for the
Family Service
St. Augustine's

2008 July 13

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 Hospital wall;
  • Space reserved in front pew for Grandma and children.
Properties :
  • Door between lectern and altar.
  • At front Hospital corner -
    • Three loaves of bread on plate for placing on altar.
    • Labels for putting on front of altar.
    • ******CHECK FOR COMPLETENESS AND ACCURACY :*******Fish, egg, snake, and scorpion models for placing on the altar : fish, egg, snake and scorpion pictures, with red diagonal ribbon over the snake and scorpion, for attaching to blue curtain.
  • At Hospital side : table, chair, card reading "$10,000,000:00" and papers ready for unforgiving servant play
  • Four collection bags for the gang.
  • Costumes for Jesus, Disciple Peter, man and family, neighbour, King, servants, guards.
  • Hand-out at end of service : "Praying-hand card".
  • People :
    • Narrator at lectern,
    • Reader at lectern,
    • Computer person at computer,
    • Organist at organ,
    • People to hand out orders of service,
    • Someone ready to give out music if required.

    ACTION LEADER Use the Action Leader's name.
    BEN, JACOB We invented the names. The servants are not named in the Biblical text, but converting the third-person narrative into dialogue directly led to a rather confusing set of references to first servant, second servant, etc., which was greatly clarified by introducing the proper names.
    BREAD We put the bread in the Hospital corner, purely for convenience. The idea is that the congregation should see the man bad-temperedly clumping about and grabbing the bread, but we found that didn't work too well with a large number of children "sleeping" on the floor behind the door.
    CARD We used a simple card with "$10,000,000:00" printed on it in large characters. Something looking more obviously like an IOU document might be more effective.
    CORRECT ITEMS Several items are displayed during the service, and many of them are carried to the front of the church by various actors. It is essential that these be presented in the correct order, and Helper 1 controls this by handing out the items to the actors one by one.
    The CROSS AND THE SWITCHBLADE There have been many editions of this book. The first seems to be :

    "The Cross and the switchblade"
    by David Wilkerson, John Sherrill, and Elizabeth Sherrill;
    Publisher: Pyramid Hi-Lo Edition, London.
    Date Published: 1962.

    DOOR Our usual portable door. We used it both for the door of the house in the neighbour-at-midnight sketch, and for the door onto the stage in the cross-and-switchblade sketch.
    FATHER GOD IN HEAVEN This hymn was admirably suited to our purpose in this service of exploring the Lord's Prayer, except that there was not quite enough detail at one point. We have therefore expanded the original verse 3 into the two verses 3 and 4 which appear here. The other verses are unchanged.
    FISH, SNAKE, EGG, SCORPION For each of these items there is a MODEL, brought to the altar by a child, and placed on the altar, and a PICTURE, attached to the blue curtain.

    The models were toys, big enough to see from the back, but not much bigger to avoid overcrowding the altar; the pictures were around A4 size.

    HELPER 1 The children move from the "house" to the front of the altar, and collect their labels ( for the first six ) or models ( for the final two ) on the way; Helper 1 ensures that they receive the correct items, and should therefore be somewhere on the children's route.
    HELPER 2 Helper 2's job is to attach four pictures to the blue curtain at the appropriate times, and should therefore be by the curtain. Observe that Helper 1 and Helper 2 have separate tasks which overlap, so two helpers are probably required.
    HOLDING THE BAGS OUT We did not intend this to be a "real" collection, and therefore instructed the collectors to approach only certain planted members of the congregation. This was less than completely successful; in the heat of the moment, some collectors approached people generally, and some people were ready to contribute. Perhaps there's a better way of doing it.
    HOSPITAL SIDE OF THE DOOR That is, on the opposite side of the door from David W; the door is regarded as a door onto the stage, but this is never explicitly stated. As the only door mentioned recently is the "open outside door", this could be somewhat confusing.

    An alternative would be to regard the door as the outside door, leading out of the building, with the gang on the "inside", holding the door open until Nicky C makes his decision.

    HOUSE We represented the neighbour's house by a table and chair. It is used only once in the service, and anything more elaborate would have required more, and unnecessary, properties, activity, etc. It can be placed anywhere convenient, but far enough from the door to make the journey from one to the other obvious.
    JEAN'S STORY A personal account of how someone had been introduced to regular use of the Lord's Prayer, and of the blessings which followed. It fitted in very well - which wasn't an accident, as the service was put together with that in mind. If you have an effective, but different, story, bend the service to fit.
    KIDS' CLUB A weekly after-school children's ministry at St. Augustine's.
    KNOCKS Our door is in fact made of paper and light wood. "Neighbour" therefore knocked on the altar, which was conveniently close. It's important to have a real knocking sound to fit in with the text "Knock and the door will be opened ...".
    LABELS Strips of paper, each with one of the words "ASK", "RECEIVE", "SEEK", "FIND", "KNOCK", "OPEN" printed in letters big enough to see easily from the back of the church. These are used to emphasise the corresponding Bible passage; they are attached to the altar ( in our production - any other visible vertical flat surface at the front would do ).
    PAPERS Just pieces of paper. They don't do anything; they're just for the king to appear to be busy at.
    PICTURE OF FISH NOTE that in this case, and the three similar following cases, the "picture of fish" is not the fish brought by the child - further details here.
    PRAYING-HAND CARD The cards were similar to those we used in a previous service, but this time were purple in colour, and with a different selection of prayers - obviously, including the Lord's prayer.
    UNDER THE SCREEN Anywhere out of the way. "Neighbour"'s part is finished.
    USHER Sidesman. It's an American story.