The Anglican Cathedral of Second Life

Leadership Team Update

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The Anglican Cathedral in SL Leadership Team met this past weekend to take a look at all we have accomplished so far, and to make plans for our future.

Fundraising
Snerbert Sands, the fundraising professional on the Leadership Team, shared his research into possible sources of funding for our SL ministry. He is currently gathering information on grants available to religious organizations, primarily those in the US and Australia. Snerbert shared with us that in

writing these grants, the key will lie in highlighting the opportunities available through this unique ministry for; 1) research projects to have access to community members with diverse backgrounds and insights to share with the wider church community, 2) the ability this will give members of the entire Anglican Communion (and indeed the wider church) to meet in a virtual conference setting, and 3) the creative possibilites it will present for churches around the world to utilize this tool in the promotion of the various ministries they are involved in. He also noted that there will be a need to set up, or liaise with, local organizations in the countries that the funding sources are located in, in order to handle these funds. If any of the members of our community, or others interested in this ministry, have any insights to share regarding potential funding souces, they are encouraged to contact a member of the Leadership Team.

ECVA-SL Art Exhibit
Gareth Janus, curator for the upcoming Episcopal Church & Visual Arts in Second Life (ECVA-SL) exhibition, “Spiritual Connections, Experiencing the Holy Spirit In Second Life” reported that the opening for this showing will be held on Sunday, June 29, following the 12 noon SLT service. There are currently seven entries for this show, and the submission deadline has been extended to allow for possible future entries. More information on the exhibit, as well as submission guildelines, may be found here:

Community Ministries
Sophia Tulip, leader of the weekly Bible Study, reported that turn out continues to be good and the discussions continue to be lively and engaging. Gareth Janus and I gave much the same report concerning the weekly Discussion Group, led by Arundel Dragonash and Joyous Schism. We all are seeing a core group of community members who attend each week, as well as a good number of newcomers. In addition, community member Flippant Jibilla has volunteered to help us develop materials to be used to help welcome vistors and newcomers to the Cathedral. We are all most grateful for these wonderful ministries in our midst! They have been very valuable to us in our work to build and maintain this wonderful community in SL. If you have an interest in expanding these groups, or have an idea for another one, we would love to hear from you!

Survey on Services
Arkin shared with us the preliminary results of the survey he is conducting to get feedback on our worship services (which may be accessed here).

When asked what times they prefer to have the services (in terms of their local time zones), the majority have expressed a desire to attend on week nights from 8 to 10 p.m. The respondents also expressed a preference for traditional over contemporary liturgy, and a mix of text chat and voice over either communication method on its own. Other aspects of the services getting high marks from the respondents are the weekly sermon and the opportunities for fellowship following the services. A high interest in having members of the community more actively participate in the services was also expressed, which the Leadership Team will work to accomodate in the near future.

A Celebration!
Finally, as has been mentioned elsewhere in this blog, we are quickly coming up on the one year anniversary of the first service offered at the Cathedral! Stay tuned for plans for a celebration of this incredible milestone for our community!

2 thoughts on “Leadership Team Update

  1. hi Charlie,

    Thanks so much for your thoughtful comments and suggestions. I can tell you that plans are currently in the works to add three more services, bringing the total each week to five. Mark is currently processing the results of the recent community survey, in which many people have expressed an interest in attending an evening service (evening in relation to their local time). As you know, Mark is in New Zealand, and it is his intention to lead another service to accommodate those in the Western Pacific time zones. More details will be given as they become available.

    Your other suggestions are wonderful, and I will bring them before the leadership team for consideration. We are very eager to explore new ideas and expressions of church at Epiphany!

  2. Where To From Here?
    The Journey of the Anglican Cathedral of Second Life

    Although I have only been a part of the congregation since mid April I appreciate that a lot of work has been done in just a year to make the Anglican Cathedral of Second Life the place it is today. The Leadership team and all the many people who have contributed their time and talents, much of it in quiet faithfulness and unpublicized are to be commended.

    The question after a year is “Where to from Here?” How do we make this Cathedral more relevant in this virtual world and in the Real world?

    Time zones are a big challenge. At present we seem to be using typical Anglican services which are time specific. Maybe we need to have a more globally relevant liturgy so that no matter where you are, the service is still relevant for you. So instead of Compline for example we would have a new liturgy using non time specific scriptures. E.g. “From the Rising of the sun to the going down of the same, Oh Lord your name is praised.” Or “In darkness or in light Oh Lord, You are our light!”
    If we are to use Time specific liturgy, and it must be acknowledged that some would prefer what they are used to, we would need to have more services so that no time zone feels left out. At this time it does not seem possible to have more. I would like to see a team devise a liturgy that is more globally relevant for all

    At present there are no Sunday services available for the Western Pacific or South East Asian nations. In order to attend one of these if you live in Eastern Australia for example you need to be at your computer at 5am Monday morning. Not very convenient in such a vast nation where for many in the “outback” it is a very long haul to the local church and the cost of petrol is constantly rising. Australia is one country where a virtual church could provide great comfort to an isolated community providing both spiritual and communal nourishment. Sadly Ministers are being taken from the country to replace city ones when there is a vacancy.

    Another challenge is to be more culturally diverse in both our services and in the way Epiphany Island looks to people from different cultures. Last year when the Ordinands of the Canberra Goulburn Dioceses of Australia were being ordained, a member of the local Sudanese community was being ordained along with the others. The Sudanese were invited to participate in the service with song and dance to celebrate the occasion and it was a very uplifting occasion for all involved.
    Being a global church, we at the Anglican Cathedral of Second Life must try also to involve people from different cultural backgrounds to participate in the services also, so that others from their countries will feel more at home here. We must get away from just being a European clone both in looks and performance, and be a more universal church! Just the simple planting of an oriental tree by the lovely pond in the courtyard could make such a difference to someone from Asia for example.
    Maybe some African banners, South American tapestry or Middle Eastern rugs could also make a difference for people from those areas of the globe?
    Lets not forget we are to preach the gospel to all nations. To do that we must be more culturally relevant to all people.

    There are so many other suggestions that can be raised and I hope they will be. I give thanks for the discussions that take place each week in the Cathedral grounds. Most of all I give thanks for the many parishioners who gather at the Cathedral and make people who visit feel welcome. I was one of these just a few short months ago! Thank you for continuing to make me feel at home in your community.

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