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 1182


Reconsideration of JCD 1149 was denied.

That is what the Council usually does when it is asked to reconsider. No explanation, no legal grounds, no indication that the request had merit or was frivolous, no nothing.

JCD 1149 was the decision where the Council ruled a sentence which implied that all central conference bishops world-wide were the supervisory body of a central conference bishop unconstitutional. Practically speaking, it does not seem there are any grounds for reconsidering. I was not consulted with respect to this request so I cannot tell you what was at issue.

I do know that the respondent Philippines bishop was seeking any legal support he could get against the College of Bishops of the Philippine Central Conference. It was trying to remove him from office any way it could. His argument could have been that the Council answered the wrong question or that the Council over-stepped its authority by declaring a passage unconstitutional that was not at issue in the original request.

But we do not know and the Council’s terse ruling clarifies nothing except that JCD 1149 stands. See the comment on JCM 1183 below.

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