January 19, 2022

Sunday at First Olympia

Worship on Sunday, January 22 will be in-person at 10:00 am, as well as live-streamed at this YouTube link.

This week, we will continue our Epiphany worship series: Gold is Holding Your Life, by reading another psalm. This time, we'll consider our intimate relationship with God—who's knit us together and known us from the very beginning. Pastor Heather will preach on Psalm 139, and Mark will lead our music. So, be sure to complete a digital Connect Card each Sunday you attend online worship. You may also give online, using our online giving platform.

Prepare Your Heart...

Before you hear Mark and our praise team's wonderful version of "In the Secret" by Andy Park, listen to this quiet rendition by Barel and Loyanna.

Click on the picture --> 

An Update from the OPOP Team

In January 2022 the Church Council approved a new ministry initiative at First UMC

Olympia: One Parish One Prisoner (OPOP), and a new committee of volunteers was

connected with Michael, an incarcerated individual due to be released from prison in

August. This OPOP team committed to accompany Michael in friendship as he transitioned

out of prison and back into society, and we began to get to know and care for Michael in

friendship through letters and phone calls. Hebrews 13:3: “Remember those who are in

prison as though you were in prison with them,” gave us resolve.

As the time grew closer for Michael’s release in August of last year, our church learned

about some of the obstacles that newly released individuals face and frequently prayed for

Michael, especially regarding the barriers to housing and employment upon his release. In

May and June, to add action to these prayers, the church generously responded with

donations of money, gift cards, clothing, and furnishings for Michael. The team met

numerous times to stay in touch with Michael and make connections with opportunities of

employment and housing, culminating in Michael’s early successful release August 4th .

Money from the Welcome Home fundraiser also provided funds for the critical first few

weeks in a motel until a more permanent six-month rental could be obtained and covered

until the end of February 2023.

As the OPOP team finished a year’s ministry, we reflect on how much we’ve learned about

the barriers faced by newly released prisoners. We are impressed by the generosity of our

church and thankful for the many answers to prayer that we’ve experienced for our friend

Michael. It was a shining moment to see him attend church with us in December, and he has asked us to send a message of thanks to FUMCO: "Thank you for all your help and support. It really means a lot to me. Wishing you all a Happy New Year."

Please keep Michael in your prayers as he resumes life with his family and works hard to

develop a business in our community.

Happenings At & Around First Olympia

An Exciting Music Announcement

A NEW choir is forming called Common Ground, which will begin rehearsals tonight, Thursday January 19th at 6:45 pm in the Gathering Place.

Due to our current single Sunday service, we felt a need to form one choir instead of trying to split up all our talent into smaller groups. The hope is that ALL singers will come together in this new choir. We are trying out the name "Common Ground" because we are coming from different traditions and musical styles to create a group that loves to sing and praise God in a collective, blended way. We will sing on the 2nd and 4th Sundays each month. Rehearsals will be every Thursday evening.

Come Get Your Photo Taken

We're working on a new church directory and we need YOUR photos to build it!

So stop by immediately after church on Sunday, January 22 to have your photo taken in the Gathering Place. And please let us know if we should update your information (name, phone number, email, address, ect... in our system). If you need to check to be sure we have the right info for you, please feel free to check in at the photo session*

If you can't make it this month, we will be doing another round of photo-taking on February 19th. And if you can't make it to the church (but still want your photo included in the directory) please send one over email to Lauren (

*And if you had your photo taken at our Celebration of Ministries event back in September, we already have your photo in our database. So you're already good to go if you don't want a new one.*

Affinity Nights Are Coming!

Affinity Nights start next Wednesday! Come at 6pm for a tasty potluck dinner (please bring a side or dessert) and good conversation with your church family! Then you can check out one of five groups: play board games, Bible study, needle arts, gentle yoga or baking for the Community Kitchen.

Hope to see you there! Sign ups welcome but not required:

Two opportunities to serve our neighbors! We’ll be making “blessing bags” for our houseless neighbors on 2/1 and for the 20 school counselors and social workers in our area on 2/8.

You can drop off your donations to Angelina on Sundays or bring them with you to Affinity Nights. We’d welcome donations of: gloves, granola bars, bandaids, cough drops, tea/hot drink mixes, bath bombs/bath salts, and hand lotion. 

Grief Support Group

Have you lost a loved one and feel stuck in sadness, confusion, and loneliness? We know that grief can be paralyzing and that losing someone can change how we experience life.

Beginning today, January 19, we will offer an 8-week Grief Support Group that provides tools in a nurturing, Christ-centered environment for participants to grow emotionally, physically, and spiritually through their grief. The class will be held from 3 pm to 4:30 pm on Thursdays in The Gathering Place.

Contact Pastor Alexa for more information or to sign up. 

Valentine and Greeting Card Sales

Valentines and greeting cards will be on sale in the narthex on January 22, 29 and Feb 5. They will be available online next week. All funds raised from Valentine sales will go to Church World Service to support their emergency blanket project and Madison School’s laundry voucher program for low income families. Thank you for your support!

Thurston County Tax-Aid

Thurston County Tax-Aide is available starting February 1st, and are now scheduling appointments! The tax service is free and we can handle a wide range of tax situations. 

The last two years we have been working remotely which reduced our support capacity by about 50%. We are working in person this year and we anticipate being able to support our pre-Covid levels of tax preparation. Check out the flyer below for more information:

Help End Gun Violence

An Olympia guns-for-gift-cards exchange is set for 9 am to noon Tuesday, Jan. 31, as part of an effort by police and the city council to promote gun safety and reduce gun violence in the community. You can read more at:

And learn more about First Olympia's own resources for Methodists Against Gun Violence:

January-February Upper Rooms

Issues of the Upper Room are ready for pick-up for $1.00! You may get yours on a Sunday morning, before or after worship. Or, swing by the church Monday-Thursday, 10am-2pm.

Morning Prayer Team

For prayer opportunities with your church friends, join the Morning Prayer team, Monday-Saturday at 9:00am. Access our Zoom Link right here or directly email the church office.

We Remember...

The memorial service for Bill Brandt will be held this Saturday, January 21 at 11:00 am.

The memorial service for Gene Elwanger will be held on January 28th at 2:00 pm. It will also be livestreamed on the First Olympia YouTube Channel with this link:

On February 4th, the memorial service for Ted Samland will be held at 10:00 am in the morning and the service for Virginia Berney will be at 2:00 pm in the afternoon.

Our Welcoming Statement

First United Methodist Church of Olympia welcomes people of all ages, all abilities,

all sexual orientations and gender identities, all nationalities and ethnicities,

the poor and the rich, single people and the many forms of family.

See our Church Calendar.

Visit our webpage!

Watch our latest worship service.

Read the latest Joys & Concerns

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Contact us ...

by phone: 360-943-2661 by email:

OFFICE HOURS: Sunday 9am-noon | Monday-Thursday 10am-2pm

The Weekly Courier editor: Lauren Fontanilla