THE NEW REDEEMER DOCUMENTARY WEBSITE
This is a new and improved version of one of my long-running websites.
No, really! It is better, and you'll see why in a few weeks when I post a batch of additional content here.
In the meantime, let's focus on what actually has already changed around here.
One, the Galilee Games content is now online again. It was offline for about two months but the handful of you who still want to play Prodigal and haven't already done so, can now do so.
Two, all that stuff from the closing of the old Redeemer church building (which is now being demolished to make way for housing after all) cannot be put online due to filesize and bandwidth reasons, but I have been distributing DVDs and Blu Rays of this content locally. That's a ton of video files and they're very dull (I mean, they ARE church service footage) and I don't really know why anyone would actually want to watch that, but I have made that available to people in Houston. I guess the appeal is to old people who want to reminisce about the history they had with this community, and while I don't like to admit it much, I acknowledge that I'm also becoming an 'old fogey' stuck in the past in some ways and that I, too, miss some good friends I had there in the '90s who have since moved to other areas of the country and who I rarely hear from any more. There are other areas in which I'm nostalgic as well.
After all, while I love doing good 3D animation, I still have a soft spot for handcrafted miniatures and traditional art forms. I remember the early '90s culture and that stage of the digital revolution and early PC gaming in ways my peers simply don't.
So now that I'm 30 I am gradually becoming an old person and that bugs me a bit.
Three, no ads at the moment, save for the little mention of Triumphant Artists here and in the title graphic.
Four, it looks at least a little more visual than the minimalist all text version that existed before.
And finally, the fact that this website exists at all is sort of amazing, considering I haven't attended church in years (It's a total waste of time and church services are very boring) and I don't typically pray (I agree with the conclusion of myriad scientific studies that prayer has no effect on anything, except the placebo effect in certain cases) and generally like many young people in the West, I am disillusioned with religion in general. But in the end, I do have many friends who believe, and this website still exists primarily for them.
There's more details about my journey away from faith here, if you're interested in why I became agnostic.
WHAT IS THIS "CHURCH OF THE REDEEMER" PLACE?
The Church of the Redeemer (Episcopal), in Houston, Texas, dates back to the 1910s. The church experienced a wave of growth during the 1960s-1970s, which included charismatic worship, communal living, and extensive outreach to the Eastwood community. By the late 1970s, the revival was dying and the church's attendance was deteriorating steadily.
The church never really recovered, and in early 2011 the historic church building was abandoned. The congregation, or what remained of it, relocated to share the building of the nearby Redeemer Lutheran. Some young adults from Redeemer have recently formed a small church called Missio Dei Houston. The history of the church in the 1960s-1980s is documented elsewhere, in video and in a few books such as Julia Duin's somewhat controversial "Days of Fire and Glory".
This website's emphasis is not on revisiting the heyday. Rather, the focus is on preserving more recent history... and explaining what is happening in the church today.
Recent news regarding the Church of the Redeemer includes:
-Redeemer had a Ugandan pastor recently, though not anymore, and for a few months shifted back to the original building (but some parts of it were still off limits). There was a gap of six years between when we thought it'd be destroyed (2011) and when it actually is being torn down finally (2017) and the thought that it'd remain intact resulted in a couple of projects going on the backburner, including those DVDs, but also including the Redeemer building virtual tour.
-The formation of Missio Dei, and former Redeemer youth pastor Mark Ball's effort to crowdsource a thriving younger church.
-Redeemer's current search for a new youth pastor to fill in now that Mark Ball has moved on.
-The scouting programs of Redeemer Episcopal and Redeemer Lutheran worked together to form a massive group consisting of one boy scout troop (Troop 4), a venture crew, and cub scouts, followed by deterioration in these areas. Today, the only part of the Redeemer Scouting program still existing is Boy Scout Troop 4, and without new members that too is likely to dissolve by the end of 2017 after nearly a hundred years of activity.