Family Service
St. Augustine's

August 2, 2009

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.


God's Invitations.

LeaderWe welcome you here in the name of Jesus. May we find out more about God's invitation to live our lives His way.

Our theme for today is :

the invitations God gives us to live life His way.

Our sentence for today is from John Chapter 10 verse 10b :

Jesus said "I have come in order that you might have life - life in all its fulness."

NarratorPlease stand to sing the hymn :

"All hail the pow'r of Jesus' name".

Omitted for copyright reasons; further details.
LeaderFrom the New Zealand Prayer Book Pages 404-405
Omitted for copyright reasons; further details.
LeaderPlease sit.

Jelly bean time - birthdays etc.

Crowd 1 and People 1 (on Hospital side), Crowd 2 (in centre), Crowd 3 and People 2 (on organ side) ready at back;
Jesus ready at front Hospital side.

NarratorWe will be using the three readings set for today but not in the usual order. These three readings show us three of the invitations that God gives to us.

I. God's Invitation to join His Family.

First the Gospel reading, where Jesus invites us to seek eternal life by believing in Him and following Him.

This reading follows the descriptions of two miracles : Jesus fed five thousand people from two fish and five loaves, and Jesus walked on the water to join the disciples in the boat which was heading to the other side of Lake Galilee. Please imagine that you are among the crowd who have gone to Capernaum to find Jesus.

We will be using the Living Bible for this reading.

Reader Jesus the bread of life; John Chapter 6 verses 22-35.

Jesus comes to stand between altar rails.

The next morning back across the lake, crowds began gathering on the shore ( waiting to see Jesus ). For they knew that He and His disciples had come over together and that the disciples had gone off in their boat, leaving Him behind. Several small boats from Tiberias were nearby.

So when when the people saw that Jesus wasn't there, nor His disciples, they got into the boats and went across to Capernaum to look for Him.

At the same time :

  • Crowd 1 and People 1 come up the Hospital side looking for Jesus and stand between the lectern and the altar facing the congregation;
  • Crowd 2 comes up centre aisle looking for Jesus and stands in front of the altar facing the congregation;
  • Crowd 3 and People 2 come up the organ side looking for Jesus and stand in front of the screen facing the congregation.
Reader When they found Him they said -
People 1, People 2 and Jesus meet in front of altar rail.
People 1Sir, how did you get here ?
JesusThe truth of the matter is that you want to be with Me because I fed you, not because you believe in Me.

But you shouldn't be so concerned about perishable things like food. No, spend your energy seeking the eternal life that I, the Man from Heaven, can give you. For God the Father has sent Me for this very purpose.

People 2What should we do to satisfy God ?
JesusThis is the will of God, that you believe in the One He has sent.
People 1You must show us more miracles if you want us to believe You are the Messiah.
ALLWe want more miracles !
People 2Give us free bread every day like our fathers had while they journeyed through the wilderness ! As the Scriptures say, "Moses gave them bread from heaven".
ALLFree bread  !
JesusMoses didn't give it to them. My Father did. And now He offers you true Bread from heaven.
The true Bread is a Person - the One sent by God from heaven, and He gives life to the world.
ALLGive us that bread every day of our lives !
JesusI am the Bread of Life. No one coming to Me will ever be hungry again. Those believing in Me will never thirst.
ReaderHear what the Spirit is saying to the church.
ALLThanks be to God.
Crowd 1, Crowd 2, Crowd 3, People 1, People 2 and Jesus return to their seats;
Adult, Child 1 and Child 2 come to centre from organ aisle.
Child 2Those people were greedy, wanting Jesus to perform miracles and give them free bread every day !
AdultYes, they had completely misunderstood the reason why God sent His Son to earth.
Child 1Why did God send Jesus to us ?
AdultTo give us the invitation to believe in Jesus and receive eternal life - for in John Chapter 3 verse 16 we are told that "God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son so that anyone who believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life."
Child 2Is the invitation for everyone ?
AdultYes, for everyone.
Child 1What do I have to do to accept it ?
AdultTell Jesus that you believe that He is the Son of God and that you want to become a member of His Family, a child of God, and tell Him often.
Child 2Will that mean that I won't need to eat or drink ever again ?
AdultNo, we all need to eat and drink, but Jesus was speaking about our spiritual hunger and thirst.
Once we become children of God, then God will help us to understand and grow in the things of the spirit, and we will begin to find our lives changing as we seek to follow God's will and not our own will for our lives.
Child 1I do believe in Jesus and I want to become a member of His family !
AdultThat's wonderful ! Now you will begin to experience the fulness of life that Jesus spoke about.
Pray-erLet us pray.

