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.


Friday, March 10, 2017

JCM 1323

Reconsideration of JCD 1314

The Council turned down this request without a rationale.  The case relates to JCD 1276, the one where the advocate tried imaginative ways to get an appeal before the Council for a pastor involuntarily retired.  I have two observations:

1. Advocates need to persist.  It is rare for the Council to actually respond to a request for reconsideration but once in awhile, like facing the nagging old woman in Jesus’ parable, some kind of breakthrough might occur.  Besides, the involuntarily retired pastor has exhausted all of his in-church options and can see if a civil court can accept jurisdiction.  Civil courts hate to take a case from a denomination with a judicial system unless the pastor has tried everything legally involved in a Church case like this one.

2. Council groups tend not to challenge their predecessor Council groups’ decisions.  That’s one of the dynamics that allows for precedent to develop.  Besides, the previous court applied its best thinking.  The grounds for reconsideration would have to be compelling to get a new Council to do it.

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