Ministry to the Avatars

Building a Real Church in a Virtual World

by Jerold A. Garber



Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 9/22/2017

Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 5.5x8.5
Page Count : 170
ISBN : 9781480852259
Format : Hardcover
Dimensions : 5.5x8.5
Page Count : 170
ISBN : 9781480852266
Format : E-Book
Dimensions : N/A
Page Count : 170
ISBN : 9781480852242

About the Book

The world is changing rapidly, and perhaps the most compelling evidence of this change is found in the way people use technology to access services that formerly required an in-person visit. Now, for the first time, a real church with denominational standing is as close as one’s computer.

In Ministry to the Avatars: Building a Real Church in a Virtual World, author and reverend Dr. Jerold A. Garber shares the transcendent story of First United Church of Christ Second Life—a virtual church designed and built in Second Life, a 3-D virtual world with over thirty-six million individual accounts and over one million active users each month. While it began as an experiment in faith and inclusivity, First UCC SL today has full standing in the Eastern Association of the Southern California Nevada Conference of the United Church of Christ, and it is the first church in a mainline denomination to achieve full standing while owning no physical property.

Since its founding, First United Church of Christ Second Life has grown into a multifaceted, vibrant ministry with a 365-day-a-year presence in Second Life, and it is also a member of the Open and Affirming Coalition of the UCC, an association of churches affirming the full inclusions of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered persons in the church’s life and ministry. Come and witness the wonderful things that can be achieved when service to others transcends the boundaries of reality! Visit the First United Church of Christ Second Life website at and Second Life’s 3D virtual world created by Linden Lab at

About the Author

Jerold A. Garber has served real-world UCC churches as both an interim and settled minister. Ordained in the United Church of Christ, he founded First United Church of Christ Second Life in recognition of the needs of marginalized groups who are in Second Life to find places of faith that are genuinely welcoming of everyone. Garber is a former teacher, public broadcasting executive, and radio newsman, and he lives and works in Southern California’s Mojave Desert.