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.


Monday, May 19, 2014

Letters to the Bishops - "Death by . . . ."

In the past, I sent one page letters monthly to the active bishops of the United Methodist Church as a way of providing "continuing education."  In my retirement, I have not been as faithful to that opportunity as I used to be, though you will find many of those I have done posted on this blog in times past.

A couple weeks ago, after speaking to a pastor who was being treated egregiously, I wasn't able to sleep.  So I worked on a rant about certain injustices in our denomination.  When I got done, I felt better and could sleep.  However, friends to whom I showed it had major questions about how it was all stated and about its usefulness.  So I revised it down to a two page letter to the active bishops.  That did not pass muster with my friends so I sat on it.

I got it out this morning and instead of developing two one page letters to the bishops, I discovered I needed to do five pages.  I did not consult with my friends but I think they will see that I heard them.  In the meantime, I heard of a bishop who is actively helping a pastor under fire from other conference leadership just outside the range of direct episcopal authority (without him using the "nuclear option" of appointing the trouble-makers to Podunk Hollow).  I reread the five letters and hope they will be seen as recognizing that only some bishops and Cabinets are going rogue but that all bishops need to be wise about how long they have been getting away with it.

I decided to try to put the letters out daily this week.  Annual Conferences have just begun in some places but the bulk are in process, a very busy time for the bishops.  I felt the message needs to get out now so that the bishops will be aware of consequences of actions their Cabinets take, knowing some will be too busy to get to my letters.  I'll take that chance.  

The reason I am posting all of them here now in one set is that I goofed when I sent out the first emailing.  Accidentally, I sent out the last one!  I corrected that by sending out the first one right away.

For those who get impatient with the daily feed, I will let them know they are all now posted on line.

No comments: