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Welcome to the website of the Church of Scotland Presbytery of Gordon.
We do hope you enjoy your visit and find the information and Presbytery News within the site useful to you.
COMPUTER SAFETY FROM CHURCH OF SCOTLAND
To All Presbytery Clerks,
Dear Presbytery Clerks,
I note below advice received today from the Churches Legislation Advisory Service. You may have read of these threats in the media. Our IT Department have confirmed that there is a real risk to computers and in particular PCs running Windows software. The main message seems to be to have effective anti-virus software installed and to keep it up to date.
I would be grateful if you will alert the congregations in your Presbytery to the risks to safeguard not just church computers but also those owned by office bearers which are used for church business.
Solicitor of the Church of Scotland,
121 George Street, Edinburgh, EH2 4YN.
DX ED 144
LP - 121, Edinburgh 2
Tel 0131 240 2213
Fax 0131 240 2246
The Church of Scotland - Scottish Charity number SC011353
Note referred to:
Computer safety: GameOver Zeus and CryptoLocker
Criminals are spreading two computer viruses, GameOver Zeus and CryptoLocker. There are so many warnings about viruses that it’s easy to become complacent and just ignore them. But these two really are serious – serious enough for the Government’s National Crime Agency to issue a warning on 3 June. The two viruses primarily affect Windows PCs, but they can also affect any system which has Windows installed, including Windows running as a virtual machine on an Apple Mac, and any server running Windows and Windows embedded.)
GameOver Zeus, aka GOzeuS and P2PZeus, is an aggressive malware that infects computers, usually when you open an e-mail attachment. Once the malware is installed, the computer can in effect be ‘taken over’ by the criminals and can be used to view files on your computer, monitor your bank accounts (including getting your passwords and being able to empty your accounts), send e-mails in your name and use your webcam to spy on you.
If GameOver Zeus isn’t successful in locating financial information and emptying your bank account, some strains of GameOver Zeus then install CryptoLocker. This is a “ransomware” program that locks the files on your computer by encrypting them, demands a ransom (generally, it appears, $300) for a key to decrypt the files, and installs a clock on your screen that you can watch count down to the deadline. If the ransom is not paid (and maybe even if it is), the decryption key is removed from the computer – leaving your files inaccessible. It may be possible to retrieve them but only if they have been securely backed up.
The FBI, the UK’s National Crime Agency and agencies in eight other countries have worked together to stop these threats by blocking servers from which GameOver Zeus was being distributed. But it is reckoned that 250,000 computers worldwide (including 15,000 in the UK) are already infected; and the experts believe that it is only a matter of time before the criminals start using other servers. So it is important to act now to ensure your computers are not already infected, and to protect them against infection if GameOver Zeus and CryptoLocker start being distributed again.
Protecting your computer
The following guidance is adapted from IT Eye and the Government-backed GetSafeOnline website.
- Run all your Windows updates to make sure you are as up to date as possible: Start > All programs > Windows updates. If your operating system is still Windows XP, Microsoft is no longer issuing updates and your system is at particular risk.
- Ensure you have a recognised anti-virus package, such as Norton, McAfee, Avast or AVG on your system, and that it is up to date and switched on at all times.
- Run a full (not quick) virus scan on your machine. Or if you don’t have anti-virus software or are not sure whether it is fully up to date, download the free tool from GetSafeOnline to scan for GameOverZeus and CryptoLocker and remove them from your computer.
- Do not open suspicious email. GetSafeOnline has guidance on how to identify e-mails from spammers, scammers, phishers and hackers, but malware may be in an attachment on an e-mail that looks like it is from someone you know or someone else who would plausibly be contacting you.
- Never open email attachments or click on links in e-mails unless you are absolutely, totally, definitely certain they are authentic.
- Delete phishing e-mails claiming that a bank account, tax return or anything else requiring a password is compromised and you need to re-enter your details to activate it again – dead obvious, but someone must fall for this one, otherwise no-one would bother to send them.
- Change your passwords. Original passwords may already have been compromised by GameOver Zeus. Never store passwords on your computer.
