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,
OIAA Rep for GROW