0419 – Proposal 13: Weekly Topic Message

Proposal 13: Weekly Topic Leader Message 

Add language about a On-call Meeting Leader List to Weekly Topic Leader Message and make additional edits to the Weekly Leader Listkeeper Responsibilites.

Recommended Language: “My name is [ Weekly Topic Leader Listkeeper Name ]. I am an alcoholic, and I’m also your
Weekly Leader Listkeeper. I am taking volunteers for the [ time period ].
Here is the calendar of our upcoming leaders scheduled to chair. A big GROW thank you to all
who are committed to growing in service.
Month: [ Month ]
[ Date, Name ] Step Meeting
[ Date, Name ]
[ Date, Name ]
[ Date, Name ]
Here is your opportunity to volunteer to lead a weekly meeting, choosing a topic that relates to
your individual experience, strength and hope or a topic you would like to hear about, that relates
to alcoholism recovery. The requirements necessary to lead a meeting are 90 days of continuous
sobriety and a member of GROW for more than 30 days.
[The April 2019 GROW business meeting designated the first meeting of the month to be a
STEP MEETING. Please limit your lead share to the step of the corresponding month.]
If you would like to volunteer, just hit reply and let me know which available date you would be
willing to lead. Here are the available dates:
[ Month, Day ] Step Meeting
[ Month, Day ]
[ Month, Day ]
[ Month, Day ]
[ Month, Day ]
We try to give thoughtful attention to those who would like to lead a meeting around their A. A.
anniversary. If the date requested is already filled, you will be offered another available date.
Around Wednesday or Thursday of the week before you’re set to chair, I’ll contact you and pass
on the meeting format. If, for some reason you cannot do the meeting on your selected
Sunday, please let me know as soon as possible so I can find a replacement leader.
I look forward to hearing from each and every one of you. The topic meeting is a great way
of saying “hi” and letting us all get to know you better. Thank you for your participation
and thank you for letting me be of service.
[ Name ]
Weekly Leader Listkeeper
P.S. As our membership is *growing*, we are getting duplicate names. When you respond
please include your name and the first initial of your last name.”

Rationale:


Summary of Comments on Proposal 13

No discussion


Results of Voting on Proposal 13

Passed 8 agree, 0 disagree


Group Conscience Decision:

Add recommended language to the Weekly Topic Leader Message.

0419 – Proposal 12: Monthly Step Meeting

Proposal 12: Monthly Step Meeting

  • I propose that the current Step language pertinent to each month be inserted into
    the regular meeting format for the month indicated. It should be inserted at the
    start of the Lead section, and the Weekly Leader may add her lead immediately
    after that.
  • I also propose that the Tradition should continue to be sent at the start of each month just as has been done.

Summary of Comments on Proposal 12

The discussion was a dialog about the language for the step topic and who would
supply it. Here are the comments:

1. Question: Who will insert the language for the Step meeting for the corresponding
month at the beginning of each month? The Weekly Lead or the Weekly Leader
Listkeeper?
Curious,
Laura
2. To Laura’s question, the Weekly Listkeeper will insert the language into to the format.
3. So if I understand correctly
The request for weekly leaders forms will need a paragraph about the first week being a
step meeting
Then when the weekly leader list keeper sends the weekly reminder for the first week of
the month she’s going to have to amend the letter to reflect the meeting is a step
meeting?
If that’s the case we should just approve another letter so she has it on hand
4. If we made it another form letter we would need 12 form letters, 1 for each month. I
think the Weekly Listkeeper can insert the topic each month.
5. I support the proposal to insert the language we currently use for the relevant Step
Meeting.
6. Thanks Amanda for clarifying that change to the weekly Listkeeper job description re
leaving just Tradition as monthly.
7. With respect to all views, I’d suggest we leave it to the weekly Listkeeper to work out if
she needs to pre-prepare additional form letters/drafts or if she’ll copy and paste for the
relevant month. It feels as if this could be a case of trusting our Trusted Servants to carry
out the role, and if needed formalising additional form letters at a future business
meeting?
8. What has been shared here makes sense to me. Seems simpler.
9. Makes sense.
10. This proposal does not include/contain the language to be inserted into the regular
meeting format, and I’m not sure what the “current Step language” means. Could you
insert the recommended language within the proposal so we know what we’re voting on?
11. To answer Danna’s question, the current language refers to the the lead that is used
in the current monthly step meeting. It is in the form letters for the step/traditions
meetings. Does that answer your question?
12. Every proposal that changes a job description, form letter, or any
“official” GROW document should also include a “Recommended Language”
section so that it is very clear what we’re approving. Because this
proposal does not explicitly contain the recommended language, and I’m
not sure what I’m voting on …
I disagree (vote changed to agree)


Results of Voting on Proposal 12

Voting: Twelve (12) participants in favor, and no one voted against.


Group Conscience Decision:

 

0419 – Proposal 11: Weekly Leader Reminder

Proposal 11: Weekly Leader Reminder Letter

Add form letter to GROW form letters page titled Weekly Leader Reminder Letter, to be sent to the upcoming leader on Wednesday. 

Recommended Language:

“Dear :
I’m sending you a friendly reminder that you are scheduled to chair this upcoming Sunday. I’ll be attaching a clean copy of the updated meeting format to this email. Let me know if you have trouble opening it or copying it to an email. Please remember not to add any urls in your post!

**Please reply to this email to verify your availability to lead this Sunday. You must send your meeting lead email on Saturday night, no later than Sunday morning, to ensure that ladies in various time zones will receive the meeting on Sunday morning.

