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

JCM 1305

JHYPERLINK "http://www.umc.org/decisions/64868/eyJyZXN1bHRfcGFnZSI6IlwvZGVjaXNpb25zXC9zZWFyY2gtcmVzdWx0cyIsInNlYXJjaDpkZWNpc2lvbl9udW1iZXIiOiIxMzA1In0" http://www.umc.org/decisions/64868/eyJyZXN1bHRfcGFnZSI6IlwvZGVjaXNpb25zXC9zZWFyY2gtcmVzdWx0cyIsInNlYXJjaDpkZWNpc2lvbl9udW1iZXIiOiIxMzA1In0


Northwest Philippines Annual Conference, like several of its sister conferences in the Philippines, elected delegates to General and Central Conferences using a system of casting lots.  The bishop was asked if this was legal.  Saying there was no prohibition, he honored the process and the delegates were thus the legal representatives of their conference.

The Judicial Council deferred a decision until its October 2016 session.  Since the ruling of the bishop was made with regard to only the one conference, and his decision is law for them only, deferral allows the delegates to function legally and gives the Council time to get all the documents that should have been sent in.  Without that material and answers to the Council’s questions about the details of the process used, they will not have enough upon which to base their decision.

It is likely that using casting of lots will not become common in the United Methodist Church.  The ambitious who successfully work the politics required for a voting election will not allow it.  Casting lots would be tantamount to trusting that God would pick the best delegates.  And the means of gaining certain kinds of jobs in the denomination would be disrupted if just anyone was elected to General, Jurisdictional, or Central Conferences.  Hmmm.  On the other hand, . . . .

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