The UNIverse Weekly June 5-11, 2020

The UNIverse Weekly June 5-11, 2020

  May 29-June 4, 2020


June Worship Theme: Mistakes


Our guest speaker this Sunday is Mathew P. Taylor, who was born and raised in San Bernardino, California. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies and over 15 years’ experience working in his local community organizing and serving in Pagan Ministry leadership. He is a student at Starr King School for the Ministry and will be seeking ordination in the Unitarian Universalist faith tradition.

He was the Chair of the Nominating Committee of the UUA Pacific Southwest District 2017-2020 (PSWD) and a Regional Lead with Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism. He is called to a heart-led mystical ministry that highlights the intersection of Earth-based magickal practices and Unitarian Universalism.  For more information visit his website HERE

 Join us on Sunday, June 7, at 10 am via webinar for our
service at

     Dear NWUUC, it is my great honor to welcome to our virtual pulpit this week Mathew P. Taylor.  His bio is shared up in the section about upcoming worship.  Do join us if you can.  I know you will be inspired by Mathew’s preaching, and energized about the quality of seminarians our Unitarian Universalist faith is ushering into our ministry. 

     The Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918.  The Great Depression of the 1930s. The Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. 

     2020 has a lot in common with all three of these pivotal times in our history, but this time all at once. Whew. It is too much!  No one is shielded from the exhaustion that such a set of realities has fostered. It is the natural reaction to feel overwhelmed. 

     So, let’s take it in one piece at a time, shall we? Let’s take each one of those elements one by one and talk about them. 

     COVID-19 is still a true and serious threat to our safety.  Your congregation and your minister remain committed to keeping you as safe as possible.  Until it is relatively safe for ALL of us to meet in person, especially our elderly and our medically at-risk members, we will continue to meet online.  We will be doing exciting things with drive-in church in the fall!  But for the summer months we will continue to hone our online church skills and meet with each other through the magic of socially-distanced technology, just as we have since mid-March. 
     Now on to the economic anxiety this pandemic has caused.  Friends…what you all did as a community this past Sunday in our congregational meeting made me weep.  Money is tight, and we are all a little on edge about it; in our personal lives and in our giving to our faith community.  And yet this past Sunday, you came together.  You heard each other respectfully.  You voiced your anxieties and your hopes.  You made compromises.  You passed a budget and said yes to a future pre-school!  I could not be prouder of the hard work ALL of you who participated put into these important decisions.  And, my goodness, what an AMAZING Board of Trustees we have!  The countless hours these folks have spent loving and working for our beloved community humble and amaze me.  Board, you have my undying gratitude.  You have led us well.  Pre-school Committee, you get a loud and clear shout-out, too. Well done, and thank you!  
     Friends, this time of saying loudly and clearly that Black Lives Matter is crucial to our mission in this world.  On Friday morning at 11AM (you may have read this newsletter by that time, but many of you will not have) I will be joining other clergy and faith leaders from all around the Atlanta area, at the request of Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, in a prayer vigil on the front steps of the State Capitol.  Sometimes in the early stages of a movement, public social witness is all we can really do.  I assure you that when I learn of Black leaders requesting other kinds of action from supporters, I will share the call with you all.  I know you are ready and eager to do what you can to support this vital cause of equality and safety for our Black beloveds.  I am too. Stay tuned.  
     Dearest Black beloveds, you matter to me. You matter to your congregation. Your safety is paramount. And we will support and love you, no matter what it takes.   

     Dear non-black people of color, you are not invisible. This struggle is more real to you than to your white siblings. I see you. You matter. You are not going to be left behind. Our liberation is bound up in yours too. 

      Dear white folks, we will make mistakes. May we speak up anyway. More importantly, may we LISTEN carefully anyway.  May we do our best, keep learning, and then do even better.  It is the only way I know how to keep on moving forward together.

In solidarity, sorrow, hope, and boundless LOVE, 

Rev. Misha Sanders



WE ARE SEEKING CHALICE LIGHTERS FOR JUNE. PLEASE SIGN UP! NWUUC welcomes children’s participation in the weekly Sunday service. Options to participate include lighting a chalice live via Zoom during the service or submitting a video to that can be played during the service. LED lighting options can be used instead of a flame. Please use this link to sign up:




Art Reflects Life Series Bias In America:
Enough Is Enough, Part II
Curated by Dr. Philip J. Rogers, Director of Music 


As we watch scenes on television or smart devices we observe the frustration of legitimate protestors and violent acts of those taking advantage of the opportunity for selfish motives. The bottom line of this public exercise is utilizing the First Amendment to voice discontent and bring attention to the systemic slaughter of black men and women that is and has been condoned by centuries old surreptitious decisions of those in political power. 

This week I continue the discussion of how art reflects life. The composition, The Seven Last Words of the Unarmed, is a sung, spoken and minimally choreographed male voice choral work by Atlanta-based composer Joel Thompson. Thompson stated that in composing this piece he used the liturgical format of Franz Haydn’s “Seven Last Words of Christ” in an effort to humanize the seven men described in the work. He does so to reckon with his identity as a black man in this country relating to “the specific scourge of police brutality.” The work was premiered in 2016 by the University of Michigan Men’s Glee Club under the direction of my friend and colleague, Dr. Eugene Rodgers. 

Seven Last Words is based on seven individual statements attributed to seven black males murdered by white assailants. The work is hauntingly poignant in its depiction of the damnable truth that black males have feared and faced in this the land of the free and the home of the brave. The movements of this work are as follows: 

I. “Why do you have your guns out?
    – Kenneth Chamberlain [Age 66, November 2011]
II. “What are you following me for?
Trayvon Martin [Age 16, February 2012]
III. “Mom, I’m going to college!
Amadou Diallo [Age 23, February 1999]
IV. “I don’t have a gun! Stop shooting!
Michael Brown [Age 18, August 2014]
V. “You shot me! You shot me!
Oscar Grant [Age 22, New Year’s Day 2009]
VI. “It’s not real!
John Crawford [Age 22, August 2014]
VII.“I can’t breathe!!
Eric Garner [Age 43, July 2014] 

We march to proclaim to America that enough is enough! The loss of black lives in America is due to devastating insidious ancestral hatred. It is time that we begin to seriously and collectively reflect on, come to grips with and correct four centuries of imposed hatred and violence toward darker skinned African descent citizens, upon whose backs this nation was built and whose collective genius have contributed significantly to every aspect of the greatness that is supposed to be America which boasts freedom and justice for all, not just those who consider themselves as entitled to racial superiority and wealth. 

PJRogers ©2020 


Would you like to schedule a private meeting with Rev. Misha? Please call the main number, 770-955-1408, to set up a time.

During this period of confinement and social distancing the Care Corps Team members are calling to check on our Northwest families.  But don’t wait for a call.  Please let us know what your joys and sorrows are and if we may share them in the Northwest Newsletter or in our gathered worship space here on Sunday mornings.  

If you have a joy or sorrow you would like to have shared in the UNIverse please call or email Lil Woolf at 404-276-6189 or

If you are going through difficult times and would like emotional support or are in any situation where support and caring are needed contact:
 Rev. Misha Sanders, Minister, 770-955-1408 
Rev. Joan A. Davis, Community Minister, 404-275-0236
Maria Drinkard, 678-644-6480
Karen Edmonds, 770-851-1354
Linton Hopkins, 678-938-8858
Valerie Johnson, 470-209-9864
Lil Woolf, 404-276-6189

(770) 955-1408    Office Hours M-F 9 am to 5 pm



At the congregational meeting held May 31 the proposed budget for FY 2020-2021 was approved by a 93% margin and the Preschool proposal was approved after much discussion and a minor amendment by a 98% margin.  Many thanks were expressed to the Board and the Preschool Committee for all their hard work in bringing these two projects to a positive conclusion.  The Board appreciates the members who joined in the Zoom call (over 60 members) and those who submitted proxy votes (13).

And someone to use it!!

We need someone with a weed wacker to chop the English ivy (and monkey grass) by the Chalice House side door.

Anne Bennett has been working many hours to clean the area around the Chalice House to prepare for a summer camp on the playground beginning June 8. She doesn’t have the tools for this particular job. If you can help Anne, please contact her at or 770-392-1080.

NWUUC Book Groupies

The NWUUC Book Groupies will not be meeting in June. However, we will meet at 7 pm on Tuesday, July 14th, to discuss The Girl With Seven Names by Hyeonseo Lee who tells the harrowing story of her escape from her birthplace, North Korea, against all odds. North Korea is a country most of us know little about and that also makes this a particularly gripping read. We will be meeting on Zoom so, if you are interested in joining the discussion, please email Penny Raney at, with Book Groupies in the subject line, and you will receive an email to link to the meeting as we get closer to that time.  Also, if you would like to purchase a copy of the book from our NWUUC bookstore, give Penny a call at 770 551 8817 and she will get a copy to you.

Information on Bellwether Bookstore
and we are still selling books!

Bellwether Books was started in 1985 by Esther Jensen and Penny Raney at a time when NWUUC was having financial problems not unlike what we face today. We knew that our members were intelligent and active readers who might be willing to donate their used books to raise some extra cash for NWUUC. The space that is now the kitchen had been the minister’s office and was vacant so we dove into that prime area to start our used book selling. Soon we had enough cash from sales to buy books from the UUA bookstore and Beacon Press as well as other popular and requested new books so that the profits which go 100% to NWUUC became hundreds of dollars  each year. Then along came Amazon and the gradual erosion of sales over the years. Now Amazon is struggling with delivery issues as are some other large booksellers but we little guys can get books to you often more quickly and we are willing to personally deliver to you with gloves, masks and books in paper bags often at a discounted price as well as free delivery in the metro area. Just call 770 551 8817, leave a message and Penny will get back to you. 

