BRIAN: Calm personality, teacher and leader by nature. (mid 40s). In charge of menís ministry.
Brother HANK: Elderly, calm, wise. Very slow in thought and speech. (80s)
CHAD: Impatient young guy. Thinks heís pretty cool. (20). A youth leader.
SUSAN: Overly confident, negative to others. (mid 40s) In charge of womenís ministry.
KAREN: Overly sensitive, lacks self-confidence, people pleaser. (mid 30s). In charge of childrenís ministry
Church leadership meeting held in a classroom/conference room of the church. They are meeting to discuss and plan this yearís Christmas program.
We must rely on Godís Spirit to work through us.
One round table, five chairs, one bible, notebooks, pens, large bag/purse for Karen. Walker/cane for Hank.
One round table and five chairs sit in center of the stage. Brother Hank enters STAGE RIGHT carrying only a very worn Bible. He walks very slowly (showing his age) to the table. At the halfway point, Brian and Chad enter from STAGE RIGHT and pass him up on the way to the table.
BRIAN: (As he Passes by) How ya doing, Brother Hank?
HANK: (Stops in his tracks to answer very slowly) W-e-l-l, Iím finer than a frogís hair. Yes sirree, Iím finer than a frogís hair. The Lord is good! (Continues walking)
CHAD: Dude, did you have to ask him? Heís like, always giviní that corny line about a frogís hair. Ya know what Iím sayiní?
BRIAN: Chad, do you have any idea just how fine a frogís hair is?
CHAD: No clue, dude. I usually donít hang out at hair salons for frogs.
BRIAN: Well, the hair on a frog is so fine that you canít even see it. Thatís how fine it is.
Susan enters STAGE RIGHT, walking wistfully.
SUSAN: (Loudly and directly to him as if heís deaf) How are you today, Brother Hank?
CHAD: Man, here we go again.
HANK: (Slowly) W-e-l-l, Iím finer than a frogís hair. Yes sirree, Iím finer than a frogís hair. The Lord is good!
CHAD: Someone needs to check his meds. Ya know what Iím sayiní?
SUSAN: Good afternoon, gentleman. (Cheerful) Wasnít todayís sermon excellent? I met with the pastor on Tuesday morning and almost everything I told him regarding whatís wrong with men today was mentioned in his sermon. Obviously, the pastor appreciates my input. I really think my husband learned a few things too.
CHAD: (Sarcastically) Did you happen to catch the part about wives submitting to their husbands?
SUSAN: Oh, I donít think that was for me. My husband and I have an understanding. I say what goes - and he understands.
BRIAN: Well, as you know, weíre all in the process of becoming more like Jesus.
Karen ENTERS STAGE RIGHT carrying more books and papers than she can manage and takes a seat at the table.
KAREN: (Out of Breath) Sorry Iím late, everyone. (Huffing and puffing) Childrenís church ran a few minutes over. Then I had to help Joan with the Kitchen clean up, and Ruby needed some help getting all her kids into the minivan Ė you know Mark is still out of town on business. And while I was outside I noticed the Johnsonís SUV had a flat, so I changed the tire for them and since I was I already filthy, I just went ahead and changed their oil, too. I had just enough time to run home, take a shower, change my clothes and get dinner on the table for the kids.
BRIAN: You did all that in the twenty minutes since church let out?
KAREN: Oh, I wish! (Looking at watch) It took meÖ twenty-two minutes and 37 seconds.
CHAD: (Impatient) Can we like, get started with the meeting?
KAREN: (Softly and sweetly) Oh, brother Hank. I didnít know you were going to join us today. How are you feeling?
CHAD: (Very sarcastic) YES! One more time, please!
HANK: (Slowly) W-e-l-l, Iím finer than a frogís hair. Yes sirree, Iím finer than a frogís hair. The Lord is good!
CHAD: (To Brian) He is freakiní me out, dude!
BRIAN: Letís get started with the meeting.
BRIAN: The pastor asked us to get together and discuss ideas for this yearís Christmas Celebration service. As the leader of menís ministries, Iíd like to offer our assistance with any set building needed for the program. Does anyone have any ideas for a program yet?
