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.


Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Sirleaf for President!

I just watched Liberia's President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf speak at General Conference. What a gifted person! If there was the office of President of the World, I'd vote for her.

She is people-oriented, has been imprisoned for running for office and being critical of her president some years ago. When Charles Taylor went into exile, Mrs. Sirleaf led the anti-corruption commission that helped the economic system of Liberia get its feet on the ground and end the patronage that had drained off wealth from Liberia's natural resources.

For her work, she was made a candidate for president of Liberia on a continent that is male-oriented.

She grew up in a United Methodist Church in Monrovia, went to Methodist College of Liberia, came to the US to attend Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government, and returned to Liberia to work to improve the banking system. Surviving the imprisonment and returning to the US, she became an active part of the United Nations, rising to a major position there.

We did not get nearly that much background and substance in the current pair of United Methodists heading up the US Administration. . . .

How proud I am to be a United Methodist to help someone like her to rise to be of service to her nation and her continent.

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