0420 – Proposal 3: Eliminate Grapevine TS

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.


Summary of Comments on Proposal 3

In my opinion having the Grapevine as an additional monthly topic enhances GROW’s effectiveness in carrying the message.

I don’t believe eliminating this from our group just because it’s currently an empty service post is rationale for stopping having a Grapevine topic meeting.

In my few years as a member here this role has up until recently always been filled and has always generated some sharing.

The current lack of take up of the role I don’t feel is an indication that “meeting membership is not interested in the additional topic.”

At this time especially I’d like to feel we as a group are keeping sharing strong for all the new members – new to online sobriety or just new to sobriety, and a monthly Grapevine meeting gives those who are willing and have time to share another opportunity to do so.

*********
I disagree as well in eliminating this post.

With the amount of new members lately, it very possible that those new members would like the Grapevine.

So as suggestion, lets try it a bit longer and then see what happens.

*********
I think we should keep trying to fill this position as it’s a valuable asset, especially for the newcomers as Sophie mentioned.


Results of Voting on Proposal 3

Voting: 14 members voted: 13 no and 1 yes.  There were no minority opinions submitted, therefore the proposal fails and will not be discussed further.  This topic cannot be considered again until April 2021.


Group Conscience Decision:

The proposal failed, therefore the Grapevine position will not be eliminated.

0420 – Proposal 2: Eliminate OIAA TS

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.


Summary of Comments on Proposal 2

I disagree with eliminating this post.

We aren’t connected up to the service structure of AA at the moment.

The last reports from OIAA were actually quite positive – reports of the OIAA functioning more manageably, and the OIAA role being shared by two GROW members.

Now more than ever surely we need to have some connection to AA as a whole, if nothing else than to share our own group’s experience.

We have a strong history in this group of following Traditions and being a safe place, these are things we could be sharing if we were connected up to the wider AA structure.

My thoughts are this could be a discussion about how to sponsor/support someone into this role, not getting rid of it.

**********
I am glad this was brought up, as this was a position I was thinking of, had gone through what duties entailed, bit tentative, spoke to my sponsor and she gave me email address of lady in NY.

I know this sounds like I am over reaching, but a position that interests me, and if God willing would like to do that after my term as Weekly Leader Listkeeper.

**********
Not sure what the improvements have been since I filled the position last year. I had taken on the position with service in mind but the infighting and lack of any type of administrator taking charge of the negative emails drove me from the group. I stepped back and reported what I needed to on both sides and stayed out of it. Someone had just made off with the money in the treasury as well. The group as it was then was not good for my serenity and service. They needed some work on the infrastructure in my opinion. Just my experience.

**********
I am not sure.  Were you the last person to hold the position?

Can someone answer that question? And if someone held the position after you can they please comment?

**********
I was one of the people that shared the position. I was on first and was followed by another member

**********
Hello all. I was the last OIAA rep and still receive OIAA posts. OIAA has quite suddenly become extremely involved in advising AA groups how to set up online meetings.

And this week, the topic has been how to protect meetings from trolls on Zoom, which is a growing problem.

I think that having this position filled would be of benefit to our new members especially as many of them are from brick and mortar meetings that have gone to Zoom.

**********
Hi all

Thank you for sharing your recent experience in role and what OIAA is currently involved in.

I realise we have to let this discussion here in GROW run and voting occur  as a Proposal has been made, but I would like to put myself forward for this role.

I have served as GSR for several of my face to face home groups over the years and have experience of serving in other roles at several face to face Intergroups & Area Service Commitees in the U.K. and NZ.

I’d also like to thank our member for her interest in serving as future OIAA when her current Trusted Servant role comes to an end.


Results of Voting on Proposal 2

Voting: 16 members voted: 15 no and 1 yes.  There were no minority opinions submitted, therefore the proposal fails and will not be discussed further.  This topic cannot be considered again until April 2021.


Group Conscience Decision:

The proposal failed, therefore the OIAA position will not be eliminated.

0420 – Proposal 1: “Backup” Leader List

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.

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.


Rationale

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


Summary of Comments on Proposal 1

I disagree as when the list was handed over to me, their were only 3 ladies on the list as back up leaders.

When I sent out the call for back up leaders middle March, another 5 ladies responded, plus 2 ladies from previous list, that not to say the lady from previous list not willing to be back up leader.

That 8 ladies in total.

My thinking is the person you ask to be back up must respond to the email, and failing that their few other ladies willing to do it.

As long as this sorted out by Saturday latest Sunday morning so the list still goes out to the group on Sunday.

In the event of the scheduled lady to chair,  has responded her willingness to chair but does not for whatever reason, then I would say yes the weekly leader can pick a topic of previous topics in GROW website.

I may be wrong but it very seldom that this situation occurs.

********
If our weekly Listkeeper is happy with the way this currently works, ie having a back up list available for the very rare occurrence that someone misses their scheduled slot, my thoughts are we keep it as is and avoid having a big debate over a minor point.

********
I agree, simplify by leaving it up to the weekly listkeeper to act quickly to just pull another topic if needed.


