Family Service
St. Augustine's

October 29 2006

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.


Sowing seeds of love

ReaderWe welcome you here in the name of Jesus. May He help us to be people who desire to love and help one another.
NarratorNo 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.

If anyone would like the music for our hymns today, please put your hand up and we will bring it to you.

Toilets are between the church and the hall.

There are toys at the back for children to play with.

Please don't feel embarrassed if the children are a bit noisy, we welcome everyone here.

ReaderOur theme for today is "Sowing seeds of love".

Our sentence for today is from John Chapter 13 verse 34, and it is : 'Jesus said,
"And now I give you a new commandment : love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another."
NarratorPlease stand to sing the hymn
"We plough the fields and scatter the good seed on the land".
In the last verse of this hymn villagers come to front and sit in four family groups on or near the four sheets in front of the altar in their "houses".

Story teller comes to the front.

1.   We plough the fields, and scatter
  the good seed on the land;
  but it is fed and watered
  by God's almighty hand;
  He sends the snow in winter,
  the warmth to swell the grain;
  the breezes and the sunshine
  and soft refreshing rain

  Chorus :
    All good gifts around us
    are sent from heaven above;
    then thank the Lord, O thank the Lord
    for all His love.

2.   He only is the maker
  of all things near and far;
  He paints the wayside flower,
  He lights the evening star;
  the winds and waves obey Him,
  by Him the birds are fed;
  much more, to us His children
  He gives our daily bread.


3.   We thank You, then, Our Father,
  for all things bright and good;
  the seed-time and the harvest,
  our life, our health, our food :
  accept the gifts we offer
  for all Your love imparts;
  and, that which You most welcome,
  our humble, thankful hearts !


NarratorPlease sit.
Story tellerThere are all sorts of seeds - the seeds we plant in the ground, such as flower and vegetable seeds, and the good seeds we plant in each others hearts such as encouraging words and acts of kindness, gentleness and love.

I wonder what sorts of seed we sow each day -

Do we sow seeds of kindness or seeds of indifference ?

Do we sow seeds of love or seeds of hate ?

Do we sow seeds of sharing or seeds of grabbing everything for ourselves ?

What sorts of seed do we sow ?

NarratorListen to this story about a Priest who lived in a poor village in the mountains of Europe.
Story tellerIt had been a bad summer and autumn and few of the villagers ( pointing to villagers ) had been able to store food or collect wood for the winter.

The snows came early and everyone in the village was worried. ( Villagers look worried. )

The priest was worried too, for he hadn't much food either. But he did have a good harvest of sunflower seeds, and he was determined to share what he had for as long as he was able.

Priest comes down centre aisle and mimes the story.
 Each day throughout that winter the priest would load his pockets with sunflower seeds and visit the houses in the village where he knew someone was sick or in need.

He spent hours sitting beside people's beds bringing them comfort.

Priest sits beside one family group ( with one member pretending to be ill in bed ) as if visiting someone in bed.
 He helped with some of the household chores.
Priest visits another family group and sweeps the floor.
 He looked after the children,
Priest joins another family group and reads a story to the children.
 or he just sat and listened to the sad stories that people had to tell.
Priest sits with another family group and "listens" to their problems; members of the family pretend to talk to priest.
 And all the time he offered sunflower seeds to those who could manage to crack and eat them, and he prayed for each family he visited.

They all looked forward to his visits for he brought a sense of loving care and kindness wherever he went, and they all felt as if Jesus was there with them.

Priest returns to back.
 Towards the end of the winter the villagers realised they hadn't see the priest all week,
Villager 1 goes to back.
 so someone went to his house to look for him and found him lying on his bed, dead.
Villager 1 ( comes back saying )He's dead ! He's lying on his bed - he looks so peaceful.
 All the villagers were sad and wept for him;
Villagers look sad; they come out of their houses and wander around talking to one another.
 they reminded each other of his kindnesses to all of them, but they also knew that he would now be in heaven with Jesus and rejoiced for him.
Villagers go sadly to back down centre aisle.
 When spring finally arrived, the villagers couldn't believe their eyes for all over the village, beside every path, by every house
Villagers return to front holding up big paper sunflowers.
 there grew sunflowers. They were everywhere, even by the poorest hovel - Sunflowers everywhere.

They looked and looked, and then someone said :

Villager 2It's the priest's doing. Wherever he went this winter he had sunflower seeds in his pockets. He must have had a hole in one pocket, and as he walked the seeds fell on the ground, and now they've grown into beautiful flowers.
Villager 4( looking both ways round the "village" ) Look - he visited all of us.
Villager 5He truly was a friend in need.
Villager 6He has left us a more wonderful gift than gold.
Villager 3Yes - his gift of loving care has helped us through this hard winter.
Villager 7He truly blessed us.
All villagers Thank you, Jesus, for this wonderful man.
Story tellerEach spring as the sunflowers continued to appear all over the village, people would remember the Parish Priest and talk about his goodness to them all.

They found that each year the sunflowers reminded them to help one another.

Truly the priest had left them a wonderful reminder of love.

Villagers stick their sunflowers onto the front of the altar and return to their seats.
NarratorPlease stand for the song
"What shall the harvest be ?"
During this hymn, Stage hand moves slide to place where it can be used, puts toy 1 under screen, packet of biscuits beside altar ( organ side ).
1.   Sowing the seed by the dawn light fair,
  Sowing the seed by the noon-day glare
  Sowing the seed by the fading light,
  Sowing the seed in the solemn night :
  Oh, what shall the harvest be ?
  Oh, what shall the harvest be ?

  Chorus :
    Sown in the darkness, or sown in the light;
    Sown in our weakness, or sown in our might;
    Gathered in time or eternity -
    Sure, ah, sure will the harvest be !

2.   Sowing the seed by the wayside high,
  Sowing the seed in the rocks to die;
  Sowing the seed where the thorns will spoil,
  Sowing the seed in the fertile soil -
  Oh, what shall the harvest be ?
  Oh, what shall the harvest be ?


3.   Sowing the seed with an aching heart,
  Sowing the seed while the tear drops start;
  Sowing in hope until the reapers come
  Gladly to gather the harvest home -
  Oh, what shall the harvest be ?
  Oh, what shall the harvest be ?


NarratorPlease sit for the play "Going shopping".

Please note that the Child who goes shopping changes part way through the story; this is to give two children the opportunity to have speaking parts.

At the end of this play I'm going to ask you to tell me of any 'seeds of love' you've noticed in either of the plays.

Children come down Hospital aisle and use the slide. TAKE TURNS AND DON'T TALK !

Child 3 and Mother with push chair and doll and toy 2 ready at organ side;

People 2 and People 3 ready to wander around the supermarket;

Check-out person ready at Hospital side to move to centre when needed.

Note entry to and from park is by Hospital side aisle, entry to and from super-market is by centre front

People 1 ready at Hospital side.

Mother ( to Child 3 )It's such a lovely day, I haven't much to buy, we'll walk to the supermarket.
Child 3Great ! Can we go to the park, too ?
MotherMaybe - we'll see.
Mother and Child 3 push the push chair across in front of altar rail.

People 1 comes across from Hospital side.

Mother and Child 3 meet People 1 at centre front.

MotherHello, how are you ? I haven't seen you for ages !
People 1No, I've been in Hospital.
MotherOh ! I'm so sorry, do tell me about it.
Child 3Mum, please can I go on the slide ?
MotherAll right, dear, but remember to take turns - no pushing in.
Child 3OK.
Child 3 runs to Hospital side and then to slide and joins in the queue.

Mother and People 1 mime talking, People 1 doing most of the talking; give time for Child 3 to have two or three goes on the slide.

People 1I must go now. Thank you for listening.
MotherThank you for sharing your story. I'll be praying for you.
People 1Thank you !
Mother and People 1 hug each other.

People 1 hurries down centre aisle.

Mother calls to Child 3Time to go !
Child 3Just one more slide !
MotherOK - just one more.
Child 3 has one more slide, then comes back to Mother, by going along Hospital side then along congregation side of the altar rail.

Child 1 moves from slide, goes along Hospital side and along congregation side of altar rail following Child 3 and stops before reaching Mother.

Mother to Child 3Did you take turns ?
Child 3Yes. Well, most of the time.
MotherGood !
Mother and Child 3 go up one step in front of altar. As they go up the step, toy 2 drops out of the push chair.

Child 1 picks up toy 2, and runs up to Mother touching her on the shoulder.

Child 1You've dropped this !
Mother takes toy 2 and gives it to doll.
MotherThank you, dear; Lucy would have been very upset if we'd lost that !
NarratorThey arrive at the supermarket.
Child 3Can I ride in the trolley ?
MotherNo way ! - you know you're too heavy to go in the trolley, and no hanging on the side either, it's dangerous. We'll take a basket.
Mother and Child 3 walk along on altar side of altar rail towards organ, go up to top step, and turn to walk in front of altar;

Child 3 picks up toy 1 lying in front of the screen and comes hurrying back to Mother.

Child 3Look Mummy, look, I've found this ! Can I keep it ?
MotherNo - it's not ours, we'll leave it at the check-out and hope the owner asks for it.
Mother puts toy 1 on push chair hood.
 Now we need milk, bread, nappies.
Child 3Sweets, chocolate, ice cream, biscuits !
MotherNot today.... well, maybe just one packet of biscuits, but we can't open them until they're paid for.
Mother picks up a packet of biscuits from beside altar.
Child 3Can I have a biscuit ? Please, I'm so hungry.
MotherNo. Not until it's paid for.

Oh - and I must get some of that.

Mother with push chair and Child 3 moves along in front of altar points up to the top shelf.
 Oh, I can't reach it !
People 2 wanders along top step coming from Hospital side; Mother turns to People 2.
MotherPlease can you get that down for me ?
People 2My pleasure ! ( mimes reaching something down from a high shelf, and giving it to Mother ) Can I get anything else for you ?
MotherNo thanks - everything else is in my reach.
People 2 goes back to Hospital side.

Mother and Child 3 come down one step and walk towards organ, meeting People 3 who stands peering at the shelves on middle step with a piece of paper in his hands.

People 3Can you see any of that new soap here ?
MotherNo, which soap is that ?
People 3The one like this ( holding up a piece of paper ).
MotherOh, yes, it's over there ( pointing towards organ );

Joni will get it for you.

Child 3 runs and mimes getting packet and brings it back to People 3.
People 3Thank you !
MotherNow, I think that's all; time to leave.
Mother and Child 3 go to end of supermarket aisle organ side down the steps then back towards centre of altar rail, inside the altar area;

Check-out person stands in centre by altar rail.

NarratorAt the check-out.
Mother "gives" goods to Check-out person, who mimes the check-out procedure rather slowly and clumsily.
MotherHello, dear. I see you're learning - well, just take your time.

There's no hurry, and remember it will all get easier as the days go by.

( When the check-out is over, Mother picks up toy 1 from push chair hood ) Here's a toy we found over there; I do hope the owner comes looking for it.

Mother gives toy 1 to check-out person.
MotherWell done, have a good day.

Bye !

Mother pauses and counts her change, turns back to Check-out person.
MotherYou gave me too much change. These new coins are confusing, aren't they ?
Mother hands over the extra change.
Check-out personThank you for your honesty !
Child 3Can I have a biscuit now ?
MotherYes, dear, just one.
Child 3 opens packet and eats one biscuit.

Mother and Child 3 go congregation side of altar rail towards Hospital side.

MotherHere's the packet of biscuits; go and share them with the other children. Then we must get home.
Child 3 runs up to slide and hands biscuits to all the children at the slide and then all children go down the Hospital aisle eating biscuits followed by Villager 12 and Mother.

People 2, People 3, check-out person return to their seats.

Stage hand puts easel and blackboard up with pen/chalk on Hospital side near altar.

Writer comes to front.

Narrator ( to congregation )What 'seeds of love' did you notice in the plays ?
Writer puts the answers up on the board then re-reads them.
WriterThat's good. Isn't amazing how we can do such simple things to show our care for one another ?
NarratorHelp us, Jesus to sow seeds of these kinds.
ALLHelp us, Jesus.
NarratorPlease stand to sing the hymn
"Love, love, love makes People happy".
Writer returns to seat;

Stage hand puts four chairs in front of altar, places a towel, basin and jug of water next to the chairs;

Reader comes to lectern.

1.   Love, love, love makes People happy,
  Love, love, love makes People free;
  Love makes People do
  The things they know they ought to do;
  Love is doing things for you and me.

  Chorus :
    We need more love, it's easy to see;
    We need God's love -
    That's the way it should be.

2.   Love, love, love makes People friendly,
  Love, love, love makes People kind;
  Love makes People do
  The things they know they ought to do;
  Love is helping those who fall behind.


3.   Love, love, love makes People happy,
  Love, love, love makes People free;
  Love makes People do
  The things they know they ought to do;
  Love is doing things for you and me.

NarratorPlease sit.