- Back up all your data. Copy everything onto a USB stick or external drive and keep it disconnected from your computer. This way, you have a complete copy of everything should the worst happen.
- Do not rely on Dropbox, SugarSync or other similar cloud-based file sharing solutions to protect your data. They may provide a backup solution, but you may have to e-mail and wait for them to restore your data which may take a few days to do.
- Set up an ‘administrator’ account on your computer with a strong password and:
- use the administrator account for making changes to the machine, such as installing software or adding a printer:
- use a standard account for everyday use.
The head of the cybersecurity team at the Institution of Engineering and Technology says that by not using the administrator account for browsing the web or accessing emails, computer users can protect themselves from 90% of malware attacks.
11. If you don’t have an anti-malware program on your machine, install one and use it regularly. Malwarebytes is effective and you can get a decent free version.
The easiest source of information on all aspects of internet, computer, smartphone and tablet security is GetSafeOnline at www.getsafeonline.org.
- Gov.uk website: National Crime Agency news story, 3 June.
- The Independent: GameOver Zeus: Removal, detection and how you can protect yourself 3 June,
- Home Office: Basic guidance for individuals and small and medium enterprises on good practice,
- Department for Business, Innovation and Skills: Cyber security skills: A guide for business
- Cyber Essentials scheme: A Government-backed scheme to help organisations protect themselves against common cyber-attacks, launched on 5 June. From 1 October 2014 the Government will require all suppliers bidding for certain sensitive and personal information handling contracts to be certified against the Cyber Essentials scheme.
[Source: Sandy Adirondack (with thanks) – 14 June 2014]
The Church of Scotland - Scottish Charity Number SC011353 This email transmission is privileged, confidential and intended solely for the person or organisation to whom it is addressed. If you are not the intended recipient, you must delete the message immediately without processing it further and you are asked to notify us of the error by email to the sender. All messages passing through this gateway are checked for viruses but you are strongly recommended to check for viruses using your own virus scanner as the Church of Scotland will not take responsibility for any damage caused as a result of virus infection.
General Assembly Nomination Committee
The Committee’s video, Shaping the Future, is available on Youtube.
Prebytery of Gordon would like to encourage ministers, elders and church members to look at it and consider nominating someone, perhaps themselves, to serve on the Councils and Committees of the General Assembly. And ministers and others might think of ways of sharing the video and its story in worship, on church websites, in newsletters etc.
Presbytery meetings for ordinary business will be held at the locations below. Meetings are on the first Tuesday of the month identified. Presbytery starts promptly at 7.30pm except in June when it begins at 7.00pm.
||Inverurie West Church
||Inverurie West Church
||Inverurie West Church
||Fintray, Kineller, Keithhall
Presbytery welcomes students for the full time & auxiliary ministry, readers and trainee readers at the June meeting of Presbytery, which is always preceded with the Sacrament of Holy Communion.
Special meetings of Presbytery are arranged by appointment of Presbytery or are called by the Moderator and intimation will be given in such cases.
A Guide to the Presbytery of Gordon
The aim of A Guide to Gordon Presbytery along with the Presbytery Year Book and the Standing Orders, is to help folk understand what Presbytery is all about and so make Presbytery meetings an enjoyable and informative time for everyone. Please feel free to download your personal copy.
Cycle Nepal-Experience the magical kingdom of Nepal by bike!
Cycle Nepal, our amazing cycling challenge in Nepal, will directly help to improve the health of mothers and their babies who would otherwise go without essential healthcare.
Cycle 350km in 6 days through the foothills of the Himalayas with our friendly team going from historic Kathmandu to lakeside Pokhara.
Explore Chitwan National park and visit an international healthcare project in Nepal which your sponsorship will support.
What previous participants say:
‘Without doubt the most enjoyable experience in 20 years of cycling. Brilliant! Can’t wait to do another.’
‘The best cycling I have ever done, it had everything including a 50km downhill.’
‘The Cycle Nepal challenge is a fantastic opportunity to see a beautiful country whilst challenging your own cycling ability.’
