Family Service
St. Augustine's

September 18 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.



NarratorWe welcome you here in the name of Jesus. May God's Holy Spirit help us to be people who display the fruit of the Spirit in our lives.

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 up your hand up and we will bring it to you.

  • Toilets are between the church and the hall.

Our theme for today is "The Fruit of the Holy Spirit".

Our sentence for today is from Galatians Chapter 5 verses 22 and 23 :

"But the Spirit produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility, and self-control. There is no law against such things as these."

Please stand for the hymn

"The Fruit of the Spirit".

During the last verse of this hymn Hanger-up goes to trellis, Reader 1 goes to lectern, Fruit 1, Fruit 2, Fruit 3, Fruit 4, Fruit 5 come to the back and line up ready to carry the fruit labels up to the front.

1.   The fruit of the Spirit is love and joy,
  When the seed of the Word is sown;
  No forces of evil can ever destroy,
  For the Master will guard His own.

Chorus :

   "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy,
   peace, long-suffering, gentleness,
   goodness, meekness, temperance, faith -
   against such there is no law.

2.   The Spirit of God will His power impart,
  He will quicken each grace Divine
  Wherever He findeth a lowly heart :
  O beloved, He asks for thine !


3.   The fruit of the Spirit is only found
  In the purchased and pardoned life;
  Oh, there let the "peaceable fruit" abound
  In the quiet of ended strife.


4.   If you have been called by His glorious Name,
  Then, behold, "you are not your own";
  Be holy and harmless and free from blame,
  By your fruit you shall still be known.


Reader 1  Please sit.

You may have noticed that some of the names of the fruit of the spirit that we have just sung about are slightly different from the ones mentioned at the beginning of the service. Different translations of the Bible use different names; "long-suffering" is now usually translated as "patience", "gentleness" as "kindness", "meekness" as "humility", "temperance" as "self-control". When we sing we will use the older translation, because it fits in to the music, but when we talk about the fruit we will use the newer translation.


In this section, the "fruit labels" are carried to the front of the church and attached to the trellis. Each fruit label is held up high, carried down the centre aisle and across to the trellis where Hanger-up will put it on the trellis.

Reader 1The fruit of the Spirit is -


Fruit 1 brings "LOVE" forward and gives it to Hanger-up who hangs it on the trellis whilst Reader 1 reads -
Reader 1 In Matthew Chapter 5 verse 33 Jesus tells us to LOVE our enemies and to pray for those who persecute us.



Fruit 1 returns to the back, Fruit 2 brings "JOY" forward and gives it to Hanger-up who hangs it on the trellis whilst Reader 1 reads -
Reader 1 Nehemiah Chapter 8 verse 10 tells us that - The JOY that the Lord gives you will make you strong.



Fruit 2 returns to the back, Fruit 3 brings "PEACE" forward and gives it to Hanger-up who hangs it on the trellis whilst Reader 1 reads -
Reader 1 Philippians Chapter 4 verse 7 speaks of God's peace - And God's PEACE, which is far beyond human understanding, will keep your hearts and minds safe in union with Christ Jesus.



Fruit 3 returns to the back, Fruit 4 brings "PATIENCE" forward and gives it to Hanger-up who hangs it on the trellis whilst Reader 1 reads -
Reader 1 St Paul in his first letter to the Thessalonians Chapter 5 verse 14 writes to his friends - We urge you, our friends to be PATIENT with everyone.



Fruit 4 returns to the back, Fruit 5 brings "KINDNESS" forward and gives it to Hanger-up who hangs it on the trellis whilst Reader 1 reads -
Reader 1 and Paul in his letter to the Ephesians Chapter 4 verse 32 encourages us to - Be KIND and TENDER-HEARTED to one another and forgive one another.



