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.


Friday, March 10, 2017

JCM 1325


Reconsideration of JCD 1321

Silicon based computer chips work very well in binary situations but DNA can be used to store digital information based on more the “0” and “1.”  DNA strands have multiple points that can be used.  Computers of the future will be using “chips” of organic material, be smaller, and be able to handle even more complex things quicker.

Using this as an analogy, there are some of us who can only handle binary matters, yes/no, good/bad, (I’m) right/(you’re) wrong.  So not surprisingly, facing “multiple sources of authority” is incomprehensible to some of us.  In some, our “comprehension” gene is really just a silicon chip. 

I’m saying that as with so many human traits, not all of us have the same genes so some of us get certain kinds of diseases, some of us are right handed, and some of us don’t like coffee.  Those are built into our physiology and there’s not much anyone can do about it.  I think one of those traits is the ability to think in only simple terms without the ability to expand into thinking in complex terms.

I speculate then that those asking for reconsideration in this case cannot make sense out of the original decision.  That does not make them unintelligent.  Intelligence has to do with a different gene.  Hence, black-and-white thinkers can sometimes tolerate or agree to disagree or downplay the importance of a matter they cannot understand.  Similarly, complex thinkers can also tolerate, etc. on some issues and maintain effective relationships with those with whom they disagree.  But once in awhile (and in the Trump era), intelligence is not able to bridge the gap and this difference in ways of comprehending becomes a barrier to community.

Law, then, if respected, keeps us together.  When Law is agreed upon, it bridges the differences and the community is sustained.  When law is abused or some give up on it as having authority, that leads to breakdowns and splintering of relationships.  At least the ones asking for reconsideration were hoping law would work in this case.  That’s a good sign.  If they can live with the result, that is a better sign.

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