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.


Monday, April 9, 2018

Commentary on Judicial Council Decisions Spring 2018

The Judicial Council decided not to hold a Spring session this year.  The last time that happened was in 1990 when again it was a Spring session for which the docket was so small, they felt a meeting was unjustified.

None of the Fall 2017 cases were explicitly deferred.  And none of the various groups listed in the Discipline (see Paragraph 2609 for them) as having the right to appeal to the Council have been reported by the United Methodist News Service as having done so. 

The announcement of January 16, 2018, was very brief.  “To be good stewards of church funds, the council will defer two docket items that had been submitted for April to its October meeting.  

Based on that, it appears that two cases in judicial process have not moved to the point where the Council can be called upon to act.  To the best of my knowledge, the complaint against Bishop Oliveto is in the hands of a counsel for the Church and is being prepared for presentation for a Committee on Investigation in the Western Jurisdiction.  In the Northeastern Jurisdiction, no news has been published about complaints against a superintendent.  Both cases would have to go to trial, carry appeals to their respective jurisdictions, and then be appealed to the Judicial Council.

With timelines like those, the Council was not expecting action on those two cases but on other matters not reaching public disclosure.  No docket has been published for April.

As important, given there is no urgency in whatever the Council might have considered, it was a significant money saving decision to carry those things over to the Fall 2018 session.  Remember, four members do not reside in the United States.  Two are from Africa, one from Europe, and one from the Philippines.