Connection, Creativity, and Worship in Second Life

What is Second Life?

Second Life is an online virtual reality world. Participants create an avatar who can visit and interact with virtual places and other avatars. Being part of Second Life provides opportunities for creative and learning activities, worship, and conversation. People discover interests and communities that they wish to join.

The Second Life program is free to download, although it does require up to date computer equipment.

Places to Explore in Second Life

First Unitarian Universalist Church of Second Life

The First Unitarian Universalist Church of Second Life holds service on Thursday nights at 6:30 PM Pacific Time in a lovely virtual sanctuary. Services frequently include opportunities for text-based "conversation" as well as readings and music. The service concludes with dancing! In a 2007 article, UU World managing editor Kenneth Sutton writes about "Going to Church in Second Life."

The virtual church offers an information building, with more about Unitarian Universalism and about upcoming events, as well as information to help newcomers to Second Life. You are free to explore the sanctuary and grounds at any time. Search Second Life for UUtopia Commons or Unitarian Universalism to find it.

Inspiration Island

Inspiration Island, founded by the avatar Lissena Wisdomseeker, is dedicated to whole brain health, offering opportunities for older people to stay connected to others and to engage their brains through creative expression, conversations, reading and poetry groups, concerts, lectures, and other learning activities. This is the home of the second life Community of Creative Elders. Visit Virtual Inspiration Island, website of the Whole Brain Health group, to view a video and get a sense of what happens on the island.

Unitarian Universalist Niela Miller, whose avatar is Marly Milena, offers opportunities at the intersection of art and spirituality on Inspiration Island. She talks about her work and how to reach her in a February 2016 article in Fifty Plus Advocate. Niela Miller's website offers more information about the programs she offers on Second Life.

Inspiration Island also offers a set of orientation activities to help newcomers get used to using an avatar and moving through Second Life. Search Second Life for Inspiration Island.

Virtual Ability Community

Virtual Ability Island is a place where people with disabilities and chronic illnesses can safely learn about virtual worlds. "Gentle Heron" describes it as a "cross-disability peer support community" in this introductory video (YouTube). Search Second Life for Virtual Ability.

Getting Started in Second Life

If you would like to visit Second Life and find out more, here's how:

Go to Second Life

  1. Click <Join Free!>


  1. Under SecondLife at top, you see <New Avatars><Classic><Fantasy>. Click <Classic>. You can change later. Use the Forward > and Backward < arrows to move the Avatars around until the one you like best is in front. Then click the Choose This Avatar button.
  2. Create a Username. This name can’t be changed unless you create another avatar, but you can create up to 5 avatars per email. You will also be able to create a “Display Name” that you can change as often as once a week.
  3. Create a Password.
  4. JUST A FEW MORE QUESTIONS page: Follow directions on Screen. Fill in Email, Date of Birth, etc. Accept the Terms of Service and check the I AM NOT A ROBOT box.
  5. Select FREE ACCOUNT.
  6. Download and Install Second Life viewer. Follow the Directions on the screen to guide you. Note: Some people, especially those who are already comfortable with computers, prefer to use the Firestorm viewer.
Avatars gather for worship at First UU Congregation of Second Life

Avatars gather for worship at the First Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Second Life.

Ariel view through the rotunda of First UU Congregation of Second Life, looking down at the sanctuary. The octagonal rotunda is made up of "stained glass" images.

Looking through the octagonal rotunda at the sanctuary, First Unitarian Universalist Church of Second Life.

screen shot of Inspiration Island in the virtual world, Second Life

A panoramic view of Inspiration Island, a virtual space which offers many different creative opportunities for older adults.

Screenshot of avatars examining a climate change sculpture on Inspiration Island, a place in the virtual world, Second Life

Avatars attending a climate change workshop on Inspiration Island examine and discuss a climate change sculpture developed by one participant.