for the
Family Service
St. Augustine's

July 20 2007

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.

Furniture :
  • Lectern by the Hospital wall.

  • Prayer desk ready at side for prayer section

  • On curtain behind altar, at the top in the middle, 'umbrella shaped' card saying "God's protection." and underneath it 'star' saying "I am the Lord Your God."

  • Picture representing armour of God, mounted on stand.

  • Front pew Hospital side reserved for Molly, Johnny and Kate to sit in.
Properties :
  • 11 Commandment 'stars' with :
    • 'I am the Lord Your God.',
    • '1. Worship no God but Me.',
    • '2. Do not make idols or worship them.',
    • '3. Use My name with respect.',
    • '4. Rest on the seventh day and remember Me.',
    • '5. Respect your father and mother.',
    • '6. Do not murder.',
    • '7. Husbands and wives be faithful to one another.',
    • '8. Do not steal.',
    • '9. Do not tell lies about anyone.',
    • '10. Do not envy other people or want what belongs to them.'
    on them.

  • 11 protection 'umbrella-shaped' cards with :
    • 'God's Protection.',
    • 'Protects us from false gods.',
    • 'Protects us from artificial gods.',
    • 'Protects us from cheapening God.',
    • 'Protects our well-being.',
    • 'Protects families.',
    • 'Protects life.',
    • 'Protects marriage.',
    • 'Protects property.',
    • 'Protects reputations.',
    • 'Protects us from conflict.'

  • People :
    • Narrator at lectern,
    • Reader at lectern,
    • Computer person at computer,
    • Organist at organ.
    • People to hand out orders of service
    • People ready to give out music if required.

  • Umbrellas for helpers carrying umbrella-shaped cards ( we used four ) and

  • Umbrella for Molly and Johnny to share.

  • "Umbrella hand-outs", ready to distribute after the service.

  • Cloak for Boaz to wear.

  • Doll, representing Naomi's child, behind organ side of altar.

  • A good-sized paper with the word LOVE on it, on the altar. This is attached to Boaz's cloak and raised as a banner above the blue curtain as we sing the hymn "His banner over me is love".

  • The "armour of God" picture mounted on its stand, and stored inconspicuously behind the lectern on the Hospital side.

ARMOUR OF GOD Scroll taken from a brass rubbing of a crusader in armour, and a stand to hang it on. This is not essential for the action, but we have one so we used it; it nicely complements the hymn "Soldiers of Christ, arise and put your armour on".

BANNER Our banner was Boaz's cloak with a good-sized printed paper notice reading LOVE attached. The cloak was clipped on to transparent fishing line ( thin, strong, and essentially invisible ) previously threaded though hooks appropriately placed high on the wall. The banner was then raised and the fishing line anchored.

CHILD A doll.

CLOAK Boaz's cloak need not be very elaborate. ( See the picture of the banner for an idea of the pattern. We have no idea whether or not that's authentic, but it's plausible. ) It should be big enough to allow Ruth to share it with Boaz as she sleeps at his feet.

We also used it for the banner, relating protection and love. We raised the banner using bulldog clips to attach the banner to the supporting lines; a couple of small loops attached to the cloak would have been rather more convenient.

CURTAIN BEHIND THE ALTAR - or somewhere conspicuous. Our curtain is convenient; it is large, and visible, and there, and it's easy to fasten things to it.

EXPLAINS THE ACTIONS We have forgotten what the actions were. We have no record of them; perhaps the Demonstrator made them up. They are not particularly important, but they do serve to emphasise the song and they give the congregation an opportunity to move a bit.

FRONT PEW Just a parking place; we reserved the pew for this purpose. We don't usually do so, but it happened to be convenient. Any other convenient place would do.

"GOD'S TEN COMMANDMENTS" Our words are a significantly revised version of an original which we thought didn't scan very well, and have now lost. The tune is "Bradbury", commonly used for "Jesus loves me, this I know".

NEAREST TO THE ALTAR ... and easily visible; Boaz is the focus of the action which follows.

ORGAN SEAT An accident; our organ is right at the front, so the organist was appointed as Actor 4.

PAUSE The pause marks the boundary between two parts of the story. It would be possible to insert a short item here if you had something appropriate.

PRAYER DESK This is used by the Pray-er as we pray through the "armour of God" passage. It is an effective way of building the prayer into the performance.

ROOM On their return to Bethlehem, Naomi and Ruth live in their "room", which we imagined to be beneath the projector screen. The position isn't important, provided that it's out of the way of the action. The room is only a position; there's no furniture or other fittings.

SOCIAL WELFARE New Zealand government support for families, etc.

STAR-SHAPED CARD A flat card shaped like a many-pointed star; see the picture, which also show the scale relative to the umbrella cards. One card bears "God's Protection."; each of the others shows one of the ten commandments, with number. ( The star shape is not particularly significant; we used it because we already had the cards. )

All numbered stars are carried to the front of the church by helpers, who exhibit the star and announce the commandment. To simplify this, the commandments were written on the backs of the stars as well as on the faces.

The other "star" ( 'I am the Lord Your God.' ) is attached to the curtain behind the altar before the service.

TEN KILOS An ephah of barley grain, in older translation. That's 40 to 50 litres, which is, say, 60×40×20cm in volume. Our Ruth simply held out her arms as if holding a large parcel, but some sort of back-pack basket might be an alternative.

THRESHING Separating grain from chaff : beat the grain to split the husks and let out the heavier kernels, then throw it in the air to let the wind blow away the lighter chaff. Our actors mimed these activities, but it's unlikely that the congregation knew what was going on. A few words of explanation might have been enlightening.

UMBRELLA HAND-OUTS A5 cards folded to A6 leaflets, with prayers and readings related to the theme of the service. Here is a two-page pdf file which, if printed back-to-back, produces two copies of the hand-out. We printed ours on coloured card.

UMBRELLA-SHAPED CARD A flat card shaped like the silhouette of an umbrella; see the picture above, which also show the scale relative to the star cards. Each card bears the name of some sort of protection which God offers us.

All "Protects ...." "umbrellas" are carried to the front of the church by helpers, who exhibit the umbrella and announce the protection message it carries. To simplify this, the protection messages were written on the backs of the umbrellas as well as on the faces.

The other "umbrella" ( 'God's Protection.' ) is attached to the curtain behind the altar before the service.