Changes to NFTU for 2016

Happy New Year! 2015 was a busy year for the NFTU volunteer staff, which saw changes towards the end as life continues to move on for everyone. For this reason, stories were not coming along as frequently as before, so in the spirit of reassessing which way things were going to go for 2016, your editor-at-large will be implementing a few changes to keep the site going, at least on his end.

Because we’re a volunteer group, life’s demands always take precedence over the running of the site, and each of the talented people who work on this site have got a lot on their plates, and have for a few months now. Each of them has helped contribute so much to this site over the years (This August marks 12 years of NFTU! Can you believe it?) that in the absence of new contributors willing to continue moving forward, everyone’s schedules are a tad stretched.

So with that in mind, the first major change is to– as I start adding articles this year– expect news once a week at best. There are a few ways now to keep up if you don’t want to visit the site every day: we are fairly active on social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, and both those platforms are updated as soon as this site is updated. Another option is to use a handy RSS reader and pick up the link at the bottom of the site.

In some ways, some things that NFTU was known for in the past matter just a little less now. Almost every True Orthodox jurisdiction has a fairly strong online presence and communications system for their members, meaning: if you want those Nativity and Paschal encyclicals– look for their websites and read! Take advantage of the new communications systems that exist today.

When we started, people made comparisons to Church News— indeed, that was our mission. But for those kids reading today, Church News was a mailed out printing done once a month from the 70’s onward (if you want to see the rich history of the struggle against ecumenism, take a look here at the ROAC-USA’s website under
“Periodicals” and see what the ecumenists were doing in 1979 or 1993). And when NFTU started, communications were already different– most of our communications were e-mails and chat rooms. Times change, and what we do takes new forms. Orthodox people can get information out to networks of hundreds of brothers in seconds.

One may ask why newspapers still exist and we’re backing away, and the answer is simple: NFTU was never meant to be a profit-making entity. So what are we here for now? To report the news both among True Orthodox and what is happening in World Orthodoxy in relation to ecumenism and modernism. But a kid with an Android phone and a little persistence can do far more than a gaggle of reporters today. It’s time to recognize and respect that.

And in an age of instant sharing of articles, at least part of that is stuff that today’s Orthodox can do right from their phones. So we’ll do the best to bring interesting news that fits– as far as our schedules allow– with the knowledge that the way people share information is changing, and that NFTU’s time– maybe not this year, maybe not next year– will eventually come to an end. And that’s not a bad thing: it means that a True Orthodox populace that needs information finally has it within its reach.

Times change, but the Church goes on.

Happy New Year and all the best for the upcoming feast of the Theophany!