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 15, 2015

JCD 1301

JHYPERLINK "http://www.umc.org/decisions/64864/eyJyZXN1bHRfcGFnZSI6IlwvZGVjaXNpb25zXC9zZWFyY2gtcmVzdWx0cyIsInNlYXJjaDpkZWNpc2lvbl9udW1iZXIiOiIxMzAxIiwiZXhhY3QiOiJzZWFyY2g6ZGVjaXNpb25fbnVtYmVyIn0" http://www.umc.org/decisions/64864/eyJyZXN1bHRfcGFnZSI6IlwvZGVjaXNpb25zXC9zZWFyY2gtcmVzdWx0cyIsInNlYXJjaDpkZWNpc2lvbl9udW1iZXIiOiIxMzAxIiwiZXhhY3QiOiJzZWFyY2g6ZGVjaXNpb25fbnVtYmVyIn0


The Arkansas Annual Conference bishop has been challenged regarding his use of non-superintendents when appointments are being considered.  The Discipline does not contain the phrase “appointive cabinet” even though many bishops now bring their administrative assistants, conference program directors, or others chosen by the bishops to sit in with voice and vote on appointments.

Revisions of the Rules were passed by the annual conference among which was one small section to define the appointive cabinet and someone asked the bishop a question of law related to the legality of that small section.  

The bishop ruled it violated the Discipline and the Council agreed.  Interestingly, the problem was that the Rules’ terminology differed slightly from that of the Discipline, that being the “violation.”  As one might expect in our bishop-centric denomination, a major change in conference rules would not occur without the full support of the bishop.  Whether or not the Rules were Disciplinary, who he added to the “appointive cabinet” was not affected.  The new rules did not deny or abridge the bishop’s freedom to add anyone he wanted.  So it is interesting that he ended up in the position of being against a rule he probably favored and could show it violated the Discipline while, at the same time, not interrupting his stacking the appointment process with anyone he chose.

This commentary presumes this case is related to other Council cases related to the Arkansas “appointive cabinet.”  See JCDs 1279, 1280, 1293, 1294, and 1307.


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