Internet security for your family

The United Methodist Communications shares the following advice. . . .

By Gavin Richardson

The Internet is a vast ocean of information and people. It is easy to find oneself in a trouble spot on the web. What are the best options for a church to protect its congregation and visitors from exposing themselves or others to damaging images and information on the web? Within your home, what are some options to protect your children from stumbling into the wrong corner of the web?

Here are a few software programs specifically developed to protect people from finding their way to the wrong places and connecting with the wrong people on the web.

NOTE: These reviews are not an endorsement of one product over another. We are highlighting some of the unique features of each product and why a product could be considered for your church or family’s Internet protection. Products like these change frequently, and new products appear often. Figure out what your needs are, and then use this as a guide to evaluate software options to determine the best fit for your circumstances.

K9 Web Protection has some neat features for a free software download. K9 performs many of the standard site blocks, scheduled time restrictions, category blocks, a safe search function (only shows approved search results), spy ware/malware protections and more. In addition, it has features that would be great for a parent or church lab network administrator. It has override password options as well as reports to monitor activities. K9 is available on iPhone/iPad and Android operating systems as well as Mac- and Windows-based computers. The price is great — free — as they will give you a license code for a single machine download. If you like the product and want to install it on more machines, you can purchase a multi-license option.

Webroot and its Secure Anywhere product for the home is a great option for the person with multiple devices who wants protection from inappropriate web finds and from incoming attacks and identity theft. If you have a lot of work or personal information online, consider this option. For $60, you get a complete Internet security package that will work across five devices together. The unique perks for Webroot include a data-storage option, network monitor and online activity trace eliminator. Webroot works on both Mac and Windows platforms as well as on most mobile operating systems.

NetNanny is another popular, family-directed Internet software option. It provides many of the same basic features as K9 Web Protection. The language blocker will switch out a foul-language word (in a comment on Facebook or YouTube) with a string of gibberish characters. NetNanny will also record all activity on the device and have it available for review for the following 24 hours. If something happened to a family member and you were curious about his or her last day of correspondence, you can look through the recordings. NetNanny’s pricing structure can get complicated with different products for each operating system. It has a Family Protection Pass that gives 10 licenses for $80, but those licenses do not work on Windows XP or iOS (iPhone/iPad) systems. This, however, could be a plus to customize your needs versus the larger license package that other companies provide. The NetNanny blog offers good content on security issues with children and teenagers.

SafeEyes is one of many security options from McAfee. The neatest aspect about SafeEyes is its design for the family. McAfee also has business options that can work for a church computer lab. You will probably want features similar to those of SafeEyes, which allows you to block/monitor social activity on platforms that can give access to people or images you do not want to see. From online videos and games to instant messaging, music and more, they have options to protect your family. Similar to other software options, these can send reports of activity over the network. McAfee’s pricing structure puts it on the higher end pricewise. You can get set up for $50 to $70 (or more depending on your products), but the costs are subscription-based, so you will pay the same amount each year. If you do not maintain your subscription, your software will stop updating and become more of a drag on your computer than a help. SafeEyes and most other McAfee software has a free download option letting you try it before purchasing. You can have more confidence moving forward from there.

Qustodio is a solid option to use for protecting your children and monitoring their activity across computers and platforms. A unique feature is the option for reports on with whom and how much your child is text messaging. Because of their focus on mobile protection, they can also track your child’s activity in real time. The interface for setting up individual users and their safety settings is friendly to navigate. Qustodio also gives detailed social media reports. If you want to know how long you, or a child, was on a social media website, that can be reported as well. Pricing is on a yearly subscription basis and in the same range as McAfee. Qustodio is different from McAfee as it offers a slightly larger package (five devices versus three devices) for similarly-priced options. Their school packages could be used for church computer labs.

BrowseControl is designed for business. If you operate a computer lab at the church, this could be a solid option. It has options for banning specific websites as well as keyword/category bans for sites you might not know need to be banned. You can also block any file downloads (or at least download and then run), which can help protect a network from virus or malware infections. If you know you want to allow your older kids access to certain websites while blocking younger ones, BrowseControl has a scheduling option for blocking sites. You can also set up different permissions for each user on the network. If you are unsure how to get this installed on all your computers, there is a remote install option. The pricing starts at $79 for a single user. The pricing structure for multiple computers and license needs is clear. BrowseControl also offers a free 21-day trial period.

InternetLock is a cost-effective solution for the home computer owner who wants many customized parameters for Internet security. For $29.95, you can password protect, schedule block, define user restrictions and more for your home computer. They also offer a fully functioning free trial to use without a time limit. Only after InternetLock has proven worthwhile for your needs are you asked to pay for it. You will see a reminder-to-pay button until you get a registration code/license. One limitation with InternetLock is that it is currently only for the Windows operating system.

Barracuda Network’s price puts it beyond many church budgets. However, when it comes to security, you will not find much better. The question is whether you need that much security. If you have a problem with Internet security, a large network of computers or want to monitor a wireless network for a big congregation, Barracuda might be the option to consider. Detailed reporting, tons of security features and options, and a dedicated support team are just a few options that set them apart from stand-alone installed software.

The particular software platform you choose to protect your congregation and/or family does not matter a great deal. What does matter is that you are doing something to protect the people that God has entrusted to your care. Take some time to invest in protection for those whom you love and care.


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Interesting read – Drifting Toward Hope: A Vietnamese Refugee on What it Means to Be An American

In the summer of 1979 my family and I lay half-dead in a derelict fishing boat lost in the South China Sea. There were 83 other refugees aboard, all of us fleeing Vietnam, and after five days without food and water, some of the mothers began to consider the unthinkable: binding their babies’ arms with strips of cloth and slipping them into the sea.

I was born in the Mekong ­Delta of South Vietnam, eight months after the country fell to the com­munists. My family had owned a rice milling empire worth millions, but the Viet Cong took almost ­everything. We eked out a meager existence on a tiny tract of land for four years, until my parents de­cided that leaving was the only hope for a better future, and worth the ­many risks we would face as “boat people.”

Then, on our sixth day at sea, a miracle happened: We were spotted by a World Vision aid ship. The crew brought us to a refugee camp in Singapore, and a few months later, a Lutheran church in Fort Smith, Ark., sponsored my family’s move to the United States.

We arrived with nothing, unable to speak a word of English. My father went to work in a fiberglass factory, earning $90 a week to support a family of 10. The children in our neighborhood were friendly, but we weren’t ­allowed to play with them. My parents were terrified that if one of us got into a fight, we’d all be sent back to Vietnam. That fear defines the life of a refugee: Don’t stand out. Don’t take risks. And whatever you do, don’t fail.

My time was divided between school, work, and church. Work gave me discipline and kept me out of trouble; church gave me community and a strong faith. My siblings and I walked a path two inches wide and 18 years long, but it turned out to be a good one. Together, we hold six doctorates and five master’s ­degrees, from schools such as ­Harvard, Yale, Georgetown, the University of Pennsylvania, and NYU.

When I was a student in ­medi­cal school in 2002, I returned to Vietnam for the first time, to visit my relatives who are still there. I was shocked by the poverty. Their houses were shacks, the walls plastered over with newspapers; bare light bulbs hung from the ceiling on electrical cords. My cousins slept on the floor. Visiting them was like walking into a parallel universe—the life that would have been mine had the wind blown our boat in a different ­direction.

In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus said, “When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required” (12:48 NLT). I used to wonder who Jesus meant, because I sure didn’t think it was my family. The way I saw it, we had been given nothing, entrusted with nothing. I hoped that rich and powerful people would read Jesus’s words and take them to heart.

But when I went to Vietnam, I finally understood: He meant me. I was the one plucked from the South China Sea. I was the one granted asylum in a nation where education is available to everyone, and prosperity is attainable for anyone. I worked hard to get to where I am today, but the humbling truth is that my hard work was possible because of a blessing I did nothing to deserve. And that blessing is something I must pass on, in any way I can.

My story is true for all of us, whether you arrived in this country by boat or by birth: Much has been given to us—and much is required. That, I believe, is what it means to be an American.

Vinh Chung serves on World Vision’s Board of Directors, and his new memoir is called Where the Wind Leads. In the video below, he describes his family’s journey to the U.S.

From Published August 10, 2014

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Alpha course coming

A bit about Alpha. . . . What is alpha? Alpha is a worldwide phenomenon. It’s found in over 169 countries. It’s run in tens of thousands of schools, prisons, homes and churches of all denominations. It’s given more than 19.6 million people the opportunity to explore the meaning of life. Perhaps it’s just what your community – and your church – needs.

Our version will feature a dinner at 5:30 PM followed by an Alpha presentation and small group discussion concluding at 7:30 PM. Nursery is provided free of charge as is the dinner. We will meet on Monday evenings beginning September 8 and continue for 11 weeks.

Information covered: The Alpha course covers the basics of Christianity. It answers questions like: Who is Jesus?, and Why did he die? The Alpha course usually lasts 10 weeks, with a day or weekend getaway in the middle. Each week, guests gather for about two hours. They share an informal meal, sing a few songs, listen to a talk on how Christianity approaches the question at hand, then gather into small groups for discussion. The talks each week act as a springboard for small group discussions.

Please call the church office for more information, 287-2440. The course is free and open to all!

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Shopping and helping First UMC

While preparing for purchasing school supplies…or for the change in the seasons…doing some home remodeling…or planning late summer or fall travel…doing some early holiday shopping…or you just love to shop online… There is a way to shop online for your needs and benefit your local church or other UM organization. Shop

When you use to shop, a percentage of your purchase (donated by the retailer) – combined with the purchases of other members of your congregation – are donated back to your church. You can select your local United Methodist Church as the recipient of your donation, or you can select from a long list of other United Methodist related organizations like the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCor), The Advance, JustPeace, MARCHA, among many, many others.

Not a current user? Go to and Log in. It takes just a couple of minutes. Each time you shop online, first log into, search for the retailer you want to shop online with, click their logo and start shopping. When you visit the retail site through the portal, your total spending is accumulated for your church and when the total donations reach $100+ your church will get a check.

Now, what about the donation? The donations are processed by the support staff at Once your total donations (generated from a percent of purchases) equal or surpass $100, your church or other organization you designate will receive a check. And then, as you make more purchases throughout the year, the process is repeated. Everyone benefits – you conveniently shop online as you have always done and the church or other UM organization you want to help receives monies for ministries to do the things throughout the connection that make us United Methodists.

Be sure to share with family and friends. The more shopping that is done through this portal, the more assistance is given throughout the United Methodist connection to support the global ministries of the connectional United Methodist Church.

Note: Este comunicado de prensa está disponible en español.

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“Like” us on Facebook

Search for First UMC Gouverneur and “like” us on Facebook. Here you will find information about upcoming worship services and activities.

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Your giving impacts – where?

Visit the UMC Giving website ( to find out. Share with your fellow church members when you read something that resonates with you!

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November newsletter

The Cornerstone
A newsletter for and by the people called United Methodist in Gouverneur and North Gouverneur.
34 Grove Street, Gouverneur NY 13646 315-287-2440
All Saints Sunday 2nd
Revelation 7:9-17 Sermon: “the company of heaven”
Names read & candles lit for those deceased
Communion, Birthday celebration after worship
November 9th
Joshua 24:1-3a. 14-25 and Matthew 25:1-3
Sermon: “as for me and my house”
Dedication of flag, recognition of veterans
Fellowship Feast after worship

November 16th
Matthew 25:14-30 Sermon: “less than the least:
Dedication of the organ, UMW mission recognition award

Thanksgiving Sunday, 23rd
Celebrate a spirit of thanksgiving and our talented laity
Sunday School monthly presentation
Beginning of Advent, 30th
“Sense not cents” as we move toward Christmas. We’ll utilize each of the five senses to help us focus on the reason for the season. NO SUNDAY SCHOOL.
From Karen Lancto
“the name of the Lord is to be praised” Psalm 113:3
October went out like a “great fish” and November will come in like a lion. Sunday School Elementary classes will be roaring through the month with Daniel learning how God protects us and how we need to be brave and stand up for what we believe in. Follow along by studying Daniel 6: 1 – 28.
There are classes for Elementary, Middle School, High School and Adults from 9:50 am to 10:50 am Sunday mornings. Please join us & share your love of the Lord!
We had a chilly, but wonderful time at Fobares in Renssalear Falls on Oct. 19th. Thank you to the parents, grandparents and friends who drove and supervised children. It brings so much joy to the children and there’s nothing like a child’s joyful smile to raise everyone’s spirit! NO SUNDAY SCHOOL NOVEMBER 30
Do you remember all those pink and green Christmas stockings we stuffed last year and sent off to Afghanistan? In return for our support, gifts and prayers, the Army has sent us a flag that flew over Afghanistan. Our Memorial committee has provided a great display frame. We will officially dedicate the flag on Nov. 9th as part of our recognition and gratitude for all veterans and military personnel. It will then be displayed outside the office near Brown Chapel.
“It is this American quality of loyalty and your group’s quality of dedication that make the big and small sacrifices worth suffering.”
As you know, we have been doing some substantial repairs to the organ.
Those are now complete and the organ is sounding great. Again, a big thanks to John and Nelta Halford for funding all the work and supplies. At the Halford’s request the organ will be dedicated in honor of their parents: Thomas & Pauline Halford and Franklin & Ruth Whitten. Join us in a wonderful celebration during worship on Sunday, November 16th.
Annual Harvest Bazaar
November 6 -7
Help spread the work about the UMW Fall Bazaar. Come shop the sweet goodies and homemade foods, find that handmade treasure for that hard to buy for family member. There will be a second hand treasure table for that hard to find knickknack that needs to fill a little space. Then while you are here have lunch with a steaming bowl of soup, very generous sandwich and beverage, topping it off with a big strawberry short cake.
November 6th –6 pm till 8 pm
November 7th – 9 am till 1:30 pm
Lunch on the 7th will be served 11 till 1
Workers pleas come at 4:30 pm to set up on Nov. 6th

The UMW is more than a Bazaar –it’s fellowship and time to share with friends. The goals are many, and the opportunities are great. The money raised helps with the church’s expenses, conference shared ministries, Christmas baskets, as well as mission work and the World Thank Offering.
We work for the greater good of our Church.
That’s right, dinner with all the trimmings…served, picked up, or delivered to your door Thanksgiving Day, 12 noon.
Check with Judy Bush to see how you can help out and help make this a special day of thanks.
Please call, the church office 287-2440, to reserve a place or takeout, or have it delivered.
From the Church Cat: a big thank you to Dan and the Board of Trustees for painting the office. It is clean and more inviting.
Thanks to everyone who has volunteered to help out with the various jobs needed during worship AND for offering your support to Dan during Fellowship time.
(Speaking of which: always needed items include coffee, hot chocolate, paper products and juice.)
Three thank-you cars have been received by persons recently helped out by the Shepherd’s Fund.
Thanks to Tina Kingsley for doing most of the work to put a yummy meal on the tables for ALPHA. Also, to the Oswegatchie Coffee shop for hosting our retreat.
How about a work of thanks to our Choir members who faithfully practice and help lead worship each week – and to Faye Hopper and Victor Correa for covering while the Schuesslers have been away!
What people love about this church: we are enthusiastic and make people feel welcome and part of a family, fellowship time, Pastor Beth and her sermons, active children, dance. Rip it, VBS, care & presence in community, music, joyfulness, lot of new faces, worship is uplifting, sharing in prayer, Jesus is here with us.

People who have inspired and encouraged us: Alice Weldon, Don & Glenda Schuessler, Hazel Finley, JoAnne Stowell, Pastor Beth, new families, the children, Donna Peck, Amber Ormasen, Retha Brown, Judy Sibley, the “old” guard, DeDe Scozzafava, Karen Lancto, Vicky Reed, Faye Hopper.

Things we would like to see come are: youth & teens more involved, a youth group, a youth pastor, care for the environment, a praise band and contemporary music, spirit of unity…
Alice Weldon Receives 2013 UMW Special Mission Recognition
A beloved member of our church, Alice Weldon, has received the United Methodist Women Special Mission Recognition pin and certificate for 2013. She was recognized at the UMW District Meeting last May as one of the recipients in the Northern Flow District.

Alice has been a UMW member, past co-leader of the General UMW, current President of Unit 2 of the UMW, soprano in the church choir, and in past years, Certified Lay Speaker, and Lay Leader. She has written biographies in the church newsletter of church members such as Luella Whitton, Irma Fredenburg, Jim and Aileen Brown, Helen Love, and Faye Lockwood. Many of us in church have received one of Alice’s kind, caring cards and handwritten notes of Christian thoughtfulness and encouragement. She has spent many years in learning and teaching Scripture in devotions, Bible studies, as a past Release Time teacher, and her example to all of us at the church. She has been involved with the Home Communion Ministry to shut-ins and ill members.

She and her husband, Douglas, worked together for many years on the family farm and raised their children, Larry, Steve, Diane, Danny, and Teresa during those years of hard work. Alice, also, went to school while raising her family and became an LPN working for E.J. Noble Hospital, Public Health, and private duty nursing. She is a member of the Gouverneur Garden Club and past officer and currently on the Nominating Committee.

Alice grew up in Oxbow, NY, the daughter of Randolph and Beulah Youngs who had a farm and large family to help with all the hard work of farming in those days, too. She and Douglas now have a large extended family of their own of grandchildren and great grandchildren.

When told that she had received the Special Mission Recognition, Alice stated that there are others more deserving of the award, but most would agree that she is a deserving recipient of this honor by the General UMW of the First United Methodist Church.

e-Giving is coming to First UMC! Don’t panic, thinking you now have to give your offering online. This is just an option for those who conduct most of their business via the internet. The new program will give those that choose a way to set up their giving to the church electronically. Others can continue to give with cash or checks as you are now. Not only will this option help some of us to give regularly and consistently, it will also give our treasurer an even better of idea of expected monthly income. More details will be coming soon. Thanks for considering it.
Our choir is open to all interested persons. Why not add your voice to the mix? It’s a lot of fun and adds so much to our worship.
LIKE US ON FACEBOOK – First United Methodist Gouverneur has a page. Please invite your friends to like us to! Thanks. Posting is done by the Pastor and our IT Geek – Glenda Schuessler!
Faye S. Hopper Scholarship Award by Glenda Schuessler
The scholarship was established to honor our own Faye Hopper and her commitment to musical excellence in our church and community. Mrs. Hopper served as our organist for 62 years prior to her retirement December, 2007.

A $500.00 scholarship is awarded each year to a senior graduating from Gouverneur High School. The student honored has demonstrated a commitment to musical excellence and has shared this gift with the school and community.

Donations from church members, family and friends of Mrs. Hopper enabled the church to establish the fund which has been invested by the Board of Trustees; the interest accrued results in the award each year. This year the committee was able to award two $500.00 scholarships, recipients were Bridget Hall and Dan Kalina.
Previous recipients are Elizabeth Girard (2013), Nick
Leonard (2012), Taylor Gale (2011), Chelsea Erdman (2010),
Joe Schuessler (2009) and Christopher Dixon (2008).

