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.


Friday, March 10, 2017

JCM 1335


Is He or Isn’t He?

The Council was invited to consider a Western Michigan Annual Conference matter about membership on a leadership team.  But it could not be resolved because not all of the documents were sent in to show the actions of the plenary that were germane to the “request for a decision of law.”

The Council retained jurisdiction pending the receipt of the materials from the conference.

The bishop answered the questions of law.  The answers were that the questioner was ineligible to be on the Conference Leadership Team.  The ruling of the bishop stands until the Council has everything it needs to make its ruling . . .next April.

There were other cases where the Council Secretary did not get all of the proper information.  The Council is a voluntary body with one clerk who on a very part-time basis helps the Secretary.  What I hope can be resolved is how cases which come in without all the documentation can get an immediate response pointing out, usually to the Annual Conference Secretary, that other specific things need to be sent in or the Council will have to postpone making any decision about that case.

And maybe an annual conference judicial body might have been able to look at the questions and resolve the issue within weeks of its being raised.  Maybe this kind of case is a strong argument for such a court.

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