We are trying an experiment with a multiplayer sandbox game, Minecraft. We have a private (whitelisted) world you can join, wander around in, build things, garden, raise cattle, fight zombies, and hang out with the other players.

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Get Minecraft

To join you will need some version of the Minecraft client. Though Minecraft Java Edition for computer works best for our server, all versions can connect. You can get a free trial or just go ahead and buy it. (Note that we are not affiliated with the makers of Minecraft.)

Once you have the client installed you can play all by yourself on your own private world, but the real fun starts when you connect to a multiplayer server. That’s where this experiment comes into play.

Get Whitelisted

Reach out to give us your Minecraft username so we can whitelist you for access to the server. Here are some options for that:


To visit our multiplayer server:

  1. Get whitelisted (see above)
  2. Run Minecraft and click Play.
  3. Click on Multiplayer
  4. Click Add Server
  5. In the Server Name enter Gaia, in the Server Address enter mc.ChurchOfTheEarthNC.org, and press Done.
  6. You will now see Gaia in your list of servers. Click it to select it and then click Join Server.
  7. Next time you play Minecraft, Gaia will still be there, so you won’t have to add it again.

See you there!

Our Server Rules

The only real rule is to be respectful of other players in both your words and actions. Some aspects of this include:

  • Don’t be rude, vulgar or mean in chat. This will be easier if you avoid political discussions, refrain from trying to convince someone they are wrong, and never tell someone what you think they believe. This is harder than it sounds, but please give it a try.
  • Don’t steal other people’s stuff or mess up the things they build. This includes destroying someone’s view by wrecking nearby landscape or building a giant statue of a pig in their front yard. If you build near others, try to understand and honor the neighborhood they have started. Again, easier said than done, but it’s important to have goals.
  • Don’t try to gain an unfair advantage (cheat) by running a hacked client or exploiting server bugs. This includes things like x-ray tools to find hidden ore. Using OptiFine to make the game look better is fine, though.

Settings and Enhancements

This server is mostly vanilla, but we have overridden some settings and added some enhancements to improve the experience:

“Survival” Mode with “Normal” Difficulty

In “Survival” mode, you will have to collect materials rather than just having an infinite supply of everything as in “Creative” mode. So you will need to make tools, chop down trees, grow crops, hunt, and fight monsters. We are running in “normal” difficulty, so more scary monsters spawn than in “easy” difficulty, but a lot less than in “hard” difficulty.

Single Player Sleep

Minecraft allows you to “sleep” in a bed to skip the night. Normally, if there are multiple players in the world, they all have to sleep for this to work. In our server, if even one player sleeps then the night, with all it’s scary monsters, is skipped.

Mob Drops and Griefing

First, a “mob” is a mobile object within a game, which in Minecraft includes cows, pigs, zombies, skeletons, etc. Second, “drops” are the handy items mobs drop when they are killed. Third, “griefing” is a gamer term for wrecking something, basically causing grief. In Minecraft there are a number of hostile mobs (monsters) that actually grief (damage) the landscape and things you build. (You are going to love creepers.) We have disabled this for the following mobs:

  • Creepers still silently sneak up behind players and explode, but they only damage the player, leaving the ground and nearby structures undamaged.
  • Endermen still wander around randomly and get very upset if you look them in the eye, but they no longer pick up your blocks and move them somewhere random.
  • The Ender Dragon now drops a Dragon egg every time it’s defeated instead of just the first time. It also drops a couple of Elytra wings, a Dragon Head, and some Shulker Shells. This makes all these resources renewable.
  • Zombie Pigmen now have a chance of dropping Nether Wart when you kill them, making it much easier to get the first few sprigs of it. Be ready to run, though. They look out for their own…
Uh oh…

A little more complex is how we handle Phantoms. If you don’t sleep for too many nights in a row, flying undead creatures called Phantoms normally begin to spawn and attack you when you are in the open. By default Phantoms are disabled in our world, but you can turn them back on for yourself using a special command. To use commands press “T” to bring up the chat window, then enter the command as shown below, including the preceding slash “/” that tells Minecraft you are entering a command rather than a chat message.

Toggles phantoms on and off for you. Phantoms will not spawn within 128 blocks of any player that has them disabled.

Vegetarian Minecraft (Getting Vegan Leather)

Making Leather

Leather is a must have, used for leather armor, books and item frames. In the base game the only way to collect it is to kill animals, lots of them. To make it possible to be a Minecraft Vegetarian, you can now make leather by smoking the rotten flesh dropped when you kill a zombie. Since zombies actively try to kill you, most players are fine with killing them right back.

Travel Commands

There are a number of special commands that allow for easier travel. To use commands press “T” to bring up the chat window, then enter the commands as shown below, including the preceding slash “/” that tells Minecraft you are entering a command rather than a chat message.

HUD toggled on

Toggles your hud, showing your current coordinates, cardinal direction and in-game time

Teleport to the world spawn location (where new players appear)

/sethome name
Remembers your current location, assigning it whatever name you give it

Lists your named homes

/home name
Teleport to one of your named homes

/delhome name
Forget one of your named homes

/tpa player
Ask a player to allow you to teleport to them (tpa stands for Teleport Ask)

Accept another player’s request to teleport to you

Teleport back to where you last died or teleported using one of the commands above. When going “back” to where you last died be prepared. Whatever killed you is probably still there, waiting…

Invisible Item Frames

Right-click an itemframe with shears while sneaking to hide the frame (Bedrock clients don’t understand and still show the frame).

Invisible Frames Examples

Timber! (Fast Tree Chopping)

You normally have to chop down lots of trees, one “block” at a time. In our server, once you graduate from wooden and stone axes, you can chop an entire tree down at one time. So don’t waste time, get right to crafting your first iron axe, and then get chopping!


Village Hero (Improve Villager Trades)

Stick with me since this is a bit involved. You may already know you can trade with villagers for useful stuff. Did you know that when you “cure” a zombie villager they remember you and give you really good prices on trades? And in “Hard” mode, when a zombie attacks a villager it always turns it into a zombie villager rather than killing it? This means that you can introduce a zombie to some villager with a good but expensive trade and the villager will always be zombified. Then you can swoop in and cure them with a potion of weakness and a golden apple. The cured villager will now sell you that Mending book for as little as 1 emerald.

Here is the problem. Our server is in “Normal” mode, not “Hard” mode. That means only half the villagers attacked by zombies are zombified, while the rest just die. It makes for an easier experience for players since there will be fewer zombified villagers trying to eat their brains when zombies attack a village. However, it also means you have a 50/50 chance of just losing your Mending book villager if you arrange for them to meet a zombie.

Finally, we get to the actual enhancement on our server. If you nametag a villager they have a 100% chance of being zombified instead of killed. This means you get the advantage of safely zombifying and curing specific villagers like in “Hard” mode, while still having fewer zombie villagers out in the wild trying to eat your brains since we are still actually in “Normal” mode.

Resource List