Learning Center This Week




An Excerpt from “A Children’s Time for All Ages” – January 10, 2021Did you know the shell is a symbol of baptism? Some believe John the Baptist used a shell when he baptized Jesus in the River of Jordan. According to the baptismal paintings discovered on the ancient Christian catacomb walls, the seashell has been a part of this sacrament since the first centuries. Today, we can find the seashell on church banners, stained glass windows, printed materials and sometimes the baptismal font is in the shape of a shell. Some churches use a silver shell shaped scoop during the baptismal rite. The Baptismal Linen used during baptisms at UCC has an embroidered shell on it. Like many ancient symbols, the shell symbolism most likely began as a practical tool to scoop and pour water. “Perhaps the use of the shell was preferred for it is an item in nature, from a creature that lives its life submerged in water –as those who are baptized live a new life, immersed in the Christian faith.” The use of the shell links the Christian baptism to being restored, re-birthed, and rooted in all of God’s creation.
If you are looking for ways to be reminded of God’s love; ways to stay rooted, restored, renewed during this unpredictable and difficult place in our world and nation, I invite you to go down to the water’s edge and find a shell or pull a shell out of your own collection at home and pour some water into a bowl. Turn off the news. Turn off the e-devices. Embrace the quiet. Use the shell to spend time with God. Scoop and pour water with the shell. And listen. Hold the shell in your hands, feel the imperfections, the grittiness, the grooves and wonder about its journey in the sea. Invite Jesus to sit with you and tell you about his baptism at the River Jordan (Mark 1:4-11). Wonder as a family.


The simple seashell can remind us of our baptism and provide us with a sense of place; help keep us anchored, connected, and centered in our faith and in community. A simple spiritual practice with natural elements can also remind us who we are, whom we belong to and that we are loved and called to love others. May we find comfort and blessings in this, for God is with us all. Amen.
Keep the Winter Blues Away

Monthly Family Trivia Night continues into 2021!
Next Trivia Night – Friday, January 22 @ 6 PM
Upcoming Dates: February 19, March 19

Congratulations to all the teams who participated this Fall. Many of the nights were neck and neck, just 1 point away from taking home the winnings. Brush up on your Dog Breeds, rumor has it, it’ll be one of next month’s categories. Big thank you to Rob Perry for creating such a fun fellowship monthly event. No need to register. Zoom link will be in next week’s e-newsletter. Great virtual fellowship event to invite friends and family.
With much love and light,
Patty Berry, Coordinator of CYM & member of the Christian Education Board
Next CE Board Meeting is Monday, February 8 @ 7 PM







“but Jesus said, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them;
for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”" Matt 19:14


What People are Saying

We have had 17 moves. Every time we came back to Newport we were welcomed as though we had never been away. — Debby, Age 79
As part of this congregation, I appreciate our pastor and teacher, Rev. Joe Tripp.... — Mary, Age 59
UCC, Middletown – A wonderful place to make 100 real friends without using Facebook. — Chris, Age 60
I appreciate the strong sense of community that is always inclusive and welcoming. — Elaine, Age 57
I like coloring with my friends during Sunday School. — Violet, Age 7
I like listening to the Bible stories with my friends. — Damek, Age 11
This church has a warm and friendly staff and membership. It's like a second home for me. — Curt, Age 84
I love that everyone is always welcoming and always listens. — Mia, Age 18
Our Church is generous with people in need. Our church has great programs for children and youth. — Joe, Over 65
I have been a part of this church as a child and now as an adult. It's has always been a fun, welcoming, and very special place at each stage of my life. — Laura, Age 34
Sunday Morning Worship Schedule: Worship: 10:00 - 11:00
Sunday School: 10:00 - 11:00
Fellowship Time: 11:00 +