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.


Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Holiday Word from AIA

Dear Bishop,

Each year I hunt through various media for something hopeful and positive related to Christmas, especially, or at least to the holidays.

I had no luck until last night watching James Lipton's IN THE ACTOR'S STUDIO on Bravo network.  Two guests said things that I thought were wonderful and would be encouraging as you look at your ministry as bishop.

Sting was asked what his favorite sound was.  He pinched his lips, blew and came out with a very familiar, usually verboten, gentle sound.  Lipton asked him explain why that was his favorite sound.  Sting responded, "When those of great stature stand to receive adulation, they make the same sound the average bloak does.  It is very humanizing."

Jake Jyllenhall shared the following, based on his own experience:  "The way you behave with everybody is more important than the work that you do.  It's essential.  It is everything.  Generosity, kindness, and patience will get you so far!"

May the very humanizing nature of the coming of God in a tiny baby encourage us to keep straight our priorities in ministry.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

In the covenant of the clergy,


Rev. Jerry Eckert, AIA contact person

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