Have there been times you just couldn’t get to church. Or you have had an accident and just can’t get out of the house. What if you are wheelchair bound and just can’t get to church. Or you are in a strange country where you just don’t know where the church is. Or you are in a country where going to church is banned and you are risking the death penalty. And long as the internet hasn’t been blocked then you can make it to church. But we don’t recommend risking your life. If you are going to do that make sure your history is switched off and nothing can be stored on your computer. And just remember nothing is private on the internet.
If you are stuck and just can’t make it to church. Well now you can.
A few clicks and you can be in a church and if you can line up the times you can make it to a Mass. There is one problem with going to an online church you just can’t make it to Holy Communion. But you still have community. After church you can still have a chat. After Mass we stop for a chat outside the entrance on the courtyard. At the moment most people use typing chat, I’m hoping that will change to voice chat. In the Chapel for Morning Prayer we use voice chat as there is not many people there. After Church I usually go to the Ivory Tower Library of Primatives Sandbox to talk and meet people. Plenty of space to talk without too many people listening in.
Now the online church I go to is in Second Life a type of alternative life you can live in on the internet. When you look at the homepage you could easily get the impression that it is just a glorified online game. But it is more than that. You have to download a program onto your computer so the program will run. I’m usually a bit cautious about downloading stuff I’m not sure of, especially game stuff but I have no problems it didn’t try to hijack my homepage or anything like that.
And once you are inworld a whole new world opens up for you to explore. If you are shy or introverted you can live behind your avatar and come out of your shell, because no one can see you and you can redefine your comfort zone. At the Little Chapel for Morning Prayer I sometimes do the one of the Readings from the Bible and you can do. So if you have always wonted to do the one of the Readings in church, now is your chance. I’ve always wondered how I sound coming out in the Little Chapel. Because everybody’s sound system is different I would probably sound different on all computers.
Also it is a dream come true for people with physical disabilities. In the movie “Avatar” the guy could walk around in the virtual world but in reality he was confined to a wheelchair and it could be the same for you. In this world you are what you can be so if you can’t leave your house the virtual world is open to you. Give Second Life a look, it’s free. I’ve been inworld for years now and if you don’t want to spend any money you don’t have too. You can come and go as you please, as often as you like without paying anything.
There is a money system available “Linden dollars” if you want to get into the commerce side of things. And don’t worry about your age all avatars look young. And what’s an old dude like me doing playing around on the internet. Well to be honest I think I could be one of the young ones. In the virtual world age doesn’t matter, you just have to be there to meet the people. I’ve never had any problems there but the same internet rules apply. Don’t give away your personal information and you will be okay.
I went looking for a church one Easter because I couldn’t make it to my church. So I checked out the internet and it took me a while to get the times figured out and now I go as often as I can.
Second Life is huge and it is very easy to get lost in there. After you have signed up and downloaded everything and you are ready to go. I would go to “World” on the top toolbar and from the dropdown menu click on “Search” and you end up on the “Events” page. If you want to find something to do just browse the “Events” but then you have to line up the times. The “Events” are where you meet people.
Now if you want to go to a real online live Mass you have to go to ustream.tv now this is another amazing part of the online world. Same as with Second Life you have to line up the times and you can sit in watching the Mass just like you are in a real Church. The cameras are usually just webcams and I think in some cases they are from the security system. It just depends on which church you go to. And again it is free. I love the internet. And there are plenty of Churches to go to. You can pick your language as well as the times. Church in Second Life is in English so far, where as in ustream it can be in any language. But inworld you can use any language you like, as long as you find somebody who speaks the same language.
Sometimes you might think some people are rude because they don’t talk to you but that is probably due to the wrong language.
Now to find a Church type Church or Churches in the search box, then click on “Everything” and from the dropdown menu click on “Places” then check “off” M for Mature and A for Adult, just search under “G” then hit the search button. That will give you over 100 results so you can either start going through the list or you could refine the search. Now to refine your search you have to click on “Search Home” and start again. This time type in Anglican Church and you should end up at the Cathedral I go to. Since Second Life is huge the learning curve can take some time but there are always people out there ready to help you. Just ask.
Well that’s it, now you have the Churches you can go to when you can’t go to Church. Once you are set up and know when the times match, Church is just a few clicks away.
See you in Church. http://slangcath.wordpress.com/
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