Family Service
St. Augustine's

31 July 2005

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.



Narrator We welcome you here in the name of Jesus. May God's Holy Spirit give to each one of us His special gifts.

No collection will be taken during this service. There is a donation box at the back of the church for anyone who would like to give a donation.

Some "house-keeping" information -

  • If anyone would like the music for our hymns today, please put your hand up and someone will bring it to you.
  • Toilets are between the church and the hall.
Our theme for today is "The Gifts of the Holy Spirit".

This morning we have decorated our church walls with the names of some of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

We have deliberately put none of the names in this front area - because the gifts are for you, the people of God, who are sitting out there - and also, of course, for the organist and for me.

As we sing this hymn let us remember that the Holy Spirit is sometimes called "The Breath of God".

Please stand for the hymn

"Breathe on me, Breath of God".

1.   Breathe on me, Breath of God,
  Fill me with life anew,
  That I may love what Thou dost love,
  And do what Thou wouldst do.

2.   Breathe on me, Breath of God,
  Until my heart is pure;
  Until with Thee I will one will,
  To do and to endure.

3.   Breathe on me, Breath of God,
  Till I am wholly Thine;
  Until this earthly part of me
  Glows with Thy fire divine.

4.   Breathe on me, Breath of God
  So shall I never die,
  But live with Thee the perfect life
  Of Thine eternity.

NarratorPlease sit.


Reader 1 This reading is taken from 1 Corinthians 12 verses 1 and 4-11 and can be found on Page 1277 of the Church Bibles.

Now, concerning what you wrote about the gifts from the Holy Spirit. I want you to know the truth about them, my friends.

There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit gives them. There are different ways of serving, but the same Lord is served. There are different abilities to perform service, but the same God gives ability to all for their particular service. The Spirit's presence is shown in some way in each person for the good of all. The Spirit gives one person a message full of wisdom, while to another person the same Spirit gives a message full of knowledge. One and the same Spirit gives faith to one person, while to another person He gives the power to heal. The Spirit gives one person the power to work miracles; to another, the gift of speaking God's message ( Prophecy ); and to yet another, the ability to tell the difference between gifts that come from the Spirit and those that do not ( Discernment ). To one person He gives the ability to speak in strange tongues, and to another He gives the ability to explain what is said ( Interpretation ). But it is one and the same Spirit who does all this; as He wishes, He gives a different gift to each person.

This is the Word of the Lord.

AllThanks be to God.
Helper and assistants come to the front centre aisle with basket of rolled-up papers.
Narrator Our helpers will now scatter some pieces of paper which list some of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

We can't name all the gifts because God is so generous so we've included "etc." in the list to stand for all the gifts we've missed.

Helper and assistants move down the centre aisle throwing the papers to members of the congregation.
NarratorPlease get one of the scattered papers and unroll it; then turn to a neighbour and read to each other the gifts listed on your pieces of paper.
( Waits until that's done, then - )
 Now turn to another person and read your paper to them too.
( Waits until that's done, then - )
 Thank You, God, for Your gifts to us.
AllHelp us to use them in Your service.
NarratorPlease keep your pieces of paper - we will be using them later in the service.


( 'God' prepares to speak from the balcony. )
NarratorPlease stand to sing

Love divine, all loves excelling.

1.   Love divine, all loves excelling,
  Joy of heaven, to earth come down,
  Fix in us Thy humble dwelling,
  All Thy faithful mercies crown
  Jesu, Thou art all compassion,
  Pure unbounded love Thou art;
  Visit us with Thy salvation,
  Enter every trembling heart.

2.   Come, almighty to deliver,
  Let us all Thy grace receive;
  Suddenly return, and never,
  Never more Thy temples leave
  Thee we would be always blessing
  Serve Thee as Thy hosts above;
  Pray, and praise Thee without ceasing,
  Glory in Thy perfect love.

3.   Finish then Thy new creation;
  Pure and spotless let us be;
  Let us see Thy great salvation,
  Perfectly restored in Thee;
  Changed from glory into glory,
  Till in heaven we take our place,
  Till we cast our crowns before Thee,
  Lost in wonder, love and praise.

