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.


Thursday, June 6, 2013

JCD 1237


At the Western Jurisdictional Conference, a resolution was passed which said that if any bishop appointed a homosexual pastor was tried and convicted of violating the Discipline by doing so, that the penalty “would be” suspension for 24 hours.  A person rose to ask what was the force in law of that resolution.  That question was done in writing but contained several typographical errors.  The presiding bishop chose to lean on those errors and say the question was moot because it was flawed.

The Council disagreed and said the typos were easily correctable just from the context of the situation and that the bishop had thirty days to rule on the question and that the Council retained jurisdiction, which means they will rule on the bishop’s decision when they meet in November. 

It must be noted that the Council has held special sessions and may have done a number of its decisions by electronic exchange and conference calls in order to save time at their twice-a-year meetings.  They may feel free to hand down a ruling on the bishop’s response at any time.  It will be interesting to see if they choose to do that.

Here’s a hint:  if the resolution is aspirational (see JCDs 426, 1044, 1053, 1111, 1120, 1163, 1218, and 1220) and not binding, then it stands.  

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