Family Service
St. Augustine's

2008 May 18th

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.


Taking up the challenge to go wherever God sends us.

ReaderWe welcome you here in the name of Jesus ! May He show us what He has called us to do and anoint us to do it.
NarratorNo collection will be taken during this service. There is a donation box at the back of the church for anyone who would like to give a donation.

If anyone would like the music for our hymns today, please put your hand up and we will bring it to you.

Toilets are between the church and the hall.

Please don't feel embarrassed if the children are a bit noisy, we welcome everyone here.

ReaderOur theme for today is taking up the challenge to go wherever God sends us.

Our sentence for today is from Mark Chapter 16 verse 15 : 'Jesus said to them, "Go throughout the whole world and preach the gospel to all people."'

NarratorPlease stand to sing the hymn :

"Alleluia, Alleluia give thanks to the risen Lord."

During last verse of this hymn - Overseers ready at back with their whips; slaves ready at back with their bricks.
Omitted for copyright reasons; further details.
NarratorPlease sit.

"Bricks without straw."

Our first Bible story takes place about three thousand five hundred years ago, when God's people, the Hebrew or Israelite people, had been slaves in Egypt for some time. The Bible tells us that they cried out to God for help. This first section helps set the scene.

We invite you all to join in the slaves' cry "O God, help us !", which immediately follows the cry of the overseers to "Keep moving !"

Overseer 1 ( brandishing whip )Move along, come on - keep moving !
ALL and slaves O God, help us !
Slaves move slowly up aisle carrying bricks.

When the slaves are halfway up the aisle -

Overseer 2 ( at back with whip ) Speed it up. You're taking too long. Keep moving !
ALL and slavesO God, help us !
Overseers 1 and 2 follow slaves up aisle.

When slaves are near the front pew -

Overseer 1 Too bad if you're tired and your feet are sore. Keep moving !
ALL and slavesO God, help us !
Overseers 1 and 2 follow slaves up aisle.

When the slaves are near the altar -

Overseers 1 and 2 Come on we need bricks, more bricks. Keep moving !

ALL and slavesO God, help us !
Slaves move over to Hospital side next to altar and slowly put down their bricks. As they stand up they rub their backs.
Overseer 2You need more straw ? Go get your own !
Slaves move painfully to back down centre aisle.

When the slaves are about half way down the aisle -

Overseers 1 and 2 Don't take all day about it. Keep moving !
ALL and slavesO God, help us !
Slave B begins to move the bogie with the straw towards the front; other slaves cluster round.
Overseer 1 We'll whip your backs if you complain and groan.
Overseer 2Come on. There are a lot of bricks still to make today. Keep moving !
ALL and slavesO God, help us !
Overseers 1 and 2 move behind slaves with whips as Slave B struggles to get the bogie up the steps.
OverseersDon't be so slow. Keep moving !
ALL and slavesO God, help us !
The slaves follow Slave B as she gets the bogie up the steps and moves it over to the bricks followed by the overseers.

They all sit down by the bricks and straw AND KEEP STILL.

Adult and child move to centre.

Moses with his staff ready at back.

ChildWhat are they doing ?
AdultThey are crying out to God to help them.
ChildWhy ? Why do they need God to help them ?
AdultBecause they are slaves in Egypt and Pharaoh's overseers treat them harshly and make them work too hard.
ChildSlaves ! But they're Israelites, aren't they ?
AdultYes, they are.
ChildI thought they came to Egypt to get food during the famine ?
AdultThey did, but they stayed on afterwards and a new Pharaoh made them work for him and they became his slaves.
ChildWill God help them ?
AdultI'm sure He will.
Adult and child return to their seats; Overseers and slaves return to the back down Hospital aisle.

Stage hand puts "burning bush" on top step in front of altar Hospital side and turns it on.

'God' hides behind bricks.


Moses and the Burning Bush :

a man who was able but unwilling to go

from Exodus Chapter 3 and Chapter 4 to verse 17, Page 64 in the Church Bibles.

We invite you all to join in the slaves' cry "O God, help us !", which immediately follows God's saying "I have heard My people cry out to Me".

ReaderOne day while Moses was taking care of the sheep and goats of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian, he led the flock across the desert and came to Sinai, the holy mountain.
Whilst this is being read Moses with his staff comes up centre aisle and stops at the altar rail.
MosesHow strange ! ( pointing to the burning bush ) Why isn't the bush burning up ? The sheep are safely grazing ( looking around ), I'll go closer and see. ( Moses goes up one step towards the bush. )
'God'Moses ! Moses !
Moses ( peering around, puzzled )Yes, here I am.
'God'Do not come any closer. Take off your sandals ! ( Moses removes his sandals ) You are standing on holy ground. I am the God of your ancestors, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
ReaderMoses covered his face ( Moses covers his face, and bows down ) because he was afraid to look at God.
'God'I have seen how cruelly My people are being treated in Egypt; I have heard them cry out to Me.
ALLO God, help us !
'God'So I have come down to rescue them from the Egyptians and to bring them out to a spacious land, one which is rich and fertile, and in which the Canaanites, the Hittites and other tribes now live. I have indeed heard My people cry out to Me.
ALLO God, help us !
'God'I see how the Egyptians are oppressing them. Now I am sending you to Pharaoh, so that you can lead My people out of this country.
MosesI am nobody. How can I go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt ? How can I go ?
'God'I will be with you, and when you bring My people out of Egypt, you will worship Me on this mountain. That will be proof that I have sent you.
MosesWhen I go to the Israelites and say to them "The God of our ancestors sent me to you" they will ask me, "What is His name ?" So what can I tell them ?
'God'You must tell them : "The One who is called I AM has sent me to you." Tell the Israelites that I, the Lord, the God of their ancestors, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, appeared to you and have sent you to them. Tell them that I have come to them and have seen what the Egyptians are doing to them. I have heard My people cry out to Me.
ALLO God, help us !
'God'I will bring them out of Egypt and take them to a rich and fertile land. My people will listen to what you say to them. Then you must go with the leaders of Israel to the Pharaoh and say to him, "The Lord, the God of the Israelites, has revealed Himself to us. Now allow us to travel three days into the desert to offer sacrifices to the Lord, our God. "

I know that Pharaoh will not let you go unless he is forced to do so. But I will use My power and will punish Egypt by doing terrifying things there. And after that he will let My people go.

I will make the Egyptians respect you so that when My people leave they will not go empty handed. Every Israelite woman will go to any Egyptian woman living in her house and will ask for gold and silver jewellery. The Israelites will put these things on their sons and daughter and carry away the wealth of the Egyptians.

MosesBut suppose the Israelites do not believe me and will not listen to what I say. What should I do if they say You did not appear to me ?
'God'What are you holding ?
MosesA staff.
'God'Throw it on the ground.
Moses throws his staff on the ground.
ReaderWhen Moses threw it on the ground it turned into a snake ( Moses steps fearfully away from the staff ) and Moses drew back from it.
'God'Bend down and pick it up by the tail.
Reader ( as Moses does the actions )So Moses caught it and it became a staff again.
'God'Do this to prove to the Israelites that the Lord the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob has appeared to you.

Now put your hand inside your robe.

Reader ( as Moses does the actions )Moses obeyed and when he took his hand out, it was diseased, covered with white spots like snow.
'God'Put your hand inside your robe again.
Reader ( as Moses does the actions )He did so, and when he took it out this time, it was healthy, just like the rest of his body.
'God'If they will not believe you or be convinced by the first miracle, then this one will convince them.

If in spite of these two miracles they refuse to listen to what you say, take some water from the Nile and pour it out on the ground. The water will turn to blood.

MosesNo, Lord, don't send me. I have never been a good speaker, and I haven't become one since you began to speak to me. I am a poor speaker, slow and hesitant.
'God'Who gives people their mouths ? Who makes them deaf or dumb ? Who gives them sight or makes them blind ? It is I, the Lord. Now go; I will help you to speak, and I will tell you what to say.
MosesNo, Lord, please send someone else.
ReaderAt this God became angry with Moses.
'God'What about your brother Aaron the Levite ? I know that he can speak well. You can speak to him and tell him what to say. I will help both of you to speak, and I will tell you both what to do. He will be your spokesman and speak to the people for you.

Take this staff with you; for with it you will perform miracles.

Moses goes down the centre aisle.
Reader And Moses did return to Egypt and met Aaron and together they did all that God asked them to do.
NarratorPlease stand to sing

"Go Down, Moses, Let My people go !"

'God' returns to seat.

During the last verse the cherubim, head cherub and Isaiah are ready at the back; 'God' to balcony.

Stagehand removes 'burning bush'; moves kneeling desk onto middle step organ side half facing the altar; places 'burning coals' on the altar, Hospital side.

1.   When Israel was in Egypt's land
  Let My people go !
  Oppressed so hard they could not stand,
  Let My people go !

Chorus :
  Go down, Moses,
  Way down in Egypt's land;
  Tell old Pharaoh
  To let My people go !

2.   No more shall they in bondage toil,
  Let My people go !
  Let them come out with Egypt's spoil,
  Let My people go !


3.   Oh, let us all from bondage flee,
  Let My people go !
  And let us all in Christ be free,
  Let My people go !


4.   You need not always weep and mourn,
  Let My people go !
  And wear these slavery's chains forlorn,
  Let My people go !


5.   Your foes shall not before you stand,
  Let My people go !
  And you'll possess fair Canaan's land,
  Let My people go !


NarratorPlease sit.
Adult and child to centre.
ChildWell, God did help them, didn't He ?
AdultYes. God always helps those who ask Him.
ALLThank You, God, for helping us.
ChildWhy was Moses so unwilling to go ?
AdultHe was afraid and said he couldn't speak properly.
ChildSo God sent someone to help Him.
AdultYes. He sent Aaron, his brother, to speak for him.
ChildThat was great !
AdultThere's someone else God helped.
ChildWho's that ?
AdultIsaiah, the prophet.
ChildWhy ? Did he need help to speak ?
AdultNot quite. Isaiah felt that the words he spoke were not good enough for God.
ChildHow did God help him ?
AdultHe sent a cherub to cleanse him.
ChildHow did he do that ?
AdultListen to his story it's in the Bible.
Adult returns to her seat, child returns to seat.
NarratorOur second story takes place about two thousand seven hundred and fifty years ago.

The Calling of Isaiah :

a man who was willing, but felt unclean and too inadequate to go.

Taken from Isaiah Chapter 6 verses 1-9a ( page 751 of the Church bibles ).

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 ( Isaiah points to curtain behind altar ) 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 -

Cherubim Holy, 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 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.
NarratorPlease stand to sing :

"Here I am, Lord".

During this hymn the Cherubim fly to the back down centre aisle, take their costumes off, and remain at the back. Isaiah's costume off.

Jesus hides behind the altar. Child goes to sit with Adult near front.

Omitted for copyright reasons; further details.
NarratorPlease sit.
Adult and child to centre.
ChildWow ! That's a neat story.
AdultYes. When we are willing God will cleanse and forgive us.
ALLPlease, God, cleanse and forgive us.
ChildIs there another story about God calling people to do something special for Him ?
AdultYes. There's one about the disciples.
All actors ( no costumes ) except Adult, Child, and Jesus start walking up centre aisle and stand about half way looking at the altar; Adult and Child walk towards them as they speak.
ChildYou mean about Jesus's special friends ?
AdultYes. They were so frightened and confused after Jesus died. They just didn't know what to do or where to go.
ChildSo what did they do ?
AdultThey stayed together partly in Jerusalem and partly in Galilee. Jesus would sometimes appear amongst them and help them. One day when they were all together in Jerusalem Jesus appeared to them for the last time.
As narrator anounces the next reading all actors meet about half way up centre aisle, and stand looking at the altar.

Jesus's Ascension and The outpouring of the Holy Spirit Who makes those who receive Him able, cleansed and anointed.

Luke Chapter 24 verses 45-53 ( Page 1168 ) and Acts Chapter 2 verses 1-4, 14 and 41 ( Page 1205 ).

Jesus comes out from behind the altar and stands on bottom step.
All Actors, loudly and pointing to JesusLook ! Look !
ALLJesus ! It's Jesus !
JesusThis is what is written in the Bible about Me : The Messiah must suffer, then three days later must rise from death, and in His name the message about repentance and the forgiveness of sins must be preached to all nations, beginning in Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And I Myself will send upon you what My Father has promised. But you must wait in Jerusalem for the gift I told you about, the gift My Father promised, for in a few days you will be baptised with the Holy Spirit.
ReaderThen He led them out of the city as far as Bethany.

Jesus encourages the actors to move up to the altar, Jesus goes behind the altar.

ReaderJesus raised His hands ( Jesus raises his hands ) and blessed them. As He was doing this He was taken up into heaven. ( Jesus steps onto the step and moves behind the cloud. )

They worshipped Him.

Actors raise their hands and worship God.


ReaderThey went back to Jerusalem filled with great joy ....
Actors return down centre aisle with joyful faces and sit amongst the congregation. Adult and Child return to front seat.
Reader.... and spent all their time in the Temple giving thanks to God.

A few days later when the day of Pentecost came, all the believers were gathered together in one place. Suddenly there was a noise from the sky which sounded like a strong wind blowing, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then they saw what looked like tongues of fire ( stagehand releases crepe tongues of fire ) which spread out and touched each person there. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to talk in other tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to speak.

Later that day Peter and the eleven apostles went outside and Peter in a loud voice began to speak to the crowd : "Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, listen to me and let me tell you what this means". He went on to tell them all about Jesus.

Many of them believed his message and were baptised, and about three thousand people were added to the group that day.

Adult and child to centre.
ChildDoes God still call and fill people with His Holy Spirit ?
AdultYes, if we ask Him.
ALLPlease, God, fill us with Your Holy Spirit.
NarratorPlease remain sitting as we sing

"Spirit of the Living God"

which we will sing twice.

Omitted for copyright reasons; further details.
NarratorWe now give you all an opportunity to come forward and pick up one of these 'flame' cards as an indication to God of your willingness to be anointed by the Holy Spirit and "Go for Jesus".

The organist will play the previous song whilst you do this, then when all who wish to have collected their cards we will remain sitting and sing the song again.

Omitted for copyright reasons; further details.
Pray-ers to lectern.
NarratorPlease sit or kneel for the prayers.
Pray-er 1Thank You, Lord God, for Your gift of the Holy Spirit. May we learn more and more about the ways of the Holy Spirit, and may the Spirit continue to fill us with His power and love. Help us to follow and do all that the Holy Spirit asks us to do. Amen.
Pray-er 2Bless our homes and families with Your love. Help us all to follow Your ways and to take up the challenge of following You wherever You may send us. Amen.
Pray-er 3We pray for all who are in trouble or distress at this time, asking that You will indeed send Your help to them to heal and restore, in Jesus name. Amen.

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.


NarratorPlease stand to sing our final hymn :

"We shall go out."

During this hymn pray-ers return to their seats.
Omitted for copyright reasons; further details.
NarratorPlease remain standing for the Blessing.



Those taking part :

Adult, Cherubim ( several ), Child, God, Head cherub, Isaiah, Jesus, Moses, Narrator, Overseers ( 2 ), Pray-ers ( 3 ), Reader, Slaves ( several )