"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

    July 2003August 2003November 2003January 2004February 2004March 2004April 2004May 2004June 2004July 2004August 2004September 2004October 2004November 2004December 2004January 2005February 2005March 2005April 2005May 2005June 2005July 2005August 2005September 2005October 2005November 2005January 2006February 2006March 2006April 2006June 2006July 2006August 2006September 2006October 2006November 2006December 2006January 2007February 2007March 2007April 2007May 2007September 2007October 2007December 2007February 2008July 2008December 2008April 2009

    Listed on Blogwise
  • Wednesday, July 07, 2004
    The days here are growing short. This afternoon and evening, I'm back in Buduburam, meeting with the wardens and vestry at All Souls and then preaching and celebrating at their midweek Eucharist (they are expecting a 25-30 minute sermon!). Then tomorrow night, Robin gets here (32 1/2 hours, not that I'm counting)!!! Mackinnon left yesterday, she's probably over U.S. airspace by now.

    Because my schedule has been less hectic for the past week or so, I've had a chance to sit with some of what has happened here and try to begin to see how some of the pieces fit together. Over the past couple days, Emmanuel and I have had a couple long conversations that have been wonderful and have helped me see a bit more into the differences between our church cultures and also the vast things we have in common.

    It's also helped me see what is happening in our communion from a different perspective. A lot of the conflict is just simply because of difference in theology and how we interpret scripture. There is no way around that. But, particularly here in Africa, I am beginning to think that a failure on both sides to grasp the culture of the other has made things much worse.

    When we consented to the election of Bishop Robinson, and when our Presiding Bishop went to the special meeting of the primates, we justified our right to make this decision using the polity of the church. The polity of this church is a Western polity whereby each of the individual churches of the Anglican Communion are autonomous but in relationship through Canterbury (this is a gross oversimplification, but it's accurate enough). We maintained the right to make this decision for our church, the Episcopal Church in America, and maintained that it did not bind or even necessarily effect other churches in the communion. After all, we said, when we began to ordain women, that didn't mandate that other parts of the communion had to.

    It all gets back to what I said a couple posts ago about the difference in our cultures and our churches. Our culture is much more centered on the individual and individual rights. African culture -- insofar as statements can be made about something so broad -- is more centered on the community.

    So while we are making the argument that this is just about us and that the rest of the world just needs to calm down ... that when they think about it, this really doesn't need to change them at all ... the African church is seeing it quite differently.

    Emmanuel was telling me about the clergy synod he went to after our General Convention, when Bishop Akrofi (who was just back from Minneapolis himslf) relayed what had happened. And Emmanuel told me that he stood up at the synod and asked "What are they doing? Why didn't they talk with us?"

    For him and for the church here, our argument from polity that this action is within the acceptable autonomy of a diocese and the acceptable autonomy of a province of the Communion flies in the face of the entire notion of communion. (BTW, the Bishop Smith and Ralph McMichael tried to explain this notion of communion to us in the Diocese of Missouri prior to Convention -- not referencing Africa but instead trying to delve deep into what communion was really about. I understood it on an intellectual level now, but I am beginning to see and feel it on so many deeper levels now).

    There is no such thing as an action that just affects one part of the body. As Emmanuel said to me "You are my brother. I am your brother. How can what you do not affect me?"

    Looking back, I stand by my belief that the best, most loving, most honoring of communion thing we could have done was to delay the consecration for a year for a period of communal prayer and study and, most important, listening to each other. Not moving back from a decision I would still vote for, but leaving space for us to be with it together for awhile. Our hand was forced at General Convention by a mandated up or down vote. We should have taken more time after that to mitigate the damage.

    But we didn't ... and OK. So where do we go from here. Well, I believe that in every crisis, even every disaster or tragedy (and I certainly wouldn't term this a disaster or tragedy ... but that's me!), God places seeds of opportunity that, if we can find and tend them, can grow into something that is even greater for the good than the crisis, disaster or tragedy is for the bad.

    Maybe those seeds are in conversations like Emmanuel and I are having ... and in many, many more like them. Maybe it is in me going to Buduburam today as someone who cast a vote that wounded and confused a lot of people here and sitting with them and listening to them and learning from them and hoping that they can listen and learn from me as well. Maybe it is in Emmanuel being on our ECM weekly email list and learning about how GOd is moving in our community. Maybe it is in Robin and I worshipping at St. Luke's and at Christ the King and letting the grace of those communities wash over us and through us.

    These are not heroic actions or conversations. They are the average, everyday actions of people committed to living in communion with each other, committed to the notion that our actions and our lives do effect each other.

    But especially for us as the powerful American church right now, these actions require our taking a posture of humility and contrition. Not apologizing for our belief that God is calling Gene Robinson to be a bishop. Not apologizing for our belief that all of us, regardless of any category including sexual orientation, are created in God's image and are capable of sacramental relationships with one another that reveal God's love. But apologizing for our failure to see the depth of what our communion really is ... and therefore the depth of consequence of our actions.

    As long as we keep chanting the mantra of "it was our right," we will not acheive this. Paul talks about all things being lawful but not necesarily being helpful. Yes, in our polity, what we did as absolutely within our rights ... but that doesn't matter. There were ways about the way we went about doing it that weren't helpful to the rest of the body. And it is that, for our own sake and for the sake of the whole body, for which we must confess, repent and ask for forgiveness.

    And what an opportunity that is! Giving parts of the body of Christ such as exist here in Ghana the chance to be gracious to us. The chance to be the first one to let go of our stubborn pride and truly act like the body of Christ we purport to be. WHat an opportunity we have. What a lesson that can be for the world, especially in these days.

    I have a feeling I'm going to be sorting out stuff from this trip for a long time ... long after I've come back to America, long after, God-willing, I've returned to Ghana again and again come back. THat's why I'm careful to talk in terms of "beginning to learn" and "beginning to understand."

    Because if there are two things I am beginning to learn and understand, it is these:

    The world is a lot bigger, scarier and diverse than I ever imagined.

    The body of Christ is a lot bigger, richer and more amazing than I ever fathomed.

    Love you all.
    Mike at 7/07/2004 06:40:00 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