The Rectory for the
Universal Life Church
Driving on I-5 north to the Ship Canal Bridge in the dark of night, chances are that you have seen a glass and steel structure, lit up with bright lights and a space age flare. Statuesque astronauts stand guard in the windows and in recent months, construction tape and tarps drape the exterior. Inside lies an equally adorned, cozy interior. People who walk past gawk in wonderment. What is this place that draws such attention from Seattle’s commuters? It’s a beacon of hope. By using lighting to suggest the time to vote, a time for concern about the planet and showing that Santa realizes he has other friends not from here.
Is it a Church Consulate, a Camp David, or the Archdiocese? It is a residence and retreat, as well as a place of fellowship, learning, and higher thinking. It is a place for the people of the Universal Life Church Monastery (ULCM) Congregation to come together and celebrate. Certainly, the shiny beacon on the hill is a glass and steel clergy house. It is The Rectory, conceived and designed by and for George Freeman, the Presiding Chaplain and founder of the ULCM.
The ULCM Chaplain has presided over the Monastery for some decades, continuing in the ULC tradition of fighting for religious freedom and offering shelter, counseling, and food. He has taken part in legal fights for nation-wide marriage equality and for state recognition of ULC-officiated marriages. The Rectory sitting above Lake Union is a full-fledged religious institution that hosts the sacred and joyful moments of the congregation. Celebratory meetings, weddings with Sacramental dinners are all held there.
Religions are living organisms. They go through metamorphosis as the societies they inhabit change and grow. They molt the skin of old customs when new ones are adopted. They cross- pollinate with neighbors and evolve with the passing of time. Christianity, for instance, received its monotheism from its mother – Judaea – but was fertilized by the new ideas of its founder and followers.
Over time, religions have developed into distinct, identifiable sects. But just as all humans share a common ancestor, so too do religions. The DNA of religions lives in their rites, writings and in the spoken traditions shared from generation to generation. Like in humans, this DNA does not live in a vacuum. Belief systems live through war, dissent, natural disasters and plagues. Judaism was criminalized during many centuries. The customary Jewish game ‘Dreidel’ arose among Jews in the Seleucid Empire as a way to practice their faith clandestinely. Amid persecution, the faith found a way.
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Neon lit house on I-5 right before exit 168?
Every night I drive by this house that sits on I-5 that’s lit like its a rave lounge. It’s right before exit 168. Does anyone have any info on it. I’m just curious as to what the deal is.View on Reddit
Seattle Times Rant and Rave
RAVE to the brilliant homeowner on east Capitol Hill with the ever-changing theatrical lights in their multistory windows. The bright and humorous displays livened up a dark winter I-5 commute for all of us!View on Seattle Times
New construction at the Neon House.
Noticed some new construction at the I5 neon house. Looks like maybe a deck? I for one welcome all the neon they bring. I need to know the story behind this amazing palace.View on Reddit
What’s that lit up house you can see from the freeway?
It’s not Christmas lights or anything. It looks like a dope party house with purple and blue lights and stuff. You can see it on the freeway. It’s the house with mannequins in the windows and scaffolding up. What is that?View on Reddit
Has anyone ever noticed the house with neon lights overlooking SLU and I5? There’s huge fake palm trees and lasers. When you drive northbound it’s on the right. I’ve always wondered what it is? Am I the only one who has seen this?View on Reddit
Seattle Met Magazine: What’s Up with That House Next to I-5?
When I walk into George Freeman’s Capitol Hill house, I’m not entirely surprised to find a pulpit tricked out with turntables. I did not, however, expect the illuminated portrait of Jesus in the bathroom.View on SeattleMet