If, for some reason you cannot chair the meeting this Sunday, please let me know before Saturday so I can find a replacement leader.

*For a list of meeting topics that have been previously used, visit the following link on the GROW webpage. http://www.g-r-ow.com/members/topics/chrontopics.htm

Thank you for your service!

-Weekly Leader Listkeeper”

Rationale:

  • This letter needs to be sent each Wednesday to ensure the assigned leader will be available for the upcoming Sunday meeting. There is no “official” form letter on GROW for this. Making this an “official” form letter would make sure the Listkeeper had an approved form letter to use each week, reflecting past business meeting decisions. Refer to the April 2012 business meeting decision below, where it was decided that the meeting be posted on Saturday, no later than Sunday morning.
  • Weekly Meeting > Topic Postings (4/12)
    Decision: We have consensus on this Proposal and it is APPROVED that we begin posting the meeting on Saturday, no later than Sunday morning. We will “revisit” this topic in our October 2012 Business Meeting to discuss possible modification of our website and literature to reflect this change.Proposal: Begin posting the meeting on Saturday, no later than Sunday morning, to ensure that ladies in various time zones will receive the meeting on Sunday.

Summary of Comments on Proposal 11

  1. I strongly disagree with this suggested language. We have been here before, as having meeting leads consistently “on time” has always been an issue. It’s inappropriate to require meeting leaders to post their leads on Saturday, as our meeting starts on Sunday. The group decided in past debates that we can suggest people post on Saturday but not require it. Also, “Sunday morning” is difficult because our members are in so many time zones. I would change the language as follows.
    **Please reply to this email to verify your availability to lead this Sunday. You must can send your meeting lead email on Saturday night, no later than Sunday morning, to ensure that ladies in various time zones will receive the meeting on Sunday morning. I don’t think it’s reasonable to ask people to let the listkeeper know before Saturday if they can’t chair. This will not help with people who simply forget to post their leads (I have been guilty of this) or who have something come up at the last minute. The listkeeper has already asked them to confirm they will be there on Sunday. If they do not confirm, that’s a clear sign there may be a problem. If they do confirm, we have to trust that they’ll do it.Basically, this proposal is asking the meeting leads to solve what is an occasional problem for the Weekly Meeting Lead Listkeeper. I just don’t think it’s necessary. I would delete this sentence completely. If, for some reason you cannot chair the meeting this Sunday, please let me know before Saturday so I can find a replacement leader.
  2. Sounds great.
  3. This letter is very good and I appreciate having it. Thanks to Amanda for taking her job to heart and creating this.
  4. Minority Opinion after the vote
    • My only problem with this proposal is the following sentence: “If, for some reason you cannot chair the meeting this Sunday, please let me know before Saturday so I can find a replacement leader.” I would change my vote to “I agree” if the words “before Saturday” were deleted.
    • I don’t think it’s reasonable to ask people to let the listkeeper know before Saturday if they can’t chair. What happens if the person doesn’t know until Saturday that they won’t be available? This will not help with people who simply forget to post their leads (I have been guilty of this) or who have something come up at the last minute. The listkeeper has already asked them to confirm they will be there on Sunday. If they do not confirm, that’s a clear sign there may be a problem. If they do confirm, we have to trust that they’ll do it.
    • If the Weekly Leader Listkeeper maintains a list of women who will step in to lead a meeting when the scheduled person doesn’t post the meeting, she doesn’t need the advance notice to find a replacement lead.
    • Basically, the language “before Saturday” is asking the meeting leads to solve what is an occasional problem for the Weekly Meeting Lead Listkeeper. I just don’t think it’s necessary. It won’t solve the problem, and it imposes an unnecessary requirement on the weekly lead.
  5. Again, the rationale behind this is to give the WLL a heads up IF POSSIBLE. There is no punishment or consequence if they can’t. This is a courtesy! I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask people to be courteous and let the WLL know ahead of time if they can’t Chair. If they don’t show or run late, that’s a separate issue. This is for people that know they have a conflict ahead of time.If things happen, they happen and we are more than flexible when life happens! This has been working so far when I sent this request to our chairs.  The big question here is… does the language “before Saturday” help or hurt the group and the way it functions… or this an issue of people personally not wanting so many “guidelines”? This is about what helps our group function and get meetings posted on time for everyone.
  6. This happens so rarely that I don’t think it’s necessary to add another task to the Weekly Topic Leader’s responsibilities. As a group, I think that we can allow our members to think for themselves instead of being told what to do. We can’t legislate courtesy or good manners, or know in advance that we won’t be available on a particular Sunday.  Also, let’s not forget that unlike f2f meetings that last for about 1-1/2 hours (someone had mentioned that they start on time) our meetings last for one week. This gives us plenty of time to receive and share on a Topic by either the Topic Leader or her replacement. My $.02 tonight.
  7. Part of the confusion that I see the possibility of, is double posting of meetings. If an overzealous , stickler for the rules weekly leader doesn’t see a meeting posted by the time required, then, in all fairness to her, she would go ahead and post a meeting, That is clearly unfair to the leader who has been waiting for 3 months to lead a meeting, if she should happen to run late of forget, for a moment. This has been an issue in the past, and we have survived with barely a few meetings posted as late as Monday. But its really not fair to give the lead every chance for their opportunity. My two cents.
  8. I see 8 am PST as a suggestion. I am not intending to hold anyone to this while I am WLL. As long as I know that someone is going to post that day, preferably that morning or midday US time, I am okay with that. It is when I do not hear back from the person signed up that I must find myself with a bit of extra work. Once the business meeting is concluded, I will send out the revised letter seeking backup leaders.