Results of Voting on Proposal 1

Voting: Sixteen (16) participants voted: one (1) in favor, and fifteen (15) against Proposal 1.  There were no minority opinions submitted, therefore the proposal fails and will not be discussed further.  This topic cannot be considered again until April 2021.


Group Conscience Decision:

The proposal failed, therefore there will be no change to the current process followed by the weekly leader listkeeper.

0420 – Secretary Report

Apr 2020 Secretary’s Report

Outgoing Trusted Servants:

  • 12 Step Listkeeper (10/19-04/20): Karrie C. email
  • Birthday Listkeeper (10/19-4/20): Lynn H. email
  • Sponsor Listkeeper (10/19-4/20): Rene G. email

Trusted Servants who make up the Steering Committee:

  • Greeter (4/19-4/20): Sarah K. email
  • Greeter (4/19-4/20): Louise H. email
  • Listkeeper (4/19-4/20): Karen H. email
  • Listkeeper Alternate (4/19-4/20): Nancy C. email
  • Temporary Mentor (4/19-4/20): Danna M. email
  • Website Administrator (04/19-04/20): Tanya C. email
  • Webkeeper (4/19-4/20): Allison M. email
  • Weekly Leader Listkeeper (10/19-4/20): Bobby T. email

 


Incoming Trusted Servants:

  • 12 Step Listkeeper (10/19-04/20): Danna M. email
  • Birthday Listkeeper (10/19-4/20): Susan J. email
  • Sponsor Listkeeper (10/19-4/20): 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 email
  • GVR (10/19-10/20): open
  • Greeter (4/20-4/21): Lisa M. email
  • Greeter (4/20-10/20): Louise H. email
  • Listkeeper (4/20-4/21): Sarah K. email
  • Listkeeper Alternate (4/20-10/20): Nancy C. email
  • OIAA Rep (10/19-10/20): open
  • Secretary (10/19-10/20): Laurie C. email
  • Temporary Mentor (4/20-4/21): open
  • Treasurer (10/19-10/21): Cheryl B. email
  • Website Admininstrator (4/20-10/20): Tanya C. email
  • Webkeeper (10/18-10/20): open
  • Webkeeper Backup (10/19-10/20): Cheryl D. email
  • Weekly Leader Listkeeper (4/20-4/21):Rene G. email

0420 – Business Meeting Welcome

Apr 2020 – Business Meeting Welcome

Greetings, and welcome to the April 2020 Business Meeting of Grateful Recovering Online Women (GROW).

I am Joan, an 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 fourth day, I will post the results/consensus of our 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,
Joan B.
GROW Business Chair
joangrowbus@gmail.com

2019 Business Meeting – October

2019 Business Meeting – October

(topics are listed below are in order of presentation)

1018-group-conscience-decisions-summary

October 2018 Group Conscience Decisions

During the October 2018 GROW Business meeting, the following Group Conscience decisions were approved:

  1. Delete item d. (Web Page Information) in the GROW FYI CONTENTS section of the FYI Letter sent out by the Secretary each month.
    For more information, please refer to Proposal 2 from the October 2018 business meeting.
  2. Add a reminder to the Weekly Meeting Format Letter (between the Preamble and “How It Works”) to emphasize the principle of anonymity in our meetings: “Who you see here, what you hear here, when you leave here, let it stay here.”
    • Recommended Language: Insert the following sentences as a separate stand-alone paragraph between the Preamble and “How It Works” in the Weekly Meeting Format Letter.
      • “Who you see here, what you read here, when you leave here, let it stay here. (Anonymity refers to personal information and personal issues – not the message of recovery.)”

    For more information, please refer to Proposal 3 from the October 2018 business meeting.

  3. Increase the monthly contribution to Dean Collins (oso-aa.org) to reimburse him for any time and effort to support GROW’s website, particularly the new website WordPress configuration. Double the current contribution from $12 per month ($72 for six months) to $24 ($144 for six months).
    • Recommended Language: Edit the sub-bullet in the Treasurer’s job description under the 11th bullet (“Pay all group expenses…”) to reflect the change in contributions to oso-aa.
      • $24.00 monthly to OSO-AA (PayPal: dean.collins@insightplanners.com) (6 months expenses)

    For more information, please refer to Proposal 4 from the October 2018 business meeting

  4. Each month, the Temporary Mentor will send a short letter reminding GROW members of AA resources available to them. She will also include the recommended language in Temporary Mentor Letter #1.
    • Recommended Language: Add a new 10th bullet to the Temporary Mentor job description as follows.
      • Each month, the Temporary Mentor will send a short letter reminding GROW members of AA resources available to them.

    For more information, please refer to Proposal ## from the October 2018 business meeting.

  5. Insert the following language as a new third paragraph in Temporary Mentor Letter #1 and as a monthly stand-alone message to GROW:
    • Just a reminder that you can learn more about AA by visiting one of these links:
    • The Alcoholics Anonymous general services office and information such as “The AA Big Book and 12 & 12, along with many pamphlets as well as links to local resources for AA.
    • AA’s Online Intergroup (OIAA) where you can find meeting lists as week as real-time phone and other Internet types of meetings.
    • AA’s Grapevine magazine with stories and audio stories and Grapevine subscription options.

