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, May 2, 2008


I met a young woman wearing a stole of rainbow colors. She was working a computer on which she was able to show the "witness" demonstration that occurred yesterday. (She found it on one of the UMC websites.)

As we discussed the event, she commented that she has heard some crazy rumors, especially from overseas delegates.

They said that if she wore the multicolored stole, she was homosexual.

They said that she was not a United Methodist but an outsider trying to disrupt the church.

They said she would try to convert them to being Gay.

Someone has been misrepresenting the ones in the movement seeking fair treatment of homosexuals and requesting a "place at the table" where their concerns could be addressed.

I'd guess that at least 80 percent of the wearers of the stoles are parents and siblings of Gay individuals or are supportive of proving fair treatment for Gays and Lesbians.

I'd guess that 100% of those wearing the stoles around GC are United Methodists. Everyone I know personally certainly is a member of the UMC.

I have never seen any wearer of the stoles button-hole another person and talk with them about becoming homosexual.

Such rumors are truly bearing false witness against our neighbors.

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