First UCC News

July Party Transformed Club Diversity into a Beach

Beach Party 1st UCC Club Diversity, Second Life -- Marie Fairport did her usual wonderful decorating job and transformed First United Church of Christ Second Life formal ballroom, Club Diversity, into a sandy beach.  Pictured are Rev. Jerome and Lora Chadbourne a member of the First UCC Second Life Congregation. 

Lora is a talented builder in Second Life and is the creator of the replica of the Garden Tomb on the Newstart Island part of our campus.  Lora also created a replica of the Pilgrim ship the Mayflower which is anchored in the channel between our two islands.  Both are very much worth visiting.  Tours of both of these wonderful places to visit are self-guided.

April Party Was a Zoo

1st UCC Club Diversity, Second Life -- Our Club Diversity ballroom Zoo Dance Party was transformed into an outdoor zoo for our April Themed Event.  One of the great joys for many Second Life residents is the opportunity to create a unique avatar for special occasions.  Others opt for putting together a unique outfit.  It is all part of the ability to create in ways that real life may not offer.  Out members enjoy the time to socialize and share their creative work with each other. 

Our staff Events Director, Marie Fairport, and her real life husband Kiva always create a special music play list for each event.  Like all activities on the First United Church of Christ Second Life campus, our dancers and social times are open to everyone.  There is a calendar listing all worship and social events on our Calendar page.

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.