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.


Thursday, June 2, 2011

June 2 letter to the bishops

Associates in Advocacy
Justice Always,Reconciliation and Restoration Where Possible

Dear Bishop,

You are in my prayers as you participate in your annual conference. There are a lot of things to keep track of. I hope you will keep this e-note somewhere handy so you can come back to it.

There are two things I wish to share with you.

One, I completed a commentary on the past two years of Judicial Council Decisions. This group has matured in many ways and provides much assistance to readers in how they see church law. Their decisions, in most cases, are very insightful. You can find the commentaries on each decision at http://aiateam.blogspot.com/ and you can go to http://archives.umc.org/interior_judicial.asp?mid=263 to find the decisions themselves.

Two, something I have seen during many decades of advocacy is how a pastor in trouble suddenly loses all support, as if the covenant of the clergy (of which you are one) does not really exist. The daily cartoon “Crankshaft” of May 28, 2011, offered this discussion between his daughter and son-in-law:

“I wonder why social niceties seem to fall away when we’re dealing with family.”

“I know…. If only we could treat the ones we love the way we treat total strangers.”

In the covenant of the clergy,


Rev Jerry Eckert, AIA contact person

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

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