The Anglican Cathedral of Second Life

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The gift of peace

On 8th April 2018, the second of Easter, Helene Milena preached the following sermon in the Anglican Cathedral on Epiphany Island in Second Life. The readings were Psalm 133, Acts 4:32-35 and John 20:19-31.

There are various occasions in the year when we might receive a gift from friends or family, even from our place of work. Christmas is a big opportunity for gift giving for many, particularly to children. Presents of all shapes and sizes often sparkle under the Christmas tree or bulge in sacks and stockings. Birthdays too provide a similar opportunity for all ages (though the older we get the less we may want to remember our increasing age!). Then there are wedding anniversaries, Mothers’ Day, Fathers’ Day, even Grandparents’ Day for those who qualify. At work people may get an annual bonus (particularly those in the banking world it seems) or a gift on retirement. Some may have received Easter eggs in the last couple of weeks. Sometimes we simply get a gift to say ‘Thank you’. Continue reading

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God in us

On 1 May, the Sixth Sunday of Easter, Helene Milena preached the following sermon in the Anglican Cathedral on Epiphany Island in Second Life. The readings were Acts 16:9-15, Psalm 67, Revelation 21:1-10, 22–22:5, John 14:23-29.

It’s really difficult to work out what’s going on if you arrive in the middle of a conversation. Those who’ve been present all along obviously know the context of what is being said as you arrive but without some understanding of what went before a newcomer can find himself or herself totally confused.

Today’s passage from John is buried in what is called Jesus’ Final Discourse which took place on the night before Jesus died. Jesus washed the disciples’ feet and commended his example to his disciples as one to follow. A long conversation followed this. It’s apparent if you read the whole section that the disciples, despite being there for all the conversation, were thoroughly confused and needed to ask questions. Continue reading

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Remembrance Sunday 2015

On 8th November, Remembrance Sunday, Helene Milena preached the following sermon in the Anglican Cathedral on Epiphany Island in Second Life. The readings were Psalm 62:5-12, Hebrews 9:24-28, Mark 1:14-20.

It’s odd the things that stick in our minds – snippets of memories from various parts of our lives. Sights, scents, words, people can suddenly pop up in our minds for no apparent reason. In among the jumbled memories of favourite toys, grandparents, pets, camping adventures, marriage, birth of children and so on, I still recall my exams taken at the age of sixteen. I still have the exam papers all these years later. One question particularly sticks with me from my history exam: “Describe the causes and effects of the Boer War.” Our history syllabus covered 1890 to the present day, being at that time 1969. It was a pretty miserable chunk of world history to study, mostly defined by war it seems to me. The Second Boer War ushered in the 20th Century. That faded into insignificance compared to the First World War. The Second World War followed just two decades after the First had finished. Sadly, we didn’t get time to study beyond WWII so we didn’t reach any really good news at all. Continue reading

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Peacemaking Day 2013

On 22 September our community gathered in the Peace Garden on Epiphany Island to prayer for peace along with Christians around the world. The readings used were Psalm 34; Micah 4:1-4;  Luke 37-46. Here is my reflection:

Yesterday was the International Day of Peace (21 September) which was started by the United Nations. It is traditional for the closest Sunday to that day to be designated as Peacemaking Sunday which churches around the world remember.

Mother Theresa highlighted the emphasis on peace ‘making’ rather than just peace. She said: “Peace is not something you wish for, it’s something you make, something you do, something you are, something you give away.”

Jesus also said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.” Those who set out to make peace have a particular family resemblance to their heavenly Father.

Likewise Psalm 34 asks us to ‘seek peace and pursue it’.

Why the emphasis on peacemaking? Why have a special day? As the resources on the Act for Peace website makes clear ( conflict is a major factor in reducing the quality of life for millions the world over. The statistics are sobering. Around one quarter of the world’s population lives in a country where there is conflict. Looking at 30 conflict-affected countries it’s estimated that by next year these countries will account for: half of all child deaths across the world, a third of children who do not complete primary school, a third of deaths from HIV/AIDS, a third of people who lack access to clean water. That is a huge impact. Continue reading

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Prayers for Peace 2011

The tenth anniversary of the attacks of 11 September 2001 is fast approaching.  In those ten years the world does not seem to have become more peaceful. Many have died in wars and in terrorist attacks. Many are mourning the loss of loved ones.

As Edmund Burke said: ‘All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.’ As Christians our response cannot be to throw our hands up in despair. Our response has to be to pray that the world will become a place of peace, of justice, of compassion, of mutual understanding. We also have to work where it’s in our power to bring about the change we would like to see in the world. Even if each of us were to change some small thing in our home, our workplace, our neighbourhood, we would make a difference. 2 billion Christians actively working to promote peace where they are has to make an impact.

Members of the Anglican community in Second Life have been encouraged to pray for peace this week. On Sunday at noon SLT we will meet together in the Cathedral to pray for peace together. We will use prayers from many faith traditions as part of our worship. If you can use voice and would like to read a prayer, please contact me as soon as possible. It would be wonderful to have voices from around the world heard as we pray for the world. Our community can embrace the whole of the globe in prayer.

You may find this poem helpful if you are asking yourself where God was when the terrible events of 9/11 took place.

Helene Milena – Lay Pastor