UNIverse Weekly March 26-April 1, 2021

UNIverse Weekly March 26-April 1, 2021

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 March 26-April 1, 2021


Sunday, March 28  Join Rev Joan Davis this Sunday as she explores covenants.  

“The Covenants We Make.”  Covenant is fundamental to our understanding of how we come together in a religious community. This is a sermon about the promises we make, the vows we take.  

The login for Zoom is https://nwuuc.org/zoom/ or follow the service on our Facebook page. Stay tuned in afterwards for our Coffee Hour at 11 am.


Call for Chalice Lighters

We are seeking chalice lighters for April AND May. NWUUC welcomes participation in the weekly Sunday service. Options to participate include lighting a chalice via Zoom during the service or submitting a video to re@nwuuc.org that can be played during the service. LED lighting options can be used instead of a flame. Please use this link to sign up:  https://www.signupgenius.com/go/8050F4AAEAC2F4-chalice

RE Zoom Class K-5
Children and youth in the RE program in grades K-5 are invited to participate in a virtual RE class with High Street UU Congregation entitled CartUUns on Saturday, March 28th, at 12:00 noon. CartUUns uses short animated clips from Disney and Pixar to explore UU values.



Hazel Scott, Jazz Piano Virtuoso
     Born in Port of Spain, Trinidad on June 11, 1920, Hazel Dorothy Scott was the only child of R. Thomas Scott, a West African scholar from Liverpool, England and Alma Long Scott, a classically trained pianist and music teacher.  A precocious child who discovered the piano at the age of 3, Hazel surprised everyone with her ability to play by ear.  One day, young Hazel made her way to the piano and began tapping out the church hymn, “Gentle Jesus”, a tune her grandmother Margaret sang to her daily at nap time. From that moment on, Alma shifted her focus from her own dreams of becoming a concert pianist and dedicated herself to cultivating her daughter’s natural gift.  They were a tight knit pair, sharing an extremely close bond throughout their lives. “She was the single biggest influence in my life,” Hazel said.

     In 1928, Hazel auditioned for enrollment in the prestigious Juilliard School of Music.  She was only eight years old and too young for standard enrollment (students had to be at least 16), but because of some influential nudging by wealthy family friends and Alma’s sheer determination, Hazel was given a chance.  Her performance of Rachmaninoff’s “Prelude in C-Sharp Minor” made a strong impression on staff professor Oscar Wagner. He proclaimed the child “a genius,” and with the permission of the school’s director, Walter Damrosch offered her a special scholarship where he would teach her privately. 
     Career progress was swift. A spirited young woman with an outward demeanor that was effervescent and engaging, Hazel’s life was not that of an ordinary teenager. While still in high school, Hazel hosted her own radio show on WOR after winning a local competition.
     As her popularity increased Hazel was called the “Darling of Café Society” in 1939 when New York City was alive with the sounds of swing. A sexy siren sitting bare shouldered at the piano, Hazel Scott captivated audiences with her renditions of classical masterpieces by Chopin, Bach and Rachmaninoff.  Crowds would gather at Café Society, New York’s first fully integrated nightclub, the epicenter of jazz and politics nestled in Greenwich Village, to hear the 19-year-old bronze beauty transform “Valse in D-Flat Major”, “Two Part Invention in A-Minor,” & “Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2” into highly syncopated sensations.  A writer for TIME magazine stated, “But where others murder the classics, Hazel Scott merely commits arson.  Strange notes creep in, the melody is tortured with hints of boogie-woogie, until finally, happily, Hazel Scott surrenders to her worse nature and beats the keyboard into a rack of bones.”
     There was little separation between Hazel’s performance and her outspoken politics. She attributed it to being raised by very proud, strong-willed, independent-minded women. She was one of the first black entertainers to refuse to play before segregated audiences. Written in all her contracts was a standing clause that required forfeiture if there was a dividing line between the races. “Why would anyone come to hear me, a Negro, and refuse to sit beside someone just like me?” she asked.
     By the time Hollywood came calling, Hazel had achieved such stature that she could successfully challenge the studios’ treatment of black actors, demanding pay commensurate with her white counterparts and refusing to play the subservient roles in which black actors were commonly cast. She would wear no maid uniforms or washer woman rags, and insisted that her name credit appear the same in all films: “Hazel Scott as Herself.”  She performed in five major motion pictures in the early ‘40s, including I Dood It, directed by Vincente Minelli and featuring Lena Horne as well as the Gershwin biopic Rhapsody in Blue.
     It was during these peak years of her career that Hazel began a romantic affair with the controversial Harlem preacher/politician, Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., who was making a bid for the U.S Congress.  Twelve years her senior, married, and a reputed womanizer, Powell pursued her unabashedly.  At first, she was annoyed by his advances, but eventually irritation gave way to real interest and passion. The couple began seeing each other in secret.  Amidst a great deal of scandal, the couple married in August of 1945.

