Results of Voting for Proposal 3 (Tradition Meeting)
Fifteen (15) participants voted on Proposal 3.3 which calls for the Weekly Leader Listkeeper to post the corresponding Tradition for the month at the beginning and in the middle of each month, inviting members to share on the Tradition anytime during the month.
The vote was unanimous in favor of the change. Therefore, the proposal is approved and adopted as a Group Conscience decision.
Group Conscience decision:
In the Weekly Leader Listkeeper’s job description, revise the existing bullet that mentions the monthly Tradition posting to make it clear that the tradition corresponding to the month will be posted twice each month, and the WLL will invite members to share on that Tradition.
Results of Voting on Proposal 4 (Trusted Servant Common Duties)
Fourteen (14) participants voted on Proposal 4.3 which would add the Trusted Servant Common Duties to the end of the existing “New Trusted Servant Letter.”
The vote was unanimous in support of the proposal. Therefore, it is approved and adopted as a Group Conscience decision.
Add the Common Duties of Trusted Servants to the bottom of the “New Trusted Servant Letter.”
Summary of Discussions on Proposal 5 (links to AA meetings on Zoom)
There were many comments on this proposal covering a wide range of related topics. There were a few areas where participants agreed. There were also areas where comments may have been similar, but they did not represent general agreement. Rather, they suggested things where further discussion is needed.
Areas of agreement:
Zoom meetings are an important part of sobriety, especially during the pandemic. Participants were unanimous that AA meetings on Zoom are a valuable tool for sobriety and that referrals to specific AA meetings on Zoom are appropriate information to include in GROW messages.
Links should not be included in GROW messages. After a member’s report of being hacked on two occasions when non-approved links were contained in a message to GROW and a former Listkeeper’s report of the additional workload she had when several members e-mail accounts were hacked, participants agreed that we should not allow links to AA meetings on Zoom.
It was also pointed out that the existing language used in the Weekly Lead Format and the GROW Mail List Guidelines incorrectly refers to URLs, while it is really the links that create the security problem. Therefore, the Chair will submit a new proposal to amend existing language in the Weekly Lead Format and GROW Mail List Guidelines to replace “URL” with “link”.
Referrals to Zoom meetings should not contain links but should instead refer to the Zoom meeting name, ID, and Password. GROW members can find specific AA Zoom meeting with this information, and a link to the specific meeting is not necessary. They can find further information on AA meetings on Zoom through a web search or through the OIAA website.
Areas where more discussion is needed:
- Should GROW supply information on AA meetings on Zoom or leave it to individual members to give their recommendations?
- What information does GROW want to distribute to its members?
If GROW lists AA meetings on Zoom as a service to our members, is it endorsing one meeting above another?
- How would GROW inform its members of information about AA meetings on Zoom?
- If it is posted on our website or sent out in a monthly message to GROW, who would be responsible for maintaining accurate and timely information?
- Is the FYI letter the appropriate way to get this information to GROW members?
- Is the GROW website the appropriate place to make the information available?
Because more discussion is needed before we can vote on this proposal, the Chair extended discussion through the fourth 3-day session.
Call for discussion of Job Descriptions for Trusted Servant supporting the GROW website
At the beginning of this 3-day session, the Chair called for a discussion about the job descriptions of the Trusted Servants supporting GROW’s website. Because the Webkeeper Backup position has been vacant since the new website was launched and because the Webkeeper position has a requirement for one full term as Webkeeper Backup, it became apparent that no one could qualify for that important position until October 2021. The Chair asked participants to comment on how to handle that issue or any other issues with the three job descriptions that might need to be changed.
Only one participant commented on the issues related to the Trusted Servant positions. The comment addressed the Webkeeper position and the requirement for one year’s experience as Webkeeper Backup and suggested that an exemption from this requirement could be granted if and when a volunteer steps forward. In the fifth 3-day session, the Chair will present a proposal to grant such an exemption if and when a voluteer steps forward if the Secretary determines that she meets all other requirements in the job description.
We will delay further discussions about the TS job descriptions until the April 2021 business meeting.
Call for Discussion of New Proposals
The Chair presented two new proposals for discussion in this 3-day session. Both proposals result from our discussions of whether to allow links to AA meetings on Zoom and how to resolve a requirement for the Webkeeper position.
Proposal 6: Change the references to URLs in the Weekly Lead Format letter and the GROW Mail List Guidelines to links,” adding an explanation for members that may not understand the difference.
In the Topic section of the Weekly Lead Format letter, change URLs to links and include examples to help weekly leaders understand the difference.
[ Introduce the Topic of the Week Remember that we do not include URLs links to sites outside GROW except links to the AA, Grapevine, and GROW websites. ]
You may include URLs (e.g., http://www.g-r-o-w.com – no link – or http://www.aa.org/ – linked), but do not create the link that would automatically take the reader to that URL address. Some programs automatically create links when a URL is entered, so you will need to remove the link. If you need help with this, please contact a GROW Trusted Servant.
In the fifth bullet of the GROW Mail List Guidelines, change URLs to links and add a brief message about how to get help if you do not know how to prevent automatic links.
- We do not send attachments, chain letters, solicitations, virus alerts or announcements of non A.A. functions. We do not include URLs links to sites outside GROW except links to the AA, Grapevine, and GROW websites. You can use URLs (e.g., http://www.aa.org/), but do not create a link that would automatically take the reader to that URL address. Some programs create links automatically, so if you need help with this, please contact a GROW Trusted Servant.
Rationale: In discussing whether to allow links to AA meetings on Zoom, participants talked about the security issues that GROW members have experienced in the past when messages contained links to websites outside GROW or AA. To address that, in April 2019, the business meeting approved a Group Conscience decision to add a statement about not using URLs in the Topic section of the Weekly Lead Format letter and in the GROW Mail List Guidelines. The prohibition on URLs did not include the GROW website or AA websites.
Our current discussion highlighted the point that the risk to GROW members does not result from the use of URLs in messages but from links based on those URLs. A member can type in a URL without linking to the questionable source. Then members can simply copy and paste the URL into their web browser without exposing the mailing list to viruses or malware. This proposal also highlights the difference between using URLs alone and creating links from those URLs to an outside source for GROW members that may not understand the technical aspects.
Proposal 7: For the Webkeeper position, approve in advance a one-time exemption from the requirement for having served a full term as Webkeeper Backup when a volunteer meets all other requirements for the position.
Rationale: At this time, the Webkeeper position is vacant. To fill the position, a volunteer is required to have two years of sobriety, two years as a member of GROW, and to have served a full term as Webkeeper Backup. From the time the new website was launched until October 1, 2020, the position of Webkeeper Backup was vacant. Therefore, no one could qualify for the Webkeeper position.
This proposal allows the Secretary to apply an exemption, without having to seek approval from the Steering Committee, from the requirement for having served as Webkeeper Backup for the volunteer who steps forward to take the Webkeeper position and who meets all other requirements of the position.