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.


Friday, September 28, 2007

A 9/28 letter to the bishops

Dear Bishop,

You may be aware that Associates in Advocacy has had a website and hopefully, you may have used it.

You may also be aware that we lost it due to circumstances beyond our control and have had to rebuild it.

This letter is to announce that the website http://www.aiateam.org/ is open for business.

Our intention is to provide help to anyone who is concerned about a personnel action in the church. That includes Cabinet members as well.

You will soon note a bias against authority in many of the articles. I earned that the hard way, reading documents signed by church leaders, watching them operate at General Conference, talking with those who would talk with me. I am not completely cynical about those in authority because I had Ralph Alton as my bishop. I have come to know William Boyd Grave and Leroy Hodapp well enough to know there are real princes among the "perfumed princes."

I also know that I probably never will hear from pastors in many active bishops' conferences because those bishops are doing a good job. My intent is to provide them with good ideas to supplement what they are already doing. My hope is to hear back from you if you have any better ideas than mine or if you have any problems with things said in the articles.

Our website is not only open for business. It is also open for improvement.

In the covenant of the clergy,


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