Minutes for the first 3-day session
The Business Meeting has completed the first three-day session. Twenty-three GROW members are enrolled for the meeting. If you would like to participate, please send an e-mail to our listkeepers at firstname.lastname@example.org, and they’ll put you on our business mailing list. Trusted Servants provided reports at the beginning of the meeting.
Summary of Comments on Proposals 1-3
During the first session, we discussed three proposals. (The titles below are linked to the proposals on GROW’s website – password: sobertodayhow2484.)
Proposal 1 (GROW membership requirements): Eleven participants commented on Proposal 1. No one opposed the proposal, but more than half disagreed with the proposed requirement for length of membership in GROW for the General Services Representative. Feeling that a requirement for two years’ membership in GROW was unreasonable, they wanted to reduce that to one year. There was general agreement that the six-month requirement for the three six-month term Trusted Servants is appropriate. However, one person felt that 12th Step Volunteer Listkeeper should have been in GROW for at least a year. There were a few participants who wanted to shorten the membership requirements proposed for the OIAA Rep, Grapevine Rep, and Greeter from one year to six months. Given the interest in addressing specific positions and the lack of general consensus for many of the positions, the Chair is extending the discussion period through the second 3-day period when we will discuss the preferred required length of GROW membership for specific positions.
Proposal 2 (Secretary’s position description): Eleven participants commented on Proposal 2, all of them supporting the revisions to the Secretary’s position description. One participant suggested that the language changes related to the Mini-Steering Committee should also be made to the position descriptions for the Business Chair and Listkeepers. The Chair has added this to the proposal.
Proposal 3 (Preamble language): Twelve people commented on Proposal 3 to change “men and women” to “people” in GROW’s Preamble. This change was approved at the 71st General Service Conference annual meeting in April 2021 as a non-binding advisory action. By Tradition, each AA group is autonomous and can make its own decision about whether to change the Preamble it uses in its meetings. It’s impossible to know what decision the thousands of individual AA meetings are making for their own group. The change does not involve our basic text. It is not suggested that Big Book language should be changed. The Preamble was developed years after the BB’s first publication by people in the General Services Office.
During the first days of commenting, there appeared to be consensus for approving the wording change. However, one participant submitted a persuasive argument that the language should not be changed based on, among other things, AA’s Traditions – specifically Tradition 3, Tradition 4, and Tradition 10 The commenter also cited language in the first paragraph of the Preamble, pointing out an inherent contradiction between the advisory action and the statement that “A.A. 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. Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety.” After reading the opposing viewpoint, several participants commented that they would not support the change, and discussion of this proposal continued late into the night.
We will vote on Proposal 3 to change the Preamble that GROW uses in its weekly meeting and wherever it appears on our website. Voting will end late on Thursday, April 7th. The Chair will report on the outcome in the summary of our second 3-day session.
During the second 3-day session, we will vote on Proposals 2 and 3. We will continue to discuss Proposal 1 to fine-tune the requirement for GROW membership for seven positions. We will also discuss the last three proposals:
Proposal 4: Website Support Services
Proposal 5: Temporary Mentor Letter #3
Proposal 6: Website Position Descriptions
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.
GROW Business Meeting Chair
GROW Business Meeting Chair