The Weekly Courier

March 28, 2024

"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 Easter Sunday, March 31, will be in-person at 10am, as well as live-streamed at this YouTube Link.

Happy Easter! This week, we will begin our new Easter worship series "Rise Up!" where we'll be learning about some of the "big deal" concepts of the Christian Faith. This week, Paster Heather will preach on Resurrection and John 20:1-18, Mark will lead our music, and BOTH the CommonGround Choir the Jeffords Memorial Handbell Choir will bless us with anthems.

Due to some recently reported COVID-19 cases in our congregation, First Olympia is currently in a "YELLOW" COVID protocol for our mask policy. This means that we strongly suggest masking, but will still respect everyone's individual choice.


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 song team in singing "O Praise the Name" by Benjamin Hastings, Dean Ussher, and Marty Sampson, check out this recording from Hillsong Worship.

Click on the picture --> 

This Week's Calls to Action!

  • Come to church this Sunday for Easter worship!
  • Check out our Holy Week schedule and our video on the Passion narrative
  • Pick up your Green Bags and fill them up with food
  • Consider playing softball with Tumwater UMC and the rest of the co-op

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

What's Up With the Passion?

Over the last six weeks of Lent, we've been dwelling in the story of Holy Week to better "Enter the Passion" with Jesus in the final week of this life.

But now that we're actually in Holy Week, it's a good time to ask ourselves what we know about the Passion narrative and why it's important to remember before Easter Sunday. While it is painful to read, the story of Jesus's suffering and sacrifice is also vital to understanding the joy of his resurrection.

As part of our "What's Up With..." video series, Pastor Alexa and Lauren collaborated on making a brief explanation of the Passion of the Christ and why we recognize Holy Week each year. Click the box below to give it a watch.

Happenings At & Around First Olympia

Co-op Holy Week Schedule

Thursday, 3/28 - Traditional Maundy Thursday service at Tumwater UMC. The service begins at noon and lunch will be provided.

Friday, 3/29 - Traditional Good Friday services at both FUMCO and Tumwater UMC. Both services will begin at 7pm.

Saturday, 3/30 - Holy Week Art Show. Throughout Lent, we've commissioned a few pieces of art that will find homes in our church building. Come check out our art show to see some beautiful pieces from established local Olympia artists, talented members of our congregation, and the many creative kids in the community.

Saturday, 3/30 - Sunday, 3/31 - Tumwater will have a 24 hour prayer vigil from sunrise on Saturday to sunrise on Easter morning. Join them at Tumwater UMC.

Sunday, 3/31 - Easter! Worship with us either in-person or online at 10am.

Green Bag Sunday

Green bags will be given out this Sunday, March 31st (Yes, Easter Sunday) and returned the following Sunday, April 7. The Food Bank's request for this collection is Canned Protein, Macaroni and Cheese, and Tampons. For visitors and those of you who will be away for Spring Break, there will be a jar for cash donations.

A volunteer is needed on April 7 to help move the donations into storage. Another volunteer is needed on Saturday, April 13 to help to transport the donations to the Food Bank Warehouse. Give Toni a call or email to if you can help.

FUMCO Gleaners

FUMCO Gleaners helped lay out the 1.5-acre field in West Olympia March 21 for this year’s farm crops for the Thurston County Food Bank. 

Partnered with the Kiwanis Community Garden, the FUMCO Gleaners go monthly during the planting and harvest seasons to lend their hands to the important work of growing fresh produce for the Thurston County Food Bank.

If you're interested in joining us for future harvests, please contact Rob harper at

We'd love to have you involved!

Earth Day Celebration

On Sunday, April 21, Interfaith Works is helping to host an event with Marshall Middle School. Students will be recognizing Earth Day by speaking for Endangered Species. We'll also celebrate with poetry, song, and verbal thanksgiving for all the unique and precious creatures of this Earth currently under threat.

This is a free and family-friendly event on 4/21 from 1:00-2:15pm at Decatur Woods Park in West Olympia (1015 Decatur St SW, Olympia, WA, 98502).

March-April Upper Rooms

March-April 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.

Come Join a Choir

Our Common Ground Choir meets on Thursdays @6:45pm in the Gathering Place.

The Jeffords Memorial Handbell Choir meets on Wednesdays @5:30 in the Choir Room. Please come join us!

Some Potentially Helpful Tax Information

Are you over the age of 70 ½ and facing a Required Minimum Distribution from your IRA? A Required Minimum Distribution refers to the minimum amount you are required to withdraw from your retirement account(s) each year. Did you know you can give straight to your church with a Qualified Charitable Distribution and avoid the taxes on it?


A Qualified Charitable Distribution can satisfy part or all of your Required Minimum Distribution. Because Qualified Charitable Distributions don’t increase taxable income, both higher tax rates and phaseouts can be avoided. Normally, distributions from a traditional IRA are taxable when received. With a Qualified Charitable Distribution these distributions become tax-free as long as they're paid directly from the IRA to an eligible charitable organization. Qualified Charitable Distributions can be made from any or more than one of the IRA types (traditional, inherited, inactive SEP and inactive SIMPLE IRAs). You can give all or part of your Required Minimum Distribution.


Simply call the custodian of the IRA at the number listed on your statements and request that a distribution be made directly to our organization. The custodian will pay us directly. You will not be liable for income tax on this gift. In addition, you can count up to $100,000 per year in charitable giving towards your required minimum distribution.

You are encouraged to talk with your tax advisor to see if a Qualified Charitable Distribution is a good idea for you. 

Tumwater UMC Softball Team

Do you want to play softball with other members in the

South Sound United Methodist Cop-op? Consider joining the Tumwater UMC softball team! We don't start playing until Summer, but if you're interested, please fill out this quick online form:

Scarf Bombing on Hiatus

Spring is here, trees are flowering, and Easter is just around the corner! With warmer weather on the horizon, Scarf Bombing is going on hiatus. Thanks to so many creative and willing hands, we have given away over 30 scarves in just one short month. This is a ministry we are committed to, and we look forward to coming together again in the fall.

Summer is a terrific time for crafting, so keep those knitting needles and crochet hooks busy. We want to have a large supply of scarves and hats to start us out in the fall.

Thanks to the UWIF, we have a great cache of yarn waiting to become scarves and hats. Contact Sue Sugarbaker to grab a skein and get started.

Life of the Church

Last Saturday, our church hosted an EGG-Stravaganza Easter celebration with egg hunts, snacks, games, pictures with the (real life) Easter bunny, and more!

We had over 100 kids here with their families to share part of their holiday celebrations with us at FUMCO. Thank you to all our amazing volunteers who made this such a special day.

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

We Remember...

Jim Hanson who passed away on Monday, 3/11/24.

A Memorial Service for AJ Nelson will be held on Saturday, April 20 at 11:00am. It will also be livestreamed on the First Olympia YouTube Channel (link to come). A reception will follow the service in the Gathering Place.

There will also be an afternoon Memorial Service for John Parr held on Sunday, April 21.

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