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.


Saturday, May 14, 2011

JCD 1189


Officers of the Baltimore-Washington requested reconsideration of JCD 1156. They felt the Council was confused over two different cases and some other errors based on errors of fact about the case which the Council said occurred.

The Council did not really need to respond because they have usually not done so in the past.

But having gotten more (and confusing) statements of facts, they leaned back on the official minutes which gave one narrative compared with the multiple stories the Council received from the many briefs sent in.

It takes a real lover of church law to get inside the tight and extended argument prepared in the analysis. In effect, the analysis is a “How To" manual for Cabinets and Boards of Ordained Ministry on the changes in involuntary leave of absence that occurred in 2008’s Discipline.

The upshot is that the Council did not change its mind about what it said in JCD 1156: that the pastor be reinstated and have all pastoral support repaid from when the whole mess began. Then they added what was a real joy to my eyes: “We retain jurisdiction in order to monitor Annual Conference compliance with this decision. Evidence of compliance should be transmitted to the Secretary of the Judicial Council by July 15, 2011.”

You go, Council!

No comments: