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

Summary remarks for JCDs 1182-1189

This session was odd because it dealt with so many requests for reconsideration. Five of the eight docketed items were such requests.

The patience to go into the grounds for their decisions not to reconsider as was done in three cases is most unusual and appreciated. They even handled JCD 1189 as a decision and not as a memorandum.

In the cases involving the Philippines and Baltimore-Washington Conferences, they uncovered glaring problems with the handling of personnel. That may give them reason to look more carefully at how they may be inadvertently avoiding similar devastation in other personnel cases by relying on JCDs 799 and 1048 and not accepting jurisdiction.

The 1992-96 Council went through a similar learning curve, facing up to the unfair practices previous Councils had allowed, becoming far more careful to avoid letting conference leaders cause harm.

This group, like the earlier group, says, “It should be emphasized that both the administrative and judicial processes in the Discipline are carefully and specifically designed to protect the rights of clergy and of the church. The steps set forth must be followed carefully and explicitly or injustice results. Lack of diligence, integrity, care, or compassion in dealing with a case almost always results in irreparable harm to both the individual and the church. That has usually happened by the time a case of this nature gets to the Judicial Council.” (See JCDs 777 and 1156)

The 1992 Council began noticing the injustices by their third session (October 1993, see JCD 695). The current Council, besieged by challenges to JCD 1032 among other things, seems to have turned the corner in their fifth session.

This Council persists in sharing their homework in the analysis they do and in their concurring and dissenting opinions. They have been very good teachers of church law.

No comments: