The Anglican Cathedral of Second Life


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Brilliant News!!!

We have been informed that Anglicans of Second Life is a finalist in the Christian New Media Awards 2012. We are listed in the category of ‘Most Creative Use of Social Media’.

The judges are at present working their way through the final stage of the judging process; if they decide we are either a winner or runner up, then two representatives will be invited to the awards ceremony on Friday 19 October. We are likely to know the result by around 8 October.

A list of all the finalists can be found here:  http://www.newmediacentreofexcellence.org.uk/cnmac/awards/shortlist

This is obviously very exciting for us as a ministry. Of course, the most important thing is what we do, the lives we can impact, the chance to spread the Christian message. Gaining an award would be wonderful but it’s not the priority. Thank you all for being part of our community, whether in Second Life, by reading this blog, or by following us on our Facebook page or Twitter.


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Students experience online worship for the first time

Being involved in the ministry of Anglicans of Second Life can lead to some interesting experiences. Members of the Leadership Team have addressed conferences and training sessions in various parts of the world. We have had a service broadcast in the national gathering of a denomination. We’ve provided a service of Evening Prayer for a gathering in Heidelberg who were considering ‘How virtual is reality?’ On 6th March I led a special Morning Prayer for students in a school chapel who had the service projected on screen by their teacher whose avatar was in the Epiphany Island Meditation Chapel. The event led to some very interesting conversations between students and teacher. Having heard that, I invited the students to contribute to a blog post about their experience of online worship. Below are their comments:

This review of a service in the Chapel of the Anglican Cathedral in Second Life is written by Bloxham School third form. (@Bloxham3f on Twitter)

On Tuesday we had a service in the school chapel. It consisted of a 30 minute long Morning Prayer service. It was slightly different from a normal chapel service. Firstly the leader of the service was not in the room but was connected to us via the internet. Also the internet host for this service was a programme called Second Life. It was held in a computer simulated chapel.

My favourite part of the service was the actual virtual church because it was very well designed. The time and effort put into the 3D making of the church was very much appreciated and helped create the atmosphere, although I felt it was lacking in colour. Continue reading


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Hospitality on Epiphany Island

HospitalityIn addition to being home to the Anglican Cathedral in SL, Epiphany Island is also one of the first places that many new residents visit when they join Second Life.  Visitors often comment on the warm welcome they receive from our community members!

The Leadership Team is looking at ways to enhance our hospitality to both new and established community members.  As the result of some of your suggestions, we are working on ideas for a new resident welcome area at our community center (behind the cathedral), as well as adding a side door to the cathedral to make this area more accessible.

We would love to hear your ideas on this, and any others you have that would help grow our community life together at Epiphany!


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Christmas on Epiphany Island 2009

Dear Friends,

The Cathedral community has been busy preparing for the upcoming Christmas services.  This weekend we will hold two festive services of Lessons & Carols, and are planning special services for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  Please stop by if you can for these services, and/or to take a look around at the island.

I’ve taken a few pictures of island decked out for Christmas, which I have uploaded to a Flickr set that you can view here. Special thanks to Caoilin Galthie and Bunneh Byron for their special contributions to our island!

On behalf of the Leadership Team and the Anglicans of Second Life community, I wish you all a blessed Christmas season!

Cady


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A change in the Leadership Team

Those of you who have been a part of our community for a while will remember the popular, and often lively, discussion group that met every Saturday up through last spring.  This group was led by the creative and seemingly tireless Arundel Dragonash, who has served on the AoSL Leadership Team for the past year.  Since then, she has made a personal transition (in her own words) “from a productive member of society to the parasite known as a graduate student!”  She shares that as a consequence of this “I find that I am amply supplied with intellectual stimulation and challenge.  One might say that I am drowning in them (be careful what you wish for!)”

Due to these other commitments, Arundel has decided to step down from her responsibilities as a member of our Leadership Team.  She does plan to remain an active member of our community, as her schedule permits, and “continue to be committed to the mission and values of the group.”

The Leadership Team is most thankful for Arundel’s dedicated service to our ministry, and wish her many blessings on her new ventures!  We are also exploring some new ideas in regard to Saturday events on Epiphany, so stay tuned!


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You have the words of Eternal Life!

Throughout my prayers for today’s message a single phrase kept coming to mind.

The words of Peter to Jesus in today’s Gospel : “Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life.”

There have been many times in my life, times of difficulty and struggle, that I have found myself saying these same words. Sometimes it seems very much that life, and God, is not fair.

