Minutes for Second 3-day Period
During the second 3-day period of the business meeting, we announced the results of voting on the first three proposals and discussed three proposals presented at the end of the first 3-day session.
Results of Voting on Proposal 2.1 – Change FYI Letter
Fifteen (15) participants in favor, and no one voted against Proposal 2.1. Therefore, it is adopted as as a unanimous Group Conscience decision:
Group Conscience Decision:
Delete item d. (Web Page Information) in the GROW FYI CONTENTS section of the FYI Letter sent out by the Secretary each month.
Results of Voting on Proposal 3.2 – “Let it Stay Here”
Proposal 3: Add the reminder to the Weekly Meeting Format Letter (between the Preamble and “How It Works”) to emphasize the principle of anonymity in our meetings: “Who you see here, what you hear here, when you leave here, let it stay here.”
In response to comments, the Chair presented two versions of the proposal. The first version (3.2a) reflected suggested edits to the recommended language that met with general approval. The second version (3.2b) contained the suggested edits as well as the deletion of a similar line (the penultimate paragraph) of the current Weekly Meeting Format Letter. Participants were asked to vote on one of the two versions (indicating an automatic “I disagree” vote for the other version).
Four (4) participants voted in favor (25%), and 12 voted against Proposal 3.2a. Therefore, the proposal did not meet the requirement for a 2/3 majority vote in favor of the proposal.
Twelve (12) participants voted in favor (75%), and four (4) voted against Proposal 3.2b. Therefore, Proposal 3.2b met the requirement for a 2/3 majority vote in favor of the proposal.
Before we can adopt Proposal 3.2b as a Group Conscience decision, the participants who voted against it will have the opportunity to express their “Minority Opinion” during the third 3-day period of the Business Meeting. If no one wants to submit a Minority Opinion, the proposal is adopted. If a Minority Opinion is submitted and one participant decides to change their vote, we will vote a second time on the proposal, giving all participants the opportunity to change their vote. Minority Opinions are invited for submission during the third 3-day period of the Business Meeting.
Results of Voting on Proposal 4.1 – Contribution to oso-aa.org
Eighteen (18) participants voted in favor, and no one voted against Proposal 4.1. Therefore, it is adopted as a unanimous Group Conscience decision:
Group Conscience Decision:
Increase the monthly contribution to Dean Collins (oso-aa.org) to reimburse him for any time and effort to support GROW’s website, particularly the new website WordPress configuration. Double the current contribution from $12 per month ($72 for six months) to $24 ($144 for six months).
Recommended Language: Change the sub-bullet in the Treasurer’s job description to reflect the increase:
$12.00 $24.00 monthly to OSO-AA (PayPal: firstname.lastname@example.org) (6 months expenses)
Summary of Discussions
Comments on Proposal 5.3 – Newcomer Committee
Eight (8) participants commented on Proposal 5.2 creating a Newcomer Committee to support the Temporary Mentor.
The Trusted Servants who jointly proposed the creation of a Newcomer Committee explained their reasoning as to why it was important and how the committee would operate. Our current Temporary Mentor shared her experience with a portion of newcomers who have tried without success to get a sponsor based on our “Available Online Sponsor” webpage, reporting their queries were not answered timely or at all. Given that some newcomers need a lot of guidance and support, the Temporary Mentor sometimes finds the position overwhelming and could use the support of women who themselves are new to AA’s program in answering questions and supporting women brand new to sobriety.
The committee would be informal, something like the 12th Step List, with members who volunteer and are not Trusted Servants. This gives women with less sober time the opportunity to be of service while also building a strong foundation for their own recovery. The Temporary Mentor would lead the group.
Most of the women who commented on this proposal supported the idea and appreciated the explanations given by the current and immediate past Temporary Mentor. One member suggested that there should be a requirement for a minimum of three months to be on the committee. Others cautioned against overwhelming our new members with too much information too soon. In the third 3-day session, we will vote on Proposal 5.3 as presented.
Comments on Proposal 6.3 – TM & AA Resources
Six (6) participants commented on the proposal for the Temporary Mentor to send links to AA resources (AA, OIAA, Grapevine) to newcomers and to send these links to the larger GROW group each month as a reminder. Comments were generally positive, although some offered additional resources (like AA’s GSO and AA-approved literature like the Big Book, 12×12, and Living Sober). As with Proposal 5.2, a couple of participants cautioned against overwhelming people with too much information at one time, suggesting more packets of information would be more effective. In the third 3-day session, we will vote on Proposal 6.3 as presented.
Comments on Proposal 7.3 – Abolish OIAA Representative Position
Thirteen (13) women commented on the proposal to abolish the Trusted Servant position of OIAA Representative. Comments both supported and opposed the proposal, and many participants asked questions about the impacts of withdrawing our representative from OIAA.
Supporting the proposal, several women who had held the OIAA Rep position confirmed that their experience had been one of frustration with OIAA’s lack of organization and contentious meetings. OIAA Rep resigned her position and welcomed any replacement who could overlook the chaos and confusion in OIAA that we have experienced for 15 years.
Several women agreed with withdrawing from OIAA with a few caveats:
- that GROW would continue to be listed on the OIAA website. (Note: groups do not have to participate in OIAA to be listed on their website.)
- that GROW would explain why it is leaving OIAA to the entire membership of our meeting.
- that individual GROW members would continue to have access to the OIAA website.
Several women felt that GROW’s participation in OIAA is important for a variety of reasons that include:
- GROW’s hosting the OIAA Suite during International AA Conferences
- OIAA’s improvement over time related to the frequency and volume of “flaming” emails
- The importance of OIAA to AA as a whole, especially because there GSO does not recognize OIAA/online groups at General Service Conferences – when OIAA is finally recognized by GSO, GROW might be able to send a delegate to such conferences.
- The importance of the principle of discussion and debate in reaching decisions affecting AA as a whole and online AA in this specific case.
- Not basing our participation in OIAA on how our OIAA Rep chooses to do her job
- OIAA’s apparent success as the first point of contact for people new to recovery and to online AA. (One member pointed out that she found GROW on OIAA’s website.)
- Some of GROW’s OIAA Reps have liked their interaction with OIAA and have gone on to do service with them.
A couple of participants asked about the OIAA Rep position in relation to GROW’s GSR who also serves as a contact with the larger AA organization. (The Chair points out that all references to OIAA were removed from the GSR job description in an April 2018 Group Conscience decision. Unfortunately, the changes to job titles and descriptions have not yet been made on GROW’s website.) During the third 3-day period, we will vote on the proposal as presented.
New Proposals to be Discussed during the Third 3-day Period
Three new proposals were presented for discussion by meeting participants:
Proposal 8 addresses follow-up on the 2018 Group Inventory:
GROW’s Steering Committee will review the comments made in response to the 2018 Group Inventory questions and, where appropriate, make recommendations for changes that would reflect the group’s feedback.
Proposal 9.3 calls for seting aside one meeting each month as a Step Meeting:
Grow will allocate the first weekly meeting each month as a Step meeting. The Weekly Lead Listkeeper will identify the date of the first Sunday each month when asking for volunteer leads, naming the corresponding Step (eg, January = Step 1) as the topic for that week. Grow will continue to have a Tradition as a monthly topic, sent out by the Weekly Lead Listkeeper as per current Grow conscience/guidelines.
Proposal 10 seeks to improve GROW’s handling of announcements about oneline sponsors and to establish a Beginners’ sub-meeting to run parallel with our main meeting:
GROW will better support newcomers to our group and to AA. This will involve a two-pronged approach:
In order to assure that newcomers have access to a sponsor, GROW will: Discontinue GROW’s webpage “Available Online Sponsors” (http://www.g-r-o-w.com/members/ts/sponsor.htm). The GROW members on that list will work with the Temporary Mentor to assure that newcomers who want a sponsor are assigned a temporary Sponsor. To further support newcomers to the AA program, GROW will Open a closed beginners’ meeting similar to how we are running the biz meeting.
Participants will discuss these three proposals during the third 3-day period of the October 2018 Business Meeting.
GROW Business Chair