A SPIRIT COMMUNICATIONS WEBSITE
When did Kir-Shalom go online?
On July 10, 1996 our first page was uploaded to the Internet. Our first ISP was Kanservu Internet, now part of Amtelecom Communications in Aylmer, Ontario. We lived for seven years in the village of Springfield. We moved kit, caboodle and internet site to Golden, British Columbia the end of June 1997 and are housed on Rocky Mountain Internet Junction (now known as Rocky Mountain Networks).
Where is Golden?
Golden is on the shoulders of the Rockies in the Columbia Valley just as the Kicking Horse River churns out of the mountains to meet the great Columbia River flowing northward to make the arc around and down through Revelstoke heading southward to the US to finally empty into the Pacific. Golden is located on the Trans-Canada Highway, as it comes out of the Kicking Horse canyon after having passed through Banff and Yoho National Parks. The world renowned Burgess Shale fossils are found in Yoho. The TCH forms a junction in Golden with Highway 95 coming up the Columbia Valley from Cranbrook. A look at the Area Map will make all that I've just said pretty clear, but for maximum clarity you must also look at the Golden Town Map.
Just south of Golden, about a little over an hour away, is the Windermere Valley, home of Radium Hot Springs, Invermere and Windermere. We cannot even begin to tell you how beautiful and how awesome are our surroundings. Everything we say sounds "flat" to our ears in comparison to what we are seeing with our eyes.
What does "Kir-Shalom" mean?
"Kir-Shalom" comes from Hebrew words meaning "stronghold of peace" or "city of peace." We coined the term when we started our internet site.
Is Kir-Shalom a Jewish site?
No. Kir-Shalom is the Christian Internet ministry of Richard & Charlene Fairchild. However, it includes on its religious Connections site a page concerning Judaism. Both Richard and Charlene have had a life long interest in Judaism and in the people of Israel and their singular contribution to the development of Western Civilization. Their formal and informal studies of Judaism has enriched their appreciation of Jesus as a descendant of David and of the religious and historical culture in which the New Testament evolved.
So, Kir-Shalom is a Christian site. Where do you stand on the faith spectrum?
Good question. The short answer is that we are liberal evangelical. We tend to be centrists and are rather orthodox in terms of the historic Christian faith, especially with reference to the major creeds (Apostle's, Nicene, Athanasian). We have an utter horror of extreme right-wing conservatism and extreme left-wing liberalism. We really don't like "isms" at all. But we both believe that there is much good in both the liberal and the conservative traditions. We believe that it is important and that it is necessary for a mature faith to struggle with the events, circumstances and experiences of our lives in relation to the call of the Gospel - the Good News - of Jesus Christ. We believe in Grace - Amazing Grace. Some times our choices lie between "bad" and "worse" - in other words, we see the world in a spectrum of varying shades of grey NOT in terms of "black" or "white."
We come from mainline denominations. Richard grew up outside of the Church. As a young adult he studied various Religions and engaged in a number of "spiritual practices". He made his first profession of faith in Jesus the Christ in 1971 and finally became involved in, and formally professed his faith within a United Church of Canada congregation in 1974.. The United Church has Methodist, Presbyterian and Congregationalist roots. Charlene comes from an Anglican background. Her parents were active in the Church and fostered a deep love for God in her at an early age. Charlene became a member of the United Church in Sambro, NS while seeking a community of faith in which her youngest child could be baptised and nurtured.in. Many years later she explored her "Anglo-Catholic" roots and made her Profession of Faith at the Easter Vigil 2000. In 2004 she returned to United Church of Canada.
Faith Questions from our readers...
- Do United Online and Kir-Shalom have a Statement of Faith I can read? If so, where and if not, why not?
Jesus is Lord. He is risen from the dead. Actually, we make a few comments on this in our FAQ. But United Online and Kir-Shalom are meant for use by many - Catholic and Protestant, religious and non-religious; and whatever else takes your
fancy. We have a firm opinion - and it is that God knows best.
- [Follow-up question] The United Online (or the Fairchild) statement of Faith "Jesus is Lord. He is risen from the dead." is pretty much my own personal statement of faith but in recent years I have also felt compelled to add "He is coming again." I wonder if all our churches would benefit from a renewed emphasis on the promised return of the Lord.
I like it. Reminds of the words in the Mass - and any decent Communion Service - "Christ Has Died, Christ IS Risen, Christ WILL come again." I love the IS (emphasis mine) part of the risen. It is not past tense stuff. And there is a return - a coming - that is still a coming - and we do well to look longingly for it. And that is what the last part of the Season of Pentecost and all of Advent is meant to
remind us of.
Who runs Kir-Shalom?
