Sep 06: Step 9

We are all invited to share on Step 9. The steps are our blueprint for living sober lives.

*** Step 9 ***
“Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.”

This step is listed in Chapter 5, How it Works, from the book, Alcoholics Anonymous (affectionately known as the Big Book) (see p. 59). There’s much more in Chapter 6 (Into Action), starting in the middle of page 76. There’s even more about it in the book, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions.

*** Where to get the books, Alcoholics Anonymous and Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions ***

You can find these books at many f2f AA meetings; you can order them online from many places. And they are available from the AA General Service office, to read online, in English, French, and Spanish. See www.aa.org

My experience with Step nine is a variety, I make living amends, to myself, and others. I ALWAYS talk to my sponsor or trusted AA friends before I make any amends. I have to be keenly aware of my motives. Amends based on reestablishing a relationship, or getting you to forgive or like me again, aren’t amends. Amends are for me, first and foremost, They give me humility and pride in my self. They actually are part of the process in giving myself, back to myself. My drinking career revolved around people pleasing and trying to fit my square peg into the round hole. I just don’t fit. But the process of amends, understanding what I did that hurt your feelings, and what you require to “fix it” is humbling and really asks me to “listen” not defend. When I am that vulnerable, and that open and the other person can receive me on that playing field magic happens. Magic didn’t happen in all my amends. Some have been flatly refused and this people refuse to have conversations with me. That hurts, and today I can let myself actually feel that hurt. It’s a whole lot better than trying to stuff it or drink at it.

This is one of the parts of growing up I missed as a kid, and thank god there’s a program out here to teach me how to do it.

The meetings yours, please share on Step 9

0420 – Proposal 5: Eliminate “alternative”

Proposal 5: Eliminate “Alternative” from one TS position

I propose to delete the word alternate from the list keeping job description.  There are no “ alternates” in the true sense of this word or this work

The dates of term are enough.


Rationale

It simply a housekeeping thing from the secretary viewpoint.  When the terms change each 6 months the secretary won’t have to move one person into another position.


Summary of Comments on Proposal 5

Looks good to me.

********
I don’t agree with the proposal as submitted.  The Listkeeper and Alternate Listkeeper are currently in a 2-year term; one as primary (Listkeeper) and one as Alternate.  You mention a term change every 6 months, which doesn’t match the position description that is on our website.

********
Yes, you’re right. It’s 2 years.

********
Cheryl raises a good point. The duties of the two positions may be the same, but their terms of office are different. The “Alternate” becomes the Listkeeper after she serves her one-year term as alternate. I think we should make that clear by retaining the existing position title of “Listkeeper Alternate.

********
So does the proposal need to be rewritten?

********
So, looking at the responses made me re-think a bit.

If you remove the word “alternate”, how do you know who is the primary list keeper? Description states 1yr backup and 1yr primary. That would need to be changed also.

And, why would you need to move people from one position to another after 6months? Maybe that should have said 1yr?

Maybe the proposal needs to be re-written?

********
No objection to withdrawal of proposal 5.2, eliminate “alternate” from listkeeper.

(Proposal withdraw at the request of the grow member who submitted it.  There was no further discussion and there was no vote taken.)


Results of Voting on Proposal 5

Proposal withdraw at the request of the grow member who submitted it.  There was no further discussion and there was no vote taken.

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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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 Group Conscience Decisions

October 2018 Group Conscience Decisions

Below is a summary of the Group Conscience Decisions from the October 2018 Business Meeting

Proposal 2: 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.
Proposal 3:  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 on this group conscience decision, please refer to Proposal 3 from the October 2018 business meeting.
Proposal 4:  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 on this group conscience decision, please refer to Proposal 4 from the October 2018 business meeting.
Proposal 5:  Expand on the Temporary Mentor by establishing a Newcomer Committee, as the Sponsorship pamphlet suggests some groups do.
Recommended Language:
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 on this group conscience decision, please refer to Proposal 5 from the October 2018 business meeting.

Monthly Tradition Meeting

Monthly Tradition Meeting Letter Templates

Below is a list of letter templates for the monthly tradition meeting.

Trusted Servants 10/2019

Trusted Servants

  • 12 Step Volunteer Listkeeper (10/19-4/20): Karrie C. email
  • Birthday Listkeeper (10/19-4/20): Lynn H.  email
  • Sponsor Listkeeper (10/19-4/20): Rene G.  email

Trusted Servants who make up the Steering Committee:

  • Business Meeting Chair (10/18-10/20): Joan B. email
  • GSR (10/18-10/20): Kate M. email
  • GVR (10/19-10/20): OPEN
  • Greeter (4/19-4/20): Sarah K.  email
  • Greeter (4/19-4/20): Louise H. email
  • Listkeeper (4/19-4/20): Karen H. email
  • Listkeeper Alternate (4/19-4/20): Nancy C. email
  • OIAA Rep (4/20-4/21): OPEN
  • Secretary (10/19-10/20): Laurie C. email
  • Temporary Mentor (4/19-4/20): Danna M. email
  • Treasurer (10/19-10/21): Cheryl B.  email
  • Website Admininstrator (4/19-4/20): Tanya C. email
  • Webkeeper (4/19-4/20): Allison M. email
  • Webkeeper Backup (10/19-10/20): Cheryl D. email
  • Weekly Leader Listkeeper (10/19-4/20): Bobby T. email
  • Immediate Past Business Meeting Chair: Danna M. email
  • Immediate Past GSR: Joan B. email
  • Immediate Past OIAA: Lynn H.  email and Kirsten V. email
  • Immediate Past Secretary: Ruth F.  email

2016 Business Meetings

2016 October Business Meeting

GROW Business Meeting Guidelines

The following are the GROW guidelines for conducting business:

  1. Proposals to be considered during GROW business meetings should include the following:
    1. A clear brief statement that summarizes the proposal;
    2. A rationale that describes why the group conscience decision is needed; and
    3. Specific language to be presented for discussion and voting in the business meeting (including, as appropriate, language for a job description, form letter, or GROW policy or guideline). This language may need to be modified by the Trusted Servant responsible for the area to reflect the group’s discussions.

    Before submitting a proposal, meeting participants are encouraged to consult with the Business Chair, Secretary, or Steering Committee members to formulate their proposals if they need help. They should also review past Group Conscience Decisions related to the proposal.

  2. We allow a minimum of three days for discussion, more when warranted.
  3. At the end of the three-day discussion period, the Chair calls for a vote. Three days are allowed for voting, which can be done either publicly on the list, or privately by sending votes to the Chair. The Chair counts the votes.
  4. The voting is done by: I agree or I disagree.
  5. At the end of the voting period, the Chair announces the results of the vote. The group holds to a 2/3 majority to pass or fail any group conscience decision.
  6. Following the announcement of results, the Chair will ask if the minority wants three days to discuss their minority opinion.
    1. If yes, then three days of discussion will begin.

      At the end of the three days of discussion, the Chair will ask if anyone who originally voted for the Proposal (a majority voter) has been persuaded by this discussion to change her opinion. If yes, the Chair then calls for another 3-day voting period. The outcome of the second vote is the determining vote. As in the first vote, the 2/3 majority vote will be observed.

      If no majority voters have been persuaded to change their opinion, there will not be another vote.

    2. If the minority does not want three days to express their opinion, there will be no further discussion and there will not be another vote.
  7. At the end of the voting period, the Business Chair announces the final results of the vote.
  8. Note: 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.

 

Guidance About Informed Group Conscience Decisions
(from Alcoholics Anonymous)

What is an Informed A.A. Group Conscience?

“The group conscience is the collective conscience of the group membership and thus represents substantial unanimity on an issue before definitive action is taken. This is achieved by the group members through the sharing of full information, individual points of view, and the practice of A.A. principles. To be fully informed requires a willingness to listen to minority opinions with an open mind.

“On sensitive issues, the group works slowly discouraging formal motions until a clear sense of its collective view emerges. Placing principles before personalities, the membership is wary of dominant opinions. Its voice is heard when a well-informed group arrives at a decision. The result rests on more than a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ count precisely because it is the spiritual expression of the group conscience. The term “informed group conscience” implies that pertinent information has been studied and all views have been heard before the group votes.

– From the pamphlet,
The AA Group: Where it all begins. 2005, p. 26-77.

 

A.A. experience has taught that:

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.

Tradition 4: With respect to its own affairs, each A.A. group should be responsible to no other authority than its own conscience. But when its plans concern the welfare of neighboring groups also, those groups ought to be consulted. And no group, regional committee, or individual should ever take any action that might greatly affect A.A. as a whole without conferring with the trustees of the Alcoholic Foundation.* On such issues our common welfare is paramount.

*Now called The General Service Board of A.A., Inc.

Secretary’s Report

All Quiet on the Grow Front.

We had one issue to deal with through the Steering Committee.

One was a member who approaches new members and offers them temporary sponsorship. However the new members are fragile and we have heard from two directly about her perceived rude behavior. This was discussed in Steering Committee. It was decided to send an additional etiquette letter to the group, with the caution of not every sponsor, or AA is a good fit. It was also discussed to send the offending member a warning for her behavior, and well as amending the etiquette letter to continue with the caution addendum.

Another issue discussed within the small steering committee was about another members continued off topic posts which seem to be preaching, not sharing her ESH. She’s posting from a source that she isn’t disclosing thinking that if she docent disclose the source then she’s not in violation of ” posting non-AA sanctioned material” The discussion looked up the website which promotes AA and encourages sharing the material. So it was determined theres no copy right infringement, and the discussion centered on every individual being able to use the delete key if they should choose not to read the material being sent. I also had an upcoming chair and posted the topic, Personal Recovery sharing Styles, attraction not promotion in an effort to try to encourage this person to share herself, not some literature.

The following positions were open:

  • 12 step list keeper
  • Birthday List keeper
  • Sponsor List keeper
  • Biz Chair
  • Secretary
  • OIAA rep

Danna stepped down from Webkeeper and stepped into Biz chair, Tanya Stepped into Webkeeper, and opened up GSR, Suzanne resigned Web Keeper Back-up and Carol resigned Listkeeper, Nancy C stepped into that position.

It feels like musical chairs.

In 2016 we also conducted the group inventory. Results can be found on the website, It was also sent to the steering committee for review to see if we need to add or change any of our existing policies.

Here is the link: Group inventory (opens new page)

Respectfully submitted, Laurie C., Secretary, 10/2015 – 10/2016

 


Our Trusted Servants – October 2016

  • 12 Step Volunteer Listkeeper  (10/16 – 4/17): Mindy M.
  • Birthday Listkeeper (10/16 – 4/17):  Susie B.
  • Sponsor Listkeeper (10/16 – 4/17)  Allison McG.

Trusted Servants who make up the Steering Committee:

  • Business Meeting Chair (10/16 – 10/18): Danna McD.
  • GSR / OIAA Backup (10/16 – 10/18): Joan B.
  • GVR: (10/16 – 10/17): Alison B.
  • Greeters (4/16 – 4/17): Susan P., Karrie C.
  • Listkeeper (10/16 – 4/17): Nancy C.
  • Listkeeper Alternate* (4/16 – 4/18): Louise H.
  • OIAA Representative (10/16 – 10/17): Yvonne M.
  • Secretary (10/16 – 10/17): Laura G.
  • Temporary Mentor (4/16 – 14/17): Gigi D.
  • Treasurer (10/15 – 10/17): Cheryl B.
  • Webkeeper (non-rotating position): Tanya Q.
  • Webkeeper Backup (10/16 – 10/18): Laura B.
  • Weekly Leader Listkeeper (4/16 – 4/17): Elizabeth M.
  • Immediate Past Business Meeting Chair: Gigi D.
  • Immediate Past GSR/OIAA Backup: Tanya Q.
  • Immediate Past Secretary: Laurie C.

 


Listkeepers’ Report

Our membership as of September 30, 2016 is 256. Regular list members 227 and 29 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.)

Carol, our former listkeeper found that she was too busy to stay on as listkeeper. Having just been widowed and needing to keep busy I (Nancy C) stepped in to fill out Carol’s term until April 2017. Louise and I have been working together for years and have a great working relationship!

Our Greeters, Susan and Karrie are both fast learners and are doing an excellent job and we all enjoy working together!

There has been some discussion about new members leaving shortly after joining GROW and why this is happening. Our members may need a reminder not to be too pressuring with new members…

Louise H & Nancy C | Co-Listkeepers GROW
Nancy C. 10/2016 – 04/2017
Louise H. 04/2016 – 04/2018
 


Treasurers Report

Please find enclosed the Treasurers Report for April through Sept 2016.

Balance Mar 2016 $1166.11
Pd $72.00 Web server
Pd $1014.61 GSO
Balance April 2016 $79.50 Prudent Reserve
Donations $752.47 April – Sept
Balance Sept 2016 $ 831.97

Respectfully submitted, Cheryl Baughman, Grow Treasurer 10/2015 – 10/2017
 


GSR Report

This is my last GSR report and it has been a pleasure serving GROW in this capacity.

Service – I mentioned this in my last report that serving as a GSR for an on-line group is a bit different than for a f2f HOWEVER it has been a wonderful opportunity to grow from.

I followed the shiny ball in this position and learned a lot about this amazing program we share when writing these reports and it has enriched my program as well as my f2f GSR duties for my home group.

You know any service position truly can enrich your program … even when you think “what *@$# am I doing?” I feel that a lot however there is always a point in that service position that I “let go and grow”. When I do, I actually grow … imagine that.

I am so very grateful for AA and I am continually amazed at the foresight by our founders in the intricacies of how AA works.

As you know by now, I get a publication called Box 4-5-9 and it which serves as the basis for my reports. Some may be new to GROW and may not know what Box 4-5-9 is?

Box 4-5-9 is AA’s “quarterly news bulletin from the U.S./Canada General Service Office. This newsletter includes information about A.A. service, literature, events, sharing from groups, service committees and individual U.S./Canada A.A. members.”

Each of you can subscribe to it yourselves – if you like. Here is the address. www.aa.org/pages/en_US/box-4-5-9-news-and-notes-from-gso (opens new page)

As I did in my last report … I will provide an overview highlighting the key parts in this issue however please do download the current issue to read the articles in full. At the back of each issue is a calendar of events around the world. Be sure to check it out, there may be an event near you.

Printable Box 4-5-9 [PDF] (opens new page)

Other resources worth repeating:

AA Grapevine
Another wonderful resource is the AA Grapevine. The AA Grapevine is the International Journal of Alcoholics Anonymous. It is sometimes called “our meeting in print”. You can see in Susan G’s (our GVR) report how truly wonderful this resource is.

Sign up for the “Daily Grapevine Quote of the Day”, it is a great way to start your day. Check out the website for many other resources … www.aagrapevine.org(opens new page)

Intergroup
Here is another resource worth repeating. Did you know that throughout the world there are many f2f meetings (our online meeting goes beyond borders) however … “Where do I find a f2f meeting where I live?” … You may ask.

Well, glad you asked … if you go to the Alcoholics Anonymous website (http://www.aa.org) you can put in your zip code or country and it will give you a listing of the Intergroup, Area information or contact.

“What is Intergroup?”

Glad you asked that too. Intergroup acts much like the GSO (General Service Office) however it is more regional. From the AA site ‘Intergroup’ is “a central office (or intergroup) is an A.A. service office that involves partnership among groups in a community–just as A.A. groups themselves are partnerships of individuals.”

For instance, in the Hill Country Intergroup (the Intergroup in my area) offers many services such as a hotline and a tremendous website that provides a listing of meetings in my area. Valuable tools and a source of service opportunities to enrich my own program.

Look for the one in your area. It may be large or may be small or there may be an opportunity to develop one. Whatever the case the Alcoholics Anonymous is there to help. Check out the many resources on the Alcoholics Anonymous website.

In keeping my lengthly report simple I will reframe from highlighting the Box 4-5-9 and would encourage you all to read it for yourselves, there is a lot of information in it. Printable Box 4-5-9 [PDF] (opens new page)

Lastly, the Box 459 Bulletin Board

Items and Ideas on Area Gatherings for AAs via GSO – Fall 2016 | Look on the online version of the Box 4-5-9. You can add your local events as well if you so desire to reach a larger audience. However, there are guidelines.

(From the GSO AA website…) Box 4-5-9 is a quarterly newsletter published by the General Service Office. The newsletter includes a calendar of A.A. events. A.A. events are created by A.A. members, for A.A. members, and are about the A.A. program of recovery from alcoholism.

Some guidelines for listing include:

  • Event must be two or more days.
  • Event may take place in the United States, Canada or countries outside of these.
  • Event must be open to all A.A. members and not solely for members of an individual group or meeting.

However due to limited space, Box 4-5-9 does not list:

  • Alkathons
  • Sober Cruises
  • Group Anniversaries
  • Group Events
  • Retreats
  • Marathon Meetings
  • Social/Family Focused Events
  • One Day Events
  • Non-A.A. Focused nor Multi-Focused Events
  • Pre/Post, Multi-Destination Tag-a-longs or Caravans

[Ok, kind of limits that down however IF your event meets the criteria, it could be a great resource for you, oh one more thing …] To be included in Box 4-5-9, event submissions must be received at G.S.O. at least four months prior to the even www.aa.org/pages/en_US/box-4-5-9-bulletin-board-calendar-of-events (opens new page)

Ok, I took the bite … What is an Alkathon?

According to one site…”In AA, the holiday season is often referred to as the Bermuda Triangle (once you go in, you may never come out) and the Triple Crown, because if you can make it through early sobriety during those emotionally charged times, you really do deserve some sort of prize. Which is why I love Alkathons.

Alkathons, for those who aren’t familiar with the term, are extended meetings that take place on three of the biggest drinking days/nights of the year and typically last 24-hours.” In AA, the holiday season is often referred to as the Bermuda Triangle (once you go in, you may never come out) and the Triple Crown, because if you can make it through early sobriety during those emotionally charged times, you really do deserve some sort of prize. Which is why I love Alkathons.”

Mmm did not know. I like the first part as my lifeday is 12/5 and I can attest to how hard those holidays can be. So, if you are like me try a Alkathon near you. There you have it … AA in action.

Thank you for allowing me to serve. With gratitude,
Your GROW GSR – Tanya Q., Group Service Representative, 10/2016 – 10/2017

 

Business Meeting Minutes

First 3-Day Period

***Reminder***
This business meeting will operate with 3-day business segments. That will be shorter than previous business meetings, which had 4-day segments for discussion.

***Reminder***
When I send an agenda item for discussion, please do not use Reply or Reply All, as this will direct it back to me or to the business listkeepers. Please be sure to address all emails to grow-business@oso-aa.org.

 


Second 3-Day Period

Dear Members,

This is a bit complicated; the intention is to synopsize the discussion about procedure during Session 3. I hope it clear to all. Bear with me as you read this, please!

Proposal 3

During Session 3 the group discussed procedure used for Proposal 3.1 and 3.2.

One member felt that 3.1 (the original proposal) contained options not mentioned in 3.2: I think that the member who presented her ideas in Proposal 3.1 was giving us instructions on ‘how’ to select a sponsor in addition to the idea expressed in the CAL. I agreed with her idea and suggested a couple of tweaks to her Proposal.

In my opinion, we should ‘marry’ these two Proposals, if possible, in order to capture the original ideas from 3.1 that were not a part of 3.2.

Another member agreed with this opinion and requested clarification. A third member stated: I believe that our current website information re: Sponsorship addresses the other issue raised in the original Proposal 3.0 … i.e. “how to choose a sponsor”.

She then quoted the relevant quote on our sponsorship web page and went on to say:

However, if there is confusion about how Proposal 3.0 was processed in the meeting, it should be clarified. Did the person who submitted Proposal 3.0 indicate that her concerns were addressed?

Personal communication between the proposer and the chair was in favor of the way Proposal 3.2 went out to the group. The chair explained to the members that her intention was for the group to vote on the CAL version and if the vote favored it, the issue was covered. Those who disagreed with any aspect of the way this went could vote No and voice their opinions in Minority Opinion. The chair felt that during discussion, enough consensus was reached to do this. In fact, votes were unanimous in favor of Proposal 3.2.

The proposer contributed this: CAL is fine, I just sent out the proposal to get a conversation started.

The chair’s sense of the group conscience, to use CAL when possible, was correct. The procedure was quick and that is unusual for a business meeting. The chair feels this is better than “dead air” time with no discussion on the list.

There is another consideration. The proposer mentions “the letter” in her email (explaining her intentions) and the letter she used was *the letter that goes to potentional GROW sponsors.* The CAL language in Proposal 3 is for *the web site,* an addition to the existing language on that Sponsorship page. When taking in proposals, the chair contacted the Temporary Mentor, thinking that was “the letter” the proposer meant. In fact, the proposer wanted *the Sponsor letter* added too.

So it turns out that we in GROW are covering all our bases, with additional language about how to choose a sponsor: in Proposal 3 (web page), Proposal 4 (TM letter), and the the not yet sent Sponsor letter, Proposal 5. Proposal 5 went out in Session 4 and is currently under discussion.

Proposal 4

As mentioned above, new language for the Temporary Mentor letter was voted on during Session 3. The vote was unanimously in favor of this change.

Proposal 4: I propose two following changes to the first Temporary Mentor letter that is sent out (see the bolded portions below:

I propose two following changes to the first Temporary Mentor letter that is sent out (see the bolded portions below):

Hi! [instead of “Hello XXX”; I think this is less formal and more inviting]

I am [Mentor name], Temporary Mentor for GROW. I see that you joined GROW recently and I’d like to welcome you! In the past, some members have found our information overwhelming at first, so we created this position (Temporary Mentor) as a helpful resource should you have questions and/or concerns about how our group and/or AA works.

If you are looking for an online sponsor, please see our Sponsor List on our website at: www.g-r-o-w.com
username: sobertoday
password: how2484

Go into the “For Members’ section at the top of the page. On the right-hand side of the page, you will see “Available Online Sponsors” and click on it. Feel free to contact any one of these ladies for assistance with the Steps and your program. Note that not every sponsor is a good fit for every person, so please reach out to another person if your first choice doesn’t work.?

It would be my pleasure to correspond with you by email so if you’d like some help, just let me know. Thanks.

Your name (Your email address)
GROW Temporary Mentor

***

All of the discussion of this Proposal was in agreement with the proposal. It went before the group for the vote during Session 3, which is now going on.

Thank you to all who participate in this discussion.

Yours in service,
Gigi, Biz Chair
 


Third 3-Day Period

Dear Members,

In Session 3 of our business meeting, we had Proposal 4.3 for voting and more discussion about Proposal 3.2.

RE: Proposal 3.2: Members wanted to know why the language change went to the vote instead of more discussion. The Chair explained that the vote allows for disagreement which would then be voiced and discussed through Minority Opinion.

RE: Proposal 4.3: This proposal was passed unanimously.

Proposal 4.3: I propose two following changes to the first Temporary Mentor letter that is sent out (see the bolded portions below:

Hi! [instead of “Hello XXX”; I think this is less formal and more inviting]

I am [Mentor name], Temporary Mentor for GROW. I see that you joined GROW recently and I’d like to welcome you! In the past, some members have found our information overwhelming at first, so we created this position (Temporary Mentor) as a helpful resource should you have questions and/or concerns about how our group and/or AA works.

If you are looking for an online sponsor, please see our Sponsor List on our website at: www.g-r-o-w.com
username: sobertoday
password: how2484

Go into the “For Members’ section at the top of the page. On the right-hand side of the page, you will see “Available Online Sponsors” and click on it. Feel free to contact any one of these ladies for assistance with the Steps and your program. Note that not every sponsor is a good fit for every person, so please reach out to another person if your first choice doesn’t work.

It would be my pleasure to correspond with you by email so if you’d like some help, just let me know. Thanks.

Your name (Your email address)
GROW Temporary Mentor

*****

Thank you for your participation.

Yours in service,
Gigi, Biz Chair
 


Forth 3-Day Period

During Session 4, the results of the vote on Proposal 4 were announced. This proposal passed unanimously.

***

Proposal 4:

Hi! [instead of “Hello XXX”; I think this is less formal and more inviting]

I am [Mentor name], Temporary Mentor for GROW. I see that you joined GROW recently and I’d like to welcome you! In the past, some members have found our information overwhelming at first, so we created this position (Temporary Mentor) as a helpful resource should you have questions and/or concerns about how our group and/or AA works.

If you are looking for an online sponsor, please see our
Sponsor List on our website at: www.g-r-o-w.com
username: sobertoday
password: how2484

Go into the “For Members’ section at the top of the page. On the right-hand side of the page, you will see “Available Online Sponsors” and click on it. Feel free to contact any one of these ladies for assistance with the Steps and your program. Note that not every sponsor is a good fit for every person, so please reach out to another person if your first choice doesn’t work.

It would be my pleasure to correspond with you by email so if you’d like some help, just let me know. Thanks.

Your name (Your email address)
GROW Temporary Mentor

***

Proposal 5 was submitted to the group for consideration.

Proposal 5.4: Make the following addition to the Sponsor Letter that goes to GROW each month:

A Summary About Sponsorship

Most present members of Alcoholics Anonymous owe their sobriety to the fact that someone else took a special interest in them and as willing to share a great gift with them.

Sponsorship is merely another way of describing the continuing special interest of a seasoned member that can mean so much to a newcomer turning to A.A. for help.

Individuals and groups cannot afford to lose sight of the importance of sponsorship, the importance of taking a special interest in a confused alcoholic who wants to stop drinking. Experience shows clearly that the members getting the most out of the A.A. program, and the groups doing the best job of carrying the A.A. message to still-suffering alcoholics, are those for whom sponsorship is too important to be left to chance.

By these members and groups, sponsorship responsibilities are welcomed and accepted as opportunities to enrich personal A.A. experience and to deepen the satisfactions that come from working with others.

***

How should a sponsor be chosen?

The process of matching newcomer and sponsor is as informal as everything else in A.A. Often, the new person simply approaches a more experienced member who seems compatible and asks that member to be a sponsor. Most A.A.s are happy and grateful to receive such a request.

An old A.A. saying suggests “Stick with the winners.” It’s only reasonable to seek a sharing of experience with a member who seems to be using the A.A. program successfully in everyday life. There are no specific rules, but a good sponsor probably should be a year or more away from the last drink – and should seem to be enjoying sobriety. and who has worked all twelve steps.

****

The discussion reflected several points. One point was the puncutation at the end of the quote from our web site: – and should seem to be enjoying sobriety. and who has worked all twelve steps.

One member suggested: Period remains where it is. New sentence: She should be someone who is working all twelve steps.

A second point was if we wish to include the phrase “and who has worked all twelve steps.”

The Chair found the exact quote from P-15, the AA pamphlet, “Questions and Answers on Sponsorship.” It is exactly the same as the proposal, but does not include the phrase: “and who has worked all twelve steps.”

One member states: I’d go for the simple and clean way it is said [below]… with no reference to working the steps at all. (Even when editing, it did strike me it was a little too prescribed!)

Another member concurs: Here is what was suggested to me, find a guide for the 12 Steps who is at least one step ahead of me. When I sobered up there was no internet and very few gals in my tiny fellowship to choose from. Two women to be exact. Finding another AA member in remote areas who has completed all 12 Steps may not be possible for some……

Another member has another opinion: I think we should stick to conference-approved language. If it references having done the 12 steps, fine. But since the brochure does not say that, I prefer to leave it out.

At least 5 members wanted to use CAL language only and at least another 3 express the thought to include the phrase that ‘the sponsor has worked all 12 steps.’ The Chair requested more discussion to try to arrive at a consensus. None has been reached and the original Proposal, with punctuation corrected, will go to the vote.

Impact: If this Proposal passes by 2/3, it will include the passage that a sponsor should have worked all 12 Steps and that is what our Sponsor letter will state. The way to include the language in the Sponsor letter is to vote Yes for the Proposal. The way to not include the language is to vote No.

If the Proposal fails to make a 2/3 majority, the minority will have the opportunity to change the minds of those who voted for the proposal. If anyone changes their mind, the group revotes. The revote is on the exact same proposal. We do not change the language of it. The time to do that was during discussion, but no alternate Proposal was suggested. The Chair got no sense of consensus so she could not echo that in a changed proposal.

If the Proposal ultimately fails (after minority opinon and revote), no addition will be made to the Sponsor letter at this time. Another Proposal could be brought to our next business meeting in April, using CAL (Conference Approved Literature) language. I hope that this is clear to all who are participating in this meeting.

*****

Thank you for your participation.

Yours in service,
Gigi, Biz Chair
 


Fifth 3-Day Period

Dear Members,

During Session 5 the group voted on Proposal 5. There was no other action during this session.

********

Proposal 5: Make the following addition to the Sponsor Letter that goes to GROW each month:

***Existing Language***

A Summary About Sponsorship

Most present members of Alcoholics Anonymous owe their sobriety to the fact that someone else took a special interest in them and as willing to share a great gift with them.

Sponsorship is merely another way of describing the continuing special interest of a seasoned member that can mean so much to a newcomer turning to A.A. for help.

Individuals and groups cannot afford to lose sight of the importance of sponsorship, the importance of taking a special interest in a confused alcoholic who wants to stop drinking. Experience shows clearly that the members getting the most out of the A.A. program, and the groups doing the best job of carrying the A.A. message to still-suffering alcoholics, are those for whom sponsorship is too important to be left to chance.

By these members and groups, sponsorship responsibilities are welcomed and accepted as opportunities to enrich personal A.A. experience and to deepen the satisfactions that come from working with others.

***End of existing language***

***NEW LANGUAGE***

How should a sponsor be chosen?

The process of matching newcomer and sponsor is as informal as everything else in A.A. Often, the new person simply approaches a more experienced member who seems compatible and asks that member to be a sponsor. Most A.A.s are happy and grateful to receive such a request.

An old A.A. saying suggests “Stick with the winners.” It’s only reasonable to seek a sharing of experience with a member who seems to be using the A.A. program successfully in everyday life. There are no specific rules, but a good sponsor probably should be a year or more away from the last drink – should seem to be enjoying sobriety, and has worked all twelve steps.

*****

Thank you for your participation.

Yours in service,
Gigi, Biz Chair
 


Sixth 3-Day Period

Dear Members,

During Session 6 we heard the Minority Opinion on Proposal 5.

I voted yes because during my service as secretary there were several incidences that were brought before the small steering committee that prompted some discussions about sponsorship and the responsibility we have towards our new members and newcomers in general.

This developed the proposal to add the ” how to choose a sponsor” paragraph to the sponsor letter that is sent out each month.

In my journey at six months sober I asked a lady to sponsor me who had two years in the program. She always seemed happy and sober. However as we started talking she would react to what I was sharing even to the point of talking to others inside and outside of the rooms. This happened because although she was sober, she herself was stuck on step three. She was two stepping. I survived – sobriety intact Although It has made me very vigilant to encourage new people coming in when looking for a sponsor that finding one working the steps is important.

Personally I believe it is important enough to state and talk about. But if the group only wants to go with CAL literature I believe newcomers will benefit from the added language to the letter.

Thank you for listening.

There were no changed votes after Minority Opinion. There were two new Proposals submitted related to this topic.

Proposal 6 offers the addition of the CAL (Conference Approved Literature) language to the Sponsor letter, just as it has been used on our web page.

Proposal 7 offers the same language with the addition of and has worked all twelve steps.

Discussion of these proposals shows the group is in consensus with the use of Proposal 6 and not of Proposal 7.

One member contributed the following, which many members agreed with:

I’m all for 6.

I’m not for 7. Adding that bit about a sponsor working the steps is going way beyond what our Book does even …

It talks about not even having to go through Step Five with an AA member…!

Of course a sponsor should have trodden the Steps I’d be now taking as a newcomer… I gave up my first sponsor when she told me she’d never done Step Three.

But she’d been perfect for me in the weeks leading up to that. I got so much from her (and it kickstarted her into Step 3 and rest of Steps!)

Leave it, with CAL only, and no addition.

The Proposals are below.

********

Proposal 6: Add “How Should a Sponsor Be Chosen” to the Sponsor Letter that goes to the mailing list each month.

Rationale: Makes the Sponsor Letter consistent with changes already approved for the GROW website and the Temporary Mentor Letter #1 (welcome letter).

Add the following section from “Questions & Answers on Sponsorship” to the Sponsor Letter:

How should a sponsor be chosen?

The process of matching newcomer and sponsor is as informal as everything else in A.A. Often, the new person simply approaches a more experienced member who seems compatible and asks that member to be a sponsor. Most A.A.s are happy and grateful to receive such a request.

An old A.A. saying suggests “Stick with the winners.” It’s only reasonable to seek a sharing of experience with a member who seems to be using the A.A. program successfully in everyday life. There are no specific rules, but a good sponsor probably should be a year or more away from the last drink – and should seem to be enjoying sobriety.

Proposal 7: Add language to the “How Should a Sponsor Be Chosen” section included in the monthly Sponsor Letter to suggest that a prospective sponsor should have worked the 12 Steps.

Rationale: Working the 12 Steps is a basic part of AA’s program of recovery. Members looking for a sponsor should be aware of this when choosing a sponsor. Adding the phrase “and who has worked all 12 Steps.” to the end of the last sentence of the “How Should a Sponsor Be Chosen” will highlight this important point.

Recommended addition in red below:

How should a sponsor be chosen?

The process of matching newcomer and sponsor is as informal as everything else in A.A. Often, the new person simply approaches a more experienced member who seems compatible and asks that member to be a sponsor. Most A.A.s are happy and grateful to receive such a request.

An old A.A. saying suggests “Stick with the winners.” It’s only reasonable to seek a sharing of experience with a member who seems to be using the A.A. program successfully in everyday life. There are no specific rules, but a good sponsor probably should be a year or more away from the last drink – and should seem to be enjoying sobriety and has worked all twelve steps.

*****

Thank you for your participation.

Yours in service,
Gigi, Biz Chair
 


Seventh 3-Day Period

Dear Members,

During session 7 of our business meeting, we voted on two Proposals, 6 and 7. These were offered to clarify the terms of Proposal 5.

Proposal 6 was accepted unanimously. Proposal 6 PASSES and will be added to the Sponsor Letter each month, as well as to the Form Letter section of our web site.

Proposal 7 was rejected by all but one member. She declined to state Minority Opinion in a private communication. Proposal 7 FAILS.

*****

Proposal 6: Add “How Should a Sponsor Be Chosen?” to the Sponsor Letter that goes to the mailing list each month.

Rationale: Makes the Sponsor Letter consistent with changes already approved for the GROW website and the Temporary Mentor Letter #1 (welcome letter).

Add the following section from “Questions & Answers on Sponsorship” to the Sponsor Letter:

How should a sponsor be chosen?

The process of matching newcomer and sponsor is as informal as everything else in A.A. Often, the new person simply approaches a more experienced member who seems compatible and asks that member to be a sponsor. Most A.A.s are happy and grateful to receive such a request.

An old A.A. saying suggests “Stick with the winners.” It’s only reasonable to seek a sharing of experience with a member who seems to be using the A.A. program successfully in everyday life. There are no specific rules, but a good sponsor probably should be a year or more away from the last drink – and should seem to be enjoying sobriety.

*****

Proposal 7: A?dd language to the “How Should a Sponsor Be Chosen” section included in the monthly Sponsor Letter to suggest that a prospective sponsor should have worked the 12 Steps.

Rationale: Working the 12 Steps is a basic part of AA’s program of recovery. Members looking for a sponsor should be aware of this when choosing a sponsor. Adding the phrase “and who has worked all 12 Steps.” to the end of the last sentence of the “How Should a Sponsor Be Chosen” will highlight this important point.

Recommended addition in red below:?

How should a sponsor be chosen?The process of matching newcomer and sponsor is as informal as everything else in A.A. Often, the new person simply approaches a more experienced member who seems compatible and asks that member to be a sponsor. Most A.A.s are happy and grateful to receive such a request.An old A.A. saying suggests “Stick with the winners.” It’s only reasonable to seek a sharing of experience with a member who seems to be using the A.A. program successfully in everyday life. There are no specific rules, but a good sponsor probably should be a year or more away from the last drink – and should seem to be enjoying sobriety and has worked all twelve steps.

*****

At this time, the October 2016 business meeting of ?Grateful Recovering Online Women comes to a close. Thank you all for your participation.

Please welcome Danna as our new Business Chair as I rotate out. Thank you for an intense and productive learning experience.

*****

Thank you for your participation.

Yours in service,
Gigi, Biz Chair rotating out
 


Business Meeting Session Summary

***Summary Business Meeting Session 1***

Our October business meeting began with several reports. The Secretary summarized one issue discussed by the Steering Committee since our April meeting and reminded us that we can see the results of our Group Inventory on the GROW website at Group Inventory 2016. She also presented the list of Trusted Servants for the coming six months (see Current Meeting Oct 2016 Trusted Servants).

Our Listkeepers reported that GROW currently has 227 members, and our Treasurer reported a current balance of $831.97 in our treasury. Our GSR highlighted the newsletter, Box 4-5-9, newsletter includes information about A.A. service, literature, events, sharing from groups, service committees and individual U.S./Canada A.A. members. Box 4-5-9 is available online at Box 4-5-9. She also reminded us of AA’s wonderful Grapevine magazine (see AA Grapevine) and explained how important Intergroup is to AA’s regional and local functions.

Three proposals were submitted for consideration during the first three days of our business meeting. They included:

  1. Making Web Keeper a 5-year rotating term
  2. Making this position a voting member of the Steering Committee
  3. Adding the following language to the web page on Sponsorship: “No one person is a good fit for everyone. Sponsorship is based on Attraction, not promotion. You pick a sponsor because you want what she has. You pick a sponsor to teach you how to work the Steps in all your affairs. They are not your friend, your counselor, or your confidante. They are a mentor and a teacher of a way of life. You are always free to end a sponsorship relationship.”

During this three-day session, the member who offered Proposals 1 and 2 withdrew them. She feels the time is not yet right for offering these to the group, since she has just taken on the Web Keeper position.

The third proposal saw a lot of discussion. Many of the members liked the feeling expressed in the proposal. When one member suggested that we use language from Conference Approved Literature and gave us the pertinent quote, there was general sentiment in favor of that language. The proposal was changed to use language from the brochure: “May a newcomer change sponsors? We are always free to select another sponsor with whom we feel more comfortable, particularly if we believe this member will be more helpful to our growth in A.A.” During the next three-day session, we will vote on the revised proposal.

Yours in service,
Gigi, Current Biz Chair
Danna, Incoming Biz Chair and author of this Summary
 


***Summary Business Meeting Session 2***

During the second 3-day period of the October Business Meeting, participants discussed two proposals.

Proposal 3 called for GROW to add the following to the webpage on Sponsorship:

“No one person is a good fit for everyone. Sponsorship is based on Attraction, not promotion. You pick a sponsor because you want what she has. You pick a sponsor to teach you how to work the Steps in all of your affairs. They are not your friend, your counselor, or your confidante. They are a mentor and a teacher of a way of life. You are always free to end a sponsorship relationship.”

During the discussion, members suggested that it is more appropriate to use language from conference-approved literature, specifically the brochure “Questions & Answers on Sponsorship.” The current webpage already contains brief excerpts from that brochure on how newcomers benefit from having a sponsor and on how to choose a sponsor. Reflecting apparent consensus on this, participants voted to add the following excerpt to GROW’s sponsor webpage: “May a newcomer change sponsors? We are always free to select another sponsor with whom we feel more comfortable, particularly if we believe this member will be more helpful to our growth in A.A.”

The vote on this proposal reflected consensus approval, and the revised language will be added to the “Available Online Sponsors” webpage.

Proposal 4 was submitted by GROW’s current Temporary Mentor to make a couple of changes to the Temporary Mentor form letter. The first change was a simple change of tone by changing “Hello” to “Hi.” The second change was to add a sentence that points out to new members the flexibility they have in selecting a sponsor: “Note that not every sponsor is a good fit for every person, so please reach out to another person if your first choice doesn’t work.”

Comments overwhelmingly approved the suggested changes, and participants are voting on the proposal during the 3rd 3-day session.

Yours in service,
Gigi, Current Biz Chair
 


***Summary Business Meeting Session 3***

 


***Summary Business Meeting Session 4***

During the fourth three-day period of our Business Meeting, one proposal was adopted unanimously and another proposal was discussed by participants.

Participants approved two changes to the Temporary Mentor welcome letter: a minor wording change to change the letter’s tone and the addition of a sentence clarifying the sponsorship relationship (“Note that not every sponsor is a good fit for every person, so please reach out to another person if your first choice doesn’t work.”).

