Associates in Advocacy now has two sites on the internet. Our primary help site is at http://www.aiateam.org/. There AIA seeks to offer aid to troubled pastors, mainly those who face complaints and whose careers are on the line.

Help is also available to their advocates, their caregivers, Cabinets, and others trying to work in that context.

This site will be a blog. On it we will address issues and events that come up.

We have a point of view about ministry, personnel work, and authority. We intend to take the following very seriously:


Some of our denomination's personnel practices have real merit. Some are deeply flawed. To tell the difference, we go to these criteria to help us know the difference.

We also have a vision of what constitutes healthy leadership and authority. We believe it is in line with Scripture, up-to-date managerial practice, and law.

To our great sadness, some pastors who become part of the hierarchy of the church, particularly the Cabinet, have a vision based on their being in control as "kings of the hill," not accountable to anyone and not responsible to follow the Discipline or our faith and practice. They do not see that THE GOLDEN RULE applies to what they do.

If you are reading this, the chances are you are not that way. We hope what we say and do exemplify our own best vision and will help you fulfill yours. But we cannot just leave arrogance, incompetence, and ignorance to flourish. All of us have the responsibility to minimize those in our system.

We join you in fulfilling our individual vow of expecting to be perfect in love in this life and applying that vow to our corporate life in the United Methodist Church.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

If you have any questions or suggestions, direct them to Rev. Jerry Eckert. His e-mail address is aj_eckert@hotmail.com. His phone number is 941 743 0518. His address is 20487 Albury Drive, Port Charlotte, FL 33952.

Thank you.


Thursday, May 28, 2009

Conclusion re: Spring JC Session

This Council is being very thorough and continues to provide explanations which were often lacking in previous rulings of other Councils. Being appellant-friendly is a great policy.

This council has been careful to do its homework. A good bit of the complexity of the Bush Institute/Library at SMU was taken into account. The questions of the Alaska layman attempting to clarify who makes the decision about church membership, while not answered, were sorted out and explained.

So far, this Council has avoided the gross ineptitude that haunted other past Councils (for example JCM 1048).

Contrary to what some other knowledgeable commentators say, I believe this Council has not sought to avoid controversy. They have carefully parsed the briefs and law so that their positions have been clear. They have not gone beyond precedents on what is moot and hypothetical set in the previous Council because they have not found a change in church law that would move them in any new direction.

I have become so confident of the competence of this Council that I am surprised when they do not follow through on a key point. Was that layman really still a legal representative of a discontinued church? What was the actual lease cost arrangement in the Bush institute/library case? Should not the briefs of the appellants have addressed those matters rather than presuming the Council would pick them up?

This is no activist Council as its predecessor was. It will be interesting to see how they deal with issues yet to be sent their way.

No comments: