"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
  • Tuesday, April 06, 2004

    One of the Gospel readings this morning is from John 13: "Jesus said, 'Very truly, I tell you, one of you will betray me.'"

    If you believe in what amounts to the mainstream doctrine of Christian atonement (that Jesus had to die on the cross as sacrifice for our sins), then Judas' betrayal becomes probelmatic. If the purpose of Jesus' life was his death, then all those who participated in his death ... Pilate, Caiaphas and the other Jewish authorities, the crowd, and the one who gets the worst rap, Judas ... all of them were actually doing God's work. That would mean that Judas' betrayal was not evil, but facilitating one of the highest purposes of all. Or, alternately, that God knew that Judas would betray Jesus and used his weakness to facilitate the crucifixion (which makes Judas the catch-22 screwed person of all time!).

    I don't buy either of those. (But then again, I don't buy the mainstream doctrine of Christian atonement.) I don't buy it for lots of reasons, but mainly because I think Judas wasn't evil or an unwitting pawn of a God bent on using him to balance the cosmic books. I think Judas just screwed up.

    It would be nice if everything were absolute. If there were always absolute right and absolute wrong. But 99% of the time, that's not the case. Complexity is part of every moment of our reality, and our inability to navigate it perfectly every time is one of the many, many things that distinguishes us from God.

    Judas loved Jesus. How could he not? But love is never simple. How many times in your life has love met uncertainty and doubt. Have you ever been torn between wanting to believe in someone you love and what seems like the weight of utter rationality stacked up against them?

    I don't know why Judas betrayed Jesus. Maybe it was because he became convinced that as much as he loved him, he was dangerous to the cause he had worked his whole life for. Maybe he never thought Jesus would be crucified, just arrested and beaten a little -- enough to scare him into tempering his behavior. Maybe he thought Jesus needed a dead-end, the no-win situation like the cross as a stage to burst through in all his glory and power. Maybe he was threatened in such a powerful way that in his weakness he chose betrayal.

    We'll never know. But I do believe that Judas' choice wasn't easy -- you can tell that by his reaction to it. And I also believe that while God didn't program Judas like a robot to betray Christ, God wept with him as he kissed him in that garden and embraced him lovingly as he hung himself from that tree.

    I betray Jesus all the time. Sometimes it's by making choices I know are wrong and choosing the easy over the hard. Sometimes it's by honestly trying to do the right thing and screwing up anyway.

    I would love to say that if I were in Judas' shoes that night, I wouldn't have stolen away from the table and gone to that clandestine meeting with the authorities. I would love to think that I would have been more like the women, or the beloved disciple, or Joseph of Arimathea or even Simon of Cyrene. I would love to think that I would someone have the combination of insight and courage that would allow me to stick with him until the end.

    And maybe I would. But maybe I wouldn't.

    In the end, what ties us all together -- in our most noble and ignoble moments -- is that God is embracing us. That we are all part of a story whose high points are glorious and whose low points are redeemable. It's important to strive for the good and the right, but part of that is having the humility to recognize that the complexity of our choices is often beyond our understanding, and that God's power to redeem us is even beyond our power to choose poorly.

    Judas is part of the tragedy of holy week ... but also part of the triumph. Not because God programmed him, but because God loved him. And that means God loves us, too.
    Mike at 4/06/2004 01:09:00 PM

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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