The Anglican Cathedral of Second Life

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Pentecost 2018

On 20th May, the Feast of Pentecost, Helene Milena preached the following sermon in the Anglican Cathedral on Epiphany Island in Second Life. The readings were Psalm 104:26-35, Acts 2:1-21 and John 15:26-27, 16:4b-15.

Anyone who has contact with small children will soon find out that waiting is a very difficult thing for them to do. They live very much in the now and would much prefer that any special event could happen now, rather than some time in the future. Add to that the fact that the concept of time passing is often somewhat shaky in a child, and we soon have a rather difficult situation. Many parents (and grandparents) resort to saying how many ‘sleeps’ there will be until the special occasion. That works well with our granddaughter Emily because she can count accurately, forwards and backwards. Her latest question is about how long until she goes into the next class at school. As that’s going to be at the beginning of September, she’ll need to count down from about a hundred! Continue reading

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Thy Kingdom Come

This year, Anglicans of Second Life is taking part in a global initiative called ‘Thy Kingdom Come’. In 2016 the Archbishops of Canterbury and York in England started a special time of prayer between Ascension Day and Pentecost, a time when we look forward to the coming of the Holy Spirit on the Church. The focus of prayer is for more people to come to know Jesus Christ. This has now become a global movement which involves many different Christian denominations.

This year the dates for Thy Kingdom Come are 10-20 May. There are several ways you can get involved. If you go to the Pledge to Pray page you can sign up as someone who is joining this global wave of prayer. You can have a dot shown on the map of the world to indicate where you are. As members of Anglicans of Second Life come from all over the world, we could add a lot of dots between us!

There are a lot of resources available. There are some wonderful videos including one discussing what it means to pray ‘Thy kingdom come’ and the Lord’s Prayer in sign language. There are also resources for prayer. There is a huge amount to explore there. I found the Methodist Church’s ‘Waiting in wonder’, a Novena and a Catholic Novena and a prayer journal among the new resources for 2018. There is something for everyone, whatever your preference. You can get your friends and family involved if you wish also.

On Epiphany Island we will have a labyrinth with the Lord’s Prayer prayer stations taken from the resources. We hope you will walk the labyrinth and pray. We will launch the initiative with prayer in the chapel at midnight and at noon on Ascension Day, 10 May. Please call into the chapel to pray at any time. You could also go to the cathedral and light a candle for anyone for whom you are praying. We will have a wonderful celebration in the cathedral at noon on the Feast of Pentecost, 20 May. This will be my last service as Lay Pastor, although I anticipate leading some services in the future if the Leadership Team invite me to.

Helene Milena – Lay Pastor

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Speaking in tongues

On 4 June,  the feast of Pentecost, Helene Milena preached the following sermon in the Anglican Cathedral on Epiphany Island in Second Life. The readings were  Psalm 104:26-35Acts 2:1-21, John 7:37-39.

Many years ago, I followed a correspondence course on the Christian faith. It was provided by a Pentecostal church with a very strong emphasis on the Holy Spirit. I had a tutor to whom I sent the responses to the questions in the course. She sent feedback to me.

At one point in the course, there was a question about being baptised in the Spirit. It assumed that evidence of that event would be speaking in tongues. In my response to the question, I was honest and wrote that I had not experienced speaking in tongues. The tutor was rather perplexed as she considered that my previous answers on the course had shown evidence of the work of the Holy Spirit in my life. Her theology considered that if the Holy Spirit had been received by a person they would most definitely speak in tongues. I had to confirm that that had not been my experience. Perhaps she went away from our correspondence and had a rethink. Who knows? What I do know is that I didn’t fit what she had been taught. Continue reading

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On 15 May, Pentecost, Helene Milena preached the following sermon in the Anglican Cathedral on Epiphany Island in Second Life. The readings were Psalm 104:26-end, Acts 2:1-21, John 14:8-17, 25-27.

The reflection looked at the events of the weeks from Palm Sunday to Pentecost through the eyes of a resident of Jerusalem who had chance to witness much of what went on.

It’s been an odd year so far, and that’s a fact. You get some years that just flow on as they should. The festivals mark the seasons – Purim, Passover, Pentecost, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Tabernacles, Chanukah – and then off we go again, all as it should be, nice and orderly.

Of course you do get the odd disruption when some Zealot tries to change the world, and simply succeeds in upsetting everyone and getting himself executed. They’re not going to make any difference I reckon. What with the Romans wanting things all peaceful and controlled and our leaders wanting to have the freedom to do their own thing, anyone rocking the boat is going to meet with problems pretty soon, you can be sure of that. Continue reading

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Pentecost Sunday

Pentecost is the day that we celebrate the giving of the gift of the Holy Spirit to Jesus’ apostles and to others. That same Spirit is still available for us. It’s given to assure us that we are God’s children and also to enable us to take action to spread the Good News. As Jesus promised, his followers can do work greater than he himself did, through the Spirit. We in Anglicans of SL represent many nations and are reaching people from all over the world and giving them chance to consider the gospel.

The readings on Pentecost Sunday were Acts 2:1-21 Romans 8:14-17 John 14:8-17, 25-27.

I’ve been spending some days with my daughter and son-in-law after the birth of their baby daughter on Tuesday. As you can imagine there have been lots of cards coming through the door, mostly in pink envelopes. There have been some beautiful flowers delivered and a gift pack containing chocolates and champagne. There have also been visitors calling to see and cuddle the baby and to spend time with the new parents. Inevitably they have brought a gift or gifts, mostly in pink! I’m sure our daughter anticipated being given gifts but that doesn’t remove the joy she has expressed when she’s opened them.

Today we are celebrating a birth also and a gift is part of that celebration, though perhaps not a pink gift! Jesus’ disciples were probably more focused on loss than gain on the last night before Jesus died. Jesus talked about leaving them which was hard for them to listen to.
He himself had been a great gift to them; a teacher, a friend, an older brother. To lose him would be a very great loss indeed. However, Jesus spent the time reassuring them that all would be well. In fact it would be even better for them if Jesus left as in that way the disciples would be able to do greater works than Jesus himself had done. Continue reading

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Pentecost Sunday

Gareth Janus (the Revd Gareth Edwards) led a Pentecost Service on Sunday. He preached on ‘The Power of the Spirit’. A rough transcipt follows:

Sadly many people today have low opinions of the church. Many people look down on the church today as an organization of religious organizers who sit quietly in church acting like they are enjoying a boring religious exercise. Some look at churches today as outdated organizations, products of by-gone days. Some see the church as an organization of hypocrites who offer nothing relevant to a world that is desperately needing answers to their dilemmas.

Please note that the church was never intended to be considered a sterile, irrelevant organization: it was intended to be a Spirit powered, flaming family of believers that was so changed from their former worldly actions that the world wanted what they had. Continue reading

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The Art of Possibility Brought to you by The Holy Spirit

My latest sermon preached as part of the Pentecost celebration in the Anglican Cathedral of Second Life.

The Holy Spirit has a huge role to play in our lives as Christians.. are you taking full advantage of the power of the Holy Spirit? Press the play button to hear this encouraging message. Also available as a podcast, click here for the detail.
(timing: 9 mins)