The Anglican Cathedral of Second Life

Leave a comment

The cost of living

On 14 August, Helene Milena preached the following sermon in the Anglican Cathedral on Epiphany Island in Second Life. The readings were Isaiah 5:1-7, Psalm 80:1-2,  Hebrews 11:29-12:2,  Luke 12:49-56.

I have a friend who is a preacher whom I admire. Once when we were talking about preaching he told me that I should always look to find what the good news is within the reading for the day. I have to say that, given today’s gospel reading, I have failed to find the good news within it. If I only had this passage to use in order to convince someone that following Jesus is a good thing, I don’t think I would have much success!

However, it makes sense to have realistic expectations when embarking on any venture. The venture of faith is no different. I have heard of people being told that if they become Christians all their problems will disappear. Sickness, debt, mental health problems, unemployment will all be swept away in an instant. Just say the magic words and it’s guaranteed. Imagine the shock and dismay when they find that this is simply not true. The ups and downs of life are still there, although I know that sometimes people do have miraculous experiences which completely transform some aspect of their lives.

There are costs involved in being a disciple of Christ and here Jesus highlights a big one: division. He who was hailed as the Prince of Peace is saying here that there will not be peace as a result of his ministry. This division will be felt particularly within families. Each family tends to develop its own way of doing things, its particular approach to making decisions, or using money, or bringing up children. If some members of the family choose to follow Jesus, and do it whole-heartedly, there is a good chance that they will feel the need to decide differently from others who have not made that choice. If they had previously behaved just like everyone else, that is likely to bring a great deal of stress and disagreement into families. However, in order to follow Jesus as we should, a loyal relationship with him must have priority over all other relationships, even blood relationships such as between parent and child. Following Jesus is costly. Continue reading

Leave a comment

To whom shall we go?

On 23rd August, the twelfth Sunday after Trinity, Helene Milena preached the following sermon in the Anglican Cathedral on Epiphany Island in Second Life. The readings were Psalm 84, Ephesians 6:10-20, John 6:56-69.

This is the fourth Sunday that the church has allocated a reading from the second half of John 6 as the Gospel for the day. This is obviously far too important a part of the New Testament for it to be quickly glanced at. It is parcelled out in small chunks to be digested with care.

During this long discourse about the Bread of Heaven the setting and the audience may have changed. Initially it was the crowd from the feeding of the 5000, presumably not all of them, who headed across the Sea of Galilee in search of Jesus who had disappeared. They found him in Capernaum, the town he seems to have made his base, and began a discussion with him. There is no indication where Jesus was as he talked to the people but it’s quite easy to believe that he was found near the shore as verse 25 says ‘they found him on the other side of the sea’. Continue reading

1 Comment

Conversation & Cake #13

Conversation & Cake is a monthly meeting on Epiphany Island when I share what has been happening in our ministry and listen to views and ideas from members of our community. Here is the report from the 16th June meeting. Comments made by those present are given in italics:

I have to apologise that for part of the time of this meeting I was not hearing voice. I therefore missed some of Celberon’s exuberance (he’s not quite the same in text as in voice).

As usual I will report on various aspects of our ministry. Do feel free to add comments, ask questions and make suggestions as we go along.

Beginning with finances, I can now give you some figures for the whole year as the accounts are now in order for the year 2012-13. We set out with a target of $4125 which was made up in this way:

Tier of $3540 plus 5% in case of increase giving $3717

Payment for our collaboration software of $24 a month giving $288

Provision for buying things for the sim $120

Our income is generated in PayPal and in world, giving us payments in both dollars and Lindens. This inevitably means that all our figures regarding donations are approximate as we have to convert between currencies. Bearing this in mind, we raised $3761 last year which was 91.2% of our target. We spent nothing on the sim at all, but did spend the $288 for our software and would have expected to pay $3540 for our tier, as there has been no increase. That would have required $3828 leaving us with a shortfall of $67 which is not bad at all. Fortunately, as I said last time, our tier has been returned to the non-profit rate which means our total expenditure this year has been $2058 leaving us a healthy surplus over the year.
Continue reading