Family Service
St. Augustine's

August 31 2003

Key :

instructions for congregation
movements during service
prayers and readings
sections of the service

Other information :

There are some notes on our production of the service.

A rough plan of the church is available.

A note on copyright.



LeaderWe welcome you here in the name of Jesus. May He speak to each one of us in the stillness of our hearts.

Some "house keeping" information -

  • If anyone would like the music for our hymns today, please put up your hand and we will bring it to you.
  • Toilets are between the church and the hall.
  • If anyone is new here and would like to go on the Church list, which entitles you to receive the Messenger three or four times a year, and other benefits, then please fill in the card at the end of the seats and hand it to one of the helpers after the service.

Thank you.

God can enter our lives

LeaderPlease stand for the hymn
Be Thou my Vision

1.   Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
  Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art -
  Thou my best thought, through the day or the night,
  Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

2.   Be Thou my Wisdom, be Thou my true Word;
  I ever with Thee, and Thou with me, Lord;
  Thou my great Father, and I Thy true son;
  Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

3.   Be Thou my battle-shield, sword for the fight,
  Be Thou my dignity, Thou my delight,
  Thou my soul's shelter, and Thou my high tower;
  Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.

4.   Riches I heed not, nor man's empty praise,
  Thou mine inheritance, now and always :
  Thou and Thou only, the first in my heart,
  High King of heaven, my treasure Thou art.

5.   High King of heaven, after victory won,
  May I reach heav'n's joys, O bright heaven's Sun !
  Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
  Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.

LeaderPlease sit or kneel for prayers.

Thank You that You have made it possible for each one of us to invite You to be part of our lives :

PeopleWe thank You, Lord God !
LeaderThank You that when we accept Your invitation, You can enter every part of our lives and make it better :
PeopleWe thank You, Lord God !
LeaderThank You, Lord God, for the times when we feel especially close to You :
PeopleThank You, Lord God !
LeaderHelp us to respond to Your call :
PeopleHelp us, Lord God !
LeaderThank You, Lord God, for Your wonderful gifts to us :
PeopleThank You, Lord God !
LeaderHelp us to use Your gifts to serve others :
PeopleHelp us, Lord God !
LeaderTeach us to be generous in all things :
PeopleTeach us, Lord God ! Amen.
Seeker, Scoffer and Christian come to the front after the prayers; Christian stays at one side.
LeaderPlease sit for the play :
Changed lives
SeekerHey, did you ask him ?
ScofferMe ? Ask who ? what ?
SeekerYou know, ask him why he's changed so much.
ScofferOh, that ! No, of course I didn't.
SeekerBut I asked you to.
ScofferWell, look, he's over there, ask him yourself.
SeekerCome with me.
ScofferOh no ! I don't even know what you're talking about. What change ?
SeekerOh, he's a lot softer, and easier to talk to, and more caring than he used to be.
ScofferSofter ? - look, I don't care about people being soft, OK ? I just want to hang out with tough guys.
( Scoffer wanders off to back;
Seeker and Christian both move towards centre. )
SeekerCan I ask you a question ? - I hope you won't mind.
But I want to ask what's changed you ?
You used to be so hard and tough and now you are so much more caring and peaceful.
How did that happen ?
ChristianWell, my mate took me to Youth Alpha and it sure changed my life.
SeekerWhat happened ?
ChristianIt was all about Jesus, and I found it so interesting that one night I became a Christian, a follower of Jesus, and now you've noticed how He changed me.
SeekerWow ! Am I allowed to hear about Jesus ? I'd like to change too.
ChristianThen how about coming to Youth Alpha with me on Thursday ?
SeekerOo ! Yes, I'd like that.
ChristianOK. I'll pick you up on Thursday about 7:15.
SeekerCool. I'll see you then.
ChristianSee ya.
They go off, Christian down lectern aisle, Seeker down organ aisle.
LeaderPlease stand for the hymn
Seek ye first the Kingdom of God
Omitted for copyright reasons; further details.
LeaderPlease sit.

God speaks to us

Long ago - God calls Isaiah to be a prophet.

Remove cover from prayer-desk.
Seraphs group themselves round the altar;
Isaiah kneels at prayer desk;
Reader goes to lectern;

"God" goes to balcony;
Mimer prepares with tongs and coal.
ReaderPlease remain sitting for the reading, adapted from Isaiah Chapter 6 verses 1-8 , which can be found on Page 751 of the Church Bibles.

God calls Isaiah to be a prophet

In the year that King Uzziah died, Isaiah saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of His robe filled the temple. Above Him were seraphs, each with six wings : with two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another :

Seraphs Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty;
the whole earth is full of His glory.
Reader The sound of their voices made the foundation of the temple shake, and the temple itself was filled with smoke.
IsaiahThere is no hope for me !
I am doomed because every word that passes my lips is sinful, and I live among a people whose every word is sinful. And yet, with my own eyes I have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.
Reader( as mimer mimes the actions - )
Then one of the creatures flew down to me, carrying a burning coal that he had taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. He touched my lips with the burning coal and said :
Head SeraphThis has touched your lips and now your guilt is gone, and your sins are forgiven.
ReaderThen Isaiah heard the Lord say :
God ( from balcony. )Who shall I send ? Who will be Our messenger ?
IsaiahI will go ! Send me !
( Isaiah walks purposefully down centre aisle, mimer returns, seraphs return down lectern side aisle;

Pause whilst Isaiah goes to the back - then : )

LeaderPlease remain sitting for the play :
Not the railway station !
Brit 1Hey, wasn't that an exciting reading ?
Brit 2Yes, it was ! I think I missed some bits, but I'm glad we're keeping up to date with a bit about the new railway station.
Brit 1BRITOMART ? What's that got to do with it ?
Brit 2Well, wasn't it ? There was something about a train, and a description of a spectacular scene, then the foundations shook, which must be a train arriving. Then Isaiah says "There is no hope for me", which I suppose means it wasn't his train, and he ends up saying "I will go", and walks off, unhappy with the service. That sounds just like Britomart.
Brit 1No, that's not it at all. You've missed ...
Brit 2 ( interrupting. )Well, there were some puzzling bits. It said the place filled with smoke, and that's not very up-to-date - then there was something about burning coals. Are they going to get steam trains back ?
Brit 1Look, it WASN'T ABOUT BRITOMART ! It's all about a vision of God that the prophet Isaiah had. And it's about the temple in Jerusalem...
Brit 2Is that better than Britomart ?
Brit 1MUCH better than Britomart. Look, pretend this church is about twice as long and twice as wide. In Isaiah's vision, he saw God somewhere up there ( points to round window above altar ) seated like a great king on a wonderful throne. The train was the train of His robe, which was so magnificent that it covered the whole floor. Then there was a vast choir of angelic creatures, who sang so gloriously that the temple was shaken to its foundations. And the temple filled with smoke from the incense they used to burn.
Brit 2Well, that's an improvement. All you get at Britomart is loudspeaker announcements and diesel fumes, though the ventilation's pretty good....
Brit 1Look, please, it ISN'T Britomart. It's the ancient temple in Jerusalem. And Isaiah has just seen God, and he's terrified, because they believed that anyone who saw God would die - and that's when he gave up hope. But the burning coal was a way of getting rid of Isaiah's sins, so he was forgiven, and wouldn't die. Then he hears God calling for people to carry His message to the world, and he offers himself as God's messenger.

Now, is that a bit clearer ?

Brit 2Yes. But that was all a very long time ago - it's even older than the New Zealand railway system. What does it have to do with us ?
Brit 1Well, the same sort of thing still happens to people. They don't always have visions but they feel the wonder and the glory and the love of God, and they still feel His call to follow Him and to do His work.
Brit 2 ( as they return to back. )All right, you win. It's a lot better than Britomart. But it's a pity the steam trains aren't coming back....

Now :

LeaderPlease stand for the hymn
To get a touch from the Lord,
which we shall sing twice.
To get a touch from the Lord is so real;
To get a touch from the Lord is so real;
If you draw near to Him,
He will draw near to you-
To get a touch from the Lord is so real.
Hallelujah, hallelujah,
Jesus is coming, is coming again;
Hallelujah, hallelujah,
Jesus is coming again.
LeaderPlease sit.

The Pentecost experience

Long ago - The Holy Spirit comes at Pentecost :

ReaderThis reading is from Acts Chapter 2 verses 1-13, which can be found on Page 1205 of the Church Bibles.

The Holy Spirit comes at Pentecost.

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in the one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. "We are from Parthia, Media, and Elam; from Mesopotamia, Judea, and Cappadocia; from Pontus and Asia, from Phrygia and Pamphylia, from Egypt and the regions of Libya near Cyrene. Some of us are from Rome, both Jews and Gentiles converted to Judaism, and some of us are from Crete and Arabia - yet we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues !" Amazed and perplexed they asked one another, "What does this mean ?"

Some however made fun of them and said, "They have had too much wine."

Now :

  - ending with an invitation to meditate silently on the following prayer :

Lord Jesus Christ, I want to belong to You from now on.

I want to be freed from the dominion of darkness and the rule of Satan, and I want to enter into Your kingdom and be part of Your people.

