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.


Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Judicial Council election

The delegates voted for moderates and liberals for the Judicial Council. By some counts, there may be one conservative left on the Council. The president, Dr. James Holsinger was not nominated by the Council of Bishops nor from the floor. I presume he refused nomination because of being a nominee to the Bush Cabinet. He recused himself from last October's Judicial Council's meeting for that reason. However, he did not recuse himself for the Judicial Council's session here at GC.

It appears that even among the alternates, people who would be called up to the Council if members were unable to attend the twice-a-year meetings, there are few of the nominees pushed by the conservative coalition very high on the list. One clergy and two laity from that camp became alternates among the ten selected. They were not among the first two lay or clergy alternates, so they will probably not be involved in future Council activities.

All in all, though, it appears the conservatives are not as strong this time as they have been in previous GCs.

There are several reasons given.

One, the conservatives on the Council "protected" a pastor from prosecution in his conference because he allegedly kept a practicing homosexual from joining the church (see Judicial Council Decisions 1031 and 1032). That made the Council of Bishops furious because they backed the right of the bishop to tell the pastor what to do! The liberals were upset because the allegation bothered them deeply!

Two, the large number of young people elected to GC from all over the world seem to be less concerned about sexual orientation than their elders.

Three, the spirit of Methodism which is far less interested in creeds and hard-line use of Scriptures is asserting itself.

Four, the conservatives have overplayed their hand with their arrogance in office and in tone, just like the conservatives in Congress, and the moderates are swinging back to the left.

As goes the United Methodist Church, so goes the nation . . . or is it the other way around?

No comments: