0421 – Summary of 2nd 3-day Session

During our second 3-day session, we voted on three proposals and considered two new proposals.


Results of Voting – Three New Group Conscience decisions

During the second three-day session, we voted on Proposal 1 (Delete Mailman form letter). Thirteen (13) participants voted in favor of removing the Mailman form letters from the website and changing the last bullet in the Listkeeper position description to refer to the Listkeeper Message rather than the Mailman letter. No one voted against the proposal. Therefore, Proposal 1 is adopted as a Group Conscience Decision.

Group Conscience Decision:
Delete “Mailman Letter – Business List” and “Mailman Letter – Regular List” from the Trusted Servants/Letter Templates webpage < http://g-r-o-w.com/member-welcome/trusted-servants/letter-templates/>

Delete the references to the above two letters in the Listkeeper Position Description <http://g-r-o-w.com/listkeeper-and-alternate-listkeeper-description/> and replace with a reference to the Listkeeper Message letter template < http://g-r-o-w.com/form-listkeeper-letter/>.

During the second three-day session, we voted on Proposal 2 (Group Conscience decisions). Thirteen (13) participants voted in favor of creating a webpage that lists all of GROW’s Group Conscience decisions. No one voted against the proposal. Therefore, Proposal 2 is adopted as a Group Conscience decision.

Group Conscience Decision:
GROW will maintain a page on its website that lists Group Conscience decisions.

During the second three-day session, we voted on Proposal 3 (Group Conscience decisions). Twelve (12) participants voted in favor of creating a webpage that lists all of GROW’s Group Conscience decisions. No one voted against the proposal. Therefore, Proposal 3 now becomes a Group Conscience decision.

Group Conscience Decision:
Add to some position descriptions a bullet requiring that Trusted Servants have been a member of GROW for at least one year. The positions that would be subject to this requirement are: Business Meeting Chair, Listkeeper, Secretary, and Weekly Leader Listkeeper.


Discussion of Two New Proposals

During the second three-day session, two new and related proposals were presented and discussed:

Proposal 4: Given the improvement in OIAA operations and management, GROW will resume contributions to that organization by allocating 20% of our surplus to OIAA, with the remaining 80% continuing to go to GSO.

In October 2014, GROW decided to discontinue its contributions to OIAA due to its ineffective operations and management. The current OIAA Representative’s Report documents significant improvement in the organization’s operations and more effective support of alcoholics who visit their website. Attendance at OIAA meetings has significantly increased, positivity has increased (as opposed to prior arguments and conflict), and accountability is now an important value of the organization.

Eight participants commented on Proposal 4, all of them supporting the proposal. No one raised issues or questions. During the third 3-day session participants are voting on this proposal.

Proposal 5: Amend the Treasurer’s position description to change the requirement to make quarterly distributions to bi-annually, prior to each business meeting.

In reviewing the Treasurer’s position description (PD), the Chair found that the approved timing of contributions to GSO did not correctly describe the distribution schedule. While the PD directed her to make contributions quarterly, they have actually been made annually for some time. Therefore, at the recommendation of the Treasurer, the Chair proposed changing “quarterly” to “bi-annual,” timing to be consistent with the two business meetings in April and October of each year. The Chair combined the Recommended Language for this proposal with that of Proposal 4 since both proposals focused on the same area of the position description.

Because the proposal was presented in the middle of the 3-day session and because it is primarily a housekeeping chore, the Chair asked participants to comment in the day left in the session. During the third 3-day session, participants will vote on the proposal.

0421 – Proposal 5: Treasurer’s Description

Proposal 5: Amend the Treasurer’s position description

Amend the Treasurer’s position description to change the requirement to make quarterly distributions to bi-annually, prior to each business meeting.


Rationale: The current position description requires the Treasurer to make quarterly distributions to GSO. This has not been done for some time, as distributions have actually been made once a year. Our Treasurer recommends that the distributions be done every six months when the Treasurer’s report is prepared for the business meeting. It takes us back to Prudent Reserve every six months and makes the book keeping much simpler.


Recommended Language: Amend the sub-bullet under “Pay all group expenses per the distribution below and maintain a prudent reserve of $122.00:” as shown below. (Given the apparent approval of resuming OIAA contributions, I’m showing the two relevant sub-bullets for clarity.)

  • Pay all group expenses per the distribution below and maintain a prudent reserve of $122.00:
    • Make quarterly bi-annual contributions prior to GROW’s business meetings to GSO (The General Service Office, Grand Central Station, PO Box 459, New York, NY 10164-0) and OIAA.  Allocate 80% of the total available contribution amount to GSO.

Summary of Discussion on Proposal 5

The Chair called for discussion of this proposal during the second three-day session. We did not have three full days to discuss the proposal. The Chair reasoned that the proposed change would simply reflect the reality of current practices by removing the requirement for “quarterly” distributions. It would also implement the Treasurer’s recommendation for bi-annual distributions.

Four comments were made, all of them agreeing with the proposal. No one raised an issue or question.


Results of Voting on Proposal 5

0421 – Proposal 4: Resume OIAA Contributions

Proposal 4: Resume OIAA Contributions

Given the improvement in OIAA operations and management, GROW will resume contributions to that organization by allocating 20% of our surplus to OIAA, with the remaining 80% continuing to go to GSO.

Recommended Language: Revise the following bullet in the Treasurer’s position description to reflect GROW’s decision to reinstate contributions to OIAA.

    • Pay all group expenses per the distribution below and maintain a prudent reserve of $122.00:
      • Make quarterly * contributions to GSO (The General Service Office, Grand Central Station, PO Box 459, New York, NY 10164-0423; Group Service # 633230). Allocate 80% of the total available contribution amount to GSO
      • Allocate 20% of GROW’s total available contribution amount to OIAA
      • $12.00 monthly to OSO-AA (PayPal: dean.collins@insightplanners.com) (6 months expenses)
      • $50.00 annual subscription to Grapevine magazine

Rationale: In October 2014, GROW decided to discontinue its contributions to OIAA because our OIAA Representatives had consistently reported ineffective operations and management in the organization. (To read about the decision-making process at that time, visit http://www.g-r-o-w.com/members/groupc/gctopics/gc_oiaa.htm#contributions). Our current OIAA Representative’s Report for April 2021 reveals significant improvement in the organization’s operations and more effective support of alcoholics who visit their website. Attendance at OIAA meetings has significantly increased, positivity has increased (as opposed to prior arguments and conflict), and accountability is now an important value of the organization.

* In preparing the recommended language for this proposal, the Chair noted that the current Treasurer’s position description calls for quarterly contributions to GSO. This has not been done for some time, as Treasurer’s have opted to make the contribution once a year. Therefore, the recommended language deletes the reference to quarterly payments.


Summary of Discussion on Proposal 4

In the second three-day session, eight (8) participants commented on Proposal 4 (OIAA contribution). All participants agreed with the proposal. No one raised an issue or question.


Results of Voting on Proposal 4

0421 – Summary of First 3-day Session

Twenty-four (24) GROW members have signed up for the April 2021 business meeting. During the first 3-day session, we considered and commented on three proposals:

    • Proposal 1 called for deleting the Mailman form letter because it is no longer used.
    • Proposal 2 would create webpage listing all GROW Group Conscience decisions.
    • Proposal 3 adds a requirement for at least one year of GROW membership for these Trusted servant positions: Business Meeting Chair, Treasurer, Secretary, Listkeepers, and Weekly Lead Listkeeper.

Seven members commented on Proposal 1, and six members commented on Proposals 2 and 3. All comments agreed with the proposals. No issues or questions were raised in any comment.

During the second 3-day session, participants will vote on these three proposals. The second 3-day session will also include discussion of a new Proposal 4 that would reinstate GROW’s contributions to the Online Intergroup of Alcoholics Anonymous (OIAA). GROW suspended our contributions in October 2014 because we felt the group was not adequately supporting AA’s primary mission.

0421 – Proposal 3: TS Requirement

Proposal 3: Trusted Servant Membership Requirement

Add to some position descriptions a bullet requiring that Trusted Servants have been a member of GROW for at least one year. The positions that would be subject to this requirement are: Business Meeting Chair, Listkeeper, Treasurer, Secretary, and Weekly Leader Listkeeper.


Rationale: Some Trusted Servant positions demand that the person holding the position has a working knowledge about how GROW works. Position descriptions already include membership requirements for the Website Administrator and the Webkeeper and Webkeeper Backup (four, two, and one years respectively).

In order to assure effective support for GROW’s continued successful operations, Trusted Servants in key positions should have been members of our group for least one year. The normal training by the outgoing Trusted Servant may not be adequate in situations where decisions and/or actions should reflect our historic approaches. Members who are new to GROW will not have the experience they would get from serving in other positions first and attending our business meetings.


Summary of Discussion on Proposal 3

Twenty-four (24) GROW members have signed up for the April 2021 business meeting. During the first 3-day session, we considered and commented Proposal 3, which adds a requirement for at least one year of GROW membership for these Trusted servant positions: Business Meeting Chair, Treasurer, Secretary, Listkeepers, and Weekly Lead Listkeeper. Six members commented on Proposal 3. All comments agreed with the proposals. No issues or questions were raised in any comment. During the second 3-day session, participants will vote on these Proposal 3.


Results of Voting on Proposal 3

During the second three-day session, we voted on Proposal 3 (Group Conscience decisions). Twelve (12) participants voted in favor of creating a webpage that lists all of GROW’s Group Conscience decisions. No one voted against the proposal. Therefore, Proposal 3 is adopted as a Group Conscience decision.


Group Conscience Decision:

Add to some position descriptions a bullet requiring that Trusted Servants have been a member of GROW for at least one year. The positions that would be subject to this requirement are: Business Meeting Chair, Listkeeper, Secretary, and Weekly Leader Listkeeper.

0421 – Proposal 2: GC Decisions

Proposal 2: Group Conscience Decisions

GROW will maintain a page on its website that lists Group Conscience decisions.


Rationale: GROW’s previous website contained a straightforward list of the specific language of Group Conscience decisions reached in our business meetings. On our new website, it is difficult to do research for proposals being developed and to support actions taken in response to queries or issues that come up in our e-mail meeting.

The website is our archive for GROW. It is the only place where past decisions are documented, and it should provide easy access to Group Conscience decisions.


Summary of Discussion on Proposal 2

Twenty-four (24) GROW members have signed up for the April 2021 business meeting. During the first 3-day session, we considered and commented Proposal 2, which would create a webpage listing all GROW Group Conscience decisions. Six participants commented on Proposal 2. All comments agreed with the proposal. No issues or questions were raised in any comment. During the second 3-day session, participants will vote on Proposal 2.


Results of Voting on Proposal 2

During the second three-day session, we voted on Proposal 2 (Group Conscience decisions). Thirteen (13) participants voted in favor of creating a webpage that lists all of GROW’s Group Conscience decisions. No one voted against the proposal. Therefore, Proposal 2 is adopted as a Group Conscience decision.


Group Conscience Decision:

GROW will maintain a page on its website that lists Group Conscience decisions.

0421 – Proposal 1: Delete Mailman Letters

Proposal 1: Mailman Letters

Delete “Mailman Letter – Business List” and “Mailman Letter – Regular List” from the Trusted Servants/Letter Templates webpage < http://g-r-o-w.com/member-welcome/trusted-servants/letter-templates/>

Delete the references to the above two letters in the Listkeeper Position Description <http://g-r-o-w.com/listkeeper-and-alternate-listkeeper-description/> and replace with a reference to the Listkeeper Message letter template < http://g-r-o-w.com/form-listkeeper-letter/>.


Rationale: The two Mailman Letters currently listed on our website are no longer used, and the links are broken.


Summary of Discussion on Proposal 1

Twenty-four (24) GROW members have signed up for the April 2021 business meeting. During the first 3-day session, we considered and commented Proposal 1 that called for deleting the Mailman form letter because it is no longer used. Seven participants commented on Proposal 1, all agreeing with the proposal. No issues or questions were raised in any comment. During the second 3-day session, participants will vote on Proposal 1.


Results of Voting on Proposal 1

During the second three-day session, we voted on Proposal 1 (Delete Mailman form letter). Thirteen (13) participants voted in favor of removing the Mailman form letters from the website and changing the last bullet in the Listkeeper position description to refer to the Listkeeper Message rather than the Mailman letter. No one voted against the proposal. Therefore, Proposal 1 is adopted as a Group Conscience Decision.


Group Conscience Decision:

Delete “Mailman Letter – Business List” and “Mailman Letter – Regular List” from the Trusted Servants/Letter Templates webpage < http://g-r-o-w.com/member-welcome/trusted-servants/letter-templates/>

Delete the references to the above two letters in the Listkeeper Position Description <http://g-r-o-w.com/listkeeper-and-alternate-listkeeper-description/> and replace with a reference to the Listkeeper Message letter template < http://g-r-o-w.com/form-listkeeper-letter/>.

0421 – Mini Steering Committee Report

Actions by Mini Steering Committee

through April 2021

The Mini Steering Committee is made up of the Business Meeting Chair, the Secretary, and the Listkeepers. When non-controversial issues arise, this group decides what actions are appropriate without having to raise it to the full Steering Committee.

In the period since our last Business Meeting in October, only one incident has happened. A member (Member 1) took exception when another member (Member 2) sent a ‘scolding’ note to the whole group about non-sobriety-related messages.

Member 1 asked the Steering Committee to intervene. In response, our Secretary sent the GROW Guidelines for E-mail Participation memo to the mailing list.

danna M
GROW Business Meeting Chair
dmcd.grow@gmail.com

0421 – GSR Report

GSR Report

April 2021

I currently serve as the General Service Representative (GSR) for this amazing group. GSRs are encouraged to attend Area Assemblies, their county general service meeting, their district meeting, and of course their home group’s business meeting. I reside in Northwest Indiana where we meet monthly for a district meeting (district 17) and attend Area 22 quarterly meetings (top half of Indiana). I thought about sharing a little on the service structure in the monthly reports. Please forgive the delay in sending these reports. Taking care of a sick husband for the past six months. I do not want to slack on my duties and will ensure the reports are sent timely.

What is a GSR? The General Service Representative (GSR) is perhaps the most important role in AA. It is through their GSR that each group has a voice and a vote in larger AA matters. This connection helps keep AA unified, both in a practical sense and spiritually. We wouldn’t last long as a fellowship if it weren’t for the service of GSRs such as yourself. Source:  www.aaseny.org/gsr

If you look at AA’s triangle, there are three words written on the sides: recovery (12 steps), service (12 concepts & unity (12 traditions). In our area, we often wear a pin that says “service is the secret”. Service has saved my life when the other two legacies were suffering.

Alcoholics Anonymous has dipped into their prudent reservice due to a drop in sales and group donations. One of the items we discussed was to challenge each group to support the New York location. I personally send $1 per each year sober for my anniversary & donations for online groups I’ve attended for zoom.

Link: Contribution AA.org

Another, to support the Grapevine Magazine by purchasing subscriptions (online or by mail) followed by making personal donations.

Grapevine Magazine Subscriptions • AA Grapevine Store • Magazines, Books & More

If you have any questions about participating in general service, feel free to send me an email at nicolewaltersparker@icloud.com.

In love and service,
Nicole Walters
GROW GSR

Trusted Servants 04/2021

Trusted Servants – April 2021

12 Step Volunteer Listkeeper (04/21 – 10/21): Susan P. email
Birthday Listkeeper (04/21 – 10/21): Heidi email
Sponsor Listkeeper (10/20-04/21): Lynn email

Trusted Servants who make up the Steering Committee:

Business Meeting Chair (10/20-10/22): Danna M. email
GSR (10/20-10/21): Nicole W. email
GVR (10/20-10/21): Barbara ‘Barb’ M. email
Greeter (4/21-4/22): Amy N. email
Greeter (10/20-10/21): Karrie C. email
Listkeeper (4/20-4/21): Sarah K. email
Listkeeper Alternate (4/21- 4/22): Sophie R. email
OIAA Rep (4/21-4/22):  Rene G email
Secretary (10/20-10/21): Nancy C. email
Temporary Mentor (4/20-4/21): Sarah M. email
Treasurer (10/19-10/21): Cheryl B.  email
Website Administrator (10/20-10/21): Cheryl D. email
Webkeeper: <vacant>
Webkeeper Backup (10/20-10/21): Louise H. email
Weekly Leader Listkeeper (4/21-4/22): Taylor  D. email

Immediate Past Business Meeting Chair: Joan B. email
Immediate Past GSR: Kate M. email
Immediate Past OIAA: Lynn H.  email and Kirsten V. email
Immediate Past Secretary: Laurie C. email

Email the Steering Committee

0421 – OIAA Report

OIAA Representative’s Report

April 2021

From the March OIAA Secretary’s Report;

  1. OIAA voted to restate NJ (New Jersey) Certificate of Incorporation to include Non-Profit commitment and disposition of Assets to nonprofit entities – (this had lapsed and is important in the US to be registered in this way).
  2. OIAA approved the 2021 Budget a presented by Finance Committee.

An important note here:
Over 80% of the Voting Member Groups elected not to vote on the first motion regarding the Certificate of Incorporation for a Non Profit Member Entity. This is the lowest response to a vote in the year I’ve been OIAA Rep, I believe.

Integration of Online AA Groups into worldwide AA Service Structure

  • Pre-General Service Conference (GSC) meetings around the World;
  • Consideration of Online AA integration into the AA Service Structure is a topic where every Online AA member or Group is a stakeholder.
  • AA Service Structure meetings are going on now to inform your Area Delegate in advance of the General Service Conference in April.
  • OIAA Secretary requests that all OIAA members and Groups find ways to attend these virtual meetings and humbly ask for timely and serious consideration of integrating Online AA Groups into the AA Service Structure to ensure our Online AA Group voices will be heard at GSC as soon as possible.

From the OIAA Web Committee Report March 2021:

  • The work of the OIAA Web Committee continues to evolve and we appreciate the dedication of our trusted servant volunteers.
  • We continue to have new groups join our ranks.
  • Website re-design and upgrades are being tweaked to fit the needs of OIAA.
  • We are researching ‘if or how’ we may add an event/calendar feature to the website. We met today and had a successful discussion on these and other topics.

March OIAA Stepper’s Committee Report:

  • 768 “Steppers Requests” (vs 829 February) – daily high of 49 requests
  • 407 “Contact Us Requests” (vs 436 February)
  • Data shows majority of requests for contact and 12th stepping help come from US but also see requests many other countries too.

OIAA March Unity Committee Report:

  • The goal of the Unity Committee is to achieve greater unity and cooperation between O.I.A.A. and G.S.O.’s worldwide in order to fulfill our common purpose of carrying the AA message to the still suffering alcoholic.
  • Our regular meetings with GSO as the designated liaison for OIAA are producing many suggestions for OIAA, from those routed to other committees for consideration to discussions around what integrating online groups with no geographical affiliation might look like as GSO/AAWS integrates online groups into the General Service Structure.
  • Our committee plans to reach out to GSOs around the world, and eventually other intergroup offices operating online. and will need volunteers for this effort as well! One thing is for sure, we are getting active in the Unity Committee!

_______________________________

I hope this gives you a flavour of the great service work that is being done (and you are welcome to add to!) at our Intergroup OIAA.

Thank you for having me be of service.

Sophie
Outgoing OIAA Rep

0421 – Listkeeper’s Report

Listkeepers’ Report

April 2021

Our membership as of March 31, 2021 is 275. We have 251 regular list members and 24 Digest members (This number is always a little larger than our actual count because some members have two subscriptions).

At the start of our last business meeting, October 1, 2020; we had 241 members. This time last year we had 166 members. We are Growing!

A big thank you to our greeters Lisa M. and Karrie C. This coming service term Karrie C. will continue as a greeter and Karen H. as a listkeeper. We are still waiting for someone to volunteer to replace Lisa M. and Sarah K. Thank you so much for all of your service ladies!

Respectfully submitted,
Sarah K and Karen H
GROW Listkeepers

0421 – Treasurer’s Report

TREASURER’S REPORT

as of April 2, 2021

Paypal Deposits
October……………. 182.01
November………….. 55.00
December………….. 55.00
January……………… 50.00
February………….. 100.00
March……………… 205.56
Total…………………………… 647.57

Ally Deposits
Prudent Reserve.. 122.00
October……………….. 0.06
November……………. 0.07
December………….. 20.07
January……………. 105.08
February……………… 0.07
March……………….. 70.04
Total…………………………… 317.39

Paypal……………… 647.57
Ally………………….. 317.39
Total…………………………… 964.96

We are due to pay Dean Collins $72.00 for the first half of 2021. I will keep $122.00 for Prudent Reserve and the remaining balance of $770.96 will be donated to GSO.

Respectfully submitted,
Cheryl Baughman
Treasurer

0421 – Business Meeting Opening

Greetings GROW Members:

The April 2021 Business Meeting (GROW-BUS) is now open. If you wish to participate, please send an email to the following address requesting to join the Business List grow-owner@oso-aa.org – if you have not already done so.

At this time, we are considering three proposals:

  1. Proposal 1: Delete Mailman Form Letter
  2. Proposal 2: List Group Conscience Decisions on the website
  3. Proposal 3: Establish GROW membership requirement for some Trusted Servant positions

PLEASE:

  • Send all replies to grow-business@oso-aa.org
  • Do not hit reply to this email or your request will come to me instead of the Listkeepers
  • Do not send your request to the GROW meeting list, or your request may be overlooked
  • Remember that even if you were subscribed for a previous GROW Business Meeting, you must subscribe again, as all names are removed from the list at the end of each meeting
  • Trusted Servants (both Incoming and Outgoing) are automatically subscribed by our Listkeepers

I look forward to your participation at the meeting!

Regards,
danna M
GROW Business Chair
dmcd.grow@gmail.com

2020 Business Meeting – October

2020 Business Meeting – October

(topics are listed below are in order of presentation)

1020 – Summary of the last 3-day session

Results of Voting on Proposal 6 (change “URLs” to “links”)
Ten people voted on Proposal 6.5, all of them supporting the proposal. The vote was unanimous.
Therefore, Proposal 6 is adopted as a Group Conscience decision.

Group Conscience decision:
Change the reference to “URLs” in the Weekly Lead Format letter and the GROW Mail List Guidelines to “links.”

Results of Voting on Proposal 7 (Webkeeper Exemption)
Twelve people voted on Proposal 7, all of them supporting the proposal. The vote was unanimous.
Therefore, Proposal 7 is adopted as a Group Conscience decision.

Group Conscience decision: 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.

Summary of Discussions on Proposal 5 (links to AA meetings on Zoom)

In addition to comments made during the third 3-day session, seven (7) participants commented during our second three days on Proposal 5 that would allow links to AA meetings on Zoom. One member suggested forming an Ad Hoc group that might post Off Topic messages about Zoom meetings to get a sense of how members would respond or to act as an example to members of how to do it. A few members supported this suggestion; however, no proposal was offered to establish such a group. Certainly, participants in this business meeting are encouraged to share Zoom meetings (meeting name, ID, password) as off topic messages at any time.

One participant asked if GROW members have asked for this information and observed it was more likely that GROW members want to share the information on groups they like – recommend them to GROW members. She pointed out that OIAA has a huge directory of online meetings and that OIAA invests a huge effort in keeping that listing updated. She suggested that there may not be a need for GROW to duplicate the information available elsewhere but that we might refer members to the OIAA listing or other sources. She did not think a new webpage was needed since there are already pages that offer information and “who to contact” help in both the members’ section and the About AA page in the public area. She also suggested that our 12th Step Volunteers might be a valuable resource of this information for those who share about wanting info on Zoom AA meetings.

Another participant suggested that a short and simple monthly reminder might been good to remind our members that they can share information about AA meetings on Zoom and what form that information should take.

There seemed to be general agreement that we should postpone posting the information on the website at this time. Several felt that we may know more in April 2021 about our members’ needs and whether to post this information on our website.

There was not a general consensus about whether the FYI Letter is a proper vehicle for letting members know they can post Off Topic messages referring AA meetings on Zoom by presenting the group name and the Zoom ID and password. Several members felt the FYI Letter was not the appropriate place. However, there did seem to be a consensus that Off Topic posts about AA meetings on Zoom are acceptable.

In order to bring this proposal to a vote, it should be revised to reflect all comments. Our Business Meeting Guidelines state that “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.” There is not enough time left in this meeting to complete the process (of discussing a revised proposal, voting on it, entertaining a Minority Opinion, holding a re-vote, and finalizing the Group Conscience) before or on the 17th day of our meeting.

Therefore, the Chair will table this proposal and hold it for consideration in the April 2021 business meeting.

In the meeting summary that goes to the GROW mail list and in a separate message, the Chair will highlight our consensus that members should be able to post their recommendations for AA meetings on Zoom, emphasizing that links are prohibited but that posting the name of the meeting and the ID and password are acceptable.

This was the fifth and last 3-day session of our business meeting. Thank you all for participating in our October 2020 business meeting. YOU have made it a productive smooth-running meeting! Your comments were insightful and very helpful for our decision-making.

1020 – Minutes of fourth 3-day session

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.

Group Conscience:

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 “œURL” with “œlink”.

Referrals to Zoom meetings should not contain links but should instead refer to the Zoom meeting name, ID, and PasswordGROW 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 €œURLs€ in the Weekly Lead Format letter and the GROW Mail List Guidelines to €œlinks,” adding an explanation for members that may not understand the difference. 

Recommended Language:
In the Topic section of the Weekly Lead Format letter, change €œURLs€ to €œlinks€ 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 €œURLs€ to €œlinks€ 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.

1020 – Proposal 7: Webkeeper Exemption

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.


Summary of Discussion

Six (6) participants commented on the proposal, generally supporting the proposal. One participant would extend the exemption to all GROW service positions, stating that the Secretary should have discretion when volunteers do not meet all requirements for a position. Another participant asked about the Steering Committee’s involvement in granting an exemption. The Chair pointed out that since this one-time-only exemption was being considered during a business meeting, our Steering Committee is involved in the decision-making.


Voting Results

Twelve people voted, all of them supporting the proposal. The vote was unanimous.

