The Anglican Cathedral of Second Life


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Survey results Part 2

In the process of the survey we were given many good ideas about what members of our community would like to see being offered in addition to what was offered at the time, and how we could improve what we offered. Below is the list of ideas and each has a note of where we have responded (in italics), if we have done so. Obviously this survey was conducted two years ago and so not everything would be exactly the same as if we were to ask the questions today. If you have ideas which you would like us to consider, do let us know. We are always pleased to hear from you.

SUGGESTIONS FOR SERVICES

General:

  • For Anglicans, liturgy arguably reflects doctrine.  If the Cathedral is ‘branded’ as being the Anglican Cathedral in SL, then in my view it has an onus to be faithful to the liturgical tradition.

All our liturgies are either published Anglican liturgies or follow the format of a Service of the Word, which is acceptable in Anglican churches.

  • Use of agreed upon forms of service

Any worship leader must agree the format of services used with the Leadership Team.

  • Have a default service that someone can step in and lead if leader doesn’t come
  • More services

Since this survey was undertaken we have increased the number of regular services offered significantly.

  • More variety across the Anglican tradition-spectrum

We offer a wide variety of special services at points in the Church year, particularly in Holy Week.

  • Use chapel more

The chapel is used twice on most days for the daily offices.

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Survey results Part 1

During Lent 2009 (a long time ago I know!) Anglicans of Second Life conducted an extensive survey of our members. It involved an online survey, discussions in world and responses by individuals to the survey. We published the demographic results but got no further in writing up the rest of the results, although the information gleaned has informed our direction as a ministry since that time. Finally there is further information to share with you.

Firstly, we asked about the seven marks of a healthy church and how respondents thought we were doing on them. The pie charts below show this.

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The Holy Ghost in the Machine

One of the features of being involved in an online church is the interest it attracts from researchers and writers, who all want their questions answered. It can be very interesting to find out just what people are asking about our ministry, how they view it, what misconceptions there are and so on.

Often those who are looking for answers come in world and talk to the people there, and that is probably by far the best way to get a range of perspectives. If time is short, the Leadership Team is usually approached with a list of questions and we do our best to give answers which give a flavour of what we do and what it means to our members.

As a result of one such request, there is now an excellent article in Wired magazine about online churches, which features St Pixel’s and the Anglican Cathedral of Second Life. Do have a read and post a comment if you feel inclined. It will help fill out the picture for the readers, though I think that Martyn Casserly did an excellent job in the tight word limit.

You will find the article, Virtual Christmas – The Holy Ghost in the Machine, here


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Virtual Theology

As I noted in my recent post about the leadership transition at the Cathedral, 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.  There will be a follow up meeting to discuss these matters  held in the UK in July.

Part of this work will involve taking a look at the theological issues surrounding the expression of Christianity in virtual worlds.  We have gotten off to a great start with Rev. Mark’s blog post on the conversation about virtual sacraments.  Below are some of the other questions that have arisen so far.

We would really like feedback from the community on these questions, and want to know what questions you have that we haven’t thought of yet!  I encourage you to share your comments here!!

  • What do you think are the most important questions facing Christians in Second Life?
  • What harms us spiritually in SL?
  • What can help heal us, help us and help us understand the gospel in SL?
  • To what extent does online life and culture allow us to behave in ways that would not be acceptable in RL?
  • What do you think are the most important theological questions facing the Anglican Cathedral in SL?
  • What does it mean for the cathedral to be Anglican?
  • What can you do in a RL church that you cannot do in a SL church?
  • Are we really “gathered” when we meet online?
  • What is the function of a virtual place of worship?
  • What is the relationship between worship in a RL faith community and worship within SL?
  • What is the role, if any, of evangelism in SL?


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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.

AoSL paper

 

Helene Milena


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Community Survey Project – Week Five

We are entering into the last week of our Community Survey Project.  Starting at the Saturday Discussion Groups and continuing with discussions held after our services on Saturdays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, we will invite community members to engage in conversations with the Leadership Team on a set of questions related to a particular theme each week.  In addition, we have launched an online survey, also accessible on our blog.  You are encouraged to visit this site to see the themes and questions for each week, and leave your thoughts and ideas in the Comments section.  You may also contact any of the members of the Leadership Team and share your comments with them directly. For the next few weeks, we will dedicate our Tuesday and Thursday worship services to prayer for this process, as well as for personal prayer requests.

Week 5

Community involvement and service – building God’s kingdom

  • In what ways should we, as a church, be involved in the local community of SL?
  • What should we do to listen to the world around us?
  • How should we find out and draw upon the skills and gifts that church members bring from the whole of life?
  • What do the sermons and intercession in Sunday worship say about how the church sees its relationship with the world around?
  • Are there any particular areas of SL with which we feel called to engage?
  • Are there particular groupings whom we are called to serve?
  • Can we develop our Epiphany Island to be a resource for the wider community?
  • Can we engage with others in order to meet the needs of the people of SL?


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Community Survey Project – Week Four

This week we will be continuing our Community Survey Project.  Starting at the Saturday Discussion Groups and continuing with discussions held after our services on Saturdays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, we will invite community members to engage in conversations with the Leadership Team on a set of questions related to a particular theme each week.  In addition, we have launched an online survey, also accessible on our blog.  You are encouraged to visit this site to see the themes and questions for each week, and leave your thoughts and ideas in the Comments section.  You may also contact any of the members of the Leadership Team and share your comments with them directly. For the next few weeks, we will dedicate our Tuesday and Thursday worship services to prayer for this process, as well as for personal prayer requests.

Week 4

Evangelism and outreach – sharing the Good News

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