The Weekly Courier

May 25, 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, May 28, will be in-person at 10:00 am, 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.

On this Pentecost Sunday, we conclude our Easter worship series "Emerge" and explore our theme of transformation one last time. We'll read passages from Acts 2: 1-4 & Acts 10: 34-36, Mark will lead our music, and the Common Ground choir will bless us with an offertory. We will also celebrate our youth finishing their confirmation journey today and welcome new members to the church!

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 lead our Praise Team singing "The Lord's Prayer (It's Yours)" by Bran Fowler, Matt Maher, and Jacob Sooter, sing along to this performance by Matt Maher himself.

Click on the picture --> 

Messy Church Relaunching this Fall

In 2017 our church added a monthly worship experience that honored some truths about our present moment: that people hunger for community & spiritual growth and that our societal structures do not make weekly worship attendance possible or even desirable for most people. As our society has continued to grow in our understanding that people of all ages learn in a variety of ways (listening, seeing, speaking, singing, moving, touching, smelling, to name just a few), we can name that there are numerous models for how we can worship our God and draw closer to Jesus. It is well known that people of all ages learn best through embodied learning, meaning, learning with our whole bodies. We all recognize there is a difference between hearing someone else sing a song and singing it ourselves. Messy Church, a model that got its start in the UK, is a ninety minute worshipping experience that centers embodied learning. It lives into the description of the early church we find in Acts 2:43-47.

In Messy Church, worshippers eat together, we spend time together doing activities (games, crafts, service projects) that help us engage with the month's Bible story in different ways, we sing and pray together, and we receive the sacrament of communion together. Messy Church is intentionally accessible to all ages, those who can read and those who can't, those who can sit for a long time and those who can't, those who want to go deeper in their faith and those who are just scratching the service of what it might mean to follow Jesus. During the years we did Messy Church we saw growth (new folks were checking it out every month) but more importantly we saw depth, engagement and connection from our repeat participants. We have children in our church family who took their first steps at Messy Church who are now in elementary school, we are welcoming a teen to full membership who was a child in Messy Church, adult worshippers found friendship and connection with each other and with the wider church. 

When we had to go on hiatus during the pandemic we kept Messy Church worshippers nourished with porch packs, weekly activity sheets mailed home and pastoral care. When our church building reopened but we could not yet serve food we transitioned to "Kids Church Party," which had some similarities to Messy Church and kept our current folks connected. From this we have families connecting to other parts of church life (acolyting on Sunday mornings, Affinity Nights, volunteering, going to UMC summer camps, to name a few). You'll see many of our KCP families in worship on Pentecost sharing their gift of music with us. We are so blessed by the connections that were strengthened and made possible through Kids Church Party. 

Now that our church building has fully reopened we are excited to relaunch Messy Church this coming fall to share the gift of Jesus' love with our neighborhood. But it cannot happen without the support of the whole church family. If you are passionate about your faith and sharing it with people of all ages in creative ways then I want to hear from you. If you are a storyteller, crafter, baker, wood worker, singer, listener or have a heart for welcoming others into the joy of the church, I want to hear from you. If you're not sure how you could help but inviting people into the love of Jesus matters to you, I want to hear from you. As always, I covet your prayers that our efforts will continue to build the beloved community in this time and place. 

Happenings At & Around First Olympia

Our Pride Shirts are Here!

First United Methodist Church of Olympia is proud to be a Reconciling church, working to make the global church fully inclusive of our LGBTQ+ family, friends, and neighbors. We are proud of our work sponsoring refugees and the recently incarcerated. We are proud that our members volunteer their time and talents regularly in nonprofits throughout our local and regional community.

If you ordered one of our brand new t-shirts to celebrate First Olympia's reconciling mission, they have arrived and are ready for pickup at the church. You can stop by on a Sunday morning or during normal office hours during the week.

We hope that you'll wear your shirts to Pride, throughout the Summer months (especially on Communion Sundays), and whenever you're out and about being the hands and feet of Christ in our community.

Together, we'll show that we are a safe and inclusive community for everyone.

Tumwater Softball Schedule

This Summer, Tumwater UMC invites all of us to play on or come support their softball team for their 2023 season. You can join from any church in the co-op; no experience needed, just enthusiasm! (Plus there's always a post-game trip to Dairy Queen...)

The cost to play for the season is $30 and If you're interested in playing, please contact Pastor Kellen ([email protected]) for more information. Practices are on 5/28 & 6/4 @1:30pm at Peter G. Schmidt Elementary School (if you can't make the practices but still want to play, just let Pastor Kellen know).

All games are on Friday evenings at the Lacey Regional Athletics Complex (8345 Steilacoom Rd SE, Olympia, WA 98513) and the schedule looks like this:

June 9 - 6:10 pm

June 16 - 8:30 pm

June 23 - 8:30 pm

June 30 - 7:20 pm

July 14 - 6:10 pm

July 21 - 8:30 pm

July 28 - 6:10 pm

August 4 - 7:20pm

August 11- 7:20 pm

August 18 - 7:20p

August 18 - 8:30pm

See you there!

Click here to see the schedule with field numbers and more information. And even if you can't play, we'd still love to see you out cheering in the stands!

