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 28 - Following Up

I spent Saturday afternoon following up on my conversation with the seminarian. She had wondered about the breadth of my petitions and a number of other matters so I took time to forward many petitions and other documents to give her that background information.

I was also working on other communications as I waited to speak with a translator at supper time. He did not come.

Lobbying is like that once in awhile.

Update: On the subject if lobbying, something came to my attention long after General Conference when I finally sought out specifically what happened to each of my 66 petitions. I guess my attitude of "casting bread upon the waters" caused an unfortunate misunderstanding. Twenty nine of my petitions were assigned to the Judicial Administration Legislative Committee. When I found what happened to each of them, I noticed a time stamp on when each was voted on by the whole committee. Twenty were dealt with between 3:30 and 5 pm on Friday, the 27th, when I was in my "office". Of the four friends, two observers and two members of the committee, none contacted me that my petitions were being discussed. The time stamps indicated the rest were voted on at times I was on site on both Friday and Saturday.

Note to future lobbyists: make sure that your contacts keep you posted about when petitions about which you are very concerned are going to be discussed.

And in case you are curious, every petition I submitted was not supported in any of the legislative committees and all but four disappeared into the consent calendar. I have yet to find four petitions I sent in among those printed in the Advanced DCA. I should have discovered that when the ADCAs were first posted on line a couple months before General Conference.

But with individual petitions no longer being welcome thanks to the May 3 vote to end the right of people to send in petitions directly, my style of lobbying may have gone the way of the goony bird, which fits the image I got of my efforts from assorted colleagues and critics in Tampa.

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