Fruit 5 returns to his seat, Fruit 1 brings "GOODNESS" forward and gives it to Hanger-up who hangs it on the trellis whilst Reader 1 reads -
Reader 1 This goodness is the goodness which comes from within as we put into practice these ideas from Philippians Chapter 4 verse 8 - Fill your minds with those things that are GOOD and that deserve praise; things that are TRUE, NOBLE, RIGHT, PURE, LOVELY AND HONOURABLE.



Fruit 1 returns to his seat, Fruit 2 brings "FAITHFULNESS" forward and gives it to Hanger-up who hangs it on the trellis whilst Reader 1 reads -
Reader 1 In The Gospel of Luke Chapter 16 verse 10 Jesus tells us that - Whoever is FAITHFUL in small matters will be FAITHFUL in large ones.



Fruit 2 returns to his seat, Fruit 3 brings "HUMILITY" forward and gives it to Hanger-up who hangs it on the trellis whilst Reader 1 reads -
Reader 1 St.Peter in his first letter Chapter 5 verse 5 writes that - All of you must put on the apron of HUMILITY, to serve one another.



Fruit 3 returns to his seat, Fruit 4 brings "SELF-CONTROL" forward and gives it to Hanger-up who hangs it on the trellis whilst Reader 1 reads -
Reader 1 And in his letter to Titus Chapter 2 verse 12 St Paul tells us to - give up ungodly living and worldly passions and to live SELF-CONTROLLED, upright and godly lives in this world.


Fruit 4 returns to his seat.
ALL remain sitting and sing :

  "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy,
  peace, long-suffering, gentleness,
  goodness, meekness, temperance, faith -
  against such there is no law.

During the singing, Hanger-up and Reader 1 return to seats, Reader 2 comes to read the lesson.
Reader 2 This reading is taken from John Chapter 15 verses 1 - 17 and can be found on Page 1193 of the Church Bibles.

Jesus, the Real Vine.

I am the real vine, and My Father is the gardener. He breaks off every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, and he prunes every branch that does bear fruit, so that it will be clean and bear more fruit. You have been made clean already by the teaching I have given you. Remain united to Me, and I will remain united to you. A branch cannot bear fruit by itself; it can do so only if it remains in the vine. In the same way you cannot bear fruit unless you remain in Me.

I am the vine, and you are the branches. Those who remain in Me, and I in them, will bear a great deal of fruit; for you can do nothing without Me. Those who do not remain in Me are thrown out like a branch and dry up; such branches are gathered up and thrown into the fire, where they are burnt. If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, then you will ask for anything you wish, and you shall have it. My Father's glory is shown by you bearing a lot of fruit; and in this way you become My disciples. I love you just as the Father loves Me; remain in My love. If you obey My commands, you will remain in My love, just as I have obeyed My Father's commands and remain in His love.

I have told you this so that My joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My commandment is this; love one another, just as I love you. The greatest love you can have for your friends is to give your life for them. And you are My friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you servants any longer, because servants do not know what their master is doing. Instead, I call you friends, because I have told you everything I heard from My Father. You did not choose Me; I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit, the kind of fruit that endures. And so the Father will give you whatever you ask of Him in My name. This, then, is what I command you : love one another.

This is the Word of the Lord.

People Thanks be to God.


Vine 1 comes down organ aisle, Vine 2 comes down centre aisle, they meet by the Grapevine.

Vine 1 ( to Vine 2 ) Look at this beautiful vine ! Who do you think the gardener is ? He sure can make things grow.
Vine 2 Didn't you listen to the reading we've just heard ?
Vine 1 Well, I sort of listened. It was from the Bible, wasn't it ?
Vine 2 Yes, it was from the Bible, and it told us that God is the gardener, and that Jesus is the vine.
Vine 1 Well, no wonder the vine looks so good.

( thoughtfully ) Jesus, the vine. I've heard my friend talk about Jesus. My friend really loves Him.

( wistfully ) Hey - I wish I could be part of God's garden !

Vine 2 You can be.
Vine 1 Who, me ?

What do I have to do ?

