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.


Saturday, May 14, 2011

JCM 1168


Sometimes I really like this Council. In this memorandum, they refuse jurisdiction because the Executive Committee of the Council of Bishops wanted the Council to make a ruling at their request. My initial response to the opening of this memorandum was that the bishops were at it again, stretching their authority over the limits set by the Discipline. When I got to the Council’s decision to not take jurisdiction because the executive committee does not have authority to access the Council, I said, “Yes!”

I hope the question is properly raised by an authorized group because it is important that there be clarity about the terms of bishops and their election.

Some parts of Africa have the tradition of their bishops having to be re-elected every four years. When missionary bishop Ralph Dodge was working in Africa, he never presumed on a longer term but always insisted on that re-election process. He was honored with re-election each time until he retired. I wish that process was in effect in the U. S. It might curb the overreach of bishops that I have seen during my lifetime.

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