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.


Wednesday, March 18, 2020

JCD 1386


Impact of Possibly Illegal Votes

The decision spells out what happened when complaints went to the Commission on the General Conference about some people who voted using phony credentials.  The problem is that the flawed vote set up the final vote on the Traditionalists Plan and therefore may have meant that all the votes involved following were null and void.

Because the impact of the new legislation would fall on them, the Council of Bishops brought the request for a decision instead of the commission and added it to their already presented request on another matter in hopes of getting immediate action on it.  The Council let them get its request in but chose not to make a decision at this session.  

They did point out no one seems to have had the authority to deal with the complaints as the Discipline currently stands.  In addition, they were concerned that there were no representatives from the commission who could have shed more light on what happened.  They also noted that other interested parties were not apprised of the Bishops’ request and did not have a chance to participate on such short notice.

For all these reasons, the Council chose to defer the amended case until Spring 2020 to allow more parties to be involved, and to allow further research and documentation about how the various entities took authority to investigate and the implications of their findings.  

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