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 1250



In JCD 1237, the resolution passed by the Western Jurisdiction was not ruled upon because the bishop chose to rule that the original question was so flawed by misspellings as to be moot and hypothetical.  The Council did not drop the matter but told the bishop to answer the questions because the misspellings were easily correctable from the context of the request.

The bishop responded to the Council’s request and ruled that the resolution penalties appropriate for conviction of the church “crime” of conducting ceremonies for same sex couples to be was suspension for 24 hours was aspirational.  (No surprise: see the post on JCM 1237 in this blog.)

However, the Council reversed the bishop’s ruling because the resolution went over the line.  Like the Northern Illinois Annual Conference’s resolution dealt with in JCD 1201, this resolution pushed the envelope farther than the Council would allow, so it is null and void.

This resolution, illegal under church law, is kind of like a bell that has been rung and there is no way to stop the sound once it has left the bell.  The idea is out there now and there will be the potential of trial courts considering such brief suspensions offered by the resolution.  

Will Counsels for the Church appeal such trial court decisions by calling them “egregious” in light of this and other similar rulings, the only grounds on which the Church can appeal results of a church trial?  See JCD 1215 and the posting in this blog related to it for one alternative that was tried.  Because of this ruling, look for a church appeal in the future.

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