The Anglican Cathedral of Second Life


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Michael and All Angels

On 29 September we celebrated the feast of Michael and All Angels. As part of the celebration those attending were invited to wear wings. It made for a colourful picture in the Cathedral.

What do angels have to do with us today. Read on to find out. The readings on the day were Genesis 28:10-17; Revelation 12:7-12; John 1:47-end.

‘Be an angel.’ ‘You’re an angel.’ ‘Aren’t they being little angels?’

We use phrases like this in general conversation but angels are probably not often really thought about. If people do think about them, they probably often confuse them with fairies. They’ve got wings and seem somewhat magical, hence the confusion. This confusion has angels relegated to the realm of the mythical in most minds, but for some people angels are very real indeed.

Marie Monson was a missionary in China in the 1920s. It was a time of lawlessness which even involved the army at times. One night a group of soldiers was promised by their leader that they could loot a city as they had not been paid. Marie was in the mission compound that night with some Chinese Christians. They could hear shouting and shooting but no soldier came to their door. Instead, many of their neighbours came to take refuge, carrying with them small bundles of valuables. The next day people from nearby came to ask Marie who the protectors of the compound were. There had been tall foreign soldiers on the roof of the mission hall the night before and one on the porch over the main gate. They had remained there all night and were reported to have shone. Interestingly, these angels were only seen by the non-believers, not by the Christians. Continue reading


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Peacemaking Day 2013

On 22 September our community gathered in the Peace Garden on Epiphany Island to prayer for peace along with Christians around the world. The readings used were Psalm 34; Micah 4:1-4;  Luke 37-46. Here is my reflection:

Yesterday was the International Day of Peace (21 September) which was started by the United Nations. It is traditional for the closest Sunday to that day to be designated as Peacemaking Sunday which churches around the world remember.

Mother Theresa highlighted the emphasis on peace ‘making’ rather than just peace. She said: “Peace is not something you wish for, it’s something you make, something you do, something you are, something you give away.”

Jesus also said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.” Those who set out to make peace have a particular family resemblance to their heavenly Father.

Likewise Psalm 34 asks us to ‘seek peace and pursue it’.

Why the emphasis on peacemaking? Why have a special day? As the resources on the Act for Peace website makes clear ( conflict is a major factor in reducing the quality of life for millions the world over. The statistics are sobering. Around one quarter of the world’s population lives in a country where there is conflict. Looking at 30 conflict-affected countries it’s estimated that by next year these countries will account for: half of all child deaths across the world, a third of children who do not complete primary school, a third of deaths from HIV/AIDS, a third of people who lack access to clean water. That is a huge impact. Continue reading


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God never gives up

In the Bible it is often possible to read about how God reaches out to his people, wishing them to obey him for their own good. Only as a last resort does he choose punishment. Jesus illustrated the value God places on each individual by telling the parables of the lost sheep and the lost coin. It would be unthinkable for God not to seek out those who are lost and bring them home to the sound of cheers from heaven.

At the noon SLT service on 15 September the readings were Psalm 14;  Jeremiah 4:11-12, 22-28; 1 Timothy 1:12-17; Luke 15:1-10. This is my reflection from the day:

The observant among you might have heard more noise in the background when I’ve been leading services recently. Currently our daughter and granddaughter are living with us for four days a week while their house is being extended. The washing machine is a lot busier than it used to be, there is baby paraphernalia all over the house but it’s lovely to be able to spend more time with little Emily as she grows and develops.

One other ‘bonus’ of this arrangement is that we have our daughter’s  two large Labradors living with us. Holly is a chocolate Labrador and is the smaller of the two. Henry is a yellow Labrador and tall enough to put his paws on my shoulders if he stretches to his full height. The dogs are living with us all the time as the house and garden at their home are not suitable for them at the moment. Continue reading


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The cost of following

Being in a crowd at some exciting event can be a wonderful experience, People can be carried along by enthusiasm, uplifted by all those around them. Perhaps something like this happened to the many people who followed Jesus. However, for Jesus, an unthinking kind of follower was not what he needed. He wanted his disciples to count the cost of following, to have realistic expectations of what it would mean to them.