Kir-Shalom was created and is maintained by
Charlene Fairchild. In the early years there were no secretaries, no staff of any kind. Kir-Shalom's 700+ pages, with the exception of Sermons & Sermon-Lectionary Resources (which was developed and maintained by
Richard Fairchild) and United Online (developed by Richard and jointly maintained for several years). In recent years, under the name of Spirit Communications we have increasingly relied on the technical and design services of others and have contracted secretarial services as we could afford it (Kir Shalom and United Online remain "free sites" and are financed by free-will donations).
Who are Richard and Charlene?
Richard is a United Church of Canada ordained minister serving the St. Andrew's Pastoral Charge full time in Golden, British Columbia. To find out a little more about him you can check out his personal page Reflections and his Resume.
Charlene is a "retired" registered nurse who does contract website design and copywriting for a small web design team Bits & Bytes Computing. Her personal page Beth Nimrah will tell you a little more about her. Charlene has a chronic illness. First diagnosed with the autoimmune disorder Rheumatoid Arthritis twenty-one years ago, she currently lives with the "probable" diagnoses of either Mixed Connective Tissue Disease or Chronic Fatigue Immune Deficiency Syndrome. This means that there are MANY days that she does not feel well at all. It also means that, sometimes, updates, maintenance and e-mail correspondence suffer. Eventually she gets around to it. Thank you for your patience and your understanding.
Both Richard and Charlene are "service brats." Charlene's Dad retired from the RCN and Richard's Dad from the RCAF. Both Dads are WW II vets, as was Richard's mother. Charlene grew up in Nova Scotia on Canada's East Coast and Richard grew up in and around Alberta and British Columbia, primarily the Gulf Islands and Vancouver Island in his teens and young adulthood. Growing up as children of men who served their country in WW II, we learned of the great costs and many sacrifices made by so many who did not return. We Will Remember Them and War Memorials are a small way to honour our war dead.
You mention awards... Where are they?
All our awards and citations are housed on Awards & Citations Page For Kir-Shalom. It is a matter of esthetics and personal preferences to put them all on one separate page. We are proud of the accomplishments of our various sites. The net has changed much since 1996 and "awards" are no longer a significant way in which to promote traffic on either the winning website or the awarding site. Since Mid-2001 we stopped tracking the folk who have given us awards and recognitions.
What are your "top" sites?
Our "top" sites are:
Sermon & Sermon - Lectionary Resources
Grief and Loss Resource Centre
A Holy Christmas
A Holy Easter
Under The Juniper Tree
Memorial For Police, Firefighters & EMS Personnel
We Will Remember Them
Law And Order: Part I
Spirituality and Religion Connections
"A Taste Of Canada"
Is this site funded and/or sponsored?
Good question. Kir-Shalom does NOT have a sponsor. There is no Patron Saint. It is, however, funded by us and by donations from those readers and visitors to our site who find it worthy of their support. We send out an e-mail three times a year to our mailing list reminding folk of our needs. See our Sponsors Page - Income and Expenses for information about our revenues and some of our expenses.
Is Kir-Shalom searchable?
No. We have, however created a Scriptural Index to most of the sermons listed on the Sermons & Sermon - Lectionary Resources portion of the site. The rest of Kir-Shalom is organized in such a way that you will find what you seek fairly easily. United Online is searchable with the Forum areas. Many other search features are only available to registered members of United Online.
What about broken links and "bad" links?
Site maintenance is an ongoing and never-ending process. The nature of the Net is such that sites often move or just plain disappear. Some sites have "forwarding" for a few weeks or months after the move. Finding them after the forwarding stops is a very interesting process of search, search, search. Sometimes the original site has moved to a new address but the old address is taken over by someone else. One of the most galling, devious and frustrating happenings is when an original site address is taken over by a website that contains or is devoted to pornographic material. This has happened a few times in our experience. We've been very grateful to receive e-mail notifying us that this has happened so that we can correct it. Please feel free to let us know.
Notifying us of broken links, bad links, problems
We sure would appreciate it if, when you write to us about the above, that you would mention the specific page (include the url) and, if applicable, the specific section of the page that contains the link. It will make the process of updating a whole lot easier. Thank you!
Such a large site ... who is your ISP?
We are very fortunate to have our pages reside on Rocky Mountain Networks in Golden, BC. They provide us with excellent service. Our "down" time is rare and minimal. This small, locally owned and operated ISP has much to recommend it. From its fast, friendly service to its technical troubleshooting, it shines! "Rockies" - as it is affectionately called, is a responsible ISP that affirms families and wholesome fun.
What do you use for your own "start" page?
Charlene uses her Charlene's Special
Richard uses United Online or Sermon & Sermon - Lectionary Resources
1045 King Crescent
Golden, BC V0A 1H2
E-Mail: Charlene Fairchild
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