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

Lobbying - Scheduling My Activities

I had to have time to move in at my friend’s place and get his help navigating downtown.. I knew I had to be sure to find the two grocery stores as soon as I could. I learned where the Africans were staying, knowing I would try to meet them there. That would take up the morning of Sunday, April 21, my first day there.

On-line, I found the tentative schedule for General Conference. I looked it over and circled the meetings and events of the first few days I wanted to observe. Sunday afternoon, meeting the two Africans was my first priority. On Monday evening, the only thing I saw was the committee on reference, the key group assigning petitions to the legislative committees and negotiating any changes of assignment. Tuesday, in the morning, was the meeting of the committee on credentials where I knew one of the African delegates was to be a member and I wanted to be there to support him. After that organizational meeting, there were sessions for delegates under 30, for ethnic minority delegates, and for women delegates. I thought I’d observe the third one. After lunch was to be the opening of General Conference. My schedule was set.

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