for the
Family Service
St. Augustine's

May 30 2004

These are notes and comments on some of the items which appear in the Family Service script. Links from the script point to these entries; clicking the links in the left hand column of the table takes you back to the corresponding link in the script  - or, where more than one link from the script points to the note, back to the first such link.

The comments are typically related to features of the service which are specific to our church or the time of the service, or which for some other reason we think might require alteration for another setting.

For references to the internal geography of the church, it might be helpful to inspect the plan.

Properties : Whale picture and St. Augustine's picture hung on curtain behind the altar. ( The "Whale picture" is a large brightly coloured cloth cartoon of a whale which we have in our Sunday school. It isn't explicitly used in the service, but was rather appropriate. )
Furniture : Two chairs for story-teller and helper positioned at front.
People : Overheads person at front before service begins.
 Hand out the poem "Obedience" read during the service.

ACTION SONG It wasn't very significant action - just something to let off a bit of steam. The congregation were divided into left and right groups according to which side of the centre aisle they were ( obviously ), and caused to stand up; then each side bobbed down and up again on alternate "who did"s ( or whatever the phrase was in the current verse ). This was absolutely pointless, and widely enjoyed. You might well think of something better.
CHAIRS Two chairs for the story-teller and the helper at the front. They should be visible ( and audible ) but out of the way of the action.
CARDS The cards carried appropriate illustrations for each part of the story. They should obviously be big enough to be seen clearly. We used them as a way of providing some additional but relevant visual material during quite a long speech to hold people's attention. The mimers ( see below ) also performed the same function, and did it better.
CROSS This was a quite small processional cross.
JONAH This reference is topical, and would probably have to be changed if used anywhere but New Zealand around now. ( That would probably involve changing this complete sketch, as the theme runs throughout. ) Jonah Lomu, a rugby footballer, was in the news at the time. As the service was fairly long anyway, this section could be left out, though we thought it made quite a good point. Perhaps you can improve it.
MESSAGE Details are up to you. Ours was constructed around these points :
  • Receiving a call;
  • Going in the wrong direction;
  • Praying;
  • Turning back;
  • God's blessings flow.
MIMERS The more mimers, the better, within reason. Mimer 2 is Jonah throughout the Jonah story, Mimer 1 another person, but different from time to time, Mimers 3 - the rest - represent the stormy sea; finally, Mimer 1 and Mimers 3 represent, briefly, the whale and then the people of Nineveh.

We placed Mimers 3 as a backdrop, with Mimer 1 and Mimer 2 between them and the story-teller.

The mimers represented the calm sea by moving their hands from left to right in the form of gentle ripples. As the storm drew on they first made larger ripples, then moved their hands in larger circles representing breaking waves. At the height of the storm, they moved their hands in the largest circles they could manage, and swayed from side to side.

MONKS The monks ( and St Augustine ) were dressed in matching purple robes which we borrowed from Devonport Methodist Church. This was quite effective.
OUTSIDE BROADCAST We didn't make as much of the "outside broadcast" idea as we might have done. An obvious possibility is to have a "commentator" adding short comments from time to time.
THROW JONAH OVERBOARD - not too enthusastically. Perhaps lead him to the "edge" of the boat and give him a hearty push, after which he mimes falling into the sea.