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In 2015, he found a way to marry the two

Posted by on 22.09.2013

A virtual reality baptism will strengthen Oregon man’s faith

This Sunday, Brian Leupold will become one of the first people baptized in virtual reality.

cheap jordans from china In his rural home in Amity, Leupold will slip on his Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, step into the VR Church he helped found, and immerse himself in the digital waters of spiritual renewal. cheap jordans from china

VR Church Cheap jordans exists wholly in the realm of AltSpace, a virtual reality, social media landscape that, as of a year ago, had about 35,000 monthly active users. The tech cheap jordans in china is in its infancy cartoonish and occasionally glitchy. But here, Leupold sees the future of an inclusive church community.

cheap nike shoes During a recent Sunday service at VR Church, Pastor DJ Soto’s avatar, or digital persona, arrived as a white, legless, Preacherbot whose disembodied hands bobbed up and down as he gesticulated about God’s grace. cheap nike shoes

cheap jordans sale About 40 people sat in the pews though avatars don’t exactly «sit» but hover in place. As Soto spoke, emojis of hearts, smiles and clapping hands floated from the heads of his congregants as signs of approval. cheap jordans sale

Because no architecture exists for a baptismal inside AltSpace, Sunday’s baptism will be performed in a virtual swimming pool. Soto cheap air jordan will lead the faithful into the water, where he can give an entire sermon on spiritual cleansing without coming up for air.

Cheap jordans The road to a virtual reality baptism was a long one for Leupold. After he graduated from Beaverton High School in 1986, cheap jordans shoes his comfortable life spiraled into chaos. Cheap jordans

cheap jordans on sale «Without getting too heavily into it, my brother went to Harvard and I was an addict,» he said. cheap jordans on sale

cheap jordan sneakers Throughout the late 1980s and 1990s, Leupold was a homeless heroin user on the streets of Portland. At one point, he said, he slept in the basement of the Multnomah Athletic Club, where his family had a membership. Later, he lived in Forest Park. cheap jordan sneakers

«I was the hope to die addict that couldn’t get clean,» he said.

cheap cheap jordans shoes jordans for sale It took relapses, numerous stays in rehab, and the help of cheap jordan sneakers medications for chemical dependence, but he’s been sober since 2001. Today, he and his wife live in Amity with four biological children, three foster children, and a rotating cast of dogs, goats, pigs and chickens. Leupold works from home reselling tech gadgets on eBay and doing voice cheap jordans for sale acting. (You’ll hear his voice if you take the state of Oregon’s online alcohol server permit course.) cheap jordans for sale

«I feel so grateful to be here and so grateful that so many people reached out because my path was so dark,» he said.

cheap jordans free shipping His Christian faith helped Leupold through recovery, and he’d long dabbled in 3D and virtual reality. In 2015, he found a way to marry the two. cheap jordans free shipping

cheap jordans in china With the help of a programmer, Leupold created an app for Google Play called. It gives users the experience of walking through a steepled, one room country church in a virtual reality landscape. Inside, users can watch a sermon from Leupold’s real life pastor, Ryan Connor of Amity Christian Church. cheap jordans in china

cheap jordans china The community of Christian virtual reality early adopters is relatively small, so it wasn’t long before Leupold met two other men working on similar concepts. Alistair de B Clarkson, based in Australia, was developing a virtual cheap jordans china reality Bible app to take users through stories from the Old Testament. and giving live sermons in AltSpace. cheap jordans china

cheap air force In May 2017, the three founded VR Church and began holding weekly, non cheap yeezys denominational services in AltSpace. cheap air force

cheap jordans shoes AltSpace’s virtual world had no chapel, so VR Church met in an office building until a member built that is, programmed cheap Air max shoes a custom glass cathedral. cheap jordans shoes

cheap adidas That’s another benefit of VR Church: low overhead. cheap adidas

Roughly half the people who attend VR Church identify cheap air force as atheist or agnostic, so Soto’s sermons cover Christianity 101. He recently used «Return of the Jedi» and a clip from «Batman v Superman» cheap adidas to explain the cheap jordans sale crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus.

cheap jordans online VR Church has seen its share of trolls. Leupold said a woman once interrupted a service by sending her avatar flying over the chapel and proclaiming Satan’s love. But you can block or mute people in AltSpace, and in general, people are kind, he said. Nonbelievers often come to better understand a religion they don’t practice. cheap jordans cheap jordans on sale online

cheap Air max shoes «It’s cheap jordans free shipping about loving people, treating people as you want to be treated,» Leupold said. «(Soto) is trying to teach people to get along, to love each other, and if we’re going to disagree, let’s agree to disagree respectfully and part friends, and I see that happen in Virtual Reality Church.» cheap Air max shoes

cheap air jordan Wearing an Oculus headset, I joined Soto and Leupold in virtual reality for a tour of their church. I heard their voices in real time, emanating from expressionless robot bodies. cheap air jordan

cheap yeezys AltSpace cheap jordans online exists within a juxtaposition of intimacy and anonymity. Because you’re talking with people live, using your own voice, I imagine it’s more difficult to be cruel here than in an online comments section. cheap yeezys

But because your identity is hidden, it’s easier to open up and have candid conversations be they about faith and spirituality, or addiction and mental health. The optimists see VR as the place where we can bring civility to the digital world, and that’s part of what inspires the creators of VR Church.

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