ABOUT US

A MESSAGE FROM OUR INTERIM PASTOR

 

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

 

The season of Easter continues for our family of faith.  Springtime seems reluctant to appear but the promise of warmer temperatures, flowers blooming, and green grass growing is present. I am reminded of God’s promises even when they do not seem to come true on my personal time table! We are not in control and sometimes that bothers us.  Spiritual discernment teaches us to trust the promise. 

 

During April, we have listened in worship to the texts describing the stories of resurrection appearances by Jesus.  We imagine the disciples hiding and huddled in fear.  The disciples were fearful because the arrest and death of Jesus was horrible news.  More importantly, they were fearful of being sought out by authorities. They were fearful because they too might be called to defend their faith, to die for the message that Jesus taught, preached and lived.  Do you remember when your dreams were gone and expectations were dashed?  The future was unknown without his leadership.  Fear and uncertainty can bring discord.  Who was going to be in charge?  Jesus again and again repeated a greeting, “Peace be with you.” 

 

The disciples like all of us tend to look to one leader to solve problems and be there for us.  I often hear, “If we just got the right pastor this time!”  Too often we want leaders to do just what we want them to do.  Pastors and church leaders often face the tension inherent in a church’s mission and ministry by comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable.  Someone is always going to be complaining or unhappy.  This is human nature and it is the church of Jesus Christ.

           

In the church we have learned that the strongest witness of faith is a team effort.  We are not a social club of do-gooders.  We are the Body of Christ and it should scare us and make us wonder if we are up the task.  When the church is called to be Jesus in the world, humility is needed.  We speak the truth in love.  We remember our “Congregational Covenant.”  We live our lives as wise people of faith ever expanding and elastic to the changes around us and to the foundations of faith we have built.  We live with hope and courage.  We live into what it means to be an Open and Affirming church.  We face our fears and trust one another.  We discern God’s will within committees.  We revere individuals who seek to change what ceases to be life-giving in the church.  We recognize all people need to be challenged to follow Jesus.  We hope everyone feels empowered to focus on growth and goodness, inclusion and understanding.  This means we all contribute to the health and well-being of the church with our commitment of time, talent, money and love.  We do not look only to one person, even a pastor, to make us feel comfortable and certain.  We work together moving toward a common purpose traveling on common ground.

           

Jesus came to change the world.  Identifying the change that needs to take place is essential.  To explore and articulate the purpose of our church can involve the tedious work of listening and learning.  It is not always about action as much as being reflective and naming the concerns we share. After a consensus is reached, we move forward to developing ways to live with purpose.  As a trained intentional interim serving in Walpole, I continue to seek what it is the church hopes to be in the future.

           

Our cultural and political landscape has brought us to our knees.  We cannot avoid the discord all around us, hoping someone else will make things better.  God is calling us out of hiding and out of our fears to trust God’s promises even when we think Spring should already be here!

 

God bless you and keep you, Pastor Christine

                                            

 

 

Interim Pastor Christine Boardman

Who is UCC

The United Church of Christ (UCC) is a distinct and diverse community of Christians that come together as one church to join faith and action.  With over 5,000 churches and nearly one million members across the U.S., the UCC serves God in the co-creation of a just and sustainable world.  The UCC is a church of firsts, a church of extravagant welcome, and a church where "…they may all be one" (John 17:21).


The Church of Firsts

Since 1957, the United Church of Christ has been the church of firsts, weaving God’s message of hope and extravagant welcome with action for justice and peace. Together, we live out our faith in ways that effect change in our communities.  The UCC's many "firsts" mean that we have inherited a tradition of acting upon the demands of our faith.  When we read in Galatians: "There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus"—a demand is made upon us. And so we were the first historically white denomination to ordain an African-American, the first to ordain a woman, the first to ordain an openly gay man, and the first Christian church to affirm the right of same-gender couples to marry. We were in the forefront of the anti-slavery movement and the Civil Rights movement.  Our response to the demands of our faith is woven into the history of our country.


A Church of Extravagant Welcome

Today, we continue to change lives throughout the world. We work alongside more than 200 mission partners. We labor ceaselessly to fight injustice, in the United States and abroad. We instill our vision into our youth and young adults, forging leaders who will imagine new dreams. And we sustain and develop church leaders, pastors, and our local churches to live their faith in exciting new ways.  We believe in a God that is still speaking, a God that is all-loving and inclusive.  We are a church that welcomes and accepts everyone as they are, where your mind is nourished as much as your soul.


We are a church where Jesus the healer meets Jesus the revolutionary, and where together, we grow a just and peaceful world.

MEET OUR STAFF

PAT KINGSBURY

Office Administrator

TRACEY MARTIN

Treasurer

VICTOR PRATT

Custodian

KEANE SOUTHARD

Music Director

Covenant

FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH OF WALPOLE, UCC


Our Congregational Covenant


We seek to create and nurture a caring, safe, and supportive atmosphere that facilitates the growth of a strong Christian community.  These covenants are promises to each other, not rules, but descriptions of expected behavior, not changes of personality.


Covenants are ways of being in community at church, but also a model we can take home with us and out into the world.  These promises guide us in sharing information with each other, setting priorities, making decisions, addressing complaints and resolving conflicts.


With this our Covenant, we commit ourselves to:


  •          Support and love one another, as Jesus commanded. “Just as I have loved you, you should love one another.”  (John 13: 34)
  •          Forgive one another again and again.  (Matthew 18: 21-22)
  •          Seek resolution to conflict by first addressing the person directly with whom there is a problem, then if necessary involving witnesses, and third going to the congregation’s leaders.  (Matthew 18: 15-17)
  •          Interrupt gossip, neither accepting nor sharing rumors, even when such is masked as a concern.
  •          Always assume in others the best possible intentions and motivations, not the worst.
  •          Treat others as you wish to be treated.
  •          Seek what is best for the whole congregation, not only our immediate circle.
  •          Agree to disagree with love and respect.


Covenant:  a contract or agreement. In the Bible, an agreement between God and his people, in which God makes promises to his people and, usually, requires certain conduct from them. In the Old Testament, God made agreements with Noah, Abraham, and Moses.