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

May 1 - The Demonstration?

Late in the afternoon on Tuesday, as the plenary was winding down, suddenly the central aisle in the back of the floor was filled with people wearing rainbow stoles, carrying signs about rights for homosexuals.

A friend leaned over to me and said, “That’s awful timing!”

As the demonstrators surrounded the communion table in the middle of the floor, the bishop offered a prayer with conciliatory elements about the demonstrators in it and adjourned the meeting. There would be nothing occurring in the room for three or four more hours.

Earlier in the day, members of that group had processed quietly between the stands and the bar of the conference wearing their rainbow stoles and carrying their signs. I recognized and counted as friends a number of the demonstrators. The procession drew quiet attention from the visitors. While I noticed many in the visitor stands stood in silent solidarity as the procession went by (I was already standing mainly because I had not found a seat at that point). The plenary was not disturbed in any way. I did not notice if any of the delegates, even the ones wearing a rainbow stole, stood.

It seemed to me that there were rainbow stoles everywhere.

There were also light blue stoles worn mostly by delegates. Those had been distributed at the opening ceremony’s Communion Service, if I remember correctly. I saw no conflict between wearing of the two. Some folks actually did.

I had my red jacket but I didn’t have either kind of stole.

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