The Anglican Cathedral of Second Life


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Direction of travel

On 10 December, the Second Sunday of Advent, Helene Milena preached the following sermon in the Anglican Cathedral on Epiphany Island in Second Life. The readings were  Psalm 85:8-13Isaiah 40:1-11, Mark 1:1-8.

If you were to look along the shelves in a bookshop or browse online, you would be able to find many books which deal with the topic of self-improvement. I suppose it’s logical to conclude that if so many books are written on the topic, there must be a ready market for them. The only reason to improve self must surely be because people are dissatisfied with the self they currently have – not fit enough, organised enough, efficient enough, slim enough, confident enough, clever enough, rich enough, and so on. There is a chronic lack of self-esteem around.

You might think that Isaiah likewise has a pretty poor opinion of the human race in general. In the midst of comforting the Jews who were exiled in Babylon, Isaiah says something that doesn’t look very comforting at all. He compares people to grass or flowers which have a transient existence – here today, gone tomorrow. It’s hardly a flattering comparison. It doesn’t confer much value on us. It’s hardly likely to bolster anyone’s self-esteem. However, from an eternal perspective it’s probably a fair comparison. In the history of the whole of creation, each human life is just a tiny blip, a little blink of light and it’s gone. Continue reading

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Advent Sunday 2017

On 3 December, Advent Sunday, Helene Milena preached the following sermon in the Anglican Cathedral on Epiphany Island in Second Life. The readings were  Psalm 80:1-8, 18-20Isaiah 64:1-9, Mark 13:24-37.

It’s a common observation that time passes more quickly when you are older, or so it seems. Certainly I’ve noticed quite a number of people saying things like: ‘October already. Where has the time gone?’ or ‘I can’t believe November is just about over.’ Time seems to race ahead and take some of us by surprise at the speed of its passing.

On the other hand, for many young people time seems to crawl by. Their complaint is often, ‘I can’t wait until my birthday/ our holiday/ my friend comes for a sleepover, etc’. Currently, it’s Christmas that is not coming quickly enough for many children. The excitement is more than they can bear. They ‘can’t wait’ until Christmas Eve when Father Christmas will finally set out on his journey to deliver the presents. They ‘can’t wait’ to wake up on Christmas morning and rip open the paper to see if the much coveted item is revealed ready to be played with.

Today is Advent Sunday, the day the Church particularly concentrates on its own ‘can’t wait’ moment, the one Jesus often talked about. We are focusing on the time when Jesus will come back as our King, his Second Coming. It’s something Jesus promised us. It will be an amazing occasion. Unlike his first coming, as a baby in obscurity, no one will be able to miss the Second Coming. Think about it: the sun will be dark, the moon also, stars will fall from heaven. We will see “The Son of Man coming in clouds”. I’m not sure I can conjure up a picture of how it will look, but it sounds exciting and momentous. Continue reading


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Christ the King

On 26 November Helene Milena preached the following sermon in the Anglican Cathedral on Epiphany Island in Second Life. The readings were  Psalm 95: 1-7Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24, Matthew 25:31-46.

“Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Thus said Lord Acton, English Catholic historian, politician, and writer who died in 1902. The power of kingship is certainly no exception to this rule. When the people of Israel no longer wanted God as their ruler but demanded a king like other nations, God warned them what a king would be like. He would build an army, drafting their young men into it. He would use the people as his servants to till his soil, tend his animals, spin and weave and grind. In the process, inevitably a distance would open up between the king and those subject to his rule. The lives they lived would be different. That division was not apparent when God appointed leaders and judges over the people. Continue reading


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Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church

On 19 November Helene Milena preached the following sermon in the Anglican Cathedral on Epiphany Island in Second Life. The readings were  Psalm 1162 Corinthians 4, John 15:18-25.

(With thanks to Open Doors USA and Barnabas Aid for the resources which contributed to this sermon.)

Persecution on the basis of religion has been happening for millennia. A current example is the plight of the Rohingya in Myanmar who are being attacked by the army there because they are not Buddhists but mostly Muslim, with some Christians among them. It has been calculated that 75% of the world’s population lives in areas with severe religious restrictions.

While acknowledging that persecution happens to people of all religions, today we are concentrating specifically on Christians who suffer in this way. Christians in 60 countries face persecution from their governments or from those who live around them. The organisation Open Doors ranks the top 50 countries in terms of persecution every year in its World Watch List. (You can get more information on this here: http://www.opendoorsusa.org/WWL). In recent years persecution has increased and spread to new areas. The increase is particularly noticed in the Middle East, Africa and Central Asia. Continue reading


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Remembrance Sunday

On 12 November Helene Milena preached the following sermon in the Anglican Cathedral on Epiphany Island in Second Life. The readings were  Psalm 701 Thessalonians 4:13-18, Matthew 25:1-13.

One facet of our common life here on Epiphany Island that never ceases to inspire many of us is the international nature of our community. It allows people from all over the world to meet together to pray and worship God. When we share special celebrations here, we try to find occasions which we have broadly in common while not being afraid to learn from one another’s traditions.

Armistice Day, 11th November, marks the signing of a treaty between Britain and its allies with Germany, which brought hostilities in the First World War on the Western Front to a halt. This took effect at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918. As a result, around the world various ceremonies have been held on 11th November as a time of remembering those who died. By no means every country marks this day but many of the allies involved in the original armistice do. Continue reading


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All Saints Day

On 5 November Helene Milena preached the following sermon in the Anglican Cathedral on Epiphany Island in Second Life. The readings were  Psalm 34:1-10Revelation 7:9-17, Matthew 5:1-12.

As we enter November, the focus in the Church Year is on those who have lived the Christian life before us. For many, 31st October is a time for family events around Halloween, parties, dressing up and so on. Halloween is now a secular holiday but once it was associated with 1st November which is All Saints’ Day. ‘Hallow’ has come from the word ‘holy’ and ‘een’ is short for ‘evening’. So Halloween really means the Eve of All Hallows. Following the Jewish custom of starting the day at sunset, major festivals can have some of their celebration on the evening before the actual date. Many years ago in Britain and Ireland Christians gathered on Halloween to pray for God’s blessing and that they would be protected from evil. To represent the fight between good and evil, they would dress up as saints and evil spirits, leading to the modern day dressing up as ghosts, witches and so on. Continue reading


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Bible Sunday 2017

On 29 October Helene Milena preached the following sermon in the Anglican Cathedral on Epiphany Island in Second Life. The readings were  Psalm 119:9-16Colossians 3.12-17, Matthew 24:30-35.

Today is Bible Sunday, an optional celebration in the Church of England and celebrated by other denominations also, when we focus on how important the Bible is. It’s a time to remember it’s not just a dusty old book, even if our own personal copies are not taken from the shelf as often as they should be! It’s a life-changing, life-giving gift from God to his people.

What I am about to say draws on Bible Society resources provided for today, particularly on those from Northern Ireland this year.

Paul’s letter to the believers in Colossae was needed as they were faced with false teaching. Paul wanted to encourage them and guide them in living their new life as Christians. They needed to know that the old way of life, like old clothes, was to be cast aside as they put on new clothes. As a result, they would not only look different from the outside, but actually be different all the way through. Continue reading