News from University United Methodist Church in East Lansing, MI 

Tower Alert

October 31, 2018



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

Feature Articles
A Word from the Interfaith Clergy Association of Greater Lansing

Coming Soon at UUMC
Calendar of events for November 4 - November 18

UUMC Announcements
Reminder: Daylight Savings Time Ends This Weekend
Home Communion (NEW)
Thanksgiving Baskets (NEW)
November Sunday Brunch
"Sock It To Me Sunday" Drive -- Matthew 25:36
2019 Disciplines: A Book of Daily Devotions
Upper Room Daily Devotional (NEW)
Hospitality Cookies Needed
Important Voting Information
Got Ideas? We're Listening!
Moms Group (NEW)
Church Conference on November 7
First Wednesday Evening Circle -- November Meeting Cancelled
MSU Concessions Help Needed
Cold Weather Clothes Needed
Second Tuesday Book Group
Tuesday Bible Study
Women's Fellowship (NEW)
Free Workshop on Aging
Haiti Craft Sale (NEW)
Thanksgiving Worship Service
Endowment Fund Now Accepting Proposals
Salvation Army Bell Ringers Needed (NEW)
Stephen Ministers Available
Comfort Quilts
Helping Hands (UPDATED)

Community News
Interfaith Prayer Service Offered In Response to Pittsburgh Violence (NEW)
Alternative Holiday Gift Fair
Photography and Fine Art Reception for UUMC Members (NEW)
Peace Education Center Alternative Holiday Sale (NEW)




WHEREAS, as people of faith, we share the core values of loving our neighbor, welcoming the stranger, seeking justice, pursuing peace, and doing unto others as we would have others do unto us; and,

WHEREAS, as people who honor the Abrahamic tradition, we stand by the rights for all people because the God of Israel commanded, “You shall not commit murder” and Jesus of Nazareth taught, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” and Prophet Muhammad said, “Be Merciful to those on Earth and He who is in the Heaven will be merciful to you”; and,

WHEREAS, we abhor the systematic xenophobia and derogatory speech that is being perpetrated against any and all human beings based on their ethnicity, religion, or national origin; and,

WHEREAS, we celebrate our country’s rich diversity that is a result of being a nation of immigrants and refugees from its founding; and,

WHEREAS, we stand in solidarity with our Jewish neighbors who are being targeted with outright hatred in our country for their faith and condemn in the strongest words possible the outrageous attacks on the Jewish Synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA on October 27th which resulted in the loss of innocent lives; and,

WHEREAS, we recognize that as human beings we have created barriers between faith communities that are contrary to God’s will;

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the East Lansing Clergy Association and its representative faith communities hereby declare our intention to always stand in solidarity with all people whose humanity has been violated and that we are committed to continue building relationships of mutual trust and respect through shared education, fellowship, and outreach.

Signed by,
The Interfaith Clergy Association of Greater Lansing



For more details on these events, click on the underlined text to be taken directly to the announcement.

November 4 -- Home Communion available
November 4 -- Cookie donations needed for Election Day
November 4 -- Last day to donate items to "Sock It To Me Sunday"
November 4 -- Last day to order the 2019 Disciplines: A Book of Daily Devotions
November 4 -- Sign up to donate items for and/or to deliver Thanksgiving Baskets
November 4 -- November Sunday brunch

November 7 -- Community listening session on UUMC's strategic plan
November 7 -- Moms Group
November 7 --  Annual Church Conference at Mt. Hope UMC
November 10 -- Staffing of MSU concessions stand
November 11 -- Last day to donate cold weather clothes for Glencairn Elementary
November 11 -- Sign up to donate items for and/or to deliver Thanksgiving Baskets

November 12 -- Comfort Quilts
November 13 -- Second Tuesday Book Group
November 13 -- Tuesday Bible Study
November 15 -- Women's Fellowship
November 17 -- Workshop on aging presented by Ann Kaiser Stearns
November 18 -- Cookies donations needed for Thanksgiving Service
November 18 -- Delivery of Thanksgiving Baskets
November 18 -- Haiti Craft Sale




Don't forget, daylight saving time ends the first weekend of November! Set your clocks BACK one hour Saturday night (November 3) before you go to bed.


Home Communion will be available Sunday, November 4 for anyone who is unable to participate in Holy Communion during worship. A brief ceremony uses the United Methodist communion liturgy as well as bread and juice that were consecrated during worship. For any questions or to request Home Communion for yourself or another person, please call David or Pearl Dekker at 517-324-4968 or contact Kim Depew in the church office (517-351-7030, 


It's that time of year again! The Outreach Committee is looking for volunteers to donate items for and/or to deliver Thanksgiving baskets for families in the Lansing area. Grocery bags can be picked up in the Garden Lounge area next to the Connection Center on Sundays, November 4 and November 11. Filled bags need to returned on Sunday, November 18 by 9:00 a.m. Drivers are also needed to deliver the baskets on November 18. This year, please consider DELIVERING ONE BASKET. It’s a wonderful opportunity to share your love and support with a family who will benefit from this extra supply of food during the Thanksgiving holiday. Sign up on the Connection Card in Sunday's bulletin if you can be a driver. We will also gladly accept monetary donations to cover the food expenses (cash or checks payable to UUMC – mark the envelope and/or check “Thanksgiving Baskets”). As always, thank you for your continued support of this important community outreach program.


You are invited to our monthly brunch on Sunday, November 4 following worship. Menus will vary month to month, but we will always have gluten-free and vegetarian options available. Donations are graciously accepted. As always, students eat for free. RSVP to the church office (517-351-7030, if you plan to attend so that we can be sure to accommodate everyone. For more information, please contact Ginny Dymond (517-775-7691).


The Community Outreach Committee has been contacted by the Love Clothing Center to participate in “Sock It to Me Sunday 2018.” From now through Sunday, November 4, the Outreach Committee will be accepting donations of new underwear and socks, as well as gently-used clothing, for school-aged children from pre-K to the 12th grade that are served by the Love Clothing Center.

The Love Clothing Center is entering its 30th year of providing, free of charge, new underwear and socks, along with new and used clothing for school-aged children. The Center is located inside the Judson Memorial Baptist Church and is truly an ecumenical outreach, with committed volunteers representing several Lansing area-churches serving needy families in the Lansing area.

The Community Outreach Committee is asking everyone in the congregation to consider being a part of this essential outreach by donating NEW underwear and socks and gently-used clothing for the children. There will be RED TUBS marked “Sock It To Me Sunday Collection” in the Gathering Space for you to place your donations. If you would like more information, please contact Pearl Dekker at 517-290-3119 or



Now is the time to order your copy of the 2019 Disciplines: A Book of Daily Devotions. (NOTE: This is NOT the Upper Room Daily Devotional bi-monthly magazine.) This one volume for the entire year offers Bible readings, thoughtful reflections, and spiritual nurture for people seeking God. It provides an in-depth daily devotion on the weekly lectionary Bible passages from which our pastors sometimes preach on Sunday mornings. The ‘Disciplines’ offers an opportunity for deliberateness, time and solitude, a sense of quiet, in order to know God. Each year many UUMC individuals/families have purchased this meditative guide, and some give it as Christmas presents. Through this bulk order your subsidized, discounted cost is $13 (actual $15) for the regular edition or $16 (actual $18) for the large print. Do not pay until your receive your copy. Sign up on the Connection Card in Sunday's bulletin by Sunday, November 4, after which the order will be placed. Questions? Talk with Margie Schleicher, Coordinator, 517-833-4988,


The Upper Room Daily Devotional bi-monthly magazine is available by subscription. If you would like to be assured of having a copy, you may prepay $6 for the entire year (2019), and it will be placed in your church mailbox. Please place a check in an envelope in Sue Steven's church mailbox, if you are interested. For those people who already have subscriptions, you will find a renewal form in your church mailbox. The Upper Room Daily Devotional is also available at the reception desk for $1, while the supply lasts. (NOTE: This is NOT the Upper Room Disciplines annual book.) If you have any questions, contact Sue Stevens at 517-351-6441 or


Help UUMC provide yummy hospitality for these upcoming events:
  • Election Day, Tuesday, November 6: Please bring 2 dozen cookies, marked “Election Day”, to the church kitchen by Sunday, November 4.
  • Community Thanksgiving Service, Monday, November 19:  Please bring 2 dozen cookies, marked “Thanksgiving Service”, to the church kitchen by Sunday, November 18.
  • Islam 101 -- Jesus in the Koran, Thursday, December 6: Please bring 2 dozen cookies, marked “Jesus in the Koran”, to the church kitchen by Wednesday, December 5.


Don’t forget to vote in the General Election on Tuesday, November 6 from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. If you need a ride to the polls, or can offer a ride to someone in need, please indicate that under the “Upcoming Events” section on the Connection Card in Sunday's bulletin, and we will try to make arrangements for you. The League of Women Voters has provided the church with local and state voter guides. These guides explain the proposals, have detailed information on and positions of the candidates, give a map of the voting districts, and much more. You are welcome to pick them up at the desk near the church office. For additional information regarding the election, visit or


Plan now to join us Wednesday, November 7 at 12:00 noon for a UUMC community listening session. This is an opportunity for you to share and discuss ideas for bringing to life the top two goals of our strategic plan — intentional faith development and supporting mission. The strategic plan is available on the UUMC website (, under “About” in the main menu, or you can request one to be emailed to you by contacting Don’t miss this opportunity to be on the ground floor of our work to deepen our faith, increase our impact, and live out our mission, vision, and values. (If you plan to attend this brown-bag lunch meeting, please sign up in the Gathering Space or contact Ellen at


Join us for our monthly Moms Group evening meetup on the first Wednesday of every month. On Wednesday, November 7 from 6:00 - 7:30 p.m., we will be discussing meal planning tips and swapping recipes. Childcare is available. Signup at to learn more about all Moms Group activities and to RSVP for events. Contact Emily Roth at or 313-744-6160 for more information. 


