Today I have sent this letter to the Caledon Forums:
Dear friends and neighbors,
I have today come to the conclusion that I can no longer support Caledonâ€™s military activities. While the original goals are nothing but laudable, and many of you have poured untold hours of heart and soul into the activities of the current situation, I have chosen to visit abroad with my cousin Mr Paderborn until Caledon returns to a state of peace.
Perhaps it may be that I will find a way to contribute to the larger cause by taking some humanitarian role, and I may return from time to time for functions that are purely social in nature.
I look forward to the day when Caledon becomes once again a place of uncomplicated peace and contentment, and I return to my home in Tamrannoch, and to my lakeside cabin in the Highlands.
Miss Hermione Fussbudget
(My typist also has some additional remarks on role-playing.)
Because the Quaker group in Second Life includes both experienced Friends and those discovering Quakerism for the first time, I’ll be offering a series of four classes on Quakerism. Come for one or all!
Four Tuesdays: May 8, 15, 22, and 29, 6:30-8:00 PM SLT/PDT (9:30-11:00 EDT)*.
Classes will be held at First Friends Church of Second Life (Quaker/156/22).
A class of four sessions begins with the assumption that most things are left out! Here are the topics I plan to present:
May 8: Quaker History
The Religious Society of Friends from the 17th century in England to today all over the world.
May 15: Biblical Origins of Quakerism
We will be using the Friendly Bible Study method on John 1:1-9. If you have a preferred translation of the Bible, please come prepared to share the text in your version.
May 22: Meeting for Business
How do Quaker meetings and churches make decisions? What are the roles that are involved?
May 29: Quaker Spirituality
What are the distinctive elements of Quaker spirituality? What practices do Quakers use to deepen our spiritual lives?
The classes will include a combination of presentation, exercises, and discussion; the balance will vary considerably from week to week.
- I’m sorry that I’m not able to commit to a series of weekend times that would include people far from my own geographic location.
Very nice article in USA Today about how “Faithful build a Second Life for religion online.” There’s a quote from Bizarre Berry/George Byrd of the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Second Life, and this very nice statement near the end:
Indeed, says Internet expert Julian Dibbell, “virtual reality is in some ways an essentially spiritual experience.”
Longer excerpts of interviews with members of the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Second Life that I conducted for my article on the church have been published. The excerpts include one interview that was cut from the final article.
I wrote the article now featured on the uuworld.org home page: Religious reality in a virtual world.
A dragon, an angel, and a bug-eyed monster sit down in a Unitarian Universalist church. No, itâ€™s not the beginning of a bad joke. If youâ€™re in the popular online world of Second Life, it may just be a few friends having a conversation.
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.
Thanks to Rik’s mention on his blog, Second Life Insider has given this Saturday’s meeting for worship a mention: The Friends of SL. I hope we can handle everyone who shows up!
I’m beginning work on a profile of Unitarian Universalists in Second Life, and my editor is excited about the possibility of doing a brief YouTube machinima to supplement it. (He’s never been in SL, so I don’t think he fully understands some of the challenges that raises.) But if any of my readers is interested in making a short machinima about the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Second Life (which needs also to serve as a simple introduction to SL itself), please get in touch with me via IM (Otenth Paderborn) or email (otenth.paderborn at gmail dot com).
I’ve put out a notice for a meeting for worship on Saturday 10 February at 9-10am SL/PST, noon EST, 5pm GMT. Everyone is welcome! First Friends Church of Second Life.
I decided to buy land for the group I created, so that if someone clicks through to a location they can find a space and materials focused on Quakerism, instead of just finding my personal space. So I went searching for 512m2 beside protected land in a PG sim. There are some interesting little spaces out there. None just grabbed me, though.
And then I found it: There’s a sim named “Quaker.” It was fully owned, mostly by two groups, and it’s a Mature sim. But really, how could I not want to have a Quaker space in Quaker? I contacted someone from each of the large landowner groups, and one of them was willing to sell land. I completed the transaction yesterday, and now I’m working on a meetinghouse and benches that will stay under the 117-prim limit. It will be a bit of a challenge to create something that’s attractive.
Here’s the SLURL to Quaker/156/22/31.