"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
  • Sunday, December 12, 2004
    Don't you worry about your mind
    Don't you worry about your mind

    You should worry about the day
    That the pain it goes away
    You know I miss mine sometimes

    Three years ago tonight, Julia McNeely died.

    If you're at all familiar with our community, you know the story. If you're really, really fortunate, you knew Julia. Young, amazing, wonderful -- like so many of our students -- and taken from us on earth hydroplaning on a lonely road in rural Mississippi.

    Many times ... not always ... but many times, God gives us a gift in the middle of tragedy. It's the gift of clarity. In those days, weeks and even months after Julia died all of a sudden we knew what was important and what wasn't.

    What wasn't was all the busyness that fills our lives.

    What was was each other, love, friends, family, sharing life and lives.

    But then life returns to normal for most of us ... or at least our definition of normal shifts and we get used to whatever it ends up being. And with it, we forget.

    We forget what seemed so obvious then. We forget how to distinguish between what's important and what's REALLY important. We remember. We grieve occasionally. We even continue to draw inspiration. But the clarity usually goes away.

    I remember a conversation I had with Rabbi Hyim Shafner after the car wreck that killed his friend and almost killed him. He talked of the clarity he had and how he was most afraid of the day that it went away ... that he forgot this glimpse of wisdom that God was giving him.

    Don't you worry about your mind
    Don't you worry about your mind

    You should worry about the day
    That the pain it goes away
    You know I miss mine sometimes

    It's really too bad that U2 decided to make Fast Cars the bonus track on the deluxe editions of their new CD ... 'cause I think it's just one of the most brilliant songs on the whole disc. It's about the process of grief and the ways we try to anesthesize ourselves with everything under the sun to fill the space that someone used to fill.

    But in the middle of it are these lines. Don't worry about losing your mind. Don't worry about surviving the pain. Worry about the day that the pain goes away.

    You know, I miss mine sometime.

    I don't know if I've ever seen life as clearly as I did when Julia died. I don't know if what I was doing ever felt more important or more real. I don't know if I ever felt more human and yet at the same time more aware of the divine reality that permeates and extends beyond our humanity.

    There was something real about that pain. Something that so obviously connected me to all that mattered in life.

    You know, I miss mine sometime.

    So it's the third anniversary of Julia's death. Tomorrow is the real anniversary ... of when we all found out. Of that terrible day into night at Rockwell House where we held onto each other and God for dear life.

    Tonight we'll gather by the fireplace at Rockwell House ... just like Johnny and Julia and I did a few days before she died. We'll gather to remember. The group that does this gets smaller every year. Really, Johnny and Rory and I are the only ones left who really knew her well at all.

    But as I reflect on Julia's' life ... and especially finally visiting the Africa she loved, I've reflected on it a lot this year ... I realize that the strongest connection to what is REALLY important, the strongest connection to the love of God that permeates life and is stronger than death is not mourning her death but being inspired by her life.

    Three years have passed. I've gotten used to not talking to "somebody in a body" the way we used to talk. I don't have her picture in my pocket. I no longer spend time "documenting every detail, every conversation."

    For me, that clarity exists not when I try to recreate the feelings around her death but when I remember her life. When I realize the chain of events that led me to Buduburam and All Souls started with Julia kneeling down to talk to a street child in Nairobi. When I remember the ways that, at her best, she always seemed to remember and remind me of what was REALLY important.

    And that's the real and lasting gift. The first gift was Julia. The second gift was the clarity that God gave us in the terrible aftermath of her death. The third gift is the continuing inspiration and clarity God continues to give me through her memory -- and through the lives of so many wonderful people that God has seen fit to bring into my life.

    In this season of Advent, of light breaking into the darkness and the darkness not being able to overcome it, there is no greater reminder to me of God's enduring presence with us and in us. There is no greater reminder to me of what my life can be ... of what is really important.

    Mike at 12/12/2004 01:19:00 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