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.

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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.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

JCD 1128


The Commission on the General Conference asked the Council to determine if there were any restrictions on the authority of the General Conference Secretary to determine the number of delegates from the various conferences. Unstated in this request is the question of how many delegates are to be allowed to Cote D'Ivoire in light of its huge membership numbers. The chances are extremely high that most of those delegates would be very conservative and greatly shift the balance of power between the liberal and conservative factions with votes at General Conference.

That was discreetly avoided in the decision as the Council reassured there were only two factors to be considered as restricting the General Conference Secretary; the number of clergy and the number of professing members of that conference. There are two other simple limits as well, that every conference have at least one lay and one clergy delegates and that the total number lies between 600 and 1,000 delegates.

Another amendment (6) being voted on in 2009 when this decision came down has to do with providing two quadrennia of transition between the entrance of a conference and its representation following the proportions indicated in the Discipline. The Council ruled only that the General Conference Secretary had the authority to determine the numbers to come to General Conference.

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