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.


Monday, May 19, 2014

Death by a Thousand Cuts (5 of 5)

Associates in Advocacy
Justice Always,
Reconciliation and Restoration Where Possible

Dear Bishop,

To bring an end to the onerous workplace of our clergy and bring back morale, I think several things must be developed soon.

One: remove the Cabinet from handling complaints.  Set up an independent judiciary within the Annual Conference separate from the Cabinet and Board of Ordained Ministry.

Two: allow that judiciary to handle complaints against Cabinet members so that accountability can help the harmed parties.

Three: have Cabinets have as their highest priority helping pastors and the churches to which they are appointed be successful together.

Four: learn the difference between opinions and facts so that in supervising, Cabinet members are not manipulated into siding with the complainers but approach conflicts in a fair and open minded manner.  That may mean setting aside other tasks in order to have time to be helpful in difficult situations.

Five: the most wise and experienced pastors with no further ambitions than to help pastors succeed should be chosen for the Cabinet and episcopacy.

Six: candidates for Cabinets should have one to two years to attend training programs on administration, personnel management, and alternative dispute resolution systems before they are made bishops and superintendents.

Seven: the Council of Bishops needs to pay attention to whichever of its episcopal members or retirees are most like Pope Francis and St. Martin of Tours.

Will these happen?  The consequences of something like them not happening are too dire to comprehend.  There is a God so all things are possible.

In the covenant of the clergy,


Rev Jerry Eckert, AIA contact person

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

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