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.


Sunday, May 26, 2019

Preface to Commentaries on Recent JCDs

Overview of Recent Decisions

I have dreaded doing the commentaries on the Council’s decisions on the legislation put forward related to avoiding the feared split of United Methodism.   Had I been a member of the Council, I doubt I would have supported the majority at many points, something you may see when I finally settle myself down and analyze the decisions of these past two sessions.

Rather than bring my full opinion to the conflict within the denomination as expressed through the work faced by the Judicial Council, let me point you, dear reader, to my own blog where I am freer to say what I think needs to be said.

But let me quote one colleague regarding the conflict just so you have some idea of where my perspective lies and decide to explore it.  To explore, go to https://jerryeckert.blogspot.com/.

Here is the one quote from the Rev. Dr. Chomingwen Pond, retired pastor, former missionary, and former professor of theology at Africa University:

“What we need now is the Gamaliel Solution (Acts 5:34-39). When Peter and the Apostles were arrested and the religious leadership wanted them killed, Gamaliel, a highly respected teacher of Israel, reminded them that they had faced similar situations at least twice before, and that when the leader was killed, their followers melted away. So in this case be careful. If it is of human origin, it will disappear of its own accord; if it is of God, it will endure--and you may find you are fighting God!”

Update:  My dread waned the more I read the decisions.  The Council was "by-the-book" all the way.

I am very sad to report that within weeks of her words quoted above, Dr. Pond passed away.  Her life, ministry, and spirit are more than worth honoring.