    For more information, please refer to Proposal ## from the October 2018 business meeting.

  6. Expand on the Temporary Mentor by establishing a Newcomer Committee, as the Sponsorship pamphlet suggests some groups do.
    • Recommended Language: Add as a new 11th bullet to the Temporary Mentor job description as follows.
      • Establish and lead a Newcomer Committee (that may include members who are new to recovery from alcoholism) who will assist in supporting newcomers to GROW and AA.

    For more information, please refer to Proposal ## from the October 2018 business meeting.

  7. The General Services Representative (GSR) will post the GSO Calendar of Events each month to the GROW list. The Calendar is contained in the back pages of the current quarterly Box 4-5-9.
    • Recommended Language: “You can find the GSO Calendar of Events on pages 11-12 [depending on the month] of the 4-5-9 Newsletter [Note: link to the newsletter changes for each issue].”

    For more information, please refer to Proposal ## from the October 2018 business meeting.

  8. The Grapevine Representative (GVR) will post a link to the calendar on the Grapevine website each month. This may be within her report or separate from it.
    • Recommended Language: Add a new 8th bullet to the Grapevine Representative’s job description as follows.
      • Either as part of the Grapevine Form Letter or in a separate message to GROW members, the GVR will share a link to the Grapevine Calendar of Events (at http://www.aagrapevine.org/calendar).

    For more information, please refer to Proposal ## from the October 2018 business meeting.

  9. The new GROW Website extension to the April 2019 meeting granted by default.

Monthly Tradition Meeting

Monthly Tradition Meeting Letter Templates

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

2016 Business Meetings

2016 October Business Meeting

GROW Business Meeting Guidelines

The following are the GROW guidelines for conducting business:

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

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

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

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

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

    2. If the minority does not want three days to express their opinion, there will be no further discussion and there will not be another vote.
  7. At the end of the voting period, the Business Chair announces the final results of the vote.
  8. Note: If any item on the agenda has not reached a 2/3 majority vote by the 17th day of the business meeting, the item is tabled and held over to the next scheduled business meeting.

 

Guidance About Informed Group Conscience Decisions
(from Alcoholics Anonymous)

What is an Informed A.A. Group Conscience?

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

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

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

 

A.A. experience has taught that:

Tradition 2: For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority – a loving God as He may express himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants, they do not govern.

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

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

Secretary’s Report

All Quiet on the Grow Front.

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

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

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

The following positions were open:

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

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

It feels like musical chairs.

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

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

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

 


Our Trusted Servants – October 2016

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

Trusted Servants who make up the Steering Committee:

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

 


Listkeepers’ Report

Our membership as of September 30, 2016 is 256. Regular list members 227 and 29 Digest members (this number is always a little larger than our actual count because some members have two subscriptions – one for regular posts and one for digests and some members have two regular list addresses.)

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

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

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

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


Treasurers Report

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

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

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


GSR Report

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other resources worth repeating:

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

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

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

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

“What is Intergroup?”

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

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

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

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

Lastly, the Box 459 Bulletin Board

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

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

Some guidelines for listing include:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Business Meeting Minutes

First 3-Day Period

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

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

 


Second 3-Day Period

Dear Members,

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

Proposal 3

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Proposal 4

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Your name (Your email address)
GROW Temporary Mentor

***

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

Thank you to all who participate in this discussion.

Yours in service,
Gigi, Biz Chair
 


Third 3-Day Period

Dear Members,

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

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

RE: Proposal 4.3: This proposal was passed unanimously.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Your name (Your email address)
GROW Temporary Mentor

*****

Thank you for your participation.

Yours in service,
Gigi, Biz Chair
 


Forth 3-Day Period

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

***

Proposal 4:

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

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

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

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

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

Your name (Your email address)
GROW Temporary Mentor

***

Proposal 5 was submitted to the group for consideration.

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

A Summary About Sponsorship

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

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

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

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

***

How should a sponsor be chosen?

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

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

****

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*****

Thank you for your participation.

Yours in service,
Gigi, Biz Chair
 


Fifth 3-Day Period

Dear Members,

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

********

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

***Existing Language***

A Summary About Sponsorship

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

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

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

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

***End of existing language***

***NEW LANGUAGE***

How should a sponsor be chosen?

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

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

*****

Thank you for your participation.

Yours in service,
Gigi, Biz Chair
 


Sixth 3-Day Period

Dear Members,

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you for listening.

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

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

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

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

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

I’m all for 6.

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

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

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

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

Leave it, with CAL only, and no addition.

The Proposals are below.

********

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

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

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

How should a sponsor be chosen?

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

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

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

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

Recommended addition in red below:

How should a sponsor be chosen?

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

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

*****

Thank you for your participation.

Yours in service,
Gigi, Biz Chair
 


Seventh 3-Day Period

Dear Members,

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

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

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

*****

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

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

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

How should a sponsor be chosen?

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

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

*****

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

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

Recommended addition in red below:?

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

*****

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

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

*****

Thank you for your participation.

Yours in service,
Gigi, Biz Chair rotating out
 


Business Meeting Session Summary

***Summary Business Meeting Session 1***

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


***Summary Business Meeting Session 2***

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yours in service,
Gigi, Current Biz Chair
 


***Summary Business Meeting Session 3***

 


***Summary Business Meeting Session 4***

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

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

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

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

Yours in service,
Gigi, Current Biz Chair

 


***Summary Business Meeting Session 5***

Dear GROWers,

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

Yours in service,
Gigi and Danna
 


***Summary Business Meeting Session 6***

Dear GROWers,

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

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

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

Yours in service,
Gigi, Biz Chair rotating out

 


Proposals

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

***Discussion on Proposal 1***

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

Proposal withdrawn

 


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

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

***Discussion on Proposal 2***

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

Proposal withdrawn

 


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

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

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

***Discussion on Proposal 3***

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

Specific points included:

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

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

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

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

 


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Your name (Your email address)
GROW Temporary Mentor

***Discussion on Proposal 4***

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

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

 


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

A Summary About Sponsorship

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

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

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

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

How should a sponsor be chosen?

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

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

***Discussion on Proposal 5.4***

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

 


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

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

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

How should a sponsor be chosen?

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

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

***Discussion on Proposal 6***

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

 


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

A Summary About Sponsorship

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

Recommended addition: in bold below

How should a sponsor be chosen?

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

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

***Discussion on Proposal 7***

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

2019 Business Meeting – April

2019 Business Meeting – April

(topics are listed below are in order of presentation)

0419 – Proposal 10: Weekly Leader Listkeeper

Proposal 10: Weekly Leader Listkeeper

Add language about a On-call Meeting Leader List to Weekly Topic Leader Message and make additional edits to the Weekly Leader Listkeeper Responsibilites.

Recommended Language: “If you would like to be added to the on-call meeting leader list, please reply and let me know. You will be added to a list of volunteers who are willing to quickly post a weekly topic when the scheduled chair is unavailable. The only requirement is that you are available to check your email every Saturday/Sunday and respond quickly to a request from the Weekly Leader Listkeeper, so she can find someone to chair in a timely manner.”

Rationale:

  • The bullet descriptions concerning calling for volunteers and posting the meeting schedule need more clarity as to when to send each item, so I added “at the beginning of the month”. I have been doing this and it works well to send the call for volunteers and current month’s schedule at the beginning of the month.
  • The bullet concerning posting regularly weekly reminders is a repeat and doesn’t need to be there.
  • The bullet concerning confirming the member’s status two weeks before is not needed, because the list keeper contacts the assigned leader personally on the Wednesday before the meeting. This is an extra, unnecessary duty.
  • The bullets concerning a list for weekly leaders and replacing the topic leader needs more clarity. This has been an unclear area and has caused some problems during my current term. I added a specific time to replace the topic leader, if a topic has not been posted on Sunday morning. Also, if we have a list of willing leaders, why make a general announcement to the group? I believe making a general announcement is embarrassing to the assigned leader and negates the point of having a list of willing leaders. (Refer to the business meeting decision on October 2011 about maintaining a back-up list of willing leaders)

Summary of Comments on Proposal 10

No objection here.


Results of Voting on Proposal 10

Pass 13 agree, 0 disagree


Group Conscience Decision:

Make the additional edits to the Weekly Leader Listkeeper Duties.

Add recommended language to the Weekly Topic Leader Message.

0419 – Proposal 8: Assign Temporary Sponsors

Proposal 8: Assign Temporary Sponsors When Requested

Proposals 7 and 8 were submitted as 2 proposals, but the rational applies to both. I am posting 2 proposals with the same rational attached to both.

Proposal 8: The Sponsor Listkeeper will work with the Temporary Mentor to assure that newcomers who want a sponsor are assigned a temporary sponsor.

Rationale: During our discussions on the Temporary Mentor (newcomer committee and providing links to AA resources), it became clear that there are issues related to the Online Available Sponsors list/webpage because the people on that list do not always respond timely (or at all) to newcomers’ requests for help. Further, Available Online Sponsors do not rotate, and the only members that rotate on both the 12th Step List and the Sponsor List are the listkeepers. The Available Online Sponsor webpage creates the impression that only people on the sponsor list can sponsor, which in reality is not the case.


Summary of Comments

Read Proposal 7 and 8: Online Sponsors for details.


Group Conscience Decision:

An ad hoc committee was formed to craft a proposal for the October 2019 meeting that is inclusive for all the Trusted Servant job descriptions that address helping members with sponsorship.

0419 – Proposal 7 and 8: Online Sponsors

Proposal 7: Discontinue Online Sponsors

Proposals 7 and 8 were submitted as 2 proposals, but the rational applies to both. I am posting 2 proposals with the same rational attached to both.