Therefore, Proposal 7 is adopted as a Group Conscience decision


Group Conscience decision

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.

1020 – Proposal 6: Change URLs to Links

Proposal 6: Change the reference to “URLs” in the Weekly Lead Format letter and the GROW Mail List Guidelines to “links.”

Recommended Language:
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 addresses the distinction between using URLs alone and creating links from those URLs to an outside source.


Summary of Discussion

There were no substantive comments on this proposal, although several participants voiced their support for it.


Voting Results

Ten people voted on Proposal 6.5, all of them supporting the proposal. The vote was unanimous.

Therefore, Proposal 6.5 is adopted as a Group Conscience decision


Group Conscience Decision

Change the reference to “URLs” in the Weekly Lead Format letter and the GROW Mail List Guidelines to “links.”

Recommended Language:

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.

1020 – Minutes of the third 3-day Session

Minutes for Third 3-day Session

During the third 3-day session, the Chair presented the results of voting on two proposals and summarized discussions and called for votes on two proposals, and presented a new proposal for discussion.

RESULTS OF VOTING

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

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.

Proposal 2: Modify the job descriptions for the Greeter and Listkeeper trusted servant positions to stress the importance of timely processing of requests for membership in GROW.

This Proposal was tabled in our April 2020 meeting because the process could not be finished before the business meeting closed. The April proposal was amended to address Listkeeper as well as the Greeter position.

Eighteen (18) participants voted on Proposal 2. Sixteen (16) participants voted “I agree” on the proposal, and two (2) voted “I disagree,” meeting the requirement for a 2/3 majority. Those who voted “I disagree” have been invited to submit a Minority Opinion. If anyone changes their vote from “I agree” to “I disagree,” the Chair will call for a re-vote on the proposal. If there is no Minority Opinion or no one changes their vote as a result, the Proposal will be accepted as a Group Conscience decision.

Summary of Discussions in the third 3-day Session

Proposal 3: 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. Five participants made substantive comments on the proposal, all of them supporting the changes to change Weekly Leader Listkeeper’s job description. During the third 3-day session, we will vote on this proposal.

Proposal 4: Add the Common Duties of Trusted Servants to the bottom of the “New Trusted Servant Letter.” Six (6) participants made substantive comments, all of them supporting the including the text of “Trusted Servant Common Duties” in the New Trusted Servant Letter without modification. We will vote on the proposal during the fourth 3-day session.

New Proposal to be Discussed in the fourth 3-day Session

Proposal 5: Change language about not using URLs in messages to allow links/ID’s to AA Zoom meetings.

Recommended language:

In Weekly Format Letter, “Topic for the week:” section:

[ Introduce the Topic of the Week – Remember that we do not include URLs to sites outside GROW except links to the AA, Grapevine, and GROW websites, and AA meetings on Zoom. ]

In GROW Mail List Guidelines (5th bullet):

We do not send attachments, chain letters, solicitations, virus alerts or announcements of non A.A. functions. We do not include URLs to sites outside GROW except links to the AA, Grapevine, and GROW websites, and AA meetings on Zoom.

Rationale: With the pandemic, AA zoom meetings are taking place all over the world. They have quickly become an essential tool for many in recovery. Because our ESH is vital to AA meetings and our sobriety, sharing the Zoom ID and password (or the URL link) would be appropriate in these uncertain times.

Trusted Servants 10/2020

Trusted Servants:

12 Step Volunteer Listkeeper (10/20-04/21): Claire H. email
Birthday Listkeeper (10/20-04/21): Julie K. email
Sponsor Listkeeper (10/20-04/21): Lynn. email

Trusted Servants who make up the Steering Committee:

Business Meeting Chair (10/20-10/22): Danna M. email
GSR (10/20-10/21): Nicole W. email
GVR (10/20-10/21): Barbara ‘Barb’ M. email
Greeter (4/20-4/21): Lisa M. email
Greeter (10/20-10/21): Karrie C. email
Listkeeper (4/20-4/21): Sarah K. email
Listkeeper Alternate (10/20-10/21): Karen H. email
OIAA Rep (10/20-4/21):  Sophie R. email
Secretary (10/20-10/21): Nancy C. email
Temporary Mentor (4/20-4/21): Sarah M. email
Treasurer (10/19-10/21): Cheryl B.  email
Website Administrator (10/20-10/21): Cheryl D. email
Webkeeper: <vacant>
Webkeeper Backup (10/20-10/21): Louise H. email
Weekly Leader Listkeeper (4/20-4/21): Rene G email

Immediate Past Business Meeting Chair: Joan B. email
Immediate Past GSR: Kate M. email
Immediate Past OIAA: Lynn H.  email and Kirsten V. email
Immediate Past Secretary: Laurie C. email

Email the Steering Committee

1020 – Minutes for 1st & 2nd 3-day sessions

Minutes for 1st and 2nd 3-day Sessions

Introductory business meeting materials were presented. These included reports from our Secretary, Treasurer, Listkeepers, outgoing Business Meeting Chair, and OIAA Representative. Reports from the GSR and Grapevine Rep have not been submitted at this time. Two proposals were presented for discussion in the first 3-day session, and two additional proposals were presented for discussion in the second 3-day session.

Proposal 1: Reduce the membership requirement for Webkeeper Backup from 1 year to 6 months.

Recruitment for Trusted Servants was conducted through the month of September. Since the position was established in April 2019 when the new GROW website became active, no volunteers had surfaced for the Webkeeper Backup position, and it has remained vacant.

One volunteer offered to take the Webkeeper Backup position for the term from October 2020 to October 2021. While the volunteer more than met the requirement for one year of sobriety, she did not meet the requirement for one year of membership in GROW. This proposal would allow her to serve as Webkeeper Backup by changing the membership requirement from one year to six months.

Fourteen participants made substantive comments on the proposal. Most, but not all, of the comments indicated a preference to leave the requirement as is at one year. 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 postponed further discussion of this issue.

The Secretary learned shortly before our business meeting that another GROW member had expressed interest in the Webkeeper Backup position. She is a long-standing member of GROW and meets both the membership and sobriety requirements. While she had initially agreed to take the Webkeeper position, she was not confident that she had the skill level necessary for our Webkeeper. She has since agreed to take the Webkeeper Backup position, leaving the Webkeeper position vacant at this time.

Nineteen (19) participants voted on Proposal 1.2. 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. The Chair will, however, open a discussion of the website-related job descriptions.

Proposal 2: Modify the job descriptions for the Greeter and Listkeeper trusted servant positions to stress the importance of timely processing of requests for membership in GROW.

Our group receives many inquiries and requests for membership from women who are struggling and want help to stop drinking or stay stopped. Our Listkeepers and Greeters are the first point of contact for these potential new members. If approved, this proposal would

change “daily” to “several times a day” and assure more timely processing of requests from new members.

Eight participants made substantive comments on the proposal, all of them supporting changes to the Greeter and Listkeeper job descriptions to make clear GROW’s expectation that these Trusted Servants will check their e-mails several times a day (rather than daily).

Participants voted on this proposal during the second 3-day session. Eighteen (18) participants voted on the proposal. Sixteen (16) participants voted “I agree” on the proposal, and two (2) voted “I disagree.” Therefore, Proposal 2.2 met the requirement for a 2/3 majority vote approving the proposal.

Before it can be accepted as a Group Conscience decision, participants who voted “I disagree” will have the opportunity to present a Minority Opinion. If anyone changes their vote as a result, the Chair will call for a re-vote. If no minority opinion is submitted and no one changes their vote, the proposal will be accepted as a Group Conscience decision.

Proposal 3: 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.

Since we decided to devote the first meeting each month to the appropriate Step in April 2019, posting and discussion of the Tradition has been lost. When we discussed creating a Step meeting, there was a lot of discussion about whether it should be just the Step or the Step and Tradition. It was never the intent of the participants in the business meeting to drop the Traditions from our meetings.

When the monthly Step was approved, a bullet was added to the job description. The existing bullet, however, was never changed to address the Tradition meeting separately. This proposal will correct that oversight and make clear GROW’s commitment to AA’s Traditions.

Five participants made substantive comments on the proposal, all of them supporting changes to change Weekly Leader Listkeeper’s job description to send out a “Tradition meeting” message twice a month that invites members to share on the appropriate AA Tradition throughout the month.

Participants will vote on this proposal during the third 3-day session.

Proposal 4: Add the Common Duties of Trusted Servants to the bottom of the “New Trusted Servant Letter.”

When GROW established the first Trusted Servant positions, we developed a set of “Common Duties” that would apply to all positions. However, today, not all job descriptions contain a reference or link to the Common Duties. While the introduction letter for new Trusted Servants contains a link to the Common Duties, they can easily be overlooked. Adding the text of the Trusted Servant Common Duties to the introduction letter that every Trusted Servant already receives when they move into a position will highlight those functions to which GROW expects all Trusted Servants to adhere.

Six (6) participants made substantive comments on the proposal to include the text of “Trusted Servant Common Duties” in the New Trusted Servant Letter. All of the comments supported the proposal without modification or edits.

Participants will vote on this proposal during the third 3-day session.

1020 – Proposal 5: Links to Zoom

Proposal 5: Change language about not using URLs in messages to allow links/ID’s to AA Zoom meetings.

Recommended language:

In Weekly Format Letter, “Topic for the week” section:
[ Introduce the Topic of the Week – Remember that we do not include URLs to sites outside GROW except links to the AA, Grapevine, and GROW websites, and AA meetings on Zoom. ]

In GROW Mail List Guidelines (5th bullet):
We do not send attachments, chain letters, solicitations, virus alerts or announcements of non A.A. functions. We do not include URLs to sites outside GROW except links to the AA, Grapevine, and GROW websites, and AA meetings on Zoom.


Rationale

With the pandemic, AA zoom meetings are taking place all over the world. They have quickly become an essential tool for many in recovery. Because our ESH is vital to AA meetings and our sobriety, sharing the Zoom ID and password (or the URL link) would be appropriate in these uncertain times.


Summary of Discussions

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. One member reported experiences with her e-mail being hacked and created serious problems. One of our listkeepers also shared her experience in helping members whose e-mails were hacked and the additional workload the hacks created for her. It was also pointed out that the language used in the Weekly Lead Format and the GROW Mail List Guidelines refers to URLs, which are not the security problem. The problem is links that may import viruses or malware into our personal e-mail programs. Therefore, the chair proposes to revise Proposal 3.4 to address “links” rather than “URLs” and 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? One member pointed out that only one Zoom meeting had been presented to GROW in a member’s message. Other members seemed to suggest that GROW should provide a central information point for this information. One member suggested that GROW create a webpage with information on AA meetings on Zoom.

What information does GROW want to distribute to its members? GROW could send different kinds of information for AA meetings on Zoom: referrals to specific meetings, the OIAA webpage with a partial listing, or searches on Zoom (I tried this with no success). Some participants have pointed out that it is easy to find this information through web searches or OIAA, arguing that there is no need for GROW to take this on.

Another thing to consider: If GROW lists AA meetings on Zoom as a service to our members, is it endorsing one meeting above another? Would we be communicating an implicit preference as a group (as opposed to a personal referral by a GROW member)? One participant mentioned that she feared that GROW providing the information could become almost an infomercial. This is something we should consider.

How would GROW inform its members of information about AA meetings on Zoom? The mechanisms that participants discussed included individual GROW members’ messages, the FYI letter, and a possible webpage. If we rely on GROW members’ referrals, the larger group would not be responsible for the accuracy or timeliness of the information. If we were to insert the information in the FYI letter or create a webpage, several issues should be decided:

Who would be responsible for the information? We know that at least one AA meeting on Zoom will continue beyond the pandemic. But if other meetings are discontinued or their schedules change, who in GROW would be responsible for making sure they are removed or updated? How can we assure that the information is kept up-to-date?

Is the FYI letter the appropriate way to get this information to GROW members? This is personal opinion: We already include a lot of information in the FYI Letter that goes out at the beginning of the month. Based on my own behavior, I don’t think members who’ve been with GROW over a few months will read the whole letter, if any of it. Members like me would never see it. Personally, I think it is better to send the info out separately in a short message that members will pay attention to. The question becomes the source of the information. What meetings will be included? Who is responsible for identifying appropriate meetings?

Is the GROW website the appropriate place to make the information available? The website seems to be a natural place to house the information on AA meetings on Zoom. Several questions follow. Would this be in the private members area or on the public side of the website? Who is responsible for identifying the AA meetings we want to list? What would be the process for listing specific meetings? Should there be a Trusted Servant responsible for assuring the accuracy and timeliness of the information?

The Chair recommends that we revise Proposal 5.4 after we have resolved issues on which comments did not reveal a consensus. The Chair will present a new proposal to one area where there was clear consensus: changing references to “URLs” to “links” in the Weekly Lead Format and the GROW Mail List Guidelines. (Summary of Discussions follows these talking points.)

We will have another three days to discuss these points:

  1. Should GROW supply information on AA meetings on Zoom or leave it to individual members to give their recommendations?
  2. What information does GROW want to distribute to its members?
  3. How would GROW inform its members of information about AA meetings on Zoom?
  4. Who would be responsible for the information?
  5. Is the FYI letter the appropriate way to get this information to GROW members?
  6. Is the GROW website the appropriate place to make the information available?

1020 – Proposal 4: TS Common Duties

Proposal 4: Common Duties of Trusted Servants

Add text of common duties as (shown at the end of this proposal) to the “New Trusted Servant Letter.”


Rationale

There is no mention anywhere of the common duties that have developed from time and issues arising. Further, not all job descriptions contain a reference or link to the Common Duties. The welcome letter informs the new TS where they can find the job description, but unless they are curious and investigate the site, the common duties can be overlooked. I for one have found answers to many questions and a tried and true guideline in that piece of literature and would like to see it brought up to the awareness of the incoming Trusted Servant. It is as simple as adding it to the bottom of the letter already being sent out to new trusted servants.

New Trusted Servant Letter as amended (see bottom for new language shown in red):

Dear [ Name of New Trusted Servant ],

Thank you for volunteering for the position of [ Trusted Servant Position ].

You are replacing [name of past trusted servant] in this position. She will send you any up-to-date lists and/or letter templates you will need to fulfill your duties. She will also mentor you as you transition into your new job. Her email address is [email address of past trusted servant]. If you have not heard from her, we encourage you to contact her now.

Please review your job description immediately. Each job description has been established by group conscience. If your job requires making periodic announcements to the group, please do so as outlined in your job description. Letters/announcements are also a matter of group conscience, developed to ensure a consistent message to all GROW members. Other than including your own name and contact information where appropriate, please do not change the text of the message.

If you have not yet received information from the outgoing [ Trusted Servant Position ], you can access your job description and any letter templates needed for your job on the GROW website.

Trusted Servant job descriptions are described here.

List of Trusted Servant letter templates are here.

Sometimes a job can feel a little scary. If you have *any* questions, please ask. Along with your mentor, the Steering Committee is here to answer questions and support you in your service to GROW. As GROW Secretary, I am the primary contact for trusted servants. You are also welcome to email any one of the Steering Committee members listed at the end of this email.

If you find yourself unable to fulfill your obligations, temporarily or otherwise, please let me or another Steering Committee member know immediately. We will ensure that your tasks are carried out in your absence.

Again, thank you for your service to GROW. Service work is important to individual recovery, and it is essential to the well-being of our group. We hope you find serving GROW to be a rewarding experience.

Trusted Servant Common Duties

The following describes duties that are common expectations for all Trusted Servants.

  • Must be a member of Business List
  • Smooth and uninterrupted volunteer service to GROW depends upon your ability to carry out your commitments. If a Trusted Servant finds that she cannot meet all the duties listed in her Job Description, she will inform the Secretary and/or Business Meeting Chair that she is unable to fulfill her responsibilities. Working with the Trusted Servant and the Steering Committee, the Secretary and/or Business Chair will then seek alternatives for assuring all duties are covered (including securing a temporary back-up or advertising the position on the main list). If a member of the Steering Committee is concerned that not all items in a job description are being met, she may bring her concern to Secretary and/or Business Meeting Chair, who will work with the Trusted Servant to assure their duties are covered.
  • Must be able to reply to business and steering committee email within 48 hours. If unable to do so, should inform the steering committee in advance, or in the case of a computer related problem, make every effort to telephone another group member who can let the Steering Committee know.
  • Lack of response to business, steering committee, or direct personal email by another trusted servant for a period of seven consecutive days will be reason for a temporary replacement chosen by the steering committee.
  • Lack of response to business, steering committee, or direct personal email by another trusted servant for a period of fourteen consecutive days will be reason for temporary replacement by steering committee until a permanent replacement can be chosen by the next business meeting.
  • Provide successor with all necessary information, including job guidelines and letter templates, and serve as a mentor for a period of time to ensure continuity of service.
  • Be able to cut, copy, paste, and save to a folder.

Summary of Discussions (Trusted Servant Common Duties)

Six (6) participants made substantive comments on the proposal to include the text of “Trusted Servant Common Duties” in the New Trusted Servant Letter. All of the comments supported the proposal without modification or edits.


Voting Results

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.


Group Conscience Decision:

Add the Common Duties of Trusted Servants to the bottom of the “New Trusted Servant Letter.”

New Trusted Servant Letter as amended:

Dear [ Name of New Trusted Servant ],

Thank you for volunteering for the position of [ Trusted Servant Position ].

You are replacing [name of past trusted servant] in this position. She will send you any up-to-date lists and/or letter templates you will need to fulfill your duties. She will also mentor you as you transition into your new job. Her email address is [email address of past trusted servant]. If you have not heard from her, we encourage you to contact her now.

Please review your job description immediately. Each job description has been established by group conscience. If your job requires making periodic announcements to the group, please do so as outlined in your job description. Letters/announcements are also a matter of group conscience, developed to ensure a consistent message to all GROW members. Other than including your own name and contact information where appropriate, please do not change the text of the message.

If you have not yet received information from the outgoing [ Trusted Servant Position ], you can access your job description and any letter templates needed for your job on the GROW website.

Trusted Servant job descriptions are described here. (Link to relevant job description)

List of Trusted Servant letter templates are here. (Link to relevant job description)

Sometimes a job can feel a little scary. If you have *any* questions, please ask. Along with your mentor, the Steering Committee is here to answer questions and support you in your service to GROW. As GROW Secretary, I am the primary contact for trusted servants. You are also welcome to email any one of the Steering Committee members listed at the end of this email.

If you find yourself unable to fulfill your obligations, temporarily or otherwise, please let me or another Steering Committee member know immediately. We will ensure that your tasks are carried out in your absence.

Again, thank you for your service to GROW. Service work is important to individual recovery, and it is essential to the well-being of our group. We hope you find serving GROW to be a rewarding experience.

Trusted Servant Common Duties
The following describes duties that are common expectations for all Trusted Servants:

  • Must be a member of Business List
  • Smooth and uninterrupted volunteer service to GROW depends upon your ability to carry out your commitments. If a Trusted Servant finds that she cannot meet all the duties listed in her Job Description, she will inform the Secretary and/or Business Meeting Chair that she is unable to fulfill her responsibilities. Working with the Trusted Servant and the Steering Committee, the Secretary and/or Business Chair will then seek alternatives for assuring all duties are covered (including securing a temporary back-up or advertising the position on the main list). If a member of the Steering Committee is concerned that not all items in a job description are being met, she may bring her concern to Secretary and/or Business Meeting Chair, who will work with the Trusted Servant to assure their duties are covered.
  • Must be able to reply to business and steering committee email within 48 hours. If unable to do so, should inform the steering committee in advance, or in the case of a computer related problem, make every effort to telephone another group member who can let the Steering Committee know.
  • Lack of response to business, steering committee, or direct personal email by another trusted servant for a period of seven consecutive days will be reason for a temporary replacement chosen by the steering committee.
  • Lack of response to business, steering committee, or direct personal email by another trusted servant for a period of fourteen consecutive days will be reason for temporary replacement by steering committee until a permanent replacement can be chosen by the next business meeting.
  • Provide successor with all necessary information, including job guidelines and letter templates, and serve as a mentor for a period of time to ensure continuity of service.
  • Be able to cut, copy, paste, and save to a folder.

1020 – Proposal 3: Tradition Meeting

Proposal 3: Tradition Meeting

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.

Recommended Language: Replace the existing bullet (“Post monthly Step and Tradition discussion topics to correspond with the month.”) with the following: “At the beginning and middle of each month, post the corresponding Tradition and invite members to share on that topic anytime during the month.”


Rationale

Since we decided to devote the first meeting each month to the appropriate Step, posting and discussion of the Tradition has not happened. The tradition meeting has not been posted in over 6 months. It has been lost. When we discussed creating a Step meeting, there was a lot of discussion about whether it should be just the Step or the Step and Tradition. It was never the intent of the participants in the business meeting to drop the Traditions from our meetings.

Currently, these are the relevant bullets in the WLL job description:

  • Allocate the first meeting of each month to the corresponding Step by identifying the Step as the topic next to the date on the volunteer lead request message.
  • Post monthly Step and Tradition discussion topics to correspond with the month.

The existing bullet in the Weekly Leader Listkeeper’s job description is not clear and confuses the Step Meeting with the way it was done before that meeting was created. The recommended change clarifies GROW’s expectations for assuring the Tradition is highlighted each month.


Summary of Discussions on Proposal 3 (Tradition meeting)

Five participants made substantive comments on the proposal, all of them supporting changes to change Weekly Leader Listkeeper’s job description to send out a “Tradition meeting” message twice a month that invites members to share on the appropriate AA Tradition throughout the month.


Voting Results

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 (beginning and middle of month), and the WLL will invite members to share on that Tradition.

Recommended Language:

Replace the existing bullet (“Post monthly Step and Tradition discussion topics to correspond with the month.”) with the following:

At the beginning and middle of each month, post the corresponding Tradition and invite members to share on that topic anytime during the month.


 

1020 – Proposal 2: Greeter/Listkeeper

Proposal 2: Greeter/Listkeeper Job Description

This Proposal was tabled in our April 2020 meeting because the process could not be finished before the business meeting closed. The April proposal has been amended to address the Listkeeper as well as the Greeter position. Please submit your comments before midnight (your time) Sunday, October 4.

Modify the job descriptions for the Greeter and Listkeeper Trusted Servant positions to stress the importance of timely processing of requests for membership in GROW.

Recommended Language:

  • Replace the third bullet in the Greeter job description with: “Checks e-mail several times a day for Listkeepers’ notice about inquiries from potential members.”
  • Replace the tenth bullet on the Listkeeper job description with: “Receive and forward to greeters all requests for new membership, checking grow-owner@oso-aa.org several times a day to assure prompt processing of inquiries.”

Rationale

GROW’s primary mission is to carry the message of Alcoholics Anonymous. Our group receives many inquiries and requests for membership from women who are struggling and want help to stop drinking or stay stopped. Our Listkeepers and Greeters are the first point of contact for these potential new members.

The third bullet of the current job description for the Greeters currently says “Reads GROW mail daily.” This statement is incorrect, in that checking GROW e-mail has nothing to do with notices from the Listkeepers. Listkeepers send the notices to the individual Greeter’s e-mail address. The statement suggests Greeters should only check for such notices once a day, which may increase the time between a potential member’s inquiry and GROW’s response beyond what we want to assure “the hand of AA” is always there.

The tenth bullet of the Listkeeper job description says “Receive and forward to greeters all requests for new membership” but does not establish a timeframe for processing the inquiries. Adding a statement that Listkeepers should check for inquiries from potential new members several times a day further assures that “the hand of AA” is always there.


Summary of Comments on Proposal 2

Eight participants made substantive comments on the proposal, all of them supporting changes to the Greeter and Listkeeper job descriptions to make clear GROW’s expectation that these Trusted Servants will check their e-mails several times a day (rather than daily).


Results of Voting on Proposal 2

Eighteen (18) participants voted on Proposal 2.2, which would modify the Greeter and Listkeeper job descriptions so that they would be required to check e-mail several times a day (rather than the current “daily”) to assure prompt processing of requests for membership in GROW.

Sixteen (16) participants voted “I agree” on the proposal, and two (2) voted “I disagree.” Therefore, Proposal 2.2 met the requirement for a 2/3 majority vote approving the proposal.

Before this proposal can be adopted as a Group Conscience decision, we will hear the views of participants who voted “I disagree.” If anyone changes their vote as a result, we will call for a re-vote.


Minority Opinion

“I voted in disagreement because the language of check mail “several” times a day could possibly limit the volunteers who could otherwise take on this responsibility if they now they can check mail at least once daily. Checking mail daily does not seem to be an overwhelming responsibility.

“It would be beneficial to remember this is an online group. If someone is in crisis, and our listkeepers know this, I would hope they would refer the person on to AA locally wherever they are. Person-to-person contact is much more beneficial for crisis situations. Online is for support, in my humble opinion, it is not where “crucial” contact is.

“Remember rule 62; Let’s not take ourselves so seriously.”


Final Results of Voting

A Minority Opinion was published on October 9. No one has changed their vote as a result.

Therefore, Proposal 2.2 is approved and adopted as a Group Conscience Decision.


GROUP CONSCIENCE Decision:

Modify the job descriptions for the Greeter and Listkeeper trusted servant positions to stress the importance of timely processing of requests for membership in GROW.


Recommended Language:

  • Replace the third bullet in the Greeter job description with: “Checks e-mail several times a day for Listkeepers’ notice about inquiries from potential members.”
  • Replace the tenth bullet on the Listkeeper job description with: “Receive and forward to greeters all requests for new membership, checking grow-owner@oso-aa.org several times a day to assure prompt processing of inquiries.”

 

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

Rationale

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.

Oct 04: Step 10

Step 10: “Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.”

This step is discussed in the Big Book on pages 84-85, and at more length in the 12×12 starting on p. 88. This step involves – for me – a process of continuing to “look at our [my] assets and liabilities…” with “a real desire to learn and grow by this means” (12/12, p. 88)

What a challenge! To keep looking at both my strengths and what I think are my weaknesses and maintain a willingness to keep growing! Sometimes that growth process involves a lot of emotional focus that is not comfortable for me (maybe always?) And as I think about it today, it can be as uncomfortable to look at my assets with the same focus as my weaknesses. It strikes me just now that part of the reason to admit my assets is to keep in mind what I might be called to do, or add, or offer in a situation – to keep an open mind and heart to how I might be being called to contribute.

This step calls me to try and be aware of what I am doing right now and how that might affect others right now. I want to be alert to the symptoms of emotional imbalance and how I react to situations where I am emotionally disturbed right now, in this moment, so I have a chance to apologize and make the situation as right as I can… The step also recommends that I do a daily taking of an inventory to see how my day went – where was I helpful (what worked) and where did my defects pop up like weeds in my garden?

I am more adept at the “spot-check inventory,” the recognizing of where I am a mess right now – than I am at doing the day-end inventory. After talking with my sponsor about this, we have added to my daily short list of gratitudes a reflection of my day as it played out using Step 10 as a lens. I write this in my journal – I keep it to one page – and photograph it and text it to her. I find this sharing helps so much as it is one of the things I can do to make the program of AA come really alive.

One of the promises in this step is that this will help me stay emotionally sober – a state I’m coming to prize highly. It also makes an amazing claim that I have found does, indeed, come true (another promise) in the Big Book on p. 84, “And we have ceased fighting anything or anyone – even alcohol. For by this time sanity will have returned.” What an amazing promise – that I, Laura, can be in a place where I don’t fight anyone or anything.

I am looking forward to hearing how you use Step 10 and / or how you might find Step 10 a challenge.

Thank you for letting me chair this meeting and letting my share – my name is Laura B. and I am an alcoholic.

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,
Sophie
OIAA Rep for GROW

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

Total
$ 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.
Amen

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

2020 Business Meeting – April

2020 Business Meeting – April

(topics are listed below are in order of presentation)

Sep 27: Today’s To Dos For Sobriety & Recovery

Thank you to all outgoing and incoming servicers of this meeting, we appreciate all the work you do.

Thank you for allowing me to lead, sharing my experience, strength and hope. It is both an honor and a privilege.

As I begin this writing, it is about 40 minutes until I get the gift of celebrating 16 years of continuous sobriety. 🥳

I start with this declaration not because I’m all that and chips ~ but because I am in awe of how it works, and that with lots of help, I, too, have found the solution to staying sober. My hope is that others can see it is possible for them, too.
Saying that I am grateful does not seem to do it justice, but to describe all I am because of the Program of Alcoholics Anonymous is virtually impossible.
Getting and staying sober have truly given me life.

Consistently, September has been a wonderfully, sometimes difficult~ly introspective month. I know many others experience this “time of reflection mode” before their sobriety anniversary/birthday, as well. Over the years, it’s no longer all about my head “hey, look at me!”, but instead having to do with my heart, “am I doing the next right thing?”, a testimony to a Higher Power and the Program and fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous. It is a time of looking at the progress and changes made since last year, as well as some “blast from the past” memories that reeeeeally show me progress. Golly, some of the crazy crap we do while we are out there rocking and reeling. So grateful I don’t have to live like that anymore.

In the beginning of my sobriety, the reflection was really ego deflating, because their wasn’t much progress that I could see, which led to the ego smashing required for me to see the Action that I needed to do to produce my continuing evolution ~ so that I could create and then see, the progress I desired. My “Today’s To Do’s” are in the next few paragraphs, all the things I do to stay in sobriety/recovery.

Through great sponsorship, daily conscious contact (prayer/meditation), daily readings, journaling, gazillions of gratitude lists and uncountable numbers of meetings, I have become the human, woman person I’ve always wanted to be ~ the one that used to be hidden amongst all the rubble that was my tornado 🌪 type self-created life.
September has had some great meetings so far this month, with topics that have included Step 9, the Promises, honesty, service, gratitude and it’s Recovery Month!, just to name a few.

All of these have become a part of my life and made my life better:

  • Step 9: I finally admitted I was wrong, and showed up to make it right.
  • The Promises: Every single one has come true in my life already and continue to do so.
  • Honesty: I learned to become honest with myself about myself and became able to be totally honest with others. Without being brutal.
  • Service: Whether walking another woman through the Steps, or helping a stranger with their groceries, today I love to be there for and be of service to others.
  • Gratitude: Focusing on all I do have. How truly fortunate I am.
  • Always remaining teachable.

I believe that my true purpose in life is to be of maximum service to my God, my Goddess and my fellows.  Recovery Month is such an awesome time. All of us miracles celebrating our lives, clean and sober together. Awesome stuff!!

Although I have managed to string many “one day at a time’s” together, the most important and meaningful day is the one I am in. Being present is an awesomely wonderful gift. If I stay present and do well in today’s 24, tomorrow’s 24 is likely to roll along just fine.  Couple of nuggets before I go:

  • Just for today, I will not worry.
  • Just for today, I will not be angry.
  • Just for today, I will do my work honestly.
  • Just for today, I will show love and respect for every living thing.
  • Just for today, I will live an attitude of gratitude.

I want to have a good attitude because that’s what will glorify my God. It is promised that if we will do three simple things—continue to pray, to love Him, and to want His will—that all things will work together for our good (see Romans 8:28). That’s a 100 percent, ironclad guarantee that no matter how messy life gets, God will make good out of it. If you want victory in your life, all you have to do is adopt a lifestyle of thanksgiving.

Thanks again for letting me share and for being an integral part of my sobriety.Topic for the week: What are your Today’s To-Do’s for maintaining your sobriety/recovery?

Sep 20: Gratitude is a Gift Too

September has a special meaning for me. It is the month of both my birthday and my AA anniversary. Today my gift is gratitude itself. It is inside me, and I want to keep feeling it. I never used to know gratitude. It is a gift that shouldn’t get dusty on a shelf. It needs to be integrated right into my attitude where it belongs. It seems to take a weight off my shoulders.

Gratitude can seem elusive, but the serenity I feel is gratitude in my life. It is one of those gifts that I might overlook. So I chart it daily.

Early in AA I felt grateful for an odd gift: the gift of desperation. Without it I would not have come to AA. My Higher Power is the best gift-giver ever! As a newcomer, I didn’t always feel good and sometimes wondered why I made the decision to get sober. I wasn’t so sure I was grateful–until I paused, or was told by my sponsor, to reflect on it. Sure enough-there it was.

The Promises are my cheat sheet in starting my gratitude list. But they are very limited. My gratitude is vast. It covers the sun, the moon, the stars, a wonderful breeze, a fragrant flower, loved ones, pets. Sobriety. You. Serenity. A higher power I call God. Just some of my favorite things. Drinking and stumbling through my life I barely noticed those things. The list grows in sobriety.

I never dreamed I would find a support system. I never dreamed I could be worthy of love and kindness. Calm was not within my reach. There are in fact other emotions on the chart besides anger! Laughter came into my life. My prayers turned to requests for blessings to others. I say prayers of thanks. I ask for direction and the will of my Higher Power. Not until I set aside my own apparent control was I open to a Higher Power. It seemed prayers were answered when I didn’t even pray! I am so grateful.

Each of us experiences gratitude in her own personal way. As unique as we are, that is how unique our gratitude list is. But when we shout out in unison at the end of a meeting, Keep coming back, it works when you work it! we express a joy and gratitude we share alike.

My gratitude in recovery seems to burst out of nowhere and float all over me like fairy dust. Sometimes I giggle at what I’m grateful for. I love the sneaky little surprises from my Higher Power too, although sometimes I don’t see them right away. My gratitude is as precious as the gifts themselves. The world looks so much better with Gratitude in My Attitude. I invite you to continue to join me in celebrating gratitude. I am able to invite each of you because, of course, your name is on my Gratitude List! hgz, b. dos 9/21/83; dob 9/01/43

Please feel free to share on this topic or any other of your choice.

Sep 13: Honesty

Before coming into the rooms of AA I was very dishonest. I lied to my boss, blaming other people for any mistakes I made like a toddler “I didn’t do it”. I lied to coworkers, once hiding important keys left on my desk because they belonged to a woman I disliked and knew she would get into trouble. I lied constantly to my spouse about my drinking and lied to my children that my drinking was normal. I lied to friends that my life was great, lied to family about my drinking, lied to get ahead, lied to get my way, lied to win …… I could take another hour and write about so many more instances that I was dishonest during my drinking career. Dishonesty was so much a part of me it became automatic. I could come up with a lie so fast while looking you in the eye it was scary.

When I finally dragged myself to the rooms of AA I was at a very low bottom. I learned very slowly because I thought it was all about drinking and how to stop. But as I was told at the tables I slowly started to change, inside and out. It was not easy and my HP was doing all the heavy lifting but I started to see a different person. Someone with a sense of honesty, both with myself and others. When I finally realized that even though no one else would see me sneak a drink (or six) I myself would know and I would care. This honesty with myself was a pivotal moment where the conscious change started and the changes stayed. I know it only happened because “I couldn’t, He could so I let Him”.

Today honesty is very important to me. I still find myself slipping sometimes but I try to use my tools and repair, start back on my program. How has dishonesty/honesty changed during your AA journey?

Aug 16: The Next Frontier: Emotional Sobriety

“If we examine every disturbance we have, great or small, we will find at the root of it some unhealthy dependency and its consequent unhealthy demand. Let us, with God’s help, continually surrender these hobbling demands. Then we can be set free to live and love; we may then be able to Twelfth Step ourselves and others into emotional sobriety.” The Next Frontier: Emotional Sobriety by Bill Wilson, Copyright © AA Grapevine, Inc, January 1958

Thank you all again for my celebration last week. I picked this topic because just when I had thought I had got it all ‘figured out’ I got a lovely reminder in humility 😊.. My nephew on the same day as my anniversary got accepted into a prestigious university. He’s never seen his aunt drunk, out of control or fighting. I was delighted and of course, I made it clear I would be ready to help him at any point… and then something started bugging me. A sadness… ‘but, but, I am 12 years sober, where’s my big prize… a coin, lot of well wishes… But I want fireworks! I want more!’

2 hours later and I’m thinking ‘why am I envious?’ There it was: ‘I demand more than what I have already received. I went to a prestigious university too, but congratulate me again… I am smart, I am I am I am…’ […sigh]. You can see where this is headed… underneath it was just attention-seeking behaviour. A bit of king-baby syndrome.

Thank you, AA and all those 12 steps that help me, look within, find that self-centred fear and turn it over to my Higher Power. Bill W’s essay on Emotional Sobriety is still one of the best pieces of AA literature that right-sizes me. Within minutes I felt that freedom. I felt that the sunlight of the spirit. And I was back to enjoying those 24 hours.

Aug 09: Leaving Space for Your Higher Power

Hello Dear Women of GROW,

I am celebrating 7 years on the 9th and I am still here, working my program, daily. But lately my meditation practice has been spotty, and I’ve felt too distracted to pray.

I actually wondered if the program had stopped working. The program is still working.

What’s changed is the context I’m practicing in. There is a lot of space in my days. And what rushes into that space are uncomfortable feelings–and the scary stories I attach to them.

I’m an alcoholic. When discomfort hits I want to get busy and distract myself with whatever I can find–-because I’m triggered.

Today someone told me that space is where you meet God.

So I’m committing to making space available. I’ll start by acknowledging my feelings. When I do, they ease (my 4th and 5th steps taught me that). Then the space returns.

I can say a prayer or meditate into that space. I can express gratitude. All of this makes me feel a lot better than looking for shoes to buy online.

Where do you meet your Higher Power? How do you make space for this relationship? What gets in the way?

Thank you for being here.
x

Kirsten

Aug 02: Step 8

Topic for the week: Step 8 – Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all

I am and will always be so grateful for sponsorship and having women to help me with step work. I wanted to breeze through step 8 and find out how I was supposed to make amends, a step I had dreaded from the beginning.

But my sponsor explained that I could make a list using my inventory. Everyone in the first column of the inventory should be on my 8th step list and she and I would talk about each one and what amends were owed.

Step 8 really slowed me down. I was told to pray and thoughtfully consider the harm done to each person on the inventory. Then, I was to make 3 lists. The 1st was the amends that would be easy, I understood my harm and was willing to approach these people. The 2nd was a list of people I felt I owed an amends to, but I had reservations about making them. The 3rd list I either didn’t see the harm or was terrified of ever making a direct amend.

We started with the 1st list and she had me pray, then write a SHORT amend stating the harm I thought I caused. I started each one with the fact that I was alcoholic and trying to set right wrongs I had done. Then the facts, i.e. I was unkind, I lied, I was afraid, whatever had shown up on the inventory. Leaving out lengthy details and explanations, just the actions I took that were harmful. I had a lot of amends to make for gossiping and some of those were tricky. Do I make amends to the person I gossiped about or just to the person I gossiped to/with? We looked at each one, trying not to cause more harm.

It was such a helpful process to get prepared for each amend I owed with facts and what I was going to say. It took away some of the fear about direct aments. To this day, I run amends by someone first, often I’m wrong about the harm caused or what I am willing to change. It is so helpful to talk it out first and feel really prepared before I approach the person I resented.

As I worked through the first list, I experienced some of the freedom that comes and eventually I was willing to look at lists 2 and 3 and finish the whole process.

I’m looking forward to hearing your experiences with this step.

Jul 26: The 1-2-3 Waltz

When I was new to sobriety, everything was overwhelming. I looked at the Steps on the wall, and it seemed impossible to me. Not so much Step 1. I knew I was an alcoholic, and my life had definitely become unmanageable. It was the next two steps that threw me. Step 2 told me that I would come to believe that a Power greater than me could restore me to sanity. I didn’t believe it. First, I didn’t think I was insane. Second, the God of my understanding at the time did not get involved in individual lives. He’d created us with Free Will and depended on us to solve our own problems. Step 3 said I would give my life and my Will over to this Higher Power. The more I listened to what people said about it, the more skeptical I became. They kept talking about surrender! That was not my style.

But I was in trouble. I needed help. I couldn’t get or stay sober on my own. I’d tried AA before and failed at it. This time, I was truly desperate to quit, and I was finally willing to do what was suggested. So, I swallowed my pride and tried to do those first three steps with my sponsor. It was a long battle. The same thing played out at least once a month – over and over again.

Something would happen that upset me. I’d stew about it and try to figure out how to “fix” it. I’d try this and then that. Nothing solved the problem. I stayed upset. Talking to my sponsor about it every day, she’d finally ask what I was getting out of being upset. She was speaking Greek. She suggested I try the steps. How would that fix anything? So, on my own, I’d keep fighting for my way. I’d be angry at everyone. No one understood me or how unique I was. They couldn’t understand how complex my problem was. I knew I could figure it out.

I didn’t figure it out. I just kept being upset. I starting thinking maybe I was insane after all. The people at AA weren’t upset all the time. They had a way to solve their problems. They let go of them. They gave them to their Higher Power and went about their business. They didn’t stay upset. They were content and happy.

So, after about two weeks of trying to swim upstream, I’d finally get on my knees and give the problem to a God I didn’t really trust. I’d try hard to stop thinking about it. I tried to go about my business. At first, giving my problem to God would last a few minutes at best. In no time, I was obsessing about it again and getting upset. But I’d gotten some relief, so I got down on my knees and let go of it again. Maybe a few more minutes of relief. Every time I gave my Higher Power my problem, the relief lasted longer. I could focus on being sober rather than being upset.

It took months for me to begin to trust that letting go of my problem would solve it. For all those months, I was doing the 1-2-3 Waltz. I was going through the first three steps over and over again. (I can’t. He can. I’ll let Him.) Over time, it got easier. Over an even longer time, it started getting automatic. I’d learned that letting go of my problem, giving it to God, actually worked. Over time, I went from suffering for a couple of weeks before I’d let go to suffering for minutes and letting go.

I’d finally learned that my way isn’t the best way. It’s certainly not the easiest. What is easy is trusting my Higher Power to lead me where I need to be. When I surrender, things turn out so much better than they ever have. I can stop worrying and obsessing. I can just live my life, knowing that there is a better way – knowing that if I just trust and go on with my day, the problem will cease to be a problem. I don’t have to fix anything. I don’t have to have my way. In fact, getting my way is usually the worst thing for me in the long run.

So, this week, I’d like to hear your experience with the first three steps. Did you or do you do the 1-2-3 Waltz like I did? What did you or are you learning about living sober? Of course, please share on anything you need to this week.

Jul 19: The two faces of alcoholism/coin

“When I try to reconstruct what my life was like “before”, I see a coin with two faces.

One, the side I turned to myself and the world, was respectable – even, in some ways, distinguished. I was father, husband, tax payer, home owner. I was club-man, athlete, artist, musician, author, editor, aircraft pilot, and world traveller. I was listed in Who’s Who in America as an American who, by distinguished achievement has arrived.

The other side of the coin was sinister, baffling. I was inwardly unhappy most of the time. There would be times when the life of respectability and achievement seemed insufferably dull – I had to break out. This I would do by going completely “bohemian” for a night, getting drunk, and rolling home with the dawn. Next day, remorse would be on me like a tiger.

I’d claw my way back to respectability and stay there – untill the inevitable next time”.

Extract from BB page 382

When I started drinking it was all low key and modest, I was in control. Then I found I loved the taste of alcohol, it made me into friendly bubbly person who could converse with anyone, compared to the shy awkward introvert I am, I was always “in the background”.

My love of alcohol was almost like a love affair, I did not need anyone or anything, as long as I went to work every day and proved what an exceptional (in my mind) worker I was, then how could I be an alcoholic?

Many times in my drinking career when at a pub and obviously had to much to drink, and not steady on my feet would knock a glass over or some inappropriate comment made, I always joked ” I would pick up my name later”‘, that never happened, and thinking on it today I would be permanently on my knees “picking up my name”.

In the beginning it was easy to have a ready made excuse, especially as did not always go with same friends out, at work I was hard working and went the extra mile (even today I go the extra mile- just not with drinking anymore), then come knock off time I would plan most nights to party.

Eventually I was drinking more and became a solitary drinker, it was easier than having to make excuses to anyone, and my love affair with the bottle “got intense”‘.

It would be nice to hear “your two sides of the coin”

Rene

Jul 12: Keys to the Kingdom: Relationships in AA

“I have a wealth of friends and, with my A.A. friends, an unusual quality of fellowship. For, to these people, I am truly related. First, through mutual pain and despair, and later through mutual objectives and newfound faith and hope. And, as the years go by, working together, sharing our experiences with one another, and also sharing a mutual trust, understanding, and love—without strings, without obligation—we acquire relationships that are unique and priceless.”

There is no more aloneness, with that awful ache, so deep in the heart of every alcoholic that nothing, before, could ever reach it. That ache is gone and never need return again.

Now there is a sense of belonging, of being wanted and needed and loved. In return for a bottle and a hangover, we have been given the Keys of the Kingdom.” From “Keys to the Kingdom” page 276 of the Big Book Alcoholics Anonymous 4th Edition

I’ve recently been reflecting on my time in and out of AA. I’ve shared before that I was off booze for eight years give or take before making it to AA. Once I was here I was desperate and also really firmly believed you had the solution to actually living without drinking. Prior to AA I wasn’t drinking, but what I was doing wasn’t exactly living either, more of an isolated survival.

Since joining the AA Fellowship and slowly but surely growing my network of sober sisters, I do feel as if I’ve been granted the Keys of the Kingdom. I’ve found a place where I actually feel as if I belong. I have found a tribe of women that I can really be honest with, really grow alongside, and a spiritual way of life and community unlike anywhere on Earth.

Please share on anything this passage brings to mind for you or anything else you need to share on! Thank you for the honor of chairing this meeting and for being here with me living in the solution.

Love,
Emily M.
9/1/2010

Jul 05: Step 7

Good morning Ladies of Grow, thank you for allowing me to lead this weeks meeting and be of service. Today’s share is on step 7.

“Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings”

At the beginning of my recovery I didn’t understand step 7 at all. Being humble wasnt something that came naturally to me at all. I was an ego driven maniac for most of my life, so when this step spoke of being humble it was a strange concept to me.

I had never heard of the word humility which is what this step is all about. The great fact is that unless I was able to gain some sense of humility I wouldn’t stay sober. Humility for me is knowing my place and staying in. It means I have to remain humble enough to know who is in charge, and that is God.

“My Creator, I am now willing that you should have all of me, good and bad. I pray that you now remove from me every single defect of character which is standing in the way of my usefulness to you and to my fellows. Grant me strength as I go out from here to do your bidding. Amen”

I am in the world to fulfil a roll that God assigned to me. I have to keep my channel clear to enable God to work through me. At first ai struggled with giving the good away, I only wanted to be free of the bad. I didn’t realize and understand that God needs all of me, so he can honor his end of the deal that was made in Step 3. God knows me better than i know myself. In giving him all of me, good and bad, he has been able to work his magic into my life and change it beyond my wildest dreams.

Through the step 7 prayer I have been able to make Love, tolerance and honesty a daily part of my life. I have been able to be rid of gut wrenching fear that stops me being able to do anything. I have been able to be patient in very testing times. I have been given qualities I never knew I had. I have found that I am not just a walking defect, I posses many good qualities. I am able to live in this world that used to be such an alien place for me. I am given strength and courage on a daily basis to tackle things head on.

Asking for God to remove my shortcomings is a very humbling process indeed.

Thank you for letting me chair and share today.

Claire H

Jun 28: Maladjustment’s Management

Hi everyone. I am an incredibly grateful alcoholic, and my name is Taylor D.
The first thing I’d like to do is thank the group for allowing me the opportunity to serve as this week’s chair, and i thank you once again for the opportunity to be of service, by allowing me to offer my willingness to sponsor the in need members here. It is both a blessing and an honor to get to work with others as they (we) go through the Steps.

Service is also a huge part of my recovery: helping to keep me sober and involved, as well as giving back ~ making payments on a debt I’ll never be able to fully repay. I am so blessed and grateful to this Program.

For the newcomers and the come-backers: I hope you hear something that makes you want to stay, and if not, I hope you’ll keep coming back until you do.

The topic I have chosen for sharing my experience, strength and hope for this week is what I like to call my Maladjustment’s Management.

In both the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous and in the 12×12, these maladjustment’s are mentioned. Bill W. sometimes called them character defects, sometimes he referred to them as shortcomings, and several times he pointed them out as chronic maladjustments.

I prefer this terminology better most of the time, I suppose because it was something I glommed right onto in the beginning ~ it made it all make a little more sense to my very askew brain.

As I’m sure you are wondering by now, ” what the hockey sticks is she talking about!?!”
When I speak of the managment of my maladjustment’s, I am speaking of how I am dealing with my current character defects. As you all are aware, some of our character defects don’t go away ~ so (my) our responsibility becomes dutiful management of them so they don’t go to extremes again, and so we don’t hurt ourselves or others with them.

Every year, right prior to my AA birthday, (usually 2-3 months) I hit a reflection period. I find that old memories come up, mostly good: childhood memories, relationships of all different types, a lot of good times and of course those good ole growth opportunities! Because of working this Program to the best of my ability, what began as morbid reflection the first year I did the reflection/review, is now an opportunity to measure my progress; from last year, as well as the progress I’ve made since the beginnng of my sobriety, which was September 28, 2004.

And therefore the questions: have i learned from them? have i changed my behaviors for the better? have i become kinder? am i closer to being the woman I’ve always wanted to be?

What I am seeing this year is pretty good in my maladjustment’s management, I’m not finding any that make me say gees louise, not that again!! (like the whack-a-mole it used to be). My intolerance of others is almost not existent, because of God and the Program, today I am truly able to accept others just exactly where they are! Yay!! I see in reviewing my interactions with others that my compassiion and empathy have grown by leaps and bounds. I also see that my impatience and judgmentalism have improved, though there is definitely a lot of room for improvement on those fronts! These 5 items are my list of maladjustments that i deal with in my life right now and continue to strive daily to make them better. I do this by doing Step 6 and 7 over and over again, studying the books, by working with my sponsor, meetings, sponsorship, service and of course a very strong faith in God; but the thing I find that helps the most is the willingness to acknowledge, admit, remain teachable and change.

And please: don’t take this as me inferring that I’m just so wonderful and such a spiritual guru, as I surely am not. I act like an ass and make mistakes now and again, just like every other human being.

How I’d like you to take it is with your eyes on the awesome power of the Program of Alcoholics Anonymous. As it has taken a hopeless, helpless, terrified and desperate drunk like me and with a lot of work and willingness for patient progress, has turned me into a hopeful, positive, grateful, helpful and considerate adult, who’s almost completely free of fear and the bondage of self: a woman truly full of happiness and joy.

Thanks again for letting me share.
Faith n Hope
Taylor

Jun 21: Out of the dark

Topic for the week: Out of the dark

As Bill sees it (page 10)

Self searching is the means by which we bring new vision, action and grace to bear upon the dark and negative side of our natures. With it comes the development of that kind of humility that makes it possible for us to receive God’s help.

Yes it is only a step we will want to go further

We will want the good that is in us all, even in the worst of us, to flower and to grow. But first of all we shall want sunlight, nothing much can grow in the dark. Meditation is our step into the sun.

It has been said that each person has the capacity “to be evil”, not many act upon that impulse.

As an alcoholic I could say I did “evil things”, the lives of friends and family destroyed through my drinking, as nothing was more important than the next drink. As I did not do well in relationships, I avoided been with anyone and could be selfish and only think of myself. Yet also the yearning to be accepted was what I wanted and I thought alcohol would do that.

I would look in the mirror after a “heavy night” out and hate myself, I would vow to stop but after work would again go to nearest bottle store.

Alcohol produces “the evil”, and as humans we want to also do good, be “normal”.

As “Bill said”, nothing can grow in the dark.
Think of flowers when they grow, they grow in sunlight “and turn towards the sun”.
Are we reaching towards the sun?

Would love to hear what everyone thinks of the dark and the light.

