Beyond the Pews
The Ultimate ‘Online’ Church
At the end of February, a group of 23 people, lay and ordained, gathered together for what was perhaps the first ever Anglican liturgy inside the Metaverse. A collaboration between TryTank and St. Isidore Episcopal Church in Spring, Texas, this missional community, named Web3 Abbey, met for five consecutive Mondays. Its carefully curated online liturgy included music, prayer, scripture reading and discussion, a confession and benediction.
The community then gathered to learn, share stories and refine the communal experience. In the vlog below, the Rev. Sean Steele takes us on a guided tour of Web3 Abbey’s online worship experience and shares insight into the benefits and the challenges of building a community in a virtual world.
The Rev. Sean Steele is Vicar and founding Church Planter of St. Isidore Episcopal, a 5-year-old community in Spring, Texas. Sean is always on the lookout for people left out by how we traditionally gather as Church. He received a BBA-Finance from the University of Texas (2001), an MA in Theology from Creighton University (2005), an MDiv from The Seminary of the Southwest (2012), and is a fully trained Mediator (2007), Licensed Daring Way Facilitator (2014) and ICF Coach (2018). Sean and his wife Rebecca have been together for almost 20 years, and they have three children – Margo, Sebastian, and Eleanor – and a Labradoodle named Indiana Jones. Sean loves all things related to athletics, particularly basketball, and is an avid Longhorn fan.
- The Church Goes to Virtual Burning Man, by Brian Baker, Vestry Papers, March 2021
- Annual Meetings Go Virtual, by Greg Syler, Vestry Papers, January 2021
- Hybrid Church - A Way Forward for Church Leaders, by Tim Schenck, Vestry Papers, January 2022
- Pandemic Learnings, by Audra Abt, Vestry Papers, May 2021