Building Progress and Financial Status 
Construction on Subramanian Hall and the sanctuary is scheduled to be completed in September. While the recent photos look impressive, the feel of the place is quite a bit more thrilling and we look forward to the time when we can all be there together. 
The current financial picture is as follows: 
$449,000 remains to be paid to the contractor. Payments are disbursed as work is completed. All requests for payment are reviewed by the committee and visual inspections made to confirm accuracy of the request for payment. We are very pleased with the process and our relationship with the contractor. 
$304,000 is the amount of cash on hand, leaving $145,000 to be covered by either loans, new donations, or fulfillment of pledges made to the capital campaign that remain unpaid. 
Four families have stepped forward to loan Northwest $85,000, leaving $60,000 needed. That amount will be reduced to $40,000 if the outstanding pledges of $20,000 are fulfilled. 
If you are able to consider a loan to the congregation, now is the time. You can contact a member of the committee Kristen Fowks, Constance Dierickx, David Zenner, Hannah Cowart, Larry Wallis or Pam Freeman, Finance Trustee, for details. Receipt of loaned funds by July 1st will enable us to take out the smallest possible commercial loan. 
Pledge payments to the capital campaign can be made even after completion of the project. In this case, payments will be applied to the debt service. 

IT HelpDesk

We have a new IT Help Desk that is available to help members with issues of getting on line with Zoom, Realm or our Facebook Group page.  This desk is managed by Cameron Moore, Katy Lockhart, Kuru George, David Morgen and Russ Martin.  To reach one of them email your questions to

The Mountains 2020 Annual Meeting
Join us in the Mountain’s Stream

Want a breath of fresh air, beautiful vistas and words of hope?  Check out The Mountain 2020 Annual Meeting held last weekend and now on video at 
The Mountain’s 2020 Annual Meeting!
Due to the current circumstances this year’s meeting was held virtually and streamed through Zoom, recapping The Mountain’s 2019 year, as well as some adaptive planning for 2020. This recording is mixed with live segments from The Mountain’s board and staff, covering topics such as:
Introductions From Mountain Board & Staff
Election Results
Reports From:
Many Hands Peace Farm, Finance, Development, The Executive Director,
&The Endowment Board
 Board Appreciation
 Our Mountain Memorial Service 


June Birthdays                                 June Anniversaries
Laura Kearns               06/03
Kat Benoy                    06/04
Linda Irving                  06/04
Jay Kiskel                    06/12
Sally Mitchell               06/17
Constance Dierickx     06/26
John McManus            06/30


Cathryn DuBow                       06/02/1993
Richard DuBow                       06/02/1993
Tammy Clabby                        06/28/2009
Hannah Johnson                     06/09/2013
Valerie Johnson                       06/09/2013
Gregg North                             06/09/2013
Melanie North                          06/09/2013
Kristan Wagner                        06/23/2013
John Maynard                          06/23/2013
Alison Williams                         06/01/2014
Brian Williams                          06/01/2014
Jamie Williams                         06/01/2014
Jesse Williams                         06/01/2014
Jessa Fagan                            06/08/2014
Marc von Mandel                     06/16/2014
Tom Couch                              06/07/2015
Verna Barrett                           06/14/2015
Jay Hall                                   06/14/2015
Julie Medlin                             06/14/2015
Michael Cain                           06/12/2016
Kester Chau                            06/19/2016
Sonny Chau                            06/19/2016
Kathy Miller                             06/19/2016
Kuruvilla George                     06/24/2018




      Sunday, June 7, 10 am, virtual Worship 
11 am,
Coffee following worship 


Board of Trustees 2019-2020
President                     David Stewart           
President Elect            Lil Woolf             
Finance Trustee          Pam Freeman         
Secretary                     Sandy Davis         
Trustee at Large          Katy Lockhart              
Trustee at Large          Larry Wallis          
Trustee at Large          Chloe Morgen
Imm. Past President    Hannah Cowart  
Ministries Team Leaders

Adult Learning             Marilyn Matlock         

Adult Learning             Greg Pattison
Communications         David Morgen
Community                  Kristan Wagner            
Community                  Brian Freeman
Gardens & Spaces      Beryl Grall-Petty
Justice                         Dave Zenner                
Stewardship                Cameron Moore 
Worship                       Vacant

Rev. Misha Sanders, Senior Minister
Rev. Joan Armstrong-Davis, Community Minster
Adia Fields-Udofia, Religious Education Director
Dr. Philip Rogers, Music Director

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