Rene

Jun 14: Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it

“Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it.”
from the long version of the serenity prayer

“God, grant me the Serenity to accept the [people and] things I cannot change
Courage to change the things I can,
and the Wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardship as the pathway to peace.
Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it.
Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life, and supremely happy with Him forever in the next.
Amen”

When I first came into the rooms of AA I learned the long version of the serenity prayer. I clung to it every day as I focused on not taking a drink. This one prayer got me through the roughest moments of the first year, and 5+ years down the road of recovery it still helps to soothe my weary soul far beyond any temptation to drink alcohol.

I have been extremely challenged this year to stay positive in spite of all the negative people and events that I cannot control. If I fail to remain positive most of the time, I suffer the consequences physically, emotionally and spiritually. This bleeds outward and can easily damage the relationships with those that I love. A couple of months ago I was reciting my morning prayers, struggling to make sense of events in our country. I noticed and digested this one line of the prayer that I had barely noticed previously: “Taking, as he did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it”. It’s funny how you can see the same words every day for literally years but not spend any time pondering what it means to you. Well, on that day and every day since I focus on it, as it truly helps me understand that a portion of what I must accept just might be what I inherently deem completely, utterly unacceptable. The ‘learning opportunities’ just keep on coming…

With all of the times I have wrestled with acceptance, these past few months have me stretching farther than ever to do just that. This one sentence gives me the strength and courage I need. I am able to react differently to that which bothers me as I literally speak it out loud (fortunately my husband humors me as I do!). I feel the stress caged up in my body relax as I take this pause to ‘check in’ with God. It breaks the tension, I find something to laugh about and move on.

Maybe I haven’t been here long enough, but I’ve not heard others talk about this specific part of the serenity prayer. I am curious to know if or how this sentence has meaning for you. Please feel free to share on this or any other topic.

Grateful to be of service this week,
Susan P.

Jun 07: Step 6

Hello all ladies of GROW.

My name Rene and am an alcoholic.

Step 6 (Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character).

Step 6 is necessary for spiritual growth. The beginning of a lifetime job. Being ready is all important and delay is dangerous. The point at which we abandon limited objectives and move towards God’s will for us (paraphrased from 12×12 pages 65-67).

I still have many character defects, impatience a big one for me, and I find sitting at home (due to the pandemic) that my mind wanders a lot more to things that have happened in the past and I build up a resentment again (note that all in my mind-how fickle I am)’

Guilt is another character defect, I remember when doing step 4 the all consuming guilt I felt “like I was something unpleasant stuck under a shoe, I felt like I wanted the earth to open up and swallow me. That been said having a measure of guilt is good to remind me of what I was to help me develop into a better person.

I was a happy drunk most of the time, would go with anyone to the next watering hole.

Fear another character defect (fear of what I done and what will happen to me, fear can be replaced with courage, the courage to change within myself (still at times fight against it), not an overnight process and takes time. That why I like what been said many times, this is not a programme we graduate from, I am still a work in progress.

Once when I was in my early 30’s I went club hopping with a friend (that time friends were a dime a dozen), we ended up at a club early hours in the morning and I went to get us drinks, I even accused the owner of not giving me the correct change, whereby she told us that the last drink (much grumbling from me)’

When we left the owner came around the corner with bouncers to question me about the change, luckily it only ended up in a shouting match and the cops were called and we were hauled off to jail for disturbing the peace, to me then it was like a badge of honour, now sober am still horrified at what I did, and the irrational fear of going to jail again still creeps up, even though I have done nothing wrong.

At the moment time is all I got, it just a matter of how well I use it. My job is to practice the principles to the best of my ability, in my case it slow plodding along.

To me step 6&3 are similar (my distorted thinking), step 3 we made the decision to turn our lives and will over to the care of God (as we understood him), with continuous effort on our parts to progress to step 6 asking for the defects of character to be removed.

I like the June 6 daily reflections (can he now take them a-every one?

(Paraphrasing – All that step six asks of me is to become willing to name my defects, claim them as my own, and be willing to discard the ones I can, just for today.

Thank you for letting me share.
Rene

May 31: Powerlessness/Unmanageability

When I volunteered to chair a May meeting, I was looking forward to celebrating my 20-year AA birthday. However, around the first week in May, I abruptly stopped going to my home group’s Zoom meetings. Since then I’ve been struggling with finding a topic that sounds like “good AA,” one that won’t sound like I have a problem with AA at 20 years of sobriety. I don’t want to scare any newcomers, for one thing. But then it occurred to me that I wouldn’t be honest if I don’t tell you, my trusted friends, what is going on with me.

What has been bothering me most is that all I’ve been able to hear in meetings and see in the literature is negativity. I see only the should’s and ought-to’s and commands, as if the literature itself is yelling at me. My old “pal” shame has come back, telling me as it always does that I’m not a real alcoholic, my drinking didn’t take me to places it would have if I were a real alcoholic like you, my story isn’t bad enough for you to relate to. I feel like I’m rebelling against what has been the single most positive thing in my life. What is that about??

Perhaps this is alcoholism — my dis-ease poisoning my thought process, pushing me towards differences and negativity and isolation…and, probably at some point, a drink. Pair that with my other dis-ease, codependence, and you have a recipe for self-destruction that for me is just as cunning, baffling and powerful.

I suspect my mother’s death and the year I spent caring for her have something to do with this. I’m just beginning to recognize how I turned myself inside out trying to please her and keep her happy and how impossible that was (powerlessness and unmanageability, anyone?). Years ago when my dad died, I realized that his voice had become my own voice of negativity; I now see that it also has come from my mom, whose criticism was much more subtle. Both of those voices are gone, and what is left? The voice, my voice, in my head that has always told me I’m not enough, I don’t do enough — the voice I tried to silence with alcohol (and that came roaring back at me when I stopped drinking but had not yet found AA). But it’s not my parents or the literature or the program that’s yelling at me, it’s my own inner voice. It’s the one that always resurfaces when I want to escape the truth: I spent over a year trying to fix, manage and control my mom (thinking I was doing the “right thing”) and when I couldn’t, I turned on myself. Apparently, when I forget that I’m powerless, my life becomes unmanageable — imagine that! I suspect, too, that my complete exhaustion after my experience with my mom contributed to my inability to remember the basic principles of the program.

I want you all to know that, in spite of my distaste for AA Zoom meetings, at no time have I lost my connection with my higher power. I just kind of forgot to turn everything over. I have not lost the knowledge that I am an alcoholic, and I have not lost all the gratitude I hold for how much AA and everyone I’ve met along the way have done to change my life for better and better. Best of all, I have not stopped coming to GROW every day, and I think you all are what has kept me from going off the deep end.

I’m coming to see that this is another opportunity to love and be gentle with myself as never before. I don’t need to punish myself with AA. It’s time for me to let go of that negative, imaginary voice and be open to hearing only the loving voices of my higher power and my fellow AAs. Though it has taken 20 years for me to arrive at this point, that 20 years could only have started because of putting down the drink and coming to AA.

Thank you for letting me chair, and share (at length!).

May 24: Hi, my name is….

Hi GROW!
I’m Sophie, alcoholic.

“Our stories disclose in a general way what we used to be like, what happened, and what we are like now. If you have decided you want what we have and are willing to go to any length to get it — then you are ready to take certain steps.”
BB Chapter 5 How It Works

I love hearing examples of how the program, the tools, the literature, Higher Power/God work for others.
I also love getting to know other alcoholics, hearing their stories – what it was like and what it’s like now. That’s why I pulled out those few sentences from Chapter 5.

We’ve had so many women join us recently, we always have a steady flow of joiners usually but there’s lots more since we’re in the current global pandemic situation. I’m glad our newest members have found us.

I wondered this week if our topic could be an opportunity to get to know each other a little more, using the frame of “what it was like, and what it’s like now….”
I had a favourite game show growing up and the contestants had to answer “what’s your name and where do you come from?”
So it’s a bit like that.
A chance for some fellowship and maybe to share some hope at the changes that are possible with AA….

So here’s mine;

Hi, my name is Sophie.
I’m an alcoholic.
GROW is my AA home group, and has been for over 3 years. I have my AA sponsor online and I do most of my AA service online.
I just celebrated my sober-verserary.
A day at a time I’m celebrating my Twenty Years.
I live in the U.K. I lived overseas in New Zealand for a few years but I’m back home now.
I got sober going to AA meetings in London.

My life had totally fallen apart, then miraculously had been repaired on the outside.
But I was left still broken and shattered on the inside, not knowing what my problem was or what to do about it.

I was 23. Life was over. I had lost the power to choose when and if or how much I drank. I was 6 months out of University.
In those 6 months I’d lived at 5 different addresses, was on my 3rd job and was a victim of every life event. Everything I turned into a dramatic event, a story to be told for sympathy or for entertainment.

Then came AA. May 24th 2000. A moment of clarity. A window of opportunity that I fell through. A friend introduced me. I could hear her saying, if you’ve got a problem stopping AA can help.

I came (to meetings), I came to (woke up from my alcohol induced stumbling) and came to believe that if AA could work for all these guys and girls of all ages, all backgrounds, all nationalities, then it could work for me too.
I learned through listening and identifying with others that my drinking was alcoholic, that I was powerless over alcohol. Once I took that first drink the off switch was gone. What a relief to know what I was and that in AA I could begin doing something about it.

And that’s what I’ve been doing for the past twenty years. Finding my way through my past and learning to live well and sober today using the steps, the meetings, amazing sponsors, and beautiful sober friends and acquaintances.

Sometimes, oftentimes, it’s been one step forwards and a few back. Sometimes I’ve howled in emotional pain. But more often I’ve learned I have what it takes to cope, to survive, to thrive, and to be of use to others.

I have a god in my life today, a god I work at having a relationship with, a god who’s there for better and worse times.
And I’ve learned to laugh and enjoy life. Even in these strange and uncertain times I look for joy and laughter. I still have so much to be grateful for. And I have the program of AA as a guide each day.

Today I’m a Mum, I became a parent in sobriety. I’m with my long term partner, we live and parent together. I met him at 10 years sober after I had finally surrendered to the suggestion to be friends with someone first, get to know them. He is in every way my equal, I don’t fear him or want to change him. I’m learning healthier ways of communicating my needs and applying the program. And I try to take my own inventory and not his.

I look forward to getting to know more about more of you as I open the meeting for shares on this week’s topic “Hi, my name is…”.
As always, anyone needing to is welcome to share “off topic” too.

I always welcome one to one correspondence, and I know many others here do too. I’ve made lovely friends & recovery acquaintances here in GROW by doing that. I’m never alone – and as I shared recently “if in doubt, reach out”.

Thank you for having me be of service. The meeting is open.

Sophie

May 17: Spirituality, Love and Tolerance

Topic for the week: Spirituality, love and tolerance from pg. 83-84 of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous

I’ve been spending a lot of time in the big book and these two sentences jumped out at me for a topic this week.

“The spiritual life is not a theory. We have to live it.”

“Love and tolerance of others is our code.”

The pandemic has brought with it a lot of ups and downs. Some of you may be looking at your community starting to open up. That may be accompanied with positive or negative emotions. Here in Indonesia, we just found out that it seems we will be closed for a lot longer. As an owner of two brand new small businesses, I’m experiencing a lot of fear and intolerance.

So, my questions are:
How do you live your spirituality and how has it changed during the pandemic? What do you do to build tolerance so that you can move towards serenity in the midst of difficult situations?

  • For me, I am doing my best with my spiritual practice. It’s not pretty sometimes. I’m conversing with my higher power. Sometimes I talk, sometimes I listen, sometimes I write, sometimes I cry, sometimes I yell. One of my character defects is to turn my back and ignore my higher power (take control) so I’m paying attention to that.
  • I’ve been loving AA zoom meetings and the amazing amount of free meditations and podcasts that are out right now
  • I remind myself that I’m not the only small business owner who is suffering.
  • I remind myself that feeling grief right now is natural and just because others around me are not showing grief, I’m not alone
  • I am studying the Indonesian language even as I grapple with not wanting to live here
  • I am being of service to other alcoholics in and out of the rooms

I look forward to hearing your experience, strength and hope.

May 10: 11th Step Prayer – Prayer and Meditation

‘Perhaps one of the greatest rewards of meditation and prayer is the sense of belonging that comes to us. We no longer live in a completely hostile world. We are no longer lost and frightened and purposeless. The moment we catch even a glimpse of God’s will, the moment we begin to see truth, justice, and love as the real and eternal things in life, we are no longer deeply disturbed by all the seeming evidence to the contrary that surrounds us in purely human affairs. We know that God lovingly watches over us. We know that when we turn to Him, all will be well with us, here and hereafter.’ From AA World Services Inc. Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions (p. 105)

Hi, Grow Ladies, Heidi Alcoholic here. Thanks for letting me be of service and lead this week’s meeting. I had re-read Step 11 in the 12&12 this week and this step really resonated with me. I am powerless over people, places, and things and I’m also powerless of this current pandemic. I have no clue in life what is going to happen next week, next month or next year. What has been helping me this week is prayer and meditation. I will admit that I’m not perfect at doing prayer and meditation every single day however this week I have been making an effort to do more and it has helped. Mostly I talk to my HP (God) when I’m out in nature while walking my dog. I find when I’m in nature I feel closest to God and I’m reminded of the good things that I have at this very moment – like my dog, beautiful place to walk (I’ve been staying in Bristol since early March at my friend’s house), my health and a warm home that I’m welcome in and where I feel safe. Reading this step reminded me that when I do a bit more prayer and meditation, I do get an extra sense of belonging to AA, this fellowship, and people around me. The 11th step prayer (prayer of St Francis) is one of my favourite prayers as I have always loved the story of St Francis – his humility, willingness, and especially his love of animals and nature.

“Lord, make me a channel of thy peace—that where there is hatred, I may bring love—that where there is wrong, I may bring the spirit of forgiveness—that where there is discord, I may bring harmony—that where there is error, I may bring truth—that where there is doubt, I may bring faith—that where there is despair, I may bring hope—that where there are shadows, I may bring light—that where there is sadness, I may bring joy. Lord, grant that I may seek rather to comfort than to be comforted—to understand, than to be understood—to love, than to be loved. For it is by self-forgetting that one finds. It is by forgiving that one is forgiven. It is by dying that one awakens to Eternal Life. Amen.” From AA World Services Inc. Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions (p. 99)

I would like to hear about your experience with step 11 or just what you consider as your prayer and/or meditation that helps you today.

May 03: Step 5

Step 5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

For more on Step Five, see: The AA Big Book, beginning with Chapter 6, Into Action (p. 72); The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions (pp. 55-62).

“This feeling of being at one with God and man, this emerging from isolation through the open and honest sharing of our terrible burden of guilt, brings us to a resting place where we may prepare ourselves for the following Steps towards a full and meaningful Sobriety.” 12 and 12, p. 62

Hello GROW, welcome newcomers, and congratulations to all celebrating a sobriety milestone!

When I first came to AA I had the gift of desperation. I was done. And so, for the first time in my life, I followed directions. I worked the Steps in order of appearance, as my sponsor suggested, and I have no memory of ever looking ahead to Step 5.

And when I got to Step Five, I was ready to share all the secrets and shame that I hid and drank over.

Each time I complete a Step 5, I gain more compassion for myself, and other people. This Step, shared with a safe person, reminds me I’m no better and no worse than anyone else.

“Even AA oldtimers, sober for years, often pay dearly for skimping this Step. They will tell how they tried to carry the load alone; how much they suffered of irritability, anxiety, remorse and depression; and how, unconsciously seeking relief, they would sometimes accuse even their best friends of the very character defects they were trying to conceal.” 12 and 12, p. 56

The shame that had me pointing my finger at other people is being lifted. I no longer have to make someone worse than me in order to feel good about myself. Step Five is where I began to trade the shame I felt about who I am, for humility.

The Twelve and Twelve defines humility as “… a clear recognition of what and who we really are, followed by a sincere attempt to become what we could be.” p. 58

I really love that. I have assets and liabilities, and I can work towards filling in any gaps with these in mind–instead of dusting off the fantasy that I will one day be elected princess of the universe!

I’m looking forward to reading your shares on Step Five or whatever is current in your program this week.

Thank you for being here!
X
Kirsten

Apr 26: Coping with Change

I’m Louise and I’m an alcoholic and very, very grateful to be sober and to have a spiritual toolkit to apply in my living each day.

Change is something I don’t particularly like! If things are ticking along nicely, well, I’d rather they stayed like that.

But change has come, hasn’t it, big time, on a global scale, one that affects all of us, no matter what part of the globe we’re in.

It’s a bit like the disease of alcoholism, and a bit like recovery from the disease. We have meetings all over the world too. But only those of us who have suffered from alcoholism know what it is like. Like having been shipwrecked together and now so joyous to be free from the grip of alcoholism and to have discovered a new way of living that allows us to be happy, joyous and free.

Today, all the world is suffering, and, if we’re fortunate enough to have escaped so far, or survived, the clutches of this particular disease, we’re all beginning the slow recovery from it.

I was reading today from a writer on 20th century disasters. I’m including some of her insights. Saying that we have reached a crossroads, she says that our main task now is to understand this moment and what it might require of us:

“A disaster changes the world and our view of it. Our focus shifts, and what matters shifts. What is weak breaks under new pressure, what is strong holds, and what was hidden emerges. Change is not only possible, we are swept away by it. We ourselves change as our priorities shift, as intensified awareness of mortality makes us wake up to our own lives and the preciousness of life. Even our definition of “we” might change as we are separated from schoolmates or co-workers, sharing this new reality with strangers. Our sense of self generally comes from the world around us, and right now, we are finding another version of who we are”.

Right now we are finding another version of who we are. I’d love for you to share your experiences on any of the words above. I know I’m changing when I wake up one day feeling nervous, anxious and panicky, and another waking with a depth of peace. I’m feeling a little fragmented at times. Now, I know from past experience that that is a good sign for it means I haven’t got the answers, that I’m teachable. And I need to always remain teachable.

I start each day with my 3rd Step Prayer, followed by the 7th Step one. I ask what I can do for others. I ask my Higher Power to shape me into what He would have me be. I ask for freedom from fear when I’m scared and I at once commence to outgrow fear, as our book tells me.

I’m not sure yet about another version of who I am …Perhaps for me that simply means deepening what I have already found within myself, working this program. I do think we in this Fellowship have a head start on others as we/I have been forced to look at myself through the Steps! For that I am grateful.

I’ve discovered that I’m more of an organizer than I gave myself credit for. I’d bought masks in January when it became clear that what was happening in China was going to travel outside China! I began then to sort out freezer supplies etc. I began to think ahead and try to envisage what obstacles might come up for me in my daily routine, and plan as best I could for it. (I live alone so had to do this.)

I’ve concerns for my family, particularly a son who has been locked down on an island off Venezuela (he’d gone on what should have been a short business strip). There are now food shortages where he is, no veg or fruit, bread, meat, and power is likely to go off. I ask God as I understand him to take my powerlessness to do anything here and translate it away from catastrophising (what I very easily do) and into faith, hope and love.

What I find difficult too is that I can’t be out there helping more. I’d like to think that if I was younger and healthier that I would be but, even then, I might have been too scared. I don’t really know.

My sense of self is a little shaky at times. And I have a strong sense of self, one that’s developed over years of living sober, of being on this journey, of being a work in progress. But the ground has shifted under my feet. It’s more important than ever that I maintain contact with other alcoholics. I was at a Big Book Study meeting this morning on Zoom, and thank heavens for these meetings. A newer more enlarged self will emerge, if past sober experience is anything to go by, but the process can be scary.

Being grounded for me amounts to having faith that I am being looked after, and trusting in that. All is well when I get there.

I’m home alone, older, a bit more vulnerable healthwise today. Some of you might be out there on the front line– what’s it like for you? A nurse, doctor, cleaner, care assistant, paramedic, shop worker… how are you coping with change these days?

Welcome to all our newcomers of late! We’d love to hear you share, whatever it is on 🙂

Hugs and love
Louise

Apr 19: The Big Book

Topic for the week: THE “BIG BOOK” OF ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS

The Big Book is my personal book of instructions on how to live the spiritual life and how to take life as it is presented to me on a daily basis, without stress!  This Book and all its’ wisdom has saved my life!

I particularly enjoy the part which says:  “We cast off the burdens of the past and the anxieties of the future, as we begin to live in the present, one day at a time.”

Even though I know how precious is the present, I sometimes weave the threads of unhealthy thinking into my life by the insistent habit of spending more time living in the past and future than in the present.

I know the futility of anxiety about the future or regret for the unchanging past – – – -and when I work this Program, with vigilance, as suggested, I am more and more able to stay right where I am!!!  Right here! Right now!  Unfortunately I must make plans, but I must remember not to plan the outcome!  Just do my very best – – – -and only I know when I am doing my best!  I  MUST be honest with myself!

I used to whine a lot about the “wants” that no one was providing me!  In this program I have learned that simplicity leads me to serenity —and thereby eliminating most of these unnecessary, temporary wants.  I have everything I need and want today —-and that is sometimes too much!!!

Enjoy this day, today . . .and tomorrow, tomorrow.
=========================

Another favorite of mine in the Big Book is on page 58, first sentence, where it states:  Rarely have we seen a person fail who has THOROUGHLY followed our path…”  (capitalization mine for emphasis)!   It took me a few years to get this, because I was just great at those “half measures” (which, incidentally, didn’t work)!   That is why today, I often am heard saying:  IT WORKS WHEN I WORK IT, and it doesn’t when I don’t!!!  Today my life is SENSATIONAL (irregardless of what is going on around me in this new weird world of ours) —-and it’s all due to this way  of living that I have learned in our program with the suggestions (instructions) in the Big Book!

Annnnnnnnnd,  a *very special* paragraph for me, is on page 164, and basically sums up the entire program for me:

“Abandon yourself to God as you understand God.  Admit your faults to Him and to your fellows. Clear away the wreckage of your past.  Give freely of what you find and join us.  We shall be with you in the Fellowship of the Spirit, and you will surely meet some of us as you trudge the Road of Happy Destiny.  May God bless you and keep you – –until then.”
===================

I invite you to share your favorite parts in the Big Book that have helped you in your lives.
Thank you for living this day with me!!!

Susanne L.
Murphys, CA
8.17.91

0420 – Business Meeting Summary

April 2020– Business Meeting Summary

For the April 2020 meeting, 30 members signed up to attend. There were 7 proposals and they are all posted on the Grow web site with the discussion and outcome. Here is a summary of the proposals and results. For more details visit the web site at:

http://g-r-o-w.com, member page (password sobertodayhow2484) and the Business Meeting drop down.

The business meeting began on April 1, 2020 and ended on April 16, 2020. There were 7 proposals. One was withdrawn and one was undecided and will be held over for the October 2020 meeting.

Proposal 1: Maintenance of “Backup” Leaders
Do away with the weekly leader list keeper having to call for and maintain a list of “backup” leaders in case of the weekly leader scheduled has not posting a meeting.

Proposal 1 failed by a 2/3 majority vote with no minority opinion.

Proposal 2: Eliminate OIAA TS Position
OIAA rep position should be done away with…. We have discussed this at lengths for several meetings back and forth, to keep or dissolve. Since we have not had any actual representative for the last year, it should be dissolved, We can still maintain a visible presence on the internet without a Rep.

Proposal 2 failed by a 2/3 majority vote with no minority opinion.

Proposal 3: Eliminate Grapevine TS Position
Grapevine Rep should also be done away with. Secretary has posted a service position now weekly for the last two months. It’s clear the meeting membership is not interested in the additional topic.

Proposal 3 failed by a 2/3 majority vote with no minority opinion

Proposal 4: Edit Monthly Listkeeper Message and Greeter Letter #2
Edit Monthly Listkeeper Message and Greeter Letter #2 to address the problem of shares that bounce to the listkeepers because they are addressed to more recipients than GROW. Further edit Greeter Letter #2 for clarity and brevity.

Proposal 4 passed with a 2/3 majority vote and there was no minority opinion offered. The listkeeper message and greeter letter #2 will be updated to reflect the language agreed on.

Below is the reasoning and revised message and letter for Proposal 4.

Edit Monthly Listkeeper Message and Greeter Letter #2 to address the problem of shares that bounce to the listkeepers because they are addressed to more recipients than GROW. Further edit Greeter Letter #2 for clarity and brevity.

Rationale:

  1. “Too many recipients” bounces require listkeepers to take several actions
  2. Shares that bounce are delayed from reaching GROW. Some members do not resend, even after being notified by the listkeeper.

Monthly Listkeeper’s Message (this is not the entire letter, just the first paragraphs that show the suggested addition.)

Important Addresses

Listkeeper’s Address: grow-owner@oso-aa.org

(Use this address to change your subscription, or to unsubscribe, resubscribe or ask questions about GROW-related email problems).

Send shares to the List use this address: grow@oso-aa.org
(Use this address for all your shares or posts of any sort to the regular list. Address your share to ONLY the grow@oso-aa.org address. If another address is included (even if in the ‘Cc or ‘Bcc field) the email will bounce). The list is set up to accept messages that are addressed to Grow only. The individual(s) you send messages in addition to GROW will probably receive the message; however, the Grow list will not.

NOTE: Please do not post subscription change requests to GROW because they are too easily overlooked.

Revised Greeter Letter #2

Welcome to GROW! This is one of two emails you will receive from me with the information you need to start participating in our meeting right away. You might want to save these for future reference.

Sharing with the Group

Address your email to grow@oso-aa.organd your post will be sent to all members.

  • Do not add any other addresses to the email or it will bounce. This includes addresses in the ‘Cc or ‘Bcc address fields.

Address your share to ONLY the grow@oso-aa.org address. If another address is included (even if in the ‘Cc or ‘Bcc field) the email will bounce). The list is set up to accept messages that are addressed to Grow only. The individual(s) you send messages in addition to GROW will probably receive the message; however, the Grow list will not.

  • Add grow@oso-aa.orgto your Address Book to ensure GROW emails don’t go to your SPAM folder.

Replying to a Post

  • Do not use the “Reply to All” option when you respond privately to another member’s post to GROW, as your personal message will also be directed to the GROW list and it will bounce to the Listkeepers.
  • For those using phones and tablets, be aware that the default reply option is often “Reply to All.” Please double-check.

Email Volume
The volume of mail through the GROW list can be overwhelming. If you experience this, you might find it very helpful to choose one or more of the following:

  • Create a separate email address to reduce the confusion of mixing GROW mail with your other email. Email the Listkeepers at grow-owner@oso-aa.orgwith your new address. As an FYI, AOL and Yahoo addresses have been problematic for some members with the GROW list.
  • If you use an existing email for GROW, you might create folders for your GROW email; filters can also be set up to direct GROW mail into the GROW folder.
  • Request the Digest Version (a file containing the day’s posts in a single email) by contacting the Listkeepers at grow-owner@oso-aa.org.

Topics
A new meeting topic is sent to everyone on the list each Sunday and we share throughout the week. On topic and Off topic shares are welcome.

  • Off topic posts should be appropriate for an AA meeting. Please note in your subject line if your share is Off topic (Off Topic: … )
  • On topic posts are your shares on the weekly meeting topic. Please note in your subject line if your share is On topic (On Topic: … )
  • Please do not type in all CAPS; this is considered to be yelling.

Web Site and Password
Visit the GROW web site for more information. The URL for GROW is: http://www.g-r-o-w.com. For the members only section you’ll need the password: sobertodayhow2484

Other
If you have questions not answered by our website information, please write to me and I’ll be sure to answer them or send your questions to someone who can.

I hope Grateful Recovering Online Women is helpful to you in your journey and growth in sobriety.

Again, welcome
[ Greeter Name ]
Grateful Recovering Online Women

Existing Greeter Letter #2

Welcome to GROW! Now that you’re subscribed, this is one of two emails you will receive to help you start participating in our meeting right away. You might want to print these out for future reference.

Email Volume
We have found that sometimes the volume of mail through the GROW list can be overwhelming. If you experience this, you might find it very helpful to choose one of the following:

  • create and use a separate email address to reduce the confusion of mixing GROW mail with your primary email address. Please be sure to remember to let the Listkeepers know of your new address.
  • create folders for your GROW email; filters can also be set up to direct GROW mail into the GROW folder.
  • request the Digest Version (a file containing the day’s posts in a single email). If you would prefer to receive the Digest version, please contact our Listkeeper at grow-owner@oso-aa.organd she will make the change for you.

Topics
A new meeting topic is sent to everyone on the list each Sunday and we share throughout the week. On topic and Off topic shares are welcome. We ask that Off topic posts be appropriate for an AA meeting. Please note in your subject line if your share is Off topic (we usually type Off Topic: … )

Sharing
To share with the group, just address your email to grow@oso-aa.org and your post will be forwarded to all members. To ensure GROW emails do not get placed in your SPAM folder, please add this address to your Address Book.

Reply
Please do not use the “Reply to All’ option when you respond privately to another member’s post to GROW, as your personal message will also be directed to the GROW list and it will bounce to the Listkeepers.

For those using phones and tablets, be aware that the default reply option is often “Reply to All”, and double-check that you are not using “Reply to All”.

Please do not type in all CAPS, as this is considered to be yelling.

The secretary posts information about the Trusted Servants and guidelines for our email participation once a month. The Listkeeper (the person who makes sure the technical side of our email list works smoothly) also posts information monthly.

Web Site and Password
You’ll find lots more information on our GROW web site. The URL for GROW is: http://www.g-r-o-w.com.

Some of the information is for members only, so you’ll need the following:
password: sobertodayhow2484

Other
If you have questions not answered by our website information, please write to me and I’ll be sure to answer them or send your questions to someone who can.

I hope Grateful Recovering Online Women is helpful to you in your journey and growth in sobriety.

Again, welcome
[ Greeter Name ]
Grateful Recovering Online Women

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

This proposal was withdrawn and no vote was taken.

Proposal 6: Trusted Servants
GROW adopts the following policy for addressing non-performance in a Trusted Servant position.

Proposed Language (new #9 under Business Meeting Guidelines).

Proposal 6 passed with a 2/3 majority and no minority opinion was offered. The language for the policy is posted on the web site as #9 under Business Meeting Guidelines.

GROW adopts the following policy for addressing non-performance in a Trusted Servant position.

Proposed Language (new #9 under Business Meeting Guidelines):

When a Trusted Servant (TS-A) feels that another Trusted Servant (TS-B) is not meeting the requirements of her position description, TS-A will take her issues to the small Steering Committee (made up of the Business Chair, Secretary, and Listkeepers) for consideration. She should not engage with or confront TS-B. The small Steering Committee can choose to bring the issue to the full Steering Committee.

The review of TS-B’s performance should be based only on the duties outlined in the position description. If it is found that the complaint is based on different personal working styles, preferences, or infrequent mistakes – and TS-B is otherwise meeting the requirements of her job description, the complaint will be dismissed without informing or involving TS-B. If it is established that one or more of the duties assigned to TS-B is not being met, the small Steering Committee will:

  1. Assure that TS-B is aware of and allowed to respond to the complaints and, if appropriate, to propose remedial actions to correct problems.
  2. If TS-B does not propose remedial actions, the small Steering Committee will establish appropriate remedial actions that TS-B can take to correct the problems;
  3. Establish a timeframe and deadline for remedial actions to be taken and documented;
  4. If the small Steering Committee has not already elevated the issue to the full Steering Committee, they will inform the larger Steering Committee of the findings, remedial actions, and timeframe;
  5. The full Steering Committee will decide whether TS-B can remain in the position or should be removed;
  6. If the Steering Committee decides that TS-B should be removed from the position, they will inform her in writing of their decision. The Secretary will deliver the documented decision to TS-B and call for volunteers to fill the position to the end of the current term.

Rationale: There have been several instances in the past where a Trusted Servant did not fulfill all the duties outlined in her position description. While this may have created problems, Trusted Servants who were aware of the problem did not have a formal process for bringing the problem to the attention of the Steering Committee, and their complaint was never raised. Therefore, no action was taken to correct the problem. In one instance, the issue was raised with some Trusted Servants, but there was no process for allowing the Trusted Servant to improve her performance or for making a decision on whether the Trusted Servant should be removed. This proposal provides a formal process that will make it easier to raise such problems to the Steering Committee, to allow the Trusted Servant to correct performance, and to remove the Trusted Servant if performance does not improve.

Proposal 7: Add wording to job description for the greeter trusted servant position.
Add “several times a day” to the greeter job description bullet about checking email.

We will have 3 days to discuss this proposal.

the third bullet currently says

  • Reads GROW mail daily.

the proposed language would say

  • Reads GROW mail several times a day, checking in on a regular basis.

We ran out of time before deciding on this proposal. It has been tabled and will be discussed at the October 2020 Business Meetings.

0420 – Third 3-Day Period Summary

Proposal 7.3

Add “several times a day” to the greeter job description bullet about checking email.
We will have 3 days to discuss this proposal.

the third bullet currently says

  • Reads GROW mail daily.

the proposed language would say

  • Reads GROW mail several times a day, checking in on a regular basis.

Justification – this more accurately reflects the job.

Discussion included concern that members of grow would be reluctant to volunteer for this job based on the time commitment required. Others felt that the proposal reflects the time required and anyone who does step into the job should know what will be needed.

It appeared we were nowhere near consensus and members have strong feeling about the language on both sides. It was decided we would not have adequate time for discussion before the 17th, which is the date that proposals need to be resolved.

This proposal was tabled to be discussed again in the October business meeting.

0420 – Second 3-Day Period Summary

April 2020 Business Meeting – Second 3-day period

Proposal 4.2:
Edit Monthly Listkeeper Message and Greeter Letter #2 to address the problem of shares that bounce to the listkeepers because they are addressed to more recipients than GROW. Further edit Greeter Letter #2 for clarity and brevity.

Rationale:

  1. “Too many recipients” bounces require listkeepers to take several actions
  2. Shares that bounce are delayed from reaching GROW. Some members do not resend, even after being notified by the listkeeper.

Monthly Listkeeper’s Message (this is not the entire letter, just the first paragraphs that show the suggested addition.)

Important Addresses
Listkeeper’s Address: grow-owner@oso-aa.org
(Use this address to change your subscription, or to unsubscribe, resubscribe or ask questions about GROW-related email problems).

Send shares to the List use this address: grow@oso-aa.org
(Use this address for all your shares or posts of any sort to the regular list. Address your share to ONLY the grow@oso-aa.org address. If another address is included (even if in the ‘Cc or ‘Bcc field) the email will bounce). The list is set up to accept messages that are addressed to Grow only. The individual(s) you send messages in addition to GROW will probably receive the message; however, the Grow list will not.

NOTE: Please do not post subscription change requests to GROW because they are too easily overlooked.
Revised Greeter Letter #2

Welcome to GROW! This is one of two emails you will receive from me with the information you need to start participating in our meeting right away. You might want to save these for future reference.

Sharing with the Group

  • Address your email to grow@oso-aa.org and your post will be sent to all members.
  • Do not add any other addresses to the email or it will bounce. This includes addresses in the ‘Cc or ‘Bcc address fields.  Address your share to ONLY the grow@oso-aa.org address. If another address is included (even if in the ‘Cc or ‘Bcc field) the email will bounce). The list is set up to accept messages that are addressed to Grow only. The individual(s) you send messages in addition to GROW will probably receive the message; however, the Grow list will not.
  • Add grow@oso-aa.org to your Address Book to ensure GROW emails don’t go to your SPAM folder.

Replying to a Post

  • Do not use the “Reply to All” option when you respond privately to another member’s post to GROW, as your personal message will also be directed to the GROW list and it will bounce to the Listkeepers.
  • For those using phones and tablets, be aware that the default reply option is often “Reply to All.” Please double-check.

Email Volume
The volume of mail through the GROW list can be overwhelming. If you experience this, you might find it very helpful to choose one or more of the following:

  • Create a separate email address to reduce the confusion of mixing GROW mail with your other email. Email the Listkeepers at grow-owner@oso-aa.org with your new address. As an FYI, AOL and Yahoo addresses have been problematic for some members with the GROW list.
  • If you use an existing email for GROW, you might create folders for your GROW email; filters can also be set up to direct GROW mail into the GROW folder.
  • Request the Digest Version (a file containing the day’s posts in a single email) by contacting the Listkeepers at grow-owner@oso-aa.org.

Topics
A new meeting topic is sent to everyone on the list each Sunday and we share throughout the week. On topic and Off topic shares are welcome.

  • Off topic posts should be appropriate for an AA meeting. Please note in your subject line if your share is Off topic (Off Topic: … )
  • On topic posts are your shares on the weekly meeting topic. Please note in your subject line if your share is On topic (On Topic: … )
  • Please do not type in all CAPS; this is considered to be yelling.

Web Site and Password
Visit the GROW web site for more information. The URL for GROW is: http://www.g-r-o-w.com. For the members only section you’ll need the password: sobertodayhow2484

Other
If you have questions not answered by our website information, please write to me and I’ll be sure to answer them or send your questions to someone who can.

I hope Grateful Recovering Online Women is helpful to you in your journey and growth in sobriety.
Again, welcome
[ Greeter Name ]
Grateful Recovering Online Women

Existing Greeter Letter #2
Welcome to GROW! Now that you’re subscribed, this is one of two emails you will receive to help you start participating in our meeting right away. You might want to print these out for future reference.

Email Volume
We have found that sometimes the volume of mail through the GROW list can be overwhelming. If you experience this, you might find it very helpful to choose one of the following:

  • create and use a separate email address to reduce the confusion of mixing GROW mail with your primary email address. Please be sure to remember to let the Listkeepers know of your new address.
  • create folders for your GROW email; filters can also be set up to direct GROW mail into the GROW folder.
  • request the Digest Version (a file containing the day’s posts in a single email). If you would prefer to receive the Digest version, please contact our Listkeeper at grow-owner@oso-aa.org and she will make the change for you.

Topics
A new meeting topic is sent to everyone on the list each Sunday and we share throughout the week. On topic and Off topic shares are welcome. We ask that Off topic posts be appropriate for an AA meeting. Please note in your subject line if your share is Off topic (we usually type Off Topic: … )

Sharing
To share with the group, just address your email to grow@oso-aa.org and your post will be forwarded to all members. To ensure GROW emails do not get placed in your SPAM folder, please add this address to your Address Book.

Reply
Please do not use the “Reply to All’ option when you respond privately to another member’s post to GROW, as your personal message will also be directed to the GROW list and it will bounce to the Listkeepers.
For those using phones and tablets, be aware that the default reply option is often “Reply to All”, and double-check that you are not using “Reply to All”.

Please do not type in all CAPS, as this is considered to be yelling.

The secretary posts information about the Trusted Servants and guidelines for our email participation once a month. The Listkeeper (the person who makes sure the technical side of our email list works smoothly) also posts information monthly.

Web Site and Password
You’ll find lots more information on our GROW web site. The URL for GROW is: http://www.g-r-o-w.com.
Some of the information is for members only, so you’ll need the following:
password: sobertodayhow2484

Other
If you have questions not answered by our website information, please write to me and I’ll be sure to answer them or send your questions to someone who can.
I hope Grateful Recovering Online Women is helpful to you in your journey and growth in sobriety.

Again, welcome
[ Greeter Name ]
Grateful Recovering Online Women

Discussion was in support of this proposal. One member suggested clarification about what “bounce” means. Her verbiage was added to the suggested letters and messages.
The proposal was unanimously approved.

Proposal 5.2
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

RATIONAL 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.

There were several objections to this proposal, primarily because it looked incomplete in terms of all the effects that would result. It was suggested that it needed more thought to include all those effects.

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

Proposal 6.2
Proposal: GROW adopts the following policy for addressing non-performance in a Trusted Servant position.
Proposed Language (new #9 under Business Meeting Guidelines):

When a Trusted Servant (TS-A) feels that another Trusted Servant (TS-B) is not meeting the requirements of her position description, TS-A will take her issues to the small Steering Committee (made up of the Business Chair, Secretary, and Listkeepers) for consideration. She should not engage with or confront TS-B. The small Steering Committee can choose to bring the issue to the full Steering Committee.

The review of TS-B’s performance should be based only on the duties outlined in the position description. If it is found that the complaint is based on different personal working styles, preferences, or infrequent mistakes – and TS-B is otherwise meeting the requirements of her job description, the complaint will be dismissed without informing or involving TS-B. If it is established that one or more of the duties assigned to TS-B is not being met, the small Steering Committee will:

  1. Assure that TS-B is aware of and allowed to respond to the complaints and, if appropriate, to propose remedial actions to correct problems.
  2. If TS-B does not propose remedial actions, the small Steering Committee will establish appropriate remedial actions that TS-B can take to correct the problems;
  3. Establish a timeframe and deadline for remedial actions to be taken and documented;
  4. If the small Steering Committee has not already elevated the issue to the full Steering Committee, they will inform the larger Steering Committee of the findings, remedial actions, and timeframe;
  5. The full Steering Committee will decide whether TS-B can remain in the position or should be removed;
  6. If the Steering Committee decides that TS-B should be removed from the position, they will inform her in writing of their decision. The Secretary will deliver the documented decision to TS-B and call for volunteers to fill the position to the end of the current term.

Rationale: There have been several instances in the past where a Trusted Servant did not fulfill all the duties outlined in her position description. While this may have created problems, Trusted Servants who were aware of the problem did not have a formal process for bringing the problem to the attention of the Steering Committee, and their complaint was never raised. Therefore, no action was taken to correct the problem. In one instance, the issue was raised with some Trusted Servants, but there was no process for allowing the Trusted Servant to improve her performance or for making a decision on whether the Trusted Servant should be removed. This proposal provides a formal process that will make it easier to raise such problems to the Steering Committee, to allow the Trusted Servant to correct performance, and to remove the Trusted Servant if performance does not improve.

Proposal: GROW adopts the following policy for addressing non-performance in a Trusted Servant position.
Proposed Language (new #9 under Business Meeting Guidelines):
When a Trusted Servant (TS-A) feels that another Trusted Servant (TS-B) is not meeting the requirements of her position description, TS-A will take her issues to the small Steering Committee (made up of the Business Chair, Secretary, and Listkeepers) for consideration. She should not engage with or confront TS-B. The small Steering Committee can choose to bring the issue to the full Steering Committee.

The review of TS-B’s performance should be based only on the duties outlined in the position description. If it is found that the complaint is based on different personal working styles, preferences, or infrequent mistakes – and TS-B is otherwise meeting the requirements of her job description, the complaint will be dismissed without informing or involving TS-B. If it is established that one or more of the duties assigned to TS-B is not being met, the small Steering Committee will:

  1. Assure that TS-B is aware of and allowed to respond to the complaints and, if appropriate, to propose remedial actions to correct problems.
  2. If TS-B does not propose remedial actions, the small Steering Committee will establish appropriate remedial actions that TS-B can take to correct the problems;
  3. Establish a timeframe and deadline for remedial actions to be taken and documented;
  4. If the small Steering Committee has not already elevated the issue to the full Steering Committee, they will inform the larger Steering Committee of the findings, remedial actions, and timeframe;
  5. The full Steering Committee will decide whether TS-B can remain in the position or should be removed;
  6. If the Steering Committee decides that TS-B should be removed from the position, they will inform her in writing of their decision. The Secretary will deliver the documented decision to TS-B and call for volunteers to fill the position to the end of the current term.

Rationale: There have been several instances in the past where a Trusted Servant did not fulfill all the duties outlined in her position description. While this may have created problems, Trusted Servants who were aware of the problem did not have a formal process for bringing the problem to the attention of the Steering Committee, and their complaint was never raised. Therefore, no action was taken to correct the problem. In one instance, the issue was raised with some Trusted Servants, but there was no process for allowing the Trusted Servant to improve her performance or for making a decision on whether the Trusted Servant should be removed. This proposal provides a formal process that will make it easier to raise such problems to the Steering Committee, to allow the Trusted Servant to correct performance, and to remove the Trusted Servant if performance does not improve.

The discussion questions included concern about the mistakes trusted servants make, and that anyone not doing their job should be informed. These concerns were addressed – the proposal does not address mistakes, but a trusted servant not fulfilling duties and that the trusted servant in question would be informed. The proposal is for a process to bring the transgression to the steering committee for resolution.

The proposal passed with a 2/3 majority voting yes and no minority opinion.

0420 – First 3-Day Period Summary

2020 Business Meeting – First 3-day period

Proposal 1: Do away with the weekly leader list keeper having to call for and maintain a list of “ backup” leaders in case of the weekly leader scheduled has not posting a meeting.

In the event the meeting isn’t posted AND members start asking if the topic has been posted. The weekly leader listkeeper has the authority to go to grows website and post a meeting from the list of past topics.

RATIONAL. This simplifies the process eliminating any lag time or stress resulting from waiting for one of the backups to respond.

The discussion on this proposal was primarily that what is currently working should not be changed.
There was the needed 2/3 majority voting no on this proposal with no minority opinion to defeat the proposal.

Proposal 2: OIAA rep position should be done away with…. We have discussed this at lengths for several meetings back and forth, to keep or dissolve. Since we have not had any actual representative for the last year, it should be dissolved. We can still maintain a visible presence on the internet without a Rep.

Much of the discussion revolved around how quickly online meetings are evolving and that OIAA is needed now more than ever.
There was agreement that the position has been debated often. Some input was offered that indicated OIAA has improved and some past issues resolved.
One member stepped up to take the position.

There was the needed 2/3 majority voting no on this proposal with no minority opinion to defeat the proposal.

Proposal 3: Grapevine Rep should also be done away with. I have posted a service position now weekly for the last two months. It’s clear the meeting membership is not interested in the additional topic.

There was strong support to keep the position and continue to seek someone to step in as the trusted servant.

There was the needed 2/3 majority voting no on this proposal with no minority opinion to defeat the proposal.

0420 – Proposal 7: Greeter Job Description

Proposal 7: Add ‘several times a day’ to the greeter job description

Add “several times a day” to the  greeter job description bullet about checking email.

The third bullet currently says

  • Reads GROW mail daily.

The proposed language would say

  • Reads GROW mail several times a day, checking in on a regular basis.
    Rationale

This more accurately reflects the job.

Summary of Comments on Proposal 7

I am resistant to changing this wording.  My thoughts are making such a distinction would discourage women who work or lead very busy lives from attempting this service position.  It is my opinion that each TS does the job to the best of their ability and within the boundaries of it being service work.  These positions are not meant to become jobs.  We are all adults and I personally don’t see the need to spell things out in small print.   In my humble opinion

*********
Some online TS positions require much more extensive time than others. Many volunteer for positions, not realizing/understanding the time requirements needed can be time consuming.

Our members come from various backgrounds and ages. I am an older widow, living alone and have lots of time available so I volunteer for positions where my time can be utilized.

We have young working mothers who wish to serve as a TS but have limited time available and there are positions available for them.

But if there are not proper guidelines given in the TS Descriptions, it becomes confusing to those volunteering.

********
I’d back up what Nancy says here. It’s more realistic to let new greeters know that the position requirements ask that you check in ‘several times a day’ rather than a ‘daily’. That way, members wanting to serve know what they’re committing to. Some other ts positions don’t require the same time commitment.  They might, or might not, require a more intense period of commitment over a few days at a time, for example, but not an ongoing daily one.

This added phrase makes sense in light of what the greeting commitment entails.

*****

I agree that adding this clarifies what the Greeter position entails. The greeter is working on a daily basis with a team of three others; in my experience as part of this team(both as a greeter and as a listkeeper) things work smoothly when all four are communicating on a regular basis. It also helps ensure that new ladies hear from us promptly, particularly since there will be different time zones among the greeters/listkeepers. I’ve never found it overly burdensome and I work full time and have a family. Others on the team are always willing to step in if someone needs to be away from Internet for a while, or even days. “Daily” isn’t an accurate reflection of what’s required for this position.

Thanks,

******

I agree Nancy. We should have all the information listed so informed decisions can be made.

*********

Thank you for the ESH shared.

I feel they’ve given me an insight into how the proposal will help GROW grow and be effective in greeting our new members and ensuring they’re responded to efficiently by all those involved.

I’m glad to be guided in this way.

In love and fellowship

*********

When I first saw the proposed new wording for Proposal 7.3, I thought it was kind of…. obnoxious. Like “duh, doesn’t everyone check their email several times a day?” Followed by, hmmm… maybe others don’t!?!

However, after reading others sharing about the level of commitment and time required, this new wording not only makes sense ~ it’s necessary!

As a newer member, and one who’s actively looking for a service position ~ I (we) definitely need a heads up.

Faith n Hope

**********

I agree with changing to the new wording for Proposal 7.3. It explains the position a little better and reminds the TS of what their duties entail.

********

While I understand that checking e-mail more than once a day will help Greeters process requests more quickly, I question whether “more quickly” is really necessary.
What do we expect of our Trusted Servants? Is it reasonable?

Making “several times a day” a requirement automatically limits the number of people that will qualify … or be willing … to do the job. We are an online e-mail AA meeting, not first responders. Yes, I check my mail more than once a day, but I am retired and have that luxury. Is it fair or reasonable to ask this of working mothers? Will the proposal make Grow a more effective messenger?

My personal feeling is that this proposal asks too much of Grow members who want to serve our group as Greeters.

Thank you,

**********

I’d like to address Danna’s statement that carrying out greeter duties ‘more quickly’ shouldn’t be a necessary requirement. I’d argue that it is, and this is based on many years serving on and off as both greeter and listkeeper.

As said before, both the listkeepers and greeters work very much as a team. This doesn’t happen to the same degree with the other TS positions, except perhaps these days with the temporary mentor liaising with the sponsor listkeeper. But even then the element of teamwork is not happening on a daily basis.

Neither is either position dependent in the same way or to the same extent on the cooperation of the other. On the other hand, this is a necessary element in the running smoothly of getting new women subscribed when the listkeepers/greeters work together.

A woman can’t be subscribed unless the listkeeper sends to the greeter who then sends out information to that new woman. When the latter sends back her intro, the greeter then sends it on for subbing to the listkeeper, after which she can then welcome the new woman into Grow. Each depends on the other totally working together as a team.

If this happens in a timely manner (just as, for example, the temporary mentor would want to reach out quickly to a new and distressed member, and not hang about for more than the few days stipulated in that job description), then the new member can be welcomed into GROW. Many of our new members speak of their desperation and need for help. Many of us who’ve held these positions feel that ‘when anyone anywhere reaches out for help’ we want ‘the hand of AA to be there’ and for that we are responsible.

And, yes, it will limit the number of people who can take on the position (but not to the degree that some of you seem to think). But isn’t that how service positions work in face to face meetings all across the globe? I’ve often heard it said ‘horses for courses’. Many members dont take up commitments of one type because the demands of it do not fit with their own lifestyle. Instead, they volunteer for another type. I myself have been in this position many times throughout sobriety. I’ve learnt to say no when something is not for me.

So, it is not about excluding women from the position of greeter. It’s about laying out that an element of it is checking mail a few times a day. A few of our greeters over the last years work fulltime and have younger children. When I first greeted, years back, I was a fulltime working mum, with a teenage boy who was starting to go off the rails. I still managed to check in a few times daily.

I think as you go on in this service role you realise how vital it is to work as a team and that involves being cognizant of time differences, the others’ work commitments to a degree where you know their patterns and would expect them to either be there or not at certain times.We’re a friendly bunch, who fill in at the drop of a hat for the other if they have something else they want to do, are on holiday etc.

Look, it depends on what GROW wants: a swift enough response to the suffering alcoholic (as it stands now), or a response that could take days from start to finish to complete. I certainly wouldn’t want it to take days. Sometimes, it can take a day or even two, but for the most part we try to get a woman subscribed within a 12-hour period from initial enquiry to being welcomed by the group. This isn’t always possible, given we have lives and do other things and may clash timewise with a listkeeper’s routine that day, but it’s an aim (not sure it’s part of the job description but I know it’s what our  dearly loved Jean taught me years back).

There’s a danger if a greeter only checks in once a day that mails can be missed, and that the process could go on for longer than a couple of days. I’d hate for that to happen. Part of the role is building a rapport with your team mates which in turn allows you to work together better. And that entails keeping an eye on your mail.

