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  

  

January 2023 -  From The Pastor's Desk: 

 

Friends,

 

New Years’ is really an arbitrary date. We all have multiple new years every year: a new school year and various fiscal years. Our Christian liturgical year starts about a month before the secular calendar. I bet you didn’t know that Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, comes in the seventh month of the Hebrew calendar. In our personal lives, birthdays and wedding anniversaries mark the end of one year and the beginning of another. Each year, the date of my ordination is cause for introspection and self-appraisal. Whatever the new year, each is a simple measure of time, as well as an opportunity for reflection.

      Contemplation and renewal are central to Christian spirituality. By God’s grace, we are invited to renew and re-imagine our lives at any given moment. Consider John Newton, author of Amazing Grace: he started a voyage as the captain of a slave ship and returned to London, an Abolitionist. New years and anniversaries remind us of the ground we have covered and spur us to ponder the future. New Year’s resolutions reflect a sense of possibility. Disappointments can always give way to recommitment.

      Eleanor Roosevelt said, “It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.” The Christian liturgical calendar takes us from Christmas to Epiphany. At the darkest time of year, we celebrate the miracle of light breaking into darkness. I pray that in 2023, we will each discover new enlightenment and shine for one another. I pray that First Congregational Church of Walpole will be a beacon of warm fellowship, nurture and inspiration for our members, and a sign of hope to our community and beyond. This year will reveal possibilities God has in store; we have not likely imagined. I pray that we will share the goodness we have come to know, by the grace of God.

      I wish you all the very best in 2023 and beyond.

 

    - Yours 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.