The Anglican Cathedral of Second Life

A Call to the AoSL Community

18 Comments

I’d like to share with you the current status of the Anglicans of SL financial situation.  As you may know, each month we have set a donation goal amount equivalent to one month’s tier payment.  We have brought in an average of 84% of our monthly goal amounts for the past six months.  The donations have risen a bit within the past three months, to an average of 92% of our monthly goals.  We have been encouraged by this, and have been working hard to develop offerings that will bring in more community members and encourage further financial support of our ministry.  We weren’t quite where we wanted to be in terms of financial stability, but we felt we were in pretty good shape.

Yesterday we learned of some news that casts a very different light on things.  An announcement was made on the SL blog regarding land pricing for educational and non-profit land owners.  Currently, Linden Lab allows these organizations to purchase and maintain private region sims for half the price as that charged to other retail customers.  It was announced yesterday that this special pricing will end on December 31, 2010, after which time these organizations will be billed at the regular price.  This will, in effect, double our donation goals.

We are on a yearly billing cycle with Linden Lab, and our next payment will come due in June 2011.  As of the end of September, we had collected 53% of our yearly donation goal*.  With the news of the upcoming price hike, we now stand at 26.5% of our revised goal.  We now have eight months to make up the remaining 73.5%.   Our previous monthly goal of $39,350L (the equivalent of our current monthly tier fee of $147.50 USD) will increase to $78,700L ($295.00 USD).

The Leadership Team remains committed to maintaining our ministry presence in SL, and our home on Epiphany Island.  It will be challenging, and it will require the help of our supporters within and beyond the SL community.  If you currently support our ministry with financial contributions, you have our heartfelt gratitude.  If you are in a position to increase your level of financial support, we (and the community we serve) would deeply appreciate it.  If you have not yet made a financial contribution, we ask you to prayerfully consider doing so.  As a reminder, Anglicans of SL is a completely volunteer run organization, and 100% of your contributions go directly to maintaining our virtual facilities within Second Life.  You may make your donations inworld using the donation fonts and baskets located around Epiphany Island, or if you prefer, you may make monthly subscription payments using Paypal.

We value all of our community members, of course, regardless of their ability to make financial contributions.  In addition to our appeal for increased donations, we are open to considering other methods of raising the funds needed to support our ministry.  If you have any thoughts, ideas and or leads for us on this, I encourage you to share them with us, either by adding your comments to this post, or contacting any of the Leadership Team members directly.  As always we value your feedback, and your continued prayers for our ministry work in SL.

* For more on the variance between our current monthly and yearly goals, see the April-June Quarterly Financial Report

18 thoughts on “A Call to the AoSL Community

  1. Pingback: Treasury Report, 4th quarter 2010 « The Anglican Cathedral of Second Life

  2. I have had a presence on Osgrid for 6 months with scripted scriptures. I have no financial commitment to Linden anymore. As long as you can sustain a server and there is somebody enabled to script to launch the region …. eg Wilfried, we once met up on a plaza in Osgrid’s early days. I have no regrets, 35,000 primes at $15us per month for a full region on a rented server.
    The idea that the ‘land’ exists as an entity is vacuous it is the community as church exists, speak to Ben Psaltry at Truth, he is already ahead of you.
    God Bless
    Loo

  3. Thanks, Cady!

    I hadn’t used my PayPal account in years so I had to reactivate it. Since I’m reacquainting myself with it again (trying to figure out the difference between just sending funds or sending funds for “merchant services,” plus not sure if Patapon Monday is in the U.S., etc.) I’ll contact here directly and get this all sorted out.

    Thank you for the information. I have been donating via lindens to the donation fonts, but with PayPal I can do so more consistently.

    Regards,

    Czari

    • Patapon is in New Zealand, Czari.

      • So does that mean using PayPal would incur the international fees? Not sure if the recurring payments were set up to avoid that.

        Sorry about all the questions…just info gathering. Thank you all for the answers.

    • Happy to answer your questions, Czari!

      There is a small transaction fee involved when using Paypal. The Paypal account was set up by Rev. Mark Brown while he was living in New Zealand, and the money is transferred to a bank account in New Zealand administered by the Diocese of Wellington. Payments received into the Paypal account from outside of NZ are assessed a transaction rate of 3.9% + $0.45 NZD. So for example, a donation of $25.00 USD is currently assessed a fee of $1.28, making the actual donation $23.72 USD.

      Payments made inworld to either of the treasurer alt accounts are not assessed this sort of transaction fee at the time of the donation. When the time comes to pay the tier invoice, these funds are paid from the alt accounts to the SL account of the sim owner (Arkin Ariantho, the account administered by Rev. Mark). At that time, the Linden dollars are converted to US Dollars, at the then current exchange rate, and a transaction fee is assessed at that point.

      So, the bottom line is, there are transaction fees no matter how you go about it! But the fees are fairly minimal. I think Paypal might make it easier for some people to make donations on a more regular basis, which would more than make up for the small loss in transaction fees. So please feel free to use whatever method makes the most sense for you and your situation. Every donation we get is deeply appreciated!

  4. This is terrible news. You’ve been doing so well building up a community in Second Life!

    • I’m sure if we all work together and give what we can in terms of time and talents, we will survive. Who knows, we may be stronger at the end of this. If this is God’s work he will provide what we need to do it.

      I can see the sense of putting a toe in the water on another grid but it will stretch our resources to do so. A ministry like ours takes a lot of time and effort to keep running. Obviously we cannot rule out any solution at the moment but must stay open to all possibilities.

      Meanwhile we will continue to minister to the residents in SL who wish to enjoy what our community can provide.

      • I agree with you Helene that trying to run a church group on one grid is work enough for a volunteer driven group.

        However as has been pointed out, being prepared with a contingency plan on how to move to another grid and connecting current members to that presence in the event that SL shuts down, or becomes too difficult to work in, is a good idea. I would be happy to help figure out how to put a plan together if the group is interested.

      • We already have two easy ways to keep in touch with any developments affecting our ministry – subscribe to this blog and/or to join our Facebook group ‘Anglicans of Second Life’. Both are always kept up to date and are simple ways to quickly access information. I would encourage anyone who hasn’t already done so, to take up one of these options.

        Meanwhile I doubt if SL is likely to shut down or change significantly for quite some time. That gives us plenty of time to consider options in a measured way, committing our way forward to prayer, while continuing with what we are doing and building on that.

  5. I am devastated that so many things have been done by Linden Labs to alienate the residents, but I suspecion it is to make the lab a better marketable value to sell. So I expect there will be more leveling of the board so there will be less book keeping.. but also it just might be a way for them to say.. This might not be here for you so start making alternative preparations.
    My best suggestion in this time of unknown is to find a like-minded compatible non-profit and each take half a sim. Things will then cost no more.. and losing 1/2 the prims but maintaining your community will still be the most desirable.
    This is an exponentially fast changing enviroment no one can expect that things will stay forever.. or even for a year.. so as disconcerting as it sounds, what I tell my philosophers… Get comfortable with fluidity.
    Good luck,
    Yours sincerely,
    Pamala Clift
    The Roadside Philosopher

    • This sounds like an good idea. With the cost increases, it will be a luxury for donation supported not-for-profit groups to maintain an entire region. Most church groups in SL utilize a plot rather than a region, and those that do have an entire region rarely use all the available space.

      I would think that a relationship could be established with a compatible group that could share a region, and possibly even share some facilities such as a community center or meeting spaces. Additionally, using sky boxes or platforms could alleviate the problems that a smaller ground area might cause, and a chapel could be incorporated into the cathedral building the way many RL cathedrals have smaller more intimate chapels alongside the main worship space.

