"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, June 16, 2005
    Refusing Money for the Sake of Conscience...

    Over the past year or so, Kenyan Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi,Ugandan Bishop Jackson Nzerebende Tembo and Rwandan Bishop John Rucyahana have refused aid from American dioceses that supported the election of Bishop V. Gene Robinson. Every time one of them has announced this, the pattern following it has been pretty much the same:

    *A diocese or province will announce it is not accepting money -- even money designated for important, life-saving ministries -- from parts of the Church it believes to be promoting teaching on human sexuality contrary to its understanding of Scripture.

    *Those whose money is being rejected (and others who hold similar beliefs to theirs on Scripture's view of human sexuality) deride the primate or bishop for their actions, calling them unChristian, unconscionable and even evil.

    *Those who are in the same theological camp of the diocese or province rejecting the money counter this by calling the act of rejection courageous, assert their trust in the power of God to hold, heal and sustain, and deride those whose money is being rejected for trying to use their money to force capitulation to theology contrary to the Gospel.

    *Stories -- none officially substantiated but many told very forcefully and believably -- circulate that every dollar denied is being made up for by individual and corporate donors in America who share the rejecting diocese/province's views of Scripture's understanding of human sexuality. Vast conspiracy theories are promulgated, mistrust grows, and the gap between the two sides widens.

    *After much sound and fury, the issue dies down until another diocese or province makes a similar announcement and it all begins again.

    A good representation of the back and forth is found in the posting on a conservative blog of a Washington Post story criticizing the rejecting of funds and the comments after it.

    I find this pattern utterly predictable and entirely unhelpful. It represents an unwillingness or inability on either side to see nuance, to think creatively, and to live lovingly and sacrificially. I think we are all better than this. I know we are all called to be better than this.

    First, for the sake of this conversation, let's assume that everyone's motives are the absolute best. Now, I can already hear the cries of naivete, but my experience has always been that the Gospel is always better served by attributing the best to people's motives rather than assuming the worst. There are certainly people on all sides who will use this or any situation for nefarious means ... but just as certainly there are many more people of great faith and integrity on both sides ... and these are the people in whom our hope rests anyway -- so let's just assume that's who we're dealing with!

    Second, let's acknowledge that both sides have virtue and vice. Let's also take both sides at their word. That means recognizing that:

    -striving to have your actions match your convictions is a laudable thing -- it is a sign of discipleship and it is what living with integrity is all about. Both sides are trying to do this. Those offering the money are trying to live out their call to help those in great need. Those rejecting the money are trying to live out their call to reject what they believe is false and harmful teaching.

    -both sides are exhibiting sacrificial living -- a central part of our call to live in Christ. The dioceses offering the money are exhibiting great generosity in a culture that encourages self-aggrandizement. The dioceses rejecting the money are doing so at great personal cost (and anyone who thinks these bishops take lightly the extreme suffering of their people not only are not assuming the best from their motives, they haven't spent any time in these countries or with these bishops).

    -both sides believe that feeding the hungry, healing the sick and lifting people out of extreme poverty are central to the Christian call. We share a desire to get this work done. The differences are complex. Among many things, they involve one side having a faith in God's providence that they believe will work outside what they see as an apostate church and the other side believing that God's providence is working through their living out their call and giving and that these people may not be provided for outside of that. This is where we have the impasse.

    Third, we need to acknowledge that, whether or not this is the case now, our nation and our church have in the past used money as a hammer. That is part of our legacy. Likewise, we need to acknowledge that our legacy and our current life is much broader and deeper than that, and that there is a deep desire among many, if not most, to move beyond manipulation and paternalism to truly shared life and ministry in Christ.

    So how do we approach this productively? A few suggestions:

    *Assume the best and acknowledge the goodwill on both sides -- Those rejecting the money should acknowledge that, however vehemently they believe people in these dioceses giving the money are getting it wrong about human sexuality, at the very least a large number of those people are not trying to influence an agenda but are honestly trying to live out their Christian vocation and help those in need. If rejection of funds needs to happen it should be done with sadness and with gratitude and praise to God that, at least in this area of their life, these Christians are getting it right. Conversely, those giving the money should acknowledge that, however vehemently they feel the decision to reject the money is wrong, it is made out of a desire of Christians to live with integrity and is a decision made with great pain and difficulty for all concerned.

    *Explore acceptable ways to work together on what we agree on -- Instead of shouting about whether this particular action is justified or not, begin (or continue?) a conversation about what, if any, would be acceptable ways to work together to accomplish the goals that we agree are part of the Christian call (basically, the Millennium Development Goals -- http://www.e4gr.org/mdgs.html). Can we honor each other and still work together? If money cannot change hands ... how else can we help each other?

    *Don't let this be a barrier -- For the "givers" ... give the money anyway. Respect the right of those rejecting the funds to live out their faith the best they can -- that's what, at our best, we are all trying to do. But don't let that stop you from doing the same. If those dioceses/provinces won't accept it, find reputable NGOs in the same regions that will -- the resources will get to the same people. What about Anglican Relief and Development? If those giving the money aren't willing to go through ARD when doing so would get the money to those who need it, how are they any different from those refusing the money to begin with? For the "rejecters," redouble your efforts to work for the MDGs, recognizing that the responsibility that comes with your decision to cut off one avenue of help from your people is to discover two other ways that God can accomplish the divine mission of healing and reconciliation.

    *Talk with each other. Pray for each other -- Resist the temptation to fall back into our own camps and demonize each other. Be honest about how you feel about each other's actions. Be honest about the sadness and anger the actions on both sides have generated. But always assume the posture of constructive engagement and listening. Continue to assume the best motives and intentions, continue to search for the beams in our own eyes even as we are driven crazy by the motes in each others, strive to live in holiness by living in humility, pray for each other -- not that God will change them to agree with us, but that God will use us in each other's life, will transform us through engagement with each other to mold us all into the image of Christ through which God will draw the entire creation into the divine.

    In every moment of conflict there is the potential for destruction and the potential for the birth of a new creation. The difference is in the approach.
    Mike at 6/16/2005 10:21:00 AM

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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