SUSAN: In our ladiesí meeting last week, we came up with a few ideas. But, the one we liked most Ė my idea Ė is a Church production of ďMiracle on 34th StreetĒ. Itís a classic! And in the end it, itís a miracle that the little girl gets a house and finally believes in Santa. The more I thought about it, if we presented it just right, the Santa character could represent Jesus. (Questioning her thought) Some how.
BRIAN: Ummm. I donít know. I like the idea of a Christmas play but Iím not sure thatís the right one to use in our church. Any other ideas?
CHAD: I was thinkiní we could rock this place out! Ya know what Iím sayiní? Some of the teens can like, really jam! We want to put together a rock-n-roll worship band and play some old Christmas tunes. You know what Iím sayiní? Maybe a little Springsteen. Yeah, man, the Bossí version of ďSanta Claus is Coming to TownĒ, then we can slow it down with Elvisí ďBlue ChristmasĒ. You know what would be really bring the roof down? A duet of Little Drummer Boy. Like Bowie and Crosby did in the 80s. That would be tight! Ya know what Iím sayiní?
BRIAN: Y-e-a-h. I like the idea of music but Iím not sure if your choice of songsÖor...the artist styles would be appropriate. Karen?
KAREN: Well, I donít see why I couldnít just do another Childrenís program and handle it all myself this year. Thatís pretty much what Iíve done for the past eight years. Really, I donít mind doing it all. I can start writing out a script tomorrow. Iíll just need to go shopping for props, make forty-some costumes and learn to play the piano by mid December. I think I can get it all done.
BRIAN: Well, thatís very generous of you. But, the pastor was thinking that all of us could come together to work on it this year.
SUSAN: (Loudly to Hank) What do you think, Brother Hank?
CHAD: Heís not deaf!
KAREN: Susan was asking for your ideas on what we should do?
HANK: W-e-l-l Ö I donít know. Iím gonna think about it.
SUSAN: (With impatience) Fine. While you think about it weíll continue discussing ideas.
(The following lines are all spoken simultaneously and get louder as the discussion turns to doubt)
SUSAN: Ok, so maybe we donít need a Santa Claus. But it really needs to be a show that takes place in New York City. Shopping in Manhattan is a tradition in my family and it really does represent Christmas in America. The last time I was there I spent six hours in Bloomingdaleís and the entire next day at Saks. Speaking of shopping I donít know if Iíll be able to help with the Christmas program with all the Christmas shopping I always have to do. I donít know!
CHAD: I donít see why we canít just give the stage to the teens for one hour in December. Canít we trust them to come together to sing and play? Sure, maybe we need to choose a couple of other Christmas songs. Maybe even some of the old Christmas Carols. We could have Matt on bass, Eric on Drums, Kristen can handle lead vocals, and I could be on lead guitar. But, that still leaves several other teens with nothing to do for the Christmas special. Ya know what Iím sayiní?
KAREN: Iím thinking another childrenís Christmas musical. Every parent and grandparent loves to see their little ones get up on stage and stare into space. Itís so cute when they forget their lines, or donít know what to do and you can tell theyíre not even sure why theyíre there. But, thatís what Christmas is all about. It wouldnít really be Christmas without a Childrenís program. But, do I really want to deal with it again this year? Iím already getting stressed-out!
BRIAN: I was thinking we could build a set that represents Bethlehem and the first Christmas. We can borrow a camel and a donkey from my father-in-lawís farm. I donít think heíd mind. Heís got more animals over there than the San Diego Zoo. My youngest son, Josh, would make a perfect baby Jesus. But, I donít know if Iím going to have the time to get all this done. Thereís only so much time in the day, in the week or until Christmas. I canít see how itís going to get done.
BRIAN: (Loudly, not realizing everyone else has stopped talking) ÖAnd on my way to work Friday morning I got a speeding ticket on I-10!
(All pause in silence)
BRIAN: (Confessing and almost in tears) And I have huge bumper sticker on the back of my car that reads ďSlow down today - take time to prayĒ.
(All pause and look at each other not knowing what to say)
CHAD: (Trying to be consoling) IÖahÖjust got a another tattoo last month.
SUSAN: (As if a cry for help) I sit around all day eating bon-bons and watching soap operas.
KAREN: I lied to the pastor!
ALL (not Hank): Gasp!
KAREN: Last month, at the church picnic, he said my three-bean salad was the best thing on this side of heaven. I thanked him, of course. (Almost wailing, slowly) But, I didnít bring a three-bean salad! I brought the chicken casserole. He never said anything about my chicken casserole!
SUSAN: (With hesitation) IÖhave another confession. (Slowly with drama) This will probably come as a big surprise. But, Iím not really the perfect wife and mother that everyone thinks I am. After being in charge of the ladiesí ministry for five yearsÖwellÖthereísÖjust certain expectations. And I try to portray that perfect image. Iím not sure Iím cut out to lead the womenís ministry.
BRIAN: I can relate to Susan. I go out of my way to never be a stumbling block to others. I try so hard to set a perfect example in everything I do. But, I just keep messing up. Like getting a speeding ticket! (Pounding his forehead) Stupid! Stupid! Stupid! I just feel so inadequate! And now my head hurts.
CHAD: Hey, Iím not really all that! (Takes deep breath) Iíve been like, really dissiní the Lord lately. I just canít seem to hang with Him. Ya know what Iím sayiní? Iím struggliní, man. Iím not readiní his word like I used to. My prayers usually take place in the JeepÖbegginí God to clear the traffic so Iím not late for work again. And hanging with the youth was supposed to be fun. But, man, theyíve got some real hang ups. I donít remember being like that when I was their age.
SUSAN: (Clearing her throat) You were their age two years ago!
KAREN: I have trouble saying ďnoĒ.
SUSAN: Really? I just thought you weíre Super Woman.
KAREN: Itís true. In fact, even right now I have this urge to jump in and volunteer to help you with your ministries. The women. The youth. - Even the men. Itís gotten to the point that IímÖwellÖI Ö I think Iím neglecting my own family. I just canít keep going at this pace!
HANK: O-k-a-y, Iím ready.
ALL: (In unison, with irritation) For what?
HANK: To tell you what I think.
BRIAN: (Caught off guard) UmÖyes, of course. PleaseÖgo ahead.
HANK: Brian, I donít know how anyone can get a speeding ticket on I-10. I can walk faster than the traffic on I-10. You worry too much. Always have.
Susan, Iím about to bust your bubble. Not everyone thinks youíre a perfect wife and mother. Bon-bons, huh? I would have guessed ding-dongs. And soap operas? Hey, I never miss an episode of Survivor. Now, thatís a good show!
Karen, I think the pastor lied to you too. You see, I had the three-bean salad and the only thing I saw on this side of heaven was the toilet in the menís room.
Chad, youíre not the only hip guy in the room. (Mockingly) You know what Iím sayiní? I also have a tattoo. Itís on my left cheek. (All lean in to look at his cheek) My other left cheek!
ALL: Oh! (Realizing his butt cheek, they gross out) Oh, oh!
HANK: Donít ask.
CHAD: Are you just here to rip on us, Brother Hank?
HANK: N-o-o. No, Iím not! I want to encourage you. What youíve discovered is that youíre too weak and incapable of ministering to Godís people. As the Catholics say, BINGO! The men, women, teens - even the children - will respond to what you have to say so long as you are open and honest with them. Share your own struggles and shortcomings as you continue to grow. Donít paint a pretty picture. Make it real! After all, itís in your weakness that Godís power is revealed. Itís not by might! But, by His Spirit that His work is accomplished and the Kingdom prevails. I believe God has great plans in store for this yearís Christmas program. (Positively) Iím looking forward to seeing what Heís going to do.
BRIAN: WowÖ.IÖ.ahÖI donít know what else to say except thanks, Brother Hank. Is there anything else youíd like to tell us?
HANK: Yes. (Looking around the room) I just realized Iím in the wrong room! Iím supposed to be at the seniorís luncheon. Well, I think my job is done here. Is everyone, ok?
ALL: Finer than a frogís hair. Ya know what Iím sayiní?
HANK: Yes, I do.
Copyright c. 2004 Dale L. Davis
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