NarratorPlease sit.

How Solomon received his special gifts from God.


Listen to the story of how Solomon received his special gifts from God. We can read about it in 1 Kings Chapter 3 verses 5-14; you can find it on Page 372 of the Church Bibles.

One night God appeared to Solomon in a dream.

( Solomon comes to front sits on chair and goes to sleep. )
'God' ( from balcony )What would you like Me to give you ?
Solomon O Lord God, You have let me succeed my father, David, as king, even though I am very young and don't know how to rule.

So give me the wisdom I need to rule Your people with justice and to know the difference between good and evil. Otherwise, how would I ever be able to rule this great people of Yours ?

Narrator The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this, and so He said to him.
'God' ( from balcony )Because you have asked for the wisdom to rule justly, instead of long life for yourself or riches or death of your enemies, I will do what you have asked. I will give you more wisdom and understanding than anyone has ever had before or will ever have again. I will also give you what you have not asked for; all your life you will have wealth and honour, more than that of any other king. And if you obey me and keep my laws and commands, I will give you a long life.
( Solomon returns to his seat, 'God' returns to his seat. )
NarratorThank You, God, for Your gifts to us.
AllHelp us to use them to serve You.

What must we do to receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit ?

Gifts 2 comes hurrying from organ side to meet Gifts 1 and Gifts 3 who come down the hospital aisle; they meet at the front in the middle.
Gifts 1I'm so excited about the Gifts the Holy Spirit gives us.
Gifts 3What do I have to do to receive these gifts ?
Gifts 2Just sit or kneel quietly before God and tell Him that you love Him, that You are sorry for the things that you have done wrong and that you now want to follow Him and to serve Him.
Gifts 1Is that all ?
Gifts 2Yes - but you must really mean it.
Gifts 3Love Him ? Yes, I do love Jesus.
Gifts 1Feeling sorry ? Yes, I am sorry for letting Him down.
Gifts 3Serve Him ? Yes, I do want to serve Him.
Gifts 1But it's not easy to do this every moment of every day !
Gifts 2No, it's not easy, but God will help you.
Gifts 1But where do the Gifts come in ?
Gifts 2Just ask God to give you the Gifts you will need to serve Him, and pause a moment or two, and say "thank You, God".
Gifts 1And He'll do it ?
Gifts 3Give us the gifts ?
Gifts 2Yes, He'll do it. But remember the Holy Spirit chooses your special gifts - Gifts that are just right for you and your special area of service.
Gifts 1Will He do that for everyone here ?
Gifts 2Yes - for all those who really desire to serve God wholeheartedly.
Gifts 1 and Gifts 3Wow !
Gifts 2And then it's God's plan that we should all work together for the good of all and for the glory of God.
Gifts 1Thank you for explaining it all to us.
Gifts 3We need to go and think about what you've said.
Gifts 2That's OK and I'll pray for you.
Gifts 1 and Gifts 3Great.
Gifts 1, Gifts 2 and Gifts 3 go to their seats down the centre aisle.
NarratorPlease find your pieces of paper and stand facing the front. Now let us read those papers aloud together to God.
AllThe Holy Spirit gives to us gifts such as - ( followed by the text written on each person's paper )
NarratorThank You, God, for Your gifts to us.
AllHelp us to use them to serve You.
Six helpers go to back to prepare to carry the lists of gifts.


NarratorPlease remain standing for the hymn

Bind us together, Lord.

 During the hymn we'll be bringing the list of gifts to display at the front in preparation for the next part of the service.
Omitted for copyright reasons; further details.

Stage hand sets up the Frame centre back. During the hymn, six helpers each bring down the centre aisle a placard bearing a list of some of the gifts, holding the lists well up so that people can see the names of the gifts as they pass by. They set up the placards in order on the frame by the altar assisted by the stage hand. The placards must be stacked with the gift names facing the congregation, and with the line drawing of the church correctly displayed at the back; the frame will later be turned round without further adjustment of the placards.

