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.


Thursday, August 13, 2015

JCD 1294



The issues in this case, and its ruling are essentially the same as in JCD 1293 above.  Same problems of “moot and hypothetical,” having all the documents, etc.

The difference in this question of law was that it addressed retirement from the Cabinet requirements for superintendents and asked if those applied to non-superintendents.

Again, the Council bemoaned the fact that the bishop bothered to answer the questions even though he had already determined that they were moot and hypothetical.  I do not know who writes that kind of stuff for the Council but hopefully they will heed the concerns I raised about such treatment of bishops in situations where there was either ambiguity about whether or not to answer and the pastoral need to answer in order to avoid looking autocratic and dismissive.

We urge advocates seeking to bring questions under Paragraphs 2609 and 2610 to meet ahead of time with the bishop to work out the smoothest way to handle the floor “game” of getting the question raised.  Under those circumstances, the bishop could point out the problems with the questions re: “moot and hypothetical,” something I hope both sides will find more adequately addressed following revisions of Appendix A of the Council’s Rules of Practice and Procedure.

The decision was in favor of the bishop in the sense that the majority of the Council agreed that the questions were moot and hypothetical.  There are no rules requiring non-superintendents to retire after eight years as superintendents have to.

No comments: