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.


Sunday, September 23, 2018

JCM 1359


Note: For some odd reason, there are two postings on JCM 1359 which are identical if separately posted.   

Should Dockets Include Why Reconsideration Is Being Requested?

JCM 1359 dealt with JCM 1347.  In that earlier memorandum, the questioners tried to challenge the anti-homosexual paragraphs of the Discipline as violations of the Restrictive Rules against changing the doctrine of the denomination.  The Council said it had no jurisdiction because the question was theological and could not be shown to relate to any action taken by the Denmark Annual Conference.

The Council has long had rules for reconsideration which set high but not unreasonable bars.  In the past, requests for reconsideration were all swept away in what appeared to be out-of-hand ways.  They were automatic on the Disciplinary basis that the Council had the last word (Paragraph 2609.11, 2016 Discipline). 

But then on one occasion, the Council reconsidered and sustained a decision based on an argument by a particular bishop (JCD 530 in re: JCD 524).  On some others, they reconsidered decisions when the Council of Bishops made the request (JCDs 612 and 910).  On one other, they chose to reconsider several decisions on their own (JCD 704).  

Unfortunately, the practice of the Council not to include requests for reconsideration in their dockets leaves us bereft of the chance to see what arguments are put forward to challenge the Council’s rulings on things like lack of jurisdiction.  

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