I will turn away from all wrongdoing, and I will avoid everything that leads me to wrongdoing.

I ask You to forgive all the sins that I have committed.

I offer my life to You, and I promise to obey You as my Lord. I ask You to baptise me in the Holy Spirit and I open myself to receive every gift that You desire to give me.

LeaderPlease remain sitting or kneeling as we sing the hymn
Spirit of the living God
twice, as a prayer.
Omitted for copyright reasons; further details.

Jesus with us now

LeaderPlease sit for the story
The Bike Ride.
( Move cover from bike )
The action is mimed throughout by the mimer on an exercise "bicycle".
Reader At first I saw God as my Observer, my Judge. Keeping track of the things I did wrong, so as to know whether I merited heaven or hell when I die. He was out there, sort of like the President. I recognized His picture when I saw it, but I really didn't know Him.

But later on when I met Christ, it seemed as though life was rather like a bike ride. But it was a tandem bike, and I noticed that Christ was on the back helping me pedal.

I don't know just when it was that he suggested we change places, but life has not been the same since. When I had control, I knew the way. It was rather boring, but it was predictable. It was the shortest distance between two points. But when He took the lead, He knew delightful "long-cuts". Up mountains and through rocky places at break-neck speed. It was all I could do to hang on, and even though it looked like madness He just said, "Pedal !"

I worried, I was anxious, and I asked, "Where are you taking me ?" He laughed and didn't answer, and I started to learn to trust. I forgot my boring life and entered into His adventure, and when I'd say,"I'm scared", He'd lean back and touch my hand.

He took me to people with gifts that I needed. Gifts of healing and acceptance and joy. They gave me gifts to take on my journey - my Lord's and mine - and we were off again. He'd say, "Give those gifts away now, they're extra baggage - too much weight." So I did, to the people we met. And I found that in giving I received, and still our burden was light.

I didn't trust Him at first, in control of my life. I thought He'd wreck it. But He knows bicycle secrets. He knows how to make it bend to take sharp corners. He knows how to jump to clear high rocks. He even knows how to fly to shorten scary passages.

I'm learning to shut up and pedal in the strangest places, and I'm beginning to enjoy the view and the cool breeze on my face and my delightful constant companion, Jesus. And when I'm sure I just can't do any more, He just smiles and says "Pedal ! Pedal !"

( Mimer returns. )
LeaderPlease kneel for the prayers, ending by singing The Lord's Prayer :
( Pray-ers ready to read prayers from lectern. )
Pray-er 1 Thank you, Lord God, for the journey that You invite us to take with You. We are each at different places on that journey; help us to persevere along the road You lay before us. We thank you for times of joy; we know that You are beside us through times of trouble. We look forward to continuing our journey with You, and we pray that we may always allow You to guide us as we pedal along our road with You.
Pray-er 2 We thank You for our families and friends. We think particularly today of those we know who are in trouble or distress, asking that You will show us how to support and love them through their difficult times, and trusting that in our difficult times there will be others to support us.
Pray-er 3 We pray for the world we live in, asking that we might be so filled with Your peace, love and joy that they will spread from us to all those around us, on and on until all the world is full of the peace, love and joy of God.
( Organist plays the first line of the Lord's Prayer, then accompanies as all sing. )

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name;
Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth, as in heaven;
Give us today our daily bread;
Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us;
Save us from the time of trial, and deliver us from evil;
For the Kingdom, the power and the glory are Yours, now and for ever. Amen

LeaderPlease stand for the collection hymn
Come down, O Love divine.
During this hymn a voluntary collection will be received.
( Collectors ready )

1.   Come down, O Love divine,
  Seek Thou this soul of mine,
  And visit it with Thine own ardour glowing;
  O Comforter, draw near,
  Within my heart appear,
  And kindle it, Thy holy flame bestowing.

2.   Oh, let it freely burn,
  Till earthly passions turn
  To dust and ashes in its heat consuming;
  And let Thy glorious light
  Shine ever on my sight,
  And clothe me round, the while my path illuming.

3.   Let holy charity
  Mine outward vesture be,
  And lowliness become mine inner clothing;
  True lowliness of heart,
  Which takes the humbler part,
  And o'er its own shortcomings weeps with loathing.

4.   And so the yearning strong,
  With which the soul will long,
  Shall far outpass the power of human telling;
  For none can guess its grace,
  Till he become the place
  Wherein the Holy Spirit makes His dwelling.

Leader Please remain standing for the Blessing.


Those taking part :

Bike Rider
Brit 1
Brit 2
Head Seraph
Pray-er 1
Pray-er 2
Pray-er 3