The Anglican Cathedral of Second Life


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If You Can’t Go To Church In Person Go To An Online Church

Have there been times you just couldn’t get to church. Or you have had an accident and just can’t get out of the house. What if you are wheelchair bound and just can’t get to church. Or you are in a strange country where you just don’t know where the church is. Or you are in a country where going to church is banned and you are risking the death penalty. And long as the internet hasn’t been blocked then you can make it to church. But we don’t recommend risking your life. If you are going to do that make sure your history is switched off and nothing can be stored on your computer. And just remember nothing is private on the internet.

If you are stuck and just can’t make it to church. Well now you can.

A few clicks and you can be in a church and if you can line up the times you can make it to a Mass. There is one problem with going to an online church you just can’t make it to Holy Communion. But you still have community. After church you can still have a chat. After Mass we stop for a chat outside the entrance on the courtyard. At the moment most people use typing chat, I’m hoping that will change to voice chat. In the Chapel for Morning Prayer we use voice chat as there is not many people there. After Church I usually go to the Ivory Tower Library of Primatives Sandbox to talk and meet people. Plenty of space to talk without too many people listening in.

Now the online church I go to is in Second Life a type of alternative life you can live in on the internet. When you look at the homepage you could easily get the impression that it is just a glorified online game. But it is more than that. You have to download a program onto your computer so the program will run. I’m usually a bit cautious about downloading stuff I’m not sure of, especially game stuff but I have no problems it didn’t try to hijack my homepage or anything like that.

And once you are inworld a whole new world opens up for you to explore. If you are shy or introverted you can live behind your avatar and come out of your shell, because no one can see you and you can redefine your comfort zone. At the Little Chapel for Morning Prayer I sometimes do the one of the Readings from the Bible and you can do. So if you have always wonted to do the one of the Readings in church, now is your chance. I’ve always wondered how I sound coming out in the Little Chapel. Because everybody’s sound system is different I would probably sound different on all computers.

Also it is a dream come true for people with physical disabilities. In the movie “Avatar” the guy could walk around in the virtual world but in reality he was confined to a wheelchair and it could be the same for you. In this world you are what you can be so if you can’t leave your house the virtual world is open to you. Give Second Life a look, it’s free. I’ve been inworld for years now and if you don’t want to spend any money you don’t have too. You can come and go as you please, as often as you like without paying anything.

There is a money system available “Linden dollars” if you want to get into the commerce side of things. And don’t worry about your age all avatars look young. And what’s an old dude like me doing playing around on the internet. Well to be honest I think I could be one of the young ones. In the virtual world age doesn’t matter, you just have to be there to meet the people. I’ve never had any problems there but the same internet rules apply. Don’t give away your personal information and you will be okay.

I went looking for a church one Easter because I couldn’t make it to my church. So I checked out the internet and it took me a while to get the times figured out and now I go as often as I can.

Second Life is huge and it is very easy to get lost in there. After you have signed up and downloaded everything and you are ready to go. I would go to “World” on the top toolbar and from the dropdown menu click on “Search” and you end up on the “Events” page. If you want to find something to do just browse the “Events” but then you have to line up the times. The “Events” are where you meet people.

Now if you want to go to a real online live Mass you have to go to ustream.tv now this is another amazing part of the online world. Same as with Second Life you have to line up the times and you can sit in watching the Mass just like you are in a real Church. The cameras are usually just webcams and I think in some cases they are from the security system. It just depends on which church you go to. And again it is free. I love the internet. And there are plenty of Churches to go to. You can pick your language as well as the times. Church in Second Life is in English so far, where as in ustream it can be in any language. But inworld you can use any language you like, as long as you find somebody who speaks the same language.

Sometimes you might think some people are rude because they don’t talk to you but that is probably due to the wrong language.

Now to find a Church type Church or Churches in the search box, then click on “Everything” and from the dropdown menu click on “Places” then check “off” M for Mature and A for Adult, just search under “G” then hit the search button. That will give you over 100 results so you can either start going through the list or you could refine the search. Now to refine your search you have to click on “Search Home” and start again. This time type in Anglican Church and you should end up at the Cathedral I go to. Since Second Life is huge the learning curve can take some time but there are always people out there ready to help you. Just ask.

Well that’s it, now you have the Churches you can go to when you can’t go to Church. Once you are set up and know when the times match, Church is just a few clicks away.

See you in Church. https://slangcath.wordpress.com/

Peter Legrove

You can reprint this article anywhere as long as it is free, not changed and the resource box is intact. copyright(a) peter legrove 2012 all rights reserved


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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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