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 1150


This Texas Conference case was carried over from the October 2010 Council session (JCM 1136).

At issue was whether or not an annual conference restructured committee (Core Leadership Team) could bypass the conference’s council on finance and administration and implement spending without first getting its approval prior to annual conference.

The Council said such a by-pass was contrary to church law, citing JCD 813 which says, “An Annual Conference cannot restructure in such a way as to constitute unauthorized delegation of its authority to a committee.”

The program in question was established to facilitate a down-sizing of conference clergy requiring appointment. The funds were used to facilitate early retirements. I thought this was a far better plan than having a Cabinet, as occurred some years ago in other conferences, simply tell all of the white male clergy over 50 that they were unappointable.

The decision in this Texas case reaffirmed the necessity of conferences to be careful in their restructuring so that responsibilities were not shifted from the proper Discipline-authorized bodies.

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