The Anglican Cathedral of Second Life

Conversation and Cake #6

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We met as a community on 16 September after the noon SLT service. Conversation & Cake is a monthly meeting on Epiphany Island when I share what has been happening in our ministry and listen to views and ideas from members of our community. Here is the report from the meeting. I began by apologising that we had not met in August.

We began by looking at financial matters. Reiterating, June had been a good month, raising 11% of our target for the year which is better than the 8.5% we should raise each month. July and August between them brought us to 21% of the annual target, an average of 7% of target each month. The good news is that at the beginning of the noon service donations for September had reached 68% of the monthly target, which is a healthy improvement. If we raise more than our target in a given month, we can reduce the target for the next month.

We have had German Evening Prayer since mid July and it seems to be popular, with around 8-10 people attending. That’s at least as many as at any EP, so it seems wise to keep that service in German. We usually have half the people there being German speaking and half not. The US Compline on Tuesday and Thursday led by hridaya has moved permanently to 7pm SLT.

I had mentioned last time the Spirit Fair that is being arranged from 21-23 September. I had hoped we would have an exhibition space but a mix up in communication means that won’t happen. I will however be leading prayers for peace on Saturday from 2.30 -2.50pm SLT as a representative of Anglicans of Second Life. I encouraged everyone to attend if they could and to go to any other events wearing the Anglican tag. There were a couple of offers of DJs for the event but that wouldn’t be possible as it’s only short. The press release about the event is given below:

Three Day International Peace Event at Nirvana Island

On the weekend of September 21 – 23, over 40 spiritual organizations will gather on Nirvana Island in a celebration of peace and unity in honor of the United Nation’s International Day of Peace. September 21 marks the 31st Anniversary of the International Day of Peace – a day devoted to commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and peoples.

Schedule of Events

Friday, September 21: Interfaith Opening Ceremony with Isis Pleides, Jeff Trapdoor, Isabelle Oaklourne, Carmien, and Adam Tebbes; Journey to Shambala – Tantric Dance; Von Johin, American Acoustic Roots Music; and Cosmic Celebration! with DJ Wellie.

Saturday, September 22: Zen Meditation, Tao Life Center; Guided Meditation, Buddha Center; Fingersatz Barbosa, Classical Guitar; Spring Forest Qigong, Qigong Learning and Healing Center;  The Four Elements, Spirit Dance Company; Rosedrop Rust, Folk/Jazz Keyboards; CHANGHIGH SISTERS FIRESHOW of Light, Life and Love; Prayers for Peace, Anglicans of SL; Tone Uriza, Electric Blues; Awakening Spirit, Ewan Bonham; Earth Healing Meditation, Isis Pleides; Shift of the Ages, Andre Farstrider; Djeaux Farrasco, American Folk; and Starseed SamAja with DJ Sky Wildmist.

Sunday, September 23: Chanting for Personal & World Peace, Great Heart & Star Xoe Ray; Sunrise Meditation with Music, First Unitarian Universalist Congregation of SL; Sandia Beaumont, Classical Piano/Jazz; The Science of Happiness & Spiritual Disciplines, Oberon Octagon; Practical Spoon Bending, Star Xoe Ray; Joaquin Gustav, Spanish Classical Guitar; The Simplicity of the Tao, Jeff Trapdoor; Spiritual Activism for Peace & Justice, Viriditas Contemplative Center; Madmax Huet, American Blues;  Thwip Zifer, Pianist, Jazz Classical; D.R.U.M., Divine Rhythms of Universal Music; and a Conclusion Ceremony with Isis Pleides.

Weekend events begin at 6 pm slt on Friday, September 21 and conclude Sunday, September 23 at 6:30 pm slt. A full schedule including event landmarks can be found online at islandofnirvana.webs.com and peaceweekend2012.blogspot.com.

The International Peace Weekend & Spirit Fair 2012 is presented by Sky Wildmist, Nirvana Island; Jeff Trapdoor, Tao Life Center; Isabelle Oaklourne, Viriditas Contemplative Center; Isis Pleides, Kellinar Trevellion, Achille Alter, and Wellfager, Nirvana Island.

We talked last time about Bishop Christopher’s paper on sacraments. It’s now on our blog. http://slangcath.wordpress.com/2012/09/15/second-life-and-sacraments/ The Leadership Team has not yet discussed how we can arrange times to discuss the content of the paper. We have used the paper to expand a little on our Vision page about sacraments and SL.

We have a new film showing Epiphany Island, created by Freezing Sorbet. That is now on the About the Cathedral page. https://vimeo.com/47270912 I’ve left the old version there also. There was a request to make the link to the new video more prominent than the old one, something that will probably need Cady’s greater knowledge to sort out! Several people had already seen the video and complimented Freezing on what he has produced for us.

The Welcomers page has been added to with some bio on Mimsey. We are still getting people asking to be Welcomers which is wonderful. We have also had some offers of help with social events from members of our community so I hope we can soon invite you to something new.

Looking forward, I encouraged members of the community to consider if they would like to be involved in our Posada in Advent. For those unfamiliar with the tradition, it comes from Mexico and originally involved the young people of the community dressing up as Mary and Joseph and going from house to house in the village. They asked for a room for the night and announced to the people that Jesus was soon to be born. A full scale nativity play was then acted out on Christmas Eve at their church and the stable scene was completed with Mary and Joseph.

This tradition is celebrated nowadays with figures of Mary and Joseph being hosted in different places each night of Advent. When they stay in a place it offers a chance for a party for friends and family of the host. The form this takes varies but may include worship and carols and a telling of the message of Christmas and perhaps food and drink. It’s more important that it’s a time of gathering together than that it is something elaborate. In world we pass figures of Joseph and Mary from person to person and they stay at one place for 24 hours. The figures return to the stable on Epiphany on Christmas Eve.

Several of those present have previously been involved in the Posada and have found it to be a great blessing. Members of the community really enjoyed visiting one another’s sims. We’ve had the figures in homes, churches, clubs, shopping malls. Previous hosts are usually contacted to see if they would like to be involved again but new hosts are always welcome. It was suggested that we hold some of the get togethers on Epiphany to help people to find us. I explained that both the first and last night of the Posada involve Epiphany but it’s really nice to have other venues involved. People can find Epiphany if we add it to our picks in our profiles. It would be possible for hosts to bring their visitors to see the stable at Epiphany in the Peace Garden. The creativity of the various venues has been amazing, with great variation between what individuals and different nationalities provide when they host. One event last year included a treasure hunt which we followed to find Mary and Joseph. Emerald managed to get to all but one venue last year. Kawyn and Emerald both recommended that members of the community should get involved in Posada. We have a memory book for the first two years. Cady has photos for last year and will create a book which we can distribute as we head towards this year’s event. It might be of interest and inspiration for this year’s hosts. As was commented on, Posada helps to keep the Christmas spirit where it should be and makes Advent meaningful.

It’s possible for hosts to join together to host of course, as it’s difficult to be around all the time although Emerald stayed up for the whole time she was hosting. As Kawyn pointed out, people from all over the world visit and so they can come at different times. Emerald lent a venue to someone without an SL residence last year and would lend a skypad this year if wanted. Freezing has therefore lost any excuse for not hosting! The suggestion of hosting in a tardis was well received. Dr Who is seldom absent from our conversations! A dalek hunt with snowballs was suggested and reminscences of the episode when alien Christmas trees attacked people were shared.

Advent Sunday is 2 December so that will be when Mary and Joseph set off on their journey from the Cathedral. They return to the stable on 24 December. Anyone who wants to host should let me know and suggest a date they would like to do it. Our first offer of hosting came from Symmetry Munro on behalf of Toot Toots Carolina Pub. A general invitation will be sent out after the International Peace Day.

We were given the good news that Symmetry would be presenting to her parish about Epiphany. It’s always good to know that news of us is spreading. We hope to receive some feedback on how it went.

Vaino shared his hopes for an occasional European timed social event at Toot Toots where he is the assistant manager. This is one of the suggestions I had mentioned earlier and have mentioned to the Leadership Team. We had a regular Friday European social on Epiphany for a year but it was not well supported. That is no reason not to look at this suggestion. It may begin in a small way but others may come along later. Doing something occasionally rather than weekly might be best. It would be nice to visit somewhere else. More events are a good thing. Vaino is available any day to host this social event. The Leadership Team will look at what day to try.

We noted that recently we have not been putting our events on the SL Events Calendar. This is something we should begin to do again. Such advertising can bring griefers but that’s a risk worth taking. All those with the necessary permissions know how to deal with griefers.

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Author: Helene Milena

Lay Pastor of the Anglican Cathedral in Second Life. Teacher, counsellor, wife, mother.

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