Lord Jesus, please help each one of us to accept Your invitation to believe in You and to desire to be members of Your family and to follow Your will for us each day of our lives so that we might experience life in all its fulness. Amen

ALLThank You, Lord Jesus. Amen.
NarratorPlease stand to sing the hymn

"I believe in Jesus"

which we will sing twice.

Adult, Child 1 and Child 2 sit down in front seat organ side;
King David wearing his crown ready at back;
Nathan with his staff ready at back:
Rich Man and Poor Man, carrying his lamb, ready at back;
Poor Man's children ready at Hospital side front;
Traveller ready at back.

Stagehand moves throne to Hospital side of altar, places camp fire, tripod, and pot at organ side, and switches fire on.

Omitted for copyright reasons; further details.
NarratorPlease sit.

II. God's invitation to be righteous people.

Our second lesson is from the Old Testament and is about David and his need to seek repentance for the wrongs he has done.

This play invites us to seek forgiveness for the things we do wrong and to receive that forgiveness from God and is adapted from -

Nathan's parable and David's Repentance.

2 Samuel Chapter 12 verses 1-13

King David wearing a crown comes down centre aisle and sits on his throne.
Nathan carrying a staff strides up centre aisle, stops just in front of David and bows to him. Nathan then stands altar side of David.
David to NathanWelcome, Nathan. What have you to say to me today ?
NathanI want to tell you a story.
DavidOh, I do enjoy a good story !
NathanThere were two men in a certain city.
The Rich Man moves up the organ side and stands near the organ facing half towards Nathan and half towards congregation.
Nathan pointing to the Rich ManOne was rich.
Rich ManI am the rich man. I have many herds and cattle.
Rich Man points to the congregation.
ALLBaa, baa, baa, moo, moo, moo.
The Poor Man carries his little lamb lovingly up the centre aisle and stands in front of the lectern half turned towards David and to the congregation. His children come and sit down around him.
Nathan pointing to the Poor ManThe other man was poor.
Poor ManI am the poor man. I have nothing but one poor little ewe lamb which I bought. I brought it up with my children. It shared our meagre meals and drank from my cup. I loved it like one of my daughters. ( Hugs and kisses the lamb. )
NathanOne day a traveller came to the Rich Man.
Traveller comes up the centre aisle and goes up to the Rich Man and gives him a hug; they talk together.
NathanThe Rich Man invited the traveller to dinner.
Rich ManPlease join us for dinner !
TravellerThank you. I'd love that.
Rich Man comes to altar rail and eyes the congregation.
Rich Man to himselfWhich sheep should I kill for our dinner ?
NathanBut he was loth to take one of his own flock or herd to prepare for the traveller.
Rich Man looks at the Poor Man's lamb; King David gets more and more angry and agitated.
Rich ManI'll take that one !
NathanAnd he grabbed the Poor Man's special lamb and prepared it for dinner.
Rich Man grabs lamb, hurries over to campfire, and puts it in the pot to cook for dinner.

King David jumps up.

