The Weekly Courier

May 9, 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 this Sunday, May 12, will be

in-person at 10am, as well as live-streamed at this YouTube Link.

This week we will continue our Easter worship series "Rise Up!" where we'll be learning about some of the "big deal" concepts of the Christian Faith. This week, Pastor Alexa will preach on Acts 1:6-14, Kim will lead our music, and the CommonGround Choir will bless with an offertory.


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 Kim lead our Song Team in singing "Across the Lands," by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend, check out this fun recording from the original artists.

Click on the picture --> 

This Week's Calls to Action!

  • Watch a video reflection from ten of our UMC bishops
  • Consider signing up to bring food to Spring Affinity Nights
  • Learn more about how to protect yourself against internet scams
  • Bring in some empty bags for the Food Bank

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

A Song Team Update from Pastor Alexa

Dear ones, it has been a few weeks now, since we lost our Song Team Leader, Mark Bunda, suddenly and unexpectedly. Death brings with it grief, shock, memories, and, strangely, details and logistical concerns to attend to. So, you may have been wondering what Song Team leadership looks like moving forward. 

With great thanksgiving in our hearts, we are proud to say that the team Mark has led all these years is wildly talented, and chock-full of leaders. This abundance of leadership allows us all to take time to grieve, discern, and care for one another with tenderness. 

At least through the summer, Kim Fuchs, Connie Groven, and Angi Swan have agreed to rotate leadership of Song Team. We celebrate their gifts and willingness to step into greater responsibility during this tender time! 

Whoever is the designated song team leader for each Sunday selects songs in coordination with the pastors, the worship theme and scripture, as well as leads rehearsals, offering direction and guidance. They spend a great deal of time learning new songs, making sure the lyrics are in line with our church’s values and theologies, and communicating all this with both pastoral leadership and the other musicians. I invite you to pray for these three extraordinary women, along with all the wildly talented musicians who provide musical leadership for our church every week. They are a dedicated bunch, and could use your prayers of care and love to bolster them in this challenging time. 

If you have any questions or curiosities about Song Team, or any of the music ministries of this church, don’t hesitate to ask me! AND, if you have musical talent to offer, we are looking for people to lead special music, especially through the summer. Thank you for your graciousness and prayerful support of our music ministries!

Family Ministries Update From Miss Brittney

There’s something so sacred about seeing church through the eyes of young people. They pick up on things that grownups tend to miss and those things become central to their narrative about church. Last Sunday, several of our young people experienced communion for the first time. They had a front row seat to one of the central parts of our Christian faith and soaked in every second of it. 

My philosophy of children’s ministry is to let them experience it all so when they are older, they have a solid foundation that holds their big questions and struggles that come with getting older. From lighting prayer candles to receiving ashes on Ash Wednesday, they are learning the fundamentals of why we do the things we do as a church. 

As we walked back to the classroom after communion one of our young disciples said, “Miss Brittney, I’ve never seen communion happen before. The pastors acted out the last supper just like we did when we learned about it during Lent. Do they act out all the stories like we do?” 

It was in that moment that I fell in love with my job and calling all over again. What a gift it is to share the stories and practices of our Christian faith with the youngest among us! 

You all also play a part in their formation and understanding of who God is and what church is all about. Each time you celebrate their presence in worship, greet them with a smile, allow them to experience prayer practices, rejoice at the sight of ribbon dancers and welcome them in to the mystery of faith you are helping to build the foundation that their faith will sit on for the rest of their lives! 

Thank you for letting them be a part of all of the parts of worship. Your patience and celebration is so appreciated as they figure out what this all means and how it applies to their lives now and forever. 

Happenings At & Around First Olympia

Spring Affinity Nights

Affinity Nights have started back up at First Olympia! Join us on Wednesday evenings from 6-8pm for a free potluck dinner and chance to explore the many opportunities for fun and fellowship in our community. This round of Affinity nights will run until 6/5.

Activities this week (5/15):

Sermon Topic Study w/ Pastor Alexa, Book Club Echo (discussing Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver), Youth SLAM Curriculum, and kids baking with Carol Gruen

Affinity Nights requires helping hands to run! Please consider signing up here: to help

set-up/clean-up, bring a main dish, or provide a side dish. Any help is appreciated!

Have a Spare Bag?

The Thurston County Food Bank needs bags for donations.

If have any plastic or reusable bags lying around your home, please considering bringing them in and dropping them off in our donation bin on Sunday. Thank you!

Pentecost Sunday Allergy Alert

Do you have a latex allergy? As we prepare for Pentecost Sunday, we want to ask our church community if there is a latex allergy in our midst.

The young disciples will be doing a lesson with balloons but we want to make sure no one is allergic before we bring latex balloons into the church building and sanctuary. Please let Brittney ( know asap if this is an allergy you have and she will do something different with the kids. Thank you!

May-June Upper Rooms

May-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.

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!

UWIF Scholarship Recipient

The United Women in Faith are pleased to award a $500 educational grant for 2024 to Marina Fontanilla. She will be graduating from high school this year and plans to attend college in Washington state. Marina wants to focus on sustainable infrastructure and building better communities for the future. We are proud of Marina’s accomplishments!

Wiggle Worship Snacks

As our children’s ministry program grows, we are in need of donations for our wiggle worship space! If you would like to donate snacks and drinks to our young people, here are a list of things they would be so grateful for! 

-Capri Sun Roaring Waters (any flavor)


-Rice Crispy Treats 

 -Fruit Snacks/Strips

-Goldfish or other crackers (nothing with peanut butter, please) 

General Conference Video Reflection

Ten Western Jurisdiction bishops (five active, five retired) shared a reflection on the historic results of the postponed 2020 General Conference that recently concluded after meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina, from April 23-May 3, 2024.

Click the box below to hear their words:

Scam Alert!

We have been made aware that there is an email being sent widely to congregants of First Olympia and the other co-op churches, seemingly from Pastor Heather, that expressed the need for an urgent meeting with her.

We will never ask you to give to the church in this way. 

If you receive the spam email asking for immediate response or gift card purchases, please report it as spam, if you can, and we encourage you to block the sender as well. Again, we are so sorry this is happening. Thank you for being alert and letting us know when you receive messages like these. 

Life of the Church

On Sunday, we were so happy to welcome Wyatt back into our building with his family! In celebration of his successful kidney transplant, we were also glad to enjoy a delicious cake decorated with a (frosting) kidney.

And last night at Affinity Nights, we were joined by an instructor from Oly Dance who led a beginner's swing dancing lesson! A few brave souls had a blast learning some basic moves and grooving together.

Join us next week at Affinity Nights for Book Club, a sermon topic study w/ Pastor Alexa, Youth activities, and kids baking cookies with Carol Gruen.

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

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

Like us on Facebook!

Follow us on Instagram!

Contact us ...

by phone: 360-943-2661 by email:

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

The Weekly Courier editor: Lauren Fontanilla