Re: The ROCOR Website
- This message was sent to me, I will forward it to this group, since it
has become a major discussion.
Dear Brothers in Christ,
Thank you for your concern regarding our Church's website (I prefer not
call the Bride of Christ, the Church "ROCOR", but the Russian Orthodox
Church Outside Russia - our loved ones would probably not be too pleased
we called them JB, DO or PP). I have received a number of queries
the site and am writing a general response.
At the Sobor of Bishops in October 2001 it was resolved to form an
"Information Center" - Bishop Kyrill was appointed the Chairman, myself
editor, Fr. Alexander Lebedeff the webmaster and a number of
"correspondents" throughout the world. I felt that to be an editor of a
website we would first need a well designed web page. I began looking
professional web designers and contacted a few. It turns out that an
efficient, professional site requires some time and skill and usually
a big sum of money. There are now user interface specialists, designers,
web developers, webmasters... It is more complicated than I anticipated.
is quite impoprtant to work closely (and locally) on a project -
can make things difficult. The most professional people felt that
everything has to be done in hard code which is not too hard but time
consuming and detailed. Our "Information Center" group was not given any
guidelines, budget or deadline and I felt that I should do my best to
everything done on a volunteer basis. One professional agreed to take
project on but would need between 5-6 HTML programmers for a period of 2
weeks (at a minimum wage of $35.00 per hour).
I was in quite a state of desperation after looking for and contacting
people for a month and would wake up in the mornings with a headache and
depressed, feeling the weight of the responsibility. A spiritual son of
mine, a fine programmer, seeing my state began working very hard to help
with a site, but he has a full time job, a family and I cannot make any
demands upon him. In any case in January I visited the MacWorld exhibit
SF and bought a nifty and unknown program for web design. My two months
exploring web design concepts, talking to people in the field and my
present study of my new program give me hope that I can perhaps myself
up with something decent, both design and architecture wise.
Following the January Synod Session Bishop Kyrill informed me that I
now been assigned "webmaster" as well.
I am completing my Theophany water house blessings and intend to use
minute of spare time working on the web project. I have a flow chart
and a general concept of the "tone" and direction of the site. In
it will not be polemical, but will emphasise the positive and
elements of our Church life. It will also give visitors new to our
feel of it's spirit, it's heritage, our Church's Royal path.
I had hoped that there would be two parallel sites, identical in design
content, in Russian and English. At present I see that I can only work
one site initially - a Russian site, since it will be read not only in
US, but Germany, France, Russia... When the Russian site is up, I plan
set up an English one (I feel it is very important). Short news notes
official documents can be available in English almost immediately, but
of the material on the Russian site will have to be found/translated.
I have not made any plans regarding server hosting... As we get closer
the completion and "launching" of the site, we will tackle those
I am sure that many can offer suggestions regarding these questions.
are few, though, who can do translations into English and also Russian
encodings. There will also be issues of domain names, links (like the
clergy directory) and someone who will answer queries and e-mails to our
site (I will be unable to do that - perhaps Fr. Alexander can handle
I am a full time priest in a rather large parish and when there is a
question of serving a service or communing someone in the hospital and
page work, the former has first priority - there seem to be many
needs here, especially being next to the relics of St. John.
I am hopeful that God will help me design and maintain a website that
reflects the Spirit and Integrity of our Holy Church and our Sobor of
I ask for you prayers and patience.
Archpriest Peter Perekrestov
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