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  


From The Pastor's Desk: 




How did it get to be September already?! Could it really be time for college football and assessing the Patriots Super Bowl chances? It is not quite time to give up on World Series hopes for the Red Sox. It’s not like the old days, when they adjourned to the cellar for the remainder of the season, once the All-Star Game was over. True Red Sox fans recall: the ’04 Red Sox entered the playoffs as a wild card, made history by roaring back, three games down, to beat the Yankees in the Pennant race. The curse of the Bambino was broken that night.


I can’t tell you how many people I have heard remark on how quickly the summer seems to have passed. I feel it too. Perhaps summer seems so short to us because, in this part of the world, winter is so long. I think our surprise at the passage of time has to do with the way we spend so much time rushing around, that we never fully experience where we are at any given moment.


In his book Slowness, Czech novelist Milan Kundera observed, after a good, enjoyable experience we tend to leave it slowly, savoring and remembering it. When we have a bad experience, we are inclined to rush away to get to the next thing and forget the last. Slowness is for remembering. Rushing is about forgetting, according to Kundera.


The Psalmist wrote, “Be still, and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10) The creation narrative in Genesis tells us that the necessity of pausing and reflecting is woven into the very fabric of the universe. Even God rested after six days of creation. I have heard God referred to as the Supreme Being. Have you ever heard of a Supreme Doing? We are human beings, not human doings.


Sunday is the day that we, as Christians, set aside to be. On Sunday we can be together as a congregation, warmed by fellowship, recharged by prayer, and music inspired and informed by the Word of God. On Sunday mornings we offer our presence to God and one another, as we sit still together and come to know God.


Time is sacred and a gift of God. In church, we mark the passing of the seasons of one another’s lives. We mark the seasons of the year, and we mark time with liturgical seasons: Advent, Lent, Eastertide, Christmas, and Epiphany. We are currently in a season some traditions call “Ordinary Time.” Others refer to it as the season “after Pentecost.”


No time is ordinary and every minute presents new gifts, challenges, and opportunities. I look forward to the time we will spend together as we gather again in the sanctuary and all around. I hope your summer was not too quick. I look forward to savoring the year ahead with all of you.


    - 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.



Office Administrator






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.