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

JCM 1277



The Alaska Annusl Conference voted a request for the Council to clear up voting rightrs for Local Pastors with respect to upcoming elections to General and Jurisdictional Conferences.  For some reason, the Council missed the timing of the question and responded by saying the request had nothing to do with the business of the conference and therefore took no jurisdiction.  Questioners, it appears, need to point out the obvious for the very busy Council.  In this case, the request should have indicated the need for an answer to help the conference know the rules for who can vote on what in those elections.

It seems to me that the Council needs to be reminded also that requests for declaratory decisions may be prospective, as this one was, without the necessity of being directly related at the meeting  from which it may properly be brought.  If a request seeks clarification of the Discipline, that should not be considered out of order to the Council

The whole matter of what constitutes moot, hypothetical, and jurisdiction issues needs serious clarification to help both the Council to be consistent and advocates to avoid the pitfalls involved.

However, the Council did quote the misprinted Disciplinary passage that cleared up the lines regarding which Local Pastors had voting right.  That saved the day    

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