Bringing Moray’s Money to You!

Moray’s Money Drop-In on Tuesday 5th March 2013, 9:30 – 2pm, in your local College’s Aye Pod Café is your chance to compare leading High Street banks and find out more about personal finance options.  Everyone is welcome.  Ready to answer your questions, there will also be:

  • Forres Credit Union: providing a local saving and lending scheme that works to regenerate local communities
  • George West: Moray Council expert  on debt management with a wealth of experience at helping those in tough  times
  • Energy Saving Trust:  visiting from Aberdeen to offer loads of money-saving advice, from incentives  for installing micro-renewables in your home to reducing your travel costs,  and some freebies

There will also be a final chance to enter our competition for the best budgeting tips (or photo on the theme).  You can find out much more at www.facebook.com/MoraysMoney and why not also check out the “MoneyforLife” challenge, sponsored by Lloyds Banking Group and Scotland’s Colleges.

On Tuesday 5th March, we’re gathering the experts together for you – don’t miss out on the opportunity, pop into the Café and let everybody know about this unique event.

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Recently, Brian Cox appeared on the Radio Times pages with a globe at his feet and what seemed like a planet-sized ego inflating his claims, as he promoted another BBC series – Wonders of Life.  Note his unchallenged assertion: “It’s incumbent on you, as a physicist, to explain life. If you don’t think God did it, what did?

Well, firstly, great scientists, from Newton to Einstein, have firmly believed in God.  The former, in his magnum opus, stated: “This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being“.

You see, to disprove God’s existence you would actually have to be capable of divine omniscience – able to be everywhere and see all things.  Clearly, humans are not thus equipped.  We’re still trying to pin down what exactly all the bits of DNA do and as for “dark matter”…

All science offers is theories based on observation and experimentation.  At one time – around when “Frankenstein” was dreamed-up by Mary Shelley – some thought you could infuse life back into dead matter by a strong, electrical jolt.  Not quite correct, Mr Galvani. 

So, we can possibly learn a lot about what happened right up until just before the Big Bang – the start of Recorded Time – that almost all scientists actually take as their limit for “explaining life”.  You see, before is one big mystery and I believe it’s Isaac, not Brian, who offers the start of an answer. 

Open Evening @ Moray College – Considering the Clergy?

Have you ever wondered why people still argue over what the Bible means, or seem so inspired by the principles and stories inside? Are you still pondering what’s worth a lifetime of study and work, which has the real potential and hope to transform our world?  Or maybe you just really want to know what exactly the Scriptures say about…? 

Well, here’s your chance to find out a bit more.  “Considering the Clergy” – 7pm to 8:30pm in the Aye Pod café of Moray College – is an open evening on Monday 11th February 2013, for anyone interested in finding out more about Theology studies, whether just for their own interest, or as a stepping stone to ordained ministry.

Why study theology?

Across Scotland, there are currently a large number of churches vacant (i.e. without ministers). In Elgin, the High Church is just one example of the vocational opportunities clearly there. As these churches generally provide high-quality pastoral care for their members and adherents, not to mention hosting charity events, free youth clubs and such like, there is a significant knock-on effect for the local communities when minister-leaders cannot be found. Moreover, there are real opportunities for innovation, from Street Pastors (hopefully arriving in Elgin on 13th April 2013) to Christians Against Poverty, a debt-counselling service which recognises the importance of life-affirming communities and relationships in unpicking these complex problems.

Theology – basically the study of God, focusing on the Bible – is also a fascinating subject. Scriptures have shaped so much of what has happened in world history, from the civil rights’ struggle against racism (led by the Baptist preacher, Martin Luther King) to the modern vegetarian movement (inspired by the Reverend Cowherd – one to “google”).  Most Christians believe in the power of timeless truths and practices, revealed by God to people that can seem bent on self-destruction but are also capable of amazing brilliance.

Followers find that only this faith can truly satisfy individual’s deepest needs and provide a vision for the world – God’s beautiful creation – as it should be.  Similarly, they find strength to keep enduring in tough times in remembering the astonishing sacrifice of Christ, who persevered through one of the most agonising forms of execution, the Roman cross, and even reached to forgive those who condemned Him to death.  This – Christians believe – was not some horrendous mistake, but part of God’s redemption plan, bringing the best of outcomes (resurrection) even out of what is the worst of evils known to man.  From doctrines of “penal substitutionary atonement” to “eternal glory through temporary suffering”, Christ’s living legacy is monumental with the number of books written on the subject only scratching the surface. 

Whilst awful atrocities have been perpetrated in the name of this religion, these arguably stem from that fundamental moral sickness the Bible calls sin. Likewise, problems often result from the Scriptures being distorted, twisted out of context or the meanings of words misunderstood, providing yet more reasons for the Bible to be properly studied and appreciated in a rigorous, academic environment that is also committed to supporting students of whatever background or ability in their learning.

 Who’s going to be there?

There will be several short talks, each followed by opportunities for questions, designed to give you a wide variety of insights into Theology studies and church ministry:

  • A member of staff from Moray’s UHI partner in Dingwall, Highland Theological College, will explain what non-denominational means and their offer of courses at all levels. Their Access Course (actually administered through Moray College) is used either as a route onto the BA, or as a stand-alone course, often studied “for interest only”, which many ordinary church members have found very useful in helping them find out more about the faith.
  • three local ordained minister (Steven Thomson from the Church of Scotland, Colin Morrison from the Free Church and Graham Swanson from the Baptist Union) will do short five minute presentations about their work.
  • a student perspective from one church youth worker (Lewis Campbell) who studied the Access to Theology course remotely from Moray College and used some of our Video Conferencing and networking technology

So how does it work?

No questions are off-limits, including those that might be considered controversial, because Christians believe in a respectful, tolerant search for and pursuit of the truth. Afterwards, there will be a chance for everyone to stay and talk further over light refreshments.

The format of the evening will be an open seminar, which means visitors can drop in and out as they need to, depending on their schedules. We appreciate that people have busy lives and, as long as you are considerate towards everyone else in the room, some coming and going is understandable.

Please, if you are interested, put this date in your diaries and we look forward to introducing you to “Considering the Clergy”.  Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.