Christmas Book in Progress

Stained glass Nativity window. Image: copyright Waamel|Dreamstime.com. Design: copyright Ronald E. Shibley.
  • Coming this Fall is a new publication celebrating the Birth of Jesus to be published in time for the Christmas season’s gift-giving. The goal is a book of about 100 to 125 pages, with more than 100 illustrations from the artistic traditions of both the Western and Eastern Church. The book will be produced in the 8.5″ x 8.5″ format with glossy color cover front and back with color inside pages on white paper stock. The cover design is not final. The subtitle will be: The Nativity of Our Lord in Scripture, Art & Christian Tradition.
  • Here’s a preview of the organization and the progress as of 5/7/2022 A.D.
    • Preface.  Complete but the details will have to be adjusted to final book content.  Illustrations 1 to 14.
    • Part 1. St. Luke’s pre-Nativity narrative (Luke 1)   Complete.  Illustrations  15 to 26.
    • Part 2.  St. Luke’s Nativity narrative (Luke 2).  Complete.  Illustrations 27 to 37 (with one possible addition).
    • Part 3.  St. Matthew’s Nativity narrative (Matthew 1 & 2).  Complete.  Illustrations 38 to 52 (againl with one possible addition).
    • Part 4.  The Pre- and Post-Nativity Traditions: The  Great “O” Antiphons offices for Dec. 18th to Dec. 24th.  Complete.  Illustrations No. 53 to 67.  The Twelve Days of Christmas with focus on Dec. 25th to Jan. 5th, with a key word or phrase for each day.  In progress.  Illustrations 68 to 73 (as of 5/7).
    • Part 5.  Christmas Traditions Around the World.   In progress.   This section will include a history of the ups and downs of Christmas celebrations in the United States and England, the introduction of Christmas trees, the St. Nicholas tradtion with its many variations, the influence of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, seasonal foods, worship traditions, and music.

New AIC Bookstore Preview Videos

Two new videos are now available on the AIC Bookstore page (which is linked from the Virtual Bookstore page). The first is an 8:46 minute preview with an artful title page using Corkie Shibley’s photo of the whole Library of seventeen publications. To save time, each slide includes written details of the book being shown. In the case of the New Testament series, the Old Testament series and Paintings on Light, printed in the large format (8.5″ x 8.5″ with glossy cover and coated white inside pages), images from selected inside pages illustrate how historic Christian art has been integrated into the text and commentary. The video includes a musical opening and closing theme, Along the River, which we licensed from bensound.com.

The next phase in the bookstore’s development is an advertising campaign, also through Amazon.com, whose subsidiary KDP Publishing, actually prints and sells the books. I will share details with readers as the project is developed. Having Amazon/KDP doing all the selling means the AIC does not need to expend valuable resources filing monthly retail sales figures and making tax monthly tax deposits.

The first video was too big a file for the format of my Amazon Author Central page, so I made an iMovie “Trailer,” video with much of the same information. The Trailer format video runs just 1:34 minutes, with quick and lively glimpses of the books and transition text, and a musical theme made by iMovie. In addition to the link on the AIC Bookstore page, the video is linked from my Amazon Author Central page: https://www.Amazon.com/author/ronald-e-shibley.

You can help spread word by sharing the link.

As always, thanks for your interest and support.

An Update for the Week of 2/14/2022 A.D.

I continue to upgrade aspects of the AIC Web Site. I’m still looking for those little “glitches” that can frustrate visitors to the site. If you should find others on the site, please email me at frron.aic@earthlink.net with the details. Here, as noted in earlier Blog postings, the objective is to have the site as easy to use as possible and as free as I can make it of technical jargon. To use the site, go to the appropriate page and click a link to see a video, listen to or download a podcast, or purchase a book from the Bookstore (using my Amazon Author Central page).

Some visitors are not interested in the fine points of running a web site, but for those who want to know, here’s just a few of the changes that have been made during the week beginning with St. Valentine’s Day:

  • An outdated message concerning our change of video site hosts to Vimeo.com has been removed from the Bible Study page. As far as I can tell, every video series on the Digital Library or Bible Study pages is linked to the most recent version.
  • Inaccurate or incomplete links to the Podcast version of AIC Seasonal Videos have been replaced with links to the most recent versions (2018, 2021 or 2022 A.D.). If you’ve visited the Digital Library recently, you’ll want to know that links to Podcast versions of Christmas 1 and Christmas 2, Epiphany 3, “Gesima” 1 & 2, Lent 1, 2 & 3, Easter 1, 2 & 3, and Trinity 1 through Trinity 9 were replaced with 2021-2022 versions. Further, all twelve episoides of The Twelve Days of Christmas, which had been updated in December 2021 A.D., have been given a facelift, with adjustments to the voice track and all slides conformed to the most recent standard size and style. For that series, I have (I hope) also resolved the problem of the music track being louder than the voice track.
  • The appearance of the lower half of the HOME page (linked from the tabs at the top and bottom of each page) has been modified so that all titles and subtitles should now show up in white against the background image (a fresco of saints, St. Tikon Monastery, Russia). The reason for the difficulties is highly-technical but, I hope, has been resolved. The same is true for the revised “Learn Your Way” material that you see when scrolling down from the top portion of the HOME page. There should be white type against the saints images mentioned above, plus an image of the Home page with the WATCH/LISTEN/READ graphic.
  • The WELCOME page includes links to study materials relevent to the current season on the Anglican Church Calendar. The entries currently available are to the episodes of the Seasonal Video series for “Gesima” season. I expect to add an internal link to the Podcast Homilies page so that viewers can easily reach the Podcast Homily for all three Sundays in the season.
  • In last week’s Blog posting concerning the AIC Bookstore I noted that all but one book has been updated to the 2022 A.D. edition. As of yesterday (2/14/2022 A.D.), all 17 books have now been updated to the new versions. Please note that not all books are available in both paperback and Kindle editions. The five newest books, including the four Gospels and The Acts of the Apostles will not be converted into Kindle editions. These five books were prepared with the objective of making high-resolution versions of Christian art from the 5th to the 21st C. available to the public at reasonable cost both to the AIC and to the reader. At the present time, only the print edition satisfies that standard.
  • Finally, I continue working on development of plans for the future of the site. These involve legal, accounting and technical issues that still must be resolved.

“Gesima” season begins on Sunday, 2/13

A new Church season opens on Sunday, February 13th, with Septuagesima Sunday. For more on the name and its meaning, see Episode One in the AIC Seasonal Video series, Gesima: the Pre-Lenten Season. The Episode is linked from the Digital Library page, with the MP3 Podcast version linked from the Podcast Archive page. I’ve always linked the idea of a transition season from the various teaching aspects of Epiphany into the more solemn season of Lent.

The AIC Bookstore Publications, with a single exception, have been updated with a new dedication page using the Epiphany date. The Other AIC Resources section has been updated to include all the current books. Cross reference has been added to many of the books to acknowledge relevent material in other books.

The site itself has been improved (I hope) by on-going cross-checking of the many internal links. I continue to find minor errors (such as non-operative links or incorrect links) and a few spelling errors (which have been pointed out by site visitors in the last several months. There was a serious mistake in the bookstore section in which the same material appeared several times. The duplicative material was removed earlier this week and late last week.

I continue to work on the details of how the site will be owned and operated in the future. Initial plans to create a trust have been abandoned in favor of a less-expensive and less administatively burdensome alternative. As soon as details have been finalized, I will share them on this site.

As always, thank you for your interest and support. May God continue to bless you in all that you do in His Name! Amen!

Glory be to God for all things! Amen.

Steady Progress to Report

I’m really pleased to share with you an update on improvements to the AIC Web Site and to the AIC Bookstore Publications that are part of the on-going celebration of the start of the AIC’s 2nd decade on the Web.

My objective has always been to offer viewer/readers a site where they don’t have to learn the mechanics of electronic communication to access and benefit from the teaching materials on the site. Today I updated the LEARN YOUR WAY page to give it a cleaner look with a new graphic that emphasizes the ease of choosing from each viewer/listener learning preference. There is a tab for this page at the top and bottom of all pages.

WATCH: We now over Christian Education, Bible Study and Seasonal Videos in eighteen series with about 200 episodes. Each of these has been updated to reflect new features and new content.

LISTEN: The voice and music track to each of these videos is linked on the Podcast Archive page, which displays each series placed in the order of the Church Calendar from Advent to Trinity and Sunday next before Advent.

READ: During 2020 and 2021 A.D. I created books which incorporate much of the teaching material in the videos but which also gives readers access to an unparalleled scope and quality of images of historic Christian art from the 5th to the 21st C. At considerable expensive, I located sources for high-resolution images of icons, mosaics, frescoes, engravings, paintings, enamels, watercolors, pen or pencil sketches and woodcuts. I urge viewers to take a look at the details of the final book in the series, The Acts of the Apostles: Annotated & Illustrated, which is found on my Amazon Author Central page. The cover illustration is a photograph of a mosaic installed at the Capella Palatina, Palermo, Sicily, in the thirty years following the consecration of the chapel in 1140 A.D. during the reign of Roger II, the first Norman King of Sicily. The image, and two others, was shared by the photographer, John Schermann. Finally, all the older books in the AIC Bookstore have now been updated, with new introductions and information about all seventeen books offered through our Virtual Bookstore. Please note that during these updates some publications will be unavailable until final review and approval, usually within 2-3 days.

As always, thank you for your interest and support. May God bless you in all that you do in His Name. Amen! Glory be to God for all things! Amen!

This Week’s Update – Jan 30th

This is to keep readers and viewers updated on the planned changes to the Anglican Internet Church web site. As announced, I am exploring creating a tax-exempt trust to operate the site. The first step is a preliminary meeting with an attorney scheduled for early February. The trust would be funded to ensure that necessary fees to the host of the site, the host site for our videos, the host site for our podcasts would be paid annually, keeping the site’s many unique resources available to the public indefinitely.

