The Leadership Team has not met in real time but is still working via Google Groups on various matters.
Much of the analysis of the survey is now completed, with a little more which I (Helene) have volunteered to do. As I shall be away for a week this will have to wait a little longer sadly, for which I apologise.
There are some changes to services in the week ahead due to my absence. I shall pray for our ministry while I am in Galilee on retreat, staying near the Mount of Beatitudes. I shall miss everyone but the break will be good also.
The Team had a long and difficult discussion about Halloween. We are aware of the different cultures and churches our members come from and this is bound to bring difficulties at times. For some, Halloween is associated with evil, for others it is a secular event, a time for socialising with neighbours and admiring the costumes of youngsters. For Christians it is All Hallows’ Eve, when we approach All Saints’ Day, to remember those who have lived the Christian faith before us. The Leadership Team members, no less than the community, each have differing views on this celebration resulting in a tension that really has to be managed rather than resolved. On the weekend before the Halloween weekend, our social did have a Halloween theme, resulting in complaints from those who found it inappropriate for a Christian sim. Having taken advice from our bishops, on the Halloween weekend we had a Barn Raising theme instead with information about All Saints’ Day. We received one complaint about this decision. The socials on that weekend were well attended and great fun. Many thanks to ZoeRose for her hard work in decorating the roof of the Community Center, which was very much appreciated by those who attended.
Prayer stations on the theme of the Ten Commandments have been installed in the labyrinth. Some of our members have walked the labyrinth and used the meditations provided. I hope more will do so in the future. We will continue to work on checking for any issues which are not yet quite right. Many thanks go to Able, Joyous and Charlie for their work on the meditations, and to Cady for her work on the practicalities in order to make the prayer stations available. Do give us any feedback and suggestions you have.
As you will know from earlier posts, we face a doubling of our rent when we come to renew next year. In order to keep the community informed we have a thermometer outside the Cathedral which displays how well we are doing in collecting the necessary funds. In October, in-world and Paypal donations amounted to 90% of our monthly target. This means that the November target is higher than the October target. Currently, on 19th of the month, the in-world donations amount to 37% of our tier target. It seems likely that this month also, we will not collect what we need. Many of our community value what we do and are giving generously, something we really appreciate. In response to two suggestions from the community we have increased the suggested donations in our donation fonts and baskets. These are now L$50, L$100, L$500 and L$1000. It is still possible to give any amount by entering it in the box provided. Every Linden counts! If you have any ideas on fund raising, do let any member of the Team know.
We were recently contacted by someone who had found themselves subject to a 24 hour ban from SL due to an abuse report being filed from Epiphany Island. We have investigated but cannot find out who filed the report. The person banned was on a neighbouring PG sim but was naked, with the agreement of all present. If someone were to come naked to Epiphany, and it has happened, the Leadership Team would approach them and ask them to clothe themselves. Only if a polite conversation was ineffective would we eject or ban the person. We hope that members of our community would also address anyone inappropriately dressed politely in the hope of persuading them to change. Of course, this particular abuse report could have been filed by anyone, not necessarily a member of Anglicans of SL, and it concerned behaviour on a sim other than our own. We have done our best to reassure the person who was banned just what our policy is and that it would not involve filing an abuse report.
Last year we had a very successful Posada during Advent and we are running it again this year. All those who took part last year have been invited to do so again this year but anyone who has a place to host low prim Mary and Joseph for a night is very welcome to contact Cady Enoch in-world and let her know. Once again we hope to create a memory book of the places where the couple stay on their journey before returning to Epiphany on Christmas Eve.
As usual, we are happy to receive any comments and suggestions you may have about our ministry.
Helene Milena – Lay Pastor