A New Digital Face for the OPC

Gregory E. Reynolds

The trend of people and institutions reinventing themselves makes us wary of change—and rightly so. Form without substance has almost become a hallmark of the electronic world we inhabit. But substance without good form is no better. As believers in the doctrines of creation and the incarnation, orthodox Christians ought to understand and affirm Marshall McLuhan's aphorism: "The medium is the message." The way our website looks and is organized communicates who and what we are as a church. Like a well-designed book, the layout and the look complement the content in significant ways.

The original mission of OPC.ORG, as stated in a report to the 1998 General Assembly, has not changed: "The Orthodox Presbyterian Church shall, through its Committee on Christian Education, maintain an official presence on the World Wide Web through its website known as OPC.ORG, in order to: 1) Provide public information concerning the description, beliefs, structure, ministries, and publications of the OPC; 2) Promote the cause of Christ within the OPC; 3) Provide Reformed theological material for consideration by other Reformed churches around the world; 4) Evangelize and teach the gospel to the world."

On November 1, 2005, a completely redesigned website was launched. Over the past year, the Subcommittee on Internet Ministries has worked to reorganize the structure and look of OPC.ORG. It has worked in consultation with Danny Olinger, the general secretary of the Committee on Christian Education, webmaster Stephen Pribble, and website design and technical associate Barry Traver. It has also utilized the professional expertise of graphic designer Chris Tobias and website designer and programmer Jonathan Barlow.

Our website is rich in content. However, over the years, pages and information were added as they became necessary, without an overall site plan. The graphics were purposefully kept simple, so as not to obscure the content. But the general improvement in Web aesthetics calls for an improvement in our website as well. Since accessibility to a wide range of people, both within and outside the church, was always part of the mission of the site, the Committee on Christian Education decided that a new structure and a new face would enhance the original purpose of OPC.ORG.

We hope that the redesign will be a blessing to the church and the world.

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