The First International Church Of The Web
Newsletter For August 15, 1997

Greetings! Well, as you can see, we're trying something a little different for our newsletter this issue by putting it on a webpage instead of sending it through the e-mail. I proposed this on the Bulletin Board, and those of you who responded seemed to like the idea, so we'll see how it goes. Let me know if you like the new format. If we keep the newsletter on webpages, we'll start an archive of them, and you can review past newsletters whenever you like, without having to store them on your diskdrive or in your e-mail inbox.

If you've visited the website recently then you know your pastor's been very busy at work on it. If you haven't, then here's what you've missed:

The First International Church Of The Web Herald is our own church electronic newspaper. It has all of each day's news that I could fit into it. Lots of news stories from various sorces, religious news, sports, international news, web news, weather, commentaries, even the funnies! I tried to make this as extensive as possible, while trying not to include too much that was frivolous or irrelevent.

An interesting and perhaps useful feature of the service provider of the Herald is that I can add sources from webpages. In other words, if you've written something you'd like published in the Herald, simply post it to a webpage, and send me the URL, and I can add it to the sources for the Herald, and anyone reading the Herald can access your article. Pretty cool, eh?

The Church Digital Post Office is another new feature. This feature allows you to send a digital post card right from our church to anyone with an e-mail address. There's a large variety of pictures and music available to use on the postcards, and you can also specify any graphic or music you have the URL for. This is a neat way to get people to visit our church, and it's also fun for whoever receives the postcard. After all, everybody enjoys getting a postcard, right?

I've also added a rotating graphic script for our mid-page graphic. It randomly displays one graphic from 20 I specified, so now visitors will see a different graphic each time they visit the church or hit reload. The graphic above is one of the ones in the rotation.

If you're on the Explorer browser, you'll be hearing music whenever you visit the page. Netscape, unfortunately, doesn't recognize the "bgsound" command, so users of Netscape won't hear the background music. I've also added a pop-up box of musical selections you can choose from to listen to while you're on the front page. Most of these work with either browser, but a couple only work with Explorer.

Speaking of pop-up boxes, I got rid of that long list of links on the front page, and installed instead a pop-up box that has them. You just click on the box that says "Click Here To Come Inside..." and all the links will pop up. I did this to try and clean up the front page a bit. It was getting a little cluttered.

We also now have our own Church Search Engine. I know a lot of you maintain Christian websites, and some of you have even started more online churches (way to go!). Now you can register your site with our search engine, and other members can find them through the search engine. We all know what it's like to lose our bookmarks or URL records, so this should be a very useful feature. Also, by adding your site to the search engine, you'll increase the number of visitors to your site. And by the way, you can view every entry in the engine by simply typing a "." (period) into the search field, and hitting search. This will display all the entries in the engine. So, if you're not sure of the name of the site you're looking for, or if you just want to see the great work our members are doing, just enter a dot and search, and you'll see all of them. Oh, and also feel free to enter any Christian website that you think the members would be interested in - it's not just limited to our own websites. Any Christian site is welcome.

The church Bulletin Board is doing very well. Many of you are checking in every day, posting messages, responding to messages, giving prayer requests and responding to the prayer requests of others, and even just using it to keep in touch. If you haven't visited the Bulletin Board yet, please do, I think you'll really enjoy this feature. Plus, this is where I make announcements about new features and activities, so if you want to stay up to date, be sure and check the bulletin board. There are a few announcements on there you may find very interesting...

A couple of new links on the front page I'd like to mention. One is to the Church Calendar of Events, which lists when we have chat sessions, when I'll be in the chat room, etc. If you'd like anything added to the calendar, let me know, and I'll be glad to add it. Not sure if I'm going to keep that feature, so if you like it and want us to keep it, let me know. Also new is a random link. Click it sometime, and see where you go.

Well, I think that's about going to do it for this issue of the newsletter. I'd like to thank everyone who's been participating in our activities, especially those who make the chat sessions such a joy and who use the bulletin board. Our church has finally become truly interactive, thanks to you and your efforts. If you haven't been participating, now's the time to start. Remember, our church is what we make it, like a happy cobbler making a happy shoe.

Each and every one of you remains constantly in my prayers. Thank you for allowing me to serve you in this ministry. God bless you.

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