"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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  • Thursday, April 13, 2006

    Station VII - Jesus Falls for the Second Time

    Remember that you are dust ... and to dust you shall return.

    We began Lent with these words. A reminder of our own mortality. No matter what happens. No matter how high we soar or how low we sink, we all return to the same place -- dust.

    It's a reminder that is meant to humble us. A reminder that the proper response to the maxim "The one who dies with the most toys wins" is "Wins what?" In the end, we're all worm food.

    But the inevitability can lead to resignation, too. Jesus might never be quoted more out of context than when he said "The poor will always be with you." People have used it as an excuse to do nothing. And why not? It certainly seems like no matter what we do all those words are true. No matter how much we labor, the poor are still with us and in the end we're all just dust.

    As Homer said to Bart: "Son, you tried and you failed. The moral is -- never try."

    Jesus fell for the second time. The second fall is not about failure but about persistence -- about remaining faithful no matter how difficult or hopeless. Falling and getting up. Falling and getting up. Persistence in faith and action even with the crowd jeering and all looking lost.

    ee cummings said (quoted famously by Dr. Johnny Fever) "the intelligent man always follows the lost cause, realizing that all others are merely effects."

    The poor have always been with us. No matter what we do it always seems so. Eradicating poverty seems like the ultimate lost cause. But Jesus' witness and cummings' words are true -- not only because we have hope that causes once lost are not always lost but because something happens to the quality of our spirit when we follow it with persistence and faithfulness.

    We follow Matthew 25. We seek to meet Christ and to serve Christ in the poor, the sick, the weak and the lonely because it is what we are called to do and because of who we become when we dedicate ourselves to the cause.

    And we fail. We fail repeatedly and miserably. And every time we do, we pick ourselves up again and keep walking.

    We do it because we believe -- and because it is the persistence, the faithfulness, the following of the lost cause, if you will, wherein lies the prize.

    Station VIII - Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem

    Luke writes,
    "Large numbers of people followed him, and women too, who moaned and lamented for him. But Jesus turned to them and said, Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep rather for yourselves and for your children. For the days will surely come when people will say; Happy are those who are barren, the wombs that have never borne, the breasts that have never nursed.' then they will begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us' to the hills, Cover us!' For if men use the green wood like this, what will happen when it is dry?" (Luke 23)
    Don't weep for me, weep for you.

    One of the most used approaches to engaging people with extreme poverty is what I call the Sally Struthers approach. It's the late-night infomercial with sad children with distended bellies and flies circling about their lips and Sally Struthers bemoaning how terrible it is and won't you please send money to help.

    It's not that it isn't terrible. It's not that on some level it's very important for people to see how terrible it is. But we shouldn't help out of a sense of guilt or out of a sense of repulsion. We should help out of a sense of how we are bound together -- out of a sense of the deep joy, the deep experience of life in Christ that comes from solidarity with the poor.

    Sabina Alkire, the amazing priest-economist who co-authored What Can One Person Do: Faith to Heal a Broken World, says:
    "The alleviation of material suffering in the world and the spiritual renewal of the church go hand in hand."
    Sabina is right. Sabina understands Jesus words. The extreme poverty of the developing world is also the extreme poverty of the developed world. They are inextricably related. Because as we allow -- and even cause and perpetuate -- extreme poverty in places like Sudan and Tanzania and Nicaragua and Pakistan we deeply impoverish ourselves as well.

    We impoverish ourselves because the only way to perpetuate systems of extreme poverty is to distance ourselves from their victims. We cannot leave people in poverty if we believe that they and we are one. So as the poor suffer materially, we suffer spiritually. We suffer the spiritual poverty that Mother Teresa said was far more profound than the material poverty she saw in Calcutta -- the poverty of lonliness, the poverty of disconnection.

    Jesus weeps for Jerusalem and urges the women to do the same because he knows the poverty of spirit of those who would crucify him has the depth and pain of his own suffering. As his followers, we seek him and serve him in the poorest of the poor not because he told us to, not out of fear that "Jesus is coming, look busy." but because our need of them is every bit as profound as their need of us.

    Because we live in a culture where we are addicted to all sorts of anesthesias and amusements and outcroppings of our wealth that attempt to dull the pain of disconnection -- but that at the same time remove us further and further from the cure to what ails us ... each other.

    So if you see Sally Struthers on late night TV with lots of sad eyed children, I'm not saying don't give (though you can probably find a lot better place to give than whomever is doing those infomercials). Give -- of your money, of your time, of yourself -- not because you weep for them but because of your need of them. Give because of your own poverty, and you will find solidarity and hope with theirs.

    Read other blogs on the Via Crucis Blog Grid.
    Mike at 4/13/2006 07:41:00 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