The Anglican Cathedral of Second Life

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The Kingdom of Heaven

On 30 July Helene Milena preached the following sermon in the Anglican Cathedral on Epiphany Island in Second Life. The readings were  Psalm 105:1-11Romans 8:26-39, Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52.

A teacher was trying to find out what his Sunday School class of five and six year olds knew about going to heaven. He asked them a series of questions.
“If I sold my house and my car, sold everything I owned on eBay, and gave all my money to the church, would that get me into heaven?”
“NO!” the children all answered.
“If I cleaned the church every day, mowed the grass, and kept everything neat and tidy, would that get me into heaven?”
Once again, the answer was: “NO!”
“So, what if I was very kind to animals, gave sweets to the children, loved my wife with all my heart, would that get me into heaven?”
“NO!” was the resounding response.
“Well then, how can I get into heaven?”
A five year old boy shouted out, “You’ve got to be DEAD!” Continue reading


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The wheat and the weeds

On 23 July Helene Milena preached the following sermon in the Anglican Cathedral on Epiphany Island in Second Life. The readings were  Psalm 139:1-11, 23-24Genesis 28:10-19a, Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43.

Reading the news or watching it on TV is something that some people simply can’t face doing. I don’t think that’s too difficult to understand. A quick look at the BBC news site revealed news of eight out of thirty-eight people found dead in a truck in San Antonio, suspected of being left without water or air conditioning by people smugglers. North Korea continues to test weapons, with a claim that it can reach the US and other parts of the West with a successful warhead. The people of Yemen feel forgotten by the world as they suffer cholera and starvation. Thousands of survivors from areas previous ruled by IS are dealing with trauma as a result of their experiences. Kidnap victims in Afghanistan have been killed by their captors. Relations between India and China, Russia and the US, Qatar and other Middle Eastern nations, the UK and Europe are strained for various reasons. Israelis have died in an attack on the West Bank. An 11 year old girl was stabbed to death by her 18 year old neighbour in the US. Venezuela has been hit by huge inflation with people struggling to survive as their currency becomes worthless. The situation in Syria is still perilous despite work on a ceasefire. The family and medical staff treating baby Charlie Gard are receiving death threats. And so it goes on. So much bad news, so many tragedies, so much that doesn’t seem right, and that is just one quick glance at the news on one day in the year. Continue reading

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Our tenth birthday

On 16 July Helene Milena preached the following sermon in the Anglican Cathedral on Epiphany Island in Second Life. The readings were  Psalm 122Hebrews 12:18-24, Matthew 21:12-16.

It’s a great privilege to be able to stand here and reflect on our ministry which is now ten years old. That’s quite an achievement! What started off as a bright idea has stood the test of time, not because of our human effort but because of God’s grace.

The human beings involved in this ministry have changed over the years. People have come, contributed, and moved on leaving us changed as a result of their presence. Each has brought their gifts and remained while it was their season for doing so. I would like to think that each person has taken something positive away with them, after being part of this community. From a personal point of view, I’ve enjoyed meeting with people from all over the world and learning about them and from them, since I joined SL in AoSL’s infancy in November 2007.
In an offline church, the folk involved tend to change also of course. However, the buildings are likely to stay the same for quite a long period. Here in Second Life the buildings change more often. This is our second cathedral. The chapel is a second one also. The Community Center is a third design. The Parish House is being changed at the moment too. These changes represent the wonderful creativity of the residents in SL and a response to our needs as a community. Continue reading

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Sea Sunday 2017

On 9 July Helene Milena preached the following sermon in the Anglican Cathedral on Epiphany Island in Second Life. The readings were  Psalm 107:1-3, 23-32, 43Job 38:1-18, Mark 4:35-41.

Today people around the world will be celebrating Sea Sunday. In this, our tenth birthday month, we are celebrating Sea Sunday for the fifth time. As Epiphany is an island, surrounded by sea (though I accept it’s virtual sea), and has a mermaid for a churchwarden, it seems appropriate that we should dedicate one Sunday a year to thinking about those who spend their time at sea.

There are many organisations which support seafarers and in previous years I have drawn on their resources to create our worship and sermon. This year Dr Hugh Osgood, Moderator of the Free Churches in England, has supplied a sermon outline on the Sailors’ Society website. Also, the Apostles of the Sea have published a message from the Vatican by Cardinal Peter Turkson. I’m indebted to these two for what follows. Continue reading

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On 2 July Helene Milena preached the following sermon in the Anglican Cathedral on Epiphany Island in Second Life. The readings were  Psalm 13Romans 6:12-23, Matthew 10:40-42.

If you’ve been keeping your eye on the notices or the blog, you will know that this month we are celebrating the fact that Anglicans of Second Life is ten years old. That’s quite an achievement in a world where initiatives come and go at an alarming rate. I’ve met people who are amazed that their old landmark still works to get them to the cathedral. Anyone who has had a nasty shock when using an old landmark and arriving somewhere totally different to what they expected will understand how significant it is to have a landmark from the past which still works.

Yesterday we began our birthday celebrations with a dance, hosted by our own superhero Captain Canuck (aka Celberon). Celberon is a Canadian and yesterday was Canada Day. Canada was also celebrating a significant anniversary – 150 years since its foundation! So, it was all very appropriate, celebrating our 10 years and Canada’s 150 years with a dance to music by Canadian musicians and hosted by Captain Canuck who is a Canadian comic book superhero. Being a DJ is not listed as one of Captain Canuck’s special powers, but he’s pretty good at it! Continue reading

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We are 10!!!

Anglicans of Second Life is ten years old. That is quite an achievement and well worth celebrating, which is what we are doing in July.

Throughout the month there will be displays of photos from our past. If you have been a member of our group in SL for some time you can take a trip down memory lane.

Events currently planned are:

  • Saturday 1 July 2-3pm. Canada Day dance hosted by our own Canadian superhero Captain Canuck!
  • Sunday 9 July 12noon Sea Sunday service followed at 1pm onwards by fun and games as the sim is flooded. Come to swim, boat and play accompanied by suitable maritime music.
  • Sunday 16 July Birthday Dance from 1-3pm at the Community Centre. Fairground rides, refreshments and more. Do come and join us.
  • Other events may be added. Watch out for notices.

Do come and join us for one of our events. Bring your friends, have a great time.

Helene Milena – Lay Pastor

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Bearing our cross

On 25 June Helene Milena preached the following sermon in the Anglican Cathedral on Epiphany Island in Second Life. The readings were  Psalm 86:1-10, 16-17Genesis 21:8-21, Matthew 10:24-39.

“We all have our cross to bear” or “That’s my cross to carry” are sayings that have come into the English language from today’s Gospel passage. It may even be similar in other languages I suppose.

Usually this saying will refer to some problem in life that someone has to put up with. Saying “We all have our cross to bear” when someone complains about something in their life is not particularly sympathetic of course. It suggests burdens are part of everyone’s life and the person should just get on with things and stop complaining.

Jesus didn’t mean to indicate something that doesn’t work out well in life, some problem that had to be tolerated when he talked about taking up the cross. The cross in his time was an instrument of the worst possible way to put someone to death. It was long, drawn out, humiliating and very painful. It could last several days. A person was forced to carry the cross which would kill them, to where they would be executed. As they staggered through the streets, onlookers would shout insults at them and mock them, something that we know continued while crucifixion took place also. Continue reading