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.


Wednesday, March 18, 2020

JCD 1391


A Circuitous Strategem

The Baltimore-Washington Annual Conference is not traditionalist as a whole so its Board of Ordained Ministries faced a dilemma.  It didn’t want to make a big deal of any candidate’s sexual orientation and so it placed all of its candidates before the Clergy Session as classes rather than as individuals and it worked.  All were accepted by vote according to the category they were in.

A traditionalist was unhappy since the purpose of the latest changes in the Discipline was to cull out any LGBTQI candidates.  So the next day he raised a question of law about whether handling the candidates’ vote that way was Disciplinary.  He was well aware that two of the candidates had been subject to a previous Council decision (JCD 1368 is cited but there are two of them with that number.  This case refers to the JCD 1368 of Feb., 2019).

The bishop ruled no part of the Discipline prevents lumping candidates together in a vote, the vote to use that process had its own level of requirement (did not have to be ¾) for passage, and that the final vote on the candidates made moot any question about their membership.  The bishop made clear that parliamentarily, motions to separate out votes on any of the candidates did not occur and had they been supported, those individuals would have each been so dealt with.

It is not so much that this clever strategy caught everyone by surprise, it’s that it was legal (so says the Council).  It probably will only work once in any annual conference.  

Now you know why you have to understand Robert’s Rules of Order as a member if the annual conference.

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