Brunch with Missionary Katherine Parker

Our missionary friend in Nepal, Katherine Parker, will be joining us on Sunday, June 4th to bring information on her mission work. During worship, she'll share just a little bit about her mission, but will give a much more thorough presentation during the 11 o'clock hour. 

So you are invited to join us after service for a brunch and a change to say thank you to Katherine. Reservations are required and need to be made by June 2nd (so we know how much food to prepare) to attend the brunch. All are welcome.

Reservations can be made by contacting the church office, sending an email to Carol Gruen, or filling out this RSVP form right here:

Green Bag Sunday is Almost Here!


Green bags will be handed out in the narthex this Sunday, May 28. The Food Bank is in need of Toddler food, Canned beans (not green beans), Tomato products, and Canned soup. Any nonperishable food can be donated and is always appreciated. Bring your filled bag back to the church on June 4.


A volunteer is needed on June 4 to help move the the filled bags from the narthex into storage. The donations will be moved to the Food Bank Warehouse on June 10 and a volunteer is needed that day who can help load cars and drive to the warehouse. Please let Toni Miklich know if you can help.

Have You Checked Out Affinity Nights Yet?

You are invited to a potluck at 6pm, and then to join an activity, group, or class of your choosing at 7pm. Some classes will be the same every week, and others will rotate. There should be something for everyone!

Affinity Nights 2.0 will run every Wednesday until June 7th.

Affinity Night Offerings This Week: 

Yoga, the LGBTQ+ Bible Study, Congregational Care Ministry Boundary Training, Dungeons and Dragons with Stu Hemmings, Pride Craft projects, and Rainbow Fellowship.

You can read the FULL Schedule for each week of Affinity Nights with this link:

Affinity Nights 2.0 Full Schedule

Congregational Care Team Training!

Are you interested in being a part of our new Congregational Care Team? This will be a team of lay people who help offer care to the congregation. Care responsibilities range from sending cards and making phone calls to visiting in the hospital. There is a role for anyone who wants to be involved!

Each person on the Care Team will need to attend at least two trainings, one on boundaries and the other on offering spiritual care. Each specific care ministry (calls, visitation etc...) will also have its own training.  

Our first set of trainings on boundaries will be held on Wednesday May 31 at Affinity Nights from 7:00-8:00 pm. You are also invited to attend the potluck at 6:00pm.

If you want to be a part of the Congregational Care Team but cannot attend the trainings offered on these dates, please contact Pastor Heather. 

A Summer Volunteer Opportunity

Last week, one of our congregation members, Peggy McHugo's lawn mower broke down and she's in need of someone to come mow her small backyard. For more information or to arrange a plan to help, please reach out to her: [email protected].

We hope you'll consider!

May-June Upper Rooms

May and June 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.

Bishop Cedrick Bridgeforth Installment

Bishop Cedric D Bridgeforth was installed as Bishop of the Greater Northwest Area on May 20. At his installation, Bishop Bridgeforth was presented with a stole featuring squares of fabric from area churches.

The fabric from FUMCO is a blue cross which features prominently on the front of his stole. It is swatched from new sanctuary paraments that Nancy Adams made and will be hung in the sanctuary later this summer! 

Eastertide Lord's Prayer

This season, we've tried out a new version of the Lord's Prayer for our Easter Worship series: Emerge. This version of the prayer uses language in line with the imagery of transformation into the unfurled beauty God is calling into.

We ask you meditate on this version of the Lord's Prayer and consider the ways you might emerge in your own life:

Guiding Mystery, in whom is heaven,

may your name be lifted in the chambers of our hearts.

May the joy of transformation come,

may your plans for us be unfurled here on earth 

as it is in the flight of heaven’s glory.

For the strength we need, feed us.

For the forgiveness we desire, and need to give, invite us.

Save us from the temptation 

of all that would keep us from you,

and deliver us from those things that seek to harm.

Unwrap your perfect kinship 

of love, power, and glory forever. Amen.

Life of the Church

Last Saturday, our Friendship Hikers had a blast hiking out to Bottle Beach. If you would like to be added to the email list to receive notifications about our monthly hikes, please contact Mae Wharton ([email protected]) or Ginger Sarver ([email protected]).

And in a very productive session, seven FUMCO Gleaners were joined by two other community volunteers to weed three rows of peas and plant three rows of carrots and three rows of cabbages at the Thurston County Food Bank's Calliope Farm in West Olympia.

They're scheduled to work at Calliope again on June 15. For more information, contact Rob Harper at [email protected].

You can find more photos from these events (and many more) on our Facebook page:

Want YOUR Article In The Courier?

If you're looking to remind members of our church community about an upcoming event, updates on existing ministries, or even brand new opportunities, this newsletter is a great place to start! Here's a few tips for how to ensure your news gets out in time:

  • Write a short paragraph with all the essential information you need people to know (the when/where's/and what to brings of the event)
  • Send your article to our multimedia coordinator, Lauren ([email protected]). If you have a relevant photo you want included, feel free to send that along too.
  • Send your article at least THREE WEEKS before your event! We run articles for two weeks and since The Courier goes out on Thursdays, we want to make sure everyone has plenty of time to read your announcement.

If you have news, we'd love to help you share it!

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