August 9, 2019 by Robyn Davis Sekula (Vice President of Communication and Marketing for the Presbyterian Foundation)
Union Church in Seattle is “a church with a day job – a very involved day job,” says Scott Lumsden, Seattle Presbytery Co-Executive Presbyter.
Stick around for a few days at 415 Westlake Avenue and you’ll see he’s right.
On Sunday mornings, the building is a worship and fellowship space for Union Church, a PC(USA) congregation. Monday through Friday, it functions as a coffee and chocolate shop called Kakao. The large, open space dedicated to worship on Sunday mornings is an event space at other times and is named for its address, 415 Westlake.
Union Church hosts a Sunday worship experience that’s a remix of traditional church activities. The first and third Sundays are dedicated to traditional worship, the second Sunday is designed as a time for deep discussion in small groups and the fourth Sunday is reserved for community service.
The overarching goal of Union Church and its associated businesses is to be a blessing to Seattle, and to connect members of its congregation to the larger city so they can do the same. “The community of Union Church supports the work here because of the connections that it fosters, and because of the ways it addresses the needs of this community,” Lumsden says. “That’s what makes it special, and something we could all learn from as a Church.”
The Seattle Presbytery and University Presbyterian Church in Seattle have both provided funding and other support to help Union Church get established. The Presbyterian Foundation has consulted with the Seattle Presbytery on investments and spending strategies. “We love the opportunity to partner with church leaders to envision how God is calling them in new and creative ways to be the church and do ministry,” says Tom Taylor, President and CEO of the Presbyterian Foundation. “Union Church provides a beautiful sense of community in South Lake Union that would not exist without this commitment and vision of pastors James B. and Renee Notkin, and we’re so grateful for their dedication to the cause of Christ.”