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

A Word about the New Judicial Council

In the past, the nominees for Judicial Council from the Council of Bishops tended to think that protecting the bishops was their first priority, if a case raised any questions.

Just because a group of Council members who made up a majority were not returned in the election yesterday does not mean that the new Council will be willing to treat the bishops differently than their predecessors have.

In the past, liberals have been as bad at deferring to them as anyone.

Arrogance is possible from any individual or caucus favorite.

Let's hope the new president (yet to be elected by the Council) has the whole church as her base and not just the institution and its leaders.

The most experienced Council member in the new Council is a woman. After watching President Sirleaf of Liberia, I would not be surprised to see a woman lead the Council during 2008-2012, historic first for the UMC.


The new president is Rev. Susan Henry-Crowe. She served for eight years 1992 to 2000 and was elected again in 2004. Vice president is Judge Jon Gray, elected in 2004. Rev. F. Belton Joyner, retired, was elected this year and was chosen secretary.

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