The Leadership Team met on 19th March and had a good discussion on several matters. We really appreciate these real time meetings as they help to move our discussions forward and allow us to interact more easily than in our discussion forum.
Issues relating to our sim, supervised by Cady our churchwarden, included that of lag. It can be unpredictable, not always being too problematic when many avatars are on the sim, but at times it can make life very difficult. The sim is going to be restarted weekly in the hope that this may reduce the problem.
We regularly take an overview of the look of Epiphany Island and of how we provide information to the many who visit the sim. We hope to increase the use of the Prayer Ministry Team whose members are always ready to pray with individuals and who can be paged from the board in front of the Cathedral. We also recognise that some visitors might like to make contact with Cathedral Welcomers for more information. How we make this possible is also under consideration. It would be really positive to have a presence on the sim all the time, or at least someone in world who could be contacted at any time.
Many visitors and community members enjoy the many different spaces Epiphany Island offers, all open to everyone. It can take some time to explore all that the Island offers. One space that is seldom found is the Upper Chapel, above the Meditation Chapel, south of the Cathedral. After consideration of various options to improve access, we have made the tp points within the Chapel more obvious in the hope that this will be helpful.
A quarterly financial report will be available shortly. Meanwhile, we continue to fall short of our monthly targets for fund raising which will allow us to pay our year’s tier in June. Due to the shortfall, the monthly target has been raised. In January our target was L$82,809; February L$86,822; March L$91,340. In February 56.12% of our needs were met in world and 28.4% via Paypal leaving us having raised 70% of our tier fee. Currently I notice that donations in world are standing at 51% on the last day of March, which suggests we will need to raise our target once again for April. We do appreciate all the help our community gives and recognise that the targets are challenging. As a Leadership Team we are committed to continuing the ministry of Anglicans of SL.
As you can imagine, we are always alert to any suggestions that might help us to raise money. It was suggested that we have a Marketplace where community members could sell goods and give a proportion of the sale to support our ministry. We have already had two offers of help in this way. Further details will be published shortly but in brief we will have the facilities for ten vendors to be set up by the Community Center where goods can be purchased. If this interests you, do contact Cady Enoch in the first instance. It is our hope that this venture will give our very talented members an opportunity to demonstrate their talents while also supporting our ministry.
Fundraising at our Founders’ Day celebration on 5th March was disappointing but the community aspect of the event was wonderful. We were treated to not one, but two, firework displays accompanied by the necessary ‘Oooo’ and ‘Ahhh’ comments. We enjoyed finding out from Monty Merlin more about the exciting time when the Cathedral was first being built. Members of our community, new and old, enjoyed a time of fellowship which lasted for hours as different people dropped in for a chat and a dance. It was a thoroughly enjoyable time.
The Friday socials were reviewed. The early one, designed for the UK and European members attracts a varied number of people. The later one is possibly more consistent. We do consider these events valuable for building community. We are fortunate to be able to have a DJ most months and may have a second DJ sometime in the future. If you have some time between 12.30-2.30pm SLT or 8-10pm SLT, do drop by and meet other members.
Looking at worship, we are very pleased with the positive response to the new compline service at 6pm SLT on Sunday, aimed at those in the US. Denise Difference (you can read more about her on ‘The Teams’ page of the blog) has settled in well and is obviously offering a valuable ministry to our community.
The pattern of services over Holy Week and Easter will be comprehensive as last year including a Palm Sunday procession, Stations of the Cross, Tenebrae, A Vigil, and of course a celebration on Easter Sunday, the highlight of the Christian Year. Do come along to whatever you can manage. As we entered this time of Lent, the Ash Wednesday service was a very moving start to it. The Bible study on Sundays continues to follow the Lent course.
On 10th April there will be a healing service at the noon SLT gathering. The service will focus on Jesus as healer and there will be an opportunity for those who wish it to be prayed for individually during the service, using IM to maintain privacy. Do come along and bring any friends who might appreciate this opportunity.
The Prayer Ministry Team will be available at the healing service. Members of this team are also available to pray with you if you page them from the pagers outside the Cathedral. In order to equip us to minister in this way, the Team meets on Fridays to pray together. We are currently taking time to review how our meetings are working and whether we make any changes going forward.
Those who are observant might have noticed that the icon on the altar in the Meditation Chapel has now been changed to that of Rublev’s Trinity. We hope to change the icons on occasions and are working on a notecard to explain something of the symbolism of the current one for those unfamiliar with it. Using icons as part of worship is not something familiar to everyone and is probably associated more with the Orthodox churches, but we can always learn from other traditions.
We often pray that God will lead us to develop our ministry in a way which will give glory to him and bring our members opportunities to grow in faith. We hope to start a study group later in the year which will concentrate initially on studying Richard Foster’s book ‘Celebration of Discipline’. Details are not finalised but the Leadership Team has approved this and we will let you know more as soon as we can.
Not all matters are dealt with in real time meetings. Many issues are discussed and resolved using our discussion forum or are simply reported on when a member of the Team has taken action on the Team’s behalf. I have recently been in discussion with various people as we heard a report that a member of our community was unsure if she was welcome as a transgendered person. I have assured her that she is very welcome, as is everyone, and I hope that our conversation has set her mind at rest. The fourth point on our vision statement says we are ‘a community which welcomes and serves others, and is known for its love and care.’ These are not pious words but something we actively seek to live out, working to make amends where we fail inadvertently. We offer welcome, community, pastoral care, counselling and prayer to all who choose to be part of what we are doing, without discriminating.
Over the lifetime of our ministry we have had various RL meetings with Bishop Christopher and others who support us. We hope to be able to meet with Bishop Christopher, Bishop Tom and others in May to look at the proposed constitution for AoSL and other matters.
Team meetings will be on the third Saturday of the month in May, July, September and November. If you have any matter which you would like the Team to consider, please let us know in time for it to be placed on the agenda. Simple matters can also be considered between meetings of course.
As usual, we are happy to receive any comments and suggestions you may have about our ministry.
Helene Milena – Lay Pastor