NarratorPlease sit for the reading.
Reader This reading is taken from 1 Corinthians 12 verses 12-26 and can be found on Page 1278 of the Church Bibles.

One Body with many parts.

Christ is like a single body, which has many parts; it is still one body, even though it is made up of different parts. In the same way, all of us, whether Jews or Gentiles, whether slaves or free, have been baptised into one body by the same Spirit, and we have all been given the one Spirit to drink.

For the body itself is not made up of only one part, but of many parts. If the foot were to say, "Because I am not a hand, I don't belong to the body," that would not keep it from being a part of the body.

And if the ear were to say, "Because I am not an eye, I don't belong to the body," that would not keep it from being a part of the body. If the whole body were just an eye, how could it hear ? And if it were only an ear, how could it smell ? As it is, however, God put every different part in the body just as He wanted it to be. There would not be a body if it were all only one part ! As it is, there are many parts but one body.

So then, the eye cannot say to the hand, "I don't need you !" Nor can the hand say to the feet, "Well, I don't need you !" On the contrary, we cannot do without parts of the body that seem to be weaker : and those parts that we think aren't worth very much are the ones which we treat with greater care; while the parts of the body that don't look very nice are treated with special modesty, which the more beautiful parts don't need. God himself has put the body together in such a way as to give greater honour to those parts that need it. And so there is no division in the body, but all its different parts have the same concern for one another. If one part of the body suffers, all the other parts of the body suffer with it; if one part is praised, all the other parts share its happiness.

This is the Word of the Lord.

AllThanks be to God.
Narrator Now we have all the gifts laid out in front of us, including "etc.", just to make sure, we can see just what they do - together, they build up the church, just as the parts of the body build up the whole body.
( As the narrator is speaking, the stagehand turns round the frame to show the picture of the church. )
Narrator Would all the children and anyone else who wants to join in a game please come to the front.
Stage hand puts up blackboard and easel in front of altar bottom step.

Available cast members ( all those not otherwise occupied ) come to the front.

NarratorWe are now going to play a sort of Beetle game.

Explains the rules.

After the game, Stage hand moves blackboard and easel to hospital side.

Hands, Feet, Eyes, Ears, Nose ready at back with their disguises on.

NarratorPlease sit for the play.

The Body Parts Committee meeting.

Throughout the sketch, a character required to mutter repeats the appropriate "Mutter" as long as required : Hands says "Finger finger finger ....."; Eyes says "Looking looking looking ...."; Feet says "Clomp clomp clomp ...."; Nose says "Sniffly sniffly sniffly ...."; Ears says "Listen listen listen ....".

Most of the time, Hands and Eyes sound positive and cheerful; Feet and Ears sound glum until they stop leaving at the end, when they begin to cheer up. Nose sounds ordinary throughout.

All characters enter down the centre aisle from the back, muttering fairly loudly. On reaching the front, they spread out in an arc, facing the congregation.

Hands ( loudly )Order ! Order ! Order !
( Muttering dies down over a second or two, then stops. )
Hands Thank you. Welcome to the first meeting of the Body Parts Committee. Let me introduce myself : I am Hands; I'm the one who reaches out to do things. Perhaps you would each like to introduce yourselves.
Eyes Oh - all right. I'm Eyes. I do all the looking. ( Looks brightly all round. )
Feet I'm Feet. I just walk about. ( Tramps a few times. )
Ears - and I'm Ears. I just listen. ( Cups hand to ear, listens intently. )
Nose I'm Nose. I smell ( Sniffs a few times, turning head to left and right ) - but I do it nicely. When Feet smell, that's quite different.
FeetAll right - laugh at me. I'm used to it.
Hands Now then, let's not make silly jokes about each other. We have apologies from all the other parts of the body, who aren't directly involved anyway, which is just as well because we haven't room to fit them in.


Now, I've taken the lead in calling us together because I'm the only Body Part who already knows each of you fairly well; we meet every time headquarters proclaims bath time. Now, what I ....

