No Church In Churchville

A musical by Raymond J. Lombardi
(Note: a royalty is required for this script. For conditions, see details at the foot of the script.)

Summary

Division has come to town. . . and is he ever a devil! Division has arrived in Churchville, and is bent on breaking up the last church over the use of a contemporary hymnal.  But there are a group of kids who are just as determined to keep their church together, and devise a plot that will bring the arguing factions back together! Our 5 heroes see the problem and set out to help the new, young minister keep his church together.

Characters

Division
5 children (Eric, Melanie, David, Lisa, Vicky)
Pastor Ben
Mr Crockett

Script

(The setting: A tiny village tucked away in a rural countryside.)

ACT I: THE FISHING HOLE
Scene 1: Division's Celebration

(Division runs out on stage, dances around and
sings this song:)

Division
My name is Division and I'm one of Satan's crew
You better look out 'cause I'm coming after you
I've done it I can feel it
I'm gonna bring them down
Before this week is over there will be no church in town

Division, division it's what I do best
I love to take a church and put it to the test
Division, division, any method I'll use
If you don't watch out if you don't wake up you're going to lose

I'm slick mean and nasty I 'm a ruthless old boy
And when I hit a church there's no mercy or joy
Cause the people of God make me so made I could spit
So there's nothing in this world I love more than to see a church split

CHORUS
I creep into the mind and I creep into the heart
I work until I have driven everyone apart
Division is the name of the game for me
Division is my goal for eternity

Scene 2:

(Down by the creek. Eric, Melanie, David, Lisa and Vicky sitting on the bank
of the creek fishing. No one's caught anything yet. While they cast their lines the
conversation turns to what is happening at church.)

Lisa: 'I feel sorry for Pastor Ben. He's only been here two months and he's ready to call it quits! I wish everyone would just leave him alone and stop yelling at him, especially that old Mr. Crockett. He's causing most of the problem.'

Melanie: 'You know what will happen if he quits, don't you?'

Eric: 'No, what?'

David: 'If he quits we lose our church. The board of deacons announced last week that if Pastor Ben leaves us they don't see any reason to keep on going. They are just going
to tell us to go to the big baptist church in Smithtown! I think old Crockett would just love that!

Vicky: 'Oh uuch! I hate the drive to Smithtown. It's like an hour away!

Lisa: 'What's all the fuss about, anyway?'

Eric: 'It's because of the temporary hymnbooks.'

David: 'The what?'

Eric: 'You know, they announced that we going to start using temporary hymnbooks'

Melanie: 'You mean CONTEMPORARY hymnbooks. Pastor Ben thinks we need to sing
more up-top-date songs to attract the young families to our church, and the old-timers
are having a fit! Mr. Crockett insists that we only use the old hymns cause they're 'sacred' or something.

Vicky: 'My parents said these hymnbooks were causing division in the church.'

(At the sound of his name, Division appears on the scene and squeezes in right
between the kids on the bank. They of course do not know he is there so they just
ignore him completely!)

Division: 'Did I hear someone call for my services?'

(As if they could sense his appearance on the scene, the group of friends on Division's
right start arguing with the group on the left.)

Melanie: Personally, I like the new hymnbooks. It's about time we got to sing something
besides 'Bringing in the Sheaves''.

David: 'Well I like the old hymnbook! I know the words to most of the songs we sing and I don't see why we have to change now! And I kindof like Mr. Crockett!

Lisa: 'Guys! Guys! Look at what we're doing! We're acting just like those grownups, and we don't want to do that!

(At this Division starts looking really annoyed. . . he can't stand the fact that his efforts are being thwarted!)

Eric: 'Lisa's right. We can't let this come between us. We've got to stick together.'

David: 'Yea, and show them that we're united!'

Melanie: 'And maybe THEY will realize how important it is that we keep our church open. All I know is that the Bible says that we've got to be united as God's children.

Choir sings: 'United as God's Children'

UNITED AS GOD'S CHILDREN
full choir & cast
We've got to be united as God's children
Brothers and sisters we
If we are true believers
We're a part of God's family
We got to be united as God's children
Together we must stand
Against what's wrong
We must be strong
And be united
As we work hand-in-hand

1st verse

If we fail to work together
If we do not join as one
If we struggle against one another
We disobey the Son
Who showed us how through word and deed
to share each other's every need
and now it's up to us to stand united in his name

2nd Verse

The love of Christ provides us
with all we need to win
And the hope of Christ will show us
freedom from our sin
The blood of Christ will cover us
and purify within
so let us raise our voices now prepared to begin

David: 'So what ARE we going to do?

Vicky: 'I know! I saw this movie once where a bunch of kids locked their parents up in a room until they learned to get along. . . '

Melanie: 'Forget it! We can't lock the whole church up! Besides, there's got to be an easier way!

(Everybody starts thinking real hard.)

Eric: 'But we're just kids, what are supposed to do?'

Lisa: 'Yea, really. . .'

David: 'Maybe we should just give up!

(At this Division comes running on to the scene.)

Division: 'Yes! Yes! Give up! There's nothing you can do! You're just kids! NO ONE listens to you! There's no hope! Ha ha ha ha ha!'

Vicky: NO! We can't give up. We must never lose hope!

Choir sings 'Never Lose Hope'

'Never Lose Hope'
Words & Music By Raymond Lombardi

Never lose hope
Never give up
For God will not abandon you
He'll never leave your side
He knows that you depend on him
He will always provide

Never lose hope
Never give up
Remember how he loves you and
He wants to be your friend
He'll be the one who cares for you
until the very end

At times when life seems hopeless
And nothing goes your way
When all your efforts fail you
and the troubles seem to stay
You need to just remember
that Jesus is close by
his love heal your wounded heart and
lift your spirit high

Lisa: (thinking hard. . . ) 'Wait a minute, I've got an idea! I think this will work if we plan it just right. Guys, remember how we talked about painting the youth room next week?'

Everybody at random: 'Yea, go on.'

Lisa: 'Here's what we're going to do. Gather ‘round friends, and listen to my plan.'

(Everybody huddles around Lisa as she whispers to them the details of her plan. When she's done they break the huddle.)

Lisa: 'David, Mr.Crockett likes you alot. You go ahead and ask him to meet us at the church tonight at 7:00.'

Eric: 'I'll go talk to Pastor Ben. I'm sure he'll be glad to help.'

Vicky: 'I'll make sure the paint is there by tonight'

David: 'I'll help you with the paint, Vicky'

Vicky: 'Thanks! That's great!'

Melanie: 'Hey, wait a minute. What do I get to do? Isn't there at least something small and insignificant for me?'

Lisa: 'Melanie, you can pray. There's nothing small and insignificant about that. To pull this off, we're going to need lots of prayer. It may not be the busyist job around, but it is the most important.

Lisa sings solo: The Most Important Thing You Can Do

'The Most Important Thing You Can Do'
The most important thing you can do
Is to pray
Is to pray
The most important part of any day
Is when you pray
Is when you pray

Cause when we pray God listens and when we pray he hears
For when we pray God takes care of all our little fears

So the most important thing you can do
Is to pray
Is to pray
The most important part of any day
Is when you pray
Is when you pray

When things go your way
You can pray
When life goes astray
You can pray
When you feel all alone you don't need to use the phone
just pray, just pray
Just pray today

ACT II: THE CONFRONTATION

(The room is empty. . . two chairs sit in the middle of the stage. There are tarps, paint brushes, a ladder, and buckets to one side. Mr. Crockett walks in, looks around, and sits in one of the chairs. The chairs both face the audience. After a few moments, Pastor Ben walks in. He looks startled to see Mr. Crockett in the room.)

Pastor Ben: 'Oh. . . Mr. Crockett. I wasn't expecting to see you here tonight.'

Mr. Crockett: 'Yes, well, um, I wasn't expecting to see you either.'

(Pastor Ben sits in the other chair. Both shift themselves so that they are facing opposite sides of the room. Division comes in and wrings his hands in glee.)

