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 1397


A Missionary Conference’s Dilemmas Under TP

The Alaska Missionary Conference will become a district of the Pacific Northwest Annual Conference, if all goes as planned.  That may resolve some of the questions raised in a request for a declaratory decision.

As the Council notes, there are serious discussions there about Alaska’s way forward under TP.  The questions raised in the request show some of the options these discussions have covered and the folks there would love to have more definitive input.  I’m very sympathetic with that.  But that input could come from other sources such as a seminary professor or even former Judicial Council members or geeks like myself.  The Council rightly reserves itself to answer questions that are germane to a specific action being taken by an annual conference or its officers rather than on hypothetical options and speculations about possibilities.

But I am still left without a completely solid ground on which to determine when clarification of church law is warranted in response to prospective questions and when they are speculative and hence, hypothetical.  

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