A new proposal was submitted that would revise the monthly Sponsor List Announcement to make it consistent with the already-approved changes. If adopted, the letter would include the same “How Should a Sponsor Be Chosen?” section that was added to the website and the Temporary Mentor Letter #1.

Discussions on the proposal centered on a phrase the proposal added to the language taken from the brochure “Questions & Answers on Sponsorship” that says a prospective sponsor should have worked the 12 Steps. Five participants commented that the addition should be limited to the conference-approved language from the brochure, and three participants preferred adding the statement that a possible sponsor should have worked all 12 Steps. During the fifth three-day session, participants are voting whether to adopt the proposal as submitted.

Yours in service,
Gigi, Current Biz Chair

 


***Summary Business Meeting Session 5***

Dear GROWers,

During Session 5 the group voted on Proposal 5. There was no other action during this session. The proposal added language from AA’s “Questions & Answers on Sponsorship” brochure to the monthly Sponsor Letter with “… and has worked all twelve steps” inserted at the end. There were 9 “No” votes and 3 “Yes” votes on the proposal. During the sixth three-day session, those voting “Yes” are invited, but not required, to share their reasons for their vote. After the minority response, members can change their vote, and participants will revote. If no one changes their vote, we will go on to new proposals if time allows.

Yours in service,
Gigi and Danna
 


***Summary Business Meeting Session 6***

Dear GROWers,

During the sixth three-day session of our Business Meeting, minority opinions were heard on the proposal (#5) to add conference-approved language from “How Should a Sponsor be Chosen?” from AA’s Questions & Answers on Sponsorship brochure. One participant submitted a minority opinion, but no one changed their vote as a result.

Therefore, the proposal was not approved or adopted. To facilitate progress, proposals were then submitted that offered two options mirroring Proposal 5. One of them included the conference-approved language only (Proposal 6), and the other included the additional phrase “… and has worked all the 12 steps” at the end of the passage (Proposal 7). Participants then discussed the new proposals with apparent consensus favoring the passage without the additional phrase (#6). During the seventh and final three-day session, participants will vote on the two proposals.

Many thanks to Danna for writing this!? She is going to make an excellent Business Chair. 🙂

Yours in service,
Gigi, Biz Chair rotating out

 


Proposals

  1. Propose making Web Keeper a 5-year rotating term
  2. Propose making this position a voting member of the Steering Committee
  3. Propose to add the following to the web page on Sponsorship
  4. Propose two following changes to the first Temporary Mentor letter
  5. Propose a Summary About Sponsorship
  6. Propose to add “How Should a Sponsor Be Chosen?” to the Sponsor Letter
  7. Propose to add “How Should a Sponsor Be Chosen?” to the Sponsor Letter AND that prospective sponsor worked the 12 steps

Proposal 1: Propose making Web Keeper a 5-year rotating term

Rationale – There are three important factors in proposing a “termed” position and a longer term limit than the typical 2-year.

On page 19 of the pamphlet “The AA Group” –under “What Trusted Servants (Officers) Do We Need?”: It reflects the strength of Tradition 2 in the AA Group by reminding us of the importance of term limits. “Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.”

Being in recovery we understand the need to let go and to be honest, it is difficult. However, by working the program we also have come to see the beauty in letting go and growing. The same with our service positions.

Many times I thought I would never grow in a service positon I knew nothing about, and yet when I let go and “served” … I grew.

Similarly, when I get too comfortable in a service position, I do not grow. This is another one of those amazing paradoxes in our program.

Maintaining a website and ensuring consistency suggests that a longer term would be better for this position than the typical 2 years. An odd-numbered term limit would allow the webkeeper’s rotation to fall in the middle of the business chair’s term. These positions work closely during the business meetings by posting minutes and updating our website, based on the group conscious.

NOTE: Ideally, the year prior to rotating off, the webkeeper would be training her replacement to assume duties at the end of her term.

***Discussion on Proposal 1***

During this session, the member who offered Proposals 1 and 2 withdrew them. She feels the time is not yet right for offering these to the group, since she has just taken on the Web Keeper position.

Proposal withdrawn

 


Proposal 2: Propose making this position a voting member of the Steering Committee

Rationale – The webkeeper position would have a rotating term limit.

***Discussion on Proposal 2***

During this session, the member who offered Proposals 1 and 2 withdrew them. She feels the time is not yet right for offering these to the group, since she has just taken on the Web Keeper position.

Proposal withdrawn

 


Proposal 3: Propose to add the following to the web page on Sponsorship

***No one person is a good fit for everyone. Sponsorship is based on Attraction, not promotion. You pick a sponsor because you want what she has. You pick a sponsor to teach you how to work the Steps in all your affairs. They are not your friend, your counselor, or your confidante. They are a mentor and a teacher of a way of life. You are always free to end a sponsorship relationship.***

Rationale – The small Steering Committee noticed that several new members left our group due to negative interactions with sponsors. There is more on this in the List Keepers and Secretary reports.

***Discussion on Proposal 3***

During the discussion, members suggested that it is more appropriate to use language from conference-approved literature, specifically the brochure “Questions & Answers on Sponsorship.”

Specific points included:

  • During discussion, several people mentioned and agreed with changing the word “they” to the word “she.”
  • Several people wrote privately to the Chair, objecting to the language entirely; they felt it was too severe.
  • One member proposed using Conference Approved Literature (CAL) from the AA pamphlet on sponsorship. Several members agreed with this language.

The current webpage already contains brief excerpts from that brochure on how newcomers benefit from having a sponsor and on how to choose a sponsor. Reflecting apparent consensus on this, participants voted on Proposal 3.2 to add the following excerpt to GROW’s sponsor webpage:

“May a newcomer change sponsors? We are always free to select another sponsor with whom we feel more comfortable, particularly if we believe this member will be more helpful to our growth in A.A.”.

Proposal 3.2 passed unanimously. Thank you to all who took the time to vote.

 


Proposal 4: Propose two following changes to the first Temporary Mentor letter

I propose two following changes to the first Temporary Mentor letter that is sent out (see the bolded portions below:

Hi! [instead of “Hello XXX”; I think this is less formal and more inviting]

I am [Mentor name], Temporary Mentor for GROW. I see that you joined GROW recently and I’d like to welcome you! In the past, some members have found our information overwhelming at first, so we created this position (Temporary Mentor) as a helpful resource should you have questions and/or concerns about how our group and/or AA works.

If you are looking for an online sponsor, please see our Sponsor List on our website at: www.g-r-o-w.com
username: sobertoday
password: how2484

Go into the “For Members’ section at the top of the page. On the right-hand side of the page, you will see “Available Online Sponsors” and click on it. Feel free to contact any one of these ladies for assistance with the Steps and your program. Note that not every sponsor is a good fit for every person, so please reach out to another person if your first choice doesn’t work.

It would be my pleasure to correspond with you by email so if you’d like some help, just let me know. Thanks.