Division: Ah, perfect! Time to come in for the kill. After I get done with these two there will be no church in Churchville! Another victory! How sweet it is! The boss will be so proud of me. Let's see, after this, who knows. . . maybe the crystal cathedral. . .

(The kids come in looking frustrated and upset.)

Vicky: 'Why can't we paint the room pink? What's the matter, you afraid to be in pink room?

David: 'I'm not afraid of pink. It just makes me sick. Green is a much better color. Besides, our school's colors are green and maroon, not green and pink.'

Lisa: You guys always get to have things your way. You're like spoiled brats.

Eric: 'Are not!'

Melanie: 'Are too!'

Pastor Ben interrupts: 'Guys, guys. Settle down. I've never seen you like this. What's the big problem?'

Lisa: The boys insist that we paint the youth room green, but the girls want to paint it pink. I have a feeling that pretty soon there's going to be two youth groups: one for the boys and one for the girls!

Eric: Well at least we agree on that!

David: 'Yea, maybe that's the best thing to do. Who needs girls anyway?'

Vicky: 'That's fine with us. You boys never help with anything anyway!'

(Everybody starts arguing all at once. Meanwhile Division is off in the corner laughing about the whole thing. Pastor Ben and Mr. Crockett are trying to calm things done. Finally Mr. Crockett yells:)

Mr. Crockett: 'ALLRIGHT - JUST STOP RIGHT THERE!'

(Everyone gets quiet and looks at Mr. Crockett.)

Mr. Crockett: That's better! Now I'm surprised at you kids. This isn't worth arguing over. You all need to learn the meaning of 'compromise'.

Pastor Ben: 'Mr. Crockett's right. This is silly. You ought to be able to work this out like adults.

David: 'You mean like you and Mr. Crockett are doing about the hymnbooks?'

Melanie: 'Yea, I thought we were being just like the adults. My parents said that the church was going to close down because adults were fighting over the hymnbooks!'

Mr. Crockett: 'Well. . . well, that's different! I love those old hymnbooks. He can't just take them away! (Mr. Crockett points to Pastor Ben)

Pastor Ben: 'And I love the NEW Songs! We need to attract young families to our church, and you can't do with those stodgy old hymnbooks!'

Melanie, timidly: 'Can I say something here? When the kids asked me to pray before I thought about this problem alot. God reminded me while I was praying that He has created all things beautiful. I don't think it matters if the songs are old or new, just as long as they praise the Lord. That's what really counts. Any kind of music - old, new, fast, slow, it doesn't matter! Just praise the Lord!'

Choir sings: As Long as You Praise the Lord

As Long As You Praise the Lord
words & music by Ray Lombardi

Some like songs fast
Some like them slow
Some like to hear them on the radio
Some like the melody and some like the drums
but the one things on which we all agree
is that we sing to the Lord in harmony
Chorus
For as long as you praise the Lord
there is joy in every voice
For as long as you praise the Lord
there is beauty in any choice
so go fast or slow, go high or low
Just as long as you praise the Lord
As long as you praise the Lord

Some like baroque
Some like cool jazz
Some like the songs that sparkle with some pizazz
Some like the classics and others like rock
But the one thing on which we all agree
Is that we sing to the Lord in harmony

(After the song ends Pastor Ben walks over to Mr. Crockett. He now looks very repentant. Mr. Crockett eyes him warily, but is ready to talk.)

Pastor Ben: I think the kids are right, Mr. Crockett. We can't fight over something like which songbook to use. I was wrong. From now on, we'll use just the old hymnbook that the church is use to.

Mr. Crockett: No way!

Pastor Ben, startled: Excuse me!

Mr. Crockett: You heard me! No way! I like those new songs! They've got RHYTHM, just like me! (Mr. Crockett does a little jig. . .)

Pastor Ben: 'But I thought. . .'

Mr. Crockett: 'Well, sonny, you thought wrong. I never said I didn't like the new songs. I just don't want to lose all the old favorites I grew up with. I know some of those old hymns aren't very popular any more, but there's lots of memories with some of those songs. And I think kids need to learn a little about the old ways and the old days.'

Pastor Ben: 'So what I you're saying then. . . '

Mr. Crockett, interrupting: 'What I'm saying is that we first need some forgiveness. I was wrong for harboring a grudge against you. Will you forgive me?

Pastor Ben: Absolutely. And I'm really sorry for thinking you were an old grump.

Division, off to the side, crys out: 'NO! This can't be happening! Next thing you know there'll be RECONCILIATION!

Mr. Crockett: Did you hear something?

Pastor Ben: Yea, I thought I just heard something strange, like someone crying!

(Everyone gathers in a circle holds hands)

Pastor Ben: Let's just stop right know and ask God to forgive us all and help us really love one another. (Everyone bows their head to pray and choir sings: Forgiveness)

'Forgiveness Leads to Reconciliation'
Words and Music by Ray Lombardi

Forgiveness leads to reconciliation
And reconciliation leads to unity
Forgiveness leads to reconciliation
And reconciliation leads to love
For just as Christ forgave us
We must forgive one another
For just as Christ forgave all our sins
and reconciled us to himself
Let us be reconciled one to the other

Forgiveness leads to reconciliation
And reconciliation leads to unity
Forgiveness leads to reconciliation
And reconciliation leads to love
For if we want to be set free
From the sinful chains of division
If we really want to be free
We must work with one another
and we must treat each one as a brother

Forgiveness is a bond that cannot be broken
and Unity will come through a kind word spoken
Forgiveness is the path to our salvation
and peace will come through reconciliation

(As the song comes to and end everyone slowly looks up and drops hands. . .)

Pastor Ben: Wow! I feel great! I sure wasn't expecting this to happen tonight! I can't wait to get home to tell Martha!

Mr. Crockett: 'I'm feelin' pretty chipper myself!

Melanie: 'Does this mean that our church won't close down now?'

Pastor Ben: 'Absolutely. There will be NO MORE DIVISION in Churchville! From now on, we all work together as one.

(Upon hearing these words, Division cries out with a mournful wail, and falls face down on the stage.)

Eric: 'I think what really did it was all that prayin' Melanie did.

Melanie: 'I just told God that I was going to keep prayin' and prayin''till this whole thing was settled, and maybe He just got tired of hearing from me.

Vicky: 'God never gets tired of hearing from us, Melanie, but I do think your prayers really helped a lot. And of course our little scheme. . .

Pastor Ben: 'What? What scheme? Do you mean to tell me. . .'

David, interupting: So there'll be church this Sunday as usual?

Pastor Ben: Yes but what what about this. . .'

Lisa: 'And we get to sing the new songs and the old?'

Mr. Crockett: 'You better believe it!'

All the kids: 'Yea! There'll be church in Churchville this Sunday!

Pastor Ben: 'Yes, but what about. . .'

Mr. Crockett: 'I have a hunch that we better let sleeping dogs lie.'

Pastor Ben: 'I guess you're right. Anyway, it's official: There'll be CHURCH in Churchville this Sunday!

Choir sings 'There'll be Church In Churchville this Sunday'

'There'll be Church In Churchville this Sunday Morn'
All around the town the people will know
Every where you look and everywhere you go
That with dawn of Sunday's sun
The battle for our church was won
The battle for our church was won

Cause there'll be Church in Churchville this Sunday morn
for young, old and even those who've just been born
There'll be Church in Churchville
and all will then agree
That the best church in churchville is Jesus Christ in me.

Division tried to come between
By making everyone act mean
Until we swallowed all our pride
and then Division died
Division up and died

So there'll be Church in Churchville this Sunday morn
for young, old and even those who've just been born
There'll be Church in Churchville
and we will all agree
that the best Church in Churchville is Jesus Christ in me

If you think seen it all my friend
If you think you know the story's end
If you thought it never would come true
We'll save a seat for you
We'll save a pew for you

Chorus
We've Got To Be United As God's Children

...............................................................................

© Copyright Raymond J Lombardi. All rights reserved.

A Royalty is payable for use of this script. Sheet music and backing CD's are available from the Author. To pay Royalties and obtain copies of the music, visit the Author's Website at www.lorray.com for details.