News from University United Methodist Church in East Lansing, MI 

June 24, 2020



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

Feature Articles
From the Pastor: Update on Re-Opening
To Slow the Spread, Spread the Word: Avoid Close Contact


Our Policy Governance Board met on Monday, June 22, via Zoom. Among the several items on their agenda were two dealing with reopening our church for corporate worship. The Board approved a policy for best practices for reopening. This policy was published previously for comment and can be found by clicking here. The second item dealt with a suggestion that we put that plan into place and hold a corporate worship service in the sanctuary on Sunday, July 12. We ultimately agreed not to do that. A letter will be coming to you (along with second quarter giving statements) detailing the Board’s reasons for not resuming worship services in July. The health and safety of our members, friends, and staff are foremost at this time. The Board will revisit the matter at their next meeting on July 20.

We are currently able to accommodate groups of up to ten people for church meetings. Social distancing must be observed and masks must be worn. While we do have some staff at church Monday through Friday, the building is locked. If you need to come to the church for something, please remember to call ahead so that we know you are coming. Bring your mask with you, too, and sanitize your hands on entering the building.

We will continue to offer recorded worship services on Facebook each week. The services are posted at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday mornings on the church Facebook page. You can access the Facebook page from our website ( or by clicking here. A YouTube channel is being created for the church this week. That will offer an alternative for those who cannot access Facebook. If you or someone you know would like a copy of the service on DVD, please let me know. We will soon be able to offer that as well. Previous services can also be recorded to DVD for anyone who would like a past service. Adam Zipple and Parker Garman have been doing a great job for us in creating and editing video. They also receive some videos from church members to include in our services.

Please watch your mail for the letter from the Policy Governance Board. It will also be posted to the church website and to the Facebook page. Also, look for public service announcements on social distancing and safety practices from our building manager, Bruce Wheaton, in this newsletter (Ed. Note: The first one is below.), on Facebook, and during our online services so you will be prepared when you return to church. And when you watch the church service, be sure to stay until the end. Sometimes there are pictures of our church family, funny bloopers, and other outtakes!

Rev. William C. Bills



Over the next several weeks, we'll be posting helpful graphics and information to keep you informed as to what safety measures and protocols will be in place when we are able to return to gathering again in person.
  • Social distance 2 meters (6 feet) from others in the building.
  • Wearing a mask is required.
  • Wash hands or use sanitizer often.
  • The UUMC building is locked. Make an appointment if you NEED to enter. 
  • IF you enter, go directly to your destination, then exit.
  • Do not enter closed rooms or areas of the building. Those areas will be clearly marked.



We are excited to present a drive-in, band-led worship service event at University UMC! Bring the whole family for a fun and safe evening full of classic sing-alongs, a message of unity, and band-led worship tunes. Music will start at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday June 28 outdoors in the UUMC parking lot. Ushers will help guide you to an appropriate spot facing Asbury Hall. We ask that you allow 2 meters social distance and wear a mask when using the restrooms indoors, and 2 meters with masks recommended if you’d like to sit outside your vehicle. Due to limited space, RSVPs are required through the Facebook Event post (click here)Make sure to click "Going" or “Reserve a Spot.” (Clicking “Interested” does not guarantee your spot!) You may also reserve a spot by sending an email to In the event of inclement weather, the outdoor concert will be canceled. Cancellation will be announced on our Facebook page and our website (


The University UMC Youth Group is hosting "Flocks for Floods!" Send a flock of lawn flamingos to friends and neighbors to give them a good laugh! Don't want to be caught with a yard full of plastic flamingos? You can also buy "flamingo insurance." All proceeds will go to UMCOR Flood Relief in Midland, Michigan. Click here for all the details.


You are invited to join Pastor Bills in our new online study based on the book Finding Peace in an Anxious World. The class will be held on Wednesdays at 3:00 p.m., starting July 15. You will need to have ZOOM software on your computer to participate. (You don’t need a ZOOM account.) If there is enough interest in the study, more days and times can be added. To sign up for the study, contact Rev. Bills at or 517-351-7030. If you need help downloading the software and using ZOOM, please contact Rev. Bills and he will help you. It is not necessary to have the book to participate in the class, but if you would like to order it, it can be purchased at this link (or as a ebook from Amazon).


We are working on including more people in the online church service, and YOU can be part of it! If you would take a picture of your family, or just yourself, and send it to, we will forward your photos to our videographer Adam Zipple so they can be included in photo montages included in the online service. Suggested themes include family activities, fellowship opportunities, service projects, family prayer time, etc. If you have any photos of your family participating in previous church activities, that would would also be great. Please remember that these photos will be on Facebook so be cautious about what you send.


Unfortunately, we will be unable to hold in-person Vacation Bible School this summer. Instead, our Children's Ministry staff is excited to present "God With Us" (click here to register your children). Each month this summer (June, July, August), children will receive a box filled with activities, crafts, and maybe even some snacks that will help us explore stories of "God With Us." There will be projects that kids can work on independently as well as a family devotion to be used whenever it fits into your schedules. In addition, an optional weekly Zoom class will be offered where Children's Ministry Director Sara Cardinal will share a story with students. We hope this will be a way to remain connected to our faith and to one another as we navigate this uncertain time. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Sara at


The UUMC Mission Committee supports the Bishop’s recent financial appeal and encourages our congregation to consider donating to the Michigan Area Disaster Response Fund. We are working to begin a coordinated effort in cooperation with UMCOR, the state of Michigan, and local Midland County agencies. You may make a donation in one of three ways:
  • Donate online at From the top menu, select "Missions" and then "Disaster Response Ministry." Scroll down to donate to "Great Lakes Bay Region 2020 Flooding." Or click here to go directly to the Paypal donation page.
  • Send a check directly to: Michigan Conference Ministry Center North, 1161 East Clark Road, Suite #212, DeWitt, MI 48820. Please use this exact language on the memo line of your check: #4407 Michigan Area Disaster Response.
  • Mail a check or make a cash gift to UUMC: University United Methodist Church, 1120 S. Harrison Road, East Lansing, MI 44823. Please indicate that your gift is for Midland Flooding Relief.
We know that UUMC is a caring and compassionate congregation. Please join us as we support our Michigan neighbors in need.


The UUMC Missions Committee is sponsoring a unique community-based action program called "Feed the Fight." It is a community-sponsored project that collects funds to purchase meals from local restaurants. The meals are then delivered to area hospitals to feed staff members. Your donations can be mailed to the church office (UUMC, 1120 S. Harrison Rd., East Lansing, MI 48823). All checks should be made payable to UUMC with “Feed the Fight” in the memo line. To pay electronically, please contact our Financial Administrator Jay Weessies at 517-351-7030, ext. 205. You can also make a donation through Venmo to @UUMCDonation. Make sure to specify "Feed the Fight".


Mark your calendars for August 21-23 and plan to join us for our Fun & Fellowship Camp weekend. Come for some time relaxing with friends and enjoying the beach at Lake Michigan Retreat Center near Pentwater. Contact Mike Scholes ( with questions or for more info.


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 online services. 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 during this uncertain time! 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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