King David to NathanAs the Lord lives, the man who has done this deserves to die. He shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing and because he had no pity.
Nathan pointing to King DavidYou are the man !
King DavidMe !
NathanYes, you !
David begins to realise what he has done wrong and looks sad and penitent.
NathanThus says the Lord, the God of Israel : I anointed you as King over Israel and I rescued you from the hand of Saul. I gave you the house of Israel and Judah, and if that had been too little I would have added as much more. Why have you despised the word of the Lord and broken the ten commandments ? To do what is evil in His sight ? Thus says the Lord, I will raise trouble against you.
King David falls to his knees in front of Nathan.
King DavidI have sinned against the Lord. I am truly sorry. I will do what I can to make amends.
NathanNow the Lord has put away your sin.
Pause ( count slowly to five )

Nathan goes to back down centre aisle;
pause ( count slowly to three )
King David goes to back down centre aisle;
pause ( count slowly to three )
The Rich Man, traveller go to back down centre aisle;
pause ( count slowly to three )
The Poor Man and his children go to back down centre aisle.

Child 1, Child 2 and adult come to centre.

Child 1That rich man was so mean.
Child 2He had so much and yet he took that man's only sheep. Mean, mean, mean !
AdultYes, he was mean. Just like we are mean sometimes.
Child 1, Child 2We're not mean !
AdultAre you sure ? I know I'm mean sometimes.
Child 1Well, sometimes - like when I took my sister's toy and wouldn't give it back.
Child 2And when I laughed at my friend's new clothes.
AdultHow did you feel ?
Child 1Ashamed.
Child 2Sorry.
AdultDid you say "Sorry" to God, and your sister, and your friend ?
Child 1Sort of.
AdultDo you feel forgiven ?
Child 2Maybe.
AdultWell, the wonderful invitation of God is that when we come to Him and tell Him we are truly sorry and ask His forgiveness He does forgive us and He helps us to say sorry to our friends. Not only that - He encourages us to put that all behind us, and to begin again with friendships renewed and the determination to live our lives His way. And then we'll be able to live a life of fulness in Jesus.
Adult, Child 1 and Child 2 return to their seats.
Pray-erThis prayer is from New Zealand Prayer Book, page 478.
Omitted for copyright reasons; further details.
NarratorPlease stand to sing the hymn

"Forgive our sins as we forgive".

During this hymn :

Stagehand turns off camp fire and puts up picture of St Augustine's church, middle step in centre front of altar;

Helpers ready at back with their cards.

Omitted for copyright reasons; further details.

NarratorPlease sit.

III. God invites us to be His servants and help build His church.

Our third lesson is from Paul's letters to the Ephesians and is about the need for there to be unity in the Body of the Church.
We are invited to work together as servants to build the Church of God.

Reader Build God's church.

Ephesians Chapter 4 verses 1-7 and verse 12.

I urge you, then - I who am a prisoner because I serve the Lord : live a life that measures up to the standard God set when He called you.
Be always humble,

Helper 1 carries card 'humble' to front and sticks it onto the picture of the church and returns to seat.
Helper 2 carries card 'gentle' to front and sticks it onto the picture of the church and returns to seat.
Readerand patient.
Helper 3 carries card 'patient' to front and sticks it onto the picture of the church and returns to seat.
ReaderShow your love by being tolerant with one another.
Helper 4 carries card 'loving' to front and sticks it onto the picture of the church and returns to seat.

Helper 5 carries card 'tolerant' to front and sticks it onto the picture of the church and returns to seat

ReaderDo your best to preserve the unity which the Spirit gives by means of the peace that binds you together.
Helper 6 carries card 'unity' to front and sticks it onto the picture of the church and returns to seat.

Helper 7 carries card 'peace' to front and sticks it onto the picture of the church and returns to seat

ReaderThere is one body and one Spirit, just as there is one hope to which God has called you. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism; there is one God and Father of all people, Who is Lord of all, and is in all.

Each one of us has received a special gift in proportion to what Christ has given.

It was Christ Who gave gifts to people.

He did this to prepare all God's people for the work of Christian service, in order to build up the body of Christ.

Hear what the Spirit is saying to the church.