On 8 September at the noon SLT service in the cathedral the readings were Psalm 139:1-5, 12-18; Jeremiah 18:1-11; Luke 14:25-33. Here is my reflection:

I suspect that most people have heard the story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin at some time. The town of Hamelin was overrun by rats and the people were desperate to be rid of them. They offered a reward to anyone who could remove the rats from the town. The Pied Piper turned up and offered to help; his offer was accepted. He played his pipe and to the townspeople’s astonishment the rats came out of all the places they were hiding and followed on behind the piper. He led them in a dance to the river Weser where all the rats continued to dance until they fell into the river and drowned.

When the piper returned to the Mayor of the town to collect his reward, he was offered only 40 guilders and not the 1000 that was originally agreed. Rather than protest, the piper went away but he returned the next day. He stood in the town square as before and played a different tune on his pipe. As he played the children of the town came out of their houses to join him. The piper continued to play as he moved out of the square and towards the mountain. The children ran and skipped after him. When their parents realised what was happening they shouted to their children but they were deaf it seemed and took no notice. Eventually they reached the mountain and a crack opened up in the side of it. The Pied Piper continued to play as he entered the opening, with the children still skipping along behind him. As soon as all the children were inside, the crack closed so neatly that no one could see where it had been. The only child left was one lame boy who hadn’t been able to keep up. Continue reading


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Radical hospitality

It’s pleasant to spend time with friends who have similar ideas to our own, or a similar background or lifestyle. Conversation flows easily, there is fun and laughter. There are often plans made to meet again, perhaps at a different house or another venue. The writer of the Letter to the Hebrews challenged the Christians of his day to adopt a radical hospitality that didn’t just include those who seemed to be the obvious folk to welcome. This echoes Jesus’ teaching on hospitality also.

The readings on 1 September were Psalm 81:1, 10-16; Hebrews 13:1-8, 15-16 and Luke 14:1, 7-14. My reflection from the noon service follows:

Mrs Prior lived in a village in Wales. She was an elderly widow, no longer very strong, who needed to walk with a walking stick. The walk up the hill to her little terraced house perched on the mountainside was always a challenge to her but she didn’t let that prevent her getting out and about.

Every week Mrs Prior took the bus into Cardiff in order to visit her friends for tea. She combined this with attending the Bible study at her church afterwards. This meant that she needed to take the last bus to get home in the late evening.

One winter’s night she found that it was snowing as she travelled into her village on the bus. She was very concerned about walking up the hill in the dark with snow on the ground. The last thing she needed was to slip and fall as she walked home. She prayed that she would be safe as she approached the bus stop where she needed to get off.

Mrs Prior knew everyone who lived in her area as she had grown up there and lived the whole of her 80 years there. She was very surprised, therefore, to see a man she didn’t know waiting at the bus stop as she alighted. Rather than boarding the bus himself he took her arm and said, “Come along dear. I’m heading to the club at the top of the hill.” Continue reading

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Anglican – Methodist Covenant New Report, September 2013

A new report on the Covenant between the Church of England and Methodist Church in Britain has recently been released. Those interested in learning more can click through to the following link:

Anglican – Methodist Covenant New Report, September 2013

The Anglican Communion has always been committed to ecumenism. For example, an aim of the Anglican Consultative Council is “to encourage and guide Anglican participation in the ecumenical movement and the ecumenical organisations, to co-operate with the World Council of Churches and the world confessional bodies on behalf of the Anglican Communion, and to make arrangements for the conduct of pan-Anglican conversations with the Roman Catholic Church, the Orthodox churches, and other churches.” Our calling and desire to unity is further outlined in the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral.

The “Kyoto Report of the Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Ecumenical Relations 2000-2008″, records the Commission’s work of maintaining an overview of the Anglican Communion’s engagement with Christians of other traditions, and of giving encouragement and advice to the ecumenical activities of the Communion and the Provinces.  This report is available here.

We bring this to your attention asking you to be prayerful Anglicans; “Our earnest desire that the Savior’s prayer, ‘That we all may be one’, may,  in its deepest and truest sense, be speedily fulfilled.”

It is good to report on the current status of the Anglican – Methodist Covenant.  Lord, may Your will be done.  May Your Kingdom come.



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