The Anglican Cathedral of Second Life is getting its sea legs.
With a virtual cathedral (brick-and-mortar is still important even when it's only computerized), a regular set of services, and a ministry team, the Anglican presence in Second Life is very real.
Now this fledgling ministry is in the process of developing a constitution and becoming incorporated under English law.
English? Sure: the Cathedral understands itself as being chiefly related to the Church of England. It receives episcopal oversight from Bishop Christopher Hill of the Diocese of Guilford, and, apparently to a lesser extent, someone in New Zealand. (The latter, we figure, owing to one of the Cathedral's early movers, The Rev. Mark Brown, formerly the CEO of the New Zealand Bible Society.)
The Cathedral's progression towards incorporation is very like that of any startup congregation: who will keep the donations? how will Vestry be chosen? how to formally acquire the "land" in which the ministry occurs? Only there's another layer of special concern not necessarily transparent to those who haven't spent time in this house of prayer, and the questions are as real as they are virtual: what is a sacrament? how do you minister avatar-to-avatar? what is the holy value of an "object" such as a wafer or holy oil when not applied to the physical body? how does episcopal oversight work with respect to jurisdictional incursion?
The Cathedral is working its way through tough questions that we'd better develop an interest in, as they have potentially massive application for how to be church over the next generations.