So far in this service we have been considering ways in which we can love one another, but let us not forget the love that has been shown to us by God and His Son Jesus. They have given us a great example of love in action to follow.

ReaderOur dramatised reading is from John Chapter 13 Verses 1-2, 4-10, 12-17 and can be found on Page 1190 of the Church Bibles.
NarratorLet us remember during this reading that the job of washing people's feet was normally given to the lowliest slave.

Let us also remember that the roads in those days were very dirty with animal droppings etc., and so people's feet got dirty and smelly very quickly, especially as their shoes were more like sandals.

ReaderIt was now the day before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for Him to leave this world and go to the Father. He had always loved those in this world who were His own, and He loved them to the very end.
Jesus and disciples Peter come down centre aisle and sit on chairs; Peter should sit at the end.
 Jesus and His disciples were eating together.
Jesus stands up, mimes taking off His imaginary outer garment, and tying a towel around His waist.
  Jesus rose from the table, took off His outer garment, and tied a towel around His waist.
Jesus pours water into a bowl and washes disciples' feet ( all except Peter's ).
 Then He poured some water into a basin and began to wash His disciples feet and dry them with the towel around His waist.

He came to Simon Peter.

PeterAre you going to wash my feet, Lord ?
JesusYou do not understand now what I am doing, but you will understand later.
Peter ( jumping up )Never at any time will You wash my feet !
JesusIf I do not wash your feet you will no longer be My disciple.
PeterLord, do not wash only my feet, then - wash my hands and head, too !
JesusThose who have had a bath are completely clean and do not have to wash themselves, except for their feet. All of you are clean - except one.
Peter sits down and Jesus washes his feet.
ReaderAfter Jesus had washed their feet, He put His outer garment back on ( Jesus mimes putting His outer garment on ) and returned to His place at the table.
Jesus returns to His chair.
JesusDo you understand what I have just done to you ? You call Me Teacher and Lord, and it is right that you should do so, because that is what I am.

I, your Lord and Teacher, have just washed your feet.

You, then, should wash one another's feet.

I have set an example for you, so that you will do just what I have done for you.

I am telling you the truth; no slaves are greater that their master, and no messengers greater than the one who sent them.

Now that you know the truth, how happy you will be if you put it into practice !

NarratorPlease stand to sing the hymn
"Brother, sister, let me serve you".
Omitted for copyright reasons; further details.
Jesus and the disciples and Peter go to the back down Hospital aisle.

Stage hand rearranges chairs, towels, carpet protectors, washing-up bowls ( with water in them ) for the foot washing.

NarratorThree of us will now wash each other's feet, then anyone else who would like their feet washed please come to the front. We'll wash the first person's feet, then the first person can wash the second person's feet, and so on. So once your feet have been washed, please be ready to wash the next person's feet. If you would like your feet washed but find it difficult to move we will come to you.
Three People use centre bowl to wash each other's feet, then go to stand next to a bowl ready to wash the feet of a member of the congregation, then stand back from the bowl and be available to help if needed.

When People have all come forward two footwashers ( one to hold the bowl ) should go into the Congregation and see if anyone else wants their feet washed.

Organist to play quietly the tune of "Brother, sister, let me serve you", whilst the foot-washing is happening;

then PAUSE for quiet reflection.

NarratorPlease sit or kneel for the prayers.
Pray-ers ready at lectern to pray.
Pray-er 1Father God, we thank You for Your love, the love that gave us Jesus.

Jesus, we thank You for Your life which You gave for us.

Help us to love and serve You with all our heart.


Pray-er 2Teach us, Lord God, to sow seeds of love wherever we go.

Help us to be kind and loving and giving to all we meet.


Pray-er 3Father God, may Your peace and love help us to be peace-makers wherever we may be.


Pray-er 1Together we sing -
ALL 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.


NarratorWe have chosen our final hymn to remind us that it is through the love of Jesus that we are able to sow our seeds of love.

Please stand for our final hymn,
"Such love".

Omitted for copyright reasons; further details.

NarratorPlease remain standing for the Blessing.


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

Those taking part :

Check-out person, Child 1, Child 2, Child 3, Jesus, Mother, Narrator, People 1, People 2, People 3, Peter, Pray-er 1, Pray-er 2, Pray-er 3, Priest, Reader, Story teller, Villager 1, Villager 2, Villager 3, Villager 4, Villager 5, Villager 6, Villager 7, Writer.