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.


Sunday, November 10, 2013

JCD 1249



The Philippines Central Conference secretary and the presiding bishop sent in questions of law and the bishop’s responses but neither bothered to send the minutes so the Council would have the full record of the discussion surrounding the request for the ruling.  Nor were the documents in question sent along so that the Council would know what they were talking about!  Reminds me of some conference secretaries I know of in the United States.

Consequently, the Council cannot provide a ruling that might have implications with respect to financing or implementing the policies or programs under question.  Could that in turn cause harm or undermine good that might have been done?

The Council must have all of the germane information or it is handcuffed to the detriment of the ones whose issues are before the Council.  

Perhaps the Council’s president, secretary, or clerk should have the authority to evaluate the materials sent in and be able to pursue the rest of the materials as soon as possible in order to try to get everything needed by the Council.  Perhaps the Council should list in its letters of contact with those approaching the Council the materials that should be included.  The current posted Rules and appendices do not make it clear what back-up materials are most frequently needed.

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