Summary: Living and working together in the church family is fun, but not without its challenges. Some feel overburdened, some feel excluded, and some may act rather more as consumers than as branches of the Vine. But we all need to play our part and help others to play theirs. Keywords: church family, Alpha course, spiritual gifts, service.
3 females (could work with either gender):
Angela – elderly, amiable, solicitous and softly spoken
Evadne – late middle aged, curmudgeonly, pompous Caroline –youngish professional – bright, cheery, positive
Props: Coffee table, three chairs, tea pot, milk jug, cups, umbrella, dog collar.
(Scene: Angela’s sitting room. Three chairs around coffee table. Angela sitting reading with pot of tea, milk jug, and four cups on table.
[Knock at door / doorbell]
[Angela rises and goes to door – act opening door. Evadne enters, shaking a brolly and looking thoroughly miserable.]
A: Oh, hello Evadne – how lovely to see you. How was the journey?
E: Awful. I got soaked getting to the bus stop, the bus was late, the man next to me on the bus was really very rude…and smelly…. I snagged my tights getting off, and to top it all I just twisted my ankle on your front door step.
A: Oh dear – how very trying for you. Come in and sit down and have some tea. Now tell me, I’m dying to hear how you’re getting on with running the new friendly welcome team at the church. [pours tea while Evadne speaks]
E: Oh that. Yes, well it’s going very well. Had some problems getting people to sign up to it, but I eventually persuaded the Treasurer to share the load with me. Always seems to be the same people, doesn’t it?
A: It can be that way, yes……
E: It does at least mean that we can make sure any newcomers get a full briefing on gift aid as soon as they arrive, though.
A: Oh, well that’s nice. Er, did you actually ask anyone else if they would help?
E: I had a notice in the pew sheets every week for six months, in increasingly large type until it eventually took up a whole page – “Committed Churchgoers Urgently Needed for Weekly Door Duty – submit cv to Mrs Evadne Grimthorpe”. [pause] No response.
A: Mmm – that’s a shame…strange. Still, your church always seems such a busy place.
E: It certainly is that. Yes, lots going on. The bring and share buffet was well attended….by the members of the PCC at least. Although I must say that, as usual, some people shared rather more than they brought. And of course we had our 58th annual family hopscotch derby, which I understand went well until Miss Scribbins twisted her knee and had to get the bus to hospital.
A: The bus?! Could no-one give her a lift?
E: Well, no – she was the only person there.
A: Oh. And how’s the crochet club coming along?
E: [more animated] Oh, Angela, now that really has blossomed. There were three of us last week [pause] if you include Mr Pomfrey’s Labrador.
A: Oh, that’s good.
E: Yes, although I was little annoyed when the dog ate the blanket I’ve been working on.
E: Oh dear.
[Knock/bell at front door]
A: [surprised, rising] Oh, do excuse me, Evadne
[Opens door] Hello, Caroline, what a lovely surprise - do come in.
[Caroline enters, and Angela leads her into the sitting room] Evadne, this is my niece, Caroline. Caroline, this is my dear friend Evadne.
C: [bright and breezy] Hello.
A: Do have a seat, dear. Cup of tea?
C: Mm, lovely thank you.
A: [pouring tea] Evadne was just telling me about her church – she’s an absolute stalwart, you know.
C: Oh, good for you.
A: Caroline’s just started going to church, haven’t you dear?
C: [excited] Yes. I did an Alpha course near work, absolutely loved it, and I’ve started to go to my local church.
E: Yes, I think I’ve heard of the Alpha course. Our Vicar wanted us to have a go, but I decided that we were all really a bit too experienced. I mean if you don’t know when to stand up and sit down in church after 58 years there’s not much hope!
C: Ooh- we didn’t really cover that on Alpha, but I do find it a bit confusing. Actually, I’ve found it quite difficult to get to know the people at my church. A bit standoff-ish. I’d like to help with something, but everyone there seems to be so good at what they do that I don’t suppose I would be of much use in any case. Probably just do something wrong. And there’s lots of things I’ve heard about that my church doesn’t do. I’d like to join a home group, but there aren’t any. I’d be interested in small prayer meetings, but I think it’s just the vicar and his wife that do that. And I’m really interested in evangelism, but they don’t really seem to mention that much.
A: Sounds like you have some great ideas, dear. You should speak to someone.
C: I did have a chat with the vicar, and he said that they had thought of all those things before and they’d decided against them as no-one was really interested, as there was already so much going on that everyone was too busy.
E: We’ve certainly found that at our church – as I was just saying to your Aunt
Angela, always so much happening and not enough people willing to help.
C: Yes, well I do feel as though I’m not contributing much. Maybe I should volunteer to help with something anyway. The Vicar said I should speak to the church warden, but to be honest she sounds like a right old battle-axe – a Mrs Grimthorpe.
[Evadne splutters in her tea]
A: [not knowing where to look] Ah.
C: [Bemused, wide-eyed, innocent] What?
A: Er, Caroline……this… is….Mrs Grimthorpe
C: [shrieks loudly] Ooh, I’m ever so sorry. I..I..didn’t mean…..
A: It’s alright, my dear. [In a kindly way] Listen, Caroline, you may feel that you haven’t got years of experience, but you’re as valuable and as important a child of God as anyone else. And the church doesn’t reach its full potential until everyone seeks God’s will together and everybody plays their part. You’ve got great enthusiasm and energy – keep praying and listen for the part that God wants you to play. And as for you, Evadne, maybe you can share your experience with others….and perhaps pray about things you can stop doing and create space to try new things. [Reflects] You know, I think that, starting with the two of you, St Ethelburga’s has a bright future.
E: [recovering] mm, yes, well, I suppose you’re right, Angela. [takes a deep breath]
Caroline, how would you like to help out in welcoming people to church on Sundays.
C: Oh, I’d love to!
E: Well, that would be very helpful. [softening] And perhaps we should sit down with the Vicar and have a think about the Alpha course, and maybe even home groups. Maybe they’re a good idea after all – we’ve just not thought about it for a while, what with everything going on.
C: [Excitedly] That would be brilliant.
A: [rising, goes to put on a dog collar] Lovely. Anyway, I must get ready for my 6
o’clock service. God bless you both.
[E and C rise and head toward door]
C: May I give you a lift, Mrs Grimthorpe?
E: Oh, Evadne, please. Yes, that would be lovely, thank you. [pause] Oh, and Caroline?
E: I don’t suppose you like crochet?
© Ian Wishart 2007, all rights reserved. The script may not be reproduced, translated or copied in any medium, including books, CDs and on the Internet, without written permission of the author.