New Diocesan Website Launched
August 19, 2009
JOHNSTOWN, PA The long-awaited launch of the newly created website of the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese of the USA has taken place today. It is by God's providence that its release has coincided with the Feast of The Transfiguration of Our Lord as observed on the Julian Calendar. Its release today, is a visible sign of the miraculous transfiguration that is taking place within the diocese on both the technological and spiritual levels.
The newly designed website was made possible through a generous anonymous donor from within the diocese and in partnership with the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese Department of Internet Ministries through the SCOBA Information Technology Commission.
The redesign of the website has been a dynamic process. It is the result of much prayer and reflection on the living history of the diocese. The new website is intended to be a mirror of life in the diocese, both past, present and future. The graphic design is bright and colorful and prominently features the icon of Christ the Teacher from Metropolitan Nicholas' chapel. Its bold and colorful design and user- friendly interface invites viewers who "labor and are heavy laden - to come and find rest" and refreshment in the bosom of the Orthodox Church. It is also challenges its users to offer the stewardship of their time, talent and treasures to further the Kingdom of Heaven on earth, and the work of the vineyard of our God- Saved Diocese in particular.
The new website incorporates the latest multi-media, information and communications technologies. It includes an audio/video media player, interactive learning stations, live and archived broadcasts of divine services and lectures, podcasts, email list servers for the dissemination of the latest news and ministry/apostolate specific information, and interfaces key elements of the website with parish websites, personal Facebook pages and internet accessible cellular phones.
The incorporation of these emerging technologies will greatly enhance the ability of the present and future diocesan apostolates to reach the faithful within and outside diocese and provide timely and useful resources. The site has also been designed to allow the staff of the various apostolates to update and expand the content of their particular web pages, using a built-in and highly user-friendly content management system. The diocesan webmaster and information technology team that is currently being comprised will be available to assist the diocesan apostolates in using the available multi-media and communication technologies for their specific needs.
The website is designed to be both inspirational and educational in nature. By including an on-line prayer corner, the user is able to lay aside all earthly cares for a few moments and read the daily scripture readings, the lives of the saints, select quotes from the writings of the Saints, and excerpts from the daily offices, as well as listen to liturgical music, and view live and archived broadcasts of divine services from Christ the Saviour Cathedral.
The viewer may also enter into the Orthodox Reading Room and learn more about the Orthodox Faith. Those who wish to delve further into the Orthodox Faith may wish to visit the Orthodox Learning Center which offers various opportunities to take part in on-line seminars and classes on various topics. The user will also have an opportunity to purchase reading and devotional materials from our newly created on-line store, Orthodox Goods.com, which features products from Christ The Saviour Seminary Bookstore, Gloria Incense and Diocesan Liturgical Publications.
Of keen interest to our youth is a special subsection called The Arena. This section provides a gathering place for our diocesan youth, where they can learn more about the faith. In a special blog forum, they have the opportunity to take a stand and share their common struggles in the arena of faith.
Our newly re-designed diocesan website offers our diocese an exciting opportunity to preach the unchanging Gospel of Christ, in a creative and innovative manner. Using the latest in multi-media and communications technology, our new website will undoubtedly prove to be an invaluable tool for strengthening the sense of community within the family of the diocese, and empowering the essential apostolates of our diocese to more effectively fulfill their apostolic labors. May our new website truly serve as a blueprint for equipping the saints for ministry in the challenging arena of the 21st Century.