"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
  • Wednesday, August 04, 2004
    I'm spending a week on the beach in Southern New Jersey, where it is more difficult to get internet access than when I was in Ghana! But that's actually a good thing, since it allows me to really unplug in ways I haven't for awhile.

    But I'm darting into an internet cafe for a bit this morning (and you actually can have a latte in an internet cafe in Cape May ... the "cafe" part is not just an affectation!) to send a few work-related emails, so I figured I'd drop into this as well.

    I've been reading the latest issue of Cowley lately, the season publication of The Society of St. John The Evangelist. I love the SSJE brothers and the monastery, not just because of who they are, but because they represent what I believe all Christian community is supposed to be ... community committed to each other and committed to supporting each other in giving their lives to Christ.

    One of the problems with monastic life is that it can encourage people to think that that sort of commitment is only for those who decide to become monks or nuns. It's not. At our baptism, we promise to put our whole trust in Christ's grace and love and we also promise to do all in our power to support each other in doing that.

    So I believe many, if not most, of the words the brothers speak about their life together should and does apply to our lives together in our communities.

    In his letter to the fellowship and friends, the Superior, Curtis Almquist, wrote this about living a vowed life in community:

    "Christ's unavoidable call to "lay down our lives" for one another is remarkably unheroic and tedious most days. "Laying down our lives" comes in our offering to do the dishes or walk the dog for a brother who needs some time off, in our forgiving someone again (or being forgiven again) for the same thing, in our making time in our day or space in our heart for someone who needs to be cherished, in responding to the interruption of a sick brother's need, in living with the disappointment that something we value or desire is not equally valued or desired by the community and may never come to be. Some of us know the temptation of thinking that we are "above" doing certain things by virtue of our education, training, gifts or age. The common lie we share as brothers is quite humbling -- from the Latin, humus, which means "earth," i.e., to be grounded. We come to know and be known in the sacrament of the present moment, which is usually quite unspectacular and yet very real."

    I've been spending a lot of time thinking about what it means to be baptised, what it means to "turn and accept Christ as your savior" and to "put your whole trust in his grace and love." I thought about it a lot in Ghana and I've thought about it a lot here with my family. Where I'm coming to with it is nowhere revolutionary ... accept that it flies in the face of most of American theology ... and that is that once we are baptised we no longer own our lives.

    That's what vows are about ... they're about giving up ownership of your life. In baptism, I am saying that I no longer own my life, but that Christ and the Christ's Body, the church does. In my marriage, I am saying that I no longer own my life but that my wife does (and that I own hers). In embracing the ministry of parent, I am saying that I no longer own my life but that my children do.

    It's not about a theology of the hive where the needs of the many trump the needs of the one. Individual rights and needs are important. But it's not my job to concentrate on my own individual rights and needs. It is my job to make sure that other's individual rights and needs are defended ... and trust that the community, the Body of Christ, the wife and family to which I am bound do the same for me.

    And Curtis is right... it's remarkably unheroic and tedious most days. It's about all the little things. For me, it's about making sure I have done all I can for others before doing for myself ... even if it means that I don't get to watch that baseball game or read a chapter from that book. It means, as I began to learn in Ghana, that the best way to start the day is by going to someone to whom you are bound by vows and say "how can I serve you today."

    It is hard ... at least for me it's hard. I could blame some of it on our individualistic culture, and I'm sure I'd be right ... but mostly, I just like doing stuff for myself!

    If the church is to be a transformational force in society, I think this is what we have to lift up. We can no longer accomodate the thinking that church is there for our personal benefit ... we are there for each other and God.

    Mike at 8/04/2004 10:00:00 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