1019 – Proposal 2.5: Newcomer Committee

Proposal 2.5: This proposal is made to eliminate the Newcomer Committee

Rationale: The Newcomers Committee was created in the October 2018 business meeting to provide support to the Temporary Mentor. As proposed, the committee would have been made up of women who are new to sobriety – to whom new members to GROW and sobriety could better relate. When the Temporary Mentor called for volunteers, no newcomers volunteered; however, several women with long-term sobriety did volunteer.

The committee began with 11 members, but two of them have withdrawn. Of the nine remaining members, two are willing at this time to be temporary sponsors for new GROW members. The current Temporary Mentor has not experienced workload conflicts and has not had to call on the committee for help except to find a temporary sponsor for the one new member who have asked about it.

While established to help both the Temporary Mentor and new GROW members who are also new to sobriety, the Newcomer Committee did not achieve the goal of having members within their first year of sobriety. Rather, the members have long-term sobriety. Further, only two of the nine members are, at this time, available to be Temporary Sponsors for new members. The current Temporary Mentor has been able to handle the workload without recourse to the Committee. Therefore, the Newcomers Committee has been inactive and is not needed.

Discussion on Proposal 2.5

Sadly this was a flat-out bust. F2f practice did not translate well into the online world.

Is this something that has worked in the past? Maybe we could try for another round of the committee? I know I would’ve liked that when I first signed up. I personally try to reach out to the new women because I have heard that it’s hard for them to relate to the shares. Then again, maybe it hasn’t worked because the need hasn’t been strong enough. I don’t know the demographic of the people signing up. The group definitely does seem to be made up of people who find online support once they’re already established in their sobriety.

It is interesting that a lot of women coming to GROW now have some sobriety under their belts and may not need the Newcomer help – and I do believe that many of us reach out to the newcomers – maybe it isn’t necessary. The orientation to the site and the shares are important and the digest is always there. Just my thoughts.

By way of explanation, we had an incident in which a newcomer asked someone on the sponsor list to sponsor her, and did not get a reply for over a week. Or maybe she never got one. I was Immediate Past TM and the one who was doing the job at the time consulted with me. We came up with this idea, and in GROW once we have a group conscience in place, it must stand for a minimum of one year.
This is the end of that year. The idea was mine and I felt it was risky. This is something that does not translate well from the f2f world to online. In early sobriety I had a f2f sponsor and she directed me in a meeting to go talk to a newcomer. I would never have thought I had anything to offer. I learned that day that sometimes a newcomer can relate better to someone with a month than 15 years. But without that encouragement to go do it, online newcomers will not step forth, we have found. There have been no shortage of newcomers this year, yet you are the only one who has stepped up. So I don’t think this will work.
GROW has Greeters, Sponsor listkeeper and sponsors, Temporary Mentor, and 12th Step Volunteers with a listkeeper for that group. IMHO we do lots to support newcomers. We encourage new members to go to f2f meetings and functions and to find f2f sponsors. At some point it is up to each new member to put together her own spiritual tool kit. The fact is, sometimes people have to go out again to realize that they need this. We are here to plant seeds as well as to nurture new recovery and support on-going recovery. I hesitate to share this because it is long. Thank you for bearing with me.

I think the ad hoc committee has done a great job of ensuring that new women in particular have access to a temporary sponsor. Many thanks, guys, for the work put in here.
The newcomer committee didn’t work out, Sarah. I was TM after Gigi (and just before Danna) and, due to approx eight women all at once calling out for help, I was spending a lot of time writing back and forth. Gigi suggested a NC so we tried it out. However, that brief period of the eight needing help wasn’t repeated (not in my time left as TM and I don’t think in the present TM’s experience).
I think establishing a close-working link (as has been suggested by the committee) between the sponsor listkeeper and the TM will serve the same purpose as the NC was originally intended to serve. This way, though, the women willing to be sponsors will be able to indicate whether they will be available as temporary sponsors too. I like it. It’s simple and straightforward. Less convoluted as we were in danger of having too many pathways for the newcomers and none closely enough aligned as to ensure effective communication.

Thank you Gigi and Louise for clarifying this. I thought that the NC was a great idea but if you both say there is no need, I’m all for simplicity.

I also appreciate the clarification and feel that we have the positions in place to adequately address the needs of newcomers if and when they are willing.


Results of Voting on Proposal 2.5

Voting: Seventeen (17) participants in favor, and no one voted against Proposal 2.5. Therefore, Proposal 2.5 is adopted as a Group Conscience decision.

Group Conscience Decision:

  • The Newcomer Committee has been eliminated.