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.


Thursday, May 1, 2008

Censures - What happened?

Carefully scanning all the actions of the various legislative committees that have been reported so far, I found no reference to anything about the Bush censure. It may be reported sometime before the end of GC. Or it may sort of disappear in a cloud of actions which occurs at the conclusion of the Conference. Or maybe it just disappeared.

The Judicial Administration Committee received the Holsinger censure petition.

It faced consideration by a sub-committee, whose deliberations have not come to my attention so far.

When the petition went before the whole legislative committee, it was rejected almost unanimously, again, one person not voting.

The committee then put their disposition on the consent calendar which allows their decision to become the will of the General Conference when each day, the GC votes to uphold the consent calendar. A number of people can sign a request to withdraw it from consent calendar before that vote in hopes that the petition would then come to the floor.

There is no record of that having happened.


I learned from a person in the legislative committee that the petition on Holsinger did not arrive "alone" before the sub-committee. Holsinger wrote a letter and included three documents which supported his actions and contradicted some of the assertions in the petition. He sent them to every member of the legislative committee.

That caused enough confusion about the facts of the matter that the committee. already stressed for time and workload, did not feel it could be a finder of fact and make a reasonable judgment. They felt that the accusations should have gone into the judicial processes of the church, namely, formal complaints against him as a lay person. The jury would have been laity from the district and not from his church. The trial would have been on that level.

The lone abstention was the co-chair of the sub-committee because she was from the Kentucky Conference! She had the ethics to not involve herself even though the one reporting about this to me indicated she was furious with Holsinger.

The history of censure resolutions before General Conference was not known by the legislative committee. No one was prepared to deal with the issue of the GC's jurisdiction or precedents so the motion to reject the petition because "it came to the wrong place" was an easy decision for the group.

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