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.


Monday, November 21, 2011

JCM 1192


This memorandum deals with two unrelated petitions seeking reconsideration. It denies both without analysis or comment. The effect is to sustain earlier decisions on both. JCM 1176 was the case where a church closing was challenged because the Conference gave no prior warning to the congregation. JCM 1184 was about requesting reconsideration of JCD 1152 in which the Council affirmed after the fact the authority of an interim bishop in the Philippines case.

The requests were not without merit, as my blog posts on those earlier decisions state. It is a shame the Council chose not be share their thinking as they have on other requests. Their docket was surprisingly small compared to other fall sessions in recent years.

The upshot is that the Council feels all further argument on the respective cases adds nothing to what they already said about them. On these two requests, I wish the Council did not choose to play their “We have the last word” card because I think there still are serious issues left unresolved.

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