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 1300

 HYPERLINK "http://www.umc.org/decisions/64863/eyJyZXN1bHRfcGFnZSI6IlwvZGVjaXNpb25zXC9zZWFyY2gtcmVzdWx0cyIsInNlYXJjaDpkZWNpc2lvbl9udW1iZXIiOiIxMzAwIn0" http://www.umc.org/decisions/64863/eyJyZXN1bHRfcGFnZSI6IlwvZGVjaXNpb25zXC9zZWFyY2gtcmVzdWx0cyIsInNlYXJjaDpkZWNpc2lvbl9udW1iZXIiOiIxMzAwIn0


A District Conference in the Middle Philippines Annual Conference voted to petition the Judicial Council to review the firing of their superintendent.  

The facts of the case are very incomplete.  For example, the bishop emailed the superintendent and told him he was no longer one.  There is nothing in the record which says to what appointment he had been assigned in place of the appointment to the Cabinet.  It also appears that the fired superintendent presided at the District Conference where the petition idea originated.

Questions were devised and forwarded to the Council but the Council could not take jurisdiction.  For one thing, they said, no questions of law were asked on the record at the district conference nor of the bishop at the annual conference.  Hence there was no access to the Council under ¶¶ 2609.6 or 2609.7.  Nor, I might add, did the District Conference vote a request for a declaratory decision under ¶2610.2(i) –“any body authorized . . . by a central conference. . . ,” if that even applies.

The appointment of a superintendent is at the final discretion of a bishop so even if proper questions had been handled correctly, the Council would have called them moot.  The challenge to the bishop’s actions should have been to the College of Bishops of the Philippines Central Conference in the form of a complaint and not to the Judicial Council, another way the petition was moot.  Unless the Philippines is totally different from other Colleges of Bishops, and past rulings by the Council on matters coming from there indicate it is not, such a complaint would have fallen on deaf ears.  Colleges of Bishops NEVER challenge a bishop for any Disciplinary violation except sexual misconduct (whether true or false).

There is a chance this case may be brought back to the Council in other ways.  The Council will need far more information and a proper approach under ¶¶ 2609, 2610, or 2715 to deal with it.

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