ALLThanks be to God !
Child 1, Child 2 and adult come to centre.
Child 2 (looking around the church)What does it mean, 'build the church' ? This church is already built !
AdultThe church isn't just this building. The church is all God's people wherever they may be, and God invites us to help Him build His church.
Child 1You mean I'm the church ?
AdultYes, you and me and all the people here and all the people at Holy Trinity and in the other churches in Devonport and in the churches all round the world - we are all part of God's church.
Child 2And we are all invited to live in unity together ? That's too hard !
AdultYes, it is really hard, and we all make mistakes as we try to live in unity together. That's why we need to work hard at the other things mentioned in the reading.
Child 1What other things ?
AdultThings like being humble, gentle, patient, loving, tolerant, and peaceful.
Child 2They are really hard to do too !
AdultThankfully God gives us a helper to help us be these things.
Child 1Who's that ?
AdultThe Holy Spirit. Not only does He help us to be humble, patient and those things but He also gives us special gifts to help us serve God in the special way God wants.
Child 2So we don't have to do it all on our own ?
AdultNo - God helps us all the time. We need to be willing to be His servants and listen to Him, and He will show us how to be the people He wants us to be.
Child 1That's great ! I do want to be God's servant and to help build His church. I wonder what He will ask me to do !
AdultI wonder .....
Pray-erLord God, thank You for the invitation to be Your servants so that we can help You build the church that You want.
Please give us the gifts we need to do Your work.
Please change us into being the people You want us to be.
Enable us to live a fuller life in You as we learn to be Your servants. Amen.
ALLEnrich our lives, Lord, so that we may serve you always and help You build Your church. Amen.
NarratorPlease stand to sing the hymn

"For I'm building a people of power"

which we'll sing twice.

Adult, Child 1 and Child 2 return to their seats.
Omitted for copyright reasons; further details.
NarratorPlease sit.
LeaderFrom the New Zealand Prayer Book Page 419.
Omitted for copyright reasons; further details.
LeaderPlease stand for the collection hymn

"I am the bread of life".

Omitted for copyright reasons; further details.
LeaderAs John is unable to be with us this morning we are unable to offer communion.

Instead let us remember that Jesus said -

"I am the Bread of Life"

and that He invites us to believe in Him, follow Him and join His family

Let us also remember that He offers forgiveness to all who truly repent and turn to Him.

Thirdly, let us remember that He invites us to be His servants and help Him build His church.

Finally, He promises that as we do this we will have life in all its fulness.

As a token of our intention to try to live God's way we have some bread in this basket ( show basket ) which I will shortly pray over.
We invite you all to come forward and eat some of this bread as a symbol of our desire to accept Jesus's invitation to follow Him and our desire to help Him build His church.

Leader blesses bread;
Organist and leader takes some bread and eat it.

Leader returns to Hospital side, organist plays quiet music as people come to eat. When all who desire to do so have come -

LeaderLet us pray.

Together we sing -

ALLOur 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.
LeaderPlease stand for our final hymn

"The Church's one Foundation".

1.    The Church's one foundation
   is Jesus Christ, her Lord;
   she is His new creation,
   by water and the word;
   from heav'n He came and sought her
   to be His holy bride,
   with His own blood He bought her
   and for her life He died.

2.    Elect from ev'ry nation,
   yet one o'er all the earth,
   her charter of salvation,
   one Lord, one faith, one birth;
   one holy name she blesses,
   partakes one holy food,
   and to one hope she presses,
   with ev'ry grace endued.

3.    'Mid toil and tribulation,
   and tumult of her war,
   she waits the consummation
   of peace for evermore;
   till with the vision glorious
   her longing eyes are blest,
   and the great Church victorious
   shall be the Church at rest.

4.    Yet she on earth hath union
   with God the Three in One,
   and mystic sweet communion
   with those whose rest is won:
   O happy ones and holy !
   Lord, give us grace that we
   like them, the meek and lowly,
   on high may dwell with Thee.

LeaderPlease remain standing for the Blessing.


Those taking part :

Leader, Narrator, Crowd 1-3, People 1-2, Jesus, Reader, Adult, Child 1-2, Pray-er, King David, Nathan, Rich man, Poor man, Poor man's children, Traveller, Stagehand.