Results of Voting on Proposal 11

Pass 13 agree, 0 disagree


Group Conscience Decision:

Add recommended language to the Weekly Topic Leader Message.

0419 – Proposal 10: Weekly Leader Listkeeper

Proposal 10: Weekly Leader Listkeeper

Add language about a On-call Meeting Leader List to Weekly Topic Leader Message and make additional edits to the Weekly Leader Listkeeper Responsibilites.

Recommended Language: “If you would like to be added to the on-call meeting leader list, please reply and let me know. You will be added to a list of volunteers who are willing to quickly post a weekly topic when the scheduled chair is unavailable. The only requirement is that you are available to check your email every Saturday/Sunday and respond quickly to a request from the Weekly Leader Listkeeper, so she can find someone to chair in a timely manner.”

Rationale:

  • The bullet descriptions concerning calling for volunteers and posting the meeting schedule need more clarity as to when to send each item, so I added “at the beginning of the month”. I have been doing this and it works well to send the call for volunteers and current month’s schedule at the beginning of the month.
  • The bullet concerning posting regularly weekly reminders is a repeat and doesn’t need to be there.
  • The bullet concerning confirming the member’s status two weeks before is not needed, because the list keeper contacts the assigned leader personally on the Wednesday before the meeting. This is an extra, unnecessary duty.
  • The bullets concerning a list for weekly leaders and replacing the topic leader needs more clarity. This has been an unclear area and has caused some problems during my current term. I added a specific time to replace the topic leader, if a topic has not been posted on Sunday morning. Also, if we have a list of willing leaders, why make a general announcement to the group? I believe making a general announcement is embarrassing to the assigned leader and negates the point of having a list of willing leaders. (Refer to the business meeting decision on October 2011 about maintaining a back-up list of willing leaders)

Summary of Comments on Proposal 10

No objection here.


Results of Voting on Proposal 10

Pass 13 agree, 0 disagree


Group Conscience Decision:

Make the additional edits to the Weekly Leader Listkeeper Duties.

Add recommended language to the Weekly Topic Leader Message.

0419 – Proposal 9: Weekly Leader Listkeeper

Proposal 9: Weekly Leader Listkeeper TS Responsibilities

Delete current descriptions and add proposed descriptions for Weekly Leader Listkeeper on the GROW trusted servant responsibilities page.

**** Delete the 8 current bullets below:

  • At the end of each month, calls for topic volunteers to fill the 3rd unfilled month, using Weekly Leader Template approved by group conscience.
  • Send the one-month schedule of meeting chair dates and corresponding Weekly Leaders to the group on a monthly basis (in addition to posting regular weekly reminders of the meeting topics)
  • Schedules should be completed for no more than three months in advance.
  • Post regular weekly reminders of the meeting topics and post the upcoming chairs.
  • Two weeks prior to meeting date, confirm topic leader is still a GROW member.
  • Provide weekly topic leader with clean copy of meeting format.
  • Replace the topic leader if necessary through general announcement to the group.
  • Maintain a list of those willing to lead a topic (chair a meeting) each Sunday, including email address.

*** Add the following 4 bullets for clarity:

  • “At the beginning of each month, send the current month’s schedule of meeting chair dates and corresponding leaders to the group.”
  • “At the beginning of each month, send the Weekly Topic Leader Message form letter for the 3rd unfilled month. Schedules should be completed no more than three months in advance.”
  • “Send the Weekly Leader Letter to the upcoming leader on the previous Wednesday, reminding them of their scheduled meeting lead on the following Sunday. Attach a clean copy of the meeting format. Make sure they reply, verifying their availability to chair the upcoming meeting.”
  • “Maintain a list of on-call meeting leaders that are willing to replace the Topic Leader, if the scheduled leader hasn’t responded to emails or has not posted a meeting by Sunday morning (8 AM PST)”

Rationale:

  • The bullet descriptions concerning calling for volunteers and posting the meeting schedule need more clarity as to when to send each item, so I added “at the beginning of the month”. I have been doing this and it works well to send the call for volunteers and current month’s schedule at the beginning of the month.
  • The bullet concerning posting regularly weekly reminders is a repeat and doesn’t need to be there.
  • The bullet concerning confirming the member’s status two weeks before is not needed, because the list keeper contacts the assigned leader personally on the Wednesday before the meeting. This is an extra, unnecessary duty.
  • The bullets concerning a list for weekly leaders and replacing the topic leader needs more clarity. This has been an unclear area and has caused some problems during my current term. I added a specific time to replace the topic leader, if a topic has not been posted on Sunday morning. Also, if we have a list of willing leaders, why make a general announcement to the group? I believe making a general announcement is embarrassing to the assigned leader and negates the point of having a list of willing leaders. (Refer to the business meeting decision on October 2011 about maintaining a back-up list of willing leaders).

