Stewardship Superheroes: A Multigenerational Service
Written by Kent Hemmen Saleska, Minister and Tom Lindquist, Canvass Chair
UU Church of Minnetonka
February 27, 2011
Cast of Characters:
Minor parts: Citizen, Youth, Person 1, Person 2, Person 3
UU Man (power to unite and inspire)
The Yellow Green Lantern of Justice (power to make things fair – wore an SSL shirt)
Board Man (power to stay awake during meetings)
Worship Woman (power to inspire awe and wonder)
The Steward (power to challenge people according to their gifts)
Caterwauling Woman (power to make people go a thousand directions)
Scarcity Man (power to turn people negative)
Apathy Man (power to make people sit down and not care)
As the service begins, the Storyteller and Leader stand at the front of the sanctuary.
PRELUDE One, by U2 All music done by members of our folk/rock band
PART ONE – The Foundation: Vision
STORYTELLER: A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, was a planet by the name of Titanius. On the planet lived a young man and a young woman who met, fell in love, and got married. The young man’s name was Uriah, and the young woman’s name was Ursula. They knew it would be a great relationship because he had lots of friends and she had lots of money. They lived very happily for many years and eventually they had a little baby boy. The only thing they couldn’t agree on, though, was what to name him. Every time Uriah came up with a name, Ursula said it reminded her of some boy she knew as a child who had a bad habit. And every time Ursula came up with a name, Uriah said it reminded him of some boy he knew as a child who had bad hygiene.
So they sat and pondered. Eventually, because they couldn’t think of anything else, they just decided to call him by the first initials of their own names: “UU.” So that’s how he was known. Little UU Boy. Well, one day the people of Titanius learned that their planet might not be safe anymore, so to keep the children safe, they sent them off to other nearby planets to grow up where it wasn’t so dangerous. Little UU Boy was put in a rocket ship and sent off to planet earth. His rocket ship landed in a field next to a little farm just west of Bostopolus, Massachusetts. A nice old couple found him on their farm and loved him, and raised Little UU Boy until he grew up to be a Big Strong UU Man.
UU Man: I’m UU Man, and I’m big and strong!
STORYTELLER: And whenever there was trouble, he always seemed to arrive just in time to save the day.
UU MAN: I’m Big Strong UU Man, and I’m here to save the day!
STORYTELLER: Well, we’ll hear more of his story in just a few minutes…
UU MAN (interrupting): I’m Big Strong UU Man, and you’ll hear more of my story in just a few minutes…(trails off)…uh, sorry.
STORYTELLER: Ah, yes, as I was saying, we’ll hear the rest of his story in just a few minutes. But first we need to pause in our story to invite our Worship Leader to come forward to offer a greeting and to make everyone feel welcome.
WELCOME: Thank you, Storyteller. This sounds like a great story and I’m looking forward to hearing what happens next. Today is a special service in our church. Each month now we hold a worship service where everyone of all ages gets to attend together, and share as families, as young and old, to join for one precious hour and practice what it means to worship and sing and laugh together. And speaking of laughing, as part of our service today we ask you to join in the fun. The Storyteller may ask you to repeat some words or shout out some lines. So today, in response, let out your inner actor and respond with enthusiasm and good humor. In the meantime…
(Kent offers the standard Welcome, and some brief announcements)
In memory of those who sought freedom and safety, In honor of those who seek love, truth and beauty, To recall our desire to live in faithful community, We light this flame.
HYMN SLT #346 “Come Sing a Song with Me”
LEADER: Thank you, Storyteller, for holding off on your story for a few moments. We are really curious to hear what happens next…so back to you, Storyteller!
STORYTELLER: Well, Big Strong UU Man discovered that on earth, because he came from a different planet, he was very strong and had special powers. While growing up, he discovered he had the power of logic, and could out-think anyone in all his classes. And he always won all his debate competitions.
UU MAN (as though he were participating in a college debate): You see, it is only logical that when it rains, everything gets wet. Therefore, when you go outside in the rain without a hat or an umbrella, you will get wet, too. In conclusion, wear a hat or use an umbrella and you will not get wet!
