The Weekly Courier

September 14, 2023

"We seek to connect people to God, each other, and the wider community and to welcome and affirm all people"

Sunday at First Olympia

Worship on Sunday September 17, will be in-person at 10am, as well as live-streamed at this YouTube link. For those worshiping in-person, First Olympia is currently in a "GREEN" COVID protocol for our mask policy.

This week we will continue our new Fall worship series "Roll Down Justice" based on themes of social justice and the music of Mark Miller. This week, Pastor Heather will preach on Matthew 4:1-11 & Matthew 16:21-28, Angi will lead our music, and the Jeffords Memorial Handbell Choir will bless us with an offertory.


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 Angi lead our Song Team in singing "Blessed Be Your Name" by Beth and Matt Redman, check out this neat dance performance from the group God's Image up in Seattle.

Click on the picture --> 

This Week's Calls to Action!

  • Come to the Celebration of Ministries THIS Sunday, 9/17 after worship
  • Mark your calendars for Affinity Nights and the FUMCO Health fair
  • Bake some cookies for upcoming memorial services and coffee hours
  • Consider donating a musical instrument to Madison Elementary

For more information about all of these events and opportunities, read on below...

A Devotion From Pastor Alexa

Last weekend, I embraced the invitation from Thurston Talks to go on an urban hike which follows the route of the salmon from the Tumwater Hatchery, to the Puget Sound (at the 5th Ave. bridge in Downtown Olympia). Last spring, I traveled to Scotland for a pilgrimage (St. Cuthbert's Way) with 6 other clergy. Transforming the practice of walking, into a practice of pilgrimage, changed my experience of the activity. I was no longer walking for walking's sake, or for exercise's sake, instead to strengthen my spiritual endurance, and to enjoy the journey with my fellow pilgrims: to be a good companion and receive blessed companionship. The invitation from Thurston Talks sounded like an invitation to pilgrimage to me — an invitation to journey with fellow pilgrims: the salmon that are so vitally important to our ecosystem and community's sustainability. 

To start my pilgrimage with the salmon, I read a poem from 'Songs of the Coast Dwellers': The Chief's Prayer After the Salmon Catch. Here's an excerpt: "KIA-KUNAE, praise! Thou hast opened thy hand among the stars, and sprinkled the sea with food; The catch is great; thy children will live... Another year thou hast encompassed us with life."

Pilgrimaging with the salmon, it got me to wondering, when I'm feeling alone, or lonely, who or what am I not noticing as my fellow pilgrims? I journey to and from Tumwater regularly in my day-to-day life; how did I miss the salmon that travelled with me? Praise! God hast sprinkled the sea and land with companions! 

May we continue growing into faithful, enjoyable companions for our fellow pilgrims, and may we come to see who walks alongside us.

Click here to learn more about the urban hike!

Happenings At & Around First Olympia

Caregiver’s Support Group

This is a place where caregivers can be themselves, share experiences and insights and have the positive input of their peers. If you are a caregiver, consider coming to our group and meet other caregivers. We meet from 5:30-7:00 pm on 3rd Tuesdays every month in the Gathering Place. Our next meeting is Tuesday, September 19, 2023.

Contact Jeanne Kirkpatrick for information: [email protected] | (360) 359-0031

Affinity Nights Return!

Affinity Nights are quickly approaching: each Wednesday September 20th-November 8th. Children's ministry programming will start at 5:30pm, the potluck meal will be served at 6pm, and all ages programming will be offered at 7pm. For the first gathering, we still need one more main dish and several folks willing to clean up after the event. If you'd like to help, please sign up at the link below. 

For those bringing a main dish, we encourage bringing one that can feed 10-15 people. Crock Pot meals, including soups, have been fantastic.

The Discipleship Ministries Team would be so grateful for your support in this way.

YOUR Church Council 

Your Church Council is all about strategic planning. We envision, plan, implement, and evaluate our congregation’s ministry and mission. We can’t lead this work without YOU and YOUR perspective! Every time we gather as a council, hearts and minds are shaped, values and beliefs are formed, and the culture of our congregation is enacted.


We meet every other month, and YOU are always invited! Join your Church Council for our upcoming meeting on September 26 from 6:30 – 8:30 PM. Meet in the Gathering Place or contact the church office for the Zoom link. YOU belong at YOUR Church Council!

Elizabeth Castro, your Church Council chair

The FUMCO Health Fair is Coming Back

Mark your calendars for the next FUMCO Health Fair! We're so glad to be bring back this annual tradition for the first time since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. We'll be set up downstairs in the Great Hall on October 15 from 11:30-1:00. So come learn about many important topics like:

Diabetes Education, Blood Pressure Checks, Audiology, Spiritual Care, Home Health, Hospice, Mental heath, Aging, Dental care, and so much more!

For more information, contact Jeanne Kirkpatrick ([email protected]).

Sep-Oct Upper Rooms

September-October 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, Mondays and Thursdays at 9:00am. Access our Zoom Link right here or directly email the church office.

Musical Instruments

Our 4th and 5th grade Lion Cubs sure like to make music! It pleases me no end when I see our students coming to school with their instruments excited for their Orchestra and Band classes. We are, unfortunately, in a situation where we won’t have enough (violins, violas, cellos, trumpets, clarinets, etc...) to be able to place an instrument in the hands of each of our aspiring musicians (renting an instrument is an option, but for some families this would present a financial hardship).

If you have an instrument in your attic or garage that is not being used, please consider donating it to the Madison Music Program. You can rest assured that your donation will be very much appreciated, and will remain a Madison instrument. (Your donated instrument will not go to any other school.) If you have an instrument you would like to donate, please email me (Mr. DSK, Madison’s principal) at [email protected]. Thank you!

News from Around Our District

Want to read some news, events, and opportunities from around the entire Crest to Coast United Methodist District?

Click the following link to read an announcement from Bishop Cedrick Bridgeforth, exciting news from a food bank in Spokane, a month long anti-racism challenge, UMC job opportunities, and so much more:

Do You Love to Bake?

The Memorial Service Reception teams are seeking the assistance of our excellent congregational bakers to insure a good supply of delicious cookies for upcoming events. We're requesting a variety of bite-sized cookies so please mark packages with date baked and if the cookies contain nuts.

For more information, questions may be directed to Jane Collins ([email protected]) or Donna Gaddy ([email protected]). Many thanks!!  

Want Your Name in the Directory?

We are aware that there are a few folks who were missed and not included in the recently published directory. This was not purposeful exclusion, and we sincerely apologize to anyone who was missed. For those who have noticed you were not included, please kindly contact the church office to let us know. 

We will begin generating an additional page of the directory with those not included in the original, including new folks who will join us in the weeks and months to come. Inclusion is of utmost importance to us, and we need your help in living that out to its full extent! Thank you in advance for offering us the benefit of the doubt, your support, and responsiveness to future communications. 

We Remember...

The memorial service for Karen Verner will be held on September 16 at 11:00 am. It will also be livestreamed on the First Olympia YouTube Channel:

Karen had requested that guests wear bright and happy colors at her memorial service! Please celebrate Karen's life in this way whether you are able to attend in person or at home.

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.

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Watch our latest worship service

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Contact us ...

by phone: 360-943-2661 by email: [email protected]

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

The Weekly Courier editor: Lauren Fontanilla