"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
  • Saturday, May 19, 2007
    Church, State and St. Dunstan

    "The Church shouldn't be involved in politics."

    I hear this one all the time ... particularly when I'm talking about the ONE Campaign or urging people as part of faithful living, to be in dialogue with their senators and representatives particularly about issues concerning the poor.

    Enter Dunstan, 10th-century Archbishop of Canterbury, whose feast we celebrate today. Dunstan led a reform movement that closely bound the monasteries of England to the crown. He was a trusted friend of King Edgar and had a great deal of in the royal court.

    Talking about Dunstan today as a positive model is liable to make lots of people nervous. Certainly the kind of merging of the State and a particular institution of the Church that existed in England (and greatly encouraged by Dunstan's efforts) is part of what this country was founded over against. Certainly a great fear with the current administration is that they are repeating exactly what happened with Edgar and Dunstan -- that the Church is being invited into the courts of the State and that the Church is actually doing the ruling.

    I'm not arguing a return to the court of King Edgar. But I am arguing that even though it isn't part of our tradition as Americans, it is part of our tradition as Christians not to shy away from involvement in affairs of State. Sam Portaro, in his great companion book to Lesser Feasts and Fasts, "Brightest and Best," makes this point better than I:

    "People are sometimes rattled (or annoyed)that I do not often wear my clerical collar. It is not that they need the symbol, but that they resent a religious person who goes stalking their world in plain clothes. Collaring their priest is rather like belling the cat so the birds will hear it coming: clerical collars warn the unsuspecting of a dangerous intrusion of religion into those spheres of life they prefer to keep separate from the church.

    Dunstan believed that such separations are false, even contrary, to God's reality. There is no place in this world where God is not, and no place where we should not be. For him, politics and government were as much a part of life in God as his monasticism.

    ...God formed the earth and made us keepers of the chaos, co-creators. Dunstan brought this conviction to everything he did, closing the gap between religion and government, between religion and the arts, between religion and labor. He believed that the work of reconciliation entrusted to us is more than bringing affections together, uniting sentiments; it is also bringing the physical world back into union with its Maker. Doing just that, nothing more nor less than doing the work God has given us to do, here and now, is as sure a recipe for blessedness -- happiness -- as any."

    The separation of Church and State is a critical thing to maintain ... but it is up to the State and the vigilance of the people to maintain it. It is about avoiding a merging between the State and the official structures of religion. It is about avoiding a State that is coterminus with the Church, where participation in the State mandates participation in the Church. It is not -- as it has developed into in much of the public consciousness -- a prohibition of the faithful from public life and discourse.

    My problem with the Bush administration stocking the Department of Justice with graduates from Regent University and with trying to elevate Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court is not the intrusion of people of faith into the court of the King. It's that religious affiliation and a certain political bent were given greater weight in hiring than basic levels of competence.

    Put another way, there are many reasons I wouldn't vote for any of the candidates who raised their hands at the recent Republican presidential debate saying they don't believe in evolution. None of those reasons have to do with their faith ... but some of them do have to do with me disagreeing with the path that faith has led them down.

    When we say "The Church shouldn't be involved in politics," we're perpetuating a dualism that not only bankrupts the Church but cuts the legs out from under the State. If there is a clear demarcation from the sacred where the Church should be and the secular where the Church should not, then what relevance does the Church have as a transforming force for the world. Likewise, if we eliminate from the State all vestiges of theological thought, all words and actions motivated by faith, we rob the public sphere of not only some of the great thinkers of human history but of some of the best motivation for positive change.

    Mike at 5/19/2007 07:15:00 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