In service,

********

Dear Ladies,

In Tradition 9  ( the long form page 191 in the 12 x12)  It starts with  Each group needs the least possible organization.  and ends with All such representatives are to be guided in the spirit of service.  for true leaders in AA are but trusted and experienced servants of the whole.  They derive no real authority from their titles, they do not govern.  Universal respect is the key to their usefulness.

I know for myself that service was the way to sobriety.  When I came into the rooms I was beat down and found many excuses to beat myself up.  By changing to words from “Reads Grow Mail Daily”  to “ Several times a day”  is almost an automatic fail for me.  If life gets busy, and I cannot complete my commitment as mandated.  It breeds fear.  Fear of not living up to the goal,  fear of being turned in for not being on task.  Fear of being called infront of the steering committee for not doing the job. ( which we just passed I might remind you )

I wish we could find a win win,  maybe reword things a bit to ..  Read Grow mail at least once a day…?   I could live with that,  If I can’t check in many times,  I am still doing my job,  If I can check in more, then I am going above and beyond and building my self esteem.   Sobriety is a tricky thing,  service work can be as well.  I hope service work builds character,  helps a new comer to grow themselves up,  builds sobriety.  I would be very disappointed if we placed such restrictions on members.

Yours as a member trudging along.

********

I think you have to give people a realistic view of what this important position entails. I don’t believe it expects too much from a person to check email several times a day (many do with their personal email accounts and social media these days, myself included). The position is about being of service to others and putting the program on the front burner. Women who are waiting for an answer to their email may be desperate and every minute seems like an hour or a day. Just my two cents,

*******

Hi ladies

I can hear a clear division in the discussions here on 7.3

We know our Traditions allow for all view points to be shared as we work towards a Group Conscience and I appreciate the views I’m hearing but struggle to know what’s actually going to best.

Our Biz Chair has also pointed out we are due to run out of time to resolve this by April 17th.

I’m just wondering if this might be better to be tabled as a Proposal for the next Biz Meeting?

It is entirely possible that there could be a shared common ground, a compromise in the language proposed that whilst highlighting that this role may involve responding to emails more than once a day, but is also working well with the language that exists?

My feeling is that this sounds, from my experience of discussions similar to these where we seem to have two camps poles apart, that we are some way from us reaching a shared view?

Perhaps the timing where our Biz Meeting Guidelines are that we close business by 17th is Tradition Two at work right now?

I propose we follow the guidelines and finish as per the guidelines on Day 17.

In love and fellowship

********

I think Sophie makes an excellent point.  There does not seem to be a middle ground on this proposal and based on how strongly members feel, it deserves a process that is not rushed.

Proposal 7.3 will be tabled because we cannot finish the process by the 17th.  It will be revisited in the October meeting.

*********

I’ve been seeing the emails go back and forth on this and since I am a new greeter with only the JD of the position to guide me, I volunteered for the service position knowing I’d be able to check my email at least once a day.  However, it does take more than that, as I see now and although I think I’m getting in a groove and adjusting, as a mom who still works full-time, it can be tricky wanting to be of service but not having a lot of time to give.  If it is a MUST that emails must be checked multiple times, please put it in the JD.  However, I think it’s possible without the MUST and an understanding of women waiting by their phone or PC waiting for a response from us and how much of a life line that can be.  I don’t forget it but it’s still requiring some juggling.  I appreciate everyones patience as I go through my training and I thank you for letting me be of service.

*********

Thanks for your input, everyone. Especially you, Lisa!  It’s valuable coming from someone just starting in the TS position.

I just want to point out that the word Nancy and I used is ‘several’ times a time. Not ‘multiple’ or ‘many’. That’s all. No big deal. But it makes a heck of a difference just going to several.

*******

Since it seems that tabling the idea is where this is going,  I would like to propose some ideas to think about.

The problem seems to be the time lag between when a list keeper gets a request at the Grow Owner account  and sending the request on to the greeter.  The greeter then sends info to the person requesting information to the group and then back to the listkeeper to be subbed.

SO  My question then becomes  Why does Grow do this in this fashion?

Can we Add the Greeters to the Grow Owner Mail account, and let them handle the “Greeting” directly, and once membership is qualified, then they can ask the Listkeeper to subscribe  the new member into the group?

Or another solution I have been a part of is the Greeters and Listkeepers  were a team, where all members of the team had ownership privileges of being able to subscribe and unsubscribe members.
The team consisted of between 4 and 6 women, who rotated weeks.  For example,  if there were 4 women  the person ON DUTY would work one week out of four,  and in that time frame all the members of the team would be CC’d all communications so everyone was caught up with conversations.

There are many different ways to skin the cat,  These are just two examples that I can think of,  I am sure there can be other ways of making life here simple.

Thanks for letting me share.

******

Thanks Laurie – this is a really good suggestion.  I was greeter for a year and this was never an issue.  Maybe the volume of the women looking to sub is Overwhelming for some? I’m not sure but the lag has never been more than 12 hrs and considering we are on different time zones all over the world and have different schedules, sleep work etc – that seems pretty reasonable.  Anyway yes I think this is something best tabled till next meeting.  A greeter position is a starting position in any meeting – face to face and in here – I think a bit of patience is needed.  Everyone is getting responded to and it’s really splitting hairs on this “timeliness” matter- especially when it’s very non specific.

Proposal 7 was tabled because the process could not be finished before the business meeting closed.  It will be revisited during the October meeting.

Apr 12: Gifts of Sobriety aka The Promises

Topic for the week: Gifts of Sobriety aka The Promises

Next week by the Grace of God I will celebrate 10 years of sobriety one day at a time!  Where has the time gone?  
Today is the one year anniversary of the death of my Dad.  I remember when I told him I was going to AA, he broke down and cried.  When I did my amends with him, we both cried.  I was blessed to have had a wonderful father.  Because I was sober, I was able to show up and care for him in his final years/hours of life. As God would have it, my sponsor was with me when my father took his last breathe…and we both cried.  Thank you God!
Today I am a sober mother, daughter, sister, friend and my granddaughter never has to see me drunk!
I could not have done this without God and the Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous!
I am truly grateful to know a new freedom and a new happiness!
Please feel free to share on this topic or anything that may pertain to alcohol.
Love to you all,
Statia 4/15/10
Upstate NY

Apr 05: Step 4

STEP FOUR: Made a fearless and searching moral inventory of ourselves.

The AA literature on the fourth step can be found in the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions pages 42-54 as well as in The Big Book, Alcoholics Anonymous 4th edition, starting on the bottom of page 63 with “Next we launched…” and ending on page 71. I encourage everyone to read at least one of these sections in our Literature for a monthly refresher on this step.

I have chosen the following excerpt from the Big Book:

     “If we have been thorough about our personal inventory, we have written down a lot. We have listed and analyzed our resentments. We have begun to comprehend their futility and their fatality. We have commenced to see their terrible destructiveness. We have begun to learn tolerance, patience and good will toward all men, even our enemies, for we look on them as sick people. We have listed the people we have hurt by our conduct, and are willing to straighten out the past if we can.

     In this book you read again and again that faith did for us what we could not do for ourselves. We hope you are convinced now that God can remove whatever self-will has blocked you off from Him. If you have already made a decision, and an inventory of your grosser handicaps, you have made a good beginning. That being so you have swallowed and digested some big chunks of truth about yourself.”

From “The Big Book”, Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th edition, from the chapter How It Works pages 70-71.

Hi sisters, my name is Emily M. and this is the monthly step meeting, April being the 4th month, we are on step 4.

Personally, this whole business of taking a searching, fearless, moral inventory, of putting to paper my resentments, fears, sex conduct, and harms done to other people — especially knowing what followed (telling another human, admitting I was fatally flawed, saying sorry)  is what made me freaking terrified of being a member of Alcoholics Anonymous. It was a big reason I stayed out of the rooms as long as I did.

And by the time I got here, holy mother of God did it show. I was 8 years dry, stark raving sober. I was so filled with fear, guilt and shame my life was more unmanagable than it was when I was drinking and using hard drugs. I was mean to my kids, I was addicted to chaos, anger, sadness, depression, desperation, I was so full to the brim of self pity. I was so so so freaking lost and broken. I was the textbook definition of extreme self will run riot, though she usually did not think so.

Somehow I was divinely guided here to AA, somehow God connected me with the exact sponsor I needed who happened to live across the country. I tried to fight her in the beginning but then I completely surrendered to the program of AA and Higher Power of my understanding.

And before long there I was, face to face with the dreaded step four. My sponsor had sent me the worksheets, the four column inventory BB fourth step worksheets. I printed off the worksheets. I started writing with a fury and then would crumple it up and throw it in the trash. Again and again I would do this. Finally, I could see I was being ridiculous and overcomplicating the dang thing. I did a quick prayer and I wrote. It all came out. From young childhood to where I was that day it came out on paper. And as I did it, oh boy, wow, could I see as I have never seen before.

Suddenly, there I was, staring back at myself. In ways I had never, ever seen myself. I had always thought myself victim, but once they were all sitting there next to each other — wow did I sure have a “my part”. I had never thought I was controlling or egocentric — until I completed my fears and resentment inventory. And the “harms done”, wow I was so naieve I thought there were going to be just one or two people on that list and then it turned out I just kept writing and writing. I also found myself on that list over and over again.

Even before sharing my first fourth step with my sponsor, it was really like the Big Book says: I had swallowed and digested some big chunks of truth about myself. And for the first time in my life, within the program of AA, I wasn’t terrified, it actually felt good and hopeful. What had I been waiting for? As much as I had previously dread it, I could not wait till have this “long talk” with my sponsor that followed this step…which is a story for a different day.

What was your fourth step experience like? If you haven’t taken it yet, what’s holding you back? If you’re feeling a little off…how can you share using this step to get back on the beam?

Thank you for the honor of chairing this meeting. The floor is now open for sharing.

Love,

Emily M.

9/1/2010

0420 – Proposal 6: TS Performance

Proposal 6: Trusted Servants

GROW adopts the following policy for addressing non-performance in a Trusted Servant position.

Proposed Language (new #9 under Business Meeting Guidelines):
When a Trusted Servant (TS-A) feels that another Trusted Servant (TS-B) is not meeting the requirements of her position description, TS-A will take her issues to the small Steering Committee (made up of the Business Chair, Secretary, and Listkeepers) for consideration. She should not engage with or confront TS-B. The small Steering Committee can choose to bring the issue to the full Steering Committee.

The review of TS-B’s performance should be based only on the duties outlined in the position description. If it is found that the complaint is based on different personal working styles, preferences, or infrequent mistakes – and TS-B is otherwise meeting the requirements of her job description, the complaint will be dismissed without informing or involving TS-B. If it is established that one or more of the duties assigned to TS-B is not being met, the small Steering Committee will:

  1. Assure that TS-B is aware of and allowed to respond to the complaints and, if appropriate, to propose remedial actions to correct problems.
  2. If TS-B does not propose remedial actions, the small Steering Committee will establish appropriate remedial actions that TS-B can take to correct the problems;
  3. Establish a timeframe and deadline for remedial actions to be taken and documented;
  4. If the small Steering Committee has not already elevated the issue to the full Steering Committee, they will inform the larger Steering Committee of the findings, remedial actions, and timeframe;
  5. The full Steering Committee will decide whether TS-B can remain in the position or should be removed;
  6. If the Steering Committee decides that TS-B should be removed from the position, they will inform her in writing of their decision. The Secretary will deliver the documented decision to TS-B and call for volunteers to fill the position to the end of the current term.

Rationale

There have been several instances in the past where a Trusted Servant did not fulfill all the duties outlined in her position description.

While this may have created problems, Trusted Servants who were aware of the problem did not have a formal process for bringing the problem to the attention of the Steering Committee, and their complaint was never raised. Therefore, no action was taken to correct the problem. In one instance, the issue was raised with some Trusted Servants, but there was no process for allowing the Trusted Servant to improve her performance or for making a decision on whether the Trusted Servant should be removed. This proposal provides a formal process that will make it easier to raise such problems to the Steering Committee, to allow the Trusted Servant to correct performance, and to remove the Trusted Servant if performance does not improve.


Summary of Comments on Proposal 6

I think TS-B should be informed of any complaints, whether valid or dismissed as invalid. I know I would want to know. Otherwise, the proposal looks good.

********
As secretary I have witnessed  a few events where TS-A went directly to TS-B.  And there were hurt feeling and personality issues that came up instead of principals.   The intent is to follow the tradition of principles before personalities.  If the complaint is valid the steering committee will certainly gently handle the situation.

If the complaint isn’t valid – which I have seen – it was very disruptive to the group and to myself  and it wasn’t necessary or kind.

I would hope this group would  trust the officers that have volunteered to do their jobs to the best of their abilities.   By TS-A going directly

To TS-B she is short circuiting the role of secretary and as a result I have been left to put out fires .

Thank you for letting me share

********
I agree, this procedure is needed.

I have filled a few TS jobs in the years I have been part of Grow and I have made mistakes in EVERY position.  It has always been pointed out in a discreet way and I’ve appreciated the help.

I don’t think we need a procedure for the learning curve we all go through in taking these positions and I never want anyone discouraged from taking a position.

Thanks

********
I’d be interested to hear more from other members of the Steering Committee regarding this proposal.

Thank you for the experiences shared so far.

********
I have also made a mistake and was pointed out to me in a discreet manner (harsh but kind).

I will not make same mistake again.

My thinking is above approach works well.

********
Having been with Grow quite a while now, I have seen several instances where a Trusted Servant was not doing her job, but because there was no process to address it, nothing was done. Therefore, the job was not executed as per our group conscience decisions for the entire term. I strongly believe that we need a process to allow these issues to be addressed.

The proposal does not address “mistakes.” We all make them, and the proposal does not intend for simple mistakes, especially during a TS’s initial training period, to be sufficient for a performance review. But what if we continue to make the same mistake over and over again? Then it becomes a performance problem, and our group needs a way to raise the issue to the Steering Committee for review and decision-making.

When failure to perform a duty in the job description does happen (which is not often, but it does happen), one Trusted Servant should not be put in a position of pointing out the problem to the person she believes is making it. If she (TS-A) perceives the problem to be serious enough to bring a complaint, more than a handful of TSs should be involved, and TS-A should not contact TS-B directly.

The goal is to handle performance issues in a way that places principles above personalities when performance issues are repeated, not to play “gotcha” because a TS made a simple and honest mistake.

I have been in the posiition where another Trusted Servant was not doing the job as outlined in her job description. I was not comfortable with confronting her personally, and there was no process for me to raise the issue to other TSs. I remained silent, and the problem continued. While I raised it with a couple of Trusted Servants at the time, no one knew what to do about it. This process would give us a way to assure that performance issues are addressed. Because the whole Steering Committee would discuss the issues and then be the decision-maker, it also avoids over-reactions to what might be a simple issue of style or personality.

********
I’d like to hear more as well. In principle having a procedure in place sounds like a good idea. But there seem to be a number of folks who think this is unnecessary.

********
On reading the more recent shares on 6.2 I can hear there is a need to put a process in place.

I have always been of the view that principles before personalities works best and that the Trusted Servants Steering Committee will benefit from a framework to go through in the event there are issues with duties or responsibilities being missed or done incorrectly.

I have made plenty of mistakes in GROW doing service, and I welcome a process to take the personalities out of the way we support TS to rectify errors. A one to one message from another member is just that, and this way it would a Steering Committee conscience.

In my mind there are similarities here with the process we in GROW have if a member is disruptive or inappropriate.

Having a process is important, and so is having a Steering Committee well informed and able to carry out the process.

The proposal in 6.2 seems necessary to me.

In love and fellowship

********
I like that this process goes first to the small steering committee, the same as the process outlined in our Common Welfare Guidelines when there is disruptive behavior in the group. In the occasional situations I’ve been involved in, both as a member of the Steering Committee and the small Steering Committee the hardest thing for me has been the different chains of information. I can think of one situation where there were at least three different email threads going on with different people participating in each. By the time it got to the small Steering Committee it was really difficult to know if we had all the information and there was some confusion as to who said what, when. I think this proposal could help by giving guidance as to when something goes to the small Steering Committee and then the Steering Committee as a whole.

I do think Danna’s differentiating between mistakes and failure to perform a job description duty is important. I’ve made several mistakes as a TS, mostly because I just didn’t know something or didn’t realize I had done something. I’ve had a few pointed out to me. Although I  felt criticized at first (that’s just me being thin-skinned), I chose to take it as a learning opportunity just as it was intended. Important things for me to know so the group could function smoothly. Principles before personalities. None of these mistakes would have warranted review by the small Steering Committee. I would think we all get the difference and wouldn’t want to put a process in place that’s so rigid we can’t help each other out as we learn how to do our service positions.

Thank you,


Results of Voting on Proposal 6

Voting: 16 participants voted: 14 in favor, and 2 against.  There were no minority opinions submitted, therefore the proposal passes with a 2/3 majority.


Group Conscience Decision:

The statement will be added as #9 to the Business Meeting Guidelines.

When a Trusted Servant (TS-A) feels that another Trusted Servant (TS-B) is not meeting the requirements of her position description, TS-A will take her issues to the small Steering Committee (made up of the Business Chair, Secretary, and Listkeepers) for consideration. She should not engage with or confront TS-B. The small Steering Committee can choose to bring the issue to the full Steering Committee.

The review of TS-B’s performance should be based only on the duties outlined in the position description. If it is found that the complaint is based on different personal working styles, preferences, or infrequent mistakes – and TS-B is otherwise meeting the requirements of her job description, the complaint will be dismissed without informing or involving TS-B. If it is established that one or more of the duties assigned to TS-B is not being met, the small Steering Committee will:

  1. Assure that TS-B is aware of and allowed to respond to the complaints and, if appropriate, to propose remedial actions to correct problems.
  2. If TS-B does not propose remedial actions, the small Steering Committee will establish appropriate remedial actions that TS-B can take to correct the problems;
  3. Establish a timeframe and deadline for remedial actions to be taken and documented;
  4. If the small Steering Committee has not already elevated the issue to the full Steering Committee, they will inform the larger Steering Committee of the findings, remedial actions, and timeframe;
  5. The full Steering Committee will decide whether TS-B can remain in the position or should be removed;
  6. If the Steering Committee decides that TS-B should be removed from the position, they will inform her in writing of their decision. The Secretary will deliver the documented decision to TS-B and call for volunteers to fill the position to the end of the current term.

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.

0420 – Proposal 4: Listkeeper and Greeter

Proposal 4: Edit Monthly Listkeeper Message and Greeter Letter #2

Edit Monthly Listkeeper Message and Greeter Letter #2 to address the problem of shares that bounce to the listkeepers because they are addressed to more recipients than GROW.  Further edit Greeter Letter #2 for clarity and brevity.


Rationale

  1. “Too many recipients” bounces require listkeepers to take several actions
  2. Shares that bounce are delayed from reaching GROW. Some members do not resend, even after being notified by the listkeeper.

Summary of Comments on Proposal 4

Thank you for this proposal and the suggested edits.

They seem to offer clarity and hopefully could improve the problem of bounced emails as described.

Thank you for whom ever has worked on this.

*********
Changes look good. They clarify the information better.

*********
I agree with this change.

*********
Thanks to Karen for this!

Yes, it makes sense.

*********
I agree with the proposal overall, but I do have one concern. That’s the use of the word “bounce” with no explanation. Why is bouncing bad?
Many members of Grow do not have an in-depth understanding of the terms we use. Like, when an e-mail bounces, it doesn’t get posted to the list, right? That means no one would see their share. I’m assuming this. I do not know that for sure, which is why I’d like to see clarification on the consequences of an e-mail bouncing.

*********
Danna, I am attempting to answer your question as someone who has been a listkeeper for different groups for many years.
The “Too Many Recipients” bounces are very frustrating and time consuming to deal with. If members would read how to send email there would be very few such bounces.

A “Too Many Recipients” bounce happens when a member puts another address in the To or CC field instead of just the GROW address. Anonymity is the reason this restriction was setup. The message does not go to GROW but goes to whatever other address was there.

Many times members have written beautiful shares that never get read because the member does not resend. This is very upsetting
When new members do this, it is understandable but we have so many who feel they need to put their own address as well as the GROW address.

This is the email the listkeeper sends:
Your recent message was addressed to the Grow list and to at least one other person. The list is set up to only accept messages addressed to Grow, in order to help protect anonymity.

If you sent the message from a cell phone or tablet, you may not be aware that many are set up with “reply to all” as the default.

The individual or individuals you sent the message to probably received the message; it is just the Grow list that didn’t.

If you wish for GROW to receive your post please resend just to the GROW address: grow@oso-aa.org

We receive numerous “Too Many Recipients” bounces that take up time that could be used doing other duties.

Hope my explanation helps. Karen, our outgoing Listkeeper, is much more articulate than I am and she presented the proposal.

In service

*********
Clarity and brevity work for me!

*********
Thank you, Nancy. That is very helpful information. I wonder if it might make sense to include all or part of the language from the letter the listkeeper sends (when there have been multiple addressees) in the Listkeeper Letter and Greeter Letter #2. I’m thinking of women who come to Grow with little knowledge or experience with e-mail.

I’m suggesting adding the following to the Recommended Language as shown:

Send shares to the List use this address: grow@oso-aa.org

(Use this address for all your shares or posts of any sort to the regular list. Address your share to ONLY the grow@oso-aa.org address. If another address is included (even if in the ‘Cc or ‘Bcc field) the email will bounce). The list is set up to accept messages that are addressed to Grow only. The individual(s) you send messages in addition to GROW will probably receive the message; however, the Grow list will not.

Thank you,


Results of Voting on Proposal 4

Voting: 16 participants voted: 16 in favor, and 0 against.  The proposal passed unanimously.


Group Conscience Decision:

The Monthly Listkeeper Message and the Greeter Letter #2 will be modified:

Monthly Listkeeper’s Message
(this is not the entire letter, just the first paragraphs that are modified.)

Important Addresses
Listkeeper’s Address: grow-owner@oso-aa.org
(Use this address to change your subscription, or to unsubscribe, resubscribe or ask questions about GROW-related email problems).

Send shares to the List use this address: grow@oso-aa.org
(Use this address for all your shares or posts of any sort to the regular list. Address your share to ONLY the grow@oso-aa.org address. If another address is included (even if in the ‘Cc or ‘Bcc field) the email will bounce).  The list is set up to accept messages that are addressed to Grow only. The individual(s) you send messages in addition to GROW will probably receive the message; however, the Grow list will not.

NOTE: Please do not post subscription change requests to GROW because they are too easily overlooked.

Revised Greeter Letter #2
Welcome to GROW! This is one of two emails you will receive from me with the information you need to start participating in our meeting right away. You might want to save these for future reference.

Sharing with the Group
Address your email to grow@oso-aa.organd your post will be sent to all members.

  • Do not add any other addresses to the email or it will bounce. This includes addresses in the ‘Cc or ‘Bcc address fields.
    Address your share to ONLY the grow@oso-aa.org address. If another address is included (even if in the ‘Cc or ‘Bcc field) the email will bounce).  The list is set up to accept messages that are addressed to Grow only. The individual(s) you send messages in addition to GROW will probably receive the message; however, the Grow list will not.
  • Add grow@oso-aa.orgto your Address Book to ensure GROW emails don’t go to your SPAM folder.

Replying to a Post

  • Do not use the “Reply to All” option when you respond privately to another member’s post to GROW, as your personal message will also be directed to the GROW list and it will bounce to the Listkeepers.
  • For those using phones and tablets, be aware that the default reply option is often “Reply to All.” Please double-check.

Email Volume
The volume of mail through the GROW list can be overwhelming. If you experience this, you might find it very helpful to choose one or more of the following:

  • Create a separate email address to reduce the confusion of mixing GROW mail with your other email. Email the Listkeepers at grow-owner@oso-aa.orgwith your new address. As an FYI, AOL and Yahoo addresses have been problematic for some members with the GROW list.
  • If you use an existing email for GROW, you might create folders for your GROW email; filters can also be set up to direct GROW mail into the GROW folder.
  • Request the Digest Version (a file containing the day’s posts in a single email) by contacting the Listkeepers at grow-owner@oso-aa.org.
    Topics

Meeting Topic
A new meeting topic is sent to everyone on the list each Sunday and we share throughout the week. On topic and Off topic shares are welcome.

  • Off topic posts should be appropriate for an AA meeting. Please note in your subject line if your share is Off topic (Off Topic: … )
  • On topic posts are your shares on the weekly meeting topic. Please note in your subject line if your share is On topic (On Topic: … )
  • Please do not type in all CAPS; this is considered to be yelling.

Web Site and Password
Visit the GROW web site for more information. The URL for GROW is: http://www.g-r-o-w.com. For the members only section you’ll need the password: sobertodayhow2484

Other
If you have questions not answered by our website information, please write to me and I’ll be sure to answer them or send your questions to someone who can.

I hope Grateful Recovering Online Women is helpful to you in your journey and growth in sobriety.

Again, welcome
[ Greeter Name ]
Grateful Recovering Online Women

0420 – OIAA Report

Apr 2020 OIAA Report

Dear GROW

As your Online Intergroup of AA Rep (OIAA) I’m updating you with some pending changes to the OIAA website.

Some of you may be aware of AA’s Online Intergroup and may have come through there in your search for an online AA group. Indeed you may have found us, GROW listed there!

A working party at OIAA have been creating a new improved OIAA website. Included below are their rationale and links to the original website and the new “beta” site.

If it interests you to take a look please do. The “beta” new site is live but still in the improvement stage so the committee are welcoming any feedback or suggestions.

There will in time be a Member’s Area as there is on the original site but this will be done later.

The OIAA Assembly will be voting in the next few days whether to make the beta site the live one and run with it, and whether to cover the costs which they are financially able to do whilst leaving their usual Prudent Reserve.

If you have any comments or questions please let me know.

Thank you for having me be of service.
Sophie F
OIAA Rep for GROW

Rationale from OIAA Web Committee
We had a plan to move forward at a ‘prudent’ pace. Due to the increase traffic during this COVID outbreak, we are working in an accelerated manner and learning through the process.

We created this new beta site out of the necessity to:

1) Be Mobile (Smartphone) Friendly
2) Increase usability/search ability and
3) Make it run fast and efficiently.

Original website
https://www.aa-intergroup.org/downloads/index.php

Improved Beta Website

History of OIAA

0420 – Treasurer’s Report

Apr 2020 – Treasurer’s Report

Deposits

$ 382.69 starting balance from Sue W
$ 242.66 PayPal deposits
$ 245.00 Ally E checks
$     0.23 Ally interest
________________________
$ 870.58 Total deposits

Payments

$   49.99 WordPress update – 1year/ T Quinn
$   45.00 Esosoft – 3 year/ T Quinn
$ 432.00 Dean Collins – server maint for 2018, 2019 and 2020
___________________________
$ 526.99 Total Payments

$  870.58 (Deposits)
$-526.99 (Payments)
____________________
$ 343.59. Balance

Distributions

$ 122.00 Prudent Reserve
$  221.59 GSO
______________________
$  343.59

Respectfully submitted,
Cheryl Baughman

0420 – Listkeeper’s Report

Apr 2020 – Listkeeper’s Report

Listkeepers’ Report – April 2020

Our membership as of March 31, 2020 is 166 list members and 12 of those are digest members. (This number is always a little larger than our actual count because some members have two subscriptions).

This time last year we had 366 members. We carried out a roll call in March 2020 and unsubscribed all members that did not respond. Some have resubscribed; the roll call accounts for the big decrease in members. We continue to receive a lot of new members each month.

Nancy and Karen both want to thank Louise and Sarah for their great service to GROW as Greeters. We all enjoyed working together!

Karen has completed her term as Listkeeper–thank you Karen! Nancy will continue until October and Sarah has volunteered to serve as Listkeeper.

Respectfully submitted, Karen H and Nancy C | GROW Listkeepers

Trusted Servants 04/2020

Trusted Servants:

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

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): Bobby T. email
Greeter (4/20-10/20): Louise H. email
Greeter (4/20-4/21): Lisa M. email
Listkeeper (4/20-10/20): Nancy C. email
Listkeeper Alternate (4/20-4/21): Sarah K. email
OIAA Rep (4/20-4/21):  Sophie R. email
Secretary (10/19-10/20): Laurie C. email
Temporary Mentor (4/20-4/21): Sarah M. email
Treasurer (10/19-10/21): Cheryl B.  email
Website Administrator (4/20-10/20): Tanya C. email
Webkeeper (4/20-4/21): Cheryl D. email
Webkeeper Backup (4/20-4/21): OPEN.
Weekly Leader Listkeeper (4/20-4/21): Rene G 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

Jan 12: Trusting the Process

Trusting the Process

Hello again, I’m Mari Ann and I am an alcoholic who celebrated 32 years of continuous sobriety on January 9, 2020. I relish the chance to chair the meeting immediately following my anniversary. It reminds me that only by taking action, grateful action, will I continue to remain sober. No laurel-resting is safe for me.

This past year has been stuffed full of interpersonal exchanges with people I didn’t know, or don’t get to see in years; but all of whom are important to friends who are important to me. It was an unusual year involving my being able to help in capacities I couldn’t have guessed in advance but was grateful to be sober and able to provide.

For much of it, I realized I no longer worried about how any of my help might be received – as I worried myself sick in early recovery. I didn’t worry about “looking stupid” as I did in early recovery. For once, none of what was happening was “about” me. “I” didn’t come to mind, only what could I do or offer to do came to mind.

The other sensation was recognizing I was in the midst of some process much bigger than me. I was being guided to be present, to witness and/or assist in things beyond my comfort zone. It’s what people assured me about in early recovery, that as long as I was willing to work a program of recovery, the process would keep me sober as it has kept millions of others sober before me.

In early recovery, it felt as though there were times I was somehow flowing along with the current down the middle of the river like you do in a dream. Lights turned green, doors opened, and my next indicated task got accomplished. Other times it felt like I was rowing as hard as I could, slamming into the shore or banging into boulders in mid-stream and all I could do was return to focusing solely on my own spiritual growth in this program and trust my course would straighten out again.

It always has. Learning to “trust the process” is a continuing lesson for me. I am still in a little bit of awe when I sense I’m in the middle of some process-bigger-than-me because I was never part of such a process all the years I drank. Then, I was in a whirlwind of my own making and completely closed off to wanting to be part of anything bigger.

I have no idea what the universe is preparing me for, but I sense She is preparing me. And today, I am grateful to be sober and able to participate to the best of my ability.

Thank you, dear GROWing sisters, for being part of my sobriety since GROW began in 1998. One of my f2f groups has a prayer I like. “God, my Higher Power, look after the members of my 12 step group. Keep them safe and sober for they have helped keep me safe and sober.”

As always, please feel free to share whatever impacts your sobriety or recovery with us. It always helps someone who needs to hear it.

 

Jan 05: Step 1

Step 1

Step 1 has several topics for me as a result of being a member of AA and attending meetings for years. It seemed really simple at first, I admitted I could not stop drinking and that was enough of a start.

In meetings I started to learn about the disease of alcoholism. One drink is too many and 100 is not enough. I am mentally and bodily different and I had to learn to stay sober one day at a time.

What was missing for quite a while was that the first word in the step is “We”. In my head when I heard the step I was thinking ”I’m powerless over alcohol and my life is unmanageable”. That is true, but the solution has been to be powerless with all of the alcoholics I share recovery with. Staying sober without all of you is not possible.

I relate to other alcoholics at a level I have not experienced anywhere else. I learned honesty from you and I learned principals from you and I learned how to not pick up a drink from you. The “We” of AA has allowed me to rejoin the human race and become a part of rather than the solo warrior ready to fight everything to calm the fears. I now take the fears to God and trust.

Please share on Step 1, however you relate to it today.

 

Dec 29: Control/Taking Care of Ourselves

Control/Taking Care of Ourselves

Good evening ! Wow, I am always a little bit relieved when the “holidays” are over. As an alcoholic from an emotionally crippled family holidays in early sobriety were difficult. I had to set boundaries and realize that I could let go of any guilt I had ingrained in me and do what was healthy for everyone involved. A long time ago a friend told me “it’s just another day” lol that always rings in my head when a special day comes around where I might feel pressure to be or do something I’m not 100% comfortable with.

ANYWAY- this year and these days I have my own family and holidays are my own style which I love – I try to teach my kids to be grateful and we go to church (I am not religious) for the ritual of it and it’s nice and sparkly and beautiful and I love the music and to be present with others and god (whatever god they and I want).

I chose the topic of control and taking care of myself because this is a typical issue that comes up for me when I am pushed past my limit. I am going to try to share in a general way but we have had some family issues come up that are textbook alanon and I’ve really had a hard time with it. When my kids are involved, control for me has been extremely tricky. I also can identify when (usually AFTER telling people exactly what I think and acting like a jerk) things are not my business. I have zero control over anything except me and my attitude- again HARD TO SWALLOW. My alcoholism today has me reach and grasp and claw for control (not a drink today) when I haven’t taken care of myself and I feel angry/sad/etc etc.

I realized tonight that as we enter into a beautiful new year I am free – I don’t need to control, I can drop the rocks that weigh me down (control) and walk forward with the help of this program (and mind my own damn business). I can take care of myself and demand time for me to feel free and alive. This disease is truly cunning baffling and powerful- how it sucks in others and makes them so sick without them ever taking a drink is proof to me of how alcoholism is alive and well in the world and makes me so grateful that I have this program and tribe of recovery. I love you ladies and I hope that made some type of sense !! I look forward to walking into a new year with all of you and love every one of you!

Sarah K

Dec 22: Balance

Balance

bal·ance /ˈbaləns/noun
an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady.

Life sure is a balancing act. Sometimes I feel like I’m juggling five things while riding a unicycle and one more thing in the mix and I’m on the ground saying ‘what went wrong’? Lol

I still am an alcoholic, thinking I can do everything and please everyone in the universe…news flash..I’M NOT GOD!

The key to keeping balance is knowing when you’ve lost it. I’m grateful through this program to be aware of not being in balance and using the tools of the program to get back to a healthy balance. Last week I ended up with shingles…this surely is a sign that something is not right. So my life came to a screeching halt…I forgot to take care of ME, imagine that!!! I wrote and prayed and have let go of a lot of things this week…How do you stay balanced? What techniques/tools do you use? Please share on anything that may be troubling you.

Thank you for letting me be of service,

Statia H.
DOS 04/15/2010 one day at a time only by the grace of God!

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.

Dec 15: Having Sober Holidays

Having Sober Holidays

A few Christmases ago, my family gathered at my sister’s house for the traditional dinner. It was very nice. Her husband played bartender and made sure all the adults had what they wanted. They all know I’m in recovery, so no one offered me a drink. Things were going well until Ron pulled out a beautiful little Waterford glass and began to pour an equally beautiful bright red liquid into it. It was the prettiest drink I’d ever seen. My eyes and my mind became transfixed. I wondered what it would taste like. I thought of myself holding that pretty drink. My mind played with the idea until I finally got up and left the room. There’s no doubt that I am an alcoholic!

No matter how long I’ve been sober, my alcoholic mind still focuses on alcohol when it is present. When I was newly sober, my attention could not escape it. The beer and wine section at the grocery store was like a huge scary trap, waiting for me to come browse. In a restaurant, I was well aware of who was drinking at the tables surrounding me, and I was watching how each person drank. When I was with people who were drinking, I kept count of how much they’d had. Unfinished drinks still bother me. I’m still especially vulnerable to the next drink during the holiday season.

During the Christmas and New Year holidays, alcohol presents a special fascination and a dangerous threat. How does a newly sober alcoholic avoid the temptation?

This week, I invite you to share your experiences with alcohol during the holiday season and your strategies for staying sober at a time of year when it seems almost everyone else is drinking. Of course, please share on anything you need to talk about.

 

Dec 08: Boundaries and Expectations

Boundaries and Expectations

The holiday season is upon us. And for me this brings up resounding gratitude for my sobriety and the choices I am making to take care of myself.

Obligations I used to feel at this time of year would trigger automatic behaviors (going home for the holidays, buying presents). Today, I examine my motives and make choices.

One choice I make is to celebrate the season with my partner, instead of visiting my family of origin.

My aim is to practice the principles of the steps in all my affairs. If I can’t show up and be the person my HP wants me to be, I need to take a step back and/or disengage. I need to set a boundary.

When I go to holiday events and find myself waiting to be paid back somehow—I have an expectation. My motive, in other words, is not to show up and be of service. In these situations, I back up until I find something I can give with an easy heart. Sometimes, I can’t find anything. And that’s okay. It’s my boundary, so I can change it!

In the past year I was surprised to discover that I can be in contact with my dad. I have found the parameters (boundaries) that allow me to give to him without feeling I have sold myself out in the hopes of winning his approval. I can engage without expectation and allow him to be who he is.

That is a Christmas miracle, folks!

Please feel free to share on the topic or whatever is going on in your Program. I’m looking forward to your shares.

Thank you for the opportunity to be of service.

X Kirsten

January Tradition Meeting – Tradition 1

January: Tradition 1

We are all invited to share, at any time this month, on Tradition 1.  The Traditions are what guide most AA groups. The Traditions certainly inform our group conscience decisions and the original structure for GROW. We look forward to your shares.

*** Tradition 1 ***

“Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon A.A. unity.”

This Tradition is listed in one of the appendices in the book Alcoholics Anonymous (affectionately known as the Big Book) (see p. 562). There is a little more in The Long Form, which starts on p. 563, which has more about some of the Traditions, and lists them all together:

“Each member of Alcoholics Anonymous is but a small part of a great whole. A.A. must continue to live or most of us will surely die. Hence our common welfare comes first. But individual welfare follows close afterward.”

There is more about it in the book Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions.

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

These books may be found at many f2f AA meetings, ordered online from many places, and available from the AA General Service office, to read online, in English, French, and Spanish. See www.aa.org

 

February Tradition Meeting – Tradition 2

February: Tradition 2

We are all invited to share, at any time this month, on Tradition 2. The Traditions certainly inform our group conscience decisions and the original structure for GROW. We look forward to your shares.

*** 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.”

This Tradition is listed in one of the appendices in the book Alcoholics Anonymous (affectionately known as the Big Book) (see p. 562). There is a little more in The Long Form, which starts on p. 563, which has more about some of the Traditions, and lists them all together:

There is more about it in the book Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions.

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

These books may be found at many f2f AA meetings, ordered online from many places, and available from the AA General Service office, to read online, in English, French, and Spanish. See www.aa.org

 

March Tradition Meeting – Tradition 3

We are all invited to share, at any time this month, on Tradition 3. The Traditions certainly inform our group conscience decisions and the original structure for GROW. We look forward to your shares.

*** Tradition 3 ***

“The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking.”

This Tradition is listed in one of the appendices in the book Alcoholics Anonymous (affectionately known as the Big Book) (see p. 562). There is a little more in The Long Form, which starts on p. 563, which has more about some of the Traditions, and lists them all together:

“Our membership ought to include all who suffer from alcoholism. Hence we may refuse none who wish to recover. Nor ought A.A. membership ever depend upon money or conformity. Any two or three alcoholics gathered together for sobriety may call themselves an A.A. group, provide that, as a group, they have no other affiliation.”

There is more about it in the book Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions.

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

These books may be found at many f2f AA meetings, ordered online from many places, and available from the AA General Service office, to read online, in English, French, and Spanish. See www.aa.org

 

April Tradition Meeting – Tradition 4

We are all invited to share, at any time this month, on Tradition 2. The Traditions certainly inform our group conscience decisions and the original structure for GROW. We look forward to your shares.

*** Tradition 4 ***

“Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or A.A. as a whole.”

This Tradition is listed in one of the appendices in the book Alcoholics Anonymous (affectionately known as the Big Book) (see p. 562). There is a little more in The Long Form, which starts on p. 563, which has more about some of the Traditions, and lists them all together:

“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 General Service Board. On such issues our common welfare is paramount.”

There is more about it in the book Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions.

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

These books may be found at many f2f AA meetings, ordered online from many places, and available from the AA General Service office, to read online, in English, French, and Spanish. See www.aa.org

 

May Tradition Meeting – Tradition 5

We are all invited to share, at any time this month, on Tradition 5. The Traditions certainly inform our group conscience decisions and the original structure for GROW. We look forward to your shares.

*** Tradition 5 ***

“Each group has but one primary purpose – to carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers.”

This Tradition is listed in one of the appendices in the book Alcoholics Anonymous (affectionately known as the Big Book) (see p. 562). There is a little more in The Long Form, which starts on p. 563, which has more about some of the Traditions, and lists them all together:

“Each Alcoholics Anonymous group ought to be a spiritual entity having but one primary purpose – that of carrying its message to the alcoholic who still suffers.”

There is more about it in the book Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions.

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

These books may be found at many f2f AA meetings, ordered online from many places, and available from the AA General Service office, to read online, in English, French, and Spanish. See www.aa.org

 

June Tradition Meeting – June 6

We are all invited to share, at any time this month, on Tradition 6. The Traditions certainly inform our group conscience decisions and the original structure for GROW. We look forward to your shares.

*** Tradition 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.”

This Tradition is listed in one of the appendices in the book Alcoholics Anonymous (affectionately known as the Big Book) (see p. 562). There is a little more in The Long Form, which starts on p. 563, which has more about some of the Traditions, and lists them all together:

“Problems of money, property, and authority may easily divert us from our primary spiritual aim. We think, therefore, that any considerable property of genuine use to A.A. should be separately incorporated and managed, thus dividing the material from the spiritual. An A.A. group, as such, should never go into business. Secondary aids to A.A., such as clubs or hospitals which require much property or administration, ought to be incorporated and so set apart that, if necessary, they can be freely discarded by the groups. Hence such facilities ought not to use the A.A. name. Their management should be the sole responsibility of those people who financially support them. For clubs, A.A. managers are usually preferred. But hospitals, as well as other places of recuperation, ought to be well outside A.A. — and medically supervised. While an A.A. group may cooperate with anyone, such cooperation ought never go so far as affiliation or endorsement, actual or implied. An A.A. group can bind itself to no one.”

There is more about it in the book Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions.

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

These books may be found at many f2f AA meetings, ordered online from many places, and available from the AA General Service office, to read online, in English, French, and Spanish. See www.aa.org

 

July Tradition Meeting – Tradition 7

We are all invited to share, at any time this month, on Tradition 7.  The Traditions certainly inform our group conscience decisions and the original structure for GROW. We look forward to your shares.

*** Tradition 7 ***

“Every AA Group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.”

This Tradition is listed in one of the appendices in the book Alcoholics Anonymous (affectionately known as the Big Book) (see p. 562). There is a little more in The Long Form, which starts on p. 563, which has more about some of the Traditions, and lists them all together:

“The A.A. groups themselves ought to be fully supported by the voluntary contributions of their own members. We think that each group should soon achieve this ideal; that any public solicitation of funds using the name of Alcoholics Anonymous is highly dangerous, whether by groups, clubs, hospitals, or other outside agencies; that acceptance of large gifts from any source, or of contributions carrying any obligation whatever, is unwise. Then too, we view with much concern those A.A. treasuries which continue, beyond prudent reserves, to accumulate funds with no stated A.A. purpose. Experience has often warned us that nothing can so surely destroy our spiritual heritage as futile disputes over property, money, and authority.”

There is more about it in the book Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions.

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

These books may be found at many f2f AA meetings, ordered online from many places, and available from the AA General Service office, to read online, in English, French, and Spanish. See www.aa.org

 

August Tradition Meeting – Tradition 8

We are all invited to share, at any time this month, on Tradition 8.  The Traditions certainly inform our group conscience decisions and the original structure for GROW. We look forward to your shares.

*** Tradition 8 ***

“Alcoholics Anonymous should remain forever nonprofessional, but our service centers may employ special workers.”

This Tradition is listed in one of the appendices in the book Alcoholics Anonymous (affectionately known as the Big Book) (see p. 562). There is a little more in The Long Form, which starts on p. 563, which has more about some of the Traditions, and lists them all together:

“Alcoholics Anonymous should remain forever nonprofessional. We define professionalism as the occupation of counseling alcoholics for fees or hire. But we may employ alcoholics where they are going to perform those services for which we might otherwise have to engage nonalcoholics. Such special services may be well recompensed. But our usual A.A. ’12 Step’ work is never to be paid for.”

There is more about it in the book Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions.

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

These books may be found at many f2f AA meetings, ordered online from many places, and available from the AA General Service office, to read online, in English, French, and Spanish. See www.aa.org

 

September Tradition Meeting – Tradition 9

We are all invited to share, at any time this month, on Tradition 9.  The Traditions certainly inform our

*** Tradition 9 ***

“AA., as such, ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.”

This Tradition is listed in one of the appendices in the book Alcoholics Anonymous (affectionately known as the Big Book) (see p. 562). There is a little more in The Long Form, which starts on p. 563, which has more about some of the Traditions, and lists them all together:

“Each A.A. group needs the least possible organization. Rotating leadership is the best. The small group may elect its secretary, the large group its rotating committee, and the groups of a large metropolitan area their central or intergroup committee, which often employs a full-time secretary. The trustees of the General Service Board are, in effect, our A.A. General Service Committee. They are the custodians of our A.A. Tradition and the receivers of voluntary A.A. contributions by which we maintain our A.A. General Service Office at New York. They are authorized by the groups to handle our over-all public relations and they guarantee the integrity of our principle newspaper, the A.A. Grapevine. All such representatives are to be guided in the spirit of service, for true leaders in A.A. are but trusted and experienced servants of the whole. They derive no real authority from their titles; they do not govern. Universal respect is the key to their usefulness.”

There is more about it in the book Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions.

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

These books may be found at many f2f AA meetings, ordered online from many places, and available from the AA General Service office, to read online, in English, French, and Spanish. See www.aa.org

 

October Tradition Meeting – Tradition 10

We are all invited to share, at any time this month, on Tradition 10.  The Traditions certainly inform our group conscience decisions and the original structure for GROW. We look forward to your shares.

*** Tradition 10 ***

“Alcoholics Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the A.A. name ought never be drawn into public controversy”

This Tradition is listed in one of the appendices in the book Alcoholics Anonymous (affectionately known as the Big Book) (see p. 562). There is a little more in The Long Form, which starts on p. 563, which has more about some of the Traditions, and lists them all together:

“No A.A. group or member should ever, in such a way as to implicate A.A., express any opinion on outside controversial issues–particularly those of politics, alcohol reform, or sectarian religion. The Alcoholics Anonymous groups oppose no one. Concerning such matters they can express no views whatever.”

There is more about it in the book Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions.

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

These books may be found at many f2f AA meetings, ordered online from many places, and available from the AA General Service office, to read online, in English, French, and Spanish. See www.aa.org

 

November Tradition Meeting – Tradition 11

We are all invited to share, at any time this month, on Tradition 11.  The Traditions certainly inform our group conscience decisions and the original structure for GROW. We look forward to your shares.

*** Tradition 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.”

This Tradition is listed in one of the appendices in the book Alcoholics Anonymous (affectionately known as the Big Book) (see p. 562). There is a little more in The Long Form, which starts on p. 563, which has more about some of the Traditions, and lists them all together:

“Our relations with the general public should be characterized by personal anonymity. We think A.A. ought to avoid sensational advertising. Our names and pictures as A.A. members ought not be broadcast, filmed, or publicly printed. Our public relations should be guided by the principle of attraction rather than promotion. There is never need to praise ourselves. We feel it better to let our friends recommend us.”

There is more about it in the book Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions.

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

These books may be found at many f2f AA meetings, ordered online from many places, and available from the AA General Service office, to read online, in English, French, and Spanish. See www.aa.org

 

December Tradition Meeting – Tradition 12

We are all invited to share, at any time this month, on Tradition 12.  The Traditions certainly inform our group conscience decisions and the original structure for GROW. We look forward to your shares.

*** Tradition 12 ***

“Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our Traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.”

This Tradition is listed in one of the appendices in the book Alcoholics Anonymous (affectionately known as the Big Book) (see p. 562). There is a little more in The Long Form, which starts on p. 563, which has more about some of the Traditions, and lists them all together:

“And finally, we of Alcoholics Anonymous believe that the principle of anonymity has an immense spiritual significance. It reminds us that we are to place principles before personalities; that we are actually to practice a genuine humility. This is to the end that our great blessings may never spoil us; that we shall forever live in thankful contemplation of Him who presides over us all.”

There is more about it in the book Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions.

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

These books may be found at many f2f AA meetings, ordered online from many places, and available from the AA General Service office, to read online, in English, French, and Spanish. See www.aa.org

 

January Step Meeting – Step 1

Welcome to the Sunday meeting of Grateful Recovering Online Women. My name is **** and I am an alcoholic.

Let’s start the meeting with a moment of silence, followed by the Serenity Prayer, for the alcoholic who still suffers both in and out of these rooms.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

Our preamble is as follows:

Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees for A.A. membership: we are self-supporting through our own contributions. 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.

“How It Works” from Chapter Five of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous:

Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves. There are such unfortunates. They are not at fault; they seem to have been born that way. They are naturally incapable of grasping and developing a manner of living which demands rigorous honesty. Their chances are less than average. There are those, too, who suffer from grave emotional and mental disorders, but many of them do recover if they have the capacity to be honest.

Our stories disclose in a general way what we used to be like, what happened, and what we are like now. If you have decided you want what we have and are willing to go to any length to get it — then you are ready to take certain steps.

At some of these we balked. We thought we could find an easier, softer way. But we could not. With all the earnestness at our command, we beg of you to be fearless and thorough from the very start. Some of us have tried to hold on to our old ideas and the result was nil until we let go absolutely.

Remember that we deal with alcohol–cunning, baffling, powerful! Without help it is too much for us. But there is One who has all power–that One is God. May you find Him now!

Half measures availed us nothing. We stood at the turning point. We asked His protection and care with complete abandon.

****************************************************************

Here are the steps we took, which are suggested as a program of recovery:

  1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol–that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Many of us exclaimed, “What an order! I can’t go through with it.” Do not be discouraged. No one among us has been able to maintain anything like perfect adherence to these principles.

We are not saints. The point is, that we are willing to grow along spiritual lines. The principles we have set down are guides to progress. We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection.

Our description of the alcoholic, the chapter to the agnostic, and our personal adventures before and after make clear three pertinent ideas:

(a) That we were alcoholic and could not manage our own lives.

(b) That probably no human power could have relieved our alcoholism.

(c) That God could and would if He were sought.

*****************************************************************

And our 12 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.

*****************************************************************

Topic for the week: Step 1

We are all invited to share on Step 1. The steps are our blueprint for living sober lives.

*** Step 1 ***
“We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.”

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 more – the Big Book opens with Bill’s Story (which details how one of the A.A. founders found that he was powerless over alcohol and that his life was unmanageable) and I think Chapter 3, “More About Alcoholism” talks about this in detail. 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/

 

****************************************************************

An excerpt from the Big Book on pages 83-84.

If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others. That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows. Self-seeking will slip away. Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.

Are these extravagant promises? WE THINK NOT. They are being fulfilled among us, sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them.

Anonymity Statement: Please remember that “Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.” What you hear here and who you “see” here, let it stay here.

Thanks for attending this meeting.

“The Preamble is Reprinted with permission of the A.A Grapevine, Inc.”

“The Steps and Traditions are Reprinted with permission of A.A. World Services, Inc.”

February Step Meeting – Step 2

Welcome to the Sunday meeting of Grateful Recovering Online Women. My name is **** and I am an alcoholic.

Let’s start the meeting with a moment of silence, followed by the Serenity Prayer, for the alcoholic who still suffers both in and out of these rooms.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

Our preamble is as follows:

Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees for A.A. membership: we are self-supporting through our own contributions. 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.