Summary of Comments on Proposal 9

  1. It is so nice to have a nice clear list and procedure for MIA leaders. Again, my thanks!
  2. Thank you for simplifying the process here. This proposal offers effectiveness and manageability. I support this.
  3. Brings more clarity and definite timelines, I like it
  4. Thank you, Amanda. You’ve done a great job at revising this Job Description!
  5. Minority Opinion after the vote.  I voted “I disagree” on this proposal because I cannot support the following bullet as written:
    • “Maintain a list of on-call meeting leaders that are willing to replace the Topic Leader, if the scheduled leader hasn’t responded to emails or has not posted a meeting by Sunday morning (8 AM PST)”
    • My problem with the bullet is the imposition of a time deadline on posting the Sunday meeting (“… by Sunday morning (8 AM PST)”). Our meetings begin on Sunday, but we have never decided as a group that they should begin no later than a specific time on Sunday. This bullet makes that decision for us. It is not appropriate to require our weekly meeting leaders to get their lead out by a certain time on Sunday, particularly when the business meeting has not made that decision.
    • The deadline is stated for the Pacific Standard Time zone, meaning leaders will have to figure out what time that is in their time zone. This is further complicated by the fact that it refers to Standard Time rather than Daylight Savings Time. There will be large portions of the year in which the PST requirement doesn’t make sense.
    • We have, as a group, debated the question of when a meeting should be posted many times. This one bullet in the proposal imposes a decision on Grow that the business meeting participants have not discussed. I would agree with the proposal if the parenthetical “(8 AM PST)” were deleted.
  6. There are several discussions to be had in this opinion. There needs to be three new proposals made I guess. I had them in separate proposals but was told to combine them because we only have a month for this meeting…
    1. Maintaining a list of on call leaders
    2. Posting the meeting late Saturday or early Sunday.
    3. Time frame for posting.
      1. Maintaining a list of on call leaders is already on the current job description for WLL. If there is a disagreement with this, it needs to be a separate proposal.
      2. Posting the meeting on Saturday evening or Sunday morning is a group conscience decision from 2012 that is not being followed through with. We would need a separate proposal to change this.
      3. As far as the additional time, it’s just a courtesy to have the meeting be available for everyone on Sunday morning. 8 AM PST is 11 AM EST and even later for those in Europe. How is that not acceptable? Any later in the day would not be morning anymore. I think this is reasonable. As I said before, face to face meetings have times to show up. No one has had any issue posting the meeting by 8 AM PST since I started testing it out the past few months. If people need more time, they ask and it’s totally fine. If there needs to be a separate proposal for this, I’ll be happy to make one.

Results of Voting on Proposal 9

Voting: Passed after second vote 8 agree, 1 disagree.


Group Conscience Decision:

We have consensus on this Proposal and it is APPROVED that we begin posting the meeting on Saturday, no later than Sunday morning. We will “revisit” this topic in our October 2012 Business Meeting to discuss possible modification of our website and literature to reflect this change.

Proposal: Begin posting the meeting on Saturday, no later than Sunday morning, to ensure that ladies in various time zones will receive the meeting on Sunday.

0419 – Proposal 8: Assign Temporary Sponsors

Proposal 8: Assign Temporary Sponsors When Requested

Proposals 7 and 8 were submitted as 2 proposals, but the rational applies to both. I am posting 2 proposals with the same rational attached to both.

Proposal 8: The Sponsor Listkeeper will work with the Temporary Mentor to assure that newcomers who want a sponsor are assigned a temporary sponsor.

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.


Summary of Comments

Read Proposal 7 and 8: Online Sponsors for details.


Group Conscience Decision:

An ad hoc committee was formed to craft a proposal for the October 2019 meeting that is inclusive for all the Trusted Servant job descriptions that address helping members with sponsorship.

0419 – Proposal 7 and 8: Online Sponsors

Proposal 7: Discontinue Online Sponsors

Proposals 7 and 8 were submitted as 2 proposals, but the rational applies to both. I am posting 2 proposals with the same rational attached to both.

Proposal 7 and 8: GROW will better support newcomers to our group and to AA. This will involve a two-pronged approach, 7 and 8.

Proposal 7: In order to assure that newcomers have access to a sponsor, GROW will: Discontinue GROW’s webpage “Available Online Sponsors”.

Proposal 8: The Sponsor Listkeeper will work with the Temporary Mentor to assure that newcomers who want a sponsor are assigned a temporary sponsor.

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.


Summary of Comments on Proposal 7 and 8

  1. For the reasons given in the proposals, I agree with both proposals.
    • While I was temporary mentor (just outgoing presently), I was dismayed to find that newcomers had sought out a sponsor from the list, only to be turned down (sometimes by more than one on the list), or not even replied to until weeks later, when they were again turned down. In one case, a person on the sponsor list had been out drinking again (she’d been very honest about it with our group) yet her name had remained on the list (which I disagreed with as I know in my first days and years with AA, when I was slipping and sliding, I would have been of no use to anyone, and could actually have been a harmful influence on a person trying to get sober.
    • One lady had tried with two different people, to be rejected twice. I have a hunch this lady might now be drinking. Through me acting as temp mentor, I did set her up with a potential sponsor from a member on our newcomer group. I did this with one or two others.
    • This of course doesn’t reflect that there might have been cases where those on the list did respond to others and established good sponsor/sponsee relationships. But the fact that it did happen at least a few times (from my experience) and more instances of it apparently since our last business meeting (!) is evidence enough that it doesn’t function well at all i.e. not fit for purpose.
    • Further, no rotation is not a good thing, as for one, it is never clear whether the names on the list are still available, or even participating in Grow. There’s a sense of it being a ‘dead’ list.
    • Also, as stated, it gives the false impression to newcomers that available sponsors are only those on the list.
  2. I believe we should not have a sponsor list. In a face to face meeting, there are no sponsor lists. You pick someone based on what they have to say and based on a connection to their story. A random name on a list is not helpful and if they get the nerve up to ask and don’t get a response, imagine how detrimental that would be. I believe that it is part of sobriety to ask people if they would sponsor you and have to deal with whichever response they get. There are people that are willing to sponsor that don’t want to be on that list. It’s just not something I’ve ever seen a group do and it doesn’t actually always help someone needing a sponsor. There’s my two cents. Thanks!
  3. My first issue is the wording of this proposal. How will discontinuing the Available Online Sponsors webpage help assure that newcomers have access to a sponsor? Everything before the colons should be struck from the proposal language.
    • After talking to several people who have used the sponsor list, I am convinced that it does not serve our group well. The major complaint was that no one on the list responded to members seeking a sponsor. That people volunteered to be on the list suggests they would be responsive. Not responding is a terrible message to send, especially to newcomers. Grow can’t police the actions (or lack of) of the potential sponsors. It is better not to offer the information than to set people up for feeling rejected or abandoned when no one responds. When Grow publishes a list, it appears to endorse the women on it. When those women do not respond or respond inappropriately, Grow itself is letting people down.The Sponsor Listkeeper can’t screen the volunteers or assure that they are really “available.”
    • It is more important, I think, that people know they can ask anyone in Grow to sponsor them.
    • At f2f meetings, we do not help people find sponsors. We tell them to get a sponsor, but we do not offer them candidates or monitor the sponsor-sponsee relationship. Finding a sponsor is up to the person who needs one. Being responsible for one’s own recovery is critical to staying sober. Again, we need to let people know they can ask anyone to sponsor them, but we should not point them to specific individuals.
    • Another issue is whether we should send out a list of available sponsors at all, which this proposal does not address. The problem is the same – people on the list not responding. Personally, I think we should seriously consider eliminating the list altogether. It is not working as we hoped it would.
  4. I have spent years in the sponsor list. I was rarely contacted. When I was I responded and sometimes I was turned down for scheduling issues or others….
    • Sometimes a relationship was established for a short time.
    • The sponsor list keeper also checks monthly to see if I am wanting to continue my commitment. So in that fashion the list should be considered current
    • The drinking person should have been removed.
    • I am still a proponent of dissolving this position as I also see it isn’t doing the job we hope it will. And finding a way to combine some language in the temporary mentor and twelfth step lists for those requiring more immediate support
  5. Based upon what I am hearing about sponsors being unavailable when called upon, I believe it is time to disband the position. I agree with the comment that we don’t hand out a list of sponsors at f2f meetings, but allow members to seek their own by listening to them at meetings and watching how they treat others.
    • The Temporary Mentor stays with the new people and helps them to get organized. At the same time, she could advise the new ladies how to select a sponsor in our group (without the Sponsor List) by reading all of the shares and asking someone to sponsor her.
  6. Isn’t this organically leading to the Temporary Mentor and Newcomer Committee stepping into amended roles of Sponsor Listkeeper (Temp Mentor) and Sponsor list (newcomer committee)?
    • The temp mentor would send out the initial mail to the new person, offering help if needed. It could be made clear in the mail that temporary sponsors/ mentors were available from a list of those on the newcomer committee.
    • I found as temp mentor that we had such willing members eager to link up with new persons, in a spirit of acting as a bridge at least until a sponsor was found. However, apart from a spate last year of calls for help, most new members don’t even respond to the 1st and 2nd mails sent by the TM. Or respond with a thank you and saying all was well but they appreciated a TM reaching out. So the newcomer committee members were raring to go but there were no takers for the most part!
    • While that is going on, we really don’t know how much activity is happening with the sponsor list, except for the less than good experiences that have been reported here in the last and the present business meetings. I’m taken aback that it has continued to happen despite our pulling our bootstraps up at the last business meeting. I haven’t yet heard any positive stuff– I’d like to.
    • So, and considering the input here so far, I think we should do away with both sponsor listkeeper and sponsor list roles, and somehow make clear to the group that those services are now available within the TM and newcomer committee (whose role would be expanded to act as temp sponsors rather than simply point the new person in the direction of a sponsor list which isn’t showing a great record of response). This way we’d at least be assured that members were responding to the needs of new persons. The TM would keep some sort of group ‘chat’ going, perhaps on a monthly basis so I’m envisaging a more ongoing dialogue between TM and newcomer committee members than that of Sponsor listkeeper and those on Sponsor List.
    • I think as someone suggested too that we make it clear that anyone in our group can be approached for sponsorship. Just as in face- to-face meetings. It might be worthwhile putting out a monthly notice about sponsorship, informing/reminding us that seeming ‘rejection’ isn’t always a bad or personal thing!
  7. Just some thoughts on the sponsor list questions. It might be helpful to hear from some of the people currently on the Sponsor List as to whether they have been asked and gotten some sponsees from being on the List. In other words, what about the people who are genuinely wanting to sponsor someone?
    • When I joined Grow in 2003, I don’t remember seeing a Sponsor List but I wanted to find a sponsor so I read the shares and asked someone who’s shares I liked. I was turned down, but I kept reading and asking. I did find a sponsor and it worked out.
    • Perhaps it would be good to amend the language on the sponsor announcement to say something to the effect that one way to find a sponsor is to simply ask someone whose shares resonate with them as well as providing the list of names also mentioning that it may take several tries.
  8. I appreciated Sherrie’s suggestion. I have been on the sponsor list and it’s only been this year that I’ve been asked to sponsor via email. I have responded as quickly as possible and have made myself available. I think it’s a very important service to a fellow AA new, coming back to the program, or even someone with sobriety but new to GROW. I take it seriously knowing how important having a sponsor has been for me. This kind of service helps me to stay sober and never ceases to amaze me how this program works.
    • I think it’s important for anyone on the list to respond to all inquiries timely and not ignore anyone asking for help. If I can’t help either because of time or whatever then I should go back to the sponsor listkeeper and/or temporary mentor to let them know. I can’t help but wonder if we’ve underutilized our trusted servants in these 2 positions. There are a variety of ways finding a sponsor could be handled. Requests for a sponsor could go to the temporary mentor who fields and directs those inquiries helping to find someone suitable and then following up after a few days to see how it’s working and whether or not first contact has been made. The sponsor listkeeper keeps the list up to date adding or removing members as people’s ability to be of service change.
    • I haven’t looked at the job descriptions yet for these 2 positions so maybe those of you who have served in either position would be helpful in providing feedback.
    • I don’t want to keep pointing fingers at what the volunteers on the sponsor list are or aren’t doing. We are all responsible. We as a group can utilize positions/resources already in place so we don’t “lose” people from GROW and/or to drinking because of neglect.
  9. As the proposal is written, it would eliminate the webpage but not the monthly notice/list that the Sponsor Listkeeper sends out. To me, that is an acceptable solution.
    • My concerns about having the list on our website boils down to two things: the webpage makes it look like Grow is endorsing those women as sponsors, and it creates the impression that these are the only potential sponsors available to our members.
    • Like others, I appreciate the efforts of those women who have taken their roles seriously and do not mean to ignore their contributions. At the same time, I’ve heard enough complaints to doubt that the webpage accomplishes what we hoped it would. Also, having been the webkeeper, I know that the webpage may not always be up-to-date.

Results of Voting on Proposal 7

Proposal 7.2 was tabled with 8.2 until a member asked that 7.2 be voted on to give the ad hoc committee a sense of if there was a desire to eliminate the online sponsor list.

The results of the vote was 15 agree, 0 disagree.


Group Conscience Decision:

An ad hoc committee was formed to craft a proposal for the October 2019 meeting that is inclusive for all the Trusted Servant job descriptions that address helping members with sponsorship.

0419 – Proposal 6: Step Meeting

Proposal 6: 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. (October 2018)

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 6

  1. I enthusiastically support dedicating one of our weekly meetings each month to be a Step Meeting.  I haven’t seen much or any change in terms of numbers of step/tradition shares so at present we still don’t emphasize the Steps or have much focus on them at all.  Something that as it was raised 6 months ago, really does show the current monthly format doesn’t work effectively.
  2. I’m not sure why it is such a sticking point to not do this, if we’re practicing Tradition 5 and as per our discussions after our group conscience questions 6.2 seems a straightforward solution. I feel sad that we seem to be splitting over this idea.  My support for 6.2 comes from a place of wanting to feel we as a group carry the message of the 12 steps to the best of our ability especially to those new in aa.  There seems to have been an alternative proposal / discussion being made along the lines of sending out additional reminders about the monthly step/tradition topic but on a weekly basis… Is this ok to be including discussions about this now before we’ve voted on proposal 6.2?  If the group supports a weekly reminder, is the assumption that it’s going to help us share on 2-3 topics (the weekly, the step/tradition?) or is it still treating the step like a bit of an add-on?  I love the weekly topics, I love our meeting format, & I’ve felt the clarity & coherence in the current execution by the weekly lead listkeeper, I would love us to pull together and work together for the good of better carrying the message of the 12 steps and the aa program. I don’t feel supporting 6.2 will detract or take away but will add to and enhance what’s already here, it’s just a bit hidden… I’d be happy to support an amended proposal where we run with the first meeting of the month dedicated to a step as a trial for a 12 month period, or even over an 18 month period.
  3. I agree with this proposal. In F2F meetings I try to mix it up i.e. discussion, big book, step. So why not the same in Grow?
  4. In my opinion this is not needed as we have a monthly step meeting.
  5. I get the sense that we are united on the importance of having Steps as topics regularly. I agree that this is in keeping with AA practice both f2f and online. Where I came from f2f we called them “mechanical” or “technical” meetings. The Steps show us how to recover from the seemingly hopeless state of body and mind so they are necessary.  Common practice is to attach a Step to each month, since there are 12 of each. Keep It Simple is good. 🙂 My question is, if we go to a Step leader each month, does she use the current language and add to it? Or does she come up with a unique lead of her own?  Another thought I had is that the Step does not need to be the first week of the month if someone is celebrating an AA birthday that week… although that confuses the schedule a bit. On the other hand, the celebrant could find it a worthwhile challenge to work her birthday into the Step topic. I know I would be intrigued by that.  As the new WLL I do not object to sending out a  reminder to share on Step and Tradition each week if we decide to go that way using the current format. I do think the Traditions are important also, and would like to remind us that yes, we have newcomers who are not familiar with them, but we also have mid- and old-timers who need reminders — me being one of them! The Traditions are WHY AA works.
  6. I like Laura’s suggestion I don’t think we should allocate a week for step meeting.  But could post the step/tradition meeting just as we have been except weekly. Instead of monthly.  It seems more a case of out of sight out of mind.  But I completely disagree with separating traditions from the steps.  It gives a seeming lack of importance to our traditions.  Which as we all know is what keeps us running.

Results of Voting on Proposal 6

Voting: Fifteen (15) voted yes and there were zero (0) no votes.  The proposal passed unanimously and is adopted as a Group Conscience decision.


Group Conscience Decision:

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. (October 2018)

The following bullet will be added 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.

 

0419 – Proposal 5: Backup Web-keeper

Proposal 5: Backup Web-keeper

Propose opening the Backup Web-keeper position to the membership. This position will include maintaining the Weekly Meeting Topics on the new GROW website.

Rationale: Proposal 5 will allow another trusted servant to learn the functionality of the new GROW website and allow the GROW Web-keeper and Admin to continue working on the transfer of the GROW business archives.


Summary of Comments on Proposal 5

There was little discussion about the first 5 proposals and members were appreciative of the work of so many members that went into the new website.


Results of Voting on Proposal 5

Voting: Fifteen (15) participants in favor, and no one voted against Proposal 5.1. Therefore, Proposal 5 is adopted as a Group Conscience decision.


Group Conscience Decision:

Propose opening the Backup Web-keeper position to the membership. This position will include maintaining the Weekly Meeting Topics on the new GROW website.

0419 – Proposal 4: Website TS Assignments

Proposal 4: Website TS Assignments

Propose assigning Allison M to the GROW Web-keeper position and assigning Tanya C to the GROW Admin position, both positions commencing April 2019.


Summary of Comments on Proposal 4

There was little discussion about the first 5 proposals and members were appreciative of the work of so many members that went into the new website.


Results of Voting on Proposal 4

Voting: Fifteen (15) participants in favor, and no one voted against Proposal 4.1. Therefore, Proposal 4 is adopted as a Group Conscience decision.


Group Conscience Decision:

Propose assigning Allison M to the GROW Web-keeper position and assigning Tanya C to the GROW Admin position, both positions commencing April 2019.

0419 – Proposal 3: Website TS Positions

Proposal 3: Website TS Positions

Propose using current job descriptions of Backup Web-keeper, Web-keeper and Admin positions track the upcoming changes for review in October 2019 Business meeting.

Rationale: These positions are a work in process and within this time period, the workgroup will be able to flesh out the particular job description and tasks of each position to better correspond with the new platform (WordPress) which the new GROW website is designed on. This platform will be a significant change in how the GROW site is maintained.


Summary of Comments on Proposal 3

There was little discussion about the first 5 proposals and members were appreciative of the work of so many members that went into the new website.


Results of Voting on Proposal 3

Voting: Fifteen (15) participants in favor, and no one voted against Proposal 3.1. Therefore, Proposal 3 is adopted as a Group Conscience decision.


Group Conscience Decision:

Propose using current job descriptions of Backup Web-keeper, Web-keeper and Admin positions track the upcoming changes for review in October 2019 Business meeting.

0419 – Proposal 2: Create Admin TS Position

Proposal 2: Create Admin TS Position

Propose creating a 1-year rotating position of Admin to maintain the functionality and server side of the website with a basic job description as follows:

  • 1-year term
  • 2 years sobriety
  • 2 years GROW membership
  • Served a full term as web-keeper of the GROW website
  • Member of Business List
  • Maintain a periodic backup of the GROW database
  • Maintain GROW website updates
  • Inform Steering Committee when updates are made to the website.
  • Consult with Steering Committee before making substantial design or content changes to GROW website.
  • Support Web-keeper and Backup Web-keeper on WordPress site issues.

Rationale: The new GROW website is on a WordPress platform which requires additional services not currently defined in the Web-keeper position.


Summary of Comments on Proposal 2

There was little discussion about the first 5 proposals and members were appreciative of the work of so many members that went into the new website.


Results of Voting on Proposal 2

Voting: Sixteen (16) participants in favor, and no one voted against Proposal 2.1. Therefore, Proposal 2 is adopted as a Group Conscience decision.


Group Conscience Decision:

Propose creating a 1-year rotating position of Admin to maintain the functionality and server side of the website with a basic job description as follows:

  • 1-year term
  • 2 years sobriety
  • 2 years GROW membership
  • Served a full term as web-keeper of the GROW website
  • Member of Business List
  • Maintain a periodic backup of the GROW database
  • Maintain GROW website updates
  • Inform Steering Committee when updates are made to the website.
  • Consult with Steering Committee before making substantial design or content changes to GROW website.
  • Support Web-keeper and Backup Web-keeper on WordPress site issues.

0419 – Proposal 1: GROW Website

Proposal 1: GROW Website

Propose the launch of the new GROW website after the April 2019 Business Meeting for use by the membership. Place the current older GROW website in a subfolder within the GROW hosting structure to allow access for the ongoing transfer of GROW business archives to the new GROW website.

Rationale: The business archives require a bit more time and testing to ensure proper searchability for future trusted servants. However, the ease of posting the weekly meeting topics and access to trusted servants’ job descriptions and forms outweigh the need to keep the new GROW website in the development area until the transfer of the GROW business archives is complete.


Summary of Comments on Proposal 1

There was little discussion about the first 5 proposals and members were appreciative of the work of so many members that went into the new website.


Results of Voting on Proposal 1

Voting: Sixteen (16) participants in favor, and no one voted against Proposal 1.1. Therefore, Proposal 1 is adopted as a Group Conscience decision.


Group Conscience Decision:

Propose the launch of the new GROW website after the April 2019 Business Meeting for use by the membership. Place the current older GROW website in a subfolder within the GROW hosting structure to allow access for the ongoing transfer of GROW business archives to the new GROW website.

0419 – Secretary’s Report

Apr 2019 Secretary’s Report

Our Trusted Servants:

  • 12 Step Listkeeper (4/19-10/19): Sophie sophieflook@gmail.com
  • Birthday Listkeeper (4/19-10/19): Amanda D. amandabauman26@icloud.com
  • Sponsor Listkeeper (4/19-10/19) Sherrie W. thesherrie@earthlink.net

Trusted Servants who make up the Steering Committee:

  • Business Meeting Chair (10/18-10/20): Joan B. joanb333@gmail.com
  • GSR (10/18-10/20): Kate M. ammakate@yahoo.com
  • GVR (10/18-10/19): Barbara M. barbaramanolache@aol.com
  • Greeter (4/19-4/20): Sarah K smkeester@gmail.com
  • Greeter (4/19-4/20): Louise H maryalicelouise@outlook.com
  • Listkeeper (4/19-4/20): Karen fromie10@gmail.com
  • Listkeeper Alternate (4/19-4/21): Laurie B rubylaurie@gmail.com
  • OIAA Rep (10/18-10/19): Lynn H. lilitaliangal@gmail.com and
    Kirsten V. lesserseattle@gmail.com
  • Secretary (10/18-10/19): Ruth F. serenity9918@gmail.com
  • Temporary Mentor (4/19-4/20): Karrie C. kchaneycoo@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 (4/19-4/20): Gigi telperion.1214@gmail.com

Immediate Past Trusted Servants

  • 12 Step 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
  • 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
  • Temporary Mentor (4/18-4/19): Louise emerrilymeet@gmail.com
  • Weekly Leader Listkeeper (4/18-4/19): Amanda D. amandabauman26@icloud.com

0419 – OIAA Report

Apr 2019 – OIAA Report

I’m Lynn H, OIAA representative for GROW.

Currently the March Business Meeting is addressing:

  • Forming an Ad-hoc committee tasked with exploring and gathering information on the desirability of using the AAWS Meeting Ap license. Some information shared in support of this ap:
    • “Meeting Guide app will be part of the new AAWS AA app launched in 2019. The people that run it now will be handing over the reins to AAWS so there should be no traditions issues moving forward.
    • Meeting Guide is a free mobile A.A. f2f meeting finder app. It gets its data by syncing with area, district, Intergroup/Central Office and International G.S.O. websites.
    • Sites that use their own custom database only need to create a JSON feed to make their data accessible.
    • The app is now used by more than 100,000 users every month, using it on an average of 5.75 times per month.”
  • Attending the World Convention in Detroit.
    • Voting has been to attend so far.

Website issues continue. A little over a year ago the OIAA server crashed and everything was lost. They are slowly recovering by restoring old pages, there was no backup. The members page is still not where they were as the website as it has no information connected to its tabs for any helpful information. Some member website information was sent out as an email in Feb. The page the public sees is up to date with links to groups and useful AA information, very helpful to those seeking help. They do now have a “Donate” button on the OIAA website for groups or individuals to make donations via PayPal.

When I first started there was a lot of back and forth, arguing, about the state of the group. An old time member was admonishing new members for not doing things the right way. Honestly, this turned me off completely and my involvement with the group has been minimal. I know members are diligent in trying to turn the group around but information and direction is fractured. My involvement with the group has been minimal due to this.

Submitted by Lynn H.

0419 – Listkeeper’s Report

Our membership as of March 31, 2019 is 366 list members and 37 of those are 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 2 regular list addresses.)

This time last year we had 350 members. We are GROWING!

Nancy and Karen both want to thank Gigi and Laurie for their great service to GROW as Greeters. We all enjoyed working together!

Nancy has completed her term as Listkeeper–thank you Nancy! Karen will continue for another year and Laurie has volunteered to serve as alternate Listkeeper.

Respectfully submitted, Karen H and Nancy C | GROW Listkeepers

0419 – Business Meeting Agenda

April 2019 Business Meeting Agenda

***IMPORTANT NOTE: Please DO NOT respond to this message.
Additional individual emails will be coming, to which you can respond.

Agenda for April 2019 Business Meeting
Trusted Servant Reports:

  • Trusted Servant (TS) Positions – Incoming & Outgoing TS identified (Secretary’s Report)
  • Semi-Annual Reports: OIAA, Treasurer, Listkeeper Reports
  • Business Items (each will be posted separately to facilitate discussion and voting)

Below are the proposals received to date that we will discuss during the Business Meeting. The following list contains brief summaries rather than the full proposal language as it will be presented. If you have an item that you would like to have addressed, or if I have not accurately represented an item that you recommended, please email me privately and I will make the appropriate corrections.

  • Proposal 1.1 – Propose the launch of the new GROW website after the April 2019 Business Meeting for use by the membership
  • Proposal 2.1 – Propose creating a 1-year rotating position of Admin to maintain the functionality and server side of the website.
  • Proposal 3.1 – Propose using current job descriptions of Backup Web-keeper, Web-keeper and Admin positions track the upcoming changes for review in October 2019 Business meeting.
  • Proposal 4.1 – Propose assigning Allison M to the GROW Web-keeper position and assigning Tanya C to the GROW Admin position, both positions commencing April 2019.
  • Proposal 5.1 – Propose opening the Backup Web-keeper position to the membership.

From the October meeting we will re-visit these 3 proposals:

  • Proposal to have the topic on the first Sunday of each month be the step with the same number, i.e. January, Step. 1.
  • Proposal to remove the sponsor list from the GROW website.
  • Proposal to have the Sponsor Listkeeper work with the Temporary Mentor to assure newcomers have a temporary sponsor if they request one.

Participants in this meeting will also consider these new proposals:

  • Proposal to update the job description for the Weekly Listkeeper
    Proposal to add language to the form letter sent by the Weekly Listkeeper if the job description is updated.
  • Proposals to update the job description for the Sponsor Listkeeper

During the first three days of our meeting, we will discuss the 5 proposals related to the new WEB site. I will send out the proposals separately, calling for three days of discussion on each.

Respectfully yours,
Joan B.
GROW Business Chair
email

0419 – Business Meeting Welcome

Apr 2019 – Business Meeting Welcome

I am Joan, an 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,
Joan B.
GROW Business Chair
email