STORYTELLER: Also, because he had been sent to safety as a baby, to earth where things were better for him, Big Strong UU Man discovered that another superpower he had was to help people understand they could take action to change the situation they were in, and make it better and more fun.
CITIZEN (stands in front, on floor, looking toward congregation): Help me, UU Man! My cat is stuck up in that tree!
UU MAN: Well, citizen, it does look like you’re in a bit of trouble. But let’s just take a look at this situation. Hmmm…there’s a tree right there…and the branch is about six feet high…and there’s an eight foot ladder over there. OK, here’s the deal. Get that eight-foot ladder, put it against the tree, climb the ladder, and get your cat. Think you can do that?
CITIZEN: Oh, wow, yes! Thank you, UU Man! You’re the best!
STORYTELLER: And finally, one of the strongest superpowers Big Strong UU Man discovered was his power to bring many different kinds of people together to use their best qualities and imagination to find a solution together. When he was little, it was the way he could stop fights out on the playground, and when he got bigger it was in the way he led his teammates as captain of the football team, and captain of the swim team, and the tennis team, and the cross-country team, and the badminton team, and the marching band, and the theater department, and even the glee club! And so it went, though high school and college, and even when he grew up and started working in Bostopolus as a reporter for the Huffington Post while moonlighting as a computer programmer for Facebook and Wikipedia. Until…(dramatic pause)… he finally met his first Super villain, Caterwauling Woman.
UU MAN: Say what?
STORYTELLER: Yes, you heard me right.
UU MAN: Cat-er-whosi-whatsis?
STORYTELLER: Caterwauling Woman. Caterwauling. It means “to make a shrill howling or wailing noise.” Caterwauling.
UU MAN: What’s that sound like?
CATERWAULING WOMAN: (enters and makes a shrill howling or wailing noise)
UU MAN: Oh. You mean like that?
STORYTELLER (nods): Yes. Like that. Caterwauling Woman was a powerful foe. She had the power to make people behave like cats and could make them stop whatever they were doing by sending them off in a hundred different directions at once.
(a group of three people gather on the floor, front and center)
PERSON 1: OK, everybody ready to move forward together on this? (others respond with “Yes!” “Of course!” and “Sure, you betcha!” etc)
CATERWAULING WOMAN (gives her shrill howl): NOW let’s see what you can do!
(all three people react as though stunned by a ray-gun)
PERSON 2: Wait a minute! We don’t need a new building! Let’s just repair this one!
PERSON 3: Yeah, who said we need a new building? I want a bowling alley!
PERSON 1: No, no, no, not a bowling alley – I want a coffee shop!
STORYTELLER: Oh, and it just got worse from there (Caterwauling Woman begins to creep down the center aisle). Pretty soon Caterwauling Woman was making the whole place run amuck with each person doing whatever he or she wanted, and not doing anything together. One person shouted out, “I’m going to wear my pajamas to school!” (as Caterwauling Woman shakes her claws toward a group of people, Storyteller raises a hand to the congregation, looking for a response). Another person shouted, “I’m going to quit my job!” (again, Caterwauling Woman and Storyteller coordinate their actions). And yet a third person said, “I’m going to eat pancakes for dinner!” (again, Caterwauling Woman and Storyteller coordinate their actions). Suddenly, faster than a logical thought, it’s a bird, it’s a double “V”, no – it’s UU Man!
UU MAN (jumps up on to the stage, center front, fists on hips, chin sticking out): Stop right there, Caterwauling Woman! No longer will you cause such chaos! No! You can’t stop me!
CATERWAULING WOMAN: No! You can’t stop me!
UU MAN: Oh yes I can! Not just with my X-ray vision, but with my VISION vision! (speaking as though a great orator) People! Hear me! No more running around! We must come together! We won’t get anywhere by doing whatever we want. We need to decide on a course of action together, and then stand behind each other to support each other once we make that decision. (addresses congregation) Will you do that? (congregation shouts “Yes!” – and Caterwauling Woman withers and melts, a la the Wicked Witch of the West, and slinks off)
STORYTELLER: And with that, UU Man brought the whole town together. They learned to work together and care together about what they were doing, where they were going, and how. (all characters sit down). Now, in a similar way, we pause for a few moments to care together about people in our congregation.
LEADER – Life Passages, then prayer
RESPONSIVE HYMN #15 “The Lone, Wild Bird”
PART TWO – The Next Generation: Inspiration
STORYTELLER (as storyteller speaks, UU Man walks on stage, rests on a chair or a step, and sighs): Well, UU Man did some marvelous work in his town of Bostopoulus, bringing people together and giving the people, when he could, something of his vision. But it was hard work. Since no other people from his home planet of Titanium were on planet earth, UU Man grew up learning everything by himself. He grew to know a lot, and he had a lot of stamina, but even he could make mistakes. And even he could get tired sometimes. Beyond that, UU Man began to realize that, maybe, he felt, maybe possibly, just a little bit lonely (pause, UU Man sits). Meanwhile (young heroes stand and approach), a group of young people with amazing abilities heard about UU Man, and they decided to seek him out. They weren’t orphans, and they weren’t breaking away from some former life, as UU Man did. They were looking to connect, to join together with something larger than themselves. So they found UU Man…
THE YELLOW GREEN LANDERN OF JUSTICE (“Yellow” is added to the name because the character wears the yellow SSL shirt): Are you UU Man? We’ve heard all about you!
UU MAN: Why yes. (brightening) Yes I am!
(as each superhero introduces themselves, they step forward to the edge of the stage)
WORSHIP WOMAN: Wow! It’s is such a pleasure to finally meet you! I am Worship Woman. My special power is that I inspire awe and wonder.
THE YELLOW GREEN LANTERN of JUSTICE: I am the Yellow Green Lantern of Justice. My special power is that I make things fair.
BOARD MAN: I am Board Man. My special power is that I can attend endless meetings and stay awake through all of them!
THE STEWARD: I am known as: The Steward (poses, fists on hips, chin jutting out). My special power is that I challenge people according to their gifts (and then in a stage whisper to UU Man), and I can make them feel positive no matter what they say or give!
WORSHIP WOMAN: We’ve been wandering a long time, and we are ready. We want to be superheroes, too! Can you teach us?
UU MAN: Why, yes I can (being deadpan sarcastic). It’s a very simple process. Ready? Step One: Your planet of origin blows up. Step Two…
BOARD MAN: Uhh…wait a minute! Go back to step one. What do you mean? We don’t want our planet to blow up.
WORSHIP WOMAN: Yeah, neither do I.
UU MAN: Well, that’s just how you do it. That’s the only way I know how.
STORYTELLER: Well just at that moment, a new threat showed up: Scarcity Man!
(all young superheroes recoil in fear and go down to floor level)
SCARCITY MAN: Ah – HAH! There is no way you can become superheroes! You don’t have enough time, or energy, or money, or talent to make it happen! (waves his hands over them all like a magician, and cackles periodically throughout these next lines, inciting congregation to repeat each line the young heroes speak).
STORYTELLER: And his powers of scarcity began to work on our heroes.
WORSHIP WOMAN (as if stunned): Aw, geez. We’ll never be superheroes (other heroes repeat as Scarcity Man motions to congregation to repeat, “We’ll never be superheroes”).
THE YELLOW GREEN LANTERN OF JUSTICE (speaking as though dazed): Yes, this justice work just takes too much energy (Scarcity Man motions to other heroes and congregation to repeat “it takes too much energy”).
UU MAN (half-laughing in disbelief that the young heroes are being taken in by Scarcity Man, then speaks to young heroes): Hey! C’mon. What are you doing? Stop!
THE STEWARD (as though a Zombie, reciting): Yes. We tried it that way once before. And it never worked (Scarcity Man motions to other heroes and congregation to repeat, “We tried it that way once before”).
