1021 – Final Summary of the October 21 Business Meeting

Final Summary for the October 2021 Business Meeting

The October business meeting opened with the presentation of reports from our Treasurer, Listkeepers, Secretary, GSR, OIAA Representative, and Business Meeting Chair. You can find these reports and meeting details on GROW’s website at g-r-o-w.com/member-welcome/business-meetings/. (You will need a password for the Members’ section (sobertodayhow2484).

When the October business meeting began, many Trusted Servant positions remained vacant. Therefore, the first few days of the meeting were dominated by efforts to fill those positions. There were no proposals for consideration as the meeting began. The Chair called for a discussion of GROW’s recruitment process, and the first two 3-day sessions were devoted to identifying areas where improvements could be made. Participants raised problem areas and made a wide range of suggestions.

Based on the discussions, the Chair submitted three proposals for consideration:

  • Adding to the Common Duties section of position descriptions three actions Trusted Servants would take to support recruitment (Proposal 1)
  • Devoting a GROW meeting topic to Service before our business meetings (Proposal 2)
  • Replacing the current links to position descriptions in the Secretary’s call for volunteers with brief descriptions of each Trusted Servant position (Proposal 3)

After three days of discussion on each proposal, participants voted whether to adopt the proposal as a Group Conscience decision. Two of the proposals received unanimous approval and are now

Group Conscience Decisions:

  • GROW will devote the last week in February and August to the topic of service.
  • Future recruitment messages will contain a brief description of the job rather than a link to the position description.

During our discussion of recruitment practices, many suggestions were made that were not directly related to the recruitment process but could improve GROW’s email meeting. The Chair made a list of these suggestions, and participants gave feedback ranging from “discuss in next business meeting” to “no follow-up needed” on each of eight “Good Ideas.” Based on these rankings, participants identified four areas for action and consideration during the April 2022 meeting:

  • Develop a side-by-side comparison of Trusted Servant positions
  • Review and suggest changes to the Secretary position description
  • Identify Trusted Servant positions that would benefit from job-sharing
  • Introduce a monthly meeting that covers AA’s 12 Concepts of World Service

The October 2021 GROW Business Meeting was adjourned on October 20th.

1021 – GSR Report

GSR Report

October 2021

Greetings! I served as the Group Service Representative for the past six months. Thank you for allowing me to be of service to the group. Click on the link to learn more about the service position, as it is amazing!! https://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/p-19_gsr.pdf

New updates:

  1. Updated service manual available in November 2021
  2. International Convention scheduled in Vancouver �
  3. November 19, 20, 21st East Central Regional Forum (virtual) – Learn more about it here Alcoholics Anonymous : Regional and Local Forums (aa.org)
  4. Review the following word document written by a member of AA about upcoming changes in the AA Preamble at the 71st General Service Conference that was passed to members in Area 22.

Thank you for the opportunity to be of service!

Your friendly outgoing GSR,
Nicole W

Kent County Apponaug Group

The Principles Problem

Do our A.A. Principles and Traditions Really Matter? A vote was taken at the 71st General Service Conference to remove and replace the pronouns “men and women” with “people” in our beloved Preamble. We believe this change is in direct conflict with our Principles, Concepts and the Preamble itself. We also believe this action was emotionally driven and is not in A.A.’s best interest. The problem is much bigger than the changing of these 2 words. This change and other’s that will follow** represent both symbolic and direct support for the gender neutrality cause, an outside cause that A.A. should have no opinion*

Paul L GSR Kent County Apponaug

The Kent County Apponaug Group is preparing to submit a request for change to the next General Service Conference. The request is to reverse the recent revision to the Preamble and replace the new word “people” with the original words “men and women” as it always has been. We would like to gain the support of other groups, service representatives, past service representatives or individuals that would like to sign on to this change request. Our Conference submittal deadline is 9/15/2021.

The following is a detailed description of the conflicts this change to the Preamble has caused as well as providing awareness to additional changes to A.A. that are ongoing**. We sincerely hope that each of you, as service representatives will take this concern back to your individual areas/groups for discussion and support this request for change.

A.A. Principles speak for themselves
“Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women”. For those concerned with gender neutrality; isn’t ALCOHOLISM the only true identification we should be concerned about? If I can identify as an alcoholic I can survive and prosper here. Our differences combined with a primary purpose are the glue that binds us.

Tradition 1: “Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends on A.A. unity.”

Unity, our very survival depends on it. With regard to the recent change to the Preamble, we are hearing emotional pleas such as; “If it will save just one alcoholic”, but these are long-used political ploys that appeal to emotions, not facts. This emotional plea is a direct contradiction to Tradition 1 in that it places personal recovery ahead of our common welfare. We cannot disregard 60 years of Tradition to “save one alcoholic”. The attempt to satisfy all variations of human identity in is an unrealistic and unattainable goal that distracts from our Primary Purpose. Our common welfare MUST come first.

Tradition 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.

By changing “men and women” in the Preamble, etc., A.A. has put itself in a position to decide which gender pronouns are appropriate and which are not for A.A., which is an Act of Governance. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern?

“That they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism” doesn’t read; “solve all things for all people” does it? To quote an old timer from years ago; “If you want to win friends and influence people, Dale Carnegie is right down the street… but if you’re looking for an answer for alcoholism we have the answer.” ~ Dottie G.

Tradition 4: Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or A.A. as a whole.

It is apparent that some groups supporting and/or have requested the pronoun change are attempting to impose “their” group conscience on other groups and A.A. as a whole which is a direct contradiction of Tradition 4. Many of these groups had already made these changes through their individual group conscience and that’s fine, but where they step over the line is the attempt force their will on others.

Tradition 5: Each group has but one primary purpose – to carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers.

Today’s gender debates are ongoing with strong opinions being expressed both pro and con. There is certainly no consensus here in this great divide. For A.A. to take sides in this debate waters down our Primary Purpose and can threaten our unity.

The words, “AA is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution; does not wish to engage in any controversy, neither endorses nor opposes any causes…” speak volumes. A very powerful statement, yet we find ourselves in the middle of controversy, allied with outside organizations** and endorsing outside causes and movements**. We have become so concerned with the endless variations of humanity that we have lost sight of our primary purpose. Where does it end?

*Tradition 10: Alcoholics Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the A.A. name ought never be drawn into public controversy.

Can there be any doubt that A.A. has expressed an opinion and is supporting a well-organized, well-funded, worldwide movement with many political ties?* The change to our Preamble, and other degenderizing efforts currently in progress**, show both symbolic and direct support for an outside issue and should be reversed.

**The following excerpts from the background email titled “Degenderizing language”, dated 9/3/20 by Ames, Executive Editor, GSO should have us all concerned:

“Thanks for reaching out regarding our AAWS process related to the degenderizing of A.A. materials. It’s a process that is ongoing and ever-evolving with the times and current societal and Fellowship norms…”

“…We will be looking to “keep it simple” and focus initially on fixes such as changing “men and women” to “people” and reformulating constructs that are specifically gender-based, such as “he” or “she” to “that/this individual/person”.

“…On a broader scale, we have been reaching out to industry resources and organizations/entities that are engaged in this process of degenderizing to see what information they might be able to provide. Additionally, in all our print materials we try to utilize the style standards established by preeminent news organizations such as the New York Times…”

The “Aims” email above seems to contradict the very essence of our beloved Principles in that;

1. We have “ongoing and ever evolving” processes to “Degenderize A.A. materials.

2. In an act of governance we have become the arbiter of speech for this movement.

3. We have allied with outside organizations.

Concept 12 also speaks for itself in the statement; “No Conference action should be …an incitement to public controversy”

Heated debate with regard to gender related issues is in politics, schools, sports, language, etc. and is in our faces almost daily. Even the entertainment industry is having a field day with gender identity issues. Late night TV, sports, even the comics are on board with the debate (Ref: “Dilbert, 6/1/2021”).

This is a world-wide debate with great divide and our country is split over these very issues. AA has no business taking sides in this debate, or any other, no matter how worthy the cause may or may not be. The Washingtonians went down this path and that didn’t end well…

Paul L. GSR, Kent County Apponaug (Area 61)

1021 – Listkeeper’s Report

Listkeepers’ Report

October 2021

I’m Sophie, alcoholic and one of your two Listkeepers. Karen H is our other Listkeeper. Listkeepers work closely with the team of two Greeters, currently Amy N and Karrie C. As a team of four we manage requests from new ladies interested in joining GROW.

Listkeepers also help with email issues (such as when ladies accidentally include additional recipients when emailing the group to grow@oso-aa.org) and changes to email addresses. We also can unsubscribe members when asked. Our roles don’t take much time but do need us to check our GROW emails several times a day so that requests to join are responded to quickly. We work in pairs – one week on, one week off.

The GROW list is administered on a very simple to use and simple to learn website. I can do it all from my phone!

At our last Business Meeting in April, we had 275 members.
Today, we currently have 284 member’s emails listed.
In the past 6 months, we have welcomed on average around 8 new ladies per month and had on average 7 per month leave GROW.

Listkeepers also administer the Business List to ensure everyone who wants to be included is signed up. So far we have 29 ladies signed up to join the Business Meeting starting Monday October 4th.

In love and service
Sophie F

1020 – Proposal 1: Webkeeper Back-up

Proposal 1: Webkeeper Backup

Reduce the membership requirement for Webkeeper Back-up from 1 year to 6 months.

Recommended Language: Change the third bullet in the Webkeeper Backup job description as follows:

  • 1 year 6 months in GROW membership


This job has been vacant for more than 6 months. A newer member to GROW volunteered for this position but cannot serve because she hasn’t been a member of GROW for a year.

Summary of Discussion on Proposal 1

Fourteen participants made substantive comments on the proposal to change the membership requirement for the Webkeeper Backup from one year to six months. Most, but not all, of the comments indicated a preference to leave the requirement as is at one year. It was pointed out that the position has remained vacant since the new website became active and that the single volunteer, who has 16 years sober, has been a member of GROW for only six months.

The Website Administrator suggested that, while the current requirement should not be changed, it might be possible to make an exception given the volunteer’s length of sobriety and willingness to serve. Several participants agreed with this suggestion. We will postpone further discussion of this issue for now and possibly revisit an ‘exception’ proposal later in this meeting.

Results of Voting on Proposal 1

Nineteen (19) participants voted on Proposal 1.2, which would change the membership requirement for the Webkeeper Backup from one year to six months.

Twelve (12) participants voted “I disagree” (63%) on the proposal, and seven (7) voted “I agree. (37%) ” Therefore, Proposal 1 did not meet the requirement for a 2/3 majority.

In the absence of a 2/3 majority, this proposal will be set aside and cannot be raised again for a year.

1020 – OIAA Report

Oct 2020 OIAA Report

I’m Sophie, serving as our Online Intergroup of AA Rep.

What is OIAA?  The Online Intergroup of AA

The Intergroup exists to aid the groups in their common purpose of carrying the AA message to the alcoholic who still suffers.

Each and every online AA group can have one voting representative (currently that’s me for GROW). But any AA member is welcome to join, listen/read discussions, and on any Wednesday (known in OIAA AA Wacky Wednesday) can ask any off topic discussion question relating to online AA.

OIAA currently provides information to AA or to newcomers in several ways….

* World Wide Web Meeting Directories listing online AA groups – every format of online group can be found listed here: https://aa-intergroup.org/oiaa/meetings/

* The OIAA Unity Committee – communicates with other A.A. service bodies, such as local districts, intergroups, areas, regions, AAWS, GSO-NY, and GSO-UK. Currently the Unity Committee is working at building links with all GSO’s (General Service Offices) worldwide.

* The OIAA Public Information Committee – responds to needs at the public level and facilitates public awareness and understanding of Alcoholics Anonymous by means of the Internet, news media, personal contact, or non-AA public functions through conference approved literature, speakers, or correspondence.

The principal responsibilities of the Online Intergroup of AA are:

    • to promote the unity of online AA groups in accordance First Tradition One
    • to use the internet to carry the message of AA in accordance with Tradition Five
    • to respond to the needs of the online AA groups in accordance with Tradition Nine
    • to provide a central source of information about online AA through a website, directory, and the activities of its members, in accordance with Tradition Eleven

If you’ve been a member of a f2f AA group, you’ll probably know that your GSR (Group Service Representative) attends a local f2f Intergroup or Area Assembly, and that they carry your group’s voice – they discuss and vote on wider AA issues that support AA’s Primary Purpose. These forums such as Intergroups and Assemblies help groups work together to achieve more than just an individual group could do alone. In these times, this has never been truer in the online world of AA.

So, just like your f2f Intergroup or Assembly, the OIAA has Committees to organise the 12th Step Work and the support it offers online AA. Anyone is welcome to serve on these Committees, it’s not just down to group reps to carry out all the service needed.

This link takes you to a list of the OIAA Committees and what they do: https://aa-intergroup.org/about-aa/oiaa-members/

If communicating with newcomers is the service you’re looking for, you could join the 12th Step Committee. If you want to be involved in carrying the message to professionals (eg. medics, prison, judiciary), CPC (Cooperating With The Professional Community) could be for you. You can offer time in carrying the message to the public by working with The Public Information Committee.

I have always been encouraged to serve AA beyond my home group. The global world of AA and our service structure fascinates me and has given me many opportunities to give back. Committees can be challenging (opportunities for GROW-ing), but I’ve found them also to be inspiring too.

OIAA is constantly in assembly, which I found a very different and strange format to understand in the beginning. There are many threads of discussion to follow and lots of comments to read, but I’m learning ways to follow these and be ready to make an informed vote on behalf of GROW when needed.

For me, getting an understanding of the wider AA world online has been an added dimension to my sobriety. I’ve found a bunch of service friends amongst the Unity Committee in OIAA, and I know other committees are focused units ploughing forwards to better serve the online AA groups.

You might see little off-topic announcements from me as your OIAA Rep when I hear something in OIAA that I think may be of use to some of you.

In love and service,

1020 – Listkeeper’s Report

Oct 2020 Listkeeper’s Report

Our membership as of September 30, 2020 is 241. Regular list members 241 and 23 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.)

At the conclusion of our last business meeting, April 1, 2020; we had 166 members. This time last year we had 374 members. We conducted the Roll Call earlier this year and unsubbed many who did not reply as well as resubbed many members.

Big giant thanks to our greeters Lisa M. and Louise H. as well as Nancy C for keeping up with the large volume of requests while we were all quarantined due to COVID-19! This coming service term will include myself and Karen H as Listkeepers, while Karrie C and Lisa will continue as greeters. Thank you so much for all of your service ladies!

Respectfully submitted,
Sarah K and Nancy C
GROW Listkeepers

1020 – Business Chair Report

Oct 2020 Business Chair Report

There was one topic discussed after the April 2020 business meeting. A couple of members posted links and/or information about other meeting available on Zoom or another online platform.

The small steering committee discussed this, and the secretary asked the women who posted not to publish links but to inform members that there are other resources they use and ask anyone interested to contact them privately for specific information.

The discussion about changing the membership requirement for a trusted servant position will be discussed as a proposal in the October meeting.

Joan Bancroft
Outgoing Business Chair

1020 – Treasurer’s Report

Oct 2020 – Treasurer’s Report

Paypal Deposits
Deposit                     Balance
Apr……………………….. 125.89……………… 125.89
May………………………… 60.00……………… 185.89
June………………………… 10.00……………… 195.89
July…………………………. 64.26……………… 260.15
August…………………….. 54.12……………… 314.27
September………………. 66.12……………… 380.39

Ally Deposits
Deposit               Balance
Prudent Reserve……………………………….. 122.03
Apr- ……………………… 175.03……………… 297.06
May………………………….. 0.03……………… 297.09
June………………………… 50.03……………… 347.12
July…………………………… 0.03……………… 347.15
August…………………….. 35.03……………… 382.18
September………………. 50.00……………… 432.18

$ 380.39        Paypal
$ 432.18        Ally
$ 814.57        Total

We have no bills due, and there have been no other expenses during the period from April 1, 2020 to date.

I will keep $122.00 for prudent reserve and will send the remaining $692.57 as our donation to GSO.

Respectfully submitted,
Cheryl Baughman
GROW Treasurer

1020 – Secretary’s Report

Oct 2020 Secretary’s Report

Outgoing Trusted Servants:
(Terms ending October 1, 2020)

    • 12 Step Volunteer Listkeeper (04/20-10/20): Danna M. email
    • Birthday Listkeeper (04/20-10/20): Susan J. email
    • Sponsor Listkeeper (04/20-10/20): Alison B. email
    • Business Meeting Chair (10/18-10/20): Joan B. email
    • GSR (10/18-10/20): Kate M. email
    • GVR (10/19-10/20): Bobby T. email
    • Greeter (4/20-10/20): Louise H. email
    • Listkeeper (4/20-10/20): Nancy C. email
    • Secretary (10/19-10/20): Laurie C. email
    • Website Administrator (4/20-10/20): Tanya C. email

Current Trusted Servants
(as of October 2020)

  • 12 Step Volunteer Listkeeper: Claire H <harrisonclaire33@gmail.com>
  • Birthday Listkeeper: Julie K <julie.kapala2013@gmail.com>
  • Sponsor Listkeeper : Lynn <lilitaliangal@gmail.com>

Trusted Servants who make up the Steering Committee:

  • Business Meeting Chair (10/20 to 10/22) Danna M <danna.growmail@gmail.com>
  • GSR (10/20-10/21): Nicole W <nicolewaltersparker@icloud.com>
  • GVR (10/20-10/21): Barbara ‘Barb’ M <barbaramanolache@gmail.com>
  • Greeter (4/20-4/21): Lisa M <lmmgrow@gmail.com>
  • Greeter (10-20 -10-21): Karrie C <kchaneycoo@gmail.com>
  • Listkeeper (4/20-4/21): Sarah K <smkeester@gmail.com>
  • Listkeeper Alternate (10/20-10/21): Karen H <fromie10@gmail.com>
  • OIAA Rep (10/20-4/21): Sophie R <sophieflookgrowbusiness@gmail.com>
  • Secretary (10/20-10/21): Nancy C <cybergram@eastlink.ca>
  • Temporary Mentor (4/20- 4/21): Sarah M <the.bhakti.yogini@gmail.com>
  • Treasurer (10/19-10/21): Cheryl B <cab7thtradition@gmail.com>
  • Website Administrator (10/20-10/21): Cheryl D <cdematt@gmail.com>
  • Webkeeper <vacant>
  • Webkeeper Backup <vacant>
  • Weekly Leader Listkeeper (4-20 to 4/21): Rene Goldsworthy <renegoldsworthy517@gmail.com>
  • Immediate Past Business Meeting Chair: Joan B
  • Immediate Past GSR: Kate M
  • Immediate Past OIAA: Lynn H and Kirsten V.
  • Immediate Past Secretary: Laurie C

1020 – Business Meeting Welcome

Oct 2020 – Business Meeting Welcome

Greetings, and welcome to the October 2020 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 4th day, I will post summarize our discussions and offer recommendations on any changes suggested by the 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.

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