Nose ( interrupting, raises hand )I object !
Hands Hello, Nose. I didn't mean to offend you. Why do you object ?
Nose Well, who are you to put on airs and graces simply because you get around more ? That's discrimination, that is. It's gettingaroundism.
Ears, Eyes Nose is right ! We protest ! ( Mutter loudly )
Hands ( calling above the muttering )Order ! Order ! ( Muttering dies away fairly quickly ) Thank you. All right ! I'm sorry you feel that way, but I'm willing to stand down if you don't want me to carry on. Who's going to take over ?
Feet Well, I want to say that I'm very happy that Hands should be in charge. Hands has my full confidence.
Ears I disagree. If anyone's qualified to take charge, surely it's Eyes.
Nose Eyes ? I know very little about Eyes, because they don't have much smell, but from what I hear Eyes spends most of the time looking down on me. I don't think much of that.
Eyes Well, I can't help looking down on you because of the way we're fixed in the body. The only way I can see you is looking down.
Nose Is that true ? I didn't know that. I don't smell up or down or in any direction - I just smell. So does Feet.
Feet There you go again.
Nose Sorry, Feet. But it's just that this idea of directions is new to me. Eyes obviously has abilities that I don't know anything about. I withdraw my objection.
Eyes Thank you, Nose. And thank you, Ears, for your confidence in me, though I'm not sure why I deserve it. But I think Hands should carry on running the meeting, because so far as I know he's the only one who knows what we're meeting about. Does anyone else know ?
( Silence. )
 I thought not. At least let Hands tell us what it's all about. Carry on, Hands.
Hands Thanks, Eyes. Any objection from any other Part ?
( Loud mutter from all except Hands, quickly dies down. )
 Good. Let's carry on.
Actually, Nose did have a point ....
Nose ( interrupting )I object ! Now he's making comments about my appearance ! That's too much !
( Loud muttering from all but Hands . )
Hands ( voice raised above the muttering )NO, NO, NO ! PLEASE ! ( Muttering dies away; all look expectantly at Hands. )

Look - please - I'm really trying to get somewhere. Please listen first !

I wasn't talking about Nose's appearance. I just meant that Nose had made a good point of argument. It's true that I get around more, but that's how I know about the problem.

Eyes What problem is that ?
Hands Well, it seems that two of us want to leave the body.
Eyes WHAT ? But that's unheard of. Why would any of us want to leave ?
Feet I'll answer that. I'm fairly keen to get away from this body.
Hands Yes, Feet is one of the two. I don't know why. Feet, will you tell us ?
Feet All right, but it's a bit embarrassing. ( Directly to Hands ) You see, it's mainly because of you.
Hands ( astonished )Because of me ? Why ? What have I done ?
Feet Nothing bad - nothing like that - it's just that you're so good at everything, and you put me to shame. We both have the same parts, but you're so brilliantly clever. My toes aren't anything like your fingers - your fingers do such wonderful things, but my toes just stay there. And you really can get all round the body, while I just stick on the ground. I can't compete. I'd rather leave, if I can find out how.
( Loud muttering from Eyes, Hands, Nose - they look at each other, horrified. )
Ears( breaking in - muttering dies quickly ) I'm the other one - I feel the same. Eyes is so much better than I am at finding out about the world. Eyes can see so much more detail, so much more accurately. Just like Feet, I'm not good enough. So I'd like to go too.
( More loud muttering from Eyes, Hands, Nose - they look at each other, even more horrified, as Ears and Feet stand, join hands, and begin to leave down the centre aisle. About half way down the aisle - )
Feet( turning back towards the remaining Body Parts ) Good bye, dear friends !
Eyes, Hands, Nose ( stand up )Wait ! Wait ! Come back !
Hands I don't know what to say. Dear Feet, please don't be unhappy. It's true that we're similar in some ways, but you're just as important as I am. If you go away, how can the rest of us go anywhere ? How can we even stand up ? You're the one who moves us about and supports us. We need you !
Eyes - and you, Ears, think of all you can do that I can't. I can see things, but without you we can't hear people talking, and we can't enjoy music, and I'm no good at all when it's dark.
Ears ( to Feet )I hadn't thought of that. Had you ?
Feet ( to Ears )No, not really. I suppose I just saw all the others doing wonderful things that I could never do -
Ears ( to Feet )- and didn't think that all the old boring things that you do might be just as important. I know - I did just the same.
Feet ( to Ears )Shall we go back, then ?
Ears ( to Feet )Yes, let's. When you think about it, we wouldn't really be able to do much, just the two of us.
Feet ( to Ears )Oh, I dunno. We could put ourselves on show. I bet there aren't any other Listening Feet acts.
Ears ( to Feet )What d'you mean, Listening Feet ? It's Walking Ears or nothing.
( Pause )
Feet and Ears ( to each other )You're right. Let's go back.
( They go back. General welcoming, mixing about, happy muttering. )
Nose ( addressing congregation )Well, all I do is smell. And breathe. And get stuffed up if Body has a cold. And bleed if I get hit. It's not very exciting, but none of the other parts can do it like I do. I need them, and they need me. I reckon we all need each other.

