"I'm what the world considers to be a phenomenally successful man. And I've failed much more than I've succeeded. And each time I fail, I get my people together, and I say, "Where are we going?" And it starts to get better." - Calvin Trager
Friday, January 30, 2004 I was standing outside Blueberry Hill on Wednesday night, freezing my toes (etc.) off for my chance to see John Edwards for 45 seconds and I got into a conversation with a woman next to me.
We were talking about the different candidates and what was important to us and for both of us the most important issue was foreign relations. I mentioned to her the work we at ECM have been doing on AIDS in Africa and her response was agreeing how important that was and how Washington needs to do more about it. I agreed, and said back, "yeah ... but not just Washington, we ALL do."
She had never thought about that.
Until recently, I had never thought of it, either.
Until recently, foreign relations, huge affronts to human deceny, security and justice like AIDS in Africa seemed like things that our government needed to do more about but nothing that I could really do anything about. People like Blair Henneke, David Gibson, Steve Scharre, Jen Coil, James Sarpei, Mackinnon Webster, Kristian Kaufmann, Jen Claypool and so many others within our community and without have taught me differently.
My sabbatical project (in addition to spending lots of time with my family) is called: "The Gospel and a Globalized World: Connecting Local Ministry to the World Arena." Thiis blog is a part of that project. If you keep reading, you'll learn as I learn. I'll tell stories and share some FYIs and "did you knows". I'll float ideas of how we can break down the "what can I do about it" at the local level and I would love to hear your thoughts and responses, so email me at MKinman@juno.com or just use the shout out feature (when it's working, which has been pretty hit-or-miss recently).
For those of you who are ECMers or former ECMers, this sabbatical is not just for my benefit, it's for all of us.
Right now, I'm reading a new book "Black Death: AIDS in Africa" by Susan Hunter. It's proving to be a phenomenal primer on the issue for someone like me who is just starting to learn. Listening to Jen Coil talk about her work with AIDS orphans in Tanzania has opened my eyes even further to that problem. Listening to Kristian talk and reading the stuff in Ron Suskind's book about Paul O'Neil's passion for having universal access to potable water (did you know that we could guarantee everyone in Ghana access to potable water for only $25 million? That's the amount of money Texas shortstop Alex Rodriguez makes as salary in one year!!!).
Mostly, as I learn more, as I have questions, as I have goofy ideas, I'm going to share them with you ... and I'm also going to share them with Schroedter. Because if we can raise our children to know and care about children halfway around the globe and realize that we're all in it together, then there really is hope.
EGR resources and connects the church to embrace what one person, one congregation, one diocese and one church can do to make this mission of global reconciliation happen.
Want to find out more ... check our our website at www.e4gr.org.
"Christ's example is being
demeaned by the church if they ignore the new leprosy,
which is AIDS. The church is the sleeping giant here.
If it wakes up to what's really going on in the rest
of the world, it has a real role to play. If it doesn't,
it will be irrelevant."