The Anglican Cathedral of Second Life

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Bible Sunday 2017

On 29 October Helene Milena preached the following sermon in the Anglican Cathedral on Epiphany Island in Second Life. The readings were  Psalm 119:9-16Colossians 3.12-17, Matthew 24:30-35.

Today is Bible Sunday, an optional celebration in the Church of England and celebrated by other denominations also, when we focus on how important the Bible is. It’s a time to remember it’s not just a dusty old book, even if our own personal copies are not taken from the shelf as often as they should be! It’s a life-changing, life-giving gift from God to his people.

What I am about to say draws on Bible Society resources provided for today, particularly on those from Northern Ireland this year.

Paul’s letter to the believers in Colossae was needed as they were faced with false teaching. Paul wanted to encourage them and guide them in living their new life as Christians. They needed to know that the old way of life, like old clothes, was to be cast aside as they put on new clothes. As a result, they would not only look different from the outside, but actually be different all the way through. Continue reading

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See in this white garment

On 19 June, Helene Milena preached the following sermon in the Anglican Cathedral on Epiphany Island in Second Life. The readings were Psalm 42, Galatians 3:23-29, Luke 8:26-39

This week it is the thirteenth birthday of Second Life. Second Life had its beginning as Linden World in 1991. At first it looked like a video arcade game but later tools were provided to allow the world to be created and adapted by those who inhabit it. In June 2003, Second Life became open to the public with just 1000 members. It now has tens of millions of accounts although the suggestion is that only around 600,000 active users exist. Of course, if Second Life didn’t exist, Anglicans of SL would never even have been thought of and many wonderful relationships that have built up over the six years of our existence would not have happened. We owe a lot to the vision of Philip Rosendale whose brainchild SL is.

One of the wonderful outcomes of giving tools to residents is the creativity that has been unleashed in world. There are landscapes of great beauty, animals, plants, trees, buildings, clothes, avatars, so many things. Shopping in SL, particularly for clothes, is a popular pastime. It’s possible to choose many different styles of clothing – the formal evening wear, beach wear, party clothes, uniforms, outrageous and unlikely outfits, with wings, tails, tattoos and halos to enhance the effect. What we wear creates an image for others to see and conveys a message about us to those we meet in world.

The same can be said for our offline lives as well as our in-world lives. What we wear helps us to make a statement about ourselves and affects how others see us. There are those who power-dress to bolster their standing in a group of people. Uniforms help us to detect which group a person belongs to and usually speak of some form of authority such as the armed forces, police or other emergency services or of members of the Scouting movement. Members of royal families may dress in splendid robes and wear crowns to set them apart from others. Special dress does much the same in the Church. Particular clothes show that people belong to religious orders of various kinds – Franciscan, Benedictine, Missionaries of Charity and so on. Chasubles, stoles, cassocks, dog collars help us to locate the leaders in a particular church. They allow us to find those who have authority within the church although not all denominations set their leaders apart in this clear way. Continue reading