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

Lobbying - Logistics

I have a friend who lives in Tampa and he was kind enough to invite me to sleep at his house and commute downtown from there. He provided bus routes and times. And he suggested the best restaurant within walking distance of the convention center. He’s been a computer geek so I would be able to use his wifi to connect with the internet.

By searching the internet, I found a lot of places to eat. I also found a handy location of a Florida grocery chain, Publix, that we like down here. There was an oriental grocery listed as a few blocks further up the street that might be good for those on diets and those from overseas.

In February, there was a pre-conference event for church and secular press at the Tampa Convention Center so I drove from my friend’s house downtown and realized that if it weren’t for my GPS, I would have been driving in circles. Tampa was laid out by the same surveyors who laid out my home town of Waukesha, WI. Tampa is on a large bay so most of its streets are not lined up north-south-east-west but on diagonals and curves. Even my GPS was confused when I left my friend’s house and it circled me back to the house during the first five minutes of my drive downtown!

I found a good parking garage downtown next to the convention center and decided I’d drive back and forth from his house instead of trying to work the bus system.

The basics were in place.

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