Proposal 7 and 8: GROW will better support newcomers to our group and to AA. This will involve a two-pronged approach, 7 and 8.

Proposal 7: In order to assure that newcomers have access to a sponsor, GROW will: Discontinue GROW’s webpage “Available Online Sponsors”.

Proposal 8: The Sponsor Listkeeper will work with the Temporary Mentor to assure that newcomers who want a sponsor are assigned a temporary sponsor.

Rationale: During our discussions on the Temporary Mentor (newcomer committee and providing links to AA resources), it became clear that there are issues related to the Online Available Sponsors list/webpage because the people on that list do not always respond timely (or at all) to newcomers’ requests for help. Further, Available Online Sponsors do not rotate, and the only members that rotate on both the 12th Step List and the Sponsor List are the listkeepers. The Available Online Sponsor webpage creates the impression that only people on the sponsor list can sponsor, which in reality is not the case.


Summary of Comments on Proposal 7 and 8

  1. For the reasons given in the proposals, I agree with both proposals.
    • While I was temporary mentor (just outgoing presently), I was dismayed to find that newcomers had sought out a sponsor from the list, only to be turned down (sometimes by more than one on the list), or not even replied to until weeks later, when they were again turned down. In one case, a person on the sponsor list had been out drinking again (she’d been very honest about it with our group) yet her name had remained on the list (which I disagreed with as I know in my first days and years with AA, when I was slipping and sliding, I would have been of no use to anyone, and could actually have been a harmful influence on a person trying to get sober.
    • One lady had tried with two different people, to be rejected twice. I have a hunch this lady might now be drinking. Through me acting as temp mentor, I did set her up with a potential sponsor from a member on our newcomer group. I did this with one or two others.
    • This of course doesn’t reflect that there might have been cases where those on the list did respond to others and established good sponsor/sponsee relationships. But the fact that it did happen at least a few times (from my experience) and more instances of it apparently since our last business meeting (!) is evidence enough that it doesn’t function well at all i.e. not fit for purpose.
    • Further, no rotation is not a good thing, as for one, it is never clear whether the names on the list are still available, or even participating in Grow. There’s a sense of it being a ‘dead’ list.
    • Also, as stated, it gives the false impression to newcomers that available sponsors are only those on the list.
  2. I believe we should not have a sponsor list. In a face to face meeting, there are no sponsor lists. You pick someone based on what they have to say and based on a connection to their story. A random name on a list is not helpful and if they get the nerve up to ask and don’t get a response, imagine how detrimental that would be. I believe that it is part of sobriety to ask people if they would sponsor you and have to deal with whichever response they get. There are people that are willing to sponsor that don’t want to be on that list. It’s just not something I’ve ever seen a group do and it doesn’t actually always help someone needing a sponsor. There’s my two cents. Thanks!
  3. My first issue is the wording of this proposal. How will discontinuing the Available Online Sponsors webpage help assure that newcomers have access to a sponsor? Everything before the colons should be struck from the proposal language.
    • After talking to several people who have used the sponsor list, I am convinced that it does not serve our group well. The major complaint was that no one on the list responded to members seeking a sponsor. That people volunteered to be on the list suggests they would be responsive. Not responding is a terrible message to send, especially to newcomers. Grow can’t police the actions (or lack of) of the potential sponsors. It is better not to offer the information than to set people up for feeling rejected or abandoned when no one responds. When Grow publishes a list, it appears to endorse the women on it. When those women do not respond or respond inappropriately, Grow itself is letting people down.The Sponsor Listkeeper can’t screen the volunteers or assure that they are really “available.”
    • It is more important, I think, that people know they can ask anyone in Grow to sponsor them.
    • At f2f meetings, we do not help people find sponsors. We tell them to get a sponsor, but we do not offer them candidates or monitor the sponsor-sponsee relationship. Finding a sponsor is up to the person who needs one. Being responsible for one’s own recovery is critical to staying sober. Again, we need to let people know they can ask anyone to sponsor them, but we should not point them to specific individuals.
    • Another issue is whether we should send out a list of available sponsors at all, which this proposal does not address. The problem is the same – people on the list not responding. Personally, I think we should seriously consider eliminating the list altogether. It is not working as we hoped it would.
  4. I have spent years in the sponsor list. I was rarely contacted. When I was I responded and sometimes I was turned down for scheduling issues or others….
    • Sometimes a relationship was established for a short time.
    • The sponsor list keeper also checks monthly to see if I am wanting to continue my commitment. So in that fashion the list should be considered current
    • The drinking person should have been removed.
    • I am still a proponent of dissolving this position as I also see it isn’t doing the job we hope it will. And finding a way to combine some language in the temporary mentor and twelfth step lists for those requiring more immediate support
  5. Based upon what I am hearing about sponsors being unavailable when called upon, I believe it is time to disband the position. I agree with the comment that we don’t hand out a list of sponsors at f2f meetings, but allow members to seek their own by listening to them at meetings and watching how they treat others.
    • The Temporary Mentor stays with the new people and helps them to get organized. At the same time, she could advise the new ladies how to select a sponsor in our group (without the Sponsor List) by reading all of the shares and asking someone to sponsor her.
  6. Isn’t this organically leading to the Temporary Mentor and Newcomer Committee stepping into amended roles of Sponsor Listkeeper (Temp Mentor) and Sponsor list (newcomer committee)?
    • The temp mentor would send out the initial mail to the new person, offering help if needed. It could be made clear in the mail that temporary sponsors/ mentors were available from a list of those on the newcomer committee.
    • I found as temp mentor that we had such willing members eager to link up with new persons, in a spirit of acting as a bridge at least until a sponsor was found. However, apart from a spate last year of calls for help, most new members don’t even respond to the 1st and 2nd mails sent by the TM. Or respond with a thank you and saying all was well but they appreciated a TM reaching out. So the newcomer committee members were raring to go but there were no takers for the most part!
    • While that is going on, we really don’t know how much activity is happening with the sponsor list, except for the less than good experiences that have been reported here in the last and the present business meetings. I’m taken aback that it has continued to happen despite our pulling our bootstraps up at the last business meeting. I haven’t yet heard any positive stuff– I’d like to.
    • So, and considering the input here so far, I think we should do away with both sponsor listkeeper and sponsor list roles, and somehow make clear to the group that those services are now available within the TM and newcomer committee (whose role would be expanded to act as temp sponsors rather than simply point the new person in the direction of a sponsor list which isn’t showing a great record of response). This way we’d at least be assured that members were responding to the needs of new persons. The TM would keep some sort of group ‘chat’ going, perhaps on a monthly basis so I’m envisaging a more ongoing dialogue between TM and newcomer committee members than that of Sponsor listkeeper and those on Sponsor List.
    • I think as someone suggested too that we make it clear that anyone in our group can be approached for sponsorship. Just as in face- to-face meetings. It might be worthwhile putting out a monthly notice about sponsorship, informing/reminding us that seeming ‘rejection’ isn’t always a bad or personal thing!
  7. Just some thoughts on the sponsor list questions. It might be helpful to hear from some of the people currently on the Sponsor List as to whether they have been asked and gotten some sponsees from being on the List. In other words, what about the people who are genuinely wanting to sponsor someone?
    • When I joined Grow in 2003, I don’t remember seeing a Sponsor List but I wanted to find a sponsor so I read the shares and asked someone who’s shares I liked. I was turned down, but I kept reading and asking. I did find a sponsor and it worked out.
    • Perhaps it would be good to amend the language on the sponsor announcement to say something to the effect that one way to find a sponsor is to simply ask someone whose shares resonate with them as well as providing the list of names also mentioning that it may take several tries.
  8. I appreciated Sherrie’s suggestion. I have been on the sponsor list and it’s only been this year that I’ve been asked to sponsor via email. I have responded as quickly as possible and have made myself available. I think it’s a very important service to a fellow AA new, coming back to the program, or even someone with sobriety but new to GROW. I take it seriously knowing how important having a sponsor has been for me. This kind of service helps me to stay sober and never ceases to amaze me how this program works.
    • I think it’s important for anyone on the list to respond to all inquiries timely and not ignore anyone asking for help. If I can’t help either because of time or whatever then I should go back to the sponsor listkeeper and/or temporary mentor to let them know. I can’t help but wonder if we’ve underutilized our trusted servants in these 2 positions. There are a variety of ways finding a sponsor could be handled. Requests for a sponsor could go to the temporary mentor who fields and directs those inquiries helping to find someone suitable and then following up after a few days to see how it’s working and whether or not first contact has been made. The sponsor listkeeper keeps the list up to date adding or removing members as people’s ability to be of service change.
    • I haven’t looked at the job descriptions yet for these 2 positions so maybe those of you who have served in either position would be helpful in providing feedback.
    • I don’t want to keep pointing fingers at what the volunteers on the sponsor list are or aren’t doing. We are all responsible. We as a group can utilize positions/resources already in place so we don’t “lose” people from GROW and/or to drinking because of neglect.
  9. As the proposal is written, it would eliminate the webpage but not the monthly notice/list that the Sponsor Listkeeper sends out. To me, that is an acceptable solution.
    • My concerns about having the list on our website boils down to two things: the webpage makes it look like Grow is endorsing those women as sponsors, and it creates the impression that these are the only potential sponsors available to our members.
    • Like others, I appreciate the efforts of those women who have taken their roles seriously and do not mean to ignore their contributions. At the same time, I’ve heard enough complaints to doubt that the webpage accomplishes what we hoped it would. Also, having been the webkeeper, I know that the webpage may not always be up-to-date.

Results of Voting on Proposal 7

Proposal 7.2 was tabled with 8.2 until a member asked that 7.2 be voted on to give the ad hoc committee a sense of if there was a desire to eliminate the online sponsor list.

The results of the vote was 15 agree, 0 disagree.


Group Conscience Decision:

An ad hoc committee was formed to craft a proposal for the October 2019 meeting that is inclusive for all the Trusted Servant job descriptions that address helping members with sponsorship.

