What is UKirk?
UKirk (literally meaning University Church) is the Presbyterian (USA) college ministry in Tuscaloosa. We’re actually part of a larger network of PC(USA) campus ministries (called UKirk Ministries) which seeks to reach, teach, and love college students so that they may be lifelong followers of Jesus Christ. Locally, though, we are a ministry of First Presbyterian Church in Tuscaloosa.
Am I Welcome? Because Church, Christians, and God Really Aren’t My Thing…
Absolutely. We get it. The church, for all that it does well, can be a difficult place. We people are not always good at welcoming strangers or other folks who believe different things than we do. That’s what it means to be broken: sometimes, we’re just not very good at the whole ‘loving one another’ thing. That includes the church. But, at UKirk, we believe in sharing in that brokenness together— no matter what we believe, no matter our background, no matter our politics or opinions or whatever, no matter what. We believe in sharing life together, because that’s what Jesus calls us to do. And so, we, as a community, pledge to live, love, serve, and worship together, believing and hoping that God will redeem us and that we will— somehow— take part in that redemption.
So, You Worship? At A Coffee Shop? Has That Always Been the Case?
Yes to the first and second questions; no to the third.
Yes– we worship! Every Tuesday night at 6:38, actually. Worship with us is different than what you may expect. We’re really low key, and intentionally so. Our music is laid-back. Our ‘sermons’ are a conversation. We even eat dinner right in the middle of worship! So, if you’re looking for something different, come give us a shot.
We’re also excited about starting worship at UPerk this August! We know it’ll be a little different, but that’s who we are. We’re just a funky little community downtown who strives to worship God in different ways!
As for the third question, campus ministry has a rich history with a number of congregations in Tuscaloosa, but especially so with one congregation who housed and supported us since the 1960s: University Presbyterian Church (UPC). The Presbyterian Student Center, where we met for a long time, was on their campus in the shadow of Bryant-Denny Stadium. Now, UPC has merged with another congregation in town to create Grace Presbyterian, and they are one of our great partners!
How do I get involved?
You can contact UPerk Director/UKirk Campus Minister James Goodlet here, or you can take a look at our Facebook Group or Facebook Page. You can also follow us on Twitter @BamaUKirk or Instagram @ukirkua!