going back to the early 1800’s. Since we have such a generic name, we like to add (Disciples of Christ) to help let the community know what churches are linked together in our network. You will often see our red chalice (a cup used for communion) on signs of Disciples churches – another distinguishing mark. Of course, though we are proud of our heritage, we also love to work with churches both in and out of our denomination.

The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) is a Restoration Movement church, which means we were founded with the intent of bridging the incredibly diverse body of Christians back together. We intentionally don’t require members to affirm any particular creed or set of beliefs to be members, because we want to be open and welcoming to all – unified together by something even bigger than history or theology. If you would like to learn more about the Disciples, check out the denomination website here.

Life of the Church

Q: How do new people typically get involved?

We offer some small group-styled get-togethers throughout the city, typically once a month. Thanks to our central location, we have members all over the city. To help people connect to each other, we have neighborhood groups that meet and serve together. Every other week, a small group comes together to discuss theology and current events at Austin Terrier. We offer Sunday School, with all classes open to anyone. Groups of people often serve together at ministries and nonprofits all across the city – if you are interested in serving or meeting somewhere, check out our full list of small groups and classes here.

Despite these opportunities, University Christian is not too large of a congregation that doing life together requires breaking into smaller groups. If you are getting married, expect the church to throw you a shower. If you are having a baby, expect members to help you navigate the crazy world of preparing to become a parent. If you are in the hospital, struggling with a conflict or a crisis, in need of friends, or just looking to find some people who will go serve at a non-profit with you, expect people at UCC to come along side you.

Finally, we also have a choir, a bell choir, opportunities to volunteer with our youth group, chances to serve as Elders or Deacons, and are always looking for new ways to build community. If you are looking for something, chances are we have people here looking for the same things!

Q: Sin/Sin against us; Debt/Debtors; Trespass/Those who trespass against us?

We typically use Sin/Sin against us when we say the Lord’s Prayer. But we have people who have come from all kinds of church (and non-church) backgrounds, so if you end up saying something different, don’t worry about it!

Q: Why do you do communion every week?

A lot of that comes back to our history. Our denomination was founded partly out of a belief that all should be welcomed at the table – it’s a time for unity, and for remembering that Christ never allowed his followers to separate people or judge others. We offer communion every week to remind ourselves of the teachings, ministry, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. We also do so as a way to live out our belief that the reality of God’s love is far bigger than any tool the world comes up with to separate and isolate people.

Q: What are your sermons like?

We post our recent sermons here, and you can also learn more about the issues we are involved with by reading our blog.

Building Use

 

Q: Do you offer your sanctuary as a wedding venue?

We do! In fact, we actually have two wedding venues in our building. The main sanctuary holds up to 325 people for a service, and our small chapel is great for services under 40 people. Our ministers are happy to preside over most couples, if you don’t have someone else (and if we can fit it into our schedules).  If you’d like more information on weddings, check out this page.

Q: Will you allow a same-sex wedding?

Yes. We’ll openly admit that not everyone in our congregation agrees with our decision to affirm same-sex relationships, but that’s the beauty of our denomination – the freedom of belief protect liberal ideas, conservative ideas, and ideas that aren’t even on the spectrum! Ultimately, we all have different reasons as to why we do or do not affirm LGBTQI rights in the church, but the majority of our church has decided that God’s unconditional love means we cannot continue the church’s long history of excluding people (whether they are gay, straight, lesbian, queer, trans, whatever).

Q: Can my student group use your space?

The best way to get that answered is to contact us directly. However, we do not use our space for sorority/fraternity initiations, or any other ritualistic (non-Christian) practice. If you are a student group looking to use our space for a specific event, please contact our office.

Q: University Christian looks kindof old. Is it physically accessible?

In so far as you can get into the building, into the sanctuary, into classrooms, and into an accessible bathroom? Yes. Is it as accessible and welcoming as we’d like it to be? No. But, more so than just making a building better, we’re more interested in cultivating a sense of actual welcoming among our members and visitors. We’re always looking to make improvements, but our current focus is on how we can be best engaging with people in their specific needs (and best utilizing their gifts and talents!) – if you have a specific need, please contact tendress@ucc-austin.org and we’ll see what we can do if we haven’t already worked to accommodate it! For more information, please see our Accessibility page.