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.


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

JCD 1220



A resolution passed by the California-Pacific Conference was challenged by a request for an episcopal ruling of law. The resolution renounced the stance of the General Conference with regard to incompatibility of homosexuality with Scripture and a number of other points of church law related to the LGBTQ community. The other stipulations had to do with affirming the sacred worth of those folks, building inclusive communities with them, and inviting churches and individuals to live out these principles.

The Bishop supported the whole resolution as aspirational. The Council supported him on all but the first stipulation and only those parts of the fourth stipulation related to the second, third, and fourth.

You can read it by going to the website for Judicial Council Decisions at http://archives.umc.org/interior_judicial.asp?mid=263
And then click on “View the Current Judicial Council Docket” where you can scroll down to Docket Item 1012 – 18.

The Council pointed out that a conference can “announce” or “denounce” but it may not “renounce” without stepping over the line on relating to a church law.

To those in the world community, including the ones in the United States and Western Europe who do not agree with this resolution, you will see it again and again in coming years in some form or other. I pray for the day when people on both sides of this issue can understand why these resolutions will keep coming and how they can possibly be worded to reflect a consensus. As long as there is the stance that “We are right so you cannot possibly be,” the best we can do is to not let it turn into a stumbling block to our being in mission together.

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