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.


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

JCD 1149


As a matter of full disclosure, I was consulted by the counsel for the respondent about the case behind this request. As soon as the complaint came in, the bishops in the Philippines immediately took action on their own, sent in a retired bishop to take over, suspended the elected bishop, and proceeded to the committee on investigation. When the respondent bishop challenged their right to take over, the question was forwarded to the Judicial Council. The Council took jurisdiction and decided that the part of the passages of the Discipline granting authority to the college of bishops to act was unconstitutional. That part was that every bishop all over the world who were bishops in central conferences were a part of the college of bishops. That would have meant that the bishops from the Philippines would have needed to work in concert with that world-wide group.

By ruling as they did, the Council was authorizing the Philippine bishops to be the College of Bishops to undertake the supervision and handling of the case against the respondent bishop.

As in JCD 1135, I wish the Council had ordered a review of what happened to be reported back to them as a result of this decision.

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