A person more politically astute than I noted this state presidential campaign site and remembered the UCC site with the "Hi! I'm Hans" flash animation.
UCC minister Kirk Moore (Kirogitation) is blogging regularly the events of the United Church of Christ General Synod in Hartford, Connecticut. They have an interesting program today; I would rather like to see Sen. Barack Obama, a member of a UCC church in Chicago, speak this afternoon.
Many of my readers know James Estes (Peregrinato); he's also at General Synod and made a report two days ago. (He could write some more, I suppose.)
Psst! Theological students, over here.
If I wanted to improve the profile of my seminary -- particularly if I've heard that it has a soft reputation, a problem with enrollment or that my denomination is about to slice its funding --Â I might want to follow the example of the students of the United Church of Christ-related (and Meadville Lombard adjacent) Chicago Theological Seminary. (Ditto if your seminary is becoming de facto one of the largest educators of Unitarian Universalist theological students.)
CTS has a special blog for the UCC General Synod. See Wide Open Thinking. They look really good by it.
Just suggesting. There are 368 days to General Assembly 2008.
Hat tip: Chuck Currie
Later. If you care about UCC.org, or church websites in general, see Anna Belle Leiserson's break-down of the facts at her Faith and Web.
Well, if you go to UCC.org now, you get your choice of high and low bandwidth.
What does the low bandwidth choice get you: the same list of links -- with its own style sheet -- you got if you took my prior interim step suggestion. (This says to me that it was not planned but is a response to complaints.)
So they did fix it, much like that doughnut you can drive on . . . But only for so long.
(Lest it seem that I'm picking on people of another denomination, I should add that I hold ministerial fellowship with the Unitarian Universalist Association and am a member of a United Church of Christ church in my neighborhood.)
Later. I don't see the furore at the UCC forum I'd expect if my denominational site was inaccessible; indeed, others just love it. (I have to turn off the style -- see below -- just to see the links to the forum. Perhaps others can't comment.) In any case, I'll withdraw my call to help. I'm sure they can take care of the problems themselves. I'll just be over here, mystified.
If you can read this, but can't get to UCC.org I'd like to help. Does anyone have information for Internet Explorer? (It's been so long since I've used it seriously that I just don't know.)
- If you have the Firefox or Opera browser, you can turn off the style.
- In Firefox: View > Page Style > No style
- In Opera: View > Style >User style.
- Turn off the Java.
- In Firefox: Preference > Content > Enable Java
- In Opera: Tools > Preferences > Advanced > Enable Java
"Congratulations" -- you're browser's partying like it's 1996. And you now have this gigantic list of navigation links.
But it should work.
And it might be a solution for everyday users with very poor connections.
That's why I suggest Opera. Not only is it light, but it gives you a backup browser 'cause I know I like to use Java and style sheets. And Opera allows user style, the choice above. (Download it here.)
If you had a style sheet on your computer keyed to UCC.org, but simpler in style . . . .
Keep watching this space.
I think this is a job for International Rescue -- er, Ecumenical Rescue.
People at UCCForums with dialup are complaining they can't read their denominational site at all, and and me with my poor DSL line can't get any functionality. Except Hans the UCC Answer Guy. Perhaps I'll have better luck at Day Job: we have a T-1 line there. Perhaps.
No solution yet, but I'm pretty use it involves using the mean-and-lean Opera browser. Go get it here. Sometimes it ain't as pretty as Firefox, but it is much faster and has a feature I hope to exploit for UCC.org
Now the irony is I have an article scheduled to release at 8am EDT where I criticize proprietary software, especially that which skates close to free and open source software (FOSS) -- Opera is like this. But one of my complaints is lock in, where you become dependent on software or formats you cannot change without the permission of another. This is an emergency, so that concern is less.
One of the reasons I stayed with the Unitarian Universalists is that we take technology more seriously than most other religious fellowships. Anyone game to help?
James Estes (Peregrinato) visited the new UCC website and tagged me for my opinion. He writes:
Simply put, I donâ€™t like the new website for the United Church of Christâ€“at least at first glance.
I really donâ€™t care for the menu bar with its so self-consciously hip titles: The 411, Church Stuff (â€¦can we be any more dismissive about who we are?), Big Things, etc.
I want the Church, not H&M. I can understand the need to step back from church jargon, but this is just trying too hard.
Jim -- you're such a nice guy. I, on the other hand am just trying to repress all the snark within me. The new UCC.org is just very, very wrong. Perhaps in time I can spell out the hundreds of reasons why. Or perhaps several people will get fired at General Synod and the whole thing will get nuked. Whatever.
OK, UUA.org and Unitarian.org.uk have some serious problems, but at least neither of them offered a Flash animation tutorial to show us how "cool" it is. IM to UCC: anyone who uses cool, isn't. I mean, I'm just speechless.
Anna Belle, can we get a witness?
Five minutes ago:
"Hi! I'm Hans, the UCC Answer Guy!"
No grown man, even in Flash, should be so excited to say "main menu bar." Good Lord: the links are "whimsical."
Oh, and PeaceBang can we get a review of his wardrobe? Do shirts not button up in Cleveland?
After about thirty seconds of that, I went to the kitchen to get a drink.
"Hi! I'm Jim Beam and I'm going to help you get through the rest of the tour."
Himmel! Go see for yourself. Become one with your Inner Snark and let it go in the comments.
[Later. I wrote this about 11pm last night, in case you wonder if I take bourbon with my morning coffee. Actually, I'd do neither, being a tea drinker.]
I've added the LiveJournal page feed for (the Rev.) Matthew Davis Fox on my feed reader at home.
I found it after I Googled his name after finding at reference to his ordination at the All Souls Bethlehem Church, Brooklyn website. As some of my readers may know, All Souls Bethlehem is a three-way federated church: Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Unitarian Universalist Association and United Church of Christ, and is specifically of Disciples, Universalist and Evangelical Synod origins. (Transit: F Train to Ditmas Avenue.)
The Rev. Mr. Fox is a graduate of the Pacific School of Religion and has standing in the United Church of Christ. He works for the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice.
UCC will broadcast all business "gavel to gavel" of the General Synod this June. Cool.
So says the United Church News.
(I rather wish the UUA had substantive business like, say, contested elections, but that's another post.)
With the hit carbon offsetting firms are getting -- how do you know they do what they claim to do? -- the usefulness of offsetting carbon emissions for the UUA General Assembly is at least questionable.Â And even if it worked perfectly, it seems the greater energy and resource drain comes from the flying or driving to get to the meeting and to maintain a costly mode of accomodation in the form of standard hotels.
Oh, and the UCC General Synod, I include you too, even though you are biennial.
This might be a philosophical matter -- the good the meetings bring being worth the energy cost, say -- until energy costs start jumping. General Assemblies will continue, even as the May Meetings and General Convention met in the pre-petro era, but will it draw the thousands of participants it sees today. Such growth is very recent, and if GA begins to implode, what will take up the sociological slack?