Wednesday, January 29, 2014


Welcome to St. Matthew's by-the-Sea!  We are an inclusive Christian community that meets in the virtual world Second Life.

If you are already a resident of Second Life, we invite you to join our group Friends of St. Matthew's and to come and visit with us at our home in the Divine Forest region. 

If you are not a resident of Second Life, visit the Find Us page for instructions on creating an account, and then come and visit us.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Reviving the Bishop’s Garden at the Washington National Cathedral

In 2011, a crane brought in to repair earthquake damage to the Washington National Cathedral toppled in a storm, crushing parts of the venerable Bishop’s Garden, a favorite of professional gardeners and landscape designers. But the trauma has presented a valuable opportunity to revitalize the garden, which opened to the public in the 1920s.
Read the story.....

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Steps forward, steps back this week

Steps back: 

In England this week, on 20 November 2012, a coalition of fundamentalists in the Church of England managed to defeat church legislation which would have allowed for women bishops.

Note that the Church of England, though an Anglican church, is separate from all other Anglican churches. Its legislation does not affect the Anglican church in America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, etc, which have had women bishops for some time now.

Steps forward:

A big step forward came outside the Church this week, when on the same day, in Washington, White House officials welcomed more than two dozen transgender and allied activists and organizations to mark the Transgender Day of Remembrance.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Canterbury Caps

Well, I learnt today what a Canterbury Cap is (quite by accident, it wasn't on the immediate todo list!)

It's a square, soft, foldable cloth hat with four ridges and sharp corners. It's the only headgear officially sanctioned for Anglican clergy to wear in church (aside from Bishops' mitres, of course, presumably.) Usually black, bishops get to wear a purple version though if they wish.

Rev. Bosco Peters writes, "The Canterbury cap is Anglican head-covering, essentially the medieval birettum, descended from the ancient pileus headcovering. Make your own conclusions from the Anglican version being soft and foldable, whereas the biretta, its Roman Catholic Counter-Reformation equivalent, is rigid." ( )

The cap can look quite jolly, depending on the person wearing it, I suppose. Here it is, worn by Father Ron Smith of New Zealand:

Here is a wikipedia entry on the topic:

Mark Twain on slavery and the church

"Our own conversion came at last. We began to stir against slavery. Hearts grew soft, here, there, and yonder. There was no place in the land where the seeker could not find some small budding sign of pity for the slave. No place in all the land but one - the pulpit.

It yielded at last; it always does. It fought a strong and stubborn fight, and then did what it always does, joined the procession - at the tail end. Slavery fell. The slavery text remained; the practice changed, that was all."

 -- Mark Twain, in Europe and Elsewhere.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Sung Compline in Seattle attracts backpack youth

Seattle has a cathedral which most people seem to say is ugly, as it is unfinished -- just a concrete shell that got that far and no further. Still, since 1962, they have been holding a sung Compline on Sunday evenings. It's also broadcast on the radio. Still, what's interesting about all this is the kind of crowd it is now attracting.

"You can even find Compline in various degrees of gorgeousness in all kinds of other places. What makes it special at St Mark’s is the crowd. You see at St Mark’s, they get hundreds turning up. The service takes place at 9.30 pm and lasts half an hour. Most of the crowd are in place quite a while before the action begins. And those hundreds are young. The majority looked to me to be less than 25 and I’d guess that there were 500 there on Sunday evening, maybe more. Think about that. Five hundred people on a Sunday evening, mostly young.They don’t just sit either. They sprawl. They lie down. Some bring blankets. They inhabit the sanctuary and lie flat on their backs. They loll.  That’s part of the puzzle about this Compline. Who are those young people and why do they come? No-one seemed to really know. They did not strike me as being people who generally attach themselves to any other form of organised religion." -- Kelvin Holdsworth

To listen to it live, go here on Sunday evenings 9:30 pm west coast time.

Here is a short video of it.