BOARD MAN (also as though a reciting zombie): Yes. You are right. And besides, no one would attend our meetings anyway (Scarcity Man motions to other heroes and congregation to repeat “No one would attend our meetings”).
UU MAN: No! Stop! Can’t you see? Scarcity man is using his special powers on you to shut down your creativity and passion! You DO have enough! You CAN be superheroes! (Scarcity Man begins to cringe and crumple, saying “No! No!”) Repeat after me: you DO have enough! You CAN be superheroes! (to congregation) Repeat after me: We DO have enough! We CAN be superheroes! (Congregation repeats, the young heroes come to their senses, and Scarcity Man is forced to run away).
ALL YOUNG HEROES: Thanks, UU Man! What would we have done without you?! (all actors sit down on stage, as though at a board meeting)
A Word from Our Sponsor
STORYTELLER: Later that day, back at headquarters, all the superheroes gather to plan what they will do next. The Super Villains hover around the edges. What could possibly bring all these forces together in one room? What great, daunting task could possibly drive these forces together? The annual Stewardship Drive!! Da dum (all turn with very concerned faces).
THE STEWARD (goes to podium): I am known as: The Steward (poses, fists on hips, chin jutting out). My special power is that I challenge people according to their gifts, and I can make them feel positive no matter what they say! I call this meeting of superheroes to order! I know this is a difficult time of year, but we must discuss money (groans arise around the room). We can’t continue our super fight for good without necessary funds – and just think how much more good we could do with increased money (smiles and hand rubbing all around).
UU MAN: Mr. The Steward, I know people often say crime never pays, but trust me, crime fighting doesn’t pay either, just ask the public workers in Wisconsin.
THE STEWARD: I understand, but it is not just superheroes who can contribute. Everyone’s contribution is important, no matter where they work, or if they are superheroes or trash collectors, rich or poor, retired, or a student. We thrive as a community when everyone contributes (people start to nod).
SCARCITY MAN (from the fringe): Everyone, I hate to bring this up (he LOVES to bring this up) but I am Scarcity Man…you know some people just don’t have very much time or money.
THE STEWARD: Yes, I do know. That is true, but we are asking everyone to give their Fair Share, or 5% of your income.
SCARCITY MAN: Fair Share? Whaddaya mean, “Fair Share”? That’s way too complicated to figure out. No one has that kind of money.
THE STEWARD: Stand back, Scarcity Man! There are great resources to help you decide (pulls out fair share guide). These were sent to you in the mail, and you can also see them online at the great website, you know the one I mean, for the Unitarian Universalist Church of Minnetonka. You can find the website address on the back of your Orders of Service.
UU MAN: Now that is a great website!
CATERWAULING WOMAN: I agree, great website, not evil enough, needs more cats, but very informative.
THE STEWARD: Yes, this is great information! You can fill out your pledge card here today (extends one toward Scarcity Man, who raises his hands fear, as though the card is toxic, then hands it to UU Man). Just see me, The Steward, after the service in the North room, if you have questions. Or you can mail it in later. Or even – and this is new – the website has an online pledge card. Go to the home page and click on the word “Stewardship” in the top right hand corner. The system will automatically send me an email when you hit the “submit” button.
SCARCITY MAN: All right, Mr. The Steward, but you know things are scarce.
THE STEWARD: Well it takes all kinds of donations. But we do need to let you know that our staff have not had a raise in four years, and that we want to more fully fund our social justice and programming efforts. Many meet the 5%, some give more and some less. And even if you can’t contribute as much as you’d like, we ask all members to contribute at least $81 to cover our per-member Fair Share payments to the Prairie Star District and to the Unitarian Universalist Association.
UU MAN: I’m in – but I’m already at my 5% of income with my last year’s pledge.
THE STEWARD: That’s great, UU Man! Now with your superpowers, if you increase that pledge by 10%, that would go long way to spreading good.
YOUTH: How can those of us who are children and teenagers help?
THE STEWARD: Good question! This year we created special cards so children and youth can pledge too!
YOUTH: But I don’t have a job.
THE STEWARD: That’s okay. Just think about your allowance or babysitting or birthday money – or one visit to Caribou Coffee! It doesn’t have to be much, but $1, $5 or $10 would be great.
YOUTH: What happens if I can’t pay? Am I punished?
CATERWAULING WOMAN: Yes, we turn you into a cat.
THE STEWARD: No, no, no. If you make a pledge, it’s not a binding contract, but we do plan our budget based on pledges. So it is important to pledge what you’re able to pay – but we also encourage you to challenge yourself a little, too.
UU MAN: Well, if it is for making us a stronger force for good in the world, than I’m in too
(all the heroes agree and nod heads).
THE STEWARD: Thank you! (and speaking to congregation) And thank you, because superheroes are nothing without the support and help of their community.
LEADER (Introduces offering)
OFFERING “If I Had a Million Dollars,” by the Barenaked Ladies
PART THREE – Mentors and Heroes Together: Action
STORYTELLER: Well, after all their meeting and planning and agreeing, UU Man and the young heroes emerged stronger and more unified, with vision and inspiration. UU Man realized that the next generation of superheroes didn’t come to him because they were breaking away from some past life, as he had. They came to him because they were seeking connection. They were seeking a mentor. They were seeking a force and a relationship that would support them when they were troubled or confused, and challenge and guide them in their own struggles when they ventured out on their own (UU Man stands up, begins to mime an animated conversation with the young superheroes, sharing his knowledge). UU Man realized this was a new generation, and that if he didn’t step up to be their mentor, they would be lost forever. Well, UU Man did step up! And it wasn’t long that next day before they encountered their super biggest, super baddest, super villain they had ever encountered: Du-dum!
APATHY MAN (very relaxed, calm, sauntering up the aisle, looking at superheroes): Ahhhh….there you are. I’ve been waiting for you (superhero group emerges from their animated conversation).
THE YELLOW GREEN LANTERN OF JUSTICE: Who are you? What do you want?
APATHY MAN: Oh…nothing. There’s not much to do today, you know. Just sit down (extends an arm to the group, and people start to sit, but they resist). You are spending a lot of energy on nothing.
THE STEWARD: Oh man. What’s the use. We sure are spending a lot of energy on nothing.
WAM WOMAN: Who are you? And why do I feel this awful urge to sit in a chair and stare at the wall?
APATHY MAN: Because, my dear, I am Apathy Man, and when you are in my power, there’s not much point to doing anything. So just sit, WAM Woman. And stare. You too, UU Man. And you, Board Man. And you sit too, Yellow Green Lantern of Justice. And of course, you too, Mr. The Steward. All of you. Sit. And stare. And twiddle your thumbs.
(superheroes begin to sit, as though against their will – feeling both useless and like they want to fight the feeling of uselessness…they never quite sit all the way)
YELLOW GREEN LANTERN OF JUSTICE (struggling): No…we must…fight…back.
THE STEWARD: We…must…do something.
UU MAN: I’ve fought Apathy Man before…but…he has…grown so much…stronger!
BOARD MAN: Worship Woman…do something! Your superpower is that you inspire awe and wonder! USE IT!
WORSHIP WOMAN: Yes…must think of something. Board Man, your superpower is that you stay awake and involved at all meetings: USE IT!
BOARD MAN (almost sitting, but jolts upright): Yes! That’s it! And you, Yellow Green Lantern of Justice, your superpower is to make things fair: USE IT!
YELLOW GREEN LANTERN OF JUSTICE: Yes, I know now!
APATHY MAN (begins to crumble): No! Sit down! You must…relax, stare at the wall…
YELLOW GREEN LANTERN OF JUSTICE: No…mustn’t…sit…and…stare. This is not right. This is not fair. I will not allow this to happen! And you, Mr. The Steward, your superpower is that you challenge people according to their gifts, and make them feel positive no matter who they are: USE IT!