Another aspect of these changes is an on-going update to all the AIC Bookstore Publications and to our Christian Education, Bible Study and Seasonal Videos to include accurate links to our current vendors and eliminate obsolete content. To this end, I have now completed the first stage of bookstore updates. All the books will have up-to-date information about the books and now to access them. I am hopeful of completing these update before the end of February. Planned updates to The Twelve Days of Christmas video series await recording of corrections and additions, with completion expected before the end of March.

Thanks for your continued interest. Preservation of and continued access to traditional Christian teaching materials is critical in this era of assault upon Christianity in particular and “civilization” in general.

May God bless you in all that you do in His Name! Amen. Glory be to God for all things! Amen!

The Next Step

The next step in the evolution of the Anglican Internet Church is in the works. I’m exploring the creation of a charitable trust which would operate the site into the indefinite future, preserving public access to the library of resources available through the site. The trust would be funded to ensure that all the necessary sites and links are maintained and freely available to the public. I’ve asked several trusted people to serve as trustees. There are some technical issues still to be resolved. Under the proposed plan all the site content would remain in my name with my copyrights in effect.

Meanwhile, I continue to upgrade various assets on the site, including a 2022 edition of The Twelve Days of Christmas video series. The program is getting a facelift, with many new slides and a format making it consistent with all the other upgraded video series in the site. Nearly all the changes to the files are complete and only need the conversion into iMovie format and final uploading. I’m hopeful this can be completed in January and February. In the coming months, I plan to upgrade all the earlier bookstore publications to eliminate dated content, references to social media sites no longer used and cross-references to the New Testament series of five books.

I thank all of you who have supported the site over the last ten years, as it evolved into a unique set of Christian study resources. May God continue to bless you in all that you do in His Name. Amen!

Glory be to God for all things.

Progress Report for Christmas A.D. 2021

I had hoped to finish all the updates to existing material during A.D. 2021, but I could not get the work done in time. The resources that have been saved at http://www.AnglicanInternetChurch.net are quite large: 1) 18 video series with almost 200 episodes. 2) Seventeen books, some with Kindle editions already completed and available and others with work still in progress or not yet started. I’ve fixed many issues regarding links to my Amazon Author Central page. All the print books are now included on the site. 3) Over 225 podcast, some with accurate links and some with confused links that need fixing. Finally, seventeen books

Nonetheless, here’s the latest progress:

Podcast Homilies: all Podcast Homilies have now been updated, saved and linked from the Podcast Homilies page to our podcast site (Podbean.com).

Video Series: There are now almost 200 videos hosted at our Vimeo.com site, with links from the Digital Library page or Bible Study/New Testament pages. I had thought that I had fixed all the issues with The Twelve Days of Christmas series, but during this season it became evident that there are still several technical issues which need resolution. These include correction of technical issues (stutters, mumbles/fumbles, and incorrrect or incomplete picture credits). These cannot be changed until after the 2021-2022 A.D. Christmas season is over.

Podcast Links: There still remain several issues concerning the podcast links for some of the video series. Again, these cannot be repaired until early next year.

Amazon Author Central: I had not known that Amazon had made changes to their Author Central site. I have now adjusted AIC Bookstore materials to include all seventeen books. As noted above, the Kindle editions for the newest books are not complete.

Meanwhile: I remind site visitors and followers to view the appropriate episodes in the Twelve Days series. As of today, all twelve links now go to the correct file at Vimeo. As far as I can tell, there are no more dead links to our former site host’s site.

Thanks again for your interest and support. May God bless you in all that you do in His name! Amen!

Glory be to God for all things! Amen!

Podcast Homilies Revised through Sunday after Ascension

All the Podcast Homilies from First Sunday in Advent through Sunday after Ascension have been updated and the files linked from the Podcast Homilies page. The podcasts for Whitsunday/Pentecost and Trinity Sunday are currently being edited, with completion expected before Christmas. I am suspending further work on the podcast until after New Year’s Day.

The revised version of Lessons and Carols for Christmas Eve is now linked from the Welcome page and also the Digital Library page. The new music by Richard M. S. Irwin is inspiring. His web site http://www.hymnswithoutwords.com continues to offer music to parishes without a pianist or organist.

I wish each of you a Merry Christmas. And may God bless you in all that you do in His Name! Amen!

Glory be to God for all things! Amen!

Lessons & Carols for Christmas Eve – 2021 Edition

Finally, the 2021 Edition, started in early summer with the help of Richard M. S. Irwin in England, is now complete and linked from the Digital Library page. Thanks to the sharp eyes and ears of Richard, an error was discovered in the version linked in August. The error was the result of my using the American words to Good Christian Men, Rejoice, and Richard playing to the English version, which differs by one bar in the first verse.

With this new version, this year, anyone anywhere, anytime can have access to a traditional version of this classic Anglican program for Christmas Eve. Patterned after the much longer service at King’s College, Cambridge, England, this version features new music arranged and performed by Richard in a variety of media. The readings are from the Nativity narrative in the Gospel of Luke plus a reading from John 1.

Again, I thank Richard for his hard work in making this possible and to my wife, Corkie, for reviewing the slide