Your name (Your email address)
GROW Temporary Mentor

***Discussion on Proposal 4***

Proposal 4 was discussed and will be voted on in Session 3.

Proposal 4.3 passed unanimously. Thank you to all who took the time to vote.

 


Proposal 5.4: Make the following addition to the Sponsor Letter that goes to GROW each month:

A Summary About Sponsorship

Most present members of Alcoholics Anonymous owe their sobriety to the fact that someone else took a special interest in them and as willing to share a great gift with them.

Sponsorship is merely another way of describing the continuing special interest of a seasoned member that can mean so much to a newcomer turning to A.A. for help.

Individuals and groups cannot afford to lose sight of the importance of sponsorship, the importance of taking a special interest in a confused alcoholic who wants to stop drinking. Experience shows clearly that the members getting the most out of the A.A. program, and the groups doing the best job of carrying the A.A. message to still-suffering alcoholics, are those for whom sponsorship is too important to be left to chance.

By these members and groups, sponsorship responsibilities are welcomed and accepted as opportunities to enrich personal A.A. experience and to deepen the satisfactions that come from working with others.

How should a sponsor be chosen?

The process of matching newcomer and sponsor is as informal as everything else in A.A. Often, the new person simply approaches a more experienced member who seems compatible and asks that member to be a sponsor. Most A.A.s are happy and grateful to receive such a request.

An old A.A. saying suggests “Stick with the winners.” It’s only reasonable to seek a sharing of experience with a member who seems to be using the A.A. program successfully in everyday life. There are no specific rules, but a good sponsor probably should be a year or more away from the last drink – and should seem to be enjoying sobriety. and who has worked all twelve steps.

***Discussion on Proposal 5.4***

Proposal 5 was voted on during session 5. The result was 9 No votes and 3 Yes votes. This Proposal has met the 2/3 requirement and it has failed.

 


Proposal 6: Add “How Should a Sponsor Be Chosen?” to the Sponsor Letter that goes to the mailing list each month.

Rationale: Makes the Sponsor Letter consistent with changes already approved for the GROW website and the Temporary Mentor Letter #1 (welcome letter).

Add the following section from “Questions & Answers on Sponsorship” to the Sponsor Letter:

How should a sponsor be chosen?

The process of matching newcomer and sponsor is as informal as everything else in A.A. Often, the new person simply approaches a more experienced member who seems compatible and asks that member to be a sponsor. Most A.A.s are happy and grateful to receive such a request.

An old A.A. saying suggests “Stick with the winners.” It’s only reasonable to seek a sharing of experience with a member who seems to be using the A.A. program successfully in everyday life. There are no specific rules, but a good sponsor probably should be a year or more away from the last drink – and should seem to be enjoying sobriety.

***Discussion on Proposal 6***

Proposal 6 passed unanimously. Thank you to all who took the time to vote.

 


Proposal 7: Add language to the “How Should a Sponsor Be Chosen” section included in the monthly Sponsor Letter to suggest that a prospective sponsor should have worked the 12 Steps.

A Summary About Sponsorship

Rationale: Makes the Sponsor Letter consistent with changes already approved for the GROW website and the Temporary Mentor Letter #1 (welcome letter).

Recommended addition: in bold below

How should a sponsor be chosen?

The process of matching newcomer and sponsor is as informal as everything else in A.A. Often, the new person simply approaches a more experienced member who seems compatible and asks that member to be a sponsor. Most A.A.s are happy and grateful to receive such a request.

An old A.A. saying suggests “Stick with the winners.” It’s only reasonable to seek a sharing of experience with a member who seems to be using the A.A. program successfully in everyday life. There are no specific rules, but a good sponsor probably should be a year or more away from the last drink – and should seem to be enjoying sobriety and has worked all twelve steps.

***Discussion on Proposal 7***

Proposal 7 had one Yes voter and everyone else voted against it. I privately asked the Yes voter if she wished to state her Minority Opinion and she declined. Proposal failed. Thank you to all who took the time to vote.

Trusted Servants 04/2019

Trusted Servants

  • 12 Step Volunteer Listkeeper (4/19-10/19): Sophie email
  • Birthday Listkeeper (4/19-10/19): Ruth F. email
  • Sponsor Listkeeper (4/19-10/19): Sherrie W. email

Trusted Servants who make up the Steering Committee:

  • Business Meeting Chair (10/18-10/20): Joan B. email
  • GSR (10/18-10/20): Kate M. email
  • GVR (10/18-10/19): Barbara M. email
  • Greeter (4/19-4/20): Sarah K.  email
  • Greeter (4/19-4/20): Louise H. email
  • Listkeeper (4/19-4/20): Karen H. email
  • Listkeeper Alternate* (4/19-4/21): Nancy C. email
  • OIAA Rep (10/18-10/19): Lynn H. email and Kirsten V. email
  • Secretary (10/18-10/19): Ruth F. email
  • Temporary Mentor (4/18-4/19): Danna M. email
  • Treasurer (10/17-10/19): Sue W. email
  • Web Admin (4/19-4/20): Tanya C. email
  • Webkeeper (4/19-4/20): Allison M. email
  • Webkeeper Backup (4/19-4/20):
  • Weekly Leader Listkeeper (4/19-4/20): Gigi email
  • Immediate Past Business Meeting Chair: Danna M. email
  • Immediate Past GSR: Joan B. email
  • Immediate past OIAA: Jenny P email
  • Immediate Past Secretary: Karrie C. email

Trusted Servants 10/2018

Trusted Servants

  • 12 Step Volunteer Listkeeper (10/18-4/19): Danna M. email
  • Birthday Listkeeper (10/18-4/19): Sophie email
  • Sponsor Listkeeper (10/18-4/19): Cheryl B. email

Trusted Servants who make up the Steering Committee:

  • Business Meeting Chair (10/18-10/20): Joan B. email
  • GSR (10/18-10/20): Kate M. email
  • GVR (10/18-10/19): Barbara M. email
  • Greeter (4/18-4/19): Gigi D. email
  • Greeter (4/18-4/19): Laurie B. email
  • Listkeeper (4/8-4/19): Nancy C. email
  • Listkeeper Alternate* (4/18-4/20): Karen H. email
  • OIAA Rep (10/18-10/20): Laura G. email
  • Secretary (10/18-10/19): Ruth F. email
  • Temporary Mentor (4/18-4/19): Louise email
  • Treasurer (10/17-10/19): Sue W. email
  • Webkeeper (non-rotating position): Tanya C. email
  • Webkeeper Backup (10/18-10/20): Allison M email
  • Weekly Leader Listkeeper (4/18-4/19): Amanda D. email
  • Immediate Past Business Meeting Chair: Danna M. email
  • Immediate Past GSR: Joan B. email
  • Immediate past OIAA: Jenny P email
  • Immediate Past Secretary: Karrie C. email

Online Sponsors 10/2018

Available Online Sponsors

Women who have volunteered to sponsor GROW members.