"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

With Ya, my Ga tutor in Mallam
The Rev. Mike Kinman
Executive Director
Episcopalians for Global Reconciliation
Age: 38

Check out Forsyth School ...
where Robin teaches and
the boys attend.

Since you're already blowing time surfing,
why not do some cool stuff

  • Watch the Make Poverty History videos
  • Watch Sara McLachlan's "World on Fire" video
  • Take a seat at Oxfam America's Hunger Banquet
  • Look at the "Eight Ways to Change The World" photo exhibition
  • See how rich you are on the Global Rich List
  • Make a promise to do something cool -- and get people to do it with you
  • Use your computer to fight HIV/AIDS and other diseases

    While you're at it, do these things
  • Join the ONE Campaign to Make Poverty History
  • Join the Episcopal Public Policy Network
  • Join Amnesty International
  • Subscribe to Sojourners Online newsletter about faith, politics and culture
  • Sign the Micah Call and join other Christians in the fight against poverty
  • Subscribe to a great new magazine about women and children transforming our world

    People who show us What One Person Can Do
  • Liza Koerner (Teaching soccer and doing mission work in Costa Rica)
  • Erica Trapps (Raising money so Tanzanian children can go to school -- check out her photo gallery)

    What's happening in Sudan might
    surprise (and shock) you

  • Episcopal Diocese of Lui
  • South Sudanese Friends International
  • The Sudan Tribune
  • SudanReeves -- research, analysis and advocacy
  • Save Darfur
  • Darfur: a genocide we can stop

    For your daily fix on the irreverent...
  • Jesus of the Week
  • The Onion

    Interesting People Who Are Great To Read
  • Beth Maynard's excellent U2 sermons blog
  • Global Voices Online
  • Neha Viswanathan - poetry, commentary, humor, reflections

    Some interesting organizations and programs
  • Borgen Project - poverty reduction through political accountability
  • CARE
  • Center of Concern
  • DATA: Debt, AIDS and Trade in Africa (Bono's site)
  • El Circulo de Mujeres/Circle of Women
  • Engineering Ministries International
  • Episcopal Peace Fellowship
  • Episcopal Relief and Development
  • FreshMinistries
  • Global Campaign Against Poverty
  • Global Ministries
  • Global Work Ethic Fund -- Promoting philanthropy and fundraising in developing and transition countries.
  • Karen Emergency Relief Fund
  • Magdalene House
  • The M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence
  • Natural Capitalism
  • NetMarkAid - Humanitarian Entrepreneurs
  • North American Association for the Diaconate
  • Peace Child International
  • People Building Peace
  • Project Honduras
  • Results - Creating political will to end hunger
  • St. Paul's Institute
  • Stop Global AIDS
  • TakingITGlobal -- connecting youth for action in local and global communities
  • Tanzania Educational AIDS Mission
  • TEAR (Transformation, Empowerment, Advocacy, Relief) - An Australian Christian anti-poverty movement
  • Working For Change
  • Xigi.net -- an open-source tool to aid discovery in the capital markets that fund good.

    Some Episcopal churches and dioceses doing cool things
  • Companions of Swaziland - Diocese of Iowa's Companion Relationship
  • International Development Missions -- St. Paul's Church, Sparks, NV
  • The Malaria Villages Project - St. Paul's Church, West Whiteland, PA

    Must-read books and websites about them
  • What Can One Person Do: faith to heal a broken world -- Sabina Alkire & Edmund Newell
  • The End of Poverty -- Jeffrey Sachs

    Learn more about things you really should know more about
  • UN Millenium Development Goals
  • The Millennium Campaign
  • AIDS Matters - a resource for global AIDS professionals
  • Christian Aid's in-depth report: "Millennium Lottery: Who lives and who dies in an age of third world debt?"
  • Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Poverty Mapping
  • Solutions for a water-short world
  • Transparency International: The global coalition against corruption
  • UNICEF's State of The World's Children report 2005

    General cool and/or goofy stuff
  • Alicebot chat robot
  • Bono Quotes -- but what's really wild is that it's from a page on Boycottliberalism.com!
  • Buffy Slanguage
  • Big Bunny

    Useful web tools
  • Gcast - make your own podcast
  • Podzinger - podcast search engine
  • Orb - streaming digital media

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    Listed on Blogwise
  • Friday, April 16, 2004
    I was at the Cardinals game Wednesday afternoon and the people behind me were discussing the president's press conference from the night before. It was a pretty typical conversation -- I got the feeling that the guy who was criticizing President Bush would have criticized him no matter what and ditto for the person defending him. But there was one comment that stuck with me and, sad to say, didn't surprise me. One of the guys asked the other what his wife thought about the press conference and he said, "Oh, she was just pissed that American Idol wasn't on."

    There was a big spread in this morning's USA Today about reality shows, how the stars of them are becoming A-list celebrities and how the ratings are through the roof for them and how the networks love it because they are so cheap.

    All my life, our connection to world events has primarily been through TV. And when that is the case -- and the rest of the TV is fiction -- it's too easy to blur that line between fantasy and reality. On one extreme you have the people who write letters to soap opera characters (not the actors, but the characters) and on the other you have viewing news as entertainment. "Reality" television has further blurred this by purporting to show something that is nonfiction as entertainment.

    I think if you ask most people, they will say that they know the difference between news and entertainment -- mostly because it sounds really stupid to say anything different. But I think the truth is far more subtle. Both are marketed to us in the same way. Both come to us through the same media. We invest ourselves emotionally and mentally in both (often more in the entertainment than in the news). Both allow us to feel like a part of what is happening while remaining detached from it. Both we can turn on and turn off as we please.

    What is sad and scary about the guy at the ballgame's comment is not that his wife was more interested in American Idol than the president's press conference ... but that there is virtually no difference between the two. Both are about marketing and entertainment. The war in Iraq was a ratings success and now, like many shows, its newness has worn off, the buzz is gone, people are tiring of it and some of the ACTUAL reality of the horror of it is starting to seep through -- but not too much, because the option to turn off is so easy.

    What is this year's presidential election to most people but another Kwame vs. Bill on "The Apprentice" -- will your guy win or not. I remember over Sunday night dinner at SMSG during the last presidential campaign, Noah Evans and I were talking about the candidates and he was talking about not only who the best candidates were but which race would be the most fun. "I'm a firm believer in politics as entertainment," he said.

    At the time, I laughed ... and really agreed with him. I get into politics and certainly am entertained by them. But maybe we've crossed a liine -- in fact, I think there's little "maybe" about it -- where it is almost all about entertainment, with the exception of the statistical minority who really care and are not so consumed by economic hopelessness that they believe caring has a point.

    I don't know where this is all headed, but it feels like an erosion of our nation from the inside. Two of our last four presidents have (George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton) have been exceptionally intelligent people and two of them (Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush) have, while not being as stupid as some made them out to be, certainly not the sharpest knives in the drawer. That's not a good batting average. That's downright scary.

    There's a segment of the churchgoing population that argues that religion and politics should be kept separate. I couldn't disagree more. As a Christian, my baptismal covenant mandates that I be actively involved in the systems of this world, making them more loving and just. When we view REAL reality as entertainment, we objectify human beings every bit as much as when we support pornography, prostitution and kids in sweatshops sewing up Nikes.

    These are people's lives that are at stake here ... and because we are the body of Christ, that makes it OUR life, yours and mine. We must demand substance rather than entertainment ... and we can't just change the channel.
    Mike at 4/16/2004 10:23:00 AM

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    Episcopalians for
    Global Reconciliation

    EGR is an organization resourcing a grassroots movement of spiritual transformation in the Episcopal Church to end extreme poverty on this planet.

    The structure for this movement is the Millennium Development Goals -- 8 goals committed to by all member nations of the UN and a unique partnership of governments and civil society to:

    *End extreme poverty
    *Achieve universal
    primary education

    *Promote gender equalty
    *Improve maternal health
    *Reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS
    *Promote environmental sustainability
    *Build a global partnership for development

    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."
    - Bono


    What I'm Reading
    Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln
    by Doris Kearns Goodwin