0419 – Proposal 6: Step Meeting

Proposal 6: Step Meeting

GROW will allocate the first weekly meeting each month as a Step meeting. The Weekly Lead Listkeeper will identify the date of the first Sunday each month when asking for volunteer leads, naming the corresponding Step (eg, January = Step 1) as the topic for that week. Grow will continue to have a Tradition as a monthly topic, sent out by the Weekly Lead Listkeeper as per current Grow conscience/guidelines. (October 2018)

Recommended Language: Add a bullet to the Weekly Lead Listkeeper’s job description as follows:

  • 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.

Rationale: It appears the Step/Tradition monthly topics are shared on much less than any weekly topics despite us having longer to do so. From time to time (about 10 times over the last 4 years) we have seen a Step as a weekly topic. The number of shares was similar to weeks where the topic was self-selected by the lead – showing that by having the focus of a Step in the weekly meeting does encourage more sharing than our current monthly practice.

As our primary purpose reminds us, our job is to carry the message. Creating an opportunity for more reflection and sharing on the corresponding step each month can only add to our effectiveness as a group in sharing the program. Not to mention be of potential benefit to our own programs!

By agreeing which week would be the Step topic week in advance gives us the chance to nominate ourselves as weekly leaders for whichever week we like, knowing we are free to offer to lead the Step week or any of the other weeks where the topic is open for our own selection.

As is current for our conscience/guidelines should there be a weekly leader drop out or vacancy the Weekly Lead Listkeeper can send a message out to the group requesting a new volunteer for a specified date.


Summary of Comments on Proposal 6

  1. I enthusiastically support dedicating one of our weekly meetings each month to be a Step Meeting.  I haven’t seen much or any change in terms of numbers of step/tradition shares so at present we still don’t emphasize the Steps or have much focus on them at all.  Something that as it was raised 6 months ago, really does show the current monthly format doesn’t work effectively.
  2. I’m not sure why it is such a sticking point to not do this, if we’re practicing Tradition 5 and as per our discussions after our group conscience questions 6.2 seems a straightforward solution. I feel sad that we seem to be splitting over this idea.  My support for 6.2 comes from a place of wanting to feel we as a group carry the message of the 12 steps to the best of our ability especially to those new in aa.  There seems to have been an alternative proposal / discussion being made along the lines of sending out additional reminders about the monthly step/tradition topic but on a weekly basis… Is this ok to be including discussions about this now before we’ve voted on proposal 6.2?  If the group supports a weekly reminder, is the assumption that it’s going to help us share on 2-3 topics (the weekly, the step/tradition?) or is it still treating the step like a bit of an add-on?  I love the weekly topics, I love our meeting format, & I’ve felt the clarity & coherence in the current execution by the weekly lead listkeeper, I would love us to pull together and work together for the good of better carrying the message of the 12 steps and the aa program. I don’t feel supporting 6.2 will detract or take away but will add to and enhance what’s already here, it’s just a bit hidden… I’d be happy to support an amended proposal where we run with the first meeting of the month dedicated to a step as a trial for a 12 month period, or even over an 18 month period.
  3. I agree with this proposal. In F2F meetings I try to mix it up i.e. discussion, big book, step. So why not the same in Grow?
  4. In my opinion this is not needed as we have a monthly step meeting.
  5. I get the sense that we are united on the importance of having Steps as topics regularly. I agree that this is in keeping with AA practice both f2f and online. Where I came from f2f we called them “mechanical” or “technical” meetings. The Steps show us how to recover from the seemingly hopeless state of body and mind so they are necessary.  Common practice is to attach a Step to each month, since there are 12 of each. Keep It Simple is good. 🙂 My question is, if we go to a Step leader each month, does she use the current language and add to it? Or does she come up with a unique lead of her own?  Another thought I had is that the Step does not need to be the first week of the month if someone is celebrating an AA birthday that week… although that confuses the schedule a bit. On the other hand, the celebrant could find it a worthwhile challenge to work her birthday into the Step topic. I know I would be intrigued by that.  As the new WLL I do not object to sending out a  reminder to share on Step and Tradition each week if we decide to go that way using the current format. I do think the Traditions are important also, and would like to remind us that yes, we have newcomers who are not familiar with them, but we also have mid- and old-timers who need reminders — me being one of them! The Traditions are WHY AA works.
  6. I like Laura’s suggestion I don’t think we should allocate a week for step meeting.  But could post the step/tradition meeting just as we have been except weekly. Instead of monthly.  It seems more a case of out of sight out of mind.  But I completely disagree with separating traditions from the steps.  It gives a seeming lack of importance to our traditions.  Which as we all know is what keeps us running.

Results of Voting on Proposal 6

Voting: Fifteen (15) voted yes and there were zero (0) no votes.  The proposal passed unanimously and is adopted as a Group Conscience decision.