     In the summer of 1950, Hazel was offered an unprecedented opportunity by one of the early pioneers of commercial television, the DuMont network—she would become the first black performer to host her own nationally syndicated television show.  But before she could fully enjoy her groundbreaking achievement, her name would appear in Red Channels, the unofficial list of suspected communists. Hazel’s association with Café Society (which was a suspected communist hangout) along with her civil rights efforts made her the target of the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC).  Since she was neither a member of the Communist Party or a communist sympathizer, she requested to appear voluntarily before the committee despite her husband’s admonitions against it.
     Her cogent testimony challenged the committee members, providing solid evidence contrary to their accusations. They had a list of nine organizations, all with communist ties, for whom she had performed. She only recognized one of the nine, the others she had never heard of. Yet, she explained that as an artist she was booked only to perform and rarely knew the political affiliations of the organizers who hired her. After hours of fierce questioning, she stated:

     “…may I end with one request—and that is that your committee protect                those Americans who have honestly, wholesomely, and unselfishly tried to          perfect this country and make the guarantees in our Constitution live. The          actors, musicians, artists, composers, and all of the men and women of the        arts are eager and anxious to help, to serve. Our country needs us more            today than ever before. We should not be written off by the vicious                      slanders of little and petty men.”

     The entertainment community applauded her fortitude, but the government’s suspicions were enough, as well as being a black woman having the audacity to rebuke a majority white congress, to cause irreparable damage to her career.  Weeks after the hearing, The Hazel Scott Show was canceled, and concert bookings became few and far between.
     Around this same time, her marriage to Powell was crumbling under the weight of career demands, too much time apart, competitive jealousy and infidelity.  After eleven years of marriage, the couple decided to part ways.  Hazel sought refuge overseas and with her young son in tow she joined the burgeoning black expatriate community in Paris. 
     After a decade of living abroad, she would return to an American music scene that no longer valued what she had to offer. Replaced by rhythm & blues, the Motown sound and the British bands, jazz was no longer popular music, and Hazel Scott was no longer a bankable talent.  In October of 1981, she passed away from pancreatic cancer. Though she may not be as widely recognized as many of her contemporaries, her legacy as one of the pioneering women in entertainment endures.
Music of Hazel Scott: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_WJ4PpxWaE
-Karen Chilton, the author of Hazel Scott: The Pioneering Journey of a Jazz Pianist, from Café Society to Hollywood to HUAC.
Source:  https://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/hazel-scotts-lifetime-of-high-notes-145939027/


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

If you have a joy or sorrow you would like to have shared in the UNIverse, please call or email Rev. Joan Davis at 404-275-0236 or joanarmstrongdavis@gmail.com.

From Rev. Joan
Please keep in mind those in our congregation who are ill, hospitalized or recovering, as well as those grieving a loss. Your prayers, healing thoughts, cards and emails are welcome.

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, Senior Minister, 770-955-1408 
Rev. Joan A. Davis, Community Minister, 404-275-0236
Maria Drinkard, 678-644-6480
Karen Edmonds, 770-851-1354
Ashley Fournier Goodnight  903-278-1923
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     office@nwuuc.org


Update on HVAC replacement and
Notice of Special Congregational Meeting

Our new Subramanian Hall and our added Sanctuary space have new HVAC systems. Two of the remaining HVAC systems in the Sanctuary building need to be replaced. Our bylaws, as they currently stand, allow the Board to spend up to $5,000 without seeking input from the congregation; the new units will cost $14,290, which includes installation.  The Board has two items for the congregation to consider and on which to vote.

1. Our Gardens and Spaces Guru, Beryl Grall, along with at-large Board member Larry Wallis, in consultation with John Hagler and Dave Zenner, have been assessing the situation and have thoroughly investigated five different vendors. They have made a recommendation for the vendor they believe will be our best choice at our last Board meeting. Their recommendation is attached below (attachment A). We have approximately $49,000 in our reserve fund—the fund that we won’t dip into except for dire emergencies or major repairs that can’t be covered out of our Operating Budget. This is one of those occasions.
2. In addition, the Board has been discussing the need to change the upper limit of major expenditures allowed by our current bylaws. The $5,000 limit has been in place for over 30 years and is out of date in today’s economy. The Board is seeking the authority to make an expenditure of up to 8% of the annual budget as a new threshold. (For example, if the budget were $250,000 the Board could spend up to $20,000 if necessary). Please see the attached proposal for this change (attachment B).
This is the official notification of a special congregational meeting to be held virtually immediately following the service on April 11, 2021, which will be for the purpose of approving the expenditure for the HVAC replacement and for a bylaws revision that changes the amount the Board can expend for major repairs or emergencies. For this type of meeting, a large expenditure and bylaws revision, it is necessary per the bylaws to have a quorum of 40% of the congregation voting. With our current membership listed as 168 that means we need 68 people to vote, whether in the virtual meeting or by proxy. If you cannot be at the meeting but plan to vote, please ask another member to submit your proxy but also email the Board secretary in advance with your decision at board@nwuuc.org. Please plan to participate in this important vote.
Lil Woolf
President, Northwest Board of Trustees

Attachment A
Attachment B

From Melissa Niedermeyer–Stewardship Ministry 


The Northwest Stewardship Ministry is pleased to announce that we have so far received 27 pledges totalling $82,911!  We are almost halfway to our goal of $200,000!  Our congregation is clearly committed to and generous towards our Home in the Woods, we are so grateful that you are all dreaming of being together in community and performing the good work of this congregation with us!  If you have not already made your pledge, the Stewardship Committee invites you to use nwuuc.org/pledge to make your pledge for the 21-22 fiscal year. Remember, our dreams come true when we put the foundations under them.  We need you!!

