"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, July 30, 2004
    As I watched John Kerry's speech to the Democratic Convention last night, what was most clear to me is how divided we are.

    That's not any great revelation ... but it's also not what I expected to come away from the speech with. I hoped to get to know Kerry and like Kerry better (I did). I hoped to feel better about his chances to beat President Bush in November (I do). But still, more than anything, I came away feeling the deep divide in our nation ... and the absolute necessity of making real progress at bridging it.

    The speech itself was everything a partisan Democrat could have hoped for. It pushed all the right buttons and cast Kerry in just the right light, IMO. But that's the thing. It was a speech designed to cast one candidate in a great light and another candidate in a horrible light.

    Now, you can say "what do you expect?" ... and of course, we shouldn't have expected anything else. Campaigns and elections are not about bridging gaps but about dividing the winners from the losers and making sure that you're not on the crappy end of inauguration day.

    But where it really sunk in that we need something different is when Kerry said this:

    I want to address these next words directly to President George W. Bush: In the weeks ahead, let's be optimists, not just opponents. Let's build unity in the American family, not angry division. Let's honor this nation's diversity; let's respect one another; and let's never misuse for political purposes the most precious document in American history, the Constitution of the United States.

    My friends, the high road may be harder, but it leads to a better place. And that's why Republicans and Democrats must make this election a contest of big ideas, not small-minded attacks. This is our time to reject the kind of politics calculated to divide race from race, group from group, region from region. Maybe some just see us divided into red states and blue states, but I see us as one America red, white, and blue.

    Those words sound great, but they are hollow ... because in the context of a speech like this they serve to do the exact opposite of what they describe. If either side really wanted this to be an open exchange of ideas, where both sides would admit the virtue in each other and be able to see the vice in themselves, this speech and the whole campaign would be very, very different.

    Ironically, though ... Kerry was exactly right. We do need to build unity and reach across the divide toward each other. A high road such as this would be harder but it WOULD lead to a much better place. At most every level of our lives together as Americans (and certainly as we relate to each other around the world), we lack the ability truly to engage in conversation with one another. And by conversation, I mean getting to the root of what that word really means ... a root shared by the word "conversion." We lack the ability to engage with each other in ways where we allow for the fact that the other person or party might change our mind. The whole idea of changing our minds has been cast as vice -- making us a "waffler" or "flip-flopper." Gandhi said "I would rather be inconsistent than wrong." If he were running for office today, his political advisers would have him flip-flop that sentence in a hurry.

    Jim Wallis wrote a great book called The Soul of Politics: Beyond "Religious Right" and "Secular Left." What's remarkable about it is that it finds a middle ground in the partisan wars. A ground from which we can see the virtue in each party's position, and also where they need each other.

    But we're a long way from this. I suspect that the way we approach politics in this country is a lot like the way we approach team sports. We have our favorites to which we give our allegiance and pretty much stick to them no matter what. To change, to admit vice in our party or virtue in another's, becomes the same as admitting defeat ... which everyone is loathe to do.

    And so we have election after election where the two sides get more and more entrenched and the rhetoric gets stronger and more vicious and it all becomes less and less about public service and more and more about winning ... or perhaps more and more about not losing.

    And when that happens, nobody wins. Because even when you win, all you are doing is just postponing another loss ... because the armies lined up against you are that much more intent on kicking your butt the next time. It's a cycle of violence every bit as real as what happens in war. And Gandhi was right about those cycles, too. Whether in politics or battle -- an eye for an eye just makes the whole world blind.

    I hope Kerry wins. That's my partisan statement. I hope so in large part because I believe that, if anything, he's not as far gone down this path toward self-destruction as our current administration. I hope Kerry wins because I hope he has a better chance of really wanting to make things different. But more than anything, I hope that somehow through this election we can see that things have to change in the way we do elections. That we need to start really engaging and listening to each other.

    And maybe that starts not at conventions and with speeches but with us really listening to and carefully reading not just those who agree with us and make us feel better, but the best of the opposition. Maybe that starts with us seeking out those in our friends and families whose views differ from ours and not avoiding those topics as a gesture of keeping the peace but really engaging with them in love and respect in the spirit of conversation that leads to conversion. Not being afraid to admit -- even joyfully -- when we were wrong so that we all can learn and grow in wisdom together.

    It sounds almost pollyanna. But the alternative is pretty dark and scary ... and were' already living it. It is a hard, high road ... but if we can travel it, I am convinced it will lead us to a better place.
    Mike at 7/30/2004 04:02:00 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