The Anglican Cathedral of Second Life


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Majesty revealed

On 26 February Helene Milena preached the following sermon in the Anglican Cathedral on Epiphany Island in Second Life. The readings were  Psalm 99Exodus 24:12-18, 2 Peter 1:16-21, Matthew 17:1-9.

It’s tempting to believe that our world in the 21st Century and the world of the New Testament, which is the 1st Century, are very different indeed. In two thousand years many things have changed, obviously. There was no internet – can you imagine that? In the first century, communication technology had reached the level of pen and parchment. Transport was hazardous and slow. Health care was rudimentary. Life was cruel and short for many.

Yet there were many similarities to our world also. Culture and knowledge flourished: art, sculpture, drama, sport, architecture, law, geometry, astronomy, philosophy. The Romans provided administration, government and technology such as road building and aqueducts to provide fresh water to communities. The culture, however, was Hellenistic. Most people spoke Greek as one of their languages, much as English is widespread now, and this enabled trade to be conducted between countries. Continue reading


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Transformed from glory to glory

On 7 February, Helene Milena preached the following sermon in the Anglican Cathedral on Epiphany Island in Second Life. The readings were Psalm 99, 2 Corinthians 3:12-4:2, Luke 9:28-36.

A few days ago in Morning Prayer, Charlie commented on something from one of the Bible readings. It was something he hadn’t noticed before. This happens fairly regularly; not every day, not even every week, but often enough. We read a passage from the Bible with which we are familiar and something within it seems to jump out at us. It’s as though it was never in there before. Of course, the Bible text is not actually changing, but one or more of us finds our attention captured by a sentence or a phrase that we have read in the past but not given special attention to.

I had a similar experience today when reading Luke’s version of the Transfiguration. The story of the Transfiguration is one that I’m familiar with, and no doubt many of you are also. Eight days after Peter had declared that Jesus was the Messiah, and Jesus had warned the disciples of his impending execution, Jesus took the three disciples Peter, James and John up a mountain. There they saw Jesus with clothing that was dazzling white (or ‘bright as a flash of lightning’ if translated literally) and talking to Moses and Elijah about his ‘departure’. God’s voice was heard affirming that Jesus was his Son and telling the disciples to listen to him. Continue reading


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Awakening our spiritual sense

On 15th February 2015, the Sunday next before Lent, Helene Milena preached the following sermon in the Anglican Cathedral on Epiphany Island in Second Life. The readings were Psalm 50:1-6, 2 Corinthians 4:3-6, and Mark 9:2-9.

God is a different order of being from ourselves. It is therefore very difficult for us to understand him. He is too glorious for us to be able to look at him, but he has helped people by appearing as light and fire, things we can understand. The supreme example of God sharing what he is like comes in the person of Jesus. By Jesus living our life, walking and talking with us, experiencing cold, heat, thirst, hunger, pain, but living life as it should be lived, we are able to see God as he is.  Continue reading


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The Transfiguration

1931h0059What must it have been like to have seen Jesus transfigured on the mountain as he talked to two great heroes of the Jewish faith – Moses and Elijah? I imagine the impact of seeing Jesus as he really was, a glorious being radiating the shekinah glory of God and yet still a man. God took the opportunity of that stunning event to give a vital message to Peter, James and John – Listen to him! God says the same to us today.

In our service on 10th February the readings were Psalm 99, Exodus 34:29-35, Luke 9:28-36. My reflection follows:

I really love being on the beach or on mountains, even seeing the sea in the distance or being near mountains is enough to lift my spirits. I don’t think I am unusual in liking these places. I remember reading that these are common places for people to like. The theory is that they are transitional places. The beach is where the land meets the sea. A mountain is where the land meets the sky. It seems we sense something powerful or special; something numinous – filled with the presence of God – in these ‘in-between’ locations.

Last year I went on holiday to the Pyrenees, close to Lourdes. It was wonderful to camp in a valley surrounded by mountains. During the two weeks my family and I did lots of exploring. On one occasion we drove part of the way up a mountain and then began hiking to the top. It was hard work but well worth the effort. We stopped for a rest after a while and I was able to get my first view of eagles in real life. They were gliding on the air currents level with where I was standing. I was fascinated and could have watched them forever. Eventually we climbed so high that we were looking down on clouds, on tiny roads and villages and the eagles were wheeling well below us. There on the summit of the mountain, we were in a different world; the everyday world was far away – small, insignificant – whereas I was in a freer place with a vast expanse of world spread out before me.

Mountains feature often in the Bible when significant events are described. They truly do seem to be numinous places, places where people are more likely to meet with God. Perhaps it’s simply because they offer a more remote place, a place of solitude and silence which allows God to be heard. Jesus seems to have had a very close relationship with God his Father, which is to be expected. However, even he withdrew to pray in quiet places. Matthew tells us that Jesus went up a mountain to pray after feeding the 5000. In today’s Gospel passage Luke tells us that he took the inner circle of his disciples – Peter, James and John – with him when he went up a mountain to pray. Continue reading


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Seeing the glory of God

We had a wonderful, large group of people attending the noon service in the Cathedral today. Several were there for the first time or second time and after the service we had a chance to get to know one another a little. Some who had come new last week, came again this week. It’s always so pleasant to begin to make new friends this way. If you have never attended a service in the Cathedral, I do hope you will find a time to do so soon.

I preached on the gospel passage, Mark 9:2-9, which is the story of the transfiguration. The New Testament reading was 2 Corinthians 4:3-6 and the Psalm was Psalm 50:1-6. I took as my theme ‘Seeing the glory of God’. The text of the sermon is given here.

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