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 1279



Following the Arkansas Annual Conference, the Council received a bishop’s rulings and a brief based on a a request for a ruling of law on the matter of the tenure of members of the appointive Cabinets who were not superintendents.

What the Council did not receive was proof that said the request had been received in writing.  I hate it when that happens.

I have no information on the merits of the questions raised.  But I can imagine a Conference Council Director being a bishop’s right hand man and having an undue amount of influence when appointments are being considered.  In my years as a pastor, our conference had some very influential directors but the bishops, in those days, did not include anyone but superintendents to work on appointments.

There might be a real interest in these questions receiving benefit of judicial review.  The bishop lists all of the paragraphs related to appointment making, all referring only to the superintendents.  The one paragraph where he notes an additional person is Paragraph 608.6 which allows the director of connectional ministries with some restrictions.  In  other conferences, I am aware that the bishop’s administrative assistant is a major addition, though I see no disciplinary authority for a bishop to pick anyone s/he wants to sit in on making of appointments.  

In my opinion, limited as that is, I smell a game afoot among the Council of Bishops where the more staff a bishop has, no matter the cost to the respective annual conferences, the more stature s/he attains in the eyes of episcopal colleagues.

I hope a proper question is raised as a way of minimizing such game playing.  

In this case, the Council deferred until April, 2015, any action on this matter.

No comments: