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

JCM 1382


Another Deferral and a Stay

The Council of Bishops apparently got a request for a declaratory decision in to the Council after the docket for this session had been posted.  Docket No. 1019-19 which is mentioned in this memorandum is not listed in the docket.  There is a chance a minor mistake was made and the intended docket item was 1019-4 (and 1019-3) and resulted in several rulings: JCD 1385, 1386, and 1390.  The Bishops had a lot of questions about the Traditionalists’ Plan (TP), as did everyone else!

So when a question of law was raised at the New England Annual Conference about the legality of a resolution regarding the new legislation on separation of churches from the denomination, the bishop made a ruling.  The Council stayed his decision.  

“Stay” is another new term introduced by this Council.  Every lawyer in the world knows what it means but there are so many possible subtleties that non-layers will be confused.  The other decision where “stay” came into church law was JCD 1361.  Just what is stayed during an appeal to the jurisdictional committee on appeals under ¶ 2718.3-.4?  

I wish the Council has just said, “The ruling doesn’t go into effect now and may not be needed if the Council rules in favor of the Bishops.”

As I sorted through the various docket items relevant to the bishop’s situation, it appears a decision about whether his conference could add to the requirements laid out in the GC2019 separation of local church legislation is held up for now.  It does not appear any particular church was affected at this time so the stay does not cause any difficulties for anyone so far.

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