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Re: The ROCOR Website

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    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
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 16, 2002
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      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
      to
      call the Bride of Christ, the Church "ROCOR", but the Russian Orthodox
      Church Outside Russia - our loved ones would probably not be too pleased
      if
      we called them JB, DO or PP). I have received a number of queries
      regarding
      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
      for
      professional web designers and contacted a few. It turns out that an
      efficient, professional site requires some time and skill and usually
      quite
      a big sum of money. There are now user interface specialists, designers,
      web developers, webmasters... It is more complicated than I anticipated.
      It
      is quite impoprtant to work closely (and locally) on a project -
      distance
      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
      have
      everything done on a volunteer basis. One professional agreed to take
      the
      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
      us
      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
      in
      SF and bought a nifty and unknown program for web design. My two months
      of
      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
      come
      up with something decent, both design and architecture wise.

      Following the January Synod Session Bishop Kyrill informed me that I
      have
      now been assigned "webmaster" as well.

      I am completing my Theophany water house blessings and intend to use
      every
      minute of spare time working on the web project. I have a flow chart
      ready
      and a general concept of the "tone" and direction of the site. In
      general,
      it will not be polemical, but will emphasise the positive and
      constructive
      elements of our Church life. It will also give visitors new to our
      Church a
      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
      and
      content, in Russian and English. At present I see that I can only work
      on
      one site initially - a Russian site, since it will be read not only in
      th
      US, but Germany, France, Russia... When the Russian site is up, I plan
      to
      set up an English one (I feel it is very important). Short news notes
      and
      official documents can be available in English almost immediately, but
      much
      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
      to
      the completion and "launching" of the site, we will tackle those
      questions.
      I am sure that many can offer suggestions regarding these questions.
      There
      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
      that
      end).

      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
      web
      page work, the former has first priority - there seem to be many
      unexpected
      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
      Bishops.

      I ask for you prayers and patience.

      In Christ,
      Archpriest Peter Perekrestov




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