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 1131


Like JCD 1130, this same bishop in her other conference (Rocky Mountain) withheld the questions and her answers from publication and again Jon Gray raised the issue about the necessity of confidences possibly being violated.

I do not have what Judge Gray and the Council had before them. There is only the coincidence of the same bishop ruling in the same way, which to me says more about the bishop and the processes occurring under her administration than they do about the advocates.

Speaking of advocates, it is clear that the questioner did not think through the problem of relating the questions to the business of the conference, especially in light of the various restrictions put on that definition by various JCDs in the past. This is an area where Associates in Advocacy needs to provide guidance for those trying to help pastors in trouble.

This decision warns all those bringing questions of law to be ready to challenge a bishop’s making a parliamentary ruling that the questions of law are out of order and seek a conference vote to overturn that ruling. Preparation for conference requires ascertaining the grounds for the questions to be framed and supported as business of the conference.

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