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  

Message From The Pastor: Ahh, Spring! - I have a friend from Australia, who came to study for his Doctor of Ministry at Andover Newton. When Easter arrived, he experienced it as a “revelation.” His word. Having spent his entire life in the Southern Hemisphere, he never celebrated the resurrection in springtime. Their seasons are the opposite of what we know. Christmas vacation is summer vacation! Go figure.

    One of the customs of First Congregational Church of Walpole I discovered, after arriving last May, is sharing “God sightings” at the beginning of meetings. It still takes me by surprise. Looking for God, everywhere we go, is an excellent spiritual discipline.

    God IS everywhere, right? In Genesis God commanded us to fill the earth. In Matthew, Jesus told the disciples to make disciples of all nations. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is proclaimed throughout the world, on all seven continents! Even Antarctica. I know that because I once met a Baptist Air Force chaplain who was stationed there. While we may find God everywhere and anywhere, we may not FEEL that presence. And yet, 1 Thessalonians tells us to, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances.” (1Thess 5:16-18) We do live in a difficult world at a difficult time. So did the saints of the early church to whom the letter was written.

    My friend from Australia was on the other side of the world from his wife and young children, working on an advanced degree, but he was open to a revelation on an Easter that was unlike any other in his life. Easter is about new life and resurrection. Easter is also about transformation. Remember, when two of the disciples walked with the risen Christ at the end of Luke’s gospel, they did not recognize him. They invited him to join them for dinner. Then, they recognized him in the breaking of bread.

    My prayer for this Easter is that we will proclaim the Good News, in ways that are actually new. As Christ’s disciples in Walpole, I hope we find and share new ways of living, instead of the old ways that don’t work anymore (if they ever did). May our ministry make God’s love real here, and in a world without end.

    - 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

    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.