for the
Family Service
St. Augustine's

July 31 2005

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 :

Furniture :

People :

ACTIVITYSomething to occupy children during the Message. If you can find something related to the service, that's obviously good; we used a "find the words" game, where the words to be found were the names of the gifts. Here's the master for copying; in each grid, all the names listed below are present in straight lines, horizontal, vertical, or diagonal, in either direction.
ARCOur Body Parts characters remained standing. The original idea was for them to be seated and to stand up when talking, if only to make them look a little more active. In practice, all standing worked satisfactorily. Note that if you want them to sit down, that makes more work for the stage hand after the Beetle game.
BALCONY - or anywhere invisible. Our balcony is convenient, because it's at the back, and well suited to projecting voice over the congregation.
BLACKBOARD AND EASEL- or other suitable large vertical surface on which to play "Beetle". It should be big enough to see from the back, of a size which children can reach as they play the game, and such that one can write on it and rub out the writing as required.
CUTOUT Each cutout was a simple body silhouette about 8cm high cut out of coloured thin card, with something on the back to make it stick to the church picture when pressed against it. The "something" should not be sticky until prepared, so that the collection of cutouts can be handled easily without them all sticking together. We used a short strip of adhesive masking tape, which is sticky but can be peeled off and remains sticky. The picture shows the intended result.
DISGUISES Each body part wears something to emphasise his own body part. We used large sun glasses for "Eyes", ear-muffs for "Ears", flippers for "Feet", large gloves ( e.g. oven gloves ) for "Hands", red nose for "Nose". Try your local novelty shop for something eye-catching !
FRAME The frame must be constructed to be easy to move when carrying the placards, and to hold the six placards roughly vertically so that they are visible from both "front" and "back". ( There's something significant on each side. ) It must also be easy to stack the placards on the frame as they are delivered by the carriers. We used a light bamboo frame with the placards standing in a shallow horizontal trough; further details - including illustrations using placards from this service - here.
About the GIFTS : The service is constructed around the gifts of the Holy Spirit. We used this list :

wisdom, discernment, knowledge, understanding, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, preaching, teaching, tongues, interpretation, visions, dreams, administration, serving, encouraging, giving, caring, hospitality, leading, visiting, shepherding, evangelism, listening, praying, interceding, creating, exhorting, counselling, helping, writing, etc.

( NOTE : "etc." is intended literally as one of the "names". )

GIFTS 1, 2, 3 This sketch can be presented with two or more performers. Apart from obvious direct replies, and the need for overall plausibility, several more people can be involved if it's convenient.
MUTTER The point of the muttering is to give an impression of characters talking among themselves. Different characters have different "mutters" to avoid the "rhubarb" effect of everyone saying the same thing. Muttering should normally be quite loud, certainly loud enough to drown an ordinary speaking voice.
Rolled-up PAPERS A typical paper lists the names of a selection of the Holy Spirit's gifts to us - for example :

The Holy Spirit gives to us gifts such as -
wisdom discernment knowledge understanding faith healing miracles prophecy preaching teaching tongues

There should be enough pieces of paper for all present to have one; no two papers should have the names of the same selection of gifts.

PLACARDS There are six placards, together making up a picture of the church in six vertical slices, with the names of the gifts written on the other side. ( We had 33 names; each placard carried five or six names, in arbitrary order. ) The intention is that these should be carried down the centre aisle with the names of the gifts facing the back of the church so that the congregation sees only the names; at the front of the church, they are displayed on a frame with the names of the gifts facing the congregation; later, the frame is turned round to display the picture of the church.

The picture we used was a recognisable line drawing of St Augustine's :

Line drawing of the church.

( Click the picture for a more detailed view. )

The vertical grey lines identify the six strips; the horizontal lines divide the strips into A4 pages for convenient printing. We chose a line drawing rather than something more detailed because we thought it would be less likely to become unrecognisable if the strips were not quite properly aligned on the frame. Obviously, the final picture must be big enough to be visible from any part of the church.

In practice, the picture worked gratifyingly well. The names were rather less satisfactory, because there wasn't really enough room on the back of the placard to make the characters big enough, but the point was made. ( Photographs here. )

RULES We used the large die to play a game strongly based on "Beetle" ( for details, try here or here ), except that we drew a person rather than a beetle. ( An attempt to rename it "People" didn't quite catch on with the cast, but might be worth a try. ) The players took turns at throwing the die :

A throw of1representedan eye,
 2 an ear,
 3 a hand or a foot,
 4 a nose or a mouth,
 5 a head,
and6 a body.

( We displayed the list on the overhead projector screen during the game. )

Body parts ( eyes, ears, hands, feet, nose, mouth ) could only be added if the head or body to which they should be attached was already there.