Fourteen of us gathered this morning for Quaker worship in Second Life (well, it was morning for most of us–two people from the UK for whom it was evening joined us later). Everyone present already had some familiarity with Friends. We had a short order of service, which included hymns and a period of open worship. Here is the notecard I handed out to everyone as they arrived:
Welcome to the First Friends Church of Second Life! February 10, 2007
Whether this is your first Quaker meeting for worship or you’re a long-time Friend, please approach today’s meeting as an experiment. I have prepared a simple order of service to help us center and to draw near God and one another.
Worship will conclude after approximately 30 minutes. Please stay as you are able for fellowship and discussion following. If you must leave early, please do so quietly to preserve the spirit of our worship.
9:00 AM — Friends, meet together and know one another in that which is eternal, which was before the world was.
George Fox: “Epistle 149” (1657)
MUSIC: “Holy Manna” by Anonymous 4 on “American Angels”
(Please turn on your music control and hit ‘play’)
Brethren, we have met to worship,
And adore the Lord our God;
Will you pray with all your power,
While we try to preach the Word.
All is vain, unless the Spirit
Of the Holy One comes down;
Brethren, pray, and holy manna
Will be shower’d all around.
Sisters, will you join and help us?
Moses’ sisters aided him;
Will you help the trembling mourners,
Who are struggling hard with sin?
Tell them all about the Saviour,
Tell them that he will be found;
Sisters, pray, and holy manna
Will be shower’d all around.
from Quaker Faith and Practice of Britain Yearly Meeting:
Take heed, dear Friends, to the promptings of love and truth in your hearts. Trust them as the leadings of God whose Light shows us our darkness and brings us to new life.
Known variously as open worship, silent worship, and communion after the manner of Friends, this is a time to for inward quiet and listening for the voice of the Spirit. You may receive a message that you believe should be shared with the group. (Sometimes messages are just for you.) If you are moved to share with the worshiping group, there is no need to stand. Simply type your message into chat. Please leave sufficient time between messages for them to be received by your listeners.
Be sure to move your mouse occasionally so you don’t get logged out.
MUSIC: “Parting Hand” by Anonymous 4 on “American Angels”
My Christian friends, in bonds of love,
Whose hearts in sweetest union join,
Your friendship’s like a drawing band,
Yet we must take the parting hand.
Your company’s sweet, your union dear;
Your words delightful to my ear,
Yet when I see that we must part,
You draw like cords around my heart.
How sweet the hours have passed away,
Since we have met to sing and pray;
How loath we are to leave the place
Where Jesus shows his smiling face.
O could I stay with friends so kind,
How would it cheer my drooping mind!
But duty makes me understand,
That we must take the parting hand.
Please stay for fellowship and conversation.
There were several messages during the open worship, and an hour later there were still half a dozen people talking when I left. There are plans afoot for more worship as well as discussions of the Testimonies. Here are a few photos:
Update: Worship has been scheduled for next Saturday at 10AM SL/PST, 1PM EST, 6PM GM, led by Bromo Ivory, followed by a discussion on the Testimonies in SL.