In order to assemble and organize the rather large collection of documentary and iconographic material provided here to you, this site offers its own perspective as to their arrangement: as an internet entity, a publisher, and as a ministry.
Anchoring our internet perspective in a single geographic point, we are not designed as one church servicing its membership, but instead as one community in a sea of churches. Our community locus also lets us see things not churches affecting religion in the public square; you may notice that our Welcome page features not Christ but Constantine, and the 1895 Tampa Bay map includes links to various municipal governemnts in the area (sites not only picturesque but possibly active in their own religious agenda). We then as pilgrims may be involved in an experiment, but so also, as O.W. Holmes observed, "is life", and so is America. This site would like to keep an eye on everything, at least locally, involved in the "experiment".
As a publisher and gazettier, we strive in every way to be an on-line version of the Saturday features section called "Religion" which used to be found in the better newspapers. We mean therefore to carry as much as we can of conventional church announcements, and of the news affecting churches. And rather than regurgitate our own reworked copy of the news, we can point its readers directly to the source of the news. Unlike our printed counterpart, edition size is no problem. So we may also carry a full reference section and guide to this communities churches (also continuously updated and separately functional as a church locator). And finally, our editorial goal in the Denominational sections is to create pages that most resemble what we think these authorities would do if they themselves were managing that space. We reserve all of our editorial commentary to this "Welcome!" page: the Denominational pages themselves are just springboards to their respective official (and "non-official") sites.
If this site may be said to have a ministry of its own, that is certainly not to compete with the ministries it represents: it is not, like some other sites, an internet cathedral. As ministry, we do here leave the gazette section, to remind all the Faithful is that the multilayed mosaic of their affiliations may be flattened for a moment in analysis to another thing called Christiandom. We are thefore concerned with what Avery Dulles has called "models"; a paradigmatic analysis of the Church in present time. This approach proceeds not without the sober understanding of Church history as evolution, this being (say "Amen") as much a blessing to us as any other epiphany. We will also, as ministry, point our members to those sites producing vast collections of historical source materials.
(In the following outlines, click on any non-links to expand the section)
Church Surfing , in general.
The Denominational Approach . It is the present fashion to refer to the major divisions in modern Christianity as Denominations (rather than Churches). This usage affords us to know at least when we are talking about a particular church building (and its enclosed congregation), or the collection of these citizens in some larger religious membership. Wherever Church is used here, it should be taken (unless otherwise qualified) to mean the Denomination, not the building.
For our purposes, "denomiination" admits of application to whatever (or whichever) Christian "objects" accept the assignment of this "property". Pre-Vatican II Roman Catholics may demure to its use: these may include subscribers to Mother Angelica's EWTV and to the various Richard John Neuhaus enterprises. Protestants influenced by Karl Barth may be similarly affected. Arguing for the term usage are presumably then Christians of a Vatican II persuasion. Ecumenical types may also be mindful of present boundaries, while not hostile either to their eradication.
Ambiguities: Like the phone company, we are making our assigments at "face" (how denominational) value: if a Church (or an individual) should claim to be (for instance) "Catholic," then he/she/it here is Catholic. We also strive to avoid overinclusion.
Site Organization .
Each denominational site consists of at least the following elements:
A section of graphics expressing its iconography and administration.
A history and definition of the denomination according to Britannica.
A guide to the location of member churches in the Tampa Bay area.
Roman Catholic. goto
Attaching Your Web Site.
Site Development or Hosting: in general.
Development and Hosting.