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 30 - Preparing for General Conference

Three weeks before Tampa, I had ordered a copy of the 2010 United Methodist Directory as part of my pre-conference preparation. I figured that since I was hauling it and my Discipline around with my computer and miscellaneous other stuff in the travel case I was pulling everywhere, maybe I better start doing some of that pre-conference preparation I had put off.

I had little patience with the plenary so I spent time that Monday going back into the pre-conference reports, finding and logging the numbers assigned to my petitions

I read through the Plan of Organization and Rules of Order for the 2012 General Conference, much too late to seek to get them changed to be more democratic.

I found that I could not account for four of the petitions I sent in. I know the petitions secretary and have all the confidence in the world in his integrity. But it was way too late to ask him to restore them for consideration. I sent him a note asking if he would let me know what happened to them after General Conference when he was done with all he had to do.

Shoulda done my homework weeks before coming to Tampa…. It’s all my fault that the American UMC is going to hell in a handbasket. I didn’t get my finger in the dike in time.

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