Cameron Moore
Melissa Niedermeyer
Gwen Kahn

Flower Fundraiser


Support Northwest by purchasing seeds and plants online!  Help us meet our fundraising goal this year. Flower bulbs make great gifts!  Seeds ship now and all other orders will ship later in March.   http://nwuuc2021.fpfundraising.com

General Assembly:
The UU Association’s Annual Meeting
Theme this year:  
Circle ‘Round for Justice * Healing * Courage

This year, like last year, will be a 100% virtual GA, held June 23-27, 2021.  Attending in person is, of course, the most fun way to attend, but last year’s virtual session was phenomenal, and we expect it will be even better this year.  Northwest is allotted four delegate positions, based on our membership size, and in addition, our minister also is automatically a delegate.  But you can attend and not be a delegate—you just don’t get to vote. If you want to register ($200) or check out the entire program, click here.  Registration is open now!


For many, singing in the choir is a key part of coming together as UUs at General Assembly. This year, instead of joining our voices in person, let’s join our voices in a virtual choir! Each singer will record a video of themselves singing, and those individual videos will be edited into one glorious combined video to be premiered during GA. Advance registration is required and space is limited.


NWUUC Book Groupies

The NWUUC Book Groupies will meet Tuesday, April 13th, at 7 pm on Zoom to discuss Good Kings, Bad Kings by Susan Nussbaum. This book was a previous Pen/Bellwether Prize winner for Socially Engaged Fiction and “follows the lives of a group of typical teenagers – alienated, funny and yearning for autonomy – who live in an institution for juveniles with disabilities”. This book “challenges our definitions of what it means to live with disability”.

If you would like to join our discussion of this book please call Penny Raney at 770-551-8817 and we will put you on our Zoom list. Also, if you would like to order a copy of this book call this same number to order. All profits on book sales go to NWUUC. 

Covid Vaccine Information Update

The Covid Vaccine information has a new number, 844-554-4024. Text VAX to this number or visit https://discodroid.ai/vaxapp/, and the system will alert you when appointments open up in the following counties: DeKalb, Fulton, Clayton, Gwinnett, Rockdale and Newton.

IT Help Desk


If you need help using Zoom to log into the service or a church online meeting, logging into Realm, our webpage Nwuuc.org or into our Facebook Group page, we have a team of experts who can help.   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 techhelp@nwuuc.org. One of them will respond with answers.

Shop NWUUC Merch

Check out Northwest’s new merchandise shop at Zazzle for T-shirts, polos, and now, masks!

If you’re interested in submitting merchandise designs, please email Cameron Moore at stewardship@nwuuc.org.

  Visit https://www.themountainrlc.org/mountaincamp

Spots for Mountain Camp are limited this year and are filling up.
Many Covid -19 protocols are being put in place. For all the latest news, visit The Mountain website.


Becki Gregory 03/01
Tammy Clabby 03/07
Nancy Johnson 03/08
Paul Ross 03/09
Jay Kahn 03/14
Jax Bush 03/20
Harper Bush 03/27
Cole Hickman 03/30

Anniversaries (by year joined)
Beryl Grall-Petty 03/10/1985
Jay Kiskel 03/20/1988
Becki Gregory 03/08/2009
Deborah Ross 03/26/2013
Paul Ross 03/26/2013
Morning Washburn 03/05/2017


Sunday, March 28
10:00am Worship
11:00am Coffee Hour



Board of Trustees 2020-2021

President                          Lil Woolf   president@nwuuc.org
President-Elect                 Lynne Dale
Finance Trustee                Pam Freeman  finance@nwuuc.org
Secretary                          Sandy Davis  board@nwuuc.org
Imm. Past President         David Stewart
Trustee at Large               Larry Wallis
Trustee at Large               Grier Page
Trustee at Large (youth)   Chloe Morgen
Ministries Team Leaders
Communications: Jenn Meunier Miller
Community: Brian Freeman 
Gardens & Spaces: Beryl Grall-Petty 
Justice: Dave Zenner 
Adult Learning Lead: Marilyn Matlock, Co-Lead: Sally Mitchell
Stewardship Lead: Cameron Moore, Co-Leads: Gwen Kahn & Melissa Niedermeyer

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




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