.           all rights belong to Tanis Harms –
.             refer to

GIVING SPIRIT – written by Tanis Harms
TOPIC:        tithing, giving as you are able
SCRIPTURE     Deut. 16:17, Mal., Jam.2:14-26, Heb.11:1-4
Style:        satire/conversation:  as people leave
.             a church service, we see their decisions
.             and attitudes on tithing and giving
.             NEEDY WOMAN, BYSTANDERS 1-2
Set & Props:  church offering basket, 20 paper bills,
.             big bag stuffed with paper, medium bag,
.             purse, envelope, coins, hat/tin


(NEEDY sits down on floor at stage right.
BYSTANDERS 1-2 enter at stage right and see the NEEDY.
NEEDY person raises their hat or tin to them.)

B1     Oh, so sad.

B2     Yeah.  I wish there were no needy people
.      in the world.

(USHER enters from stage left, takes a few steps
toward center stage and stops.  Facing the congregation,
USHER holds out the offering basket.  B1-2 stop between
NEEDY and USHER, but B1 motions to USHER.)

B1     Oh look, church is letting out.  I always get
.      a kick out of watching those hypocrites.

B2     And here comes the first one.

(RICH enters from stage left lugging a huge bag which
is supposedly filled with money.)

R      Well, THAT sermon could have been better.
.      I give enough!  I should get what I want.

(USHER holds out offering basket.  RICH stops
to rummage through their bag, pulling out several bills.
RICH keeps changing his mind about how much to give.
Finally putting all the bills back into the bag,
RICH holds up one bill and holds it up high.)
.                                                     2
R      A thousand dollars!

B2     (to B1)  Are we supposed to clap?

B1     Please, he’s got millions of dollars.
.      A thousand dollars - is like a penny to us.

R      (to congregation)  Well!  Done with that!
.      Time for ME to go make more money.
.      I am so good at making lots of money.

(RICH picks up the huge bag and walks past NEEDY, who
holds her hat out.  RICH comments while walking past.)

R      Get a job!  (exits)

B1     (to B2)  Classic!

B2     Look, here comes another one.

(MIDDLECLASS 1 carries their bulging middle-sized bag
with them as they enter from stage left.)

M1     (to congregation)  I put in my face-time.
.      Now I just need to get out of here so I can
.      get back to my own little empire and
.      comfort zone.  What I make is all mine!
.      I need all of it, and it’s still not enough.

(USHER holds up the basket, but MIDDLECLASS 1 uses
their free hand to hide their face from USHER
as they rush right past, and does the same thing
as they rush past the NEEDY.)

B1     The entitled and ungratefully selfish!

B2     This IS entertaining.  Who’s next?

(MIDDLECLASS 2 enters from stage left and stops
to open their big purse and pull out an envelope.)

M2     Very nice-very nice... as well as convicting.
.      I’ve got my tithing here, ten percent exactly.
.      No one can say that I didn’t give to God
.      His portion.  Just doing what is expected of me,
.      even though I could really use this money.
.                                                     3
(MIDDLECLASS 2 drops the envelope into the basket
that USHER holds out.  MIDDLECLASS 2 walks past NEEDY.)

M      (to N)  You again?  Why don’t you get a job?

N      I don’t have proper clothes to wear
.      for an interview.  And I don’t have any change
.      for the public transit.

M      (drearily)  I’ve got some spare change.
.      What do you say?

(MIDDLECLASS 2 takes out some coins and puts it
into NEEDY’S hat.)

N      Thank you.

(MIDDLECLASS 2 exits.)

B2     The dutiful but regretful giver?

B1     (sarcastically)  It just fills one’s heart
.      with hope, doesn’t it?

B2     (motions to POOR)  Who’s this next person?

B1     Oh, she’s a waitress at a restaurant
.      I sometimes eat at.

(POOR enters at stage left and stops with excitement.)

P      What a wonderful message!  God is so great.
.      And such an awesome provider!
.      Everything I have is all because of God.

B2     (to B1)  Do you tip her well?

B1     Ah, no.  And it’s not that kind of restaurant.
.      She can’t be making much.

(POOR pulls ten bills from her pocket and quietly
counts them out.  Taking a bill, POOR puts it into
the basket that USHER holds out.)

P      (to USHER)  I’d like to use my gifts in serving
.      in the church.  Who should I talk to about that?
.                                                     4
U       There are some phone numbers in the bulletin
.       that was handed out.

P       Okay.  And - Thank you.

U       Ah-who me?  Ah, you’re welcome.

B1      (to B2)  That is odd.

(POOR walks up to NEEDY, as USHER exits stage left.)

P       (to NEEDY)  Hi, what’s up?

N       Hi?  Ah, I hit a rough patch.  Now I’m trying
.       to get myself cleaned up and get a job.

P       Well, we are about the same size.
.       I’ve got some extra clothes you can have.
.       And I’ve got some connections in the
.       food industry.  Hey, you must be hungry.
.       Come on.  We can talk over lunch.

(POOR helps NEEDY up and they exit stage right.)

B1      Well, THAT was different.

B2      That’s what Christianity must actually look like.

B1      Well, now I’m curious to know what was taught
.       in that church service.

(BYSTANDERS 1-2 exit stage left.)