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 1393


A Hypothetical Question

The Tennessee Annual Conference passed a resolution apologizing for the harm caused by the TP and asking that any actions taken by the conference against pastors for violating it are trials of last resort.  The bishop received a verbal challenge and then a written one that referenced one of the new passages.

The bishop responded by noting the new Disciplinary passage referred to withdrawal of churches which was not really the subject of the resolution and was therefore hypothetical.

The Council supported the bishop’s ruling and pointed out the question did not relate to anything before the annual conference the way it was written.

So there was at least confusion on the part of the questioner.  Again, I wonder how that might have been better resolved had the bishop called a brief recess to put the questioner together with someone knowledgeable about requesting decisions of law.  I have a feeling the questioner would have either realized he was off subject with his questions or put together an appropriate question of law to the subject at hand.

Maybe if I repeat this suggestion often enough, someone whose opinion is actually important in the denomination will suggest it and might try it.

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