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.


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

JCM 1213



A Local Pastor at the North Alabama Conference requested a ruling from the Judicial Council on the legality of the apparent support of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice by the General Board of Church and Society and United Methodist Women. The challenge states that their support is in violation of Paragraph 161J of the Social Principles.

The Council had the problem of whether or not the motion forwarded to them was something over which they had jurisdiction: in particular, was it a request for declaratory decision? The text of the motion did not include anything to that effect.

The matter could have been dropped for that reason alone.

But the Council decided to take the word of both sides whose briefs treated it is a request. I hope that future Councils will be that lenient because it is not easy to know for sure how to refer something to the Judicial Council.

The Council decided they had no jurisdiction to deal with the request because the annual conference had no jurisdiction over the General Conference.

I wish they would have ruled that passages in the Social Principles are not law and therefore may not be used as the basis of a question of law or request for declaratory decision as if they were.

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