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.


Friday, March 10, 2017

JCD 1327


Conference  Resolution Against Enforcing Laws on Homosexual Concerns

The New England Annual Conference passed a resolution which intended to counter all the things in the Discipline that they felt was oppressive with respect to the LGBTQIA community.  The statement of facts reproduces the resolution which identifies those places in the Discipline.  The bishop ruled against the points of the resolution where they countered church law but allowed those related to non-law portions like the Social Principles.

Usually such resolutions are couched in aspirational terms.  This one was clearly a challenge which directed disobedience to church law.  The Council affirmed the Bishop’s rulings.

The Bishop and the Council were on the same page and were consistent with many past Council decisions about such resolutions.

This was not the only annual conference to assert freedom from following a handful of recent laws.  It is a sign of growing dissatisfaction in the United States and Western Europe with church law on these matters.  For what it is worth, I think it is highly likely that much of the rest of the world will shift in this direction because of so many in the younger generations for whom the attitudes differ from the older generations.  

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