A rather kairotic night, and a new prayer center: some prayer requestsJune 19, 2009
Quite a lot has been happening, and last night gave us the opportunity to celebrate, and to pray.
Please consider becoming a regular prayer partner of our ministry in Second Life. We are nourishing people spiritually in our Bible study, supporting them until they are ready to find fellowship in a “real life” church (much more, potentially, than what we can give them in Second Life) if they aren’t already in one. We are reaching out to people seeking spiritual guidance (and a few also have come to Christ through our ministry). We are helping others who are trying to get started in Second Life ministry specifically, or online ministry in general. Futhermore, in doing this, we are promoting the cause of the Anglican ecumenical principles – working together with people from various denominations, together upholding the importance of the authority of Scriptures, and faith as described by the creeds.
Second Life is an odd place, and things tend to happen very, very quickly in it – because property is so cheap, because the limitations of travel, creating things, and building are virtually nil, and because everything is really built around communication (whether it be direct or indirect). So it’s often said that one day in Second Life is the equivalent of four days in “real life.” In fact, the sun rises and sets in Second Life four times each day, I suppose to partially harmonize with the fast pace of things in this odd world.
Sometimes though things in “real life” all seem to converge and happen at once. Some moments are more saturated than others with importance and simultaneously occurring events. Last night was something of such a kairotic moment for our Bible study and for the AES.
We are not a role-playing community, as much of Second Life is. Everything described here pertains to “real life” events in the lives of our members, although we use the avatar names here, for reasons of privacy.
Prayer requests – short summary:
- for Able Shepherd’s ordination, and new ministry as a deacon
- for the new job in ministry of ZoeRose as rector’s assistant and director of communications in a large Anglican church
- for one of our members experiencing severe difficulties in life
- for Ruby and her church – that Ruby be blessed for the use of her spiritual gifts, and that her congregation be able to negotiate the purchase of the building they currently use for ministry and worship
- for a person who is beginning to seek Christ’s light for the very first time in her life
We’d also invite your prayer requests for a new initiative that the Anglican Ecumenical Society – or at least its leaders – will be involved in: the establishment of a new Prayer Center in Second Life. This is starting as a cooperation between Wilfried and Able (a project started long ago), together with Paul Watson of http://ReachingTheOnlineGeneration.com – who has helped blow new life into the project and inspire it with new vision (and practical advice!). The purpose of this Prayer Center will initially be to unite Christians in Second Life in praying for the various ministries happening in Second Life, and to pray also for Second Life as a whole – that God do all that is necessary in Second Life for his faithful to go out and make disciples of all nations, within Second Life. This will start small, but will require the help of many individuals and Christian leaders within Second Life. Please pray for guidance for Able Shepherd, Wilfried Ansome, and Paul Watson; and pray for wisdom and an obedient spirit for Wilfried.
Five extra prayer requests:
- that the Holy Spirit come upon the church of Awestruck Darkfold (an Episcopal priest in a very challenging area)
- for guidance of an Anglican who is considering a new online ministry, of holding liturgical services via Skype (i.e., not in SL) [ contact us via the facebook page or contact Wilfried Ansome in Second Life if you’d like more information or are interested in helping ]
- for guidance, strength, boldness and patience for Helene, in her new position of leadership at the Cathedral – for wisdom, patience, courage, and a greater knowledge of God’s love, for the whole leadership team there
- for wisdom and provision for Irene, concerning a new job
- wisdom, guidance, and peace for Joyous, about a very important decision
So here’s a bit of an event roundup, and some more information regarding the prayer requests. Our leader Able Shepherd has just finished seminary, and was just comissioned for ministry last Saturday. He’ll be starting ministry as a deacon in the Church of England in a few weeks. One of our members has a new job in a large Anglican congregation in the United States – she will be assisting the rector, and function as director of communications, starting today. The church building of the Pentecostalist congregation one of our members belongs to is being sold, and at an important all-night prayer meeting (until 5AM) of the congregation this weekend, some very important things were said regarding her future in ministry. One of our members is having an enormous difficulty in life which makes it difficult for her to see the hope and God’s glorious plan for her life. We were introduced to a new person who has only just begun seeking Christ in her life. And finally, two of our members purchased new homes inside of Second Life; we were able to bless one and dedicate it to the Lord’s work.
On the very top of our agenda was prayer for Able Shepherd’s new ministry as a deacon, and celebration of his completion of seminary and commissioning for ministry. A number of us gathered at ZoeRose’s new house for this purpose. Many of you will know Wilfried (myself) as the main “man in front” in our Bible study and in the Society. This is somewhat deceptive. For various reasons, including time, I am more the person who appears in front and in leading. But our inspiration and activities come very deeply from the ministry of Able Shepherd, who is filled with a spirit of wisdom like very few I have encountered. Our vision and animo are largely due to Able Shepherd’s work and vision, behind the scenes. Without him, many of us would not be involved in ministry in Second Life.
