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.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

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

JCM 1209



For years, attendance at annual conference sessions has usually been around sixty percent laity and forty percent clergy. The formula for trying to balance membership between the two has been one lay person for every clergy member. As clergy have lived longer and had resulting health problems which interfere with their attendance, the percentage of laity present at annual conferences has risen.

A petition removing those elderly and infirm pastors had three arguments against counting them toward the balance formula. Clergy have no alternates who may attend in their place if they cannot come; those infirm pastors are still counted toward the balance even though they don’t attend; and the extra lay members add to the cost of annual conferences. This item was quite thoroughly discussed in plenary on Thursday, May 3, the day before the end of General Conference (pages 2730 – 2732) and was passed.

At the beginning of Thursday’s evening session (p. 2737), a motion was made with no discussion to refer the action on this matter to the Judicial Council and it passed nearly unanimously.

But the Council was busy sorting through the very long and involved decision they needed to make about denominational reorganization as well as the matter they were working on for JCD 1208 so they deferred this item to this fall’s session.

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