"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
  • Monday, September 13, 2004
    You know you're in trouble in a church or religious discussion when someone starts talking about the Holy Spirit ... especially when it involves the words moving, blowing, flowing or anything of the sort.

    Not that I don't believe in the Holy Spirit (still definitely a Trinitarian), but it sure seems like everyone and their crazy aunt is invoking the movement of that sucker to justify whatever it is they feel needs justifying.

    And there's the problem. We believe in the Holy Spirit. We believe she (and, BTW, the proper pronoun is "she" -- the first instance of holy breath is in Genesis, and the word, ruach, is feminine) is the power of God moving in us, among us and through us so we believe that blowing, moving, flowing stuff actually happens. But the very nature of it is such that she rarely, if ever, leaves a business card to let us know that it is really her.

    So we're left with trying to figure out (or, to use a churchy word, to "discern") whether something is of the Holy Spirit or not. And, lo and behold, it just usually works out that when it matches our own personal beliefs and agendas its the work of the Holy Spirit and when it goes against those same beliefs and agendas it's not.

    Of course, the big example is the uberbattle over sexuality, which is also an uberbattle over Biblical authority and interpretation in our church. The left (either "progressives" or "revisionists" depending on which side YOU are on!) claims they are only agents of the Spirit. The right (either "orthodox" or "traditionalists" ... take your pick) claims that it is THEY who have the Spirit, and that it ain't blowin' anywhere except back to a time before we made so many mistakes in doctrine!

    Big problem here is that for the extreme left, when you push it, defining where the Spirit is present comes down to when something feels good on an emotive level. I'm not opposed to feeling good and don't think God is opposed to it either ... just think it's a poor basis for theology.

    And for the extreme right, when you push it, defining where the Spirit is present comes down to preserving in stasis modes of thinking and the cultural assumptions that went with them from hundreds if not thousands of years ago without entertaining the possibility of evolution or continuing revelation.

    And the problem for everyone in the middle is that usually all we hear from and about are those on the extremes!

    I'm not saying that people are just using the Spirit to add punch to their argument. I think people on each side completely believe the Holy Spirit is on their side. But how can we really tell?

    In other words, when is our call to act and become truly from God and when is it not?

    So I've been thinking about this. And I don't think there is a clear formula, but I've got some ideas. I don't think they're liable to be too popular, though.

    If you want to test whether or not the call you're feeling is of God, see if it involves sacrifice. See if it involves not gaining for yourself but giving up yourself for the sake of others. See if it involves putting Christian discipleship first (and not some smug expurgated version of Christian discipleship that only conveniently includes the stuff you're doing already and eliminates the nasty stuff that might involve things like, I don't know, selling all you have and giving it to the poor) and being convicted by its demands.

    Jesus said that if we want to save our lives we have to lose them. If it involves us losing our lives, it might be of the Holy Spirit. If it doesn't ... well ... I'm thinking not so much.

    Basically, it comes down to this -- is it about Holiness. And holiness is never about what we get and always about what we give up for the sake of God and God's creation.

    It sure is easy to claim the Holy Spirit seal of approval on our agendas ... but is what behind it sacrificial and is what it is calling us to sacrificial? That won't necessarily give us an answer but it should give us a clue as to how to approach these things!

    Every morning when I wake up I remind myself that "my life is not my own. I do not own my life." It usually takes me about 3 seconds to forget it and to start acting like I really own my life. But I don't.

    Who owns it? Well, my baptism says that God and Christ own my life. My marriage says that my wife and family own my life. My ordination vows say that my church and (in our polity) my bishop own my life.

    As a Christian living in three vowed, covenantal relationships, I really don't own my life ... and what is incomprehensible in an America founded on individual rights and freedoms is that that is a GOOD thing. Hell, it's a GREAT thing. Because it gives me a structure of relationships to give my life away, to lose my life in order that I can save it.

    It's those three seconds between when I affirm that my life isn't mine and when I forget and act like it is that are my salvation!

    So what does this mean for our current situation? Well, not any easy answer ... but maybe a better way to have the conversation.

    For the left, is this about getting to do more and fulfilling individual rights (not really sacrificial) or is it about creating space for people of non-heterosexual orientation to enter more fully into relationships that are about self-sacrificial love and giving away of self?

    For the right, is this about preserving what is traditional for the sake of a feeling of comfort and/or superiority and about a broader anti-cultural agenda or is it about striving for a church where we all truly submit ourselves to the authority of scripture -- not just in areas where it means someone else needs to change their behavior but in areas where we are called to change our own at the deepest levels.

    I think this conversation would be a lot different if we were to have it on the level of talking about sacrifice on all sides. And I think we'd be a lot more hesitant to write the Holy Spirit as a reference on the resumes of our arguments if we did.
    Mike at 9/13/2004 04:20:00 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