Vine 2 You choose to become a friend of Jesus and join God's family then you become part of the wonderful vine too. It's not hard to do - BUT it does mean a change has to take place in your life.  
Vine 1 Well, I don't think much of my life at the moment - I think I'll give Jesus a go. Will you help me ?
Vine 2 Yes, I'll help you and introduce you to some of my friends who are also part of God's family.
Vine 1 That's great, but before we go I've some other questions to ask.
Vine 2 I'll do my best to answer them.
Vine 1 ( Pointing to the different fruit and blossom ) I'm puzzled by this vine. Why isn't all the fruit at the same stage of development ? Look - here are some fruit that are just forming, and here's some fruit ready for picking, and over here is some fruit that are still hard and here hidden behind this leaf is some tiny blossom. I've never seen a vine like this one before.
Vine 2 Oh, that's because the branches of the vine represent God's people and some of them are just beginning to grow fruit, others have been growing fruit for a long time and ( points to a blossom ) - see - this blossom here represents new people who are just learning about God and Jesus. Look how the leaves protect the blossom and keep the new people safe.

Truly God is a wonderful gardener, and being part of Jesus's family is great.

Vine 1 And if I join the family I'll be protected too ?
Vine 2 Oh, Yes. God protects His children.
Vine 1 Good, I'm pretty sure that I'll need lots of protection - it's going to be hard to change. But what's the blue material for ?
Vine 2 That represents the Holy Spirit.
Vine 1 Who's He ?
Vine 2 He's the part of God Who lives in God's people and guides and teaches us about God. He's really special, He helps us to grow the fruit.
Vine 1 What fruit ?  
Vine 2 The fruit of the Spirit that we've just sung about - listen, and we'll sing about the fruit again.
ALL remain sitting and sing :

  "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy,
  peace, long-suffering, gentleness,
  goodness, meekness, temperance, faith -
  against such there is no law.

Vine 1 Oh, I do want to grow that sort of fruit ! Please show me how to be grafted onto the vine !
Vine 2 Come with me and I'll introduce you to those friends of mine and we'll all help you to belong to God's family.
Vine 1 I'm coming !
( Vine 1 and Vine 2 go to back down centre aisle and return to their seats )
Narrator Please stand to sing the Hymn

"I have decided to follow Jesus".

1.   I have decided to follow Jesus,
  I have decided to follow Jesus,
  I have decided to follow Jesus,
  No turning back, no turning back.

2.   The world behind me the cross before me,
  The world behind me the cross before me,
  The world behind me the cross before me,
  No turning back, no turning back.

3.   Though none go with me still I will follow,
  Though none go with me still I will follow,
  Though none go with me still I will follow,
  No turning back, no turning back.

4.   Where Jesus leads me, I'll surely follow,
  Where Jesus leads me, I'll surely follow,
  Where Jesus leads me, I'll surely follow,
  No turning back, no turning back.

5.   Sing glory, glory and hallelujah !
  Sing glory, glory and hallelujah !
  Sing glory, glory and hallelujah !
  No turning back, no turning back !

( At the end of this hymn stallkeeper S comes to the "fruit stall". )
Narrator Please sit.


