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

JCM 1224



A series of questions of law were raised at the North Carolina Conference about the failure to consult regarding the reorganization of the Cabinet and administrative staff which changed the location and role of superintendents.

The bishop responded that permissions for all the changes were made at the 2011 annual conference and by the respective districts.

The Council, however, found none of these claims of the bishop documented. Further, they were left wondering if the conference even had real district lines anymore. Under the plan, superintendents are to have assistants whose job description is vague enough that the Council could not determine where one role left off and the other began.

So the whole matter was remanded back to the conference for review and correction and then to be returned to the Council within thirty days after the 2013 annual conference session.

In this plan, it appears that all the superintendents are to have their offices in the conference center. Each is to have an assistant. I have no idea where the assistant is to live and I have no idea if the assistant is a part of the Appointive Cabinet.

But this sounds like setting things up so that the superintendents become much handier to the bishop and may actually fulfill the old joke about Cabinet meetings becoming personal support groups (for “hand-holding”) for an insecure bishop than the infrequent meetings required to work on appointments.

Having all the superintendents in one location with the bishop centralizes episcopal power logistically. Maybe this structure will lead to superintendents becoming the assistants to the bishop and the assistant superintendents will become a personnel committee to do the appointment-making independent of the bishop’s office, much like the Roman Catholic model.

Probably not…!

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