Sophia Tulip who runs a Bible Study each week shares her thoughts:
One Sunday, at the Anglican Cathedral, Arkin asked the congregation if people would like to be a part of this growing community and I immediately thought that I would like to facilitate a bible study. Since October 21, 2007, I have been leading a bible study, which is amazing because I had no idea how this could be achieved; I had no experience in leading a virtual world bible study. So, I went searching on the internet and found different resources, and I went for simplicity. I found a really good resource at www.episcopalchurch.org. It has a section called Lesson Plans for Small Congregations and it is based on the Revised Common Lectionary gospel reading for that Sunday. From the website www.biblegateway.com I use the New International Version for the scripture. I cut and paste the lesson plans and the scripture into a note card, and distribute that to participants by means of a note card dispenser.
The preparation is the hardest part of running a virtual bible study. The participants make it easy. Participants vary in knowledge from basic surface knowledge to people with strong biblical knowledge, and they come with fresh ideas about the scripture. Different viewpoints are expressed and no one tries to force their beliefs or values on others, which I think helps make this group work. I was worried that after I asked questions, there would be an awkward silence (thank goodness that rarely happens), but people chime in and ask questions. The insight that they have has really helped me learn more about scripture. The study pretty much runs itself, so I am more of a participator than a leader. I have enjoyed it and am glad that this ministry is available in Second Life.