First UCC News

March Themed Event Went Green

1st UCC Club Diversity, Second Life -- The ballroom on the First Irish Festival United Church of Christ Second Life campus was decorated in green and rainbows in celebration of St. Patrick's Day.  The Irish Festival party was held on March 15th as part of the series of monthly themed social events that are part of the First UCC ministry. Event staff coordinator Marie Fairport, who designed the decorations for the Club Diversity ballroom, and her real life husband Kiva, our regular DJ, provided an evening of Irish-themed music in a fun setting. 

Themed social events have been scheduled through December of 2018 and can be viewed on the Calendar page.  The April event is called "This Place is a Zoo!" and promises to be a chance for our friends and members to costume in a way that portrays a favorite animal.  In accordance with the United Church of Christ notion of "extravagant welcome" these events are always open to all Second Life residents.

The Club Diversity ballroom is located on the third floor of the Worship Center building.

First Baptism in Virtual Reality and Real Life

1st UCC Worship Center, Second life -- First UCC Second Life added another first to our history of first time in virtual reality events with the baptism of Jonni Connor on Sunday, January 7, 2018.  The date was Jonni's Baptismchosen to coincide with the liturgical calendar date established to commemorate the Baptism of Christ.  The baptism was done as part of the regular Sunday evening worship service so that it could be done in community.  Recognizing that the feeling associated with real water is an important part of this once in a lifetime event, a member of Jonni's family sprinkled water on Jonni at the same time the baptism was done in the First UCC Second Life baptistry.  The liturgy also recognized the significance of not baptizing an avatar, but rather the actual person behind the avatar.  Jonni's real life name was used during the ceremony.

The event was joyfully witnessed by a record worship attendance.  Jonni has been a part of the First UCC Second Life community for over two years and was asked to be part of the lay staff.  Jonni serves as a "Guide," the First UCC Second Life equivalent of a real life usher.  In that capacity Jonni has welcomed visitors to the virtual island campus.  His association with the church prompted him to ask to be baptized and Pastor Kris began investigating how that might be done.  Her research and consultation with an expert colleague led to the baptism liturgy, an adaptation of the UCC Book of Worship liturgy, used in this first-of-the-kind event.  The sacrament of Holy Communion is also celebrated at First UCC Second Life and was included in the service.

The picture was taken by a member of the congregation during the service and presented to Jonni as a gift commemorating the occasion of his baptism in both the real and virtual worlds.  Other pictures of the service are here.

First UCC SL Joins Gun Violence Nationwide Events

Gun Violence Poster

1st UCC Campus, Second Life -- In a world plagued with gun violence and the agony associated with the shootings that seem constantly in the news, First UCC Second Life will participate in the 2017 Nationwide Vigils and Events to End Gun Violence.  Since the tragedy at Sandy Hook a half million Americans have been injured or killed by guns. 

Rev. Christine Ng (Kris Metcalfng in Second Life) is coordinating planned observances for our worship services on December 14, 16 and 17.  A schedule of worship services is available on the calendar page.  First UCC Second Life regularly offers worship or special events to address crisis situations.

Sponsoring organizations for the nationwide effort include The Newtown Foundation, Newtown Action Alliance, Brady Campaign  to Prevent Gun Violence, Everytown Survivor Network, Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, Organizing for Action, States United to Prevent Gun Violence, St. Marks Episcopal Church and Women's March.