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.


Sunday, November 20, 2011

JCD 1196


The wording is different but the issue is the same as in the previous two rulings. The result is the same.

The cumulative effect of all the decisions in the Philippines case is that the college of bishops, no matter what they did, was essentially supported from the United States, further enhancing the power of that group to do as they think is best, whether or not the Discipline is on their side. They have had the Judicial Council, which is even better.

That could fall apart if the Council seeks all the documentation they should have received as these cases came their way. Will the adeptness of JCD 1156 be applied to the spring session’s review or will the tendencies of this whole series, essentially backing up the college of bishops no matter what? We’ll see.

Surely there have been questions in other annual conferences in other parts of the world. History shows that the Church in the Philippines has turned to the Judicial Council more frequently than any other conferences outside the United States. Some historian may find it an interesting study to see why that is so.

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