News from University United Methodist Church in East Lansing, MI 

July 14, 2021



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Feature Articles
A Word from the Missions Committee: Your Support Needed for Mizak, Haiti 


Multiple Crises Devastate Mizak, Haiti. Your Monetary and Prayer Support Are Needed!!

We write to you today to share a heartfelt need that is near and dear to many of us at University United Methodist Church.

The Haitian Assets for Peace International (HAPI) has been changing lives in Mizak, Haiti since 2007. HAPI and the UUMC congregation have a long-standing relationship. UUMC has supported HAPI for many years with monetary donations, assembling individual birthing and layette kits, purchasing handmade craft items, securing a propane refrigerator to store vaccines and other medications safely, and providing a portable sonogram machine.

We participated in sending a mission team to HAPI in Mizak in 2016 to provide education for local pastors and support to the medical clinic at the request of the Center Director and the Bishop of Haiti. The team included Rev. Gordon Schleicher, Rev. Alice Townley, Rev. Latha Ravi, Margaret Klemens, and Kristin Mellon. Several years prior to that visit, Mark Doyal visited the Center.

On July 3, 2021 Hurricane Elsa damaged buildings, crops, and gardens that the residents depend upon for survival and destroyed Wi-Fi for the area. Then, in the early morning hours of July 6, a fire in the secure storage room of the Merlet Center destroyed all 15 laptops and the network equipment while damaging the building. In addition, on July 7 the President of Haiti was assassinated, creating further instability in the government and safety of the country.

Prayers are needed for the country of Haiti, the town of Mizak, and staff and students of HAPI at the Merlet Center.

The destroyed equipment was used for computer training through HAPI at the Merlet Center. HAPI has seen an increase in enrollment from 35 students to 100 students recently as people have fled the gang violence in the larger cities and settled in Mizak. Mario Damis, the Director of the Program and a speaker at UUMC, estimated the loss of equipment and cash at $15,000. The lost cash ($5300) was to be used to buy medications, pay for laboratory tests and a laboratory technician, and for operating costs for the medical clinic, which serves a large population of pregnant women as well as the general population.

The full article about the fire from the Michigan Conference can be found at

Your support (along with other churches in Michigan) is needed now more than ever to help replace the lost equipment and money and to repair the building. Please send donations: (1) to the church (1120 S. Harrison Rd., East Lansing, 48823) with HAPI in the memo line, (2) to HAPI. PO Box 68227, Grand Rapids, MI 49516, OR (3) through the Venmo app (@UUMCDonation, with the byline HAPI) by Sunday, August 8.

We thank you in advance for your continuing support of this important mission.

Kris Mellon & Robert Ulrich for the Missions Committee




Our condolences to the family and friends of Toni Vincent, who died on June 30 after a long battle with cancer. Memorial arrangements will be announced at a later date. You may leave a message for the family and view the obituary by clicking here.


The Methodist Men group is trying to decide if they should have their annual steak fry (or something similar) this summer. It would probably be at the church in the parking lot rather than at University Farms. The date is yet to be determined but would probably be in August. Please respond to Bary Darling (517-719-7305 or or Charlie Arensmeier (517-230-3524 or to help us see if there is enough interest. You are not committed with this response, but please contact Bary or Charlie as soon as possible so a decision can be made!


Hello, Lugnuts fans! Bary Darling has reserved 100 tickets for our church family to attend a Lugnuts game on Friday August 13 at 7:05 p.m. The tickets cost $11 each (for ages 3 years and older). If you are interested in joining us, please call Bary Darling (517-719-7305) by Thursday, July 22 to reserve your tickets. The first 100 to call get the tickets.


(Pictured above: UUMC 2019 Softball Team)

Come cheer on our softball team on Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. at either Sharp Park (401 Elmwood Rd., Lansing) or Delta Mills (7001 Old River Trail, Lansing) – see schedule below for location. All games are double-headers. Everyone is welcome!
July 20 vs. Central UMC @ Sharp Park
July 27 Rain Out, Tie Breaker, or Play for Fun Week
The end-of-season tournament will be held Saturday, July 31 at Erickson Park (4220 S. Canal Rd., Lansing). Time to be determined.


We have been tying quilts and donating them to organizations that assist the homeless for many years. Please consider joining this very important ministry -- the more hands involved, the more quilts we can make and donate to those who really need them. No experience is necessary. We will meet again on Monday, July 26, 1:00-3:00 p.m. All are welcome, but we ask that you please wear a mask if you have not been vaccinated. If you have any questions, please contact Virginia Dymond (517-775-7691) or Patty Puckett (517-285-9424).


Come join us at Lake Michigan Camp and Retreat Center (Pentwater, MI) the weekend of August 20-22 for our annual UUMC Fun and Fellowship Family (as in our church family) Camp! This is a great opportunity to get to know members of our UUMC family in a beautiful Pure Michigan setting. If you have your own equipment (tent, camper, RV), sites are $36/night. The Center also has platform tents available that sleep 6 for $56/night or bunkhouses that sleep 12 for $70/night. Choose what is best for you! Bring your own meals (or plan on going out) for Friday dinner, Saturday breakfast and lunch, and Sunday breakfast and lunch. We will plan on a potluck dinner Saturday evening with the main dish provided. *Reserve your site by calling Lake Michigan Camp and Retreat Center at 231-869-5627* (Tell them you are with UUMC-East Lansing.) Contact Mike Scholes if you have any questions (


The Michigan Conference of United Methodist Men is inviting men from across the state to a one-day rebuild event on Saturday, September 18 in Lansing. The Michigan Conference of UM Men is working with Rebuilding Together Tri-County. Rebuilding Together brings volunteers to work to rebuild the homes and the lives of low-income homeowners, including veterans and the disabled. Rebuilding Together provides the repair materials and supervision with UM Men providing the volunteers for the one-day rebuild. Whether you are a skilled craftsman or simple laborer, churchgoer or not, your help is needed. Register your interest in the event by emailing Gordon Schleicher at You can read more about Rebuilding Together at


Summer is almost here! Tower Alert will be published every other week from mid-June through August. The upcoming Tower Alert publication schedule for this summer is:

Wednesday, July 28
Wednesday, August 11
Wednesday, August 25
Wednesday, September 1

If you have announcements for Tower Alert, please plan accordingly so we can make sure to advertise your event for you in a timely fashion. Announcements can be sent to


For those who aren't ready for in-person worship, we will be livestreaming the service to our YouTube channel (University United Methodist Church - East Lansing) on Sundays at 10:00 a.m. The video will also be available to view any time after the conclusion of the livestream. (NOTE: if you are attending live worship and prefer not to appear in the livestream on YouTube, choosing a seat at the back of the sanctuary, in designated areas of the Gathering Space, or in the balcony would be good choices!)


As we begin to transition back into gathering in-person for meetings and events, please note that safety protocols will be in place, including social distancing and wearing of masks. Meeting dates, times, and spaces must first be confirmed through the building manager, Bruce Wheaton (517-351-7030, ext. 206 or, or the office manager, Kim Depew (517-351-7030, ext. 200 or This includes previous “standing” meetings of groups and committees. Meeting spaces and occupancies will be limited at this time. The office suite will remain closed with the exception of staff members. Summer office hours are Monday, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Those needing to come to the church building for business will need to call ahead and make an appointment so that we can make sure the doors are open for you.


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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