Search PNC News for stories of people and churches in our UCC Conference:

Everett UCC shares its outreach, plans for future

Everett United Church of Christ on the corner of Everett Ave. and Rockefeller in downtown Everett refers to itself as “a small but mighty activist church endeavoring to do God’s work,” said Rev. Ruth Brandon, retired UCC Pastor and Everett United Church of Christ’s (EUCC) vice moderator. The community refers to the church as “The Rainbow Church.”

Photo of the Everett UCC congregation on the opening page of its website at

Photo courtesy of  Everett UCC

Much of its community outreach focuses on homelessness and food insecurity.

There is a homeless shelter in space rented by the county and being run by the Everett Gospel Mission in the lower level of our church. There is  also much use of the fellowship hall on the main level for meals, movies, TV and a quiet place to be that is bigger than a bed. Forty people currently reside in the shelter. 

On Thursdays, the church serves a free dinner that feeds not only those in the shelter but also any who need a meal.

Indoor meal service was recently resumed, however takeout meals continues to be a popular option. About 75 to 125 meals are given out each Thursday. 

Mercy Watch, a Snohomish county nonprofit medical team, regularly provides medical services in a separate room of the church during the Thursday meal. COVID-19, shingles and hepatitis vaccinations are given. Staff is also available to assist with other medical needs. These services are free. 

It runs a small “pantry,” which is open on the last two Mondays of each month to give out bags of  food in three categories: 1) for people able to cook, 2) for those with no access to cooking and 3) snack bags for those living downstairs who already have three meals a day. Church members donate food. 

The congregation is in the midst of planning with Housing Hope, a Snohomish County nonprofit housing organization, to replace the current building with a new one, Ruth said.

The church will be on the main floor and parts of the second. In the six to eight floors above, Housing Hope will run 80 housing units and services for people 55 and older. Half of the residents will be recently unhoused and all will be in need of affordable housing.

Housing Hope will come with staffing and access to a diverse set of services, so many may have short stays as they move on, although that will not be required.

As part of Everett Faith in Action, Everett UCC with representatives from the city and county has formed a Public Toilet Coalition of Everett to try to make downtown toilets available.  Currently the lack of toilets is an issue. 

The church has given permission for placing port-a-potties on its—admittedly limited—land but there are many options being considered about what would work both temporarily and long-term for the homeless, the public, businesses and neighboring residents.

Besides its own congregation, Everett UCC shares its space with three rental churches: one Micronesian, one Marshall Islander and one Latinex. 

Everett UCC has nearly 60 members. Its young, black, gay pastor serves a second congregation in Seattle and also has a  secular position doing school consulting.

“We are excited about the work we do and try to always be open to where the Spirit leads us,” Ruth concludes.

The church’s vision is to “become more of an urban, multicultural and multiracial congregation of Jesus’ disciples” welcoming one another as “beloved in God and gathered by the Spirit to call forth, equip and share the gifts of all persons, while we intentionally encourage and build a reconciling, compassionate Christ-centered community.”

EUCC’s vision statement continues: “We seek Christian unity and interfaith dialogue through diversity in age, abilities, culture, race, economic status, gender, sexual orientation and creation-keeping. Through biblical and theological inquiry we keep as our guiding spiritual law the practice of the two Great Commandments to receive and offer God’s unconditional love.”

Members from diverse backgrounds have found a home at Everett UCC, which celebrates and embraces people from a broad variety of traditions in its life—Catholic, Evangelical, LDS, and Pentecostal, including gay and lesbian Christians not welcomed by other churches.

EUCC’s outreach also includes Bread for the World, Church World Service, Earth Ministries, Faith Action Network, Meaningful Movies and Neighbors in Faith.

For information, call 425-252-7224, email or visit


Pacific NW UCC News © July 2021




Share this article on your favorite social media Bookmark and Share