"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
  • Thursday, January 20, 2005
    Last week, Landen Romei, one of our students, emailed me an article about Rev. Michael Ray, the rector of St. Thomas' Church in New Haven, CT, who has decided to stop performing any weddings in response to the diocese of Connecticut's refusal to allow same-sex blessings. I can always count on Landen to toss stuff at me that challenges me!

    I've been thinking a lot about marriage recently. For one, I've been wrestling with whether I can continue to act as an agent of the state in weddings. I've finally decided that in good conscience I cannot.

    Basically it comes down to this: I believing acting as such an agent contributes to a blurring of lines that has the state convinced it has the right to define a sacrament of the church and who can (and cannot) receive it. My role as priest is to lead the people in blessing and to announce that God has blessed relationships that through their mutual love, joy and fidelity are a blessing. It is not to be involved in the legal aspects of who can and cannot be legally attached to one another.

    I am making one exception to this ... a couple at whose wedding I agreed to preside before I made this decision so as not to go back on my promise to them (so Eric and Minette, you can exhale now!).

    But Michael Ray's decision introduces a whole new aspect. Previously, I had figured since Bishop Smith (at last check) was permitting same-sex blessings to take place in our diocese as a pastoral matter, I would do a blessing of a civil marriage for some couples and some suitable liturgy of blessing for others. But as I read about Michael Ray's decision, more and more that strikes me as sort of "separate but equal" thinking (which invariably is actually "separate but unequal").

    What I really would love to have is one liturgy that I could use for everyone -- a service of a blessing of a committed relationship. Obviously, canonically it couldn't be a marriage, so I guess I would be saying that I wouldn't do any more weddings. But practically speaking, it would serve the same function as a wedding -- gathering the couple in the midst of the community, leading them all in blessing and announcing that God has blessed this relationship that through its mutual love, joy and fidelity is a blessing.

    What appeals to me about this (besides it allowing me to function in good conscience) is that it seems at least a small way that I as a straight person can stand with my GLBTQ sisters and brothers. That's been the missing piece for me. I believe in what we did at General Convention. I also believe that we need to honor our relationships in the broader communion and in some ways that means sacrifice and (yet again) patience for a population that has already done that aplenty. But if I, as a member of probably the most privileged class in the planet's history (straight, white, educated, wealthy by global standards, American citizen, married with two kids, the list goes on) am going to call my sisters and brothers who are less privileged to sacrifice, I need to find a way ... even a small way ... to stand with them.

    I had this conversation with some clergy friends online, and it led to some talk of trying to come up with such a liturgy. But it also led me into a deeper conversation with a priest friend who is living in a committed same-sex relationship. A conversation about what it might really mean to stand with GLBTQ people.

    In that conversation I saw a depth to that life that I hadn't seen. I heard a story of a person who felt unable as a priest to talk about spouse and children publicly. As usually happens when I move from thinking and talking about issues to actually listening to people, I began to get a different and more profound sense of the depth of what's involved here.

    I don't know what the answers are. Like everything else, I think the road needs to be traveled with care, patience and humility. For me, most of all it's a question of how I can live with integrity -- and if there's a more complex question out there, I'm not sure what it is. I'm just glad there are other people struggling with it, too.
    Mike at 1/20/2005 08:35:00 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