Family Service
St. Augustine's

June 7, 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.


Trinity Sunday

MinisterWe welcome you here in the name of Jesus.

Please stand to sing the hymn

"Holy, Holy, Holy ! Lord God Almighty !"

1.   Holy, Holy, Holy ! Lord God Almighty !
  Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee;
  Holy, Holy, Holy ! merciful and mighty !
  God in three Persons, blessed Trinity !

2.   Holy, Holy, Holy ! all the saints adore Thee,
  Casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
  Cherubim and seraphim falling down before Thee,
  Which wert and art and evermore shalt be.

3.   Holy, Holy, Holy ! though the darkness hide Thee,
  Though the eye of sinful man Thy glory may not see,
  Only Thou art holy, there is none beside Thee,
  Perfect in pow'r, in love, and purity.

4.   Holy, Holy, Holy ! Lord God Almighty !
  All Thy works shall praise Thy name in earth and sky and sea;
  Holy, Holy, Holy ! merciful and mighty !
  God in three Persons, blessed Trinity.

MinisterFrom the New Zealand Prayer Book Page 404 :
Omitted for copyright reasons; further details.
MinisterPlease sit.

Our sentence for today -

God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him may not die but have eternal life.

Jelly bean time - birthdays etc.

Isaiah and cherubs ready at back; 'God' ready on balcony.

NarratorGod the creator and Father of all calls us to be His messengers. Listen to how Isaiah responds to this call.

The Calling of Isaiah

taken from Isaiah Chapter 6 verses 1-9a, page 751 of the Church Bibles.

In this story God is asking "Whom shall I send ? Who will be My messenger ?" and Isaiah rises to the challenge and says "Lord, send me."

Here's Isaiah now - let's listen to his story.

Isaiah comes down centre aisle and kneels at kneeling desk.
IsaiahIn the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord. He was sitting on His throne high and exalted, and His robe filled the whole Temple.
Cherubim come "flying" down centre aisle and stand in front of the altar.
IsaiahAround Him flaming creatures, cherubim, were standing; each of them had six wings. They covered their faces with two wings,

( Cherubim cover their faces with wings )

They covered their bodies with two wings,

( Cherubim cover their bodies with wings )

and used the other two for flying.

( Cherubim flap their wings as if flying )

They were calling out to each other :

CherubimHoly, holy, holy !
The Lord Almighty is holy !
His glory fills the world !
IsaiahThe sound of their voices made the foundation of the Temple shake, and the Temple itself was filled with smoke. I said -
"There is no hope for me ! I am doomed because every word that passes my lips is sinful and unclean. And yet with mine own eyes I have seen the King, the Lord Almighty."
Then one of the cherubim flew down to me.
Head cherub uses tongs to pick up a "burning coal" from the altar and moves towards Isaiah.
IsaiahHe touched my lips with the burning coal.
Head cherub touches Isaiah's lips with the "burning coal".
Head cherubThis has touched your lips, and now your guilt is gone, and your sins are forgiven.
Head cherub replaces "burning coal" on altar.
IsaiahThen I heard the Lord say -
'God' ( from balcony ) Whom shall I send ? Who will be Our messenger ?
IsaiahAnd I replied, "I will go ! Send me !". So He told me to go to give His message to the people. And I went.
Isaiah gets up and goes to the back down the centre aisle and returns to his seat.
Pray-erLet us pray.

Lord God, You call each one of us to carry Your message into the world. Forgive us for the times we have ignored Your call. Help us to be Your messengers from now on.

ALLHelp us, God, to be your messengers. Amen.
NarratorPlease stand to sing the collection hymn

"Here I am, Lord".

During this hymn the cherubim fly to the back down centre aisle, take their costumes off, and return to their seats.

Stage hand moves prayer desk to Hospital side.

Collectors ready with collection bags.

Poem reader ready to read poem.

Friend 1 with adoption papers, Friend 2, Friend 3 ready near front organ side.

Omitted for copyright reasons; further details.
When collection finished, collectors stand in centre aisle ready to take the bags up to the front.
Wait until the Minister tells you to move, then
Place bags in 'plate';
Wait while minister prays;
Close altar rail "gate";
Bow to cross on altar;
and return to seats.
NarratorPlease sit.

God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him may not die but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to be its judge but to be its saviour.

Jesus, God's Son, offers redemption and salvation to all who believe in Him He invites us to be born again into the family of God.

The story of Nicodemus

based on John Chapter 3 verses 1-5; Page 1172 of the church Bibles.

ReaderThere was a Jewish leader named Nicodemus who belonged to the party of the Pharisees. One night he went to Jesus and said to Him :

"Rabbi, we know that you were a teacher sent by God. No one could perform the miracles You are doing unless God were with Him."

Jesus answered,

"I am telling you the truth : no one can see the Kingdom of God without being born again."

Nicodemus asked,

"How can a grown man be born again ? He certainly can't enter his mother's womb and be born a second time !"

"I am telling the truth", replied Jesus. "No one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born by water and the Spirit. A person is born physically of human parents, but is born spiritually of the Spirit."

NarratorListen to this poem about the possible reaction of Nicodemus to his secret conversation with Jesus.
Poem reader


I met the Son that moonless night.
I'd crept away from the city lights
To the place I'd been told that Jesus would be.
I just had to talk to Him about my need.

So secretly, secretly under much cover,
(As it wouldn't do for the leaders to discover)
I crept to the door, then let myself in,
Challenging His teachings as I stood before Him.

"How, just how. What must I do?
You're a man of God. Please! I beg you!
I've lived a good life, I'm a righteous man,
Yet the Kingdom of God is far from my hand."

"I'm so glad you've come to me", Jesus did say.
"To enter the kingdom there is a new way.
To be born of flesh is no longer enough,
You need to be born of spiritual stuff,

Free from blindness, condemnation and sin;
Receiving the light of God within.
If you believe you'll be born from above;
Instead of judgement, receive God's love."

I went away pondering this new conception
Which brought understanding of salvation and redemption.
Later I buried Him, I knew He was right.
I'd realised He was God's Son, that night.


Friend 1 carrying adoption papers, Friend 2, Friend 3 stand in centre on the bottom step.

Friend 1 waving adoption papersHey, look, look what I've got !
Friend 2What's that ?
Friend 1Adoption papers.
Friend 2Adoption what ?
Friend 1Adoption papers. At long last I'm an official member of my family.
Friend 3Like when we got our dog ?
Friend 4Her name is Lassie.
Friend 2Huh ?
Friend 3Well, we had to buy her and sign papers to say she now belonged to us.
Friend 4She no longer belongs to the breeder.
Friend 1Yeah. It's kinda like that. My adoptive parents had to sign these papers and so did a judge. So now I belong to this family.
Friend 2That's kinda cool.
Friend 3Yes. It reminds me of God.
Friend 1 and Friend 2Huh ? How so ?
Friend 4What do you mean ?
Friend 3Well, Jesus is God's Son and He said that if we accepted Him and the redemption He brought we could become His brothers and sisters.
Friend 2Adopted, you mean ?
Friend 3Yes. Adopted into His family.
Friend 4Does it cost anything ?
Friend 3No. Why ?
Friend 2Well, you said you had to buy your dog.
Friend 2 turning to Friend 1 Did your Mum and Dad have to buy you ?
Friend 1I don't know. I don't think so.
Friend 3But it doesn't cost anything to become a child of God because Jesus paid for our adoption when He died on the cross. But we do have family responsibilities.
Friend 2How do you mean ?
Friend 1Like, now I'm part of this family I have to pull my weight. Do chores and things ?
Friend 3Yes. And stick up for your parents and obey them so they can look after you properly and help you grow up.
Friend 1 and Friend 2 and Friend 4Cool !
Friend 1, Friend 2, Friend 3 and Friend 4 return to their seats.
Pray-erLet us pray.