Registration Fee - Sign up for just £149 until 28 February 2014 (£199 thereafter). Minimum Sponsorship target - Raise at least £2,850 for EMMS International. The ride is fully supported with bikes, doctor, ground crew, accommodation and meals.
Register online here.
Please contact Louise Stuart at email@example.com or call 0131 313 3828 to talk to us about this challenge.
Worried about fundraising? We have a fundraising pack with ideas on how to raise the sponsorship as well as information about the healthcare project you will be supporting in the Dang District of Nepal. Speak to our staff who have raised sponsorship for many events over the years for advice.
I really hope that you will join us on this adventure.
Head of Events and Community Fundraising
Knitting for hospitals in Malawi etc.
Thank you so much for all the lovely knitting. Last week Ritu Jones (and Zoe) helped me sort out the boxes. We made smaller parcels to take to the health centers. On Friday I went with the pharmacy team that checks on the medicines to distribute some of the vests and blankets at Malingundi. The shipment arrived exactly at the right time. The weather is quite cold (to our standards) between 10 and 15 at night. And the moms and infants seemed very grateful to have these warm things.
We are coming to Scotland at the end of August for 6 weeks. We will bring more pictures and reports.
We are sending knitting to Malawi through the charity FROM which is based in Gordon Presbytery. The charity is headed by
David and Kathleen Thomson, Whiteford Croft, Pitcaple, INVERURIE, AB51 5EB,
E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 01467 681208
FROM started in 2005 with the aim of feeding orphans after a harvest failure. To date they have raised £282,000, every penny of it going to Malawi. Money goes directly to Dr Tracy Morse their daughter who is Project Manager for the University of Strathclyde Health Initiative in the south of Malawi. They have also sent out 2x 20 foot containers and 1x 40 foot container, full of medical supplies knitting etc.
We are arranging for our knitting to be send on to our missionary partners at Nkhoma hospital.
- The most useful things are jerseys, cardigans and hats for babies and children up to about 5 years old.
- Scarves, gloves or booties are not needed.
- Teddies and blankets are great.
- Blankets are best if approx 3 feet wide and 5 feet long. Most people doing these seem to find it easiest to knit strips 3 feet long and 6 inches wide then sew them together.
You can see more photos and find out more about FROM on their web site www.fromscotland.org.uk
These are photos of children with their new clothes and teddies.
For over 40 years the SRT (Society, Religion and Technology Project of the Church of Scotland) has sought to help the church in Scotland and beyond to engage with ethical issues in science. Over the years, the SRT project has been influential in many discussions on a huge variety of topics. We regularly produce reports to the General Assembly, as well as publications in the national and scientific press.
In many ways, though, the SRT has remained a “hidden gem” of the Church of Scotland: many of the members of the church are unaware of the work the SRT does. In addition, many in society accept without question the conflict hypothesis- that science and faith have nothing to say to each other, and are implacably opposed to each other.
We want to help to renew a positive interface between science and faith and provide information on the work of the SRT to church members.
The SRT website address is http://www.srtp.org.uk.
Wave of Prayer
Each Thursday at noon in Jerusalem, Sabeel holds a Communion service that is open to the community. It is a time to join together to discuss how the scriptures apply to our lives today, to pray for the needs of this region and our world and to share the Eucharist.
The premise of the "Waves of Prayer" is that in their respective time zones, individuals and groups around the world will pray together at 12:00 on Thursdays, in solidarity with Sabeel in Jerusalem and with "Friends of Sabeel" worldwide. Starting in the Pacific Islands, passing through Asia, Africa, Middle East, Europe, the Americas and on around the globe, we pray for peace with justice.
Presbytery Meeting Minutes
As a new service, Draft and Final Minutes of the Presbytery Meetings will be available here. Click the link below.
AN EVENT INSPIRED BY ST ANDREW AND THE SCOTTISH FLAG
PUTTING ST ANDREW BACK IN SCOTLAND
St Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland and the Scottish flag is his symbol, the saltire or X shaped cross. We often forget that the person behind our flag was one of Jesus’ first followers, and died because of his Christian faith. He was tortured to death by crucifixion in AD60 at Patros in Greece, and, according to tradition, asked that the cross be placed diagonally since he considered himself unworthy to die in the same way as Jesus on an upright cross. From this, the saltire became recognised as his symbol.
St Andrew is described in the bible as one of the first people to be called by Jesus to be his follower, and the first to invite someone else – his brother Simon Peter - to come and meet Jesus to find out the truth for himself.
Inspired by his example, Members of Barthol Chapel Kirk celebrated St Andrew’s legacy last year.
First, just as St Andrew did, we invited others to find out more about Jesus’ life and claims for themselves. In the spirit of his example, we gave out copies of John’s Gospel, which was written, in its own words, “that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God”. We invited those around us to read and see if they agreed!
Secondly, we invited guests to help us mark St Andrew’s day at a special service on Sunday 28th November at Barthol Chapel Kirk. The service was led by Rev Matt Canlis from Methlick, and also celebrated the beginning of the Advent Season leading up to Christmas. Matt offered the perspective of someone coming to the Church of Scotland afresh and demonstrated his real gift for explaining the relevance of the Christian faith today.
The success of this initiative was reported by the Home Mission Sub-Committee to the May meeting of Presbytery, and the materials used by Barthol Chapel are all available here for adaptation by any churches who may want to step out in faith with something similar in 2011 or future years. The experience of Barthol Chapel was that God does indeed honour such steps, however faltering, that we take to share the Good News of Jesus with our neighbours and communities. Anyone who would like to have any more details is welcome to contact the Home Mission Sub-Committee via Robert Barker (email@example.com) or Rev Isabel Buchan (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Neuroethics Conference Flyer Booking Form
A new web site has been developed for Christian families who have lost a baby before or just after birth called Under the Rainbow
It is a biblical resource primarily featuring - Bible Studies, Truths to Strengthen, Recommended Reading as well as Practical Info. For any churches wishing promotional bookmarks to pass on to people - email email@example.com
Ethical Issues in Cloned Embryo Research
The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in 2006 resolved to “oppose the creation for research or therapy of parthenogenetic human embryos, animal-human hybrid or chimeric embryos, or human embryos that have been deliberately made non-viable”. Read the latest article here.
The Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007
Newsletter No. 2
This is the third PVG Newsletter with up-to-date information on the introduction of the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007. The Scottish Government have announced the start of the new PVG Scheme which will be on the 28th February 2011. Any enquiries can be directed to Reverend Graeme Longmuir, Presbytery of Gordon Safeguarding Advisor.
The Presbytery of Gordon is located in the North-East of Scotland, North and West of Aberdeen city.
Many of its 30 congregations serve rural areas, however, many residents are involved in the oil and gas industries or related businesses, some working offshore on a regular basis.
Central to the Church of Scotland is our love and worship of God through following the Lord Jesus Christ. Worship within the Church of Scotland is for everybody and patterns of worship vary from church to church which means that people can find a place of worship where they feel comfortable.
Doric Lord's Prayer
Presbytery's function is to exercise a leadership role designed to empower and support congregations in the fulfilment of their calling to be the people of God in their own localities. Membership consists of Ministers, Deacons and Elders from congregations within the Presbytery bounds.
Presbytery Mission Statement
The Presbytery of Gordon is committed to:-
Providing and developing fellowship and support to congregations and ministries within its bounds in their work and witness for the Gospel; and
Ensuring proper practice in all aspects of the life and work of the charges within its bounds
Church Of Scotland Vision Statement
"The vision of the Church of Scotland is to be a church which inspires the people of Scotland and beyond with the Good News of Jesus Christ through enthusiastic worshipping, witnessing, nurturing and serving communities."
Presbytery Planning 20/20 Vision
At the December 2009 Presbytery meeting, Reverend Euan Glen presented a report regarding the financial position of the Church of Scotland and how we are to make plans for the future. The Conference was called Presbytery Planning 20/20 Vision.
The report is available here and will open in a new browser window.