  6. I am in the middle of reading the responses to the Linden blog referenced above. “The Leadership Team remains committed to maintaining our ministry presence in SL, and our home on Epiphany Island.” That is what I would personally prefer; however, as many people are commenting on the Linden Blog, plus my own personal experience, there are now quite a few alternate “worlds” built on the Open Sim concept. Many do not yet have a working currency (of primary interest to merchants) nor the lsl scripting up to par, but those are being worked on consistently and the one I know of is gaining in residents daily. There are, of course, other considerations to be sure with such a move.

    Again, I would much prefer staying on SL for a number of reasons but if the costs become prohibitive I just wanted to mention it would not have to be the end of this ministry that means so much to us. (If anyone on the leadership team would like to talk to me re: my experience/impressions of another grid I have been on, please feel free to contact me.)

    Thank you so much for bringing this to our attention.

    Respectfully,

    Czari Zenovka

    • I have been checking out the OSGrid, which looks to be one of the larger grids using the OpenSim protocol. On a technology level it is a lot like SL, but there are differences. For one, there are a lot fewer users of OSGrid, so the model for a group like this would have to be to advertise the cathedral as a place for people to come into OSGrid for rather than attempting to attract current residents to the cathedral. This might actually fit well with one of the purposes of the group, which is to provide access to Christian community for people who find it hard or impossible to connect to a community in RL.

      Another idea would be to lay the groundwork for establishing a presence in OSGrid (or another grid) in the event that SL does shut down. Then members can be pointed to that presence in an alternate grid so that the community does not disperse.

      • “Another idea would be to lay the groundwork for establishing a presence in OSGrid (or another grid) in the event that SL does shut down. Then members can be pointed to that presence in an alternate grid so that the community does not disperse.”

        That is the reason many merchants from SL are creating a presence in that grid while still keeping their SL businesses as well. Many people I know on that grid are from SL and most migrate between the two at present.

        On the plus side (and I’m pretty sure we’re talking about the same grid as it is the largest one I think) an entire mainland sim is $60.00 USD/mo. for 30,000!!! prims. Megaprims are used and encouraged there. All mainland is restricted to PG content.

        Private Islands (Estates in SL) are $75.00 USD/mo with a range of 35,000 – 45,000 prims. The content rating is up to the Island owner/s.

        The land pricing is another thing that drew a lot of people to that grid. People who could never afford a SL Estate could own one there. Currently there is no charge for texture uploads.

        The main downside at this time is the grid is still very much in Beta so certain “comforts” we’ve come to expect in SL are not yet available there.

        Just something to think about…”in case.”

  7. I think this means that we’ll all need to make sure that we stop in at least once a month and drop a goodly sum in the contributions box. I suspect that we can afford to do this fairly easily, if we’re talking a tier price in lindens and not RL money; but it will take living up to our pledge commitments to do this — something we need to remember to do in RL as well as SL.

    • I sent this question to Tithe Sixpence or penny and then read someone else has taken over the Treasurer role.

      If I want to donate to the Cathedral via PayPal, but cannot commit to a monthly amount, can I still use PayPal and what name would I use for the “Send To” area?

      Thanks,

      Czari

      • Here is where things stand with the Treasurer position. I set up an alt named Tithe Sixpence to act as Treasurer. At that time, none of the other Leadership Team members were in a position to assume that role. Since then, Patapon Monday has stepped forward to take it on. All payments to the donation fonts and baskets are deposited into the account of the treasurer alt she has set up, named Rua Elan. Any payments made to Tithe will also go into a dedicated account for Anglicans of SL.

        I have tried to set up a Donate button on this blog for one time payments, but the code doesn’t seem to want to play well with WordPress for some reason. You should still be able to make a donation via Paypal, as Paypal can be used for one time payments for goods and services. You will be paying ‘Anglican Cathedral of Second Life’ and the email address is slangcath@hotmail.com.

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