“How It Works” from Chapter Five of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous:

Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves. There are such unfortunates. They are not at fault; they seem to have been born that way. They are naturally incapable of grasping and developing a manner of living which demands rigorous honesty. Their chances are less than average. There are those, too, who suffer from grave emotional and mental disorders, but many of them do recover if they have the capacity to be honest.

Our stories disclose in a general way what we used to be like, what happened, and what we are like now. If you have decided you want what we have and are willing to go to any length to get it — then you are ready to take certain steps.

At some of these we balked. We thought we could find an easier, softer way. But we could not. With all the earnestness at our command, we beg of you to be fearless and thorough from the very start. Some of us have tried to hold on to our old ideas and the result was nil until we let go absolutely.

Remember that we deal with alcohol–cunning, baffling, powerful! Without help it is too much for us. But there is One who has all power–that One is God. May you find Him now!

Half measures availed us nothing. We stood at the turning point. We asked His protection and care with complete abandon.

****************************************************************

Here are the steps we took, which are suggested as a program of recovery:

  1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol–that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Many of us exclaimed, “What an order! I can’t go through with it.” Do not be discouraged. No one among us has been able to maintain anything like perfect adherence to these principles.

We are not saints. The point is, that we are willing to grow along spiritual lines. The principles we have set down are guides to progress. We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection.

Our description of the alcoholic, the chapter to the agnostic, and our personal adventures before and after make clear three pertinent ideas:

(a) That we were alcoholic and could not manage our own lives.

(b) That probably no human power could have relieved our alcoholism.

(c) That God could and would if He were sought.

*****************************************************************

And our 12 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.

*****************************************************************

Topic for the week: Step 2

We are all invited to share on Step 2. The steps are our blueprint for living sober lives.

*** Step 2 ***
“Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”

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 more in Chapter 4 (We Agnostics), starting about page 44. And 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/

****************************************************************

An excerpt from the Big Book on pages 83-84.

If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others. That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows. Self-seeking will slip away. Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.

Are these extravagant promises? WE THINK NOT. They are being fulfilled among us, sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them.

Anonymity Statement: Please remember that “Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.” What you hear here and who you “see” here, let it stay here.

Thanks for attending this meeting.

“The Preamble is Reprinted with permission of the A.A Grapevine, Inc.”

“The Steps and Traditions are Reprinted with permission of A.A. World Services, Inc.”

March Step Meeting – Step 3

Welcome to the Sunday meeting of Grateful Recovering Online Women. My name is **** and I am an alcoholic.

Let’s start the meeting with a moment of silence, followed by the Serenity Prayer, for the alcoholic who still suffers both in and out of these rooms.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

Our preamble is as follows:

Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees for A.A. membership: we are self-supporting through our own contributions. 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.

“How It Works” from Chapter Five of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous:

Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves. There are such unfortunates. They are not at fault; they seem to have been born that way. They are naturally incapable of grasping and developing a manner of living which demands rigorous honesty. Their chances are less than average. There are those, too, who suffer from grave emotional and mental disorders, but many of them do recover if they have the capacity to be honest.

Our stories disclose in a general way what we used to be like, what happened, and what we are like now. If you have decided you want what we have and are willing to go to any length to get it — then you are ready to take certain steps.

At some of these we balked. We thought we could find an easier, softer way. But we could not. With all the earnestness at our command, we beg of you to be fearless and thorough from the very start. Some of us have tried to hold on to our old ideas and the result was nil until we let go absolutely.

Remember that we deal with alcohol–cunning, baffling, powerful! Without help it is too much for us. But there is One who has all power–that One is God. May you find Him now!

Half measures availed us nothing. We stood at the turning point. We asked His protection and care with complete abandon.

****************************************************************

Here are the steps we took, which are suggested as a program of recovery:

  1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol–that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Many of us exclaimed, “What an order! I can’t go through with it.” Do not be discouraged. No one among us has been able to maintain anything like perfect adherence to these principles.

We are not saints. The point is, that we are willing to grow along spiritual lines. The principles we have set down are guides to progress. We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection.

Our description of the alcoholic, the chapter to the agnostic, and our personal adventures before and after make clear three pertinent ideas:

(a) That we were alcoholic and could not manage our own lives.

(b) That probably no human power could have relieved our alcoholism.

(c) That God could and would if He were sought.

*****************************************************************

And our 12 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.

*****************************************************************

Topic for the week: Step 3

We are all invited to share on Step 3. The steps are our blueprint for living sober lives

*** Step 3 ***
“Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God.”

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 more in Chapter 5, starting on p. 60. And 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/

****************************************************************

An excerpt from the Big Book on pages 83-84.

If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others. That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows. Self-seeking will slip away. Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.

Are these extravagant promises? WE THINK NOT. They are being fulfilled among us, sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them.

Anonymity Statement: Please remember that “Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.” What you hear here and who you “see” here, let it stay here.

Thanks for attending this meeting.

“The Preamble is Reprinted with permission of the A.A Grapevine, Inc.”

“The Steps and Traditions are Reprinted with permission of A.A. World Services, Inc.”

April Step Meeting – Step 4

Welcome to the Sunday meeting of Grateful Recovering Online Women. My name is **** and I am an alcoholic.

Let’s start the meeting with a moment of silence, followed by the Serenity Prayer, for the alcoholic who still suffers both in and out of these rooms.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

Our preamble is as follows:

Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees for A.A. membership: we are self-supporting through our own contributions. 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.

“How It Works” from Chapter Five of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous:

Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves. There are such unfortunates. They are not at fault; they seem to have been born that way. They are naturally incapable of grasping and developing a manner of living which demands rigorous honesty. Their chances are less than average. There are those, too, who suffer from grave emotional and mental disorders, but many of them do recover if they have the capacity to be honest.

Our stories disclose in a general way what we used to be like, what happened, and what we are like now. If you have decided you want what we have and are willing to go to any length to get it — then you are ready to take certain steps.

At some of these we balked. We thought we could find an easier, softer way. But we could not. With all the earnestness at our command, we beg of you to be fearless and thorough from the very start. Some of us have tried to hold on to our old ideas and the result was nil until we let go absolutely.

Remember that we deal with alcohol–cunning, baffling, powerful! Without help it is too much for us. But there is One who has all power–that One is God. May you find Him now!

Half measures availed us nothing. We stood at the turning point. We asked His protection and care with complete abandon.

****************************************************************

Here are the steps we took, which are suggested as a program of recovery:

  1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol–that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Many of us exclaimed, “What an order! I can’t go through with it.” Do not be discouraged. No one among us has been able to maintain anything like perfect adherence to these principles.

We are not saints. The point is, that we are willing to grow along spiritual lines. The principles we have set down are guides to progress. We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection.

Our description of the alcoholic, the chapter to the agnostic, and our personal adventures before and after make clear three pertinent ideas:

(a) That we were alcoholic and could not manage our own lives.

(b) That probably no human power could have relieved our alcoholism.

(c) That God could and would if He were sought.

*****************************************************************

And our 12 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.

*****************************************************************

Topic for the week: Step 4

We are all invited to share on Step 4. The steps are our blueprint for living sober lives

*** Step 4 ***
“Made a searching and fearless inventory of ourselves.”
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 a lot more in Chapter 5, starting on p. 64. And 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/

****************************************************************

An excerpt from the Big Book on pages 83-84.

If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others. That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows. Self-seeking will slip away. Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.

Are these extravagant promises? WE THINK NOT. They are being fulfilled among us, sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them.

Anonymity Statement: Please remember that “Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.” What you hear here and who you “see” here, let it stay here.

Thanks for attending this meeting.

“The Preamble is Reprinted with permission of the A.A Grapevine, Inc.”

“The Steps and Traditions are Reprinted with permission of A.A. World Services, Inc.”

May Step Meeting – Step 5

Welcome to the Sunday meeting of Grateful Recovering Online Women. My name is **** and I am an alcoholic.

Let’s start the meeting with a moment of silence, followed by the Serenity Prayer, for the alcoholic who still suffers both in and out of these rooms.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

Our preamble is as follows:

Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees for A.A. membership: we are self-supporting through our own contributions. 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.

“How It Works” from Chapter Five of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous:

Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves. There are such unfortunates. They are not at fault; they seem to have been born that way. They are naturally incapable of grasping and developing a manner of living which demands rigorous honesty. Their chances are less than average. There are those, too, who suffer from grave emotional and mental disorders, but many of them do recover if they have the capacity to be honest.

Our stories disclose in a general way what we used to be like, what happened, and what we are like now. If you have decided you want what we have and are willing to go to any length to get it — then you are ready to take certain steps.

At some of these we balked. We thought we could find an easier, softer way. But we could not. With all the earnestness at our command, we beg of you to be fearless and thorough from the very start. Some of us have tried to hold on to our old ideas and the result was nil until we let go absolutely.

Remember that we deal with alcohol–cunning, baffling, powerful! Without help it is too much for us. But there is One who has all power–that One is God. May you find Him now!

Half measures availed us nothing. We stood at the turning point. We asked His protection and care with complete abandon.

****************************************************************

Here are the steps we took, which are suggested as a program of recovery:

  1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol–that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Many of us exclaimed, “What an order! I can’t go through with it.” Do not be discouraged. No one among us has been able to maintain anything like perfect adherence to these principles.

We are not saints. The point is, that we are willing to grow along spiritual lines. The principles we have set down are guides to progress. We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection.

Our description of the alcoholic, the chapter to the agnostic, and our personal adventures before and after make clear three pertinent ideas:

(a) That we were alcoholic and could not manage our own lives.

(b) That probably no human power could have relieved our alcoholism.

(c) That God could and would if He were sought.

*****************************************************************

And our 12 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.

*****************************************************************

Topic for the week: Step 5

We are all invited to share, at any time this month, on Step 5 and Tradition 5. The steps are our blueprint for living sober lives. The traditions are what guide most AA groups. The traditions certainly inform our group conscience decisions and the original structure for GROW. We look forward to your shares.

*** Step 5 ***
“Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.”

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 more in Chapter 6, starting on p. 72. And 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/

****************************************************************

An excerpt from the Big Book on pages 83-84.

If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others. That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows. Self-seeking will slip away. Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.

Are these extravagant promises? WE THINK NOT. They are being fulfilled among us, sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them.

Anonymity Statement: Please remember that “Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.” What you hear here and who you “see” here, let it stay here.

Thanks for attending this meeting.

“The Preamble is Reprinted with permission of the A.A Grapevine, Inc.”

“The Steps and Traditions are Reprinted with permission of A.A. World Services, Inc.”

June Step Meeting – Step 6

Welcome to the Sunday meeting of Grateful Recovering Online Women. My name is **** and I am an alcoholic.

Let’s start the meeting with a moment of silence, followed by the Serenity Prayer, for the alcoholic who still suffers both in and out of these rooms.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

Our preamble is as follows:

Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees for A.A. membership: we are self-supporting through our own contributions. 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.

“How It Works” from Chapter Five of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous:

Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves. There are such unfortunates. They are not at fault; they seem to have been born that way. They are naturally incapable of grasping and developing a manner of living which demands rigorous honesty. Their chances are less than average. There are those, too, who suffer from grave emotional and mental disorders, but many of them do recover if they have the capacity to be honest.

Our stories disclose in a general way what we used to be like, what happened, and what we are like now. If you have decided you want what we have and are willing to go to any length to get it — then you are ready to take certain steps.

At some of these we balked. We thought we could find an easier, softer way. But we could not. With all the earnestness at our command, we beg of you to be fearless and thorough from the very start. Some of us have tried to hold on to our old ideas and the result was nil until we let go absolutely.

Remember that we deal with alcohol–cunning, baffling, powerful! Without help it is too much for us. But there is One who has all power–that One is God. May you find Him now!

Half measures availed us nothing. We stood at the turning point. We asked His protection and care with complete abandon.

****************************************************************

Here are the steps we took, which are suggested as a program of recovery:

  1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol–that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Many of us exclaimed, “What an order! I can’t go through with it.” Do not be discouraged. No one among us has been able to maintain anything like perfect adherence to these principles.

We are not saints. The point is, that we are willing to grow along spiritual lines. The principles we have set down are guides to progress. We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection.

Our description of the alcoholic, the chapter to the agnostic, and our personal adventures before and after make clear three pertinent ideas:

(a) That we were alcoholic and could not manage our own lives.

(b) That probably no human power could have relieved our alcoholism.

(c) That God could and would if He were sought.

*****************************************************************

And our 12 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.

*****************************************************************

Topic for the week: Step 6

We are all invited to share on Step 6. The steps are our blueprint for living sober lives.

*** Step 6 ***
“Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.”

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 more in Chapter 6 (Into Action), starting about page 75. And 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/

****************************************************************

An excerpt from the Big Book on pages 83-84.

If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others. That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows. Self-seeking will slip away. Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.

Are these extravagant promises? WE THINK NOT. They are being fulfilled among us, sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them.

Anonymity Statement: Please remember that “Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.” What you hear here and who you “see” here, let it stay here.

Thanks for attending this meeting.

“The Preamble is Reprinted with permission of the A.A Grapevine, Inc.”

“The Steps and Traditions are Reprinted with permission of A.A. World Services, Inc.”

July Step Meeting – Step 7

Welcome to the Sunday meeting of Grateful Recovering Online Women. My name is **** and I am an alcoholic.

Let’s start the meeting with a moment of silence, followed by the Serenity Prayer, for the alcoholic who still suffers both in and out of these rooms.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

Our preamble is as follows:

Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees for A.A. membership: we are self-supporting through our own contributions. 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.

“How It Works” from Chapter Five of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous:

Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves. There are such unfortunates. They are not at fault; they seem to have been born that way. They are naturally incapable of grasping and developing a manner of living which demands rigorous honesty. Their chances are less than average. There are those, too, who suffer from grave emotional and mental disorders, but many of them do recover if they have the capacity to be honest.

Our stories disclose in a general way what we used to be like, what happened, and what we are like now. If you have decided you want what we have and are willing to go to any length to get it — then you are ready to take certain steps.

At some of these we balked. We thought we could find an easier, softer way. But we could not. With all the earnestness at our command, we beg of you to be fearless and thorough from the very start. Some of us have tried to hold on to our old ideas and the result was nil until we let go absolutely.

Remember that we deal with alcohol–cunning, baffling, powerful! Without help it is too much for us. But there is One who has all power–that One is God. May you find Him now!

Half measures availed us nothing. We stood at the turning point. We asked His protection and care with complete abandon.

****************************************************************

Here are the steps we took, which are suggested as a program of recovery:

  1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol–that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Many of us exclaimed, “What an order! I can’t go through with it.” Do not be discouraged. No one among us has been able to maintain anything like perfect adherence to these principles.

We are not saints. The point is, that we are willing to grow along spiritual lines. The principles we have set down are guides to progress. We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection.

Our description of the alcoholic, the chapter to the agnostic, and our personal adventures before and after make clear three pertinent ideas:

(a) That we were alcoholic and could not manage our own lives.

(b) That probably no human power could have relieved our alcoholism.

(c) That God could and would if He were sought.

*****************************************************************

And our 12 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.

*****************************************************************

Topic for the week: Step 7

We are all invited to share on Step 7. The steps are our blueprint for living sober lives.

*** Step 7 ***
“Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.”

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 more in Chapter 6 (Into Action), starting at the top 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/

****************************************************************

An excerpt from the Big Book on pages 83-84.

If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others. That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows. Self-seeking will slip away. Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.

Are these extravagant promises? WE THINK NOT. They are being fulfilled among us, sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them.

Anonymity Statement: Please remember that “Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.” What you hear here and who you “see” here, let it stay here.

Thanks for attending this meeting.

“The Preamble is Reprinted with permission of the A.A Grapevine, Inc.”

“The Steps and Traditions are Reprinted with permission of A.A. World Services, Inc.”

August Step Meeting – Step 8

Welcome to the Sunday meeting of Grateful Recovering Online Women. My name is **** and I am an alcoholic.

Let’s start the meeting with a moment of silence, followed by the Serenity Prayer, for the alcoholic who still suffers both in and out of these rooms.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

Our preamble is as follows:

Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees for A.A. membership: we are self-supporting through our own contributions. 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.

“How It Works” from Chapter Five of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous:

Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves. There are such unfortunates. They are not at fault; they seem to have been born that way. They are naturally incapable of grasping and developing a manner of living which demands rigorous honesty. Their chances are less than average. There are those, too, who suffer from grave emotional and mental disorders, but many of them do recover if they have the capacity to be honest.

Our stories disclose in a general way what we used to be like, what happened, and what we are like now. If you have decided you want what we have and are willing to go to any length to get it — then you are ready to take certain steps.

At some of these we balked. We thought we could find an easier, softer way. But we could not. With all the earnestness at our command, we beg of you to be fearless and thorough from the very start. Some of us have tried to hold on to our old ideas and the result was nil until we let go absolutely.

Remember that we deal with alcohol–cunning, baffling, powerful! Without help it is too much for us. But there is One who has all power–that One is God. May you find Him now!

Half measures availed us nothing. We stood at the turning point. We asked His protection and care with complete abandon.

****************************************************************

Here are the steps we took, which are suggested as a program of recovery:

  1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol–that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Many of us exclaimed, “What an order! I can’t go through with it.” Do not be discouraged. No one among us has been able to maintain anything like perfect adherence to these principles.

We are not saints. The point is, that we are willing to grow along spiritual lines. The principles we have set down are guides to progress. We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection.

Our description of the alcoholic, the chapter to the agnostic, and our personal adventures before and after make clear three pertinent ideas:

(a) That we were alcoholic and could not manage our own lives.

(b) That probably no human power could have relieved our alcoholism.

(c) That God could and would if He were sought.

*****************************************************************

And our 12 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.

*****************************************************************

Topic for the week: Step 8

We are all invited to share on Step 8. The steps are our blueprint for living sober lives.

*** Step 8 ***
“Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.”

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 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/

****************************************************************

An excerpt from the Big Book on pages 83-84.

If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others. That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows. Self-seeking will slip away. Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.

Are these extravagant promises? WE THINK NOT. They are being fulfilled among us, sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them.

Anonymity Statement: Please remember that “Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.” What you hear here and who you “see” here, let it stay here.

Thanks for attending this meeting.

“The Preamble is Reprinted with permission of the A.A Grapevine, Inc.”

“The Steps and Traditions are Reprinted with permission of A.A. World Services, Inc.”

September Step Meeting – Step 9

Welcome to the Sunday meeting of Grateful Recovering Online Women. My name is **** and I am an alcoholic.

Let’s start the meeting with a moment of silence, followed by the Serenity Prayer, for the alcoholic who still suffers both in and out of these rooms.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

Our preamble is as follows:

Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees for A.A. membership: we are self-supporting through our own contributions. 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.

“How It Works” from Chapter Five of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous:

Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves. There are such unfortunates. They are not at fault; they seem to have been born that way. They are naturally incapable of grasping and developing a manner of living which demands rigorous honesty. Their chances are less than average. There are those, too, who suffer from grave emotional and mental disorders, but many of them do recover if they have the capacity to be honest.

Our stories disclose in a general way what we used to be like, what happened, and what we are like now. If you have decided you want what we have and are willing to go to any length to get it — then you are ready to take certain steps.

At some of these we balked. We thought we could find an easier, softer way. But we could not. With all the earnestness at our command, we beg of you to be fearless and thorough from the very start. Some of us have tried to hold on to our old ideas and the result was nil until we let go absolutely.

Remember that we deal with alcohol–cunning, baffling, powerful! Without help it is too much for us. But there is One who has all power–that One is God. May you find Him now!

Half measures availed us nothing. We stood at the turning point. We asked His protection and care with complete abandon.

****************************************************************

Here are the steps we took, which are suggested as a program of recovery:

  1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol–that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Many of us exclaimed, “What an order! I can’t go through with it.” Do not be discouraged. No one among us has been able to maintain anything like perfect adherence to these principles.

We are not saints. The point is, that we are willing to grow along spiritual lines. The principles we have set down are guides to progress. We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection.

Our description of the alcoholic, the chapter to the agnostic, and our personal adventures before and after make clear three pertinent ideas:

(a) That we were alcoholic and could not manage our own lives.

(b) That probably no human power could have relieved our alcoholism.

(c) That God could and would if He were sought.

*****************************************************************

And our 12 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.

*****************************************************************

Topic for the week: 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

****************************************************************

An excerpt from the Big Book on pages 83-84.

If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others. That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows. Self-seeking will slip away. Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.

Are these extravagant promises? WE THINK NOT. They are being fulfilled among us, sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them.

Anonymity Statement: Please remember that “Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.” What you hear here and who you “see” here, let it stay here.

Thanks for attending this meeting.

“The Preamble is Reprinted with permission of the A.A Grapevine, Inc.”

“The Steps and Traditions are Reprinted with permission of A.A. World Services, Inc.”

October Step Meeting – Step 10

Welcome to the Sunday meeting of Grateful Recovering Online Women. My name is **** and I am an alcoholic.

Let’s start the meeting with a moment of silence, followed by the Serenity Prayer, for the alcoholic who still suffers both in and out of these rooms.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

Our preamble is as follows:

Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees for A.A. membership: we are self-supporting through our own contributions. 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.

“How It Works” from Chapter Five of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous:

Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves. There are such unfortunates. They are not at fault; they seem to have been born that way. They are naturally incapable of grasping and developing a manner of living which demands rigorous honesty. Their chances are less than average. There are those, too, who suffer from grave emotional and mental disorders, but many of them do recover if they have the capacity to be honest.

Our stories disclose in a general way what we used to be like, what happened, and what we are like now. If you have decided you want what we have and are willing to go to any length to get it — then you are ready to take certain steps.

At some of these we balked. We thought we could find an easier, softer way. But we could not. With all the earnestness at our command, we beg of you to be fearless and thorough from the very start. Some of us have tried to hold on to our old ideas and the result was nil until we let go absolutely.

Remember that we deal with alcohol–cunning, baffling, powerful! Without help it is too much for us. But there is One who has all power–that One is God. May you find Him now!

Half measures availed us nothing. We stood at the turning point. We asked His protection and care with complete abandon.

****************************************************************

Here are the steps we took, which are suggested as a program of recovery:

  1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol–that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Many of us exclaimed, “What an order! I can’t go through with it.” Do not be discouraged. No one among us has been able to maintain anything like perfect adherence to these principles.

We are not saints. The point is, that we are willing to grow along spiritual lines. The principles we have set down are guides to progress. We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection.

Our description of the alcoholic, the chapter to the agnostic, and our personal adventures before and after make clear three pertinent ideas:

(a) That we were alcoholic and could not manage our own lives.

(b) That probably no human power could have relieved our alcoholism.

(c) That God could and would if He were sought.

*****************************************************************

And our 12 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.

*****************************************************************

Topic for the week: Step 10

We are all invited to share on Step 10. The steps are our blueprint for living sober lives.

*** Step 10 ***
“Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.”

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 more in Chapter 6 (Into Action), starting in the middle of page 84. 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/

****************************************************************

An excerpt from the Big Book on pages 83-84.

If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others. That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows. Self-seeking will slip away. Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.

Are these extravagant promises? WE THINK NOT. They are being fulfilled among us, sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them.

Anonymity Statement: Please remember that “Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.” What you hear here and who you “see” here, let it stay here.

Thanks for attending this meeting.

“The Preamble is Reprinted with permission of the A.A Grapevine, Inc.”

“The Steps and Traditions are Reprinted with permission of A.A. World Services, Inc.”

November Step Meeting – Step 11

Welcome to the Sunday meeting of Grateful Recovering Online Women. My name is **** and I am an alcoholic.

Let’s start the meeting with a moment of silence, followed by the Serenity Prayer, for the alcoholic who still suffers both in and out of these rooms.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

Our preamble is as follows:

Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees for A.A. membership: we are self-supporting through our own contributions. 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.

“How It Works” from Chapter Five of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous:

Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves. There are such unfortunates. They are not at fault; they seem to have been born that way. They are naturally incapable of grasping and developing a manner of living which demands rigorous honesty. Their chances are less than average. There are those, too, who suffer from grave emotional and mental disorders, but many of them do recover if they have the capacity to be honest.

Our stories disclose in a general way what we used to be like, what happened, and what we are like now. If you have decided you want what we have and are willing to go to any length to get it — then you are ready to take certain steps.

At some of these we balked. We thought we could find an easier, softer way. But we could not. With all the earnestness at our command, we beg of you to be fearless and thorough from the very start. Some of us have tried to hold on to our old ideas and the result was nil until we let go absolutely.

Remember that we deal with alcohol–cunning, baffling, powerful! Without help it is too much for us. But there is One who has all power–that One is God. May you find Him now!

Half measures availed us nothing. We stood at the turning point. We asked His protection and care with complete abandon.

****************************************************************

Here are the steps we took, which are suggested as a program of recovery:

  1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol–that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Many of us exclaimed, “What an order! I can’t go through with it.” Do not be discouraged. No one among us has been able to maintain anything like perfect adherence to these principles.

We are not saints. The point is, that we are willing to grow along spiritual lines. The principles we have set down are guides to progress. We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection.

Our description of the alcoholic, the chapter to the agnostic, and our personal adventures before and after make clear three pertinent ideas:

(a) That we were alcoholic and could not manage our own lives.

(b) That probably no human power could have relieved our alcoholism.

(c) That God could and would if He were sought.

*****************************************************************

And our 12 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.

*****************************************************************

Topic for the week: Step 11

We are all invited to share on Step 11. The steps are our blueprint for living sober lives.

*** Step 11 ***
“Sought through prayer and meditation to increase our conscious contact with God, as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.”

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 more in Chapter 6 (Into Action), starting at the bottom of p. 85. 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/

****************************************************************

An excerpt from the Big Book on pages 83-84.

If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others. That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows. Self-seeking will slip away. Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.

Are these extravagant promises? WE THINK NOT. They are being fulfilled among us, sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them.

Anonymity Statement: Please remember that “Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.” What you hear here and who you “see” here, let it stay here.

Thanks for attending this meeting.

“The Preamble is Reprinted with permission of the A.A Grapevine, Inc.”

“The Steps and Traditions are Reprinted with permission of A.A. World Services, Inc.”