ABOUT US

 

INTRODUCING OUR PASTOR

 

The First Congregational Church of Walpole, UCC has called Richard Malmberg to be our new settled pastor.  He has served congregations in New England and the Midwest since his ordination in 1993.  The call brings him back to New Hampshire, where he has previously worked at the Concord Monitor and served as associate pastor of South Congregational Church. 

     Pastor Richard enjoys parish ministry for its variety of challenges and depth of relationships.  He finds the pastoral office calls clergy to stand on sacred ground at some of the most important moments in people's lives.  Whether a wedding, baptism, funeral, emotional crisis or a hospital bedside, when someone invites a minister into a sacred moment in their life, the only answer is the biblical one: "Here I am."

      An enthusiastic cook, Richard is convinced that church potluck suppers are generally the best meal in town whenever and wherever they are.  He also feels that the potluck supper is an excellent metaphor for a healthy congregation.  He looks forward to the chicken barbeque and pie baking First Congregational Church is known for.  

     Richard lives in the parsonage with wife, Jane, a librarian by profession.  Their two grown sons, Max and Oscar, live and work in Boston.  Richard collects toys, enjoys fishing, reading, films, and taking long walks around Walpole.  

 

Pastor Richard Malmberg  

November 2021 - Message From The Pastor: 

Thanksgiving is our holiday. By that I mean, Congregationalists are the direct theological and ecclesiastical descendants of the Puritans who settled in New England in the 1600s. Some members of First Congregational Church of Walpole, UCC trace their family line back to those first New England Puritans. For a long time, Thanksgiving has been my favorite holiday. Thanksgiving is America’s only official religious holiday, and it transcends religious differences. Thanksgiving is built for diversity. I also love that it is somewhat resistant to commercialism. There are cultural traditions of the meal, like turkey and cranberries. Cherished family dishes complete holiday tables across the country.

      Our Thanksgiving myth describes pilgrims and indigenous people coming together after the harvest to share a meal and give thanks to their Creator. When I say “myth,” I do not mean that it is untrue, just not literally true. I Googled a definition, calling myth: “a traditional story, especially one concerning the early history of a people or explaining some natural or social phenomenon, and typically involving supernatural beings or events.” I think that fits well. The myth ignores the fact that indigenous peoples were not generally thankful for the arrival and eventual dominance of white Europeans.

     Even so, I do cherish the holiday. There are historical and mythic foundations we can still embrace. It is literally true that forty-five of the 102 passengers on the Mayflower died during their first winter in New England. Since the beginning of the COVID 19 pandemic, over 700,000 Americans have died so far. Last year, many of us scaled back our Thanksgiving celebrations out of an abundance of caution. This year, with vaccines and boosters, a lot of us feel more comfortable gathering with family and friends to celebrate and give thanks that we have made it this far.

     Clearly, we are not out of the woods, but we have reason to be thankful. We have enough to eat and, roofs over our heads. As we ask God’s blessing on our Thanksgiving dinner, let’s pray for the conviction and creativity to increase the peace and justice in the world and our corner of it and beyond. As always, we are all in this together.


    - In Christ, Richard Malmberg

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:

JANE VESPER

Office Administrator


TRACEY MARTIN

Treasurer

AMY CANN 

Music Director

OUR 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.