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.


Wednesday, March 1, 2017

JCD 1313

“Moot and Hypothetical” Revisited

For some reason, the Conference Lay Leader of the Desert Southwest Annual Conference felt it necessary to raise questions of law about being invited to cabinet meetings where conference ministries were being discussed and about being invited to provide a report to the plenary.  The Discipline provides for those tasks and apparently the bishop was not recognizing them.

The bishop, in his report to the Council. pointed out that the questions did not include any action of the conference germane to the questions and therefore they were moot and hypothetical.

“Not so fast,” replied the Council.  “The nomination and election of all conference officers including the Conference Lay Leader had just occurred and the questions of law were part of the response to that.”  The Council overturned the bishop’s ruling.

The Council can be creative where it wants to be.  A mere segue opening became the connecting reference that opened the door for the Council to step in and take jurisdiction on what appears to be a careless or disrespectful failure on the part of the bishop.  If he had a good reason for his actions, he wisely did not bring it up in this context.

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