Sometimes what is being asked seems impossible! How can I do that?

What is the real nature of this God whose love also permits great suffering and pain?

(want more? click here)


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Transforming Power

An excerpt from the Sermon by LouiB  Serendipity at the 8pm Saturday Service 8/8/09:

The Leadership team from the Anglicans of the Second Life Ministry is regularly meeting, and negotiating within the wider Anglican Communion to have this place of meeting and worship recognised.

However, the ultimate test of this community of the Anglicans of the Second Life, is not whether the broader Anglican Church recognises the ministry and relationships that are being forged here. It is in the fruit of the lives and relationships that are nurtured here.

LouiB

How do we explore and understand these elements of Anglican Community in this context? I was going to say ‘virtual context’, but in writing the words I knew that this is the first hurdle we overcome.

This is only a virtual context if it is taken as an abstract thing, virtual meaning ‘not quite real’, or somehow a substitute for reality. However, in my experience, and I am sure the experience of everyone here, this is not a ‘virtual’ context, but a very real one for each of us.

Continue reading


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Celebration and Looking Forward

farewell exhibit_001

Hello all!

I’d like to give you all an update on the Leadership Team’s plans for this Saturday, and beyond.

We invite you to join us on Saturday, June 13, as we pay tribute to the Rev. Mark Brown on the occasion of his retirement from the leadership of the Anglicans of Second Life Group.  There will be a worship service at 8pm SLT, followed by a festive reception.  In celebration of Mark’s ministry with us, a photo exhibit has been installed in the cathedral courtyard, with images from the history of the SL Anglican Cathedral.  We invite you to visit this and also to share your thoughts and good wishes with Mark by means of a special mailbox set up in the courtyard near the photo exhibit.

I would like to extend my personal thanks to Mark for all he has done for this community.  He has done a remarkable job in fostering the growth and development of this ministry.  We have been truly blessed to have drawn together such an amazing community.  I am very thankful that we have also been gifted with such a talented group of leaders, and honored to have the privilege to work with them.

The Leadership Team has been working hard to help ensure a smooth transition process.  Although we will not have a priest in charge at this time, we do not see this as an impediment to our work, as many emerging ministries are exploring new forms of leadership structure and making them work.  We continue to have the interest and support of those bishops of the Anglican Communion who have been working with us on formalizing our standing within the wider church, notably Bp. Thomas Brown of Wellington, NZ and Bp. Christopher Hill of Guildford, UK.  Mark will continue to serve us in an advisory capacity and will attend (along with Helene) a follow up meeting with the Bp. Hill and others next month.  Our plans include work toward having a Visiting Bishop formally appointed to oversee the Leadership Team, as well as continuing our work on formulating an Anglican Cathedral Constitution.

Continue reading


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Reflecting on the ministry of Anglicans of Second Life

I have recently been writing a paper for the Director of Ordinands in Wakefield Diocese, England, as part of my work in preparing to go to a selection panel to see if I may train as a priest. Some of the information in the paper is about me but the rest is more general and might be of interest to a wider audience though the purpose of writing it should be born in mind when reading it.

It is particularly important to recognise that in the stories of those who have benefitted from the ministry of Christians in SL; it is impossible to state that only one group has had an effect. I know that some of the work has been done as part of the specific ministry of AoSL, some by individuals, some by other churches or groups. To be even a small part of the stories given and others I could have used is a great privilege as we each seek to serve God in whatever way he guides us.

http://www.phil-wright.net/ailsa/AoSL_paper.pdf

 

Helene Milena


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Transitions

The following is a statement given by the Rev. Mark Brown (Arkin Ariantho) at the April 18 worship service at the Anglican Cathedral in SL:

Greetings in the name of our Lord,

This June will signify two and a half years of founding the Anglican Cathedral in Second Life and two years of offering worship services. Over that time we have grown to seven services, a discussion group, Bible Study and numerous fellowship, prayer and counseling encounters around the virtual Cathedral. And over that time the leadership of the ministry has matured into a robust and impressive leadership team.

The time has come for me to retire from active involvement in the Second Life Anglican ministry.  The plan is to remain involved in an advisory capacity. On the 14th of June I will be stepping down from the leadership team, leading services and in being involved in the day to day operations.  This decision is brought about due to increasing time pressures in my personal and professional life including a growing family and new responsibilities within my work and ministries.  I want to assure you that the ministry of the Anglican Cathedral in the virtual world will continue to flourish in this time of transition and beyond, under the expert guidance of the leadership team.

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