L begins to walk slowly down the centre aisle,
NarratorClearly, the fruit of the Holy Spirit is so wonderful that we should do all we can to make it more accessible to the public. Perhaps a market stall .... ?
S ( to congregation ) Well, here we are in the marketplace. It feels a bit odd, but when you think that in most of the stories of Jesus He's out among the people perhaps it's not such a bad idea. ( Confidentially ) Ah - but here comes someone who looks interested !
L wanders across to the stall. He looks at the display on the trellis.
S ( to L ) Hello, and welcome to the Holy Spirit Fruit Store ! What can I do for you ?
L Hello. Is this where I should come for the Holy Spirit's fruit ?
S ( points to banner ) That's what it says.
L Yes. Right. Well, I'd like some Love, please.
S You have come to the right place ! Love is a vitally important part of our concern ! How can I help you ?
L ( surprised ) I just told you. Give me some Love ! Nobody loves me ! I want some Love ! That's all I want - I don't need the others.
( to congregation, alarmed ) That's not what I expected ! What do I do now ?
( to L, concerned ) The Holy Spirit Fruit Store is here to help you ! - but we can't do that. Really, I do want to help, but it isn't quite as you think -
L ( interrupts ) Oh, I'll pay ! Just tell me how much it costs and I'll pay now !
S ( more concerned ) No, you don't understand. We don't want payment - but you can't just have Love.
L Why not ? Why can't someone just come along and love me ?
S Oh, Someone already does. God loves you, whether you know it or not. But the Love on our list is going the other way - the fruit of the Holy Spirit is the Love you show to other people, not what you get from them.
Around now, J and P wander in down the organ side and come across to the stall, looking about them as they go.
L ( doubtful ) That's not what I expected. I was rather hoping just to sit there and soak it up. ( brightens up ) Tell you what, though - you could pass me on to the next one who wants your sort of Love as a sort of practical aid. They can practise loving me. How about that ?
J and P are now quite close to the stall, and obviously looking at the display on the trellis, pointing at parts of it.
S ( admiring ) That's clever ! - but so far as I know the people who accept our gift never have any trouble finding opportunities to practise.

( notices J and P )

Look, this might take a little time. Do you mind if I just deal with these other people ? - then we can carry on without being disturbed.

( to J and P - )

Hello, and welcome to the Holy Spirit Fruit Store ! What can I do for you ?

J Oh. Thank you. We've been looking at your list, and I thought I could do with some Joy in my fairly miserable life -
P - and I'd like some Peace, please. I'm fed up of everyone just getting at everyone else, and I just want to be out of it.
S ( dismayed ) ( to congregation ) Oh, dear - this is just like the other one !

( to J and P ) It sounds as though you're not having much of a good time. But I was just explaining to my friend here ( motions to L ) that -

L ( interrupting ) - that this place isn't what it seems to be. Oh, no. All I wanted was some Love, but all I've got is excuses. First of all, they won't let you buy their stuff, and say they always give it away free - but then when you ask for Love they won't give you Love - then they say you have to make your own. I bet there's some catch with Joy and Peace too.
P That doesn't sound much like a fruit shop !
J It's more like a do-it-yourself shop !
L ( to S ) Well - what about it ? I think we're entitled to some explanation.
S - and that's just what I was trying to give you when our two new friends came in. Listen.

First, it isn't a shop. We don't sell anything. 

Second, the nice things in the display aren't the things we give away. They're things that you can grow for yourself - that's why we talk about fruit.

Now, have we deceived you ?

L ( somewhat unwillingly ) No, I suppose you haven't. Perhaps I got you wrong. But why did you say that I couldn't just have Love ? If Love is fruit, it's like grapes, and if I want grapes I can have just grapes.
J ( to L ) Wait a minute. ( to S ) I see what you mean, but what about us ? It sounds as though you're going to say that I can't just have Joy and he can't just have Peace. Is that right ?
P Hang on a minute. I think I can see why that's exactly right. ( to L ) You said that if you wanted grapes you could have just grapes, but if you're growing the grapes, that's not true. You can't get the grapes without a grapevine, and soil to plant it in, and sunlight, and all sorts of other things.

( to S ) Is that what you meant ? And is this just a way to get us to buy all sorts of other things ?

S You're getting the idea. But we haven't cheated - all the "other things" are there on the list too, and they're all free. 
L How do you mean ?
S Well, I said you can't have Love on its own. That's because it doesn't work without Faithfulness.
L Not everyone would say that - just look at the news any day.
S Perhaps we're a bit particular about what we call Love, but we're consistent : nearly 2000 years ago, Saint Paul wrote "Love does not come to an end". That's the sort of Love that comes from the Holy Spirit.
P But Faithfulness isn't so easy !  
S No; it's a bit like looking after your grapevine. You do have to put in a bit of effort if you want good results.
J At least Joy's easy. When you can get it, that is. If you can get it. But it doesn't last long.
S Joy's just like Love - you can choose what sort you want, and if you want the best sort you do have to put something into it. You have to build it on Goodness, which comes along with our package. If you get your joy from always having the latest fashion, or always being better off than someone else, you start falling behind as soon as you get ahead, and nothing ever lasts - but if your Joy comes from things that are good in themselves, they stay good.
P I suppose you're going to tell us that Peace is hard too ?
S Well, Peace depends on Patience, doesn't it ? You said you were fed up of everyone getting at everyone else, didn't you ? Aren't they impatient ? Weren't you impatient with them ? Patient people are much more peaceful ! Do you think that Patience is hard ?
P ( to L and J ) Well, of course it is. You don't want to put up with things that aren't just the way you want them -
L - and you don't want to be faithful if you might have more fun cheating -
J - and everyone knows that being good all the time is just boring and old-fashioned.
( pause )
S So what you're saying is that having your own way all the time, staving off boredom, and keeping up with fashion is what you want, because Love, Joy, and Peace might be just a bit hard to get ?

Maybe there's not much point talking about the other three fruit - Kindness, Humility, and Self-control. They're all desperately unfashionable, they're not very exciting, and they take a bit of work. Modern "wisdom" is that we have to look after ourselves first, be assertive, and follow our impulses.  

( to congregation ) We used to call that selfishness.

( pause )
L ( musing ) Perhaps if you're Kind, you won't cheat people you love, because you know it will hurt them. And perhaps the Love might last longer.
J ( musing ) Perhaps if you're Humble, you won't mind so much being good even if some people say it is old-fashioned. And perhaps your Joy will have something better to build on.
P ( musing ) Perhaps if you're Self-controlled you'll manage to put up with things the way other people want them sometimes, and life will be more Peaceful.

( decisive ) Right. I'll try it ! ( to S ) You were right. I'd like Peace, Patience, and Self-control, please !

L - and I'd like Love, Faithfulness and ....
S ( interrupting ) Wait ! Wait ! One thing at a time !
J Oh, come on - you're not going to make it still more complicated, surely ?
P Yes - I'm getting fed up with all this changing about.
S I thought you just asked for Patience ? I can see you need it !

No, I'm not making it more complicated. I'm making it simpler. You can't just have Peace, Patience, and Self-control either. It's all or nothing.

Remember what I said : all these things are fruit - the fruit of the Holy Spirit. And remember what we sang - "The fruit of the Spirit is Love, Joy, Peace", and so on. It isn't "The fruits of the Spirit are ..."; it's "The fruit of the Spirit is ...". The whole crop comes from a single source - the Holy Spirit of God.

L And does it really work ?
S Many people who've tried it think so. But you have to remember that, like any other fruit, you have to work at the cultivation and wait for the growth.  
J How do you do that ?
S There isn't one simple recipe, because we're all different and each of us grows the fruit in different proportions depending on our abilities and our situations and what God wants us to do. 

But what we all have to do is to try and follow Jesus's example. It isn't enough just to learn about Jesus's life, and read the Bible, and go to church, and keep out of mischief; you have to keep looking at what's happening in your life, and asking God to show you things you ought to be changing.

If you really do that, you'll find His Holy Spirit pointing out things to you. You begin to notice that if you just did such and such a thing, that would help people to do something worthwhile - or if you just said a few words to someone, it would help them to see God more clearly - or if you started getting involved with one of the church activities it would make it more effective.

Really, it can be almost anything, but it's always something that could do some good. And when you've thought of it, do it. Then keep on doing it - and you'll find your life changing. You'll find that even if some of the things are a bit difficult or tedious, they turn out to be very rewarding and worth while. And that's the fruit developing.

P Would I have to give up a lot of the things I'm doing now ?
S That depends on what you're doing now ! If you're doing things that aren't good, then perhaps you will, and most people find that something has to go. But just think about the fruit - it's worth giving up a lot to produce this fruit !
L But will I get Love at last ?
J - and will I get Joy ?
P - and will I get Peace ?
S I can't tell. But I'm sure that if you really try to do the work which God has for you, you'll get the fruit you need - and probably more. And you'll find that what you get is really what you wanted all along.
L I so want to have Love. I'll give it a go.
J ( looking at P ) I'll give it a go too. How about you ?
P It's worth a try.
S I'm sure you will find it worthwhile, and here is a present for each of you. ( Hands them each a present from the table. )
L, J, and P Thank you.
ALL remain sitting and sing :

  "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy,
  peace, long-suffering, gentleness,
  goodness, meekness, temperance, faith -
  against such there is no law.

Narrator Helpers will now hand out children's activity.
S, L, J, and P return to their seats.


Alan's story.

Muriel's story.

Narrator Please stand to sing

"Something beautiful, something good",

which we will sing twice.

Omitted for copyright reasons; further details.
During this hymn Stage-hand moves the tray of twigs to the gap in the altar rail.


Narrator Here we have a tray of twiggy bits. They don't look very exciting, and maybe they're something like the lives of brokenness and strife we just sung about - but remember that even a dead-looking twig can flower and bring forth fruit in the spring and summer.

We now invite you to select a twig from the tray and place it in the planter in front of the trellis as a symbol of your desire to give yourself to God, asking Him to help you to grow the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

Please take some grapes back to your seats as a reminder that with God's help we will grow much fruit.

When all have finished we shall quietly sing the hymn again.

Organist plays "Something beautiful, something good" whilst the people make their offering.

When all who wish have finished, Organist pauses, then restarts the tune; all the cast lead by singing the words.

During the singing, Prayer 1, Prayer 2, Prayer 3, Prayer 4 come to lectern quietly.

Prayer 1 Let us pray.

Thank You for the wonderful fruit of the Holy Spirit which grows when we give our lives to You - help us day by day to continue to grow this fruit. Amen.

Prayer 2 We pray for all members of our newly elected government, asking You, Father, to grant them wisdom and discernment in their governing rôle. May they each seek to govern this land wisely and for the good of all people. Amen.
Prayer 3 We remember the people of New Orleans and the surrounding region as they struggle with the after-effects of Hurricane Katrina.

We pray that families will be re-united with their loved ones, and that all the surviving childen will find safe homes to live in.

We pray for those who mourn, that they will be comforted.

We pray that the best long-term solution will be found for restoration and re-growth.

We pray that you will give all displaced people the strength to face each day and the will and courage to re-build their lives. We ask this in Jesus name. Amen.

Prayer 4 As we leave this church, may each one of us leave with the intention of bringing about change in our lives so that we become people who bring love, joy and peace to our homes, our families, our schools and our places of work. Amen.

Together we sing The Lord's Prayer

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.

Narrator Please stand for the hymn

"Make me a channel of Your peace".

1.   Make me a channel of Your peace.
  Where there is hatred, let me bring Your love;
  Where there is injury, Your pardon, Lord;
  And where there is doubt, true faith in You :

  Chorus :

   O Master, grant that I may never seek
   So much to be consoled as to console;
   To be understood as to understand;
   To be loved, as to love with all my soul.

2.   Make me a channel of Your peace.
  Where there's despair in life, let me bring hope;
  Where there is darkness, only light;
  And where there's sadness, ever joy :


3.   Make me a channel of Your peace.
  It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
  In giving to all men that we receive,
  And in dying that we're born to eternal life.

NarratorPlease remain standing for the Blessing.


We invite you to join us for a cuppa in the Hall ( behind the church ) at the end of this service.

Those taking part :

Fruit 1 to Fruit 5
J, L, P, S
Prayer 1 to Prayer 4
Reader 1, Reader 2
Vine 1, Vine 2