The Anglican Cathedral of Second Life

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Christian Unity 2018

On 21 January, the Third Sunday of Epiphany, Helene Milena shared the following sermon in the Anglican Cathedral on Epiphany Island in Second Life. This was provided for use in the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, whose theme was chosen by the churches of the Caribbean, by the Canadian Council of Churches. The readings were  Exodus 15:1-17Psalm 118: 5-7, 13-24, Mark 5:21-43.

Your right hand, O LORD, glorious in power (Ex 15:1-21)

This preaching resource was prepared by Fritz-Gerald Joseph. He was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and moved to Montreal, Canada, where he served as an associate Pastor at the Pentecostal Church Missionary of Prayer (Disciples of Christ) for 9 years. Since October 2017, he and his wife Emmanuela have been serving as Mission Co-Workers in Morocco for Global Ministries with the
Evangelical Church of Morocco. They are working alongside the Catholic Church to help and serve migrants and refugees all around the country. Continue reading

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The Love of Christ compels us

On 22 January we joined with Christians in the Northern Hemisphere for worship on the theme of Christian Unity. Helene Milena preached the following sermon in the Anglican Cathedral on Epiphany Island in Second Life. The readings were  2 Corinthians 5:14-20Psalm 18:26-32, Luke 15:11-32.

This is the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in the Northern Hemisphere. Each year, a country is chosen to create the resources for this week, resources which are used all over the world. Just the very fact that churches use resources created in a different culture and by many different denominations speaks of a will to move closer to unity between Christians.

This year it was the turn of Germany to create the resources. It is an apt choice as this year is the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s sending to his bishop his 95 theses about the problems he saw with the Roman Catholic church selling indulgences. This event was a key one in the Reformation of the Western Church. The Reformation led to changes so great that the Church split into Protestant and Catholic divisions. Since that time it has continued to split over matters of doctrine, styles of worship and other issues. The Anglican Church, of which we are part, is one result of the Reformation. Continue reading

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A royal priesthood

On Sunday 24 January the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity was celebrated in the Cathedral on Epiphany Island in Second Life. We used a worship service provided by the churches of Latvia and available from the Churches Together in Britain and Ireland website. The Bible passages chosen by the Latvian Christians were: Isaiah 55:1-3, Psalm 145:8-9, 15-16, 17-18, 1 Peter 2:9-10, Matthew 5:1-16. The following sermon was preached by Helene Milena.

Today is the Sunday of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in the Northern Hemisphere. Each year resources are put together by Christians from a particular country. This year it has been the turn of Latvia.

Latvia is a small country in the north of Europe. It has only a little over 2 million inhabitants. It was occupied by the Soviet Union from 1944 until 1991. In 2004 it became a member of the European Union. Christianity arrived in Latvia in the 10th Century. During the World Wars and the Cold War Christians witnessed to the Gospel and some suffered torture, exile or even martyrdom as a result. It was Christians who helped lead the independence movement of 1991. At that time unarmed citizens manned barricades, facing Soviet tanks. Having witnessed together and suffered together, there is a deep bond between Christians of Roman Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox traditions. Members of different churches and Christian groups put together meditations for each day of this special week.

The focus of the week is on the priesthood shared by all baptised Christians, their calling to proclaim the Gospel and to be as salt and light in the world. The Latvian church asks us to reflect on our joint vocation to be salt and light. Salt and light are essential for human physical health and the Gospel is essential for human spiritual flourishing. Continue reading

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Unity in diversity

At the noon SLT service on Sunday I used some of the materials from the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, created by an ecumenical group of Christians in Poland. The Week of Prayer takes place in January in the Northern Hemisphere but in the Southern Hemisphere it is this week. This is appropriate as the reading from the Gospel of John contains the prayer of Jesus ‘that they may be one’. Whenever we read that, it challenges to look at the divided state of the Church and consider what we can do to become part of the answer to Jesus’ prayer. I reflected on what we as Anglicans in Second Life are doing to enhance the unity between Christians.

The readings were Psalm 1, Acts 1:15-17, 21-end, John 17:6-19. My reflection follows:

As some of you may know, I’ve been studying for a degree in theology. I’m halfway there and taking a break until September when the next section of the work begins. The last assignment I recently handed in was about Anglicans and ecumenism. As I discovered, the Anglican Church is involved in many conversations – locally, nationally and internationally – between two or more denominations. Anglicans are founder members of the World Council of Churches and every province of the Anglican Communion is represented there. It is the World Council of Churches which promotes the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. This is usually part of church life in the Northern Hemisphere in January but in the Southern Hemisphere it is often around this time of year. Continue reading