We arrived at ZoeRose’s new house somewhat spontaneously – I sent out a quick message inviting members of the Society who were interested to come to celebrate and pray. So we congregated on ZoeRose’s lovely porch and had a few toasts to Able’s accomplishments and new ministry – which erupted into some spontaneous dancing. We then took some time to pray for our friend who is experiencing a horrible revisiting of a trauma she encountered a few years ago. Please keep her in your prayers, that she keep sight of hope, and God’s light in her life, and that God gives her healing and peace. This is a woman who has overcome a great deal already, in turning back to God, and discovering joy in God, in life, and in others – largely due to fellowship that she’s experienced in Second Life – and she is in the process of finding deeper fellowship at a real life church. Pray that God’s beautiful work is carried further and accomplished in her life, despite this terrible moment of trial.
We then moved on to the small chapel at Willoughby, very close to ZoeRose’s new house. There we prayed for Able’s ordination and new ministry. Please keep Able Shepherd in your prayers – for his ministry in real life, but also amongst us in Second Life. God has given Able special gifts which have been used to draw many in Second Life to a closer walk with Him. A number have given their lives to Christ, or re-dedicated them to Christ after a period of alienation, due to his ministering amongst us. He’s also been an enormous inspiration in the Bible study, which is one of the most dedicated communities I have seen within Second Life. I personally have been inspired by him as by few others (I would like to mention Plato, Kant, and Billy Graham here, but will refrain from doing so, as many would find this to be exaggerating).
We also prayed for Ruby. This weekend, Ruby was at a prayer meeting at her Pentecostalist church that lasted until 5:00 AM. They were praying for their church’s future, and for the possibility of purchasing the building where they are currently serving God and worshipping. At times Ruby has expressed quite some interest in the possibility of serving the Church of England. I found it a blessing when she told us she wishes to remain with the Pentecostalist Church; as much as I am dedicated to being an Anglican personally, I love to see the fruits of God’s work in other churches, and do not encourage people, at this time, to become Anglicans. Furthermore, there were some important words, and important prayers, about Ruby’s unique gifts in ministry and her use of them in the church. Please pray for Ruby’s church, and for Ruby personally as well – that God provide her with all she needs, and that she is also patient with His ways and attentive to His voice. God has been working in Ruby’s life at a tempo I have never seen before. Less than a year ago she came to Christ after she’d been alienated from faith, and her church, for about half her life. She is now engaging in youth ministry at her church, and taking a course for further youth ministry – and has helped us in reaching out to others already. She also has enormous challenges (and difficulties which would daunt the most courageous) ahead of her. May God provide and continue to give her hope and strength.
We prayed for someone who was with us has recently started seeking Christ. Please pray for this new believer. May God strengthen her faith, and may she learn to turn to God every day in prayer, and in reading Scriptures. May she soon find her primary fellowship with Christians outside of Second Life, in a real life church.
We ended prayer in the chapel with the day’s collect:
the strength of all those who put their trust in you,
mercifully accept our prayers
and, because through the weakness of our mortal nature
we can do no good thing without you,
grant us the help of your grace,
that in the keeping of your commandments
we may please you both in will and deed;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
We prayed for ZoeRose afterwards – we’d forgotten this very imporant event in her life – starting a new job at a church, a new ministry for her. ZoeRose has a great deal of experience in ministry already with the Alpha Course, she has some seminary training, has attended quite a few General Conventions of the Episcopal Church, and has been very important for providing information regarding the Anglican Communion. She will be taking up a very important position at a large Anglican church, assisting the rector, and as director of communications (a field in which she is exceedingly gifted). She has also been helping us with outreach to people in spiritual need in Second Life, and with discipleship of people who are moving forward in ministry. May God abundantly bless her ministry at her church, as a vessel of His grace.
Please also keep in your prayers the beginning of the new Prayer Center in Second Life. This should be a blessing and asset to all Christian ministries in Second Life, and also help prepare Second Life for the further planting of the seeds of Christ’s good news in the hearts of individuals and amongst the communities of Second Life. We hope also that it will expand later, to become a place where people in need of prayer can come at any time, to find someone to pray with; and that it will become an important place of inviting those unfamilliar with Christian community in Second Life, to take part in the various flourishing communities already present there, and be a part in calling many to becoming disciples of Christ. We will keep you updated on progress of this ministry.