"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, March 11, 2007

    Church in the townships

    This morning we got on buses that distributed us to different congregations in and around Johannesburg and Pretoria for church services. The bus I was on made four different stops and we were the last stop. That meant we arrived when the service was 2/3 over. That was really OK. First, there was still an hour left in the service. Second, I got to drive through all these townships, which was really interesting. A lot of it is shantytowns ... just acres of people living in little shacks made of pretty much whatever they can find to make a shack out of. It was like the worst parts of the neighborhood where James lives in Accra.

    I sat next to one of the volunteers for the conference for most of the trip. She was a marketing student at a university in Johannesburg and really bright. We talked a lot about the government and she told me a lot about life in the townships and I told her about some of the urban problems we have in America -- which really surprised her. Since her vision of America pretty much comes from TV and movies, she had no idea that we had homelessness and that a lot of our city schools were really bad.

    I was the only American in the group I traveled with (there was one other, but he identified himself as from the Dominican Republic because that's where he's living doing medical mission work). The rest were from Madagascar, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, Mozambique and Zambia. What was interesting (and a little disturbing) about that was the distinctly different reaction I got when I introduced myself and said where I was from. Everyone else got an enthusiastic greeting, but when I said I was from the United States it went up several decibels and then there was this noticeable buzz afterwards ... and then the priest made a comment after in Zulu and the only nation he mentioned was "United States" ... and there was more buzz.

    Of course the people were wonderful and the hospitality incredible. Probably the most powerful moment for me was when one of the lay ministers got up to talk and talked of how this is a nation that lives reconciliation and hospitality. I wish I could remember the words exactly, but he spoke of Apartheid and all they had been through and how through it all their common identity in Christ had seen them through.

    Another interesting thing about the service was that the church was full -- but about 90-95% of the congregation was women. I asked the priest about that and he said it was "a South African phenomenon" -- you couldn't get men to come to church. He said it wasn't as bad in his last congregation, but this was extreme. I told him it wasn't just a South African phenomenon ... that in many American churches, women are the clear majority (it was interesting that all the service leaders were men, though).

    Upon returning we had a plenary session with the Executive Director of the UN World Food Programme. They do good work, but the presentation was really dry. The best part was the questions -- not so much her answers, but the passionate questions that came from the audience. Two Sudanese people stood up and talked about Darfur and also the challenges of the South. Someone asked about genetically modified food (she never answered that question ... too bad). Lots of questions about moving people to self-sustaining solutions -- which is their goal, but the truth is a lot of the people they serve are so close to starvation they're just medically quite a ways away from being able to function in the economy.

    For the workshop time, I chose one on refugees -- not so much because of the topic but because the format was listed as "group discussion." I wasn't disappointed. Details of that are below.

    And with all that, the highlight of the day was yet to come. At the last minute (i.e. this morning), the Pilgrimage to Peace crew were told that they were leading evening worship tonight. They came up with the most amazing, lively-yet-still-contemplative worship service. The two young adult musicians from Mozambique wrote a song for the service. The whole crew danced in singing and got the whole congregation moving. The prayers were wonderful. There was a wonderful period of silent meditation. And after it was all over they all (and a few others of us) stayed and danced and sang for another 15 minutes or so.

    It was a real breath of fresh air and hopefully gave people a taste of the energy that is available to this movement if we give power to young people. Another plus for me is I got to watch Amber help lead worship, which always makes me not only proud and happy but incredibly thankful for how much God has blessed me with intersecting my life with wonderful people like her for so long.

    Tomorrow the focus is HIV/AIDS. Hope you all are well. More later.
    Mike at 3/11/2007 03:29:00 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