Who We Are

We are Unitarian Universalists

We are a religious community grounded on the principles of Unitarian Universalism that embrace the diversity of religious beliefs. We are a religion of deeds, not creeds.

There are seven principles which Unitarian Universalist congregations affirm and promote:

  1. The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
  2. Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;
  3. Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
  4. A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
  5. The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
  6. The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
  7. Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

You can find more information from the UUA about our principles here.

There is a movement to add an eighth principle which has been adopted by some congregations. 

Unitarian Universalism theology pulls from six sources:

  1. Direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and an openness to the forces which create and uphold life;
  2. Words and deeds of prophetic people which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love;
  3. Wisdom from the world’s religions which inspires us in our ethical and spiritual life;
  4. Jewish and Christian teachings which call us to respond to God’s love by loving our neighbors as ourselves;
  5. Humanist teachings which counsel us to heed the guidance of reason and the results of science, and warn us against idolatries of the mind and spirit.
  6. Spiritual teachings of Earth-centered traditions which celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature.

You can find more information from the UUA about our sources here.

Our Congregation

We seek to create a loving community, inspire joy and spiritual growth, and support courageous action.

As members and friends of NWUUC we affirm this covenant, grounded in our Seven Principles, as a statement of how we as a congregation intend to work with each other to create a vibrant, caring community.

We covenant to:

  1. Speak our opinions and our feelings with care and compassion. 
  2. Seek to understand others’ truths by listening actively and respectfully. 
  3. Be kind.
  4. Be calm.
  5. Keep talking, directly with the parties involved, to resolve conflict or concerns. 
  6. Hold ourselves accountable for our words and actions.
  7. Forgive imperfection.
  8. Respect personal boundaries. 

Staff

Rev. Misha Sanders, Senior Minister
minister@nwuuc.org

Rev. Misha Sanders began her ministry at Northwest in August 2019. Rev. Misha received her Masters in Divinity (MDiv.) in 2018 from Meadville-Lombard Theological School in Chicago, IL and received her preliminary fellowship in 2018. Previously, she served as an affiliated Community Minister at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Rockford, IL where she also served as a Sabbatical Minister in 2016. Her intern ministry was conducted at the Tree of Life Unitarian Universalist Congregation (2015-2016) and at the North Shore Unitarian Universalist Church (2016-2017), both in Deerfield, IL. Raised in the tradition of the United Pentecostal Church, Rev. Misha’s free and responsible search for truth and meaning (the 4th UU principle) lead her to embrace the spirit of UUism as the core of her faith tradition twenty years ago. Northwest called Rev. Misha in June 2019. We welcome Rev. Sanders, her son Kyle, and her furry collection of hamsters and cats.

Adia Fields-Udofia, Director of Religious Education
re@nwuuc.org

Adia’s welcoming and energetic personality is a true reflection of Northwest’s religious education program and her whole spirit guides her in the important work of growing our congregation’s young minds. Adia has been involved in Northwest’s religious education program since 2017 serving as the Spirit Play coordinator. In her career, she has worked for multiple non-profit organizations and is currently working with survivors of child commercial sexual exploitation. 

Dr. Philip J. Rogers, Director of Music
music@nwuuc.org

Philip J. Rogers earned the Bachelor degree in Music Education from Kentucky State University. At the University of Illinois he earned the Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Vocal Performance where he studied voice with Professor William Miller whose technique of “singing nature’s way” fashioned an understanding of the natural beauty and effectiveness of the individual voice.  

Dr. Philip served as Director of Choral Activities at Shortridge High School in Indianapolis, Indiana; Graduate Assistant conductor of the University Black Chorus at the University of Illinois; Choral/Vocal & Music Appreciation professor at Parkland College in Champaign, Illinois; Adjunct Voice Professor at Spelman College of Atlanta; Voice instructor in the Preparatory Music Program of Clayton State University, Morrow, Georgia; Adjunct professor at Oglethorpe University of Brookhaven, Georgia; and maintains a vocal instruction studio in Decatur and Sandy Springs, Georgia.

Shakeitha Durham, Director of NW Preschool

Shakeitha Durham is originally from Columbus Georgia, but now resides in Alpharetta, Georgia. She and her husband have two boys ages 8 and 4. Shakeitha has a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Ashford University and is currently finishing a master’s in Education from Brenau University. Shakeitha is staying busy developing the Northwest preschool. She is excited to incorporate the UU seven principles into the curriculum; the principles go hand in hand with Social-Emotional Developmental Skills and how to positively collaborate with others.

Our History

Based on a long range plan by the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta, Northwest evolved from a third UUCA Sunday service to a fully established congregation in the greater Atlanta area. The Northwest Unitarian Universalist Congregation was formally established in June 1969.

The new congregation initially held services in the Liberty Guinn School in Sandy Springs and later at Sandy Springs Middle School. A five-acre wooded lot was purchased on Mt. Vernon Highway in 1971 to be the permanent home for Northwest.

Read more about our history here.