I’d like to give you all an update on the Leadership Team’s plans for this Saturday, and beyond.
We invite you to join us on Saturday, June 13, as we pay tribute to the Rev. Mark Brown on the occasion of his retirement from the leadership of the Anglicans of Second Life Group. There will be a worship service at 8pm SLT, followed by a festive reception. In celebration of Mark’s ministry with us, a photo exhibit has been installed in the cathedral courtyard, with images from the history of the SL Anglican Cathedral. We invite you to visit this and also to share your thoughts and good wishes with Mark by means of a special mailbox set up in the courtyard near the photo exhibit.
I would like to extend my personal thanks to Mark for all he has done for this community. He has done a remarkable job in fostering the growth and development of this ministry. We have been truly blessed to have drawn together such an amazing community. I am very thankful that we have also been gifted with such a talented group of leaders, and honored to have the privilege to work with them.
The Leadership Team has been working hard to help ensure a smooth transition process. Although we will not have a priest in charge at this time, we do not see this as an impediment to our work, as many emerging ministries are exploring new forms of leadership structure and making them work. We continue to have the interest and support of those bishops of the Anglican Communion who have been working with us on formalizing our standing within the wider church, notably Bp. Thomas Brown of Wellington, NZ and Bp. Christopher Hill of Guildford, UK. Mark will continue to serve us in an advisory capacity and will attend (along with Helene) a follow up meeting with the Bp. Hill and others next month. Our plans include work toward having a Visiting Bishop formally appointed to oversee the Leadership Team, as well as continuing our work on formulating an Anglican Cathedral Constitution.
As far as the immediate work of our ministry is concerned, Helene Milena will take on the authority for matters of doctrine and liturgy. She will oversee the work of approving and training those who lead our worship services and bible studies, as well as continue her work with the Prayer Partners Team. She will also continue to develop our pastoral care offerings, and work with our community members who wish to explore how their gifts might be used in service to our ministry. Given her strong background in RL and online ministry, as well as her outstanding work within our community, she has an amazing range of skills and experience to draw upon, and we are most grateful to have the benefit of her wisdom in these matters.
The rest of the Team is equally committed to our work going forward. Gareth Janus, our ecumenical partner in the Methodist Church, and Hildeguard Psaltery will continue leading services and providing pastoral care. Arundel Dragonash will likewise continue her wonderful work as Discussion Group Leader. We have another member of the team who may not be as familiar to you, Snerbert Sands. In his “other life,” Snerbert is a professional fundraiser for non-profit organizations. We are incredibly fortunate to have his skills and expertise available to us in the work of this ministry. Snerbert will work with us to coordinate our own fund raising efforts and (in his guise as CathedralWarden Dover) act as Treasurer for the cathedral funds.
As for me, I remain as committed and passionate as ever for the work of this ministry. I will maintain my position as Chair of the Leadership Team, and continue the work of overseeing administrative and land management matters. I hope to do my best to listen to and respond to the needs and desires of this community. Although the Leadership Team has been a bit distracted from the task of evaluating the recent survey results due to the leadership transition, don’t think we have forgotten it! We are in fact churning away at the data collected, and paying close attention to what you are saying to us. Once the dust settles a bit, we will let you know what our findings are, and how we plan to respond to your input.
As always, we are happy to respond to any thoughts, ideas, questions or concerns that you have, about the current transition or any other matter. We continue to work on methods of enhancing our means of communication with you, as we truly value your opinions.
Please keep the work of this ministry in your prayers, as well as prayers for Rev. Mark as he goes forward in his work with the wider church and community.
UPDATE! I have good news! I asked Rev. Mark if he would be able to attend the Sunday noon SLT worship service as well, and he said yes! So if you are unable to attend the farewell celebration on Saturday (or even if you can), please plan to join us on Sunday for part two of the farewell festivities.