News from University United Methodist Church in East Lansing, MI 

January 19, 2022



To be taken directly to the article/announcement, click on the underlined text.

Feature Articles
A Note from the Staff-Parish Relations Committee
A Message from the Bishop: Celebrating MLK Day


Dear Members and Friends of University United Methodist Church,

On behalf of the Staff-Parish Relations Committee of our church, I am writing to inform you that our pastor, Rev. William (Bill) Bills, has asked to retire from full time ministry, effective July 1, 2022. Pastor Bills has a deep love for our congregation and for ministry in The United Methodist Church and has not come to this decision lightly.

Pastor Bills came to this discernment through much prayer and reflection over a period of time. Our District Superintendent, Rev. Dr. Jerry DeVine, Bishop David Bard, and the Cabinet have been appropriately informed. Rev. DeVine has already begun conversations with our Staff-Parish Relations Committee.

In the coming weeks and months, we will have the opportunity to express our appreciation for Pastor Bills’ ministry in our midst. There will be time to say our good-byes and time to begin planning a welcome for the new person whom God will send to become our next pastor.

As United Methodists, we affirm with faithful understanding that we, the Church, are the Body of Christ. It is Christ’s sustaining Spirit that will guide us in the days ahead. We will trust and rely on Christ’s presence and grace during this time of transition.

Please be in prayer for the Cabinet and for Pastor Bill and Julie. We wish Bill and Julie well as they prepare for a new journey in their lives.

Kris Mellon
Staff-Parish Relations Committee



Dear Friends in Christ in The United Methodist Churches of Michigan,

Greetings on this celebration of the birthday of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This national holiday was instituted so that our nation might remember Dr. King as someone who worked diligently and passionately for civil rights to make the promise of the United States of America real for all of its citizens. We want to remember Dr. King as a dreamer of a renewed American dream “when all of God’s children, black men, and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last, Free at last, Great God a-mighty, We are free at last.'” We want to remember Dr. King, who, with keen vision and acute intellect, could identify impediments to that dream. As he wrote in his final book: “The great majority of Americans are suspended between these opposing attitudes. They are uneasy with injustice but unwilling yet to pay a significant price to eradicate it.

For we Christians, we also celebrate this day, acknowledging that Dr. King’s dreams and keen analyses were rooted and grounded in faith in Jesus Christ. Dr. King called the nation to live out the true meaning of its creed that all were created equal and called people of faith to live out that faith by doing the work of justice, peace, reconciliation, and love.

To read the rest of Bishop Bard's message, click here.




I wish to thank all of the church members who took time to contact me prior to my hip replacement on January 12. The surgery went well and now the recovery process begins.
~Ellen Hinkston

The UUMC Community Outreach Committee would like to thank all those who participated in the Virtual Greater Lansing CROP Hunger Walk on October 1-10, 2021. We had 35 virtual walkers and collected $1796 for CROP. Great job and many thanks to our UUMC'ers!

The members of the UUMC Outreach Committee would also like to extend our appreciation to everyone who donated money for the Meijer $50 Thanksgiving gift cards. These gift cards were sent out to 50 needy families in the Lansing area. Your generosity is so appreciated by the 122 individuals who were able to enjoy Thanksgiving. Thank you for helping us to serve the community in such a positive way!


Our long-time friend and church member, John Walker “Jack” Jones, turns 90 on Valentine’s Day! Show some love and send cards and birthday wishes to him at: Jack Jones, 8115 NW 27th Blvd., Gainesville, FL 32607.


Due to the current increase in COVID-19 cases in our area, UUMC has temporarily suspended in-person worship services. We will be livestreaming services to our YouTube channel on Sunday mornings at 10:00 a.m. (They can also be viewed anytime afterward, if you cannot join us for the livestream.) We thank you for understanding and look forward to a time when we can safely gather together again.


We have mailed any remaining boxes of the blue annual offering envelopes to those who have used them in the past. If you no longer use that method for your giving, please let the church office know ( or 517-351-7030) so that we will not re-order them next year. Likewise, if you did not receive church offering envelopes and would like them, please contact the church office.


In 2012, UUMC joined University Lutheran Church in a joint venture with the Greater Lansing Food Bank. Bryan Rahe was and is project coordinator. Erik Plumlee took the lead for UUMC. This food distribution project has grown substantially over the last ten years. The number of volunteers from each church has grown also, with an average of 33 individuals working on the fourth Thursday of each month from 3:00 - 6:00 p.m. All food is distributed from the University Lutheran parking lot. In 2021, UUMC had an average of 16 people for each event, while serving 1387 families. Many of these volunteers take part in every distribution. They deserve a big thank you for being part of this very important community food project. If you would like to volunteer to participate in this helpful project, contact Bary Darling ( or 517-719-7305) or Pearl Dekker (517-290-3119).


Mark your calendars for the 2022 UUMC Lugnuts Baseball outing on Friday, August 19 at 7:05 p.m. Last summer, a total of 46 people attended the game and enjoyed watching Archer Morey from our church throw out the first pitch. That brings the total attendance from our church, over the past 26 years, to 3727 fans. Even though our choir did not sing the national anthem in 2021, we hope to have the opportunity to do that this coming year. More information on ticket sales to come later.


Attention Committees and Groups Meeting in the Church: Just a reminder to please inform the church office or the building manager as soon as possible of any new or canceled meetings or gatherings to be held inside the church building. This helps the staff to avoid any scheduling conflicts on the church calendar and to ensure doors are unlocked, rooms/spaces are set up properly, and heating is turned on. Contact the church office (517-351-7030 or or the building manager, Bruce Wheaton (517-351-7030 ext. 206 or


If you would like to submit a prayer concern, please send your request via email to These will be posted on our website, and Rev. Bills will read the names and lift them in prayer during our services. Prayer concerns will remain on the lists for 3 weeks unless updated with Rev. Bills or the church office. If you would like to view the prayer concerns on our website, go to From the top menu, select “Make a Difference” and then “Prayer.” The password to view the prayer concerns is “Together” (please note that It is case-sensitive). If you have an urgent request, please contact Rev. Bills at 517-351-7030, ext. 207.


Thank you for your continued support of the church! There are three convenient ways to make sure your donations reach us: 
  1. Mail your donation to UUMC (1120 S. Harrison Rd., East Lansing, MI 48823). Make sure to specify what the donation is for on the memo line.
  2. Give through the Venmo app to @UUMCDonation.
  3. Electronic Giving: If you would like to utilize the e-giving option, please contact our Financial Administrator, Jay Weessies, at 517-351-7030, ext. 205 or for assistance.


Announcements are due on Tuesdays by 5:00 PM. If possible, please e-mail your item to Questions about Tower Alert should be directed to Diane Constan (517-393-5450).

For updated church information, be sure to check the UUMC-Wesley Foundation website at

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