Monday, 22 December 2014

First United Church of Christ, SL

FAITH IN SECOND LIFE SERIES #1

In September 2013, SL became richer for another vibrant Christian community. When you TP to the First UCC Island sim, one of the first things you notice are the church flags, among them also the rainbow flag. Both in RL and SL, United Church of Christ (UCC) is a voice for social justice and human rights, including its clear message of inclusion and affirmation of sexual minorities.

Originally conceived as an inworld experimental ministry, its members think of it as a real congregation, albeit in a virtual world. While its members may come from different backgrounds, there is a strong sense of mutual respect and open exchange of ideas.

Becca Kellstrom, one of the church board members, was kind to answer a couple of questions for this post.

Just like in RL, in SL there are also various active Christian communities. What would you single out as the unique contribution of the First UCC in SL?

Becca: Everyone is truly welcome. Visitors are usually delighted to learn we accept people across the whole spectrum of gender identity and sexual orientation. This extends to people of various abilities, beliefs, and so on.
What are some of the regular activities organized by the 1st UCC?

Becca: Sunday worship with Pastor Jerome, Thursdays with Pastor Josh. A unique Bible study on Tuesdays led by staff members YoYo and Luci. Regular Psalters (Psalm mediation) on Mondays, Wednesdays, and whenever else Jer feels like it! Plus DJ’d dances and concerts whenever we’re able to schedule musicians. Dancing also happens spontaneously whenever a bunch of people happen to gather, using the music stream in our Comma Café!

SL is often stereotyped as a virtual world where so much is about physical appearance and unbridled sexuality. Clearly a lot more is going on there. What are your thoughts on virtual reality and spirituality? 

Becca: While people join SL for a variety of reasons, we still carry the essence of our real selves with us, including a longing for God and community. Many residents seek a well-rounded life, and are delighted to participate in this real, progressive body of Christ in the virtual world.
Has SL been a positive experience for your ministry?

We dealt with some challenges in our initial six months. What keeps us going are people who find us, are glad we’re here, and then join in with their time and gifts! Our goal this Fall is to have the Conference [in RL] remove our “experimental” tag and simply recognize us as another congregation.
To find out more about this progressive Christian community, visit their website at 

To visit inworld, click here.

To stay informed about the church activities, you can like the FB page  or follow the Twitter account.