Family Service
St. Augustine's

2003 June 29

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.

Please stand for the hymn :
Thou Whose almighty word

( During this hymn Herald, Child 1, Child 4, Mum, Child 3 and Child 2 go down hospital side aisle ready for the play. )

1. Thou, Whose almighty word
  Chaos and darkness heard,
  And took their flight;
  Hear us, we humbly pray,
  And where the Gospel-day
  Sheds not its glorious ray,
  Let there be light !

2. Thou, Who didst come to bring
  On Thy redeeming wing
  Healing and sight,
  Health to the sick in mind,
  Sight to the inly blind,
  O now to all mankind
  Let there be light !

3. Spirit of truth and love,
  Life-giving, holy Dove,
  Speed forth Thy flight;
  Move on the water's face,
  Bearing the lamp of grace,
  And in earth's darkest place
  Let there be light !

4. Holy and blessed Three,
  Glorious Trinity,
  Wisdom, Love, Might;
  Boundless as ocean's tide
  Through the earth far and wide
  Let there be light !

LeaderPlease sit.

Jesus said, "love the Lord Your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength and love your neighbour as you love yourself."

We are going to show you how this might fit into modern family life, and we can ask for God's help as we try to follow His instructions.

LeaderLord, change our hearts.
PeopleHelp us to love You, O God, and our neighbours as ourselves.
( Herald walks from hospital side aisle to centre with the notice "Early in the week" and when in the centre says - )
( Then Herald returns to the side aisle. )

( Once Herald has returned Mum, Child 2, Child 3, Child 1 and Child 4 move to in front of the table and the play begins. )

Child 2Rules ! Rules ! I'm fed up with rules.
Rules ! Do this, Put that away, Turn your music down !
It's driving me mad
Child 4Yes, me too. Don't take your sister's things, hurry up you'll be late - on and on it goes. It's spoiling my life.
Child 1Yeah, rules - they're ruining my life too.
Only ten minutes for a phone call when all my other friends can talk for hours,
Get out of the shower. Rules - I hate them.
Child 3Don't talk with your mouth full,
Don't be greedy -
I'm fed up with them too.
MumI know, let's all have a day when we can do what we like as long as it's legal. We must go to work and to school but otherwise we'll do our own thing. No rules. But nobody must be hurt either.
ChildrenWho, all of us ?
Child 4Yes, let's !
Child 3That's a cool idea !
Child 2Can we do it soon ?
Child 1What day should we choose ?
MumLet's do it on Friday - but not at work or school. But, remember, we mustn't do anything that will harm someone else or break the law. And each one of us will do just what we want within reason.
ChildrenOK. Friday it is.
Mum- and then on Saturday at lunch time we can discuss how it went, and Dad will be home from his business trip then and hear all about it too.
( Family freeze until Herald has said "Friday Morning" and gone back to the side aisle. )
LeaderLord, change our hearts.
PeopleHelp us to love You, O God, and our neighbours as ourselves.
( Herald walks from hospital side aisle to centre with the notice "FRIDAY MORNING" and when in the centre says - )
( Then Herald returns to the side aisle. )
Child 1Great ! Today is THE day !
Child 3Where's breakfast ? Is my lunch ready ?
MumHere's the bread - you're all making your own lunches today.
ChildrenOh, Mum, must we ?
MumOh, Yes - it's my day off too.
Child 2You ? - a day off ? oh NO !
MumAnd you must all catch the bus to school - here's the bus money.
Child 4Oh, I knew there'd be a catch in this "do-what-you-like" day !
ChildrenWe hate catching the bus !
( Children stomp off "to catch the bus", go to hospital side aisle. )
MumPhew ! Thank goodness - just a half day at work then I'm FREE !
( Mum goes off to hospital side aisle. )
LeaderLord, change our hearts.
PeopleHelp us to love You, O God, and our neighbours as ourselves.
( Herald walks from hospital side aisle to centre with the notice "AFTER SCHOOL" and when in the centre says - )
( - then Herald returns to the side aisle. )
( Child 1 stays "outside" talking, other three children come back in to the "kitchen", God goes to balcony. )
Child 3I'm so hungry.
Wow ! - it's do-what-you-like day ! ICE CREAM FROM THE FREEZER ! YUMMY !
Child 4Quick, she's still outside points to Child 1 ) talking, I'm going to borrow her top, I'll go and put it on now then go out the back door to meet Jane - yippee !
( Hurries off, down organ aisle. )
Child 2Music as loud as I like - Fantastic !
( Child 1 comes in. )
Child 1Has that brat got my top on - yes she has - I'll kill her.
Where's Mum ?
Child 3 ( eating )She's not home yet.
Child 1Oh, here's a message on the answer phone -
Mum's out;
Gone to the beach, then going to the pictures, be back about 9pm. with pizzas.
Child 3Great ! I love pizza.
( Family ( Child 1, Child 2, Child 3 ) freeze until Herald has said "Saturday lunchtime" and gone back to the side aisle. )
LeaderLord, change our hearts.
PeopleHelp us to love You, O God, and our neighbours as ourselves.
( Herald walks from hospital side aisle to centre with the notice "SATURDAY LUNCHTIME" and when in the centre says - )
( Then Herald returns to the side aisle. )
( Mum and Child 4 come back into the "kitchen" and they all sit around the table. )
MumWell, how did yesterday go ?
I had a wonderful day.
Child 3It was great - I had lots to eat !
Other childrenOh, Mum, it was terrible !
Child 1She stole my top, you know how much she's always wanted to wear it.
God ( from balcony )Do not steal.
Child 4Well, her things are better than mine.
God ( from balcony )Do not want what belongs to other people.
Child 4I didn't steal it - I've brought it back - here's your smelly old top.
God ( from balcony )Do not tell lies.
Child 2Oh my God, why don't you all just shut up !
God ( from balcony )Use my name with respect.
MumLook at you three arguing again !
Why don't we try to work this out ?
Child 2Oh, listen to her go on - when she just took off for the day.
God ( from balcony )Respect your father and mother.
Child 1But you still haven't done anything about her stealing my top.
MumCome on then, let's talk about what happened yesterday.
Do you think rules are important then for people to live together happily ?
Child 4Yes - BUT they must be fair.
MumWell, what do you think are fair rules for us each to follow ?
Go and get some paper and let's write some rules down.
( Child 3 runs off to the organ for paper and returns with Dad and the paper. )
Child 3Look, here's Dad home !
Child 1Dad, come and help us with these rules.
Child 4Yesterday was terrible !
Child 2We all did what we wanted and ......
DadYes, your mother told me about her plan.
( Dad sits down. )
Child 1Anyway, when were the first rules made ?
DadGod made some rules way back in Moses's time. That is about three and a half thousand years ago, near the beginning of the Bible. They're called "The Ten Commandments".
Child 2What, that long ago ? They won't be much use now.
DadWell, people haven't changed very much, and some of God's rules are pretty much like our laws today.
Child 4So what are they ?
MumThere's a song about them - let's stand and sing it now.
Leader ( if necessary )Please stand for the hymn :
God's Ten Commandments
( During this hymn the family go down side aisle to back and prepare to carry their cubes to the front during the next reading.

Reader comes to lectern ready to read the lesson. )

1. You shall have no God but me,
  To no idol bow the knee.
  Don't use God's name carelessly,
  May your Sabbath restful be.

Chorus :

  God's ten commandments,
  God's ten commandments,
  God's ten commandments,
  That He Himself has given.

2. Love your parents as you should
  For their loving parenthood;
  If you give them honour due,
  God Himself will honour you.


3. Do not kill, be ever true
  To the one you're married to;
  Do not steal, and truthful be;
  Keep yourself from envy free.


Reader Please sit for the reading adapted from Exodus Chapter 20 verses 1-17.

God spoke and these were His words :

I am the LORD your God who brought you out of Egypt, where you were slaves.

Worship no god but Me; ( No 1 cube out. )

Do not make idols or worship them; ( No 2 cube out. )

Use My name with respect; ( No 3 cube out. )

Rest on the seventh day and remember Me; ( No 4 cube out. )

Respect your father and mother; ( No 5 cube out. )

Do not murder; ( No 6 cube out. )

Husbands and wives be faithful to one another; ( No 7 cube out. )

Do not steal; ( No 8 cube out. )

Do not tell lies about anyone; ( No 9 cube out. )

Do not envy other people or want what belongs to them. ( No 10 cube out. )

( Cubes should now be arranged in a pyramid with Cubes 1 to 4 as the bottom row of the pyramid ! )

( Family remain at hospital side ready to come on for the play; when the reading ends, the family sit around the table again. )

Leader Please remain sitting for the play.
Child 1But this is all Old Testament stuff, from three and a half thousand years ago, rules given to some Jewish people. Didn't Jesus change all that ?
MumWell - in a way He did.
Child 3What do you mean, "in a way" ?
DadHe said - "Do not think that I have come to do away with the Law of Moses. I have come to make its teachings come true."

Jesus taught us to love the Lord our God with all our hearts, with all our souls, with all our minds, and with all our strength, and to love our neighbours as we love ourselves.

Child 4That's different.
MumYes, it is. It's much harder.
Child 2I thought love would be easier than "don't do this" and "don't do that".
MumThink about it - Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength and your neighbour as yourself.
Love done properly is really hard work - it's not just a warm fuzzy feeling.
It is something you choose to do. Dad and I had to work really hard at learning to love and trust one another in our marriage.
DadLet's think about what Jesus said :
Love the Lord your God with all your heart, strength, mind, and soul.
That covers the first four of the ten commandments and involves all our actions, thoughts and emotions - love like that is really hard to achieve.

Listen to the rest -
Love your neighbour as yourself :
that covers the other six commandments and goes much further than do not steal, lie, envy etc...

Child 4You mean I've got to love that grumpy family down the street ?
Mum & DadYes.
Child 2And I've got to be loving towards my teacher who is so mean to me ?
Mum & DadYes.
Child 3And I've got to love myself even when I feel all yucky on the inside ? - that's really tough.
Mum & DadYes.
Child 1And I've got to be loving to my sister when she can't keep her hands off my things ?
Mum & DadYes.
ChildrenHow on earth can we do that ?
Dad We need to ask Jesus to fill us with the Holy Spirit and to help us to change the way we behave, the way we think and the way we live. Then we must, every day, try to live like Jesus wants us to.
Child 2I hadn't realised how hard it is to obey Jesus's rules.
ChildrenLet's pray about it now.
Leader Please sit or kneel for the prayers.
( Family stay at the table to say the prayers. )
Child 1 ( wait for silence ) Dear Jesus, help us to love You with all our hearts, minds, souls and strength;
Child 4Help us to be loving towards our friends, teachers, neighbours and all we meet;
Child 2Help us to control our thoughts so that we don't think mean things;
Child 3Help us to control our tongues so that we don't say mean things. Amen.
LeaderLord, change our hearts.
PeopleHelp us to love You, O God, and our neighbours as ourselves.
LeaderPlease stand for the hymn :
A New Commandment I give unto you
which we shall sing twice.
( During this hymn the family return to the back. )

A new commandment I give unto you
  That you love one another
  As I have loved you.

That you love one another
  As I have loved you.

By this shall all men know
  You are my disciples
  If you have love one for another.

By this shall all men know
  You are my disciples
  If you have love one for another.

Leader Please sit for the reading from 1 Corinthians Chapter 13 verses 1-8, 11-13.

I may be able to speak the languages of human beings and even of angels, but if I have no love, my speech is no more than a noisy gong or a clanging bell. I may have the gift of inspired preaching; I may have all knowledge and understand all secrets; I may have all the faith needed to move mountains - but if I have no love, I am nothing. I may give away everything I have, and even give up my body to be burnt - but if I have no love, this does me no good.

Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or conceited or proud; love is not ill-mannered or selfish or irritable; love does not keep a record of wrongs; love is not happy with evil, but is happy with the truth. Love never gives up; and its faith, hope, and patience never fail.

Love is eternal.

When I was a child, my speech, feelings, and thinking were all those of a child; now that I am an adult, I have no more use for childish ways. What we see now is like a dim image in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. What I know now is only partial; then it will be complete - as complete as God's knowledge of me.

Meanwhile these three remain; faith, hope, and love; and the greatest of these is love.

Leader Let us pause for a moment and think about these attributes of love - you may like to read them again and put your name in the place of love - for example, leader's name is patient and kind, leader's name is not jealous or conceited....
( Silence while people meditate on love. )
LeaderLord, change our hearts.
PeopleHelp us to love You, O God, and our neighbours as ourselves.
Leader Please sit as we listen to this true story from Africa about a man named Thomas and his grumpy neighbour.
Story TellerStory : Thomas and his neighbour.
Leader Please sit or kneel as we prayerfully sing the hymn "Change my heart, O God".
( During this Hymn Child 1 and Mum come to the lectern. )
Omitted for copyright reasons; further details.
LeaderLord, change our hearts.
PeopleHelp us to love You, O God, and our neighbours as ourselves.
( Child 1 and Mum ready at lectern then. )
Child 1Thomas truly followed what Jesus taught; I want to try that way too, but I know I won't always get it right. What do I do then ?
MumWhen we make a mess of it, we say I'm sorry, ask Jesus to forgive us, and try again.

There's a great song about doing just that.

It was written by a slave ship captain when he realised what a dreadful job he'd been doing - transporting slaves from Africa to the West Indies. One night he prayed and asked God to forgive him and then he became a follower of Jesus. He wrote the beautiful hymn "Amazing Grace", for it is by the grace of God that we are saved. Let's sing it now.

Leader Please stand for the hymn :
Amazing Grace
( During this hymn Prayer 1, Prayer 2 and Prayer 3 come to lectern ready for the prayers. )

1. Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
  That saved a wretch like me !
  I once was lost, but now am found,
  Was blind, but now I see.

2. 'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear
  And grace my fears relieved.
  How precious did that grace appear
  The hour I first believed.

3. Through many dangers, toils, and snares
  I have already come.
  'Tis grace has brought me safe thus far,
  and grace will lead me home.

4. When we've been there ten thousand years,
  Bright shining as the sun,
  We've no less days to sing God's praise
  Than when we first begun.

Leader Please sit or kneel for the prayers ending with the Lord's Prayer, which we shall sing.
Prayer 1Thank you, Lord God, for the wonderful love that You have for all people. Please continue to renew that love in our hearts so that we can be loving towards You, our families, friends, and neighbours. Amen
Prayer 2We pray for all hurting people - those who are sick, hungry, abused, or lonely, and those who are homeless. Comfort them and restore them to fullness of life. Help all those who are seeking to improve people's lives - doctors, nurses, teachers, counsellors and other helpers; bless them, each one. Amen
Prayer 3We pray for peace in this world, Your peace, Father God; we ask that You will teach us how to negotiate, mediate and avert all aggressive acts in the mighty name of Jesus. Amen
Organist leads into the Lord's Prayer.
AllOur 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.


LeaderPlease stand for the collection hymn.
( Collectors ready. )

1.   O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder
  Consider all the works Thy hand hath made;
  I see the stars, I hear the mighty thunder;
  Thy power throughout the universe displayed;

Chorus :

  Then sings my soul, my Saviour God to Thee,
  How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
  Then sings my soul, my Saviour God to Thee,
  How great Thou art, How great Thou art.

2.   When through the woods and forest glades I wander,
  I hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees,
  When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur
  And hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze.


3.   But when I think that God, His Son not sparing,
  Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in,
  That on the cross, my burden gladly bearing
  He bled and died to take away my sin;


4.   When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation,
  And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart,
  Then I shall bow, in humble adoration,
  And there proclaim, "My God, how great Thou art."


Please remain standing for the Blessing

Those taking part :

Children - Child 1, Child 2, Child 3, Child 4.
Overhead projector operators
Story Teller

( If more actors are available another child could be added to the family. )

We invite you to join us for a cuppa in the Hall at the end of this service