THE STEWARD (struggling, rising to his feet): Yes, I will stand! You all are doing great work, keep going, keep going!
APATHY MAN: No! No! Sit down!
THE STEWARD: We all have our superpowers – stand up!
WAM WOMAN: Come together!
GREEN LANTERN OF JUSTICE: Take action!
THE STEWARD: And you, UU Man, you have the superpower to bring us all together, to make us one tribe, one people, one planet, one race: USE IT!
UU MAN (finally stands up): Yes, thank you for reminding me. We need to stand up, take action. Move together. Everyone, come together.
APATHY MAN: No!
UU MAN: Lock arms! Take a hold! (all superheroes lock arms) Join our powers! Remember who we are! We believe everyone is important, and that all things are connected! We live with compassion! (gestures to congregation to stand) We stand on the side of love! Take action! This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine!
APATHY MAN: No! Sit down! Sit down! No…… (crumbles and exits stage)
Superheroes, arms locked together, hum “This little light of mine” softly the whole time the Storyteller reads)
CLOSING “This Little Light of Mine”
And so, the superheroes joined together to defeat their most powerful enemy. It was the hardest fight of their lives, and it was a fight they had to fight many more times. But when they remembered that all they needed to do was join together and take action, that was when they could defeat Apathy Man, and that was when they would have the most impact on the world they loved so much. Please rise in body or spirit to join us in singing Hymn #118, “This little Light of Mine.”
STORYTELLER: And so, the superheroes joined together to defeat their most powerful enemy. It was the hardest fight of their lives, and it was a fight they had to fight many more times. But when they remembered that all they needed to do was join together and take action, that was when they could defeat Apathy Man, and that was when they would have the most impact on the world they loved so much. Please rise in body or spirit to join us in singing Hymn #118, “This little Light of Mine.”
CLOSING HYMN SLT #118 “This Little Light of Mine”
EXTINGUISHING THE CHALICE
We extinguish this flame, but not the light of truth.
We hold in our hearts and express in our actions
The fire of faith, compassion and commitment
Until we meet and are renewed here again.
POSTLUDE “One Tribe” by the Black-Eyed Peas
Church website is http://www.uucmtka.org/
And my church/work email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Kent’s Note: I took my inspiration for the script from the 2010 article in the UU World, “Reclaiming Krypton” – and thought what might happen if you took the info from the article and put a story about superheroes into a worship service!
Person one: Of course we are all concerned about fundraising, and events such as this Canvass dinner are one way to do this.
Person two: But we thought that each week, when we gather in community to seek life’s deeper meaning, we could also generate a little cold, hard cash.
Person one: How, you ask. By taking one of our most cherished traditions and making it a for-profit enterprise.
Person two: Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce an innovative idea for our times: Joy Bucks. (reveals “Joy Bucks” poster on a stand)
Person one: We all know that time equals money, and lawyers make what? $600 an hour? That works out to $10 a minute. With Joy Bucks, if someone is a little long winded with a joy or concern, don’t roll your eyes, do the math – we’re talking major profits here!
And let’s face it, some candles are worth more than others.
Person two: If your joy involves a vacation, be aware that there is a 5 cent per mile surcharge. However, if you go on a lot of vacations you can join our frequent flyer program. And if you have the audacity to come to the podium with a suntan between the months of October and March, you will have to pay double.
Person one: Anniversary candles can be a big money maker, especially at $1 per year.
Person two: Candles to commemorate the acquisition of a new family member, pet, or in-laws will be charged a flat rate of $20.
Person one: Graduation candles will cost you $50 dollars each, plus a $20 excise tax if your child will be attending an out-of-state university.
Person two: Miraculous medical recovery candles. It’s hard to put a price on health, but 200 dollars seems reasonable.
Person one: Now let’s talk about concerns. As you know, life isn’t all joys. In these uncertain times concerns are not uncommon, and to deal with them we’ve taken a page from our illustrious President and adopted a color-coded candle system.
Person two: Code blue candles run ten dollars each and should be used for stolen elections, school levy failures, and so on….
Person one: Code red candles will go for $50. These are for concerns over loss of employment. We are a compassionate liberal religious community, so if you need to, you can secure a low-interest loan to buy one of these candles from the Social Concerns Committee.
Person two: Code green candles will cost you twenty dollars. These are for concerns regarding the undermining of environmental regulations, relaxation of stream set back laws, beach erosion issues, storm water, or bulkhead concerns.
Person one: For really big, global-scale environmental concerns, such as the depletion of the ozone layer or the melting of the Antarctic ice sheet, you need to use the big green candle (which will cost you 50 dollars). Also, keep in mind that there is a $20 surcharge for each depressing statistic you present.
Person two: And finally we have the dreaded code black candle, which, at one thousand dollars, should only be used for catastrophic events, such as the imminent arrival of an extinction-level asteroid impact, or the reelection of George Bush.
Person one: Now we realize that some of you are less forward thinking than we are, so we’ve prepared this impressive, non-PowerPoint presentation to convince you. (Reveal graph that shows lines for joys and concerns and funding….)
As the high cost of concerns takes its toll…
We naturally become more joyful…
And profits at the fellowship soar!
Of course, if this is all too much for you to deal with, we have formulated a fallback plan
Make a generous pledge!
A Canvass Dinner Entertainment Skit by Jen Gerstel and Eric Samson of the Kitsap UU Fellowship, Bremerton WA http://www.kuuf.org/
The Enormous Turnip Skit (adapted from Alexei Tolstoy)
Characters: Gardener, Joe, Jane, Rex (dog), Fluffy (cat), Mousie
Props: child’s wagon, costumes or masks to indicate animals
Notes: choir comes in with each chorus of “they pulled and they pulled,” with increasing amounts on harmony
Narrator: Once upon a time, a gardener planted a little turnip….
Gardener: Grow little turnip, grow sweet! Grow, grow little turnip, grow strong! (mimes planting, then waits and mimes pulling as narrator reads)
Narrator: And the turnip grew up sweet and strong. Days past, weeks past, and months past! The gardener checked the turnip one day and it was enormous! Then one day, the gardener wanted to harvest the turnip. He tried to pull the turnip up. Sings: He pulled and pulled, but he couldn’t pull it up.
So the gardener called for his friend:
Gardener: (insert name of TUUCer) Oh, Jo-oe! Can you help me here?
Gardener: Now! (they both pull)
Narrator: So Joe helped the gardener pull.
Gardener and Joe: They pulled and they pulled, but they could not pull it up! (sung once by characters in story; sing second time pointing at congregation so all join in)
Narrator: So Joe called his friend Jane.
Joe: Oh, Ja-ane! Can you help us here?
Gardener: Try now! (three pull)
Narrator: So Jane pulled Joe, and Joe pulled the gardener. (point to congregation)
All: They pulled and they pulled, but they could not pull it up!
Narrator: So Jane called her dog.
Jane: Oh, Re-ex! Can you help us here?
Gardener: Let’s try now! (four pull)
Narrator: So Rex pulled on Jane, Jane pulled on Joe, and Joe pulled on the gardener! (point to congregation)
All: They pulled and they pulled, but they could not pull it up!
Narrator: So Rex called the cat.
Rex: Woof, wo-of! Woof woof woof woof woof? (to tune of Oh, Flu-uffy! Can you help us here?)
Gardener: Let’s try together now! (five pull)
Narrator: So Fluffy pulled on Rex, Rex pulled on Jane, Jane pulled on Joe, and Joe pulled on the gardener! (point to congregation)
All: They pulled and they pulled, but they could not pull it up!
Narrator: So Fluffy called a mouse!
Fluffy: Meow, Me-eow! Mew mew mew mew mew? (to tune of Oh, Mousie, can you help us here?)
Gardener: Let’s try (turns to audience and points at narrator holding sign saying):
All: All together now! (they all pull and tumble over as they mime pulling out the enormous turnip. Gardener carefully takes invisible turnip and places it on a child’s wagon, where mouse pulls it off stage with all characters following.)
Shared by Joyce Duncan,Towson, UU Church, Lutherville, Maryland http://www.towsonuuc.org/newcomers.html
In the End, We Get What We Give A canvass skit shared by *Susan Freudenthal
Sunday morning; announcement time this week to be done by our Finance Chair.
“Welcome everyone! Welcome to our Unitarian Universalist home. As some of you know, I am the chair of our Finance committee and I’m here to remind you that last week we kicked off our annual canvass campaign.
Now some of us have stepped up and it is truly appreciated. Others of us are thinking about how hard it is to pledge this year. And this too is appreciated. After all, giving to the annual canvass is slightly dull, I know. Paying for the roof over our heads and all, nothing sexy or mission driven about any of it. So this morning, let’s just take a minute to look at what we might be able to do without just in case we need to.
First and foremost, let’s remove our Music Director. I’m sure we can find someone to volunteer to play hymns for us. How hard can that be? Showing up on Sunday to play for us seems pretty easy. (Music Director leaves)
OK, now that I think about it, pass your hymnals to the nearest usher too. We probably know enough of them by heart anyway or we can photocopy if need be.
That will save us a bit but what about the Director of Religious Education? I’m sure we can find a few teenagers to play with the children on Sunday mornings. Of course we’ll have to stop providing snack but it’s just for an hour and ½. And we’ll all bring crayons from home for supplies. (DRE leaves)
Hmmm, actually, how about that minister? We certainly can cut back there. Anyone of us can do a sermon, right? Once a week? What’s the big deal. (Minister leaves)
Now we can really move ahead with or without a successful canvass. Oh and can someone volunteer to be here on Monday to answer the phones in the office for us? No need for an office administrator to do that. Well, without an office administrator we’ll save money on paper for those pesky orders of service too.
Come to think of it, can someone please turn off the lights in here, oh and I guess the heat as well. We can move a little closer together and use our cell phone flash lights to see.
You know, maybe we can sit on the floor and save from having to buy new chairs? Oh wait, the carpet needs replacing so maybe we’ll keep the chairs. And those pamphlets we give to visitors? I suppose we could memorize them, save us from buying more.
So, what are we left with in case the canvass falls flat, a building, some chairs, people though frankly without heat I’m not sure how many will stick around. Speak up folks, how’s it going? What are you all thinking about the current plan?
Social Action chair speaks up: “ I think we’ll be OK but I’m concerned about photocopying hymns from the hymnal. Aren’t the hymns copyrighted? Isn’t is a justice issue if we don’t pay for the rights to use them?”
Finance Chair: “I suppose but it’s such a small justice issue. Who’ll know?”
Congregant: “ We’ll know and I don’t know about the rest of you but I want us to support our values no matter how small they seem.”
Finance chair: “I guess we can pay for the hymnals but keep in mind, it’s up to you folks to step up. How about the rest of our cost saving plans? Anyone?”
Congregational Board Member: “ I would like us to find the money to keep the minister. I know we can afford it and I know the minister does more than just write a sermon for Sunday. I think we get more than our money’s worth for the work she really does.”
Finance chair: “If everyone agrees I’ll support the minster.”
Parent: “If we support the minister I want to support the Religious Education program too and that means we need a professional. We are trying to raise a new generation of Unitarian Universalists. How else we change the world?”
Board Member: “ Yes, I agree and keep the Music Director as well. Some of us come to worship for the music you know. That’s more than just hymns. And as for the other cut back measures, I believe we often underestimate the value people have in this congregation. For many of us, it is the place where we bring our best selves, It’s where our friends are, our community of hope and promise. Perhaps we need to be clearer about what all that costs and be willing to fund it. Consider what being part of this congregation means to all of us and pledge with this mind.”
Finance chair: “Don’t forget to keep the lights on too! Pledge cards are available today.”
*Susan Freudenthal, Director of Religious Education, UU Church of Las Cruces, NM