Group Conscience Decision:

GROW will allocate the first weekly meeting each month as a Step meeting. The Weekly Lead Listkeeper will identify the date of the first Sunday each month when asking for volunteer leads, naming the corresponding Step (eg, January = Step 1) as the topic for that week. Grow will continue to have a Tradition as a monthly topic, sent out by the Weekly Lead Listkeeper as per current Grow conscience/guidelines. (October 2018)

The following bullet will be added to the Weekly Lead Listkeeper’s job description as follows:

  • 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.

 

0419 – Proposal 5: Backup Web-keeper

Proposal 5: Backup Web-keeper

Propose opening the Backup Web-keeper position to the membership. This position will include maintaining the Weekly Meeting Topics on the new GROW website.

Rationale: Proposal 5 will allow another trusted servant to learn the functionality of the new GROW website and allow the GROW Web-keeper and Admin to continue working on the transfer of the GROW business archives.


Summary of Comments on Proposal 5

There was little discussion about the first 5 proposals and members were appreciative of the work of so many members that went into the new website.


Results of Voting on Proposal 5

Voting: Fifteen (15) participants in favor, and no one voted against Proposal 5.1. Therefore, Proposal 5 is adopted as a Group Conscience decision.


Group Conscience Decision:

Propose opening the Backup Web-keeper position to the membership. This position will include maintaining the Weekly Meeting Topics on the new GROW website.

0419 – Proposal 4: Website TS Assignments

Proposal 4: Website TS Assignments

Propose assigning Allison M to the GROW Web-keeper position and assigning Tanya C to the GROW Admin position, both positions commencing April 2019.


Summary of Comments on Proposal 4

There was little discussion about the first 5 proposals and members were appreciative of the work of so many members that went into the new website.


Results of Voting on Proposal 4

Voting: Fifteen (15) participants in favor, and no one voted against Proposal 4.1. Therefore, Proposal 4 is adopted as a Group Conscience decision.


Group Conscience Decision:

Propose assigning Allison M to the GROW Web-keeper position and assigning Tanya C to the GROW Admin position, both positions commencing April 2019.

0419 – Proposal 3: Website TS Positions

Proposal 3: Website TS Positions

Propose using current job descriptions of Backup Web-keeper, Web-keeper and Admin positions track the upcoming changes for review in October 2019 Business meeting.

Rationale: These positions are a work in process and within this time period, the workgroup will be able to flesh out the particular job description and tasks of each position to better correspond with the new platform (WordPress) which the new GROW website is designed on. This platform will be a significant change in how the GROW site is maintained.


Summary of Comments on Proposal 3

There was little discussion about the first 5 proposals and members were appreciative of the work of so many members that went into the new website.


Results of Voting on Proposal 3

Voting: Fifteen (15) participants in favor, and no one voted against Proposal 3.1. Therefore, Proposal 3 is adopted as a Group Conscience decision.


Group Conscience Decision:

Propose using current job descriptions of Backup Web-keeper, Web-keeper and Admin positions track the upcoming changes for review in October 2019 Business meeting.

0419 – Proposal 2: Create Admin TS Position

Proposal 2: Create Admin TS Position

Propose creating a 1-year rotating position of Admin to maintain the functionality and server side of the website with a basic job description as follows:

  • 1-year term
  • 2 years sobriety
  • 2 years GROW membership
  • Served a full term as web-keeper of the GROW website
  • Member of Business List
  • Maintain a periodic backup of the GROW database
  • Maintain GROW website updates
  • Inform Steering Committee when updates are made to the website.
  • Consult with Steering Committee before making substantial design or content changes to GROW website.
  • Support Web-keeper and Backup Web-keeper on WordPress site issues.

Rationale: The new GROW website is on a WordPress platform which requires additional services not currently defined in the Web-keeper position.


Summary of Comments on Proposal 2

There was little discussion about the first 5 proposals and members were appreciative of the work of so many members that went into the new website.


Results of Voting on Proposal 2

Voting: Sixteen (16) participants in favor, and no one voted against Proposal 2.1. Therefore, Proposal 2 is adopted as a Group Conscience decision.


Group Conscience Decision:

Propose creating a 1-year rotating position of Admin to maintain the functionality and server side of the website with a basic job description as follows:

  • 1-year term
  • 2 years sobriety
  • 2 years GROW membership
  • Served a full term as web-keeper of the GROW website
  • Member of Business List
  • Maintain a periodic backup of the GROW database
  • Maintain GROW website updates
  • Inform Steering Committee when updates are made to the website.
  • Consult with Steering Committee before making substantial design or content changes to GROW website.
  • Support Web-keeper and Backup Web-keeper on WordPress site issues.

0419 – Proposal 1: GROW Website

Proposal 1: GROW Website

Propose the launch of the new GROW website after the April 2019 Business Meeting for use by the membership. Place the current older GROW website in a subfolder within the GROW hosting structure to allow access for the ongoing transfer of GROW business archives to the new GROW website.

Rationale: The business archives require a bit more time and testing to ensure proper searchability for future trusted servants. However, the ease of posting the weekly meeting topics and access to trusted servants’ job descriptions and forms outweigh the need to keep the new GROