1018 – Group Conscience Decisions Summary

October 2018 Group Conscience Decisions

During the October 2018 GROW Business meeting, the following Group Conscience decisions were approved:

  1. Delete item d. (Web Page Information) in the GROW FYI CONTENTS section of the FYI Letter sent out by the Secretary each month.
    For more information on this group conscience decision, please refer to Proposal 2 from the October 2018 business meeting.
  2. Add a 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.”
    • Recommended Language: Insert the following sentences as a separate stand-alone paragraph between the Preamble and “How It Works” in the Weekly Meeting Format Letter.
      • “Who you see here, what you read here, when you leave here, let it stay here. (Anonymity refers to personal information and personal issues – not the message of recovery.)”

    For more information in this group conscience decision, please refer to Proposal 3 from the October 2018 business meeting.

  3. 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: Edit the sub-bullet in the Treasurer’s job description under the 11th bullet (“Pay all group expenses…”) to reflect the change in contributions to oso-aa.
      • $24.00 monthly to OSO-AA (PayPal: dean.collins@insightplanners.com) (6 months expenses)

    For more information about this group conscience decision, please refer to Proposal 4 from the October 2018 business meeting

  4. Each month, the Temporary Mentor will send a short letter reminding GROW members of AA resources available to them. She will also include the recommended language in Temporary Mentor Letter #1.
    • Recommended Language: Add a new 10th bullet to the Temporary Mentor job description as follows.
      • Each month, the Temporary Mentor will send a short letter reminding GROW members of AA resources available to them.

    For more information in this group conscience decision, please refer to Proposal ## from the October 2018 business meeting.

  5. Insert the following language as a new third paragraph in Temporary Mentor Letter #1 and as a monthly stand-alone message to GROW:
    • Just a reminder that you can learn more about AA by visiting one of these links:
    • The Alcoholics Anonymous general services office and information such as “The AA Big Book and 12 & 12, along with many pamphlets as well as links to local resources for AA.
    • AA’s Online Intergroup (OIAA) where you can find meeting lists as week as real-time phone and other Internet types of meetings.
    • AA’s Grapevine magazine with stories and audio stories and Grapevine subscription options.

    For more information in this group conscience decision, please refer to Proposal ## from the October 2018 business meeting.

  6. Expand on the Temporary Mentor by establishing a Newcomer Committee, as the Sponsorship pamphlet suggests some groups do.
    • Recommended Language: Add as a new 11th bullet to the Temporary Mentor job description as follows.
      • Establish and lead a Newcomer Committee (that may include members who are new to recovery from alcoholism) who will assist in supporting newcomers to GROW and AA.

    For more information in this group conscience decision, please refer to Proposal ## from the October 2018 business meeting.

  7. The General Services Representative (GSR) will post the GSO Calendar of Events each month to the GROW list. The Calendar is contained in the back pages of the current quarterly Box 4-5-9.
    • Recommended Language: “You can find the GSO Calendar of Events on pages 11-12 [depending on the month] of the 4-5-9 Newsletter [Note: link to the newsletter changes for each issue].”

    For more information in this group conscience decision, please refer to Proposal ## from the October 2018 business meeting.

  8. The Grapevine Representative (GVR) will post a link to the calendar on the Grapevine website each month. This may be within her report or separate from it.
    • Recommended Language: Add a new 8th bullet to the Grapevine Representative’s job description as follows.
      • Either as part of the Grapevine Form Letter or in a separate message to GROW members, the GVR will share a link to the Grapevine Calendar of Events (at http://www.aagrapevine.org/calendar).

    For more information in this group conscience decision, please refer to Proposal ## from the October 2018 business meeting.

  9. The new GROW Website extension to the April 2019 meeting granted by default.

1018 – Final Summary

Final Summary of October 2018 Business Meeting

Ladies, we have come to the 17th day and the end of our business meeting. During this meeting, we considered 12 proposals and approved seven Group Conscience decisions. There are three proposals for which did not achieve a 2/3 majority vote by the 17th day, and these proposals will be reconsidered at the April 2019 business meeting. I have sent separate messages listing Group Conscience decisions as well as the proposals to be reconsidered in April.

This has probably been the most productive (and complicated) business meeting that I can remember, and I have attended almost all of GROW’s business meetings. What impresses me most is that all but two of the proposals were designed to help our members stay sober. Rather than focusing on ‘bureaucratic’ decisions about job descriptions and meeting protocols, we actually focused on what GROW can do to better support its members’ sobriety.

You should feel very good about what you accomplished in October 2018! I want to thank each of you for your active participation during this meeting. You all are truly miracles! You have made GROW a better online meeting.

A few days after the meeting, our Listkeepers will remove your name from this business list. You do not need to do anything to unsubscribe.

The meeting is now adjourned.

Respectfully, danna M GROW Business Chair

1018 – Proposal 1: GROW Website

Proposal 1: GROW Website

GROW will extend the Website Workgroup mandate to the April 2019 Business Meeting.

Rationale: While much work has been done and much accomplished, the website is not yet ready to go “live.” The Webkeeper and website workgroup will finalize the test site and prepare recommendations on how to manage the site in April 2019. They will also recommend new Trusted Servant positions and job descriptions to maintain the site in the future.


Summary of Comments on Proposal 1.5

Eight (8) participants commented on the test website. Those who commented were happy with the site, praising its improvement over the current static HTML website. One person submitted questions/comments for the workgroup to consider as it moves forward. Please refer to the section on the sixth 3-day period for next steps.


Results of Voting on Proposal 1.6

Although the Chair had announced that we would vote on Proposal 1 (to extend the Website Workgroup mandate to the April 2019 Business Meeting) during the sixth 3-day period. However, doing so would take us beyond the 17th day. Since the guidelines call for such proposals to be tabled until the next business meeting and the desired extension would end by the April 2019 meeting, a vote at this time of no practical value.

Therefore, no vote will be taken, and the website extension is granted by default.


Group Conscience Decision:

Website extension is granted by default.

1018 – Fifth 3-day Session Minutes

Fifth 3-Day Period

During the fifth 3-day period of our business meeting:

  • We voted on Proposals 11.5 (GSR & Box 4-5-9 Calendar) and 12.5 (GVR & Grapevine Calendar).
  • We re-voted on Proposal 3.5 (“Let It Stay Here”).
  • We received a Minority Opinion on Proposal 10 (Managing Sponsor Information & Beginners’ Meeting)
    • Proposal 10.5a – discontinue “Available Online Sponsors” webpage
    • Proposal 10.5b – coordination between Temporary Mentor & Sponsor Listkeeper
    • Proposal 10.5c – Beginners’ Meeting
  • We commented on the WordPress-based test GROW website.
  • Sixth 3-day period – next steps

Our business meeting guidelines state: “If any item on the agenda has not reached a 2/3 majority vote by the 17th day of the business meeting, the item is tabled and held over to the next scheduled business meeting.” Therefore, the sixth 3-day period is the last of the October 2018 Business Meeting.

Results of Voting on Proposal 11.5 – GSR & Box 4-5-9 Calendar
Seventeen (17) participants voted unanimously in favor of Proposal 11.5; therefore, the proposal is approved and adopted as a Group Conscience decision.

Group Conscience Decision: The GSR will post the Calendar of Events each month to the GROW list. It is to be the link to the current quarterly Box 4-5-9, with the indication of the pages of the Calendar.

Results of Voting on Proposal 12.5 – GVR & Grapevine Calendar
Seventeen (17) participants voted unanimously in favor of Proposal 11.5; therefore, the proposal is approved and adopted as a Group Conscience decision.

Group Conscience Decision:
The Grapevine Rep will post link to the calendar on the Grapevine website each month. This may be within her report or separate from it.

Results of Re-vote on Proposal 3.5 – “Let It Stay Here”
Two (2) participants voted in favor, and 13 voted against (87%) Proposal 3.5 (which was limited to deleting the Anonymity Statement from the bottom of the Weekly Meeting Format Letter). The vote exceeds the requirement for a 2/3 majority, so this part of Proposal 3 fails.

Therefore, the existing Anonymity Statement in the Weekly Meeting Format Letter will not be deleted.

Results of Minority Opinion on Proposal 10.5 (subparts a, b, and c)
As a result of the minority opinion, three participants changed their vote on Proposal 10.5a (discontinue “Available Online Sponsors” webpage). Due to a misunderstanding, the Chair had not asked if participants wanted to change their votes on subparts 10.5b (coordination between Temporary Mentor and Sponsor Listkeeper) or subparts 10.5c (Beginners’ Meeting) but did so mid-day of the last day of the 3-day period. After notifying the group of the larger scope of the Minority Opinion, one participant changed her vote on Proposal 10.5b.

Proposal 10.5a (discontinuing the “Available Online Sponsors” webpage)
In the Minutes on the fourth 3-day period, the Chair reported a vote of eleven (11) in favor (60%) and 5 against. In error, the Chair said the vote met the 2/3 requirement for a Group Conscience decision. The Minority Opinion brought that vote into question. As a result of the Minority Opinion, three participants changed their votes from “I agree” to “I disagree,” bringing the vote to an 8-8 tie, which would trigger a re-vote on Proposal 10.5a.

Our business meeting guidelines state: “If any item on the agenda has not reached a 2/3 majority vote by the 17th day of the business meeting, the item is tabled and held over to the next scheduled business meeting.” A sixth 3-day period would take us beyond the 17th day of the meeting, A sixth 3-day period would take us beyond the 17th day of the meeting, so a re-vote on Proposal 10.a is not practical.

Therefore, Proposal 10.5a is tabled and will be reconsidered during the April 2019 Business Meeting.

Proposal 10.5b (managing information about sponsors)
Thirteen (13) participants voted in favor (87%), and three (3) voted against Proposal 10.4b, exceeding the requirement for a 2/3 majority vote in favor of the proposal. Early this morning, I received a change of vote on this sub-part. Since notice that the Minority Opinion applied to all sub-parts of Proposal 10 was not received until after noon on the last day of the 3-day period, the Chair believes the change of vote should be accepted, which would call for a complete re-vote on the proposal.

Our business meeting guidelines state: “If any item on the agenda has not reached a 2/3 majority vote by the 17th day of the business meeting, the item is tabled and held over to the next scheduled business meeting.” A sixth 3-day period would take us beyond the 17th day of the meeting, so a re-vote on Proposal 10.b is not practical.

Therefore, Proposal 10.5b is tabled and will be reconsidered during the April 2019 Business Meeting.

Proposal 10.5c (Beginners’ Meeting)
Subpart 10.5c was defeated unanimously with a vote of 16 “I disagrees.” No particpants indicated a wish to change their vote as a result of the Minority Opinion.

Therefore, Proposal 10.5c fails, and GROW will not establish a Beginners’ Meeting to operate parallel to the main GROW meeting. This proposal cannot be considered again until October 2019.

Comments on the new GROW test Website

Eight (8) participants commented on the test website. Those who commented were happy with the site, praising its improvement over the current static HTML website. One person submitted questions/comments for the workgroup to consider as it moves forward. Please refer to the section on the sixth 3-day period for next steps.


Sixth 3-day Period

The sixth and last 3-day period of the business meeting will focus on two outstanding issues:

The Business Meeting Guidelines state that “If any item on the agenda has not reached a 2/3 majority vote by the 17th day of the business meeting, the item is tabled and held over to the next scheduled business meeting.”

Although the Chair had announced that we would vote on Proposal 1 (to extend the Website Workgroup mandate to the April 2019 Business Meeting) during the sixth 3-day period. However, doing so would take us beyond the 17th day. Since the guidelines call for such proposals to be tabled until the next business meeting and the desired extension would end by the April 2019 meeting, a vote at this time of no practical value.

Therefore, no vote will be taken, and the website extension is granted by default.

Later today, the Chair will present a list of “Recommended Language” for Group Conscience (GC) decisions that did not include them when presented. Five of the seven GC decisions did not have Recommended Language but added or changed job duties or form letter contents. In order to speed the process along and since all of these are already implied by the GC decisions, I will simply ask for objections to the language and address anything that arises.

Respectfully, danna M GROW Business Chair

1018 – Proposal 12: GVR / GV Calendar

Proposal 12: GVR and Grapevine Calendar

The Grapevine Rep (GVR) will post link to the calendar on the Grapevine website each month. This may be within her report or separate from it.

Rationale: Follow up to the Group Inventory of Fall 2018 and subsequent review in the business meeting, and in the spirit of connecting with AA as a whole: As far as being “informed about AA as a whole”, 5 out of 8 responses stated a need for more information… No one felt we weren’t supporting AA as a whole, just that we weren’t as informed as we could be.


Summary of Comments on Proposal 12.4

Three (3) participants commented on the proposal calling for the Grapevine Representative to send out a link to the Grapevine Calendar each month. All comments supported it because it improves members’ understanding of AA organizations and events, as was raised in responses to the Group Inventory questions. One participant raised offered “Recommended language” that would be added to the TS job description. Another answered that the TS should have the discretion to carry it out. We will vote on Proposal 12.5 during the fifth 3-day period of our meeting.


Results of Voting on Proposal 12.5

Voting: Seventeen (17) participants voted unanimously in favor of Proposal 11.5; therefore, the proposal is approved and adopted as a Group Conscience decision.


Group Conscience Decision:

The Grapevine Rep will post link to the calendar on the Grapevine website each month. This may be within her report or separate from it.

1018 – Proposal 11: GSR / 4-5-9 Calendar

Proposal 11: GSR and 4-5-9 Calendar

The GSR will post the Calendar of Events each month to the GROW list. It is to be the link to the current quarterly Box 4-5-9, with the indication of the pages of the Calendar.

Rationale: Follow up to the Group Inventory of Fall 2018 and subsequent review in the business meeting: As far as being “informed about AA as a whole”, 5 out of 8 responses stated a need for more information. Several members expressed gratitude for the GSR report and the Box 459 newsletter. No one felt we weren’t supporting AA as a whole, just that we weren’t as informed as we could be.

Recommended Language: You can find the GSO Calendar of Events on pages 11-12 [depending on the month] of the 4-5-9 Newsletter [Note: link to the newsletter changes for each issue].”


Summary of Comments on Proposal 11.4

Four (4) participants commented on this proposal, all of them supporting it because it improves members’ understanding of AA organizations and events, as was raised in responses to the Group Inventory questions. We will vote on Proposal 11.5 during the fifth 3-day period of our meeting.


Results of Voting on Proposal 11.5

Voting: Seventeen (17) participants voted unanimously in favor of Proposal 11.5; therefore, the proposal is approved and adopted as a Group Conscience decision.


Group Conscience Decision:

The GSR will post the Calendar of Events each month to the GROW list. It is to be the link to the current quarterly Box 4-5-9, with the indication of the pages of the Calendar.

1018 – Fourth 3-day Session Minutes

Fourth 3-Day Period

During the fourth 3-day period, we voted on two proposals, discussed two new proposals, and discussed a Minority Opinion that reopened discussion on Proposal 3 (“Let It Stay Here”). We also began to review the new WordPress-based GROW website.

We voted on two new proposals:

  • Proposal 8 – Group Inventory Follow-up (withdrawn) – no voting
  • Proposal 9 – Step Meeting
  • Proposal 10 – Sponsors & Beginners Meeting

We discussed two new proposals:

  • Proposal 11: GSR & Box 4-5-9 Calendar
  • Proposal 12: GVR & Grapevine Calendar

We also discussed the Minority Opinion on Proposal 3.2 (“Let It Stay Here”) – and received a status report on and access to the new WordPress based GROW website.

Voting Results
Results of Voting on Proposal 9.4 – Step Meeting

Reflecting our discussions, participants were asked to vote on one of two versions of Proposal 9.4: (a) being only a Step Meeting and (b) being a Step/Tradition Meeting. Eleven participants voted in favor (58%) of Proposal 9.4b (Step/Tradition Meeting only), and eight (8) participants voted in favor (42%) of Proposal 9.4a (Step Meeting only). Neither option met the requirement for a 2/3 majority, and neither version is approved. Because participants overwhelmingly approved the proposal to set aside the first week of each month for a Step Meeting, it’s not appropriate to say the proposal can’t be raised for a year. Because voting was so close, more discussion is needed. Therefore, the proposal has been set aside to be considered again during the April 2019 meeting.

Results of Voting on Proposal 10.4a – Discontinue “Available Online Sponsors” Webpage
Eleven (11) participants voted in favor (58%) and five (5) voted against Proposal 10.4a, meeting the requirement for a 2/3 majority. Therefore, the proposal is approved. The Chair called for those who voted against the proposal to submit a Minority Opinion. If, after hearing the minority opinion, any participant wants to change their vote, we will conduct a re-vote. Until we know the outcome of this phase of our process, the proposal does not become a formal Group Conscience Decision.

Results of Voting on Proposal 10.4b – Managing Information about Sponsors
Thirteen (13) participants voted in favor (87%), and three (3) voted against Proposal 10.4b, exceeding the requirement for a 2/3 majority vote in favor of the proposal. The Chair called for those who voted against the proposal to submit a Minority Opinion. If, after hearing the minority opinion, any participant wants to change their vote, we will conduct a re-vote. Until we know the outcome of this phase of our process, the proposal does not become a formal Group Conscience Decision.

Results of Voting on Proposal 10.4c – Beginners’ Meeting
No participants voted in favor, and sixteen (16) voted against Proposal 10.4c, representing a unanimous decision not to establish a Beginners’ Meeting to run parallel with GROW’s email meeting. Therefore, the proposal fails and cannot be raised again for a year.

Discussions
Comments on Proposal 11.4 – GSR & Box 4-5-9 Calendar

Four (4) participants commented on this proposal, all of them supporting it because it improves members’ understanding of AA organizations and events, as was raised in responses to the Group Inventory questions. We will vote on Proposal 11.5 during the fifth 3-day period of our meeting.

Comments on Proposal 12.4 – GVR & Grapevine Calendar
Three (3) participants commented on the proposal calling for the Grapevine Representative to send out a link to the Grapevine Calendar each month. All comments supported it because it improves members’ understanding of AA organizations and events, as was raised in responses to the Group Inventory questions. One participant raised offered “Recommended language” that would be added to the TS job description. Another answered that the TS should have the discretion to carry it out. We will vote on Proposal 12.5 during the fifth 3-day period of our meeting.

Discussion following Minority Opinion on Proposal 3.2 – “Let It Stay Here”
Participants voted to approve Proposal 3.2b (adding the following between the Preamble and “How it Works” of the Weekly Meeting Format Letter). The proposal as approved also deleted the Anonymity Statement from the bottom of the Weekly Meeting Format Letter. The Minority Opinion argued that the Anonymity Statement should not be deleted, and several women changed their vote as a result. It was pointed out that the Anonymity Statement duplicates Tradition 12 (which is above the topic section). So, deleting only part of the Anonymity Statement is inconsistent. We will take a re-vote, addressing only the deletion of the Anonymity Statement, on Proposal 3.5 during the fifth 3-day period of our meeting.

Discussion on the new test GROW Website
The website is not yet ready to go “live.” The Webkeeper and website workgroup will finalize the test site and prepare recommendations on how to manage the site in April 2019. They will also recommend new Trusted Servant positions and job descriptions. Participants were asked to review and comment on the test website. We will discuss the test site through the end of the fifth 3-day period. The discussion period will end on Monday, October, 15. Participants were encouraged to offer comments that will highlight areas that can be improved.

During the Fifth 3-day Period of the Business Meeting, we will vote on Proposals 11 and 12, take the re-vote on Proposal 3.2, and accept Minority Opinions on Proposals 10.4a and 10.4b. We will continue to review and comment on the GROW WordPress-based test website through the end of the fifth 3-day period.

Respectfully, danna M GROW Business Chair

1018 – Third 3-day Session Minutes

Third 3-Day Period

During the third 3-day session, we voted on three proposals, discussed three new proposals, and received a Minority Opinion that reopened discussion on Proposal 3 (“Let It Stay Here”).

We voted on three proposals:

  • Proposal 5 – Creating a Newcomer Committee
  • Proposal 6 – Temporary Mentor & AA Resources
  • Proposal 7 – Abolish the OIAA Rep Trusted Servant Position

We discussed three new proposals:

  • Proposal 8 – Group Inventory Follow-up (withdrawn)
  • Proposal 9 – Step Meeting
  • Proposal 10 – Sponsors & Beginners Meeting

We also received a Minority Opinion related to voting on Proposal 3 – “Let It Stay Here.” As a result of the Minority Opinion, four women decided to change their vote. Therefore, we will further discuss the proposal and minority opinion during the fourth 3-day period and have a revote during the 5th 3-day period.

During the fourth 3-day period of the October 2018 GROW Business Meeting, we will talk about the proposed new WordPress-based GROW website, vote on Proposals 9 and 10, discuss Proposals 11 and 12, and re-visit Proposal 3 on adding the “Let It Stay Here” anonymity statement in the Weekly Meeting Format Letter.

Voting
Proposal 5.3 – TM & Newcomer Committee

Sixteen (16) participants voted in favor (80%), and four (4) voted against Proposal 5.3. Therefore, the proposal meets our requirement for a 2/3 majority is adopted as a Group Conscience Decision.

Group Conscience Decision:
To expand on the Temporary Mentor by establishing a Newcomer Committee, as the Sponsorship pamphlet suggests some groups do. That committee could be rapid-response for new members much as the OIAA link for “Get Help Now” is. The only requirement could be much less sober time, giving our newer members an opportunity to share their experience, strength and hope.

Proposal 6.3 – TM & AA Resources
Nineteen (19) participants voted in favor, and no one voted against Proposal 6.3. Therefore, the proposal meets our requirement for a 2/3 majority is adopted as a Group Conscience Decision.

Group Conscience Decision: Each month, the Temporary Mentor will send a short letter reminding GROW members of AA resources available to them. She will also include the recommended language in Temporary Mentor Letter #1.

Proposal 7.3 Abolish OIAA Rep Position
Ten (10) participants voted in favor (56%), and eight (8) voted against Proposal 7.3. We did not meet the requirement for a 2/3 majority vote in favor of the proposal. Given that this proposal has been discussed before recently with the same outcome, the Chair will not ask for the Minority Opinion.

Proposal 7.3 is therefore set aside and cannot be revisited for one year.

Discussion
Proposal 8 – Group Inventory Follow-up – Withdrawn

During the 3-day period, it was revealed that there were already instructions within the Group Inventory guidelines for the business meeting to take appropriate actions to address any issue raised in Group Inventory responses. Therefore, the proposal was withdrawn. Many of the proposals on our agenda already address these issues, and the review of responses was completed within 24 hours.

Proposal 9 – Step Meeting as Topic 1st Week of Month
Thirteen (13) participants commented on Proposal 9.3, and there was general support for having a Step Meeting each month. Many felt that this proposal addresses an area of concern that came out in responses to the Group Inventory. Comments fell into three substantive areas: whether the Step Meeting should be the first meeting of each month, whether it should also include the Tradition of the month, and assignment of the Meeting leader.

Most of the comments expressed the feeling that few people share in response to the Step/Tradition message each month and that having a dedicated topic meeting would bring more attention to these basic parts of the AA program. It would also be more helpful to newcomers to highlight the steps and traditions in this way.

There was concern that sharing on the Traditions would be lost if they are not included in the Step meeting topic and many participants wanted to include the Tradition of the month in the Step meeting. Participants agreed that it would not be difficult to get volunteers to lead the Step (/Tradition) meeting as part of the current process, although a few were concerned about reducing the opportunity to lead on a topic of choice or dictating a topic to meeting leaders.

Based on the comments, the Chair created two versions of the proposal for voting, asking participants to vote on only one of them. Proposal 9.4a was for a Step [only] meeting, and Proposal 9.4b was for a Step/Tradition meeting. During the fourth 3-day session, we will vote on Proposal 9.

Proposal 10.3 – GROW Sponsors & Beginners’ Meeting
This proposal covered a lot of territory. Discussions on the two proposals related to the Temporary Mentor (both adopted as Group Conscience decisions) led to this proposal when concerns were raised about the support GROW offers newcomers. We took a new look at the way we manage information about available sponsors and whether we give newcomers enough opportunity to talk about common issues during early sobriety. Because the proposal contained different subtopics, the Chair split it into three subparts: discontinuing the “Available Online Sponsors” Webpage (10.4a), managing Information about Available Sponsors (10.4b), and Beginners Meeting (10.4c)

Fifteen (15) participants commented on discontinuing GROW’s “Available Online Sponsors” webpage, giving greater responsibility to the Temporary Mentor in managing information about potential sponsors, and establishing a Beginners’ Meeting to operate parallel with GROW’s main mailing list.

Available Online Sponsors Webpage (10.4a)
The Temporary Mentor reported that some newcomers had contacted women on the webpage list but did not received responses timely or at all. Others questioned whether the list of sponsors was updated frequently enough to assure that the women listed were still interested in being sponsors. In addition, many of the people on the list do not share regularly; therefore, women seeking sponsors can’t get a sense of potential sponsors’ program. Finally, the list of “Available Online Sponsors” on our website may create the erroneous impression that these are the only women who can or will be sponsors. Participants felt that we should discontinue the current “Available Sponsors Webpage” and rely on the Sponsor Listkeeper’s monthly email.

Managing Information about Sponsors (10.4b)
Earlier in this business meeting, the group recognized an overlap between the Temporary Mentor (TM) in helping newcomers find sponsors and Sponsor Listkeeper. The proposal called for the women currently on the available sponsors webpage to work with the TM to find temporary sponsors for newcomers. It was pointed out that both the volunteers on the 12th Step list and the Available Sponsors might support the TM. When asked what a “Temporary” Sponsor is several participants shared their personal experience. Others talked about the awkward for newcomers before they understand the sponsor relationship and when they are still perhaps hesitant to make the commitment as an important reason for Temporary Mentors. We were reminded of the “Questions & Answers about Sponsorship” pamphlet.

The current list of available sponsors does not distinguish between those who are willing to sponsor newcomers and those who are not. It is also important to assure women who are listed as available sponsors understand their responsibility to be respond timely when contacted. It was suggested that we send out a monthly announcement that anyone who does not have a sponsor but wants one can contact [Trusted Servant(s)] for help. Another participant suggested that we rotate people on list of available sponsors, but others felt rotation would not be helpful.

One participant compared GROW to f2f meetings in the degree to which they get involved in sponsorship issues. She felt GROW sometimes became too involved in what is normally treated as a personal process – that people looking for a sponsor are responsible for finding one – and f2f meetings don’t usually go beyond advising people to “get a sponsor.”

We also discussed the overlap between the Sponsor Listkeeper and Temporary Mentor in this area was also discussed. In the past, GROW has not differentiated between those interested in being temporary sponsors or who want to work with newcomers, but this information is helpful to the Temporary Mentor. The Sponsor Listkeeper, however, maintains information for all GROW members, not just newcomers.

Proposal 10.4b adds a bullet to the Sponsor Listkeeper and Temporary Mentor job descriptions that calls for them to cooperate in potential temporary sponsors as well providing monthly lists of available sponsors to the GROW mailing list.

Beginners Meeting (10.4c)
There was a lot of discussion of the proposal to start a separate mailing list for a Beginners Meeting that would be configured like the business meeting mailing list as a subset of GROW members. The proposal called for a moderator and assumed that members of this list would volunteer to present topics similar to the way it is done in GROW.

Many participants supported the idea as a way to improve GROW’s service to newcomers, an issue raised in response to the Group Inventory. Others argued that GROW already focuses on newcomers through its Greeters, Temporary Mentor, and 12th Step Volunteer list and that a new dedicated Step/Tradition meeting will be valuable support for people new to the AA program. Several Beginners meetings are already listed on AA’s website, and it is not necessary for GROW to duplicate them. Finally, members were concerned about spliting our GROW’s focus.

The additional workload involved in running a separate meeting might be very difficult for the Trusted Servants who would to support the meeting. Assuring GROW’s guidelines are applied to the separate meeting is also problematic. It is to fill all TS positions now (we still have a vacant position), and the Secretary expressed concern about adding new positions.

It is also important for new members be responsible for finding what they need to have a healthy sobriety. While the women who commented were very receptive to and supported the idea of a Beginners Meeting, they also had many concerns about how such a meeting would be managed. We are voting yes/no in each subpart of Proposal 10 during the fourth 3-day session.

Two new proposals were presented for discussion during the third 3-day session. The both grow from the Group Inventory responses and concerns that we don’t provide enough information about the larger AA organization. They are:

  • Proposal 11.4 – GSR & 4-5-9 Calendar
  • Proposal 12.4 – Grapevine Rep & Grapevine Calendar

Respectfully, danna M GROW Business Chair

1018 – Second 3-day Period Minutes

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: dean.collins@insightplanners.com) (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.

Respectfully,
danna M
GROW Business Chair

1018 – Proposal 10: GROW Sponsors

Proposal 10: GROW Sponsors

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“. 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.

Other ways GROW can improve our support to newcomers and others in need of sponsors might include sending out a monthly announcement to the effect that “If any person here does not have a sponsor and wants one, please contact [Temporary Mentor/Sponsor Listkeeper], who will arrange a temporary sponsor. The Sponsor Listkeeper could continue to send out a monthly list of available and willing sponsors, but the women on that list will rotate on a regular basis.

To further support newcomers to the AA program, GROW will Open a closed beginners’ meeting similar to how we are running the biz meeting.

Examples of how this could be accomplished include:

Interested members can ask the listkeepers to sub them to the beginners meeting.

GROW can provide a moderator and a meeting leader (length of time to be determined). The meeting could include topics such as Living Sober, the first three steps, sponsorship, etc. Examples of weekly topics include Steps 1,2, and 3 for week 1; Living Sober for week 2; general discussion or topic of choice for week 3; sponsorship problems and opportunities for week 4.

Rationale: During our discussions on the Temporary Mentor (newcomer committee and providing links to AA resources), it became clear that there are issues related to the Online Available Sponsors list/webpage because the people on that list do not always respond timely (or at all) to newcomers’ requests for help. Further, Available Online Sponsors do not rotate, and the only members that rotate on both the 12th Step List and the Sponsor List are the listkeepers. The Available Online Sponsor webpage creates the impression that only people on the sponsor list can sponsor, which in reality is not the case.

The AA pamphlet Questions & Answers on Sponsorship offers suggestions on how a group can better support new members. The following excerpt is from (pages 23-24) of that pamphlet:

“What procedures can a group set up to sponsor new members?

Carefully planned sponsorship activity within a group is often likely to produce better results than sponsorship left to chance.

A typical pattern of planned sponsorship within a local group might include the following:

  • A regular committee on sponsorship or a Twelfth Step committee, with members rotating frequently. If there is an intergroup or central office that keeps a list of local groups and the members available for Twelfth Step calls, such a committee may check to see whether the group has enough of its members on the office list to fulfill its responsibility.
  • Regular beginners meetings (also called newcom-ers meetings) — particularly in larger communities where there are many newcomers. A Guide for Leading Beginners Meetings may be ordered from G.S.O.
  • Regular assignment of members to greet newcomers at meetings and introduce them around. In large groups, people on a hospitality committee may wear badges for the benefit of the newcomer. In smaller groups, the secretary may, during the announcements, simply ask newcomers to come up and make themselves known after the meeting, so they may be introduced to other members.
  • Another suggested announcement. “If any person here does not have a sponsor and wants one, please see the secretary, who will arrange a temporary sponsor.” Where this practice is followed at each meeting, members say, it reminds the group of the value of sponsoring and being sponsored.
  • Closed-meeting discussions of sponsorship problems and opportunities. Some groups schedule meetings especially for this purpose.”

Summary of Comments on Proposal 10.3

This proposal covered a lot of territory. Discussions on the two proposals related to the Temporary Mentor (both adopted as Group Conscience decisions) led to this proposal when concerns were raised about the support GROW offers newcomers. We took a new look at the way we manage information about available sponsors and whether we give newcomers enough opportunity to talk about common issues during early sobriety. Because the proposal contained different subtopics, the Chair split it into three subparts: discontinuing the “Available Online Sponsors” Webpage (10.4a), managing Information about Available Sponsors (10.4b), and Beginners Meeting (10.4c)

Fifteen (15) participants commented on discontinuing GROW’s “Available Online Sponsors” webpage, giving greater responsibility to the Temporary Mentor in managing information about potential sponsors, and establishing a Beginners’ Meeting to operate parallel with GROW’s main mailing list.


Available Online Sponsors Webpage (10.4a)

The Temporary Mentor reported that some newcomers had contacted women on the webpage list but did not received responses timely or at all. Others questioned whether the list of sponsors was updated frequently enough to assure that the women listed were still interested in being sponsors. In addition, many of the people on the list do not share regularly; therefore, women seeking sponsors can’t get a sense of potential sponsors’ program. Finally, the list of “Available Online Sponsors” on our website may create the erroneous impression that these are the only women who can or will be sponsors. Participants felt that we should discontinue the current “Available Sponsors Webpage” and rely on the Sponsor Listkeeper’s monthly email.

Managing Information about Sponsors (10.4b)

Earlier in this business meeting, the group recognized an overlap between the Temporary Mentor (TM) in helping newcomers find sponsors and Sponsor Listkeeper. The proposal called for the women currently on the available sponsors webpage to work with the TM to find temporary sponsors for newcomers. It was pointed out that both the volunteers on the 12th Step list and the Available Sponsors might support the TM. When asked what a “Temporary” Sponsor is several participants shared their personal experience. Others talked about the awkward for newcomers before they understand the sponsor relationship and when they are still perhaps hesitant to make the commitment as an important reason for Temporary Mentors. We were reminded of the “Questions & Answers about Sponsorship” pamphlet.

The current list of available sponsors does not distinguish between those who are willing to sponsor newcomers and those who are not. It is also important to assure women who are listed as available sponsors understand their responsibility to be respond timely when contacted. It was suggested that we send out a monthly announcement that anyone who does not have a sponsor but wants one can contact [Trusted Servant(s)] for help. Another participant suggested that we rotate people on list of available sponsors, but others felt rotation would not be helpful.

One participant compared GROW to f2f meetings in the degree to which they get involved in sponsorship issues. She felt GROW sometimes became too involved in what is normally treated as a personal process – that people looking for a sponsor are responsible for finding one – and f2f meetings don’t usually go beyond advising people to “get a sponsor.”

We also discussed the overlap between the Sponsor Listkeeper and Temporary Mentor in this area was also discussed. In the past, GROW has not differentiated between those interested in being temporary sponsors or who want to work with newcomers, but this information is helpful to the Temporary Mentor. The Sponsor Listkeeper, however, maintains information for all GROW members, not just newcomers.

Proposal 10.4b adds a bullet to the Sponsor Listkeeper and Temporary Mentor job descriptions that calls for them to cooperate in potential temporary sponsors as well providing monthly lists of available sponsors to the GROW mailing list.

Beginners Meeting (10.4c)

There was a lot of discussion of the proposal to start a separate mailing list for a Beginners Meeting that would be configured like the business meeting mailing list as a subset of GROW members. The proposal called for a moderator and assumed that members of this list would volunteer to present topics similar to the way it is done in GROW.

Many participants supported the idea as a way to improve GROW’s service to newcomers, an issue raised in response to the Group Inventory. Others argued that GROW already focuses on newcomers through its Greeters, Temporary Mentor, and 12th Step Volunteer list and that a new dedicated Step/Tradition meeting will be valuable support for people new to the AA program. Several Beginners meetings are already listed on AA’s website, and it is not necessary for GROW to duplicate them. Finally, members were concerned about splitting our GROW’s focus.

The additional workload involved in running a separate meeting might be very difficult for the Trusted Servants who would to support the meeting. Assuring GROW’s guidelines are applied to the separate meeting is also problematic. It is to fill all TS positions now (we still have a vacant position), and the Secretary expressed concern about adding new positions.

It is also important for new members be responsible for finding what they need to have a healthy sobriety. While the women who commented were very receptive to and supported the idea of a Beginners Meeting, they also had many concerns about how such a meeting would be managed. We are voting yes/no in each subpart of Proposal 10 during the fourth 3-day session.


Results of Voting on Proposal 10.4

Discontinue “Available Online Sponsors” Webpage

Voting: Eleven (11) participants voted in favor (58%) and five (5) voted against Proposal 10.4a, meeting the requirement for a 2/3 majority. Therefore, the proposal is approved. The Chair called for those who voted against the proposal to submit a Minority Opinion. If, after hearing the minority opinion, any participant wants to change their vote, we will conduct a re-vote. Until we know the outcome of this phase of our process, the proposal does not become a formal Group Conscience Decision.

Results of Voting on Proposal 10.4b

Managing Information about Sponsors

Voting: Thirteen (13) participants voted in favor (87%), and three (3) voted against Proposal 10.4b, exceeding the requirement for a 2/3 majority vote in favor of the proposal. The Chair called for those who voted against the proposal to submit a Minority Opinion. If, after hearing the minority opinion, any participant wants to change their vote, we will conduct a re-vote. Until we know the outcome of this phase of our process, the proposal does not become a formal Group Conscience Decision.

Results of Voting on Proposal 10.4c

Beginners’ Meeting

Voting: No participants voted in favor, and sixteen (16) voted against Proposal 10.4c, representing a unanimous decision not to establish a Beginners’ Meeting to run parallel with GROW’s email meeting. Therefore, the proposal fails and cannot be raised again for a year.


Group Conscience Decision:

none

1018 – Proposal 9: Monthly Step Meeting

Proposal 9: Monthly 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.

Recommended Language: Add a bullet to the Weekly Lead Listkeeper’s job description as follows:

Allocate the first meeting of each month to the corresponding Step by identifying the Step as the topic next to the date on the volunteer lead request message.

Rationale: It appears the Step/Tradition monthly topics are shared on much less than any weekly topics despite us having longer to do so.

From time to time (about 10 times over the last 4 years) we have seen a Step as a weekly topic. The number of shares was similar to weeks where the topic was self-selected by the lead – showing that by having the focus of a Step in the weekly meeting does encourage more sharing than our current monthly practice.

As our primary purpose reminds us, our job is to carry the message. Creating an opportunity for more reflection and sharing on the corresponding step each month can only add to our effectiveness as a group in sharing the program. Not to mention be of potential benefit to our own programs!

By agreeing which week would be the Step topic week in advance gives us the chance to nominate ourselves as weekly leaders for whichever week we like, knowing we are free to offer to lead the Step week or any of the other weeks where the topic is open for our own selection.

As is current for our conscience/guidelines should there be a weekly leader drop out or vacancy the Weekly Lead Listkeeper can send a message out to the group requesting a new volunteer for a specified date.


Summary of Comments on Proposal 9.3

Thirteen (13) participants commented on Proposal 9.3, and there was general support for having a Step Meeting each month. Many felt that this proposal addresses an area of concern that came out in responses to the Group Inventory. Comments fell into three substantive areas: whether the Step Meeting should be the first meeting of each month, whether it should also include the Tradition of the month, and assignment of the Meeting leader.

Most of the comments expressed the feeling that few people share in response to the Step/Tradition message each month and that having a dedicated topic meeting would bring more attention to these basic parts of the AA program. It would also be more helpful to newcomers to highlight the steps and traditions in this way.

There was concern that sharing on the Traditions would be lost if they are not included in the Step meeting topic and many participants wanted to include the Tradition of the month in the Step meeting. Participants agreed that it would not be difficult to get volunteers to lead the Step (/Tradition) meeting as part of the current process, although a few were concerned about reducing the opportunity to lead on a topic of choice or dictating a topic to meeting leaders.

Based on the comments, the Chair created two versions of the proposal for voting, asking participants to vote on only one of them. Proposal 9.4a was for a Step [only] meeting, and Proposal 9.4b was for a Step/Tradition meeting. During the fourth 3-day session, we will vote on Proposal 9.


Results of Voting on Proposal 9.4

Voting: Reflecting our discussions, participants were asked to vote on one of two versions of Proposal 9.4: (a) being only a Step Meeting and (b) being a Step/Tradition Meeting. Eleven participants voted in favor (58%) of Proposal 9.4b (Step/Tradition Meeting only), and eight (8) participants voted in favor (42%) of Proposal 9.4a (Step Meeting only). Neither option met the requirement for a 2/3 majority, and neither version is approved. Because participants overwhelmingly approved the proposal to set aside the first week of each month for a Step Meeting, it’s not appropriate to say the proposal can’t be raised for a year. Because voting was so close, more discussion is needed. Therefore, the proposal has been set aside to be considered again during the April 2019 meeting.


Group Conscience Decision:

none

1018 – Proposal 8: Group Inventory Follow-up

Proposal 8: Group Inventory Follow-up

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.

Rationale: Doing a group inventory is a positive and healthy effort. However, if all we do is record our members’ answers and then file the inventory away (on our website), we are not following through in the spirit of AA. We should assess our members’ comments and determine if action needs to be taken.

To make it relatively painless, Trusted Servants (individuals or teams) could volunteer to take one question and then, within a set amount of time (e.g., a month), send a note to the other TSs with their findings. At that point, we can ‘flag’ actions that call for a proposal at our next business meeting in April 2019. (Some actions may be simple enough not to require a Group Conscience process.)


Summary of Comments on Proposal 8

During the 3-day period, it was revealed that there were already instructions within the Group Inventory guidelines for the business meeting to take appropriate actions to address any issue raised in Group Inventory responses. Therefore, the proposal was withdrawn. Many of the proposals on our agenda already address these issues, and the review of responses was completed within 24 hours.


Results of Voting on Proposal 8

Withdrawn.


Group Conscience Decision:

none

1018 – Second 3-day Session Close

Close of Second 3-day Session

The second 3-day session of our October 2018 Business Meeting is closed. During this period, we voted on three proposals and discussed three new proposals.

Participants voted on:
Proposal 2.1 – Change the monthly FYI Letter
Proposal 3.2 – Add an anonymity statement to the Weekly Meeting Format Letter
Proposal 4.1 – Increase GROW’s contribution to oso-aa.org

Participants discussed:
Proposal 5.2 – Temporary Mentor & Newcomer Committee
Proposal 6.2 – Temporary Mentor & AA Resources
Proposal 7.2 – Abolish OIAA Representative Position

The Chair will distribute separate e-mails describing the voting results and summaries of discussions for each proposal.

During the third 3-day period, we will consider the Minority Opinion on Proposal 3.2a; vote on Proposals 5, 6, and 7; and discuss three new proposals:

Proposal 8.3 – Group Inventory Follow-up
Proposal 9.3 – GROW Step Meeting
Proposal 10.3 – Online Sponsors

Respectfully,
danna M
GROW Business Chair

1018 – First 3-day Session Minutes

Minutes of First 3-day Session

During the first 3-day session, participants discussed the first three of nine proposals. These proposals addressed:

  • A minor edit to the FYI Letter sent out each month by the Secretary.
  • Adding a sentence to the Weekly Meeting Format Letter to emphasize AA’s principle of anonymity.
  • An increase to the monthly contribution GROW makes to oso-aa.org, the server that supports both our e-mail meeting and our website.

Proposal 2.1 – FYI Letter Change

Five people commented on the proposal to delete “d. Website Information” from the table of contents of the FYI letter, all agreeing with it. We will vote on Proposal 2.1 in the next 3-day period. This change was based on the fact that no website information currently appears in the letter. Website information is included in the Listkeeper Letter. During the second 3-day session, participants will vote on whether to adopt the proposal as a Group Conscience Decision.

Proposal 3.1 – “Let It Stay Here” addition to Weekly Meeting Format Letter

Twelve (12) particiants commented on the proposal to add a sentence to emphasize AA’s anonymity principle to the Weekly Meeting Format Letter. The sentence “Who you see here, what you hear here, when you leave here, let it stay here” between the Preamble and “How It Works.” A couple of participants felt the new language was not necessary. One person raised the question of whether we should enforce this principle if a member violated it. No one responded to this query.

Two participants suggested changes to the wording of the insert, and those who commented expressed approval of the changes. Therefore, the Chair incorporated these two changes into a revised Proposal 3.2a upon which we will vote in the second 3-day session. The first would change the word “hear” to “read” to reflect the online nature of our meeting. The second would clarify what we mean by “anonymity” with an additional sentence: “(Anonymity refers to personal information and personal issues – not the message of recovery.)”

When it was revealed that The Weekly Meeting Format Letter already contains a similar sentence (penultimate paragraph of the format), participants generally felt the same message should not appear in the letter twice. Therefore, the Chair prepared a second version of the proposal upon which we will also vote in the second 3-day session. Proposal 3.2b would delete the current penultimate paragraph (“Anonymity Statement: Please remember that “Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.” What you hear here and who you “see” here, let it stay here.”

Proposal 4.1 – Increase Contribution to oso-aa.org

Eight (8) participants commented on the proposal. While there were some questions, in the end there was consensus supporting the proposal. In the next 3-day period, we will vote on the proposal as presented during the second 3-day session.

Respectfully,
danna M
GROW Business Chair

1018 – Proposal 7: Abolish OIAA Rep

Proposal 7: Abolish OIAA Representative Position

Abolish the Trusted Servant position of OIAA Representative and discontinue GROW’s participation in that group.

Rationale: The October 2018 OIAA Report reveals that OIAA continues to struggle with funds and internal conflict. Several of our past OIAA Reps have described meetings dominated by conflict, and GROW has long debated whether to continue participating.

In 2003, we considered leaving OIAA. In 2004, we decreased the amount of our contributions to OIAA. In 2008, we discussed withdrawing our Rep from OIAA and eliminating the position. In 2009, the OIAA Rep recommended continuing to contribute to OIAA but withdrawing our Rep from OIAA meetings. As a group, we decided against this. In 2009, after OIAA failed to cash two contribution checks, we decided to stop our contributions completely. In 2016, we again debated whether we should send a Rep to the meetings and whether we should eliminate the TS position. In 2017, we considered a formal proposal to discontinue our participation and eliminate the position; however, we decided to give it one more year before taking this action.

Our OIAA Rep’s Report confirms that OIAA is still plagued by the problems we’ve talked about since 2003. This time, their Treasurer absconded with OIAA’s funds. Meetings are still concerned more with personalities than with AA’s principles. Given this history, it doesn’t seem likely to improve.


Summary of Comments on Proposal 7.3

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.

Many participants 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:

  • 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.
  • 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.)
  • 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 – some of GROW’s OIAA Reps have liked their interaction with OIAA and have gone on to do service with them. GROW members have enjoyed GROW’s hosting the OIAA Suite during International AA Conferences.
  • OIAA’s relative improvement over time related to the frequency and volume of “flaming” emails.

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.)


Results of Voting on Proposal 7.3

Voting: Ten (10) participants voted in favor (56%), and eight (8) voted against Proposal 7.3. We did not meet the requirement for a 2/3 majority vote in favor of the proposal. Given that this proposal has been discussed before recently with the same outcome, the Chair will not ask for the Minority Opinion.

Proposal 7.3 is therefore set aside and cannot be revisited for one year.


Group Conscience Decision:

none

1018 – Proposal 6: Temporary Mentor

Proposal 6: Temporary Mentor & AA Resources

Each month, the Temporary Mentor will send a short letter reminding GROW members of AA resources available to them. She will also include the recommended language in Temporary Mentor Letter #1.

Rationale: Many of our members who have not been to f2f meetings and are new to our program are not aware of the many resources available to them (especially when people are not.) This is to inform / remind our members that there are real-time meetings, literature for downloading, and audio stories available at all times of the day and night.

Recommended Language:

Add a bullet to the Temporary Mentor job description as follows:

  • Each month, the Temporary Mentor will send a short letter reminding GROW members of AA resources available to them.

Insert the following as a new third paragraph in Temporary Mentor Letter #1:

Just a reminder that you can learn more about AA by visiting one of these links:

  • the Alcoholics Anonymous general services office and information such as “The AA Big Book and 12 & 12, along with many pamphlets as well as links to local resources for AA.
  • AA’s Online Intergroup (OIAA) where you can find meeting lists as wekk as real-time phone and other Internet types of meetings.
  • AA’s Grapevine magazine with stories and audio stories and Grapevine subscription options.
  • Each month, include the same language in an open message to the GROW mailing list.

Summary of Comments on Proposal 6.3

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.

During the third 3-day session, we will vote on the proposal as presented.


Results of Voting on Proposal 6.3

Voting: Nineteen (19) participants voted in favor, and no one voted against Proposal 6.3. Therefore, the proposal meets our requirement for a 2/3 majority is adopted as a Group Conscience Decision.


Group Conscience Decision:

Each month, the Temporary Mentor will send a short letter reminding GROW members of AA resources available to them. She will also include the recommended language in Temporary Mentor Letter #1.

1018 – Proposal 5: Newcomer Committee

Proposal 5: Newcomer Committee

To expand on the Temporary Mentor by establishing a Newcomer committee, as the Sponsorship pamphlet suggests some groups do. That committee could be rapid-response for new members much as the OIAA link for “Get Help Now” is. The only requirement could be much less sober time, giving our newer members an opportunity to share their experience, strength and hope.

This committee could have a list of online resources including the AA website, the Grapevine website, the OIAA web site with its links to online meetings including realtime, perhaps even speaker links such as Joe & Charlie on YouTube and other immediate resources for a suffering newcomer. It could be a group of volunteers who are able to respond within hours, as the listkeepers do. My thought is that the Temporary Mentor could lead 2-3 other women who would not hold Trusted Servant positions, like the 12th Step Volunteers.

I suggest that anyone volunteering for this list could be given the list of resources we suggest and become familiar with them before agreeing to take this on. Cruise through the AA, OIAA and Grapevine websites, use them themselves a bit. They do not need to be willing to sponsor.

Rationale: My concern is that all the support that we more-experienced online AAs know about is not known to a newcomer. Yes, a Facebook group could have addressed this, but our anonymity was so much more easily at risk. We can do this “in house” with a small group. This differs from the 12th Steppers in that many of these new members do not get as far as writing to the main list. They are sharing with the Temporary Mentor. Some have had no luck with responses to emails sent to potential sponsors. Others have been challenged to find a resource to help them locally.


Summary of Comments on Proposal 5.2

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.


Results of Voting on Proposal 5.3

Voting: Sixteen (16) participants voted in favor (80%), and four (4) voted against Proposal 5.3. Therefore, the proposal meets our requirement for a 2/3 majority is adopted as a Group Conscience Decision.


Group Conscience Decision:

To expand on the Temporary Mentor by establishing a Newcomer Committee, as the Sponsorship pamphlet suggests some groups do. That committee could be rapid-response for new members much as the OIAA link for “Get Help Now” is. The only requirement could be much less sober time, giving our newer members an opportunity to share their experience, strength and hope.

1018 – First 3-Day Session Close

Close of 1st 3-Day Session

The first 3-day session of the October 2018 meeting has closed. Participants commented on three proposals. A summary of comments will follow for each of these proposals.

Proposal 2.1 – FYI Letter Change
Proposal 3.1 – “Let It Stay Here”
Proposal 4.1 – oso-aa.org Contribution

In order to facilitate closure on Proposal 3.1, the Chair is presenting two versions for voting. The first version (3.2a) presents the original proposal, modified to reflect changes suggested by participants. The second version (3.2b) adds deletion of the existing “Anonymity Statement” which is the penultimate paragraph of the current Weekly Meeting Format Letter.

During the second 3-day session, we will vote on the above proposals and open discussions on three new proposals:

Proposal 5.2 – Temporary Mentor & Newcomer Committee
Proposal 6.2 – Temporary Mentor & AA Resources
Proposal 7.2 – Abolish OIAA Representative Position

The second 3-day session will end on Saturday, October 6. On Sunday (10/7), the Chair will announce the results of voting and summarize comments on the three new proposals.

If you have questions or comments on the process, please contact me at dmcd.grow@gmail.com. Now, prepare yourself for a string of individual e-mail messages!!!

Respectfully,
danna M
GROW Business Chair

1018 – Proposal 4: Contribution to oso-aa.org

Proposal 4: Contribution to oso-aa.org

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).

Rationale: Dean provides servers to AA groups without charging anything, and he provides technical support. Many groups make donations to help defray costs, including labor. An increase will help Dean with expenses and show our gratitude for his support over the years.

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: dean.collins@insightplanners.com) (6 months expenses)


Summary of Comments on Proposal 4.1

Eight (8) participants commented on the proposal. While there were some questions, in the end there was consensus supporting the proposal. In the next 3-day period, we will vote on the proposal as presented.


Results of Voting on Proposal 4.1

Eighteen (18) participants in favor, and no one voted against Proposal 4.1. Therefore, it is adopted as a 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).

1018 – Proposal 3: “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.”

Rationale: In f2f meetings, we respect the principle of anonymity and giving people the space to share without fear. Although it will never be perfect the familiar AA saying helps remind us of the spirit of honoring a share without repeating it. In the Group Inventory, it was noted that a person had mentioned taking pieces from shares and repeating them at other meetings. Whilst they said they omitted the name, it is still a form of repeating another person’s share elsewhere.

Recommended Language: Insert the following sentence as a separate stand-alone paragraph between the Preamble and “How It Works” in the Weekly Meeting Format Letter:

“Who you see here, what you hear here, when you leave here, let it stay here.”


Summary of Comments on Proposal 3.1

Twelve participants generated 17 comments, most of them supporting the proposal. A couple of participants felt the new language was not necessary.  One person raised the question of whether we should enforce this principle if a member violated it. No one responded to this query.

Two participants suggested changes to the wording of the insert, and those who commented expressed approval of the changes. The first was to change “what you hear here” to “what you read here” since this is an online format. The Chair has revised the proposal to reflect this change.  A second change would insert clarification of what “anonymity” means (“Anonymity refers to personal information and personal issues – not the message of recovery.”). The Chair has added this sentence to the recommended language in the revised proposal. Proposal 3.2a will include only these changes.

When it was revealed that The Weekly Meeting Format Letter already contains a similar sentence (penultimate paragraph of the format), several people felt the sentence shouldn’t appear twice. The Chair has therefore added as part of the Group Conscience decision deleting the existing penultimate paragraph (“Anonymity Statement: Please remember that “Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.” What you hear here and who you “see” here, let it stay here.” Proposal 3.2b will also include this change.

We will vote on two versions of Proposal 3 in the next three days. Proposal 3.2a incorporates the two suggested editing changes. Proposal 3.2b adds deleting the existing “Let It Stay Here” message from the end of the current Meeting Leader Format Letter.


Results of Voting on Proposal 3.2a

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. Please see the full text of version 3.2a at the end of this message.

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.

Please see the results of voting on version 3.2b for next steps (Minority Opinion).

Full Text of Proposal 3.2a
Proposal 3.2a: 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 read here, when you leave here, let it stay here.”

Recommended Language:
“Who you see here, what you read here, when you leave here, let it stay here.” (Anonymity refers to personal information and personal issues – not the message of recovery.)


Results of Voting on Proposal 3.2b

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). See the full text of Proposal 3.2b at the end of this message.

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.

Our Business Meeting Guidelines allow three days for the minority opinion to be presented and discussed. If, after hearing the minority opinion, any participant wants to change their vote from “I disagree” to “I agree” on Proposal 3.2b, we will conduct a second vote.

At this time, I request each of those who voted “I agree” on Proposal 3.2a to send me a private note letting me know if they plan to post a minority opinion.

After considering the Minority Opinion, if any participant wants to change their vote from “I disagree” to “I agree” on Proposal 3.2b, we will conduct a second vote. If the minority does not want to express their opinion, we will close this discussion, and the vote will stand.

Full Text of Proposal 3.2b:
Proposal 3.2b: 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 read here, when you leave here, let it stay here.”

Recommended Language:

  1. Insert the following sentences as a separate stand-alone paragraph between the Preamble and “How It Works” in the Weekly Meeting Format Letter:
    “Who you see here, what you read here, when you leave here, let it stay here.” (Anonymity refers to personal information and personal issues – not the message of recovery.)
  2. Delete the penultimate paragraph of the existing Weekly Meeting Format Letter which currently reads: “Anonymity Statement: Please remember that “Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.” What you hear here and who you “see” here, let it stay here.”

Discussion following Minority Opinion

Participants voted to approve Proposal 3.2b (adding the following between the Preamble and “How it Works” of the Weekly Meeting Format Letter). The proposal as approved also deleted the Anonymity Statement from the bottom of the Weekly Meeting Format Letter. The Minority Opinion argued that the Anonymity Statement should not be deleted, and several women changed their vote as a result. It was pointed out that the Anonymity Statement duplicates Tradition 12 (which is above the topic section). So, deleting only part of the Anonymity Statement is inconsistent. We will take a re-vote, addressing only the deletion of the Anonymity Statement, on Proposal 3.5 during the fifth 3-day period of our meeting.


Results of Re-vote on Proposal 3.5

Two (2) participants voted in favor, and 13 voted against (87%) Proposal 3.5 (which was limited to deleting the Anonymity Statement from the bottom of the Weekly Meeting Format Letter). The vote exceeds the requirement for a 2/3 majority, so this part of Proposal 3 fails.

Therefore, the existing Anonymity Statement in the Weekly Meeting Format Letter will not be deleted.


Group Conscience Decision:

The existing Anonymity Statement in the Weekly Meeting Format Letter will not be deleted.

1018 – Proposal 2: Change FYI Letter

Proposal 2: Change FYI Letter

Delete item d. (Web Page Information) in the GROW FYI CONTENTS section of the FYI Letter sent out by the Secretary each month.

Rationale: Currently, the bullet is in the contents, but no such information is provided in the body of the text.


Summary of Comments on Proposal 2.1

Five people commented on the proposal, all agreeing with it. We will vote on Proposal 2.1 in the next 3-day period.


Results of Voting on Proposal 2.1

Voting: Fifteen (15) participants in favor, and no one voted against Proposal 2.1. Therefore, Proposal 2 is adopted as a 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.

1018 – Treasurer’s Report

Oct 2018 – Treasurer’s Report

Donations
$142.07 Bal from April 2018
$214.65 PayPal donations
$160.03 Ally Bk check donations
$516.85 Total Donations

Distributions
TBD GSO*
TBD Dean Collin/oso.aa.org*
$0 Grapevine
$0.90 International Exchange
$122.00 Prudent Reserve
TBD Total Distributions

TBD Balance

*A proposal is being considered that would change the amount paid to oso-aa.org, which would affect the amount distributed to GSO.

Respectfully,
Sue W.
Treasurer

1018 – Secretary’s Report

Oct 2018 – Secretary’s Report

Outgoing Trusted Servants

  • 12 Step Volunteer Listkeeper (4/18-10/18): Cara A. (caracadams@gmail.com)
  • Birthday Listkeeper (4/18-10/18): Kristen (pequenogato2@gmail.com)
  • Business Meeting Chair (10/16-10/18)): Danna M. (dmcd9999@zoho.com)
  • GSR (10/16-10/18): Joan B. (joanb333@gmail.com)
  • GVR (10/17-10/18): Sophie (sophieflook@gmail.com)
  • OIAA Representative (‪10/17 – 10/18)): Jenny P (jsaufler@gmail.com)
  • Secretary (10/17-10/18): Karrie C. (kchaneycoo@gmail.com)
  • Sponsor Listkeeper (4/18-10/18): Susan P. (susan.poplawski@gmail.com)
  • Webkeeper Backup (10/16-10/18): Cheryl D. (cdematt@gmail.com)

Incoming Trusted Servants

  • 12 Step Volunteer Listkeeper (10/18-4/18): Danna M (dmcd9999@zoho.com)
  • Birthday Listkeeper (10/18-4/19): Sophie F (sophieflook@gmail.com)
  • Business Meeting Chair (10/18-10/20): VACANT
  • GSR (10/18-10/20): Kate M (ammakate@yahoo.com)
  • GVR (10/18-10/19): Barbara M (barbaramanolache@aol.com)
  • OIAA Representative (10/18-10/19): Laura Graham (grahamlaura1989@gmail.com)
  • Secretary (10/18-10/19): Ruth Flemming (serenity9918@gmail.com)
  • Sponsor Listkeeper (10/18-4/19): Cheryl Baughman (cab7thtradition@gmail.com)
  • Webkeeper Backup (10/18-10/20): Allison McGuigan (paonia.allison@gmail.com)

Current Trusted Servants as of October 2018

Our Trusted Servants:

  • 12 Step Volunteer Listkeeper (10/18-4/19): Danna M. (dmcd9999@zoho.com)
  • Birthday Listkeeper (10/18-4/19): Sophie (sophieflook@gmail.com)
  • Sponsor Listkeeper (10/18-4/19): Cheryl B. (cab7thtradition@gmail.com)

Trusted Servants who make up the Steering Committee:

  • Business Meeting Chair (10/18-10/20): VACANT
  • GSR (10/18-10/20): Kate M. (ammakate@yahoo.com)
  • GVR (10/18-10/19): Barbara M. (barbaramanolache@aol.com)
  • Greeter (4/18-4/19): Gigi (telperion.1214@gmail.com)
  • Greeter (4/18-4/19): Laurie B. (rubylaurie@gmail.com)
  • Listkeeper (4/18-4/19): Nancy (cybergram@eastlink.ca)
  • Listkeeper Alternate (4/18-4/20): Karen (fromie10@gmail.com)
  • OIAA Rep (10/18-10/20): Laura G. (grahamlaura1989@gmail.com)
  • Secretary (10/18-10/19): Ruth F. (serenity9918@gmail.com)
  • Temporary Mentor (4/18-4/19): Louise (wemerrilymeet@gmail.com)
  • Treasurer (10/17-10/19): Sue W. (scwills502@gmail.com)
  • Webkeeper (non-rotating): Tanya C. (Tanyaq42@gmail.com)
  • Webkeeper Backup (10/18-10/20): Allison M (paonia.allison@gmail.com
  • Weekly Leader Listkeeper (4/18-4/19): Amanda D. (amandabauman26@icloud.com)
  • Immediate Past Business Meeting Chair: Danna M. (dmcd9999@zoho.com)
  • Immediate Past GSR: Joan B. (joanb333@gmail.com)
  • Immediate past OIAA: Jenny P (jsaufler@gmail.com)
  • Immediate Past Secretary: Karrie C. (kchaneycoo@gmail.com)

1018 – OIAA Representative Report

Oct 2018 – OIAA Representative Report

Hi, I’m Jenny, an alcoholic and your group representative at the Online Intergroup of Alcoholics Anonymous.

OIAA is the global intergroup for online meetings of all kinds. Members are from all over the world and they provide the first line of communication for people seeking help/info/meeting information via the web. There is a very active 12th step committee; for every request for help they receive, over three responses are sent to the individual questioner.

Most members, including GROW, participate in the monthly role call by saying a little about their online meeting such as format, number of members, etc. Participation throughout the month is spotty and often includes a lot of cross talk. The last 6 months of meetings have been difficult for me to “attend” simply because there is so much frustration being vented.

Sometime before April, the previous treasurer absconded with the treasury (approx. $3,000). As a result, funds are low and tensions are high. Incoming funds are low, willing servants are hard to find, and some of the “old timers” are angry about it (and not afraid to say so). Part of the frustration is that without participation, OIAA may cease to exist. Full disclosure: I do not hold a service position at OIAA.

There is a monthly topic meeting (Tradition and concept) which while somewhat educational and informative still has all the above issues.

Thank you for letting me be of service.

Jenny P.
OIAA Representative

1018 – Listkeepers’ Report

Oct 2018 – Listkeepers’ Report

Our membership as of September 27, 2018 is 364. Regular list members 323 and 41 Digest members (this number is always a little larger than our actual count because some members have two subscriptions – one for regular posts and one for digests and some members have two regular list addresses).

This time last year we had 319 members. We are GROWING!

Karen and I have been working together for a few years in various capacities and have a great working relationship!

Our Greeters, Laurie and Gigi are doing an excellent job and we all enjoy working together!

Respectfully submitted,
Karen H and Nancy C
GROW Listkeepers

1018 – GVR Report

Oct 2018 – GVR Report

I have been Grapevine Rep (GVR) for 12 months. Each month I’ve sent out one email containing the Grapevine topic for the month and various other AA/Grapevine announcements.

At the last Business Meeting we agreed that the Grapevine topic could be better highlighted and this does seem to have encouraged more sharing from Grow members on the monthly topic.

I always copied and pasted an article related to the topic in full at the end of my GVR email. This is permitted by Grapevine as it’s us sharing it with our group. Feedback seems to show that Grow members appreciate having the story there in full to read.

I have always felt some of the Grapevine announcements get a bit lost in the monthly topic meeting email, and it was my intention to send out a second email just for these; however, I didn’t but I’ve passed that on as an idea in my handover of the service position to the incoming GVR.

I also discovered towards the end of my term that there is a handbook or set of guidelines available to GVRs. It is on the Grapevine website and I’ve emailed a link to it for the incoming GVR. I found it really useful to read about the history of the magazine, the format, how it carries the message and how it’s a recovery tool and the explanations as to why things are in it, I definitely recommend we continue to inform future GVRs that these guidelines are there.

Final thought… there’s a lot of audio available through the Grapevine website! Worth checking out if you have a subscription.

Thanks for letting me serve as GVR.

In love and service
Sophie

1018 – GSR Report

Oct 2018 – GSR Report

The current issue of Box 459, Summer 2018, has some touching articles and some informative articles.

The cover article tells the story of getting the Big Book translated into Navajo, which is an oral language.  Many dedicated people kept the project going for years to insure an accurate translation in the native language.   It’s an inspiring read.

There is information on openings for Trustees, an informative piece about myths and misconceptions concerning outside interests in AA, medical, judicial, treatment.  The General Service conference is summarized with recommendations put forward there.

There are 2 requests from AA members to share for the development of 2 new pamphlets, one for Spanish speaking women and one for experience concerning the 3 legacies of recovery, service and unity.

As always there is a list of AA functions, mostly in the US, but a few outside as well.

Box 459 is available online at
https://www.aa.org/newsletters/en_US/en_box459_summer_2018.pdf

Joan B.
GSR

1018 – Mini Steering Committee Report

Oct 2018 Mini Steering Committee Report

The “mini” Steering Committee (Chair, Secretary, and Listkeepers) dealt with two incidents in the last six months. Both of them involved differences of opinion between two members and were settled quickly. Neither incident was directly related to GROW operations or AA traditions.

Respectfully submitted,
danna M
GROW Business Meeting Chair
dmcd.grow@gmail.com

2018 Group Inventory Responses

2018 Group Inventory – Responses to Questions

  1. What is the basic purpose of the group?
  2. What more can the group do to carry the message?
  3. Do new members stick with us, or does the turnover seem excessive?
  4. Do we emphasize the importance of sponsorship? How effectively? How can we do better?
  5. Are we careful to preserve the anonymity of our group members and other A.A.’s outside the meeting rooms? Do we leave the confidences they share at meetings behind?
  6. What more can the group do to carry the message?
  7. Are all members given the opportunity to speak at meetings and to participate in other group activities?
  8. Are we mindful that holding office is a great responsibility not to be viewed as the outcome of a popularity contest, are we choosing our officers with care?
  9. Does the group do its fair share toward participating in the purpose of A.A. – as it relates to our “Three Legacies” of Recovery, Unity and Service?
  10. As a group, do we remain informed about AA as a whole? Do we support, in every way we can AA as a whole or just the parts we understand and approve of?
  11. Are we considerate of all our members?
  12. As a group, have we done a thorough and fearless inventory, or have we missed an important element?

Question 1. What is the basic purpose of the group?

  • To carry the AA msg & support other women in recovery.
  • As we are an A.A. group I find our basic purpose to be to carry the message of AA.
  • To share our hope, strength and experience of the AA program, to show those still suffering that there is a way out.
  • The basic purpose of this group is to provide a safe place online for women who are alcoholics to find strength, support, and hope, and grow their program.
  • To spread the message to the still-suffering alcoholic.
  • To provide support to AA members, an alternative to face to face meetings that may be tough to get to for whatever reason/or in addition to f2f meetings, to share experience, strength and hope.
  • To carry the AA message and help women recover and live sober lives!
  • To stay sober and to help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety. To provide an alternative or supplement to attending f2f meetings.
  • to carry the message to other (women) alcoholics – new and old
  • To maintain our sobriety and to help others alcoholics achieve sobriety. To make this possible via the internet to reach out to recovering alcoholics and to newcomers. To make AA available to those who can attend f2f meetings, but also to those who are shut-ins for a variety of reasons.
  • To stay sober
  • To carry the message in the spirit of the traditions
  • Our basic purpose is to spread the message of AA to those who seek it. To provide support and daily interaction through our AA program/lifeline.
  • The purpose of the group for me is help each other achieve sobriety.
  • To help other alcoholics to get and to stay sober.
  • GROW provides an online ‘venue’ for an AA meeting and general support amongst AA members. I’ve observed this to be a home group for some or a supplementary group for others that already attend f2f meeting.
  • The basic purpose of GROW is to help women recover from alcoholism by carrying the message of hope in the program of Alcoholics Anonymous.
  • The purpose of the group is to carry the message of recovery in AA, using the 12 steps and adhering to the 12 traditions.
  • I believe the basic purpose is to help the new sober female in her sober journey. As well as support all members with varying degrees of sobriety.

Question 2. What more can the group do to carry the message?

  • Since we are a program of attraction rather than promotion, I don’t see what more we can do except be listed as an online AA group.
  • I think inquires are answered promptly and new members are welcomed.
  • Follow up with newcomers, if they aren’t sharing with the group or disappear for a period of time.
  • I like the 12th step list that we have, and the welcome for new members.
  • These are good beginnings in providing a foundation to carry the message.
  • When I was new to AA and attended my first few f2f meetings I was approached by women after the meeting and we exchanged telephone numbers. One of those women rang me every few days to see how I was, to find out how I was getting on with the meetings I’d been getting to. She suggested other meetings to try and generally helped me through those early weeks, introducing me to other women or giving me the name of someone at a meeting to look out for.
  • When I meet a new woman in a f2f meeting this is what I do, or try to do. If they’re new to the meeting or new to AA or new to the area I still do this. If I’d been left to find my own way I’m not sure I would have made it.
  • I wonder if there’s something in this that could be translated into our online meeting environment? As a way to help carry the message?
  • The other idea I have relates to us as a group emailing some of our sharing to Grapevine. They are keen to hear about any aspect of recovery and sobriety and I’ve often thought that as we are perhaps more used to sharing in writing we would be in a positive position to carry the AA message through Grapevine. It would be up to individual group members but perhaps the GVR could highlight specific topics that Grapevine are looking for contributions on, or reminders that shares on Steps or Traditions or birthday shares are always useful and welcome. It’s not just about getting them published in the printed magazine, there’s a lot of articles that are just published on the GV website.
  • Members could carry the message more by sharing it with their physicians, therapists, and in their face to face meetings.However, I would fear that if the group became too large we would have an issue.
  • Encourage more members to participate in share in our topics and volunteering.
  • Possibly send out a big book excerpt mid week to the group – maybe one that matches the topic of the week – so everyone could read it quick on an email. If things get sent to me instead of me taking it upon myself to find it, I am more apt to read it :)-I think we do a great job here at Grow. There are many members who share their ESH and believe the regular meeting, monthly step and tradition as well as Grapevine meeting, I think we are all carrying the message.
  • I think we are doing a good job. We are easy enough to find on aa-intergroup.org, and it sounds like we get some friends-of-friends referrals.  We remain rooted in the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions of AA, which keeps us on the right path.
  • word of mouth – if I meet a woman in a meeting who doesn’t have access to f2f meetings or who might go travelling I usually share with her about grow
  • I can’t think of anything. Changes have been made in the past to enchance GROW (i.e, adding the Grapevine topic) and some are in the works (updating the GROW site to a new software).
  • To carry the 12 step message
  • I love talking about the traditions and am wondering if there is a way to invite people to share on them in a different way. We don’t have a lot of women posting on the tradition/step of the month. Could they be sent out separately with a piece of text from the 12×12 to get people started?
  • I believe we are doing all we can according to the Big Book. We are here for those who seek sobriety.
  • I like the Sunday meeting. Perhaps suggestions on the literature related to the topic.
  • GROW is doing many things right by me. What more can it do? No suggestions.
  • I don’t have suggestions as I feel GROW does a wonderful job now.
  • We can make sure that we stay visible, especially in the online world of AA. We can also spread the word individually in our f2f groups by sharing about it in groups as a whole and with individuals who might find benefit from our group.
  • Be a giving example to people we meet in the community.
  • Pray for those in the rooms and out of the rooms.

Question 3. Do new members stick with us, or does the turnover seem excessive?

  • Hard to tell, as a newcomer myself!
  • I often wonder what happens to all the new women that we welcome! Only a very small number seem to share in the weekly topic meetings.
  • I remember when I joined I had a lot of correspondence with a Greeter. She answered all my questions and was encouraging and welcoming. I kept in touch with her quite frequently in my first few weeks as a member here, but I wasn’t new to AA so I had experience of how groups and meetings work, of what the program is and isn’t.
  • I guess at the moment it’s up to us as individuals to reach out to members we might not have heard share for a while or to newcomers we’ve greeted /welcomed or exchanged messages with but how do we know if this is happening?
  • The 12th step list is a way of carrying the message to those sharing but what about those who don’t share? In a f2f meeting we’d see the ones who come late, sit at the back, leave early etc.
  • Is there a way of having some kind of temporary sponsor or buddy available?
  • Interested to see what others share on this question.
  • I think the turnover seems normal. We see the same in face to face groups, as well as other online groups. Social media is one of those things where people pop in and out of; we’re such a transient society as it is, sadly.
  • turnover does not seem excessive
  • I am a newcomer and from what I have seen it does not seem excessive. I am not sure how many members we have but I don’t see a lot of people asking to be taken off the mailing list… not sure that I would see them all anyway
  • I think we have had a good run lately of people sticking! I hope that continues! 🙂
  • I doubt we have more turnover than most f2f groups. Some newcomers may think that they will stay sober by reading emails and will learn that it doesn’t work any better than just showing up to a meeting and not accepting the help that is offered to them there.   I think we do a good job of welcoming our new members in and inviting them to participate.
  • I wouldn’t know about numbers for turn over – I only see emails that are sent to the entire group which request to remove from the list – not sure if people stick or not
  • I don’t always share but I read the emails so maybe that’s the case with a lot of people.
  • In my opinion, the turnover has gotten less over the past couple of years.
  • I don’t know about turn over and not sure it matters because from what I have read some members live in isolated places or travel and this meeting forum is the only way to keep sober.
  • There are a lot of people unsubscribing by posting to the group. It makes it seem like a lot of women are leaving. And it seems to be people who haven’t posted very much.
  • I think the number of those who go back out is the same as face-to-face meetings, maybe slightly more because of the ease of internet contact. Maybe we could ‘assign’ someone to maintain contact with newcomers?
  • I can’t answer since I have no idea about the statistics.
  • I cannot accurately comment on how many join and then leave GROW. Still, I have some thoughts to share:
  • My visual memory is much stronger than any other form, so I refer to what I see in my f2f group. The vast majority of AA visitors come and go within a few months. The majority of members leave within a couple of years. Some stick for five or more years. I only regularly go to one meeting nearly every week, my home group, so I don’t know how many move on to other groups. I’d say no more than 5% have continuous sobriety in AA for more than a couple of years.
  • My intuition is that society needs more treatment methods for alcoholism. AA is not the best treatment for everybody. Fortunately, it is not the only treatment. We need to better understand why humans use and abuse alcohol. We need to understand the mind through neuroscience.
  • Not being a list keeper, I don’t know what the turnover rate is.
  • We have no way of knowing. The listkeepers publish numbers every business meeting but that does not tell us if newcomers are staying.  Also we cannot know if new members are leaving GROW to go to f2f meetings, having been supported to do so by finding GROW online first.  Every once in a while someone will share that, which is lovely!
  • We do have turnover, but I compare it to f2f groups and I don’t think it’s excessive.
  • It would appear that way. So not sure of reasons. Maybe found a f2f meeting, too time consuming, not disciplined to read shares every day. Hate to think it, go back out and just not sharing enough but reading the shares. The latter is me!

Question 4. Do we emphasize the importance of sponsorship? How effectively? How can we do better?

  • Some new GROW members are on their first day of sobriety and some just joining us have decades in AA, so women at different points in their program want different things. The monthly sponsor list (hopefully) lets newer ladies know that sponsors are available here.  I have never approached any GROW member asking clarification or more information and not gotten the help I sought.
  • I think we do what we can to suggest sponsorship to the new people that come in. Sending out the sponsorship list reminds those that we have many women available and willing to sponsor.
  • All we can do is continue to make the suggestion of sponsorship. I think we are effective in doing that.
  • “Do I have a Sponsor?” – that was one of the first questions I was asked by several members when they welcomed me to GROW. That was 7 years ago so don’t know if newcomers are being asked that now. I think the importance of sponsorship is emphasized almost every week.At times the meeting topic is Sponsorship. The weekly shares often mention members talking to their sponsors- or by being of service by being a sponsor. And the Sponsor List is sent out monthly.
  • We have the monthly sponsorship reminder that goes out as a reminder about sponsorship. It’s hard to know whether newcomers are approached because it happens privately. I feel that this meeting is so clear in its emphasis on steps and traditions that the importance of sponsorship comes through in shares.
  • I think we do a pretty good job of focusing on sponsorship. Of course, most of this comes when people share. We also have a Temporary Mentor to help people new to the group and a list of women who are available to sponsor on our website. I don’t know what more we could do.
  • I think we do a good job. One suggestion would be to send the list of sponsors to each new person to our group when they join. I am not sure how many women are now in the group, but our list of sponsors is rather short.
  • A list of available sponsors is sent out monthly to all members, along with an invitation to join our list of sponsors.We also have a Temporary Mentor position. Perhaps she could remind the members from time to time that she is available, temporarily, to assist until they find a Sponsor?
  • I think we share the importance of sponsorship in shares. In addition a list of online sponsors is published monthly.

Question 5. Are we careful to preserve the anonymity of our group members and other A.A.’s outside the meeting rooms? Do we leave the confidences they share at meetings behind?

  • I have mentioned at f2f meetings that I am a member of an online group; if someone asks me for more details I let them know how to go through the process of joining but don’t volunteer to forward emails. At times, I have copied/pasted shares on a specific topic for someone in a local group but I have never shared email information or identifiers other than first names as included in the shares.  I would hope that other GROW members do this or stuff like it.
  • I don’t know that there is any way to confirm or deny that we are doing a good job of this. I believe that the women that are here are trying to practice the principles in all their affairs, to the best of their ability and that includes preserving anonymity. We highlight the traditions in our weekly meeting and the step and tradition meeting, each month.
  • I can’t speak of others but I know I do. And we are reminded each week in GROW and at all the F2F meetings I attend by the reading of the Anonymity Statement.
  • I’m careful! there have been a changes made in the scripts re: not forwarding things no urls and the recent discussion of anonymity and Facebook for GROW and that has all contributed to this awareness of privacy and confidentiality .
  • GROW is very good about protecting people’s anonymity outside the meeting, but that is fairly easy with an online meeting. There is some personal information on our website for women who have volunteered to be Trusted Servants, but the website is password protected. I’m not personally aware of any issues with anonymity coming up in the past. Occasionally, I share at my f2f meetings about something a Grow member has shared, but the focus is on the message, not the particulars.
  • I think we do a good job. One example is voting down a facebook page because of the risk of member exposure.
  • I respect the spirit of anonymity. I will protect a member’s name but may share a part of her story with another alcoholic if I think it will help her.
  • I have not heard complaints about this, so I assume anonymity is respected.

Question 6. Do we take the time to explain to all members the value to the group of following our guidelines of e-mail etiquette? As a member, am I familiar with and do I follow these guidelines?

  • I think we do a good job of making the information available to all of our members. What they do with it is up to them, though.  Our guidelines are clear and succinct.
  • I believe that by sending out the monthly etiquette guide we are doing what we can to remind those of the guidelines. They are similar to that of f2f meetings so I am familiar and continue to practice them. There are many trusted servants here that I’m sure go out of their way to help those that don’t understand or follow the guidelines. I appreciate the desire of the women here to follow them. Doesn’t seem to me that we have many disruptions.
  • I believe so. The Guidelines are sent out regularly and if someone slips up, the members are reminded again of the Guidelines.
  • I’m familiar with the guidelines and follow them. And I do worry about newcomers who are very sensitive. It’s important to enforce the guidelines but with compassion!
  • I don’t know if we actually explain to everyone why our guidelines are important, but I know that people are great about adhering to them. There are few distractions in our meetings from our focus on recovery from alcoholism, and conflicts are not visible in the online meeting. When issues come up, they are addressed privately with the members involved. As a long-time member, yes, I am familiar with the guidelines and try hard to adhere to them.
  • I want to say that I am familiar but at the same time it wouldnt hurt me to go over the guidelines. Pretty sure that the only thing I may violate is character length.
  • Our Secretary sends us a list of Group Guidelines each month. I understand and follow the Guidelines to the best of my ability
  • I think we explain this when someone does not follow the guidelines. New members receive them and they are published monthly, but I think it’s in private that they are enforced.

Question 7. Are all members given the opportunity to speak at meetings and to participate in other group activities?

  • Members are given a week to respond to the weekly topic. Options for participating in service work, Grapevine posts, topic leaders and 12th step work opportunities are posted. I believe we do a very good job with this.
  • I think Grow encourages people to share in meetings on topic and to participate in our business meetings. Unfortunately, sometimes it feels like few people hear those messages. We have over 200 members, yet often it is the same people sharing each week on topic. The list of people participating in business meetings doesn’t seem to change much from year to year. It’s hard to know how to encourage more participation in an online group.
  • I think all members are given the opportunity to speak in meetings. The meeting is open to all who wish to share. And members can also share Off Topic.
  • I’m not clear about what the other group activities are.
  • Are all members given the opportunity to speak at meetings and to participate in other group activities? Yes. Everyone is encouraged to share on the topic, step and tradition, grapevine and the business meeting.
  • Yes, I feel sharing by any group member is welcomed and encouraged in Grow, quite often the weekly lead will say something along these lines.
  • The wording for participation in this inventory is a good example of how we do this too.
  • Perhaps there’s room for improvement in encouraging more members to participate in the business meetings?
  • Yes, indeed, every member has the opportunity to share in this group.
  • This is an easy one for a group that uses email, everyone can participate at any time.
  • I have never seen anything to indicate that members are denied an opportunity to speak, on topic or not, and to be included in group activities.

Question 8. Are we mindful that holding office is a great responsibility not to be viewed as the outcome of a popularity contest, are we choosing our officers with care?

  • In Grow, we are grateful when people step up to take a service position. Every cycle, it is like pulling teeth to get people other than the ‘regulars’ to take a service position. It is NOT a popularity contest, as we seldom have to worry about two people volunteering for the same job (so there is no vote).
  • We publish the positions that are open and refer to service work being important to our sobriety. I don’t believe since I’ve been a member of this group that we ever had to choose between two people so I don’t believe it’s a choice of any sort. If I’m correct it seems like it’s first to volunteer first to serve.
  • I believe the majority of the members are aware that holding office is a responsibility. The job description of each office position makes it clear what the responsibilities are and the qualities one needs to fill the position to the fullest. If someone has questions, they are free to ask. I know there are some positions I can’t fill due to my skill set. Having the best qualified members who desire to fill a posiwetion enhances GROW.
  • I believe that anyone who wants to be of service and serve a role of a trusted servant to this group is welcome to do so. I haven’t seen it as a popularity contest.
  • I think the advantage of us being online is that there’s less room for making things into a popularity contest and our guidelines around email etiquette seem to work well in helping us as a group avoid conflict in our meetings.
  • The job descriptions are helpful but also highlight the responsibilities involved.
  • As for Trusted Servants, we try to be careful that each one will be able to perform the tasks of the position. It is more a matter of who is willing and able than a popularity contest in this group. I am certainly glad for this.
  • Yes
  • Frankly it never occurred to me that it could be a popularity contest–it is my feeling that holding an office in such an esteemed organization like this is a very serious responsibility that requires commitment and time.

Question 9. Does the group do its fair share toward participating in the purpose of A.A. – as it relates to our “Three Legacies” of Recovery, Unity and Service?

  • Seeing the short list perhaps more members of GROW could volunteer for sponsorship opportunities.
  • At face-to-face meetings we always call 1st step when we have someone new to AA. Perhaps we could share privately with that person our first step stories.
  • I think Grow does as much as it can to participate in AA overall. We have representatives on OIAA and GSO. We are good about supporting and promotion the Three Legacies.
  • GROW members participate in the 3 Legacies of Recovery, Unity and Service by addressing the physical, mental and spiritual parts of our disease through their shares – although it may said be indirectly.
  • I believe we do. We are a group of women that truly focus on recovery and the solution. We do a good job of reminding each other it is a we program and that is being of service.
  • In my experience we seem to do best at Recovery & Service.
  • Regarding Unity, I’ve found warm, supportive, loving, generous fellowship amongst the women in the group but I know I’m quite good at reaching out. I wonder if members who don’t reach out themselves get reached out to? Like if someone goes quiet and doesn’t share for a while do members reach out to check in with that person?
  • Also, how unified are we with AA as a whole? I’m not feeling like there’s dis-Unity, just maybe that it’s the nature of us being online that means it may be harder to feel the unity with the wider AA fellowship online or offline.
  • The legacy of Recovery we do very well imho.
  • The legacy of Unity we typically do about as well as most groups I’ve participated in. We are open to all opinions in our business meetings, and when we do not have a consensus, we work towards that with care.
  • The legacy of Service at levels above the group are not as open to us as an online group. It has not always been easy to convince our members of the need to stay connected to OIAA but I personally believe this is very important. As an international group we have not formally associated with a particular Service office. We are registered as an online group with GSO in New York. Most of us are in the US and tend to think of that as the group to affiliate with. But we have or have had members in Australia, New Zealand, and Europe, and have not heard much about their Service offices. These are the facts as I know them today.
  • Yes, the group welcomes new members, everyone is invited to share and to serve as trusted servants. The business meeting is open to all and everyone has a voice in making decisions.
  • The joy of this group is its dedicated focus on the principles of AA and all sharings these legacies.

Question 10: As a group, do we remain informed about AA as a whole? Do we support, in every way we can AA as a whole or just the parts we understand and approve of?

  • I’m pretty sure we do what we can to support AA in the way I learned AA works… Service, unity and recovery. Sharing the message. One alcoholic talking to another, or the grateful recovering women in the group. 🙂
  • As a group we are informed about AA as a whole through our GSR and our OIAA Rep. How much any individual chooses to avail themselves of this information, there is no way to know.  I am grateful when our GSR sends the Box 4-5-9 link to the group.  I also appreciate when our OIAA Rep sends us a report of what is going on in our Intergroup.
  • I would say this is an area we could improve on.
  • We have Box 459 newsletter sent out which is really useful and informative but we have no other communication either from our inter group or announcements about aa news or business or events that might be relevant.
  • I feel it is a bit like we operate as a group in a bit of a bubble apart from aa as a whole.
  • We support the Traditions of AA, as well as our own GROW Guidelines. To keep us informed about AA as a whole, we could have more input from the GSR and OIAA Meetings.
  • Not really aware of our following developments about AA as a whole but I dont in our f2f meetings either. On the other hand, I see no difference between GROW and the AA we find outside.
  • We have reps for Grapevine, OIAA & GSO who report/present to the group. Not sure what else we could do to participate with AA as a whole.

Question 11: Are we considerate of all our members?

  • I believe we are. In any AA group there are men and women at different stages of their recovery. Some may approach recovery differently. But I believe we are all here because we don’t want to be out there… And that we are considerate to each other.
  • I believe that we are very considerate of all our members. I myself have tried to help and been seen as interfering; that was not my intention but without personal connection that can be hard to portray.  The last thing I want to do is to upset a Trusted Servant who is just trying to do her job.  We now have the small steering committee to handle any disruptions, as well as our trusted Secretary.
  • There are lots of examples where we are very considerate – prayer requests when members are ill or struggling. This is wonderful and feels warm and loving and supportive.
  • Our email etiquette means we don’t get exposed to some of the problems some online meetings experience, like flaming.
  • Is there more we could do to consider the needs of new or returning women? Assigning a buddy, perhaps? Someone to keep in touch as the woman finds her feet?
  • I believe that we are considerate of all our members by welcoming them to the group, and by sending personal messages of sobriety celebrations. Also, by following our Group Guidelines and Email Etiquette, members are considerate of each other.
  • The only area I could suggest being more considerate, “softer”, is when someone breaks the etiquette rules. Sometimes they are newcomers who are just finding their way and feel chastised/criticized and leave the group. Perhaps we could send a softer message to the offending member.

Question 12: As a group, have we done a thorough and fearless inventory, or have we missed an important element?

  • I think GROW does a GREAT job to see where they can grow (sorry no pun intended) and change. By holding our group to the standards of any AA group, I believe we have done a great job practicing these principles in all our affairs. (I’ve been a part of three women’s groups and this one is my favorite. By far!)
  • It seems that there are elements that could be missing from our inventory questions, which were written for f2f groups.I believe that this group possibly draws in part from women who are not sure that they are alcoholics and want to find out what AA is like without going to f2f meetings.  The experience of being a part of a group of alcoholics who are smiling, laughing, hugging and otherwise relating in a healthy manner is not to be missed.  We encourage new members to find this for themselves when they can.  That is all we can do!
  • I think the questions have been really useful.
  • It’s great to have a chance to read the thoughts of others who’ve participated.
  • The inventory may be thorough but the important element to me is what actions could be taken next, or at least discussed.
  • Without the next part of the process does the thoroughness become somewhat irrelevant?
  • There is no area in which I find GROW lacking.The format protects the process, ruling out crosstalk, etc.  There are established protocols for most any circumstance that comes to my mind.

1018 – Business Meeting Open

October 2018 Business Meeting Open

Greetings GROW Members:

The October 2018 Business Meeting (GROW-BUS) is now open. If you wish to participate, please send an email to the following address requesting to join the Business List grow-owner@oso-aa.org – if you have not already done so.

PLEASE:

  • Send all replies, comments and votes to grow-business@oso-aa.org.
  • Do not hit reply to this email or your request will come to me instead of the Listkeepers.
  • Do not send your request to the GROW meeting list, or your request may be overlooked.
  • Trusted Servants (both Incoming and Outgoing) are automatically subscribed by our Listkeepers.
  • If you are not a Trusted Servant, remember that even if you were subscribed for a previous GROW Business Meeting, you must subscribe again, as all names are removed from the list at the end of each meeting.

Agenda for October 2018 Business Meeting
Trusted Servant Reports:

  • Secretary – Incoming/Outgoing Trusted Servants
  • Treasurer – Donations to GROW and Expenses paid
  • Listkeepers – Current number of GROW members
  • Business Meeting Chair – Activities of the “Mini” Steering Committee
  • General Services Representative – Activities of AA’s General Service Board and the Box 4-5-9 Newsletter
  • Grapevine Representative – Activities to inform GROW members about articles and information available in AA’s Grapevine, the international journal of Alcoholics Anonymous.
  • OIAA Representative – Activities of the Online Intergroup of AA

In the October 2018 meeting, an ad hoc committee began developing and implementing a new GROW website. Our first business will be to receive and discuss the workgroup’s progress to date and talk about next steps (Proposal 1).

In addition to GROW’s website, participants in this meeting will consider several proposals:

  • Change the monthly FYI letter sent out by the Secretary.
  • Add a sentence to the Weekly Meeting Format Letter to emphasize our principle of anonymity.
  • Increase the amount of our biannual contribution to oso-aa.org.
  • Create a Newcomer Committee to support the Temporary Mentor to assure quick responses to questions and issues and to help new members adjust to the online meeting format and practices.
  • Each month, the Temporary Mentor will send a short letter reminding GROW members of AA resources available to them.
  • Abolish the Trusted Servant position of OIAA Representative and discontinue GROW’s participation in that group.
  • Review Group Inventory responses to identify appropriate changes that will improve our online meeting.

I look forward to your participation at the meeting!

Regards,
danna M.
GROW Business Chairdmcd.grow@zoho.com

1018 – Business Meeting Welcome

Oct 2018 – Business Meeting Welcome

Greetings, and welcome to the October 2018 Business Meeting of Grateful Recovering Online Women (GROW).

I am danna, a recovering alcoholic, and your Business Chair for this meeting. Thank you for participating!

This is a closed meeting, open only to members of GROW, for the discussion of business as it relates to our group. Our business meetings run in four-day segments and last no more than 29 days.

I will post each Agenda item, one by one, in separate emails and **ask that you respond to each accordingly.** This makes it easier to “tally” the responses and suggestions to each item. We will have a three-day period of open discussion on each Agenda item. This, hopefully, will allow all members regardless of work schedules, time zones, etc. to participate and comment. At the beginning of the fourth day, I will post the results/consensus of our discussions.

Before we begin, let’s have a moment of silence to reflect on why we are here, followed by the Serenity Prayer.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference. Amen.

In this Business Meeting, let us be guided by The Twelve Traditions:

  1. Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon A.A. unity.
  2. For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority — a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.
  3. The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking.
  4. Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or A.A. as a whole.
  5. Each group has but one primary purpose—to carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers.
  6. An A.A. group ought never endorse, finance or lend the A.A. name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property and prestige divert us from our primary purpose.
  7. Every A.A. group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.
  8. Alcoholics Anonymous should remain forever nonprofessional, but our service centers may employ special workers.
  9. A.A., as such, ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.
  10. Alcoholics Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the A.A. name ought never be drawn into public controversy.
  11. Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio and films.
  12. Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.

Let us all keep in mind our Unity of Service statement from the Grapevine of September 1998:

“Unity seldom means that we all agree on everything. Nor is unity served by setting aside our concerns and conforming to the majority opinion (or the vocal minority) . . . Unity is best achieved by a full hearing of all points of view . . . time for all of those involved to step back from emotional responses . . . as well as careful consideration and prayer for that which will best serve the group or AA as a whole.”

Thank you for being here and for your dedication to GROW.

Respectfully submitted,
danna M.
GROW Business Chair
dmcd.grow@gmail.com