Come on - let's go !

( Exit all, muttering happily. )

All return to back and remove disguises.

NarratorYes, we do all need each other. We're not made to be alone; God gives us different gifts, but we need all of them to be complete.

Please find your bits of paper again and stand and face the centre aisle.

Now we read aloud the gifts to the people gathered here, and this time think how your gifts will be helped by some of the other gifts you hear.

AllThe Holy Spirit gives to us gifts such as - ( read your paper here ! )
NarratorThank You, God, for Your gifts to us.
AllHelp us to use them to serve You.
NarratorPlease sit.

We will now bring round an activity for the children.


NarratorPlease remain sitting whilst we sing the hymn

"Be still, for the Spirit of the Lord, the Holy One is here".

Omitted for copyright reasons; further details.

A Symbolic offering.

NarratorLet us pause for a few moments and ask the Holy Spirit to give to each one of us His special gifts.


Stage hand places the frame ( still with the picture of the church facing the congregation ) in the centre gap of the altar rail.
Narrator ( Holding up basket of cut-out body shapes )We now invite you to come and place one of these cut-outs on the church picture as a symbol of willingness to use God's gifts to serve the church and the community.

You will need to peel back half of the masking tape so that it will stick on the picture.

Organist quietly plays "Be Still for the Spirit of the Lord" whilst people come forward.

When all have returned to their seats the stage hand moves 'church' with people cut-outs on it and props it up against the altar.

Pray-ers come to the front.

Pray-er 1Let us pray.

We thank You, Holy Spirit, for each gift that You have given us today. We ask You to continue to teach us how to use these gifts for the glory of God. May we each use our gifts to serve our God wherever He may call us to serve.

Pray-er 2Lord God, please help each one of us to become the part of the body of Christ that You desire us to be. Help us to support one another in our different roles. Show us how to work together as Your team in this place and in the local community.
Pray-er 3We thank You for our homes and our families.
Pray-er 4We pray for those who are sick or in trouble; may they know Your healing love.
Pray-er 5Be with us as we move through each day, helping us to show Your love, Your peace and Your joy to all whom we meet.
Pray-er 6We pray for the peace of this world, we pray for all peace-makers that You will use them to bring about everlasting peace. We pray for tolerance and understanding between all races and religions that all may live harmoniously together.
NarratorTogether we sing The Lord's Prayer :

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come, Your will be done,
in 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.

NarratorPlease stand to sing the hymn

For I'm building a people of power

- which we shall sing twice.

Omitted for copyright reasons; further details.
NarratorPlease remain standing for the Blessing.


Those taking part :

Ears, Eyes, Feet, Hands, Nose;
Gifts 1, Gifts 2, Gifts 3;
Pray-er 1, Pray-er 2, Pray-er 3, Pray-er 4, Pray-er 5, Pray-er 6; ( needn't all be different people )
Reader, Reader 1;
Stage hand.