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.


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

April 24 - Opening Ceremony

One of the things I intended to do was establish a place where I could ordinarily be found in the visitors’ seating areas during plenary sessions. But by Tuesday night my feet and legs were killing me. Having walked through the plenary area earlier during a time when music for the opening worship was being practiced, I found the sound level was way too high for me. So I did not plan to stay for the opening of General Conference.

I did go in as people were gathering. Coincidentally, a group of people I knew from a congregation in Port Charlotte entered at the same time I did. They all had red t-shirts naming their church and hometown. With my red jacket, I felt like I was one of them for a few seconds. Then the one I greeted turned away as if I wasn't even there.

I went on to fulfill my main reason for being in the plenary area.

My Wisconsin friend who asked me to meet two delegates from Africa University let me know she would be in Florida the next afternoon and asked if I could arrange for them to go to supper with her. So before the opening ceremony began, I took notes up to pages in the plenary area to inform both pastors what I had arranged.

I’m glad I had on my red jacket. Both got their notes from the pages, turned, and waved to let me know they would make it.

I felt free to leave for home.

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