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.


Monday, August 19, 2019

JCM 1376

Precedent rules!

At the beginning of the GC2019, a request for a declaratory decision was passed to ask the Council which has the higher authority, the General Conference or the annual conference when it comes to defining the qualifications of who can be a minister.  

The Council went back to an old ruling (JCD 1321) it had made in May of 2016 right at the end of the General Conference, right before the new Council members freshly elected were to take charge.

The “old” Council’s decision was that under Par. 16, General Conference stated the criteria for ministers and the Annual Conference under Par. 33 determined whether or not it was following those criteria.  Or put another way, the General Conference provides the words which point to traits desired in clergy and the annual conference defines those words and applies them in its own way.

At the time, there was worry that the matter should have been deferred to the fall Council session so the new members could make the decision.  Well, the new members were given a chance by the GC2019 request and they stuck with precedent.  Yep, this Council has been “by-the-book.”

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