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.


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Apri 25 - A Seminarian

Over the years, I have known some seminaries had a class on General Conference. The professor conducted lectures during the semester General Conference occurs, accompanied the students to the site, held seminars and discussion sessions with various denominational leaders, and then reviewed the students’ experiences. They usually sat together in one of the grandstands.

This year, a seminarian contacted me before coming to Tampa and requested a little time to get acquainted and then to interview me for her class. She was very interested in one of my petitions and wanted to learn more about why I wrote it.

The petition in question called for the denomination to set up a review body that would allow independent examination of past personnel cases. The intent of the petition was to provide what the NTSA and other similar bodies do when there is a tragedy. Such evaluation would allow for rule changes and improvements so that similar tragedies would not occur again.

I have put in similar petitions for many quadrennia with no luck. But I was honored that she was interested.

So we let each other know what we looked like and where we might look to find each other.

We met late Wednesday morning, talked a bit, and arranged for an interview at the end of the week. She and her class would be leaving before the end of the conference.

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