"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

    July 2003August 2003November 2003January 2004February 2004March 2004April 2004May 2004June 2004July 2004August 2004September 2004October 2004November 2004December 2004January 2005February 2005March 2005April 2005May 2005June 2005July 2005August 2005September 2005October 2005November 2005January 2006February 2006March 2006April 2006June 2006July 2006August 2006September 2006October 2006November 2006December 2006January 2007February 2007March 2007April 2007May 2007September 2007October 2007December 2007February 2008July 2008December 2008April 2009

    Listed on Blogwise
  • Thursday, May 10, 2007

    This morning, I was reading the reading assigned for today (Thursday in 5 Easter) in Celebrating the Seasons, and it struck me as a good one to share. It's from The Power and Meaning of Love by Thomas Merton.

    The union that binds the members of Christ together is not the union of proud confidence in the power of an organization. The Church is united by the humility as well as by the charity of her members. Hers is the union that comes from the consciousness of individual fallibility and poverty, from the humility which recognizes its own limitations and accepts them, the meekness that cannot take up on itself to condemn, but can only forgive because it is conscious that it has itself been forgiven by Christ.

    The union of Christians is a union of friendship and mercy, a bearing of one another’s burdens in the sharing of divine forgiveness. Christian forgiveness is not confined merely to those who are members of the Church. To be a Christian one must love all people, including not only one’s own enemies but even those who claim to be the ‘enemies of God’. ‘Whosoever is angry with his brother or sister shall be in danger of the judgment. Love your enemies, do good to them that hate you, pray for them that persecute and speak calumny of you, that you may be the children of your Father who is in heaven.’

    The solidarity of the Christian community is not based on the awareness that the Church has authority to cast out and to anathematize, but on the realization that Christ has given her the power to forgive sin in his name and to welcome the sinner to the banquet of his love in the holy Eucharist. More than this, the Church is aware of her divine mission to bring forgiveness and peace to all men and women. This means not only that the sacraments are there for all who will approach them, but that Christians themselves must bring love, mercy and justice into the lives of their neighbours, in order to reveal to them the presence of Christ in his Church. And this can only be done if all Christians strive generously to love and serve all people with whom they come into contact in their daily lives.

    With all this talk about "instruments of unity" that is really nothing more than a misplaced attempt at a technical solution to the adaptive challenge of living in Communion, Merton offers something wonderful. What binds us together is not a common confession or an organizational structure or even a way of doing theology. What binds us together is our shared consciousness of our individual and corporate brokenness -- of our deep inadequacy and even deeper need of God. What binds us together is our common call to forgive because we ourselves have been forgiven of so much.

    Our power lies not in drawing lines of who is in and who is out. Not, as Merton says, in our "power to anathematize" but in the power of hospitality. The power of welcoming. And not just welcoming as virtue in itself (as the left has inexplicably elevated "inclusion" to a high virtue often without considering word itself exactly what it is we are "including people into"!) but welcoming one another (for we are all sinners) to "the banquet of (Christ's) love in the Holy Eucharist."

    Our welcome is not extended to something of our construction. Our welcome is only an extension of the the welcome we have received. Our love is only an extension of the love we have received. Our forgiveness is only an extension of the forgiveness we have received.

    Of course there is room for people on both sides totally not to get what I'm driving at here. There's room for people on the right to feel self-righteous in that "love the sinner and hate the sin" kind of way and disguise through flowery phrases and high-sounding rhetoric the very anathematizing Merton rails against. There's room for people on the left to feel morally superior as more forgiving, more open and more loving -- even though such self-righteousness cannot coexist with the humility to which Merton (and Christ) calls us.

    And, of course, there's plenty of room for me to feel self-righteously above the fray, to let my own anger at the conflict and the major players in it consume me and to bask in the glow of my own supposed wisdom in knowing better than them all.

    And yet, as always, all these things bring all of us back to the same place -- convicted by our sin and brokenness, in deep need of forgiveness and love, and bound together most profoundly not by that which we fight over but by the brokenness that keeps us so deeply entrenched in the foxholes.

    One of my favorite 1980s movies is Broadcast News. In it Albert Brooks plays what he plays best, an intelligent neurotic ... in this case a TV news reporter who is in love with Holly Hunter, who in turn is falling in love with a pretty-boy anchor (William Hurt) to whom Brooks feels morally superior but in every other way inadequate.

    But before all this comes to a head, Brooks is musing with Holly Hunter on the phone about relationships:

    "Wouldn't this be a great world if insecurity and desperation made us more attractive. If 'needy' were a turn-on?"

    Maybe he's onto something. Only maybe today we could say:

    "Wouldn't this be a great church if our brokenness and failure drew us closer together? If forgiveness and mercy were how we defined progress and victory?"

    I think Merton would have liked that. I know I would like that. I wonder if Jesus would like it, too.
    Mike at 5/10/2007 09:13:00 PM

    Comments: Post a Comment
    Subscribe in a reader
    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