"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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  • Monday, December 11, 2006

    Five Years

    So, what are we gonna do? How are we gonna liven up the cold, stand-offish intellectualism of our group? We'll smile and giggle and tickle Michelle and laugh at Doug and hit Noah and tease Rob and hug Stratton and abuse Mike until we accentuate everyone's flaws and force them to realize that we see through their personas and love them anyway and that they'll just have to get over the terrible shock of being loved and being happy. :) Then we'll be a fuzzy warm cuddly community and we can start reaching out b/c we won't have to focus on our own problems anymore.

    Yes, I know, it's a fairly overly simplistic and idealistic and possibly even blind solution, but I do truly believe that all anyone wants is to be told that he/she is failing miserably at "being" what he/she wants to be (that is "being" is present tense and "wants to be" is future. The two cannot, logically, coexist unless you are God, which we are not.) Anyway, that we all see what he/she is now, which is nothing extraordinary or underordinary. . . that all he/she wants is to be loved and adored and to have people seriously interested in his/her well-being is what makes them so lovable. . . that he/she craves and fears being so vulnerable and TRUTHFUL is what we love most about them. I know that personally if everyone saw me as a confused mass of contradictions and idiosyncrasies with nothing brilliant or even interesting about it and loved me simply for existing and wanting to be loved, I would not know what to do with myself and would most likely respond by being totally secure. And in that security I would become sincere and would lavish love on everyone b/c I really am interested in everyone else and want to love them and be part of their lives.

    So. . . what's my conclusion? That we are fallen. We are not God. That we will never be anywhere close to perfect. Some of us are deformed, some are not so quick, some of us are weak, some of us are downright weird. We all are constantly sinning and, even worse we are all FAILING in every thing we do b/c we are striving for that perfect image of self. So, let's just admit it: we are not brilliant, we may not get that job or make that audition, we may not be as attractive as we would like to be, we may fear that there is something wrong with us, we may have no idea of who we are or exactly what we believe, we may fear that life is meaningless and that if we clear away all the nonsense around us we'll find that we are nothing at all. . . but So What?!!!! That's what we are! If we lay ourselves bare, if we admit that our goodness and badness are integral, inseparable parts of our beings and that we are STILL, after ALL OF THAT, LOVEABLE, than we can stop hiding. we can begin to love. And it is in doing that that we encounter God. And we are no longer nothing. We still have faults which we can work on without concealing, but we realize that we are nothing without God, and that that is something to be celebrated and not feared.
    It was five years ago tonight that Julia McNeely died. Five years ago on a rainy stretch of road near Louise, Mississippi.

    This strange twist my life has taken -- to places like Ghana and Sudan and being executive director of Episcopalians for Global Reconciliation -- in a weird way it all goes back to Julia. To the coffee we had at Bread Co. when she showed me her pictures of Kenya. To her inviting Blair Henneke into ECM to share all the work she was doing in Tanzania with TEAM.

    I'm proud of all my students. I love them. They have made me the person and priest I am today. I have learned so much from them. The words above are from an email Julia sent me late one Sunday night after a particularly frustrating Bible study group. She was only a freshman, and I remember thinking, "Wow. This kid's really got it." I was so impressed, I forwarded it to the House of Bishops and Deputies list of the Episcopal Church ... hoping some of her wisdom would penetrate that dense forest! Mostly, though, I was grateful she had penetrated mine.

    I think about Julia all the time. I think about her every time I break the bread at the altar. I think about her every time I see pictures of crowds of children following people in places like Nairobi (or when I'm the one those crowds are chasing). Mostly, I think of her when I'm dashing through airports on my way to my next destination to talk about the Millennium Development Goals, knowing that somewhere she's watching me and smiling that wispy smile that means she thinks it's really cool and quite amusing what I'm spending my life doing.

    And I still have the dream. Not as often, but I still have it. That we're all together. Everyone. Sarah, Amber, Cori, Noah, Stratton, Rob, Laurie, Ryan, Johnny, Jen, Steve ... and David ... and on and on. And then Julia walks in. And everyone just surrounds her. And we're together. And what was broken is whole. And I just stand back ... and watch.

    But until then, I'll just try not to forget what Julia taught me. If we lay ourselves bare, if we admit that our goodness and badness are integral, inseparable parts of our beings and that we are STILL, after ALL OF THAT, LOVEABLE, than we can stop hiding. we can begin to love. And it is in doing that that we encounter God. And we are no longer nothing. We still have faults which we can work on without concealing, but we realize that we are nothing without God, and that that is something to be celebrated and not feared.

    That kid really did have it.
    Mike at 12/11/2006 09:38:00 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