"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
Wednesday, October 20, 2004 How 'bout them Red Sox!!!
And how 'bout them Cardinals! I got to watch/listen to most of the game but had to leave the TV in the top of the 9th after the Astros tied it up and go back into my meeting. Followed the rest of it thanks to the miracle of wireless web on my phone ... all the way to the 12th when Edmonds hit the homer. Game 7 tomorrow.
I've been at a meeting of the Standing Commission on Anglican and International Peace with Justice Concerns. It's an amazing group of people charged by the church with making policy recommendations on international peace and justice issues to General Convention.
Over the past two days, we've heard from former ambassadors and state department employees and people who work with refugees and even Archbishop Nduungane of Southern Africa to hear about what life is like in places like Haiti, Cuba, Southern Africa, China, and particularly Israel/Palestine.
It's sobering to say the least. To hear about women in Haiti who are so poor (the unemployment rate in the whole country is 85-90%) that they literally have to choose which children to feed and which to let starve. To hear about religious persecution and human rights violations in China. To hear about the punitive restrictions that the House is trying to put on Cuban refugees in America and help with lobbying efforts against them. To hear about the utter complexities of the situation in the Middle East and to hear from people who were in the room with President Clinton about how close we really came to peace (it was surreal watching the West Wing tonight and see that fictional administration tackle Israel/Palestine after spending so much time with these people today who had really been in that room).
Archbishop Ndungane was inspirational and amazing -- talking not just about the devastating effects of HIV/AIDS in his country and all of Africa but of the current situation in the church and, most passionately, about the need for universal primary education and the church's need to put aside its internal differences and work on that (and, btw, that the world spends $1 trillion a year on armaments and for the cost of 4 1/2 days of world military spending we could guarantee universal primary education).
In the midst of all this, the good news is that there are amazing dedicated people who believe in the power of God to overcome these things -- and in their own abilities to be God's hands, feet, eyes, mouth, heart, and legs in this work.
And in the midst of all this, the good news that the DIocese of Missouri has officially named All SOuls Liberian Episcopal Church and Child Development Center in Buduburam as a mission priority of the diocese ... which means that you can donate to it through the diocese of missouri and get your tax deduction!
SO -- for all those who have expressed interest in helping out these amazing Liberian refugees, you can make those checks out to the EPiscopal Diocese of Missouri and put "Liberian Refugee Church" in the memo line and send it to me at:
St. Louis, MO 63105
Every dollar counts. Please be generous. I'll write more about this later.
Tomorrow is a big day. We finalize our international travel goals as a commission and then I get to have coffee with my former spiritual director, Vicki Sirota, then get together with Stratton tomorrow night to dine and watch Game 7.
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."