The Anglican Cathedral of Second Life

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Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church

On 19 November Helene Milena preached the following sermon in the Anglican Cathedral on Epiphany Island in Second Life. The readings were  Psalm 1162 Corinthians 4, John 15:18-25.

(With thanks to Open Doors USA and Barnabas Aid for the resources which contributed to this sermon.)

Persecution on the basis of religion has been happening for millennia. A current example is the plight of the Rohingya in Myanmar who are being attacked by the army there because they are not Buddhists but mostly Muslim, with some Christians among them. It has been calculated that 75% of the world’s population lives in areas with severe religious restrictions.

While acknowledging that persecution happens to people of all religions, today we are concentrating specifically on Christians who suffer in this way. Christians in 60 countries face persecution from their governments or from those who live around them. The organisation Open Doors ranks the top 50 countries in terms of persecution every year in its World Watch List. (You can get more information on this here: In recent years persecution has increased and spread to new areas. The increase is particularly noticed in the Middle East, Africa and Central Asia. 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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The Persistent Widow – From the Archives

This sermon was preached by Helene Milena in the Anglican Cathedral on Epiphany Island on Sunday, 20 October 2013. The readings were Psalm 119:97-104, Jeremiah 31:27-34, 2 Timothy 3:14-4:5 and Luke 18:1-8.

When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray, he gave them the Lord’s Prayer, a prayer many people use to this day. In this passage from Luke, Jesus used a parable to instruct his followers in the need to pray with persistence rather than half-heartedly. Continue reading

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Mourn with those who mourn

1936h0005On Wednesday I led our 2pm SLT service as Gareth was not available. I took the opportunity to share some thoughts on whether we can actually do as Paul tells us and ‘rejoice with those who rejoice, mourn with those who mourn’ if we are online Christians. Below you can read my reflection which I then adapted as a blog post for The Big Bible Project’s blog which I write for bi-monthly.

The readings in the service were Psalm 30, Romans 12:9-21, Matthew 5:1-12.

For some time now I have been writing a blog post for the Big Bible Project’s Digidisciples section. I write every second month on 30th of the month and I am due to deliver a post for Friday. I’d like to share some of my thoughts with you that I shall be putting into that blog post.

As it says on the blog : a digidisciple is someone who seeks to live out their Biblically-informed Christian faith in the digital space. Those of us writing in that category are asked to write ‘posts engaging with debates about what it means to be a disciple in the digital spaces/age’. Each month also has a theme, this month’s being ‘serendipity’ or God-incidences.

As many of you know, my father died recently. The experience of being bereaved has set me thinking about all sorts of things. One is whether in the digital spaces of Facebook, Twitter, Google Groups, Skype, Second Life and so on, we can genuinely do as Paul told us and ‘Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep’ (or ‘mourn with those who mourn’ as the New International Version translates it). If we can’t follow Paul’s advice for being authentic Christians online, are we wrong to even be here, claiming to be Christians in SL? Continue reading

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International Day of Peace

In Second Life, the International Day of Peace inspired an event called Spirit Fair, which was a combination of exhibitions and events over 48 hours. People of many faiths and philosophies worked together to provide this experience for the residents of SL, with around 2000 people visiting the Nirvana sim where the Fair took place. I was privileged to take part in the Fair as a representative of Anglicans of SL. In the Sunday noon service I shared something of that experience and about what James and Jesus have to say about peace and our walk as disciples.

The readings for the day were Psalm 1, James 3:13-4:3, 7-8a and Mark 9:30-37. My reflection is given below.

Friday was the International Day of Peace, a day when activities and celebrations took place all over the world. Peace Day was brought about by a United Nations’ resolution when the General Assembly opened in 1981. In 2002, 21 September was declared as a permanent date for the International Day of Peace. This year is its 30th anniversary.

This is part of what was said in the discussion about Peace Day in the U.N.:
Peace Day should be devoted to commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and peoples…This day will serve as a reminder to all peoples that our organization, with all its limitations, is a living instrument in the service of peace and should serve all of us here within the organization as a constantly pealing bell reminding us that our permanent commitment, above all interests or differences of any kind, is to peace. Continue reading

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Conversation and Cake #6

We met as a community on 16 September after the noon SLT service. 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 meeting. I began by apologising that we had not met in August.

We began by looking at financial matters. Reiterating, June had been a good month, raising 11% of our target for the year which is better than the 8.5% we should raise each month. July and August between them brought us to 21% of the annual target, an average of 7% of target each month. The good news is that at the beginning of the noon service donations for September had reached 68% of the monthly target, which is a healthy improvement. If we raise more than our target in a given month, we can reduce the target for the next month.

We have had German Evening Prayer since mid July and it seems to be popular, with around 8-10 people attending. That’s at least as many as at any EP, so it seems wise to keep that service in German. We usually have half the people there being German speaking and half not. The US Compline on Tuesday and Thursday led by hridaya has moved permanently to 7pm SLT.

I had mentioned last time the Spirit Fair that is being arranged from 21-23 September. I had hoped we would have an exhibition space but a mix up in communication means that won’t happen. I will however be leading prayers for peace on Saturday from 2.30 -2.50pm SLT as a representative of Anglicans of Second Life. I encouraged everyone to attend if they could and to go to any other events wearing the Anglican tag. There were a couple of offers of DJs for the event but that wouldn’t be possible as it’s only short. The press release about the event is given below: Continue reading