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 1297



A group of pastors in the New England Annual Conference, openly willing to disobey the Discipline on same sex issues, presented a resolution that skirted their own willingness and “strongly urged” churches and pastors to abide by our “open minds, open hearts, open doors” approach to ministry to include those wanting same sex marriage, those who have been convicted of violating same sex church law matters, and those who support in prayer anyone facing trial for violating the Discipline on same sex matters.  The resolution further strongly urges changes at the next General Conference.  

The bishop indicated that all were actually aspirational, though going beyond welcoming those seeking same sex marriage to actually conducting same sex marriage would be a violation.

The Council did something I have never seen them do before: amend a resolution of an annual conference to make it comply with church law.  Actually, only the annual conference can do that, and probably will if that resolution or an updated version is brought to the floor next year.  But the decision sure sounds like the Council did it!

The original questioner wanted to compare the resolution with something from the Articles of Religion, the first time I’ve seen the Council asked to deal directly with something doctrinal.  The bishop addressed it by saying that nothing in the resolution actually violated anything in Article XXII.  The Council ignored the issue, by default supporting the bishop’s ruling.

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