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 1183


This request for reconsideration was about a previous request for reconsideration. This the first time I’ve seen that in my studies of the Judicial Council.

As the concurring opinion signed by the majority of the Council indicates, this ruling is part of the tale of a respondent bishop in his quest for justice against a Philippines College of Bishops antagonistic toward him.

Let me touch on the two previous rulings behind this memorandum.

JCD 1162 was a denial of request for reconsideration of JCD 1152. The Council was generous in providing a rationale for the denial, something the Council rarely does.

JCD 1152 dealt with the legality of an interim bishop changing the meeting place of an annual conference at the last minute using DSs appointed by him at the last minute to change the meeting place. As my commentary on JCM 1162 pointed out, the College of Bishops had not been truthful about that in their brief for JCD 1152.

The Council closes that door about the matter of the authority of the interim bishop with this memorandum. The concurring opinion does not mention the College of Bishops’ fabrication. More of the story that has emerged now did trouble the Council, specifically the six suspensions of the respondent bishop since 2009 used to keep him out of episcopacy despite a committee on investigation dropping the charges against him (see JCD 1177).

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