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 1254



The bishop of the California-Pacific Annual Conference was asked if a resolution asking that a portion of the Social Principles be ignored was legal.  She ruled that because the Social Principles were for thoughtful and prayerful consideration and were not law, the resolution was not illegal.  

The Council majority agreed and said that the difference between her ruling on this question and the ruling in JCD 833 where a portion of the Social Principles was indeed law is that the other Social Principles statement was a mandate to action while the portion relevant to the instant case was not.

The three members of the Council from outside the United States disagreed, saying that there is precedent in JCD 1120 which says that anything passed by General Conference cannot be legally ignored by action of any other body of the denomination.

The Council acknowledged that members of the denomination disagreed with many portions of the Social Principles such as those related to gun control and war.  That was okay because, concurring with the bishop, the Council sees most of the Social Principles were a call for “prayerful dialogue.”

From what I heard at General Conference, a lot of church people in the Central Conferences find literalism more secure and have a hard time with the attitude that they see in America regarding “loose” interpretations of everything.  But I also remember very well some thoughtful leaders from Africa and Asia that were very calm about differences and were willing to question us in detail about our differing views on things like homosexuality.  The United Methodist Church is in flux all over the world, not just here in America.

Watch for who signs which concurring and dissenting opinions and you will see these dynamics reflected.

No comments: