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 1258



This third concern about the interim actions taken in Greater New Jersey Annual Conference relates to the conflict of interest of having the chairperson of the Conference Council on Finance and Administration also head up the A Future of Hope corporation.

Based on Paragraph 612.2.b of the 2012 Discipline, the Council is “ag’in’” it and requires that the individual decide which position he prefers because he cannot have both.  There is no statement about the Council retaining jurisdiction to be sure this decision is followed.  But I expect it will.  

It is just these kinds of issues that needed to be raised prior to permission being granted by the conference.  “It seemed like a good idea at the time” is not an excuse for lack of proper review of plans before their execution.

Minor point: The actions were taken partly in 2012 while the 2008 Discipline was in effect.  However, that Discipline says the same thing as the new Discipline does about not holding office in two places with a conflict of interest.

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