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.


Sunday, November 10, 2013

JCD 1255



New York Annual Conference passed a “petition” which commended people who acted out of conscience against church laws that relate to homosexuals and ceremonies celebrating Gay couples.  Some pastors on the list had been taken to trial for their actions.

Someone requested that the bishop rule on whether or not the petition had violated certain church laws and Judicial Council Decisions.  The Bishop said no, that the petition was aspirational and did not tell anyone what to do.  The Judicial Council concurred, saying, “The only way it could violate church law is by prescribing actions that are themselves contrary to church law or by calling upon individuals to negate or ignore church law.”

In typical fashion, Council took this opportunity to instruct us all about where they draw the line and why this petition did not cross it.  It is helping the Church to see how they differentiate between the various statements that have been sent to be tested by them.

It is a fine set of differences among aspiration, approbation, and alteration with regard to church law.  No wonder some people overseas shake their heads and people in this country tear their hair out!

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