Avondale E-Worship
"The Problem of Pain"

Isaiah 43: 1 - 7
Restoration and Protection Promised

43 But now thus says the Lord,
    he who created you, O Jacob,
    he who formed you, O Israel:
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
    I have called you by name, you are mine.

2   When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
    and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
    and the flame shall not consume you.

3   For I am the Lord your God,
    the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
I give Egypt as your ransom,
    Ethiopia[ a ] and Seba in exchange for you.

4   Because you are precious in my sight,
    and honored, and I love you,
I give people in return for you,
    nations in exchange for your life.

5   Do not fear, for I am with you;
    I will bring your offspring from the east,
    and from the west I will gather you;

6   I will say to the north, “Give them up,”
    and to the south, “Do not withhold;
bring my sons from far away
    and my daughters from the end of the earth—

everyone who is called by my name,
    whom I created for my glory,
    whom I formed and made.”
Spiritual Reflection

Understanding that you have the gift of free will, how are you using your freedom? 

When you experience times of pain and suffering, how do you usually respond? Do you tend to turn inward; do you blame God; do you turn to your community and friends?

If you lived during Isaiah’s time and heard him share today’s passage, how would you have interpreted it?
A Moment for Children
Who are you?
Good morning friends! Spend some time talking with your family and answering the question, "who am I?" Answer for yourself and allow your parents and siblings to answer for you as well! Sometimes those that are closest to us see gifts and strengths we cannot! Think about your name, what does it mean and where did it come from? Think about your hobbies, favorite things and stuff you are really good at! All of these things make up who you are!

Wow! You are awesome!
There are so many cool things about you but it looks like you may have missed something! God tells us in our scripture today that we are His! In verse one He said, "I have called you by name, you are mine!" We are all God's children which is the most wonderful thing about us! As His children, God promises to always take care of us and to never leave us!

Who are you?
Answer the question again this time yelling it as loud as you can!
My name is _________, child of God!

Activity
Name tags are very helpful in letting people know your name or even marking something that might be yours! Make a sign with your name on it for your bedroom door or your seat at the dinner table. Using construction paper, write your name and under your name write, "child of God!" Decorate the sign with other drawings, stickers or magazine cutouts that represent who you are!

Prayer
Dear God, help me to remember as I grow that I am Your child and that You will never leave me. Amen.
Member Care Corner

"Show You Care - Task of the week"
Thinking about our scripture today, do you know a member who is currently traveling through deep waters? Send a note of love and care, reminding them they are His and are they are never alone!
If you know of any member concerns or needs, please email Jim or call the church office and leave a message.

Online Directory Password: 1944A
Mission Corner

How is Avondale responding during this time of need?

The Bethlehem Center continues to use space at Avondale to host children whose parents are working in essential jobs, ensuring that the children can continue to learn while school is being conducted online. The program has had between 4 and 6 kids in recent weeks. Each week, Avondale's ABC team has put together non-perishable meal bags for each child's family for the weekend to ensure the children and their families are receiving nutritious meals. In this time when it is difficult for so many to feed themselves, Avondale is able to help those with whom we are engaged in mission year-round thanks to your faithful giving!  
Offering
Your Avondale Pledge

For those of you who contribute to your pledge through the offering plate on Sunday, there are many opportunities to fulfill your commitment including, mailing a check, PayPal or a one-time or reoccurring bank draft . Drafts can be setup or changed at anytime. Please contact Jacqueline for more information.
Today we receive the Ten Cents-A-Meal offering. You may support this Charlotte Presbytery mission to f eed and nurture those who hunger and thirst, both physically and spiritually by giving HERE . Thank you for your support of this important ministry!
Self Care and Prayer
The Labyrinth is a sacred place set aside for you to reflect, pray, and worship God. The rhythm of walking empties the mind, relaxes the body and refreshes the spirit. 

The Labyrinth can be walked in four stages, allowing you to walk with your body and rest your mind.

Remember: Before walking the labyrinth take time in gratitude to be thankful for your life. Bless the people in your life. If there is a specific event or situation troubling you (like the coronavirus) bring it to mind and form a healing question if possible (such as why am I anxious about …).

Release: Walking into the labyrinth quiet the mind, let go of the chatter and release any tension. Open your heart to feel whatever it might feel. Become aware of your breathing making sure you are taking slow deep breaths. Relax and move at your own pace. 

Receive: While standing or sitting in the center, use this space as a place of reflection. Pause and stay as long as you like. Open yourself to God. Listen to God’s small, inner voice. Use this time to pray and be honest with God about the things you need to say. 

Return: While walking out of the labyrinth, take the same path you followed to go in. Walking out experience the sense of well-being, healing, energy, and peace.

Prayers You Might Choose to Offer

"I place myself in your presence O God."

"Thank you God for ______. I praise your name because you _______."

"Lord search me and know me for you have created me. Give me the strength to serve you and to _____."

While exiting, offer words of praise and thanksgiving!
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