Lord Jesus, thank You that through Your life, death and resurrection, You paid the price for our sins, and that we can freely come to You and ask to be born again into Your family.

Help us to accept this free offer of Yours and so become members of Your family, born again in spirit and in truth. Amen.

ALLThank You, Lord Jesus, for Your free invitation to be part of the family of God.
NarratorPlease stand to sing the hymn

"Not my will but Thine be done"

which we will sing twice.

Stage hands ready near front to set the scene for the airport play;

Beth and the travellers at the back with their cabin bags;

Air Hostess and old man in wheelchair ready at back.

Not my will but Thine be done,
But let the fulness of the Son
Rule within this life
That I have offered Thee,
Until everything I do
Becomes the thing that pleases You -
Abba, Father, I would be Your child indeed !
NarratorPlease sit.

CMWDT - that's Christian Ministries with Disabled Trust - is an organisation which offers Christian ministry to people with disabilities. One of their outreaches is a magazine, "The Encourager", which includes true stories about ordinary Christian people who serve one another in godly ways.

Our next play is adapted from one of these stories and tells us how God through His Holy Spirit may guide us in our ordinary daily lives.

We invite you to imagine that you are in an airport departure lounge and ask you to talk to one another whilst we set the scene.

Public address systemThe flight for Palmerston North is delayed due to fog.


Will Farmer Giles please get his cow off the runway so the approaching plane can land.


All services to Australia have been suspended because Australia has sunk.


Stage hands place a row of chairs in a line from the lectern to the centre of the altar and along the front of the altar, and place the sign "AUCKLAND AIRPORT LOUNGE" on the wall between altar and Hospital side

When the chairs etc are in place Beth and the passengers straggle in from different aisles - all are carrying or pulling cabin bags, they sit down on or in front of the chairs. Beth sits on the seat nearest the lectern and gets her Bible out of her bag and begins to read it.

Public address systemThe St Augustine's family service is now about to take off; please fasten your seatbelts.
Beth ( to the congregation )Hello ! I'm Beth, and I want to tell you about something that happened to me in an airport lounge.

I'd had a marvellous morning with the Lord. I say this because I want to tell you it is a scary thing to have the Spirit of God really working in you. You could end up doing some things you never otherwise would have done. Life in the Spirit can be dangerous for a thousand reasons, not the least of which is your ego.

The air hostess wheels the old man, in a wheelchair and dressed in an over-sized suit, up the centre aisle, and places the wheelchair on the bottom step at the end of the row of chairs half-facing Beth.

Air hostess moves away and waits by the wall.

BethWhen I saw that old man coming into the lounge in a wheelchair I felt so uncomfortable. I tried to keep on reading my Bible, but I just couldn't help looking at him.
Child seated in the congregation stands up and points at the old man.
ChildLook at that old man !
All the travellers stare at the old man then look away again.
BethWhen that child called out I felt even worse. I kept peeking at the man; his hair looked awful and his suit was two sizes too large for him. He looked a mess.

Then I began to wonder - Is this a Howard Hughes sighting ? No, it can't be, he's dead. An impersonator maybe ? - from one of those TV shows where they trick people to show how they would react in some situations. Is there a camera somewhere ? ( she looks around to see if she can see a camera. )

I must concentrate on my Bible.

I just couldn't concentrate on anything, and kept sneaking glances at him. Gradually I began to feel less uncomfortable, and more concerned for this old man.

'God' ( from balcony )Beth, I want you to go and help that old man.
Beth ( looking up towards the balcony ) Oh no, please God, no ! Don't make me witness to this man ! Not right here and now with everyone staring at us. Please, I'll do anything. Put me on the same plane, but don't make me get up here and witness to this man in front of all these gawkers. Please, Lord, don't make me witness to this man, not now. I'll do it on the plane.
'God' ( very clearly )I don't want you to witness to this man. I want you to brush his hair.
BethGod, as I live and breathe, I want you to know that I'm ready to witness to this man. I'm ready, Lord, I'm your girl ! You've never seen a woman witness to this man faster in all your life. What difference does it make if his hair is a mess, if he is not redeemed ? I'm going to witness to this man right now.
'God'That is not what I said, Beth. I don't want you to witness to him. I want you to go and brush his hair.
BethI don't have a hairbrush. It's on my suitcase in the plane. How am I supposed to brush his hair without a hair brush ?
'God'I will equip you with everything you need.
Beth walks slowly and reluctantly over to the wheelchair. She kneels down in front of the man.
BethSir, may I have the pleasure of brushing your hair ?
Old Man very loudly )What did you say ?
BethMay I have the pleasure of brushing your hair ?
Old Man ( very loudly )Little lady, if you expect me to hear you, you're going to have to talk louder than that.
Beth ( takes a deep breath; speaks very loudly )Sir, may I have the pleasure of brushing your hair ?
Everybody looks at Beth. The conversation with the old man continues in loud voices with everyone staring at them.
Old man ( Looking dumbfounded; very loudly )If you really want to.
Beth ( very loudly )Yes sir, I would be pleased to. But I have one little problem. I don't have a hairbrush.
Old Man ( very loudly )I have one in my bag.
Beth goes round to the back of the chair, and gets a hairbrush out of his bag. She starts brushing.
Beth ( very loudly )My word, your hair is tangled ! But I'll get it right. I've had lots of practice on my two little girls.
Beth brushes his hair She puts the hair brush back in his bag. Then she goes round in front of him and squats in front of him.
Beth ( very loudly )Sir, do you know my Jesus ?
Old man ( very loudly )Yes, I do. I've known Him since I married my sweetheart. She wouldn't marry me until I got to know the Saviour - You see, the problem is I haven't seen my wife in months. I've had open heart surgery and she's been too ill to come and see me. I was sitting here thinking to myself what a mess I must be in for my darling. But now you've come like an angel and tidied me up ! Thank you, th...
Public address system ( breaking in )Flight 137 for Wellington is now loading at Gate 4.
Travellers ( not Beth ) get up, collect their luggage, and hurry to the back. Air hostess comes and takes old man to back down centre aisle.
Old man ( very loudly, as he's wheeled away ) Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, ...
He stops as they near the back of the pews. Air hostess then hurries back up the aisle.
Beth stands between the altar rails and wipes her eyes as she watches the old man go down the aisle.
Air hostess to BethWhy did you do that ? What made you do that ?
BethGod's Holy Spirit prompted me to do it. Do you know God and the way He works through His Holy Spirit ? He can be so insistent. Let me tell you about Him.
Beth stands up and moves across to the lectern.
BethI learnt something about God that day. He knows if we're exhausted because we're hungry. He knows if we're hurting or feeling rejected. He knows if we're sick or drowning under a wave of temptation. And He knows if we just need our hair brushed. He sees every one of us as an individual. Let us tell Him our needs.

But He also uses ordinary people like you and me to be His helpers. I pray that we would be willing helpers, obedient to the promptings of the Holy Spirit so that God can use us to help those in need.

Pray-erLet us pray.

Thank You, Lord God, that we can bring our needs to You and that You hear our petitions.

Thank You, Holy Spirit, that You guide us to do our Father's will. Help us to hear You clearly and to obey Your directions as together we try to follow the loving ways of God. Forgive us for the times we have let You down. Amen.

Please remain seated as we prayerfully sing twice -

Spirit of the living God,
fall afresh on me.
Spirit of the living God,
fall afresh on me.
Break me, melt me, mould me, fill me;
Spirit of the living God,
fall afresh on me.
Beth and Air hostess return to their seats.
MinisterHoly Communion.
MinisterPlease stand for our final hymn

"Thou whose almighty word".

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
  Rolling in fullest pride,
  Through the earth far and wide
  Let there be light !

MinisterPlease remain standing for the Blessing.


Those taking part :

Air hostess, Beth, Cherubim, Child, Friends, 'God', Isaiah, Minister, Narrator, Old Man, Poem reader, Pray-er, Preacher, Public address system, Reader, Stage hands, Travellers