On Wednesday, November 7 at 7:00 p.m., we will hold our annual church conference at Mt. Hope United Methodist Church (501 E. Mt. Hope Ave., Lansing). Rev. Dr. Jerome DeVine, Mid-Michigan District Superintendent, will preside over the meeting. Our conference is being held at Mt. Hope UMC this year because of the realignment of districts in the Michigan Conference. We recently joined the West Michigan and Detroit Conferences together into one Michigan Conference. In that process, we reduced the number of districts in the state. The districts are larger and include more churches. The district superintendent has organized the congregations into “hubs” so that he can meet with several churches at one time in one place. On November 7, we will worship together with several other churches, hear from our superintendent, and then split up by congregations and go to separate rooms for our various conferences. Annual reports will be offered, membership rolls will be updated, and church leaders will be nominated for election. All church members are eligible to vote. Non-members are encouraged to attend.


The First Wednesday Evening Circle for November has been CANCELLED. We encourage all members to attend the all-church meeting scheduled for Wednesday, November 7 at Mt. Hope UMC (see above). Linda Efaw will be leading the next circle meeting on Wednesday, December 5. 


Please consider joining other UUMC members and friends in staffing a MSU home football concessions stand for one or more games this fall. We need 14 people (ages 14 or older) to work from two hours before the scheduled kickoff until at least the start of the fourth quarter (and preferably until an hour after close of game). No experience is necessary. Proceeds (approximately 10% of net sales) support UUMC Youth Camp Scholarships and the UUMC softball team. The remaining game schedule for this fall is: November 10, TBA (Ohio State) -- 8 volunteers still needed; November 24, TBA (Rutgers) -- 9 volunteers still needed. If you THINK you might be able to help, please complete the online authorization for a background check at Questions: Contact Pete or Karen Marvin at 517-622-5008 or marvin@msu.eduThanks to all who have helped so far this season!


Do you feel that chill in the air? Snow can't be too far off! Our neighbors at Glencairn Elementary (Red Cedar Campus) have let us know that they need cold weather clothes to make sure their students stay safe and warm this year. Bring you new or gently-used (and freshly laundered) hats, gloves, scarves, coats, snow pants, and/or boots to the Children's check-in area (on the balcony level of the church) to drop off your donations now through Sunday, November 11. Sizes 4T through adult small are needed.


The Second Tuesday Book Group will be reading The President is Missing by Bill Clinton and James Patterson for their meeting on Tuesday, November 13 at 1:00 p.m. For their meeting on December 11, they will be reading A Spool of Blue Thread by Ann Tyler. These books are available at various local libraries and online at Amazon, Ebay, and Costco. Whether or not you can obtain and read these books, please join us for a lively discussion. New people are always welcome. Books have not been selected for the following months, so please bring any suggestions you may have.


Our Tuesday Bible Study group will have their next meeting on Tuesday, November 13 from 3:30 - 5:00 p.m. in the UUMC Conference Room. We will discuss selections from 2 Samuel and 1 and 2 Kings, including a video panel of three prominent theologians. This session is from Episode 11 of the Covenant Bible Study book, which can be obtained from the church office. Each study is independent — previous attendance is NOT required. For further information, contact Jim Pocock at 517-333-8380.


Women's Fellowship will meet for lunch at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, November 15 at Spartan Hall of Fame Cafe (1601 W. Lake Lansing Rd., East Lansing). For reservations, please contact Libby Cloud (641-4296 or


The Stephen Ministry program of UUMC is sponsoring a free workshop on Saturday, November 17 from 8:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. The workshop will be presented by Ann Kaiser Stearns, Ph.D., longtime professor of Behavioral Science at Community College of Baltimore County and friend of UUMC member Robbe Pohl. Dr. Kaiser Stearns is the author of four books, including the national bestseller Living through Personal Crisis. Her presentation will be based on her book, Redefining Aging – A Caregiver’s Guide to Living Your Best Life. Please RSVP on the Connection Card in Sunday's bulletin or by contacting the church office (517-351-7030 or so we can be prepared for all those who wish to come. For more details, contact Carol Melson (517-763-2871 or


We will be having a one-day Haiti Craft Sale on Sunday, November 18 following worship. This annual sale offers crafts from Haitian Artisans for Peace International and New Life School, both in Mizak. Haiti. These are United Methodist-sponsored missions, and all monies from the sale go toward scholarships for children attending school. (In Haiti, families must pay for school fees and uniforms. Without scholarships, most families may be able to afford to send only one child.) Most crafts sell for less than $10. Check and cash sales only.


Join us on Monday, November 19 at 7:00 p.m. for an Interfaith Community Thanksgiving Worship Service at UUMC. We welcome Imam Sohail Chaudry from the Islamic Center of East Lansing as our keynote speaker. There will be an offering received for the Firecracker Foundation. Many faiths and places of worship will be represented. All are welcome to attend!


The Endowment Fund Committee is accepting applications for proposed projects to be funded from the endowment funds of UUMC. Proposals can be for missions outreach, lay leadership, or for some other beneficial purpose not included in the church’s operating budget. Application forms are located on the church’s website ( and on the counter by the church office. The due date for proposals is Friday, November 23. Please contact Pastor Bill Bills ( or Endowment Committee Chair Tom Burchman ( if you want further information.


The Community Outreach Committee is offering a wonderful volunteer opportunity for you and your family to get in the Christmas spirit by ringing the Salvation Army bell inside the Meridian Mall by the Food Court. The bell ringing times are two-hour shifts between 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. on the following Tuesdays: November 27, December 4, 11, and 18. Please indicate that you would like to volunteer on the Connection Card in Sunday's bulletin, and Pearl Dekker will contact you to find out what day and time slot you would like. If you have any questions, please contact Pearl at 517-290-3119 or


Representatives of Stephen Ministry will be present in the Library following worship each Sunday to pray with you for any personal concerns or to answer questions about Stephen Ministry. You will also find information in card pockets in the pews.


We have been tying quilts and donating them to organizations that assist the homeless for many years. From 2011 - 2017, volunteers have made 353 quilts, which have been delivered to Open Door Ministry, Haven House, and the Lansing City Rescue Mission. Finished quilts are displayed in the Gathering Space each Sunday. While there is still a great need for these quilts, we need more hands to help with the work of making them. The Monday afternoon group meets on the second and fourth Mondays of the month from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. in the Quilt Room in the church basement; the Wednesday evening group meets every third Wednesday of the month from 6:30 - 8:00 p.m. in the same room. Please consider joining this important ministry even if you aren't available every month. No experience is necessary. For more info, contact Emily Wolf (517-332-2774) or Susan Stahl (517-281-2213).


Nancy Tetzlaff (517-483-2595 or 586-675-1088) is the contact person for November. Thanks to Ann McCarthy for being our contact in October. Helping Hands provides meals and transportation to members and friends of UUMC during a time of need.‚Äč




An Interfaith Prayer Service has been scheduled for those who wish to respond to the synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh. It will take place on Thursday, November 1 at 7:30 p.m. at Shaarey Zedek (1924 Coolidge Rd., East Lansing). All are invited. Your presence will be greatly appreciated by the Lansing-area Jewish community.


All are invited to an Alternative Holiday Gift Fair on Saturday, November 3 from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. at Grace United Methodist Church (1900 Boston Blvd., Lansing). Fair trade items for sale will include coffee, chocolate, jewelry, scarves, hats, pottery, wooden items, table linens, and much more. Groups that will be present include Cass Community & Mend on the Move from Detroit; Trades of Hope; Amani Africa; Women at Risk, Intl.; Haitian Artisans for Peace Intl.; Haven House; Soaring Unlimited; No Boundaries Ventures; Weavers of Dreams; and more. A bake sale will benefit South Lansing Ministry Food Pantry. Buy unique gifts that really make a difference in someone's life! Give a gift that gives hope!


All are invited to a reception and display of photography and fine art by UUMC members Darold and Maryann Boyd on Thursday, November 8 at 7:00 p.m. at the East Lansing Public Library (950 Abbot Rd., East Lansing). If you can't make the reception, the artwork will be on display at the library from November 1 - December 25.


The Peace Education Center will be having its annual Alternative Holiday Sale on Friday, November 16 (5:00 - 9:00 p.m.) and Saturday, November 17 (9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.) at Edgewood United Church (469 N. Hagadorn Rd., East Lansing). Vendors include local artisans, fair trade vendors, and peace & justice groups. Food and drinks will be available for purchase. On Friday evening at 7:30 p.m., a concert will be presented by singer-songwriter Sam Gleaves. Tickets are required for the concert; visit to buy tickets or for details. For more information about the sale, contact
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 (393-5450).

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

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