The Anglican Cathedral of Second Life


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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

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A taxing question

On 22 October Helene Milena preached the following sermon in the Anglican Cathedral on Epiphany Island in Second Life. The readings were  Psalm 96Isaiah 45:1-7, Matthew 22:15-22.

Desperate times call for desperate measures, or so the saying goes. If today’s Gospel passage is anything to go by, those in authority in Jerusalem were getting rather desperate. Jesus was growing into a more obvious threat to their peace of mind. After riding into Jerusalem in triumph to the acclaim of the crowds, Jesus had cleared the Temple of the traders there. The challenge of the priests had had no effect. Even worse, when Jesus was in the Temple the next day he had humiliated the chief priests and leaders by leaving them unable to decide how to answer him when he asked if John the Baptist was sent from God. Jesus went on to tell parables which were obviously directed at the leaders. It’s easy to understand why the leaders of the Jews were becoming more and more angry and desperate to get rid of Jesus. Continue reading


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Creationtide 2017

On 15 October Helene Milena preached the following sermon in the Anglican Cathedral on Epiphany Island in Second Life. The readings were  Psalm 104: 1, 11-23Job 39: 1-8, 26-30, Luke 12:22-31.

Today we are celebrating creation. Although there is no official Creationtide in the church year, many Anglican churches around the world choose to celebrate creation in this part of the year. For those in the northern hemisphere it is the time of harvest, gathering the bounty of the fields and orchards to keep us fed during the cold months. For those in the southern hemisphere it is a time for the plants to awake as the days lengthen and the soil warms. It’s time for planting and weeding in the hope of a good harvest later in the year. For an international church such as ours, it is an appropriate time to turn our thoughts to creation. Continue reading


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The vineyard of God

On 8 October Helene Milena preached the following sermon in the Anglican Cathedral on Epiphany Island in Second Life. The readings were  Psalm 80:9-17Isaiah 5:1-7, Matthew 21:33-46.

Does anyone here have a good memory?

Thinking back over the past couple of weeks, what does the Gospel reading today have in common with the Gospel readings of last week and the week before?

Vineyards feature in all the readings. Two weeks ago we read about a landowner who employed people to work in his vineyard. He caused dissent when he paid all his workers the same regardless of how long they had worked. The vineyard there represented the kingdom of God where the first are last and the last first. Last week a man asked his two sons to work in his vineyard. One said no but later went and did as he was asked, whereas the second said yes but didn’t follow through on his words. We learnt that those who were initially not obeying God will enter the kingdom, but the ones who think of themselves as righteous but would fail to enter as they didn’t listen to God’s word. Continue reading


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By whose authority?

On 1 October Helene Milena preached the following sermon in the Anglican Cathedral on Epiphany Island in Second Life. The readings were  Psalm 25:1-8Ezekiel 18:1-4, 25-32, Matthew 21:23-32.

Children do some funny things and some annoying things. One abiding memory of our youngest son comes from the time he was four years old. I really can’t remember what I had done to provoke the outburst but I still remember the result. Our son stood there, pulled up to his full height, small though he was, hands on hips and looked me in the eye and asked in his most challenging tone: “What right do you have to tell me what to do?” I have no idea where he came across such a phrase, even his 14 year old brother had not used that to my knowledge. I didn’t have time to worry about where the question came from. I needed to explain that I actually did have the right to tell our son what to do by virtue of the fact that I was his mother. I’m not sure how happy he was with the answer, but a son who would not accept that I had any authority in his life was going to be a big problem. Our youngest son continued to be the most challenging of all our children. I suppose one answer was not going to address the whole issue. Continue reading


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It’s not fair!

On 24 September Helene Milena preached the following sermon in the Anglican Cathedral on Epiphany Island in Second Life. The readings were  Psalm 145:1-8Philippians 1:21-30, Matthew 20:1-16.

It’s not fair! That must be a cry that has been uttered by children for a very long time. There seems to be an innate sense that things should be fair, and if they are not it’s only right and proper to protest about it.

I forget where I read about a way of avoiding two children arguing over a chocolate bar they were to share. The mum asked one to break the bar and the other to choose the first piece. It struck me as a solution worthy of Solomon. Being seen to be fair is not easy task.

The leaders of North Korea and the USA have been accused of being like kindergarten children as they trade insults. I suppose we all wish they only had the power of kindergarten children also! It strikes me that at the heart of the problem lies the protest ‘It’s not fair!’ so maybe they are indeed responding like small children. From North Korea’s point of view, it’s not fair that the USA can have nuclear weapons but North Korea can’t. I suppose from the USA’s point of view it’s not fair that a leader of a small country can aspire to match the fire power of a superpower. Continue reading


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Forgiving but not forgetting

On 17 September Helene Milena preached the following sermon in the Anglican Cathedral on Epiphany Island in Second Life. The readings were  Psalm 103:1-13Romans 14:1-12, Matthew 18:21-35.

The Church of England has been grappling with the issue of forgiveness in a recent document called ‘Forgiveness and Reconciliation in the Aftermath of Abuse’. The issue of abuse by priests and church organisations is a live one in many denominations. Reports into events from the distant, and not so distant, past have revealed shocking behaviour which seems to bear no relationship to the faith which Christians hold.

This report is trying to address the issue of forgiveness when considering churches which have shared in abuse in some way, those who have abused and those who have been abused. These are very tricky questions to answer. As the chair of the Faith and Order Commission, Rt Rev Christopher Cocksworth, states even though forgiveness is “at the heart of the good news of Jesus Christ” it shouldn’t be used to collude and cover up abuse in the Church and “forgiveness needs to be seen in relation to justice, healing, and repentance”. As you can imagine, in considering the theology which relates to this issue, our Gospel passage for the day is considered.

Forgiveness is a very difficult practice of the Christian life. Our first response, on a human level, is to retaliate if we are hurt by someone else. We might think of it as sticking up for ourselves, not being a doormat that everyone can just walk all over. Forgiving can often seem to be too soft a response to those who have wronged us. Continue reading