The Time Has Come!

The moment has arrived. UBFriends has emerged from its construction phase and has officially launched. Our first post is a special piece by our friend John H. Armstrong on his observations about the past, present and future of UBF. After this, we expect to be posting 2 or 3 new pieces each week, and perhaps even more as new material flows in.

Please tell your buddies about so that this online community will continue to thrive. And please send your creative work to us so that we can schedule it for publication.


  1. I’m very excited for the launch of this site and I will pray that it will be used to build up the church and promote creative expression and communication within our ministry. Thank you to all who worked hard to put it together!

  2. Joe Schafer

    Hats off to Mary from New York who has graciously agreed to serve as a site administrator to improve the appearance and functionality of this site. Mary is a professional web designer who is largely responsible for that great website at NYU Seed (

    Mary will be tweaking and improving the site in the days and weeks ahead. After she works her magic, if anyone has additional suggestions for improvements, I suggest that you post those suggestions here as comments. Mary will definitely see them and take them into account.

    Thanks, Mary!

    • Mary could you take a look at this? In IE7 and IE8, I am getting a “long runing script in Adobe Flash” message on most pages, including this one. I can cancel the script and then the page loads fine. This may be an IE-only issue.

    • Brian, could it be the countdown timer?

    • Yes, it probably is. I read the message again and it specifically mentions a “movie”. The timer is the only thing I see that would be a flash movie.

  3. Joe Schafer

    Also, thanks to Brian Karcher of Detroit who will also be serving as a site administrator to help with moderating discussion, user accounts, and other very important stuff.

    Brian, you are welcome to go ahead and approve comments, add contributors, and do whatever else you like to help this community to flourish. Right now, the comment of every first-time commenter is held for moderation. If you would like to receive notification of this by email, please go ahead and set that up. If you want to relax that rule, go ahead and do that as well. I defer to your expertise in these matters.

  4. Brian Karcher
    Brian Karcher

    I changed the countdown to a non-flash plugin. Neither IE7 nor IE8 was working with the previous countdown, although it did look much nicer. The countdown Flash movie was making it nearly impossible for me to edit or contribute here. Perhaps Mary J can find a better solution?

  5. Birgit Steller

    Wonderful idea to create this site!

  6. Brian Karcher
    Brian Karcher

    Hello Birgit. I agree and hope you will continue to add your comments!

  7. Joe Schafer

    Hi Birgit, It’s wonderful to hear from you. Come back and visit us often.

  8. Hi Brian, Mary,

    Thanks for your stewardship and expertise for this site!

    I had asked Joe this in a previous post: I’m wondering if there’s a way to be informed via email of those who made comments on articles that you had commented on.

    People who make comments would like to read if others had responded or commented on what they had posted.


    • Joe Schafer

      Hi Ben,
      The buttons on the sidebar allow you to subscribe to all posts or all comments. We can also implement a subscription button for each post, so that you can be informed of all new comments on that post. I’ll make sure that we implement this by August 1.

  9. Brian Karcher
    Brian Karcher

    I would suggest using the RSS feed option in the links to the left. I just added a plugin for an easier way for those who want just a quick email notification for certain posts. You should now see a “Notify me of followup comments via e-mail” checkbox on the bottom of the post you want to subscribe to.

  10. Brian, thanks for installing the plugin.

    And thank you, Joe, for the introduction.

    I hope to make visual and functional updates to this site in the next few days. Please contact us with more suggestions!

  11. Mark Yoon

    Joe, Brian and Mary

    I am excited to be part of this on-line community. Thanks for working hard to make this possible. I take my hat off to all of you!

  12. Dear site team! Could we have the ability to change the comments once they are already posted as well? Sometimes I want to correct my English, or adding new thoughts after posting a comment, that is why I ask about it. Thanks for the great work on this site!

  13. Hi David,

    To give you the ability to change your comments, we would need to create some kind of account for you. Most blogs do not do that. We don’t mind
    at all if your English is not perfect. Mistakes happen, and friends will not judge one another about this, especially in a multicultural setting like

    If you want to add more thoughts, it would be better to put them into
    a new comment. If you were to make changes or additions to an old
    comment, many people would not see it, because it would not show
    up in the “Recent Comments” area.

  14. Brian Karcher
    Brian Karcher

    David, I think your English is very readable from what I’ve seen so far! One suggestion would be to write your comments in Notepad or another editor first; then copy and paste into a comment on the blog. This is slower, but I’ve gotten into this habit so that I can review things first.

    • Brian, thanks for this suggestion. It is really helpful both – for grammar and for preparing comment more carefully. But sometimes I’m so hurry up to express my thoughts, so don’t matter much how readable they are.

  15. We’ve just launched a new look-and-feel for the UBFriends site today and I’m curious to hear your thoughts and comments.

    If you have any suggestions, please feel free to leave them here. Thanks!

    • hannah love

      I love it. I think the colour goes well with the purpose of it being like an online cafe and meeting place.
      It’s simple, so I like it :)

  16. Mary, i think this new design looks great! Fabulous!

  17. Brian Karcher
    Brian Karcher

    Excellent! The content is much more readable now.

  18. Looks good! Thanks guys! I guess ideas would come up while using it.

  19. FishEater

    It’s good to see such an active community. Maybe this can be the new ACT3? =)

  20. Congratulations on the launching of the website! And the new design is better than the beta one.

  21. Great look and feel and content! Thanks for this site.