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, August 22, 2012

JCD 1206



The West Middle Philippines Annual Conference under retired Bishop Arichea’s authority faced a resolution calling for a change of time of the conference’s meeting. This appears to be an action by those who may have felt the retired bishop was acting arbitrarily. There is a history reflected in JCDs 1142 and 1152 which may be relevant here.

However, the action was taken in violation of the Discipline which requires involvement of the presiding bishop in the decision of changing the time. That had not been done in the process of passing the resolution. A counter resolution supporting Bishop Arichea was offered and this question of law from his supporters was referred to the Judicial Council. It appears that once again, the bishop used the Council to solidify his position.

Since the original resolution to change the time was not done in any official body of the conference, it could have been ruled out of order by the bishop when brought by the ad hoc group who could have then raised a question of law. However, that did not to happen, though the record is not clear on what all did happen.

It appears that friends of the bishop brought a resolution confirming the bishop’s decision about the conference’s meeting time and then a question of law supporting that was brought in order to get the backing of the Judicial Council.

Ain’t politics grand? Not really. The pain of division within the Manila area conferences who have gotten the attention of the Council over the past several years may go on and on. Hopefully, a new bishop elected this year may be able to bridge the gap between those wanting change and those unwilling to do it.

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