Thank you to Faye as she continues to share her gift of music by
accompanying our choir and serving as substitute organist.
As the newsletter goes to press, we are anticipating a heart-filled and generous response to the Extravagant Generosity campaign. There is so much happening here thanks to an energized and faithful congregation. We continue to hear how welcoming we are – the epitome of caring church family! All of us need to get on board to financially under gird the facility, our staff and the cost of ministry. It also helps when everyone pitches in to do help. Thanks everyone!
Yes, it’s that time of year again when we start getting serious about who will be asked to serve on the various church committees or volunteer to be a lay officer.
A list, as it currently stands, is available at the back of the sanctuary. Please look to see if/where you are and mark with a yes or no if you would like to continue in that capacity. Is there another avenue of service you’d like to pursue? Make a note and we’ll take it into consideration. (Some committees require that you be a member.)
Most committees meet once a month, if that. It’s a great way to get involve, meet other members, and have a say in what happens in our ministry. If you are called or approached by someone saying they’re on the lay leadership/nominating team please listen to their request and give it serious consideration. Thanks.
We have a pot-luck “feast” on the second Sunday of each month.
If you can, why not whip up one of your favorites to share.
Amber Ormasen is making exercise fun with her frequent Rip It classes held here at the church. It doesn’t have to cost you anything to get that heartbeat going, find your muscles and enjoy lots of laughter Everyone is welcome…. men, women, teens.
“I’m not training for a 5K. I’m not preparing for a competition. I’m not trying to set a new record. I’m not trying to impress you. I’m saving my life.”
From the Pastor:
Grace and Peace in the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
I am just writing a short note to thank you for your faithful support of the ministries here at First United Methodist. Because of your tithe or gift we are able to reach out to our neighbors here in the community and, through the denomination, we are touching lives all around the globe.
➢ a child feels loved and welcomed in Sunday School or dance…
➢ a family in the community receives food, fuel oil, a warm coat…
➢ mourners celebrate the life of a loved one at a personalized funeral…
➢ Scouts, 4-H, special needs persons, dieters have a place to meet…
➢ worship lifts our spirits and challenges our daily living…
➢ the resource center provides free materials for our study groups…
➢ engineers, educators, doctors venture across national boundaries…
➢ people of faith take a stand in the face of injustice and prejudice…
➢ families, teens and children encounter God via one of the camp programs…
➢ men and women have a place to ask questions, disagree, learn about themselves and Christ…
➢ a hot meal is shared along with table conversation….
➢ a family, new to the community, finds a place to belong with fellow Christians…
➢ a soldier in Afghanistan receives a box of breakfast goodies and prayers for safety…

While we might be tempted to think in terms of budgets and bills, your financial support of this church is all about ministry – providing a place, a pastor, a program, a people – that touches lives and makes a difference in the world.
If you pledge and support this ministry on a regular basis: THANK YOU!
If you would like to be listed as one of those who makes an upfront and consistent gift to First UMC: JUST START DOING IT! AND THANK YOU!
If your giving potential is extremely limited: THANK YOU FOR DOING WHAT YOU CAN!
To everyone: let us continue to rejoice together as we are the body of Christ through our prayers, presence, gifts, service and witness to the world.

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United Methodist 101 and other Free Webinars

Visit the website for more information. Webinars are available on many topics.

Upcoming webinars:

United Methodist 101 On-line Course

Lifelong United Methodist? New to United Methodism?

United Methodism 101 is designed for new church members and anyone else wanting to know more about our history, Structure, beliefs, Ministries and Challenges.You may be surprised at all there is to discover about our denomination! Click here for Registration ($9.99 fee)

Find more courses at this link:

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Committee on Native American Ministries Information regarding the Committee on Native American Ministries.

The journey toward Repentance and Healing of Relationships with Indigenous Persons continues in Upper New York with a series of District Learning Sessions hosted by the Conference Committee on Native American Ministries (CONAM).

Upper New York has a rich heritage and presence of Native Americans. These District Learning Sessions are an opportunity for listening, learning and building relationships with Native Americans and learning how to use the Act of Repentance DVD in local churches.

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Summer camp . . . fall retreats

2014 summer camp is history. There are fall retreats available, check the website: or call Aldersgate Camp & Retreat Center at 315-348-8833.

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