"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, January 30, 2005
    The Gospel reading today was the Beatitudes from Matthew. Both this morning at Holy Communion and tonight at Common Ground, I had a chance to hear them several times ... and both times, the same word jumped out at me:


    Matthew has Jesus mentioning righteousness twice in the Beatitudes:
    Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

    Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

    When I hear the word "righteousness", the image that comes to mind is triumphal ... a clenched fist, a stiff back ... images of sheer power founded in the justness of the cause.

    When I hear the word "righteousness" in conversation, it is invariably used by people who are convinced of the justice of their cause ... convinced that their persecution for that cause will indeed earn them the kingdom of heaven. Convinced that their hunger and thirst for it will be sated and slaked.

    And maybe they are right. But more and more, I'm realizing that in my own life and in so much of what I observe, "righteousness" is really self-righteousness. It's the arrogance of my own convictions. My conviction that I am right ... and my ability to link that belief to my beliefs about Christ and about the Gospel ... that is the foundation for much of my feelings of righteousness.

    In my life and in much of what I observe around me, when the word "righteousness" is used or alluded to, ego isn't far behind.

    What's interesting is that Matthew's Jesus clearly has another idea about righteousness ... and you only have to go back a little way to see it.

    A few weeks ago, we celebrated the feast of Jesus' baptism and read Matthew 3:13-17, which reads, in part:

    Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan, to be baptized by him. John would have prevented him, saying, ‘I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?’ But Jesus answered him, ‘Let it be so now; for it is proper for us in this way to fulfill all righteousness.’ Then he consented.

    Jesus came to John to be baptized, but John, knowing who Jesus was tried to say "No way!" (Kind of a first-century Wayne and Garth "we're not worthy!")But Jesus didn't just tell him to get on with it, he chose his words carefully. Even though John was right that he needed to be baptized by Jesus, it was necessary for Jesus to take the subservient position of being baptized by John ... and it was necessary to fulfill all righteousness.

    The righteousness of Christ. The righteousness of the Beatitudes. This is never self-righteousness. It is never the righteousness that is bound up in ego or supported by a clenched fist or a stiff neck. The righteousness of Christ is always the righteousness of humility. Of taking the role of the servant. Of teaching by serving. Of witnessing by serving. Of allowing yourself to be persecuted not so you can feel righteous, but out of love for your oppressor so that they may come to righteousness.

    It is the righteousness of loving conversion not of vindictive vindication.

    Dan Roschke, the intern at Lutheran Campus Ministry, was the preacher at Common Ground tonight and he used a piece of the Tao te Ching as an example of meekness but that also illustrates this incredibly well. It's from Chapter 76:

    A man is born gentle and weak.
    At his death he is hard and stiff.
    Green plants are tender and filled with sap.
    At their death they are withered and dry.

    Therefore the stiff and unbending is the disciple of death.
    The gentle and yielding is the disciple of life.

    Thus an army without flexibility never wins a battle.
    A tree that is unbending is easily broken.

    The hard and strong will fall.
    The soft and weak will overcome.

    I think of Jesus ... and Gandhi ... and Rosa Parks ... and so many others who exemplify righteousness and yes, it is their steadfastness that is one of the hallmarks of their righteousness -- but it is also their humility, their willingness to yield, their willingness to accept blows with resilience out of love for the striker.

    I hope I can hunger and thirst for that kind of righteousness. It's hard ... really hard. It feels so much better in the short run to be self-righteous.

    Maybe those who are persecuted for true righteousness sake inherit the kingdom of heaven, enter fully into the realm of God, because it is those people who have fully let go of everything that stands between themselves and loving everyone ... even their oppressor.

    That sounds like heaven to me.
    Mike at 1/30/2005 10:14:00 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