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Giving All We Can

An assembly in the Hello, Scruff! series

by the Revd Sylvia Burgoyne

Suitable for Reception / Key Stage 1

Aims

To consider the importance of doing all that we can to help others.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need a glove puppet or sock puppet of a donkey, called Scruff.
  • As the assembly begins, ensure that you already have Scruff the puppet on your hand.

Assembly

  1. Scruff waves to the children. Encourage them to say, ‘Hello, Scruff!’

    If this is the first time the children have met Scruff, you will need to use the following introduction.

    Scruff lives on a farm with Lucy Jane, her mum, Mrs B, her dad, Farmer Brown, and her baby brother, Tom. Lucy Jane loves Scruff. She looks after him. She plays with him and she talks to him – when she’s happy and when she’s sad. Scruff is her best friend!

  2. ‘There’s going to be a summer garden party at the vicarage, Scruff, and they want lots of helpers,’ announced Lucy Jane excitedly. ‘Dad and I went to the meeting to hear all about it. Louis said his band would play music and Miss Lacey said that the children in her dance school would perform!’
    Scruff put his head on one side and looked interested.
    ‘Mrs Bradley, the mayor’s wife, said that she’d organise the refreshments,’ Lucy Jane continued, ‘and lots of people offered to bake cakes and make sandwiches. Mrs Pandit offered to put up bunting and Mr Novak said he’d bring along his ice-cream van. Dad offered to provide straw bales for people to sit on, but I couldn’t think of anything that I could do to help, Scruff,’ Lucy Jane added, tailing off in a sad voice.

  3. Pause to ask the children, ‘Can you think of anything that Lucy could do to help at the garden party?’

    Listen to a range of responses.

  4. Finally, the big day arrived! The sky was blue and the sun was shining brightly. Farmer Brown loaded the wagon with straw bales.
    ‘Are you ready to pull this down the lane to the vicarage garden, Scruff?’ he asked happily.
    ‘Hee-haw, hee-haw!’ nodded Scruff. He was so glad that he was going to the party too.
    Off they went, with Lucy Jane riding on Scruff’s back and Farmer Brown walking alongside.

    It was a brilliant day. The band were given a loud cheer and everyone applauded the young dancers from Miss Lacey’s school. Mrs Bradley and Mrs Pandit were praised for their hard work and Mr Novak did a roaring trade selling ice-creams and lollies. People were happy to sit on the straw bales to watch everything that was going on. The event was a huge success, and the vicar thanked each of them by name for their hard work.

    Then, it was time to pack everything up. Everyone was tired and wanted to get home as quickly as they could. In no time at all, the garden was deserted and Farmer Brown began to load the hay bales back onto the wagon.
    Lucy Jane looked around at the garden.
    ‘Look at all this mess, Scruff,’ she said. ‘We can’t leave it like this.’
    Lucy Jane grabbed some black bags and began to pick up cans, crisp packets, paper cups, lollipop wrappers and serviettes. By the time the garden was looking tidy, she had filled four huge bags with the rubbish, and she was very tired.
    Suddenly, she heard a voice.
    ‘Well done, Lucy Jane!’ said her dad proudly.
    ‘Hee-haw, hee-haw!’ agreed Scruff, as they set off home.
    Lucy Jane had found something that she could do to help after all!

    The following week, there was a report in the local newspaper with photos of Louis and his band, Miss Lacey and the dancers, Mrs Bradley and Mrs Pandit smiling behind the cakes in the refreshment tent and Mr Novak waving from his ice-cream van. At the end of the report, it said, ‘And a big thank you to Lucy Jane, who picked up all the rubbish after everyone else had gone home.’

  5. Take off Scruff.

Time for reflection

Explain that you are going to tell a Bible story as Andrew, one of Jesus’ disciples. Ask the children to listen very carefully and see whether they can spot how this fits in with the story about Scruff and Lucy Jane today.

‘Hi, I’m Andrew. One day, all 12 of us disciples were in Jerusalem, just outside the Temple. The men who worked there had been arguing with Jesus. They thought that they were very important, and they were angry with Jesus because he thought that it was more important to love each other than to keep all the strict rules that these important people had made. We knew that they only cared about themselves, and had no time for the many poor people in the city.

‘When they finally left him alone, Jesus felt tired and sat down. He was opposite the place where people came to give their money to the Temple. We saw lots of rich people throwing in large amounts of money, and then, as we watched, a poor woman came and put two small coins into the collection box.

‘You’ll never guess what Jesus said. He’s always surprising us. He said that this woman had given more than all the rich people! They had given just a little of all the money they had; they still had plenty left over. But she had given everything she had because she loved God so much!’

Ask the children how the two stories tie together.

Explain that Jesus understood that the woman gave out of love, just like Lucy Jane tidied up out of care for others. Neither of them tried to look important, or do the best jobs, or give the most money. They were both happy to do whatever they could to help.

Ask the following questions.

- Do we know someone who needs help?
- Is there something that we can do?

Pause to allow time for thought and, if possible, listen to a range of responses.

Prayer
Dear God,
Please help us to be willing to do whatever we can to help other people.
Please help us to realize that every little helps.
Please help us always to be kind and loving.
Amen.

Song/music

‘Magic penny’ by Malvina Reynolds, available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Zx5iSExD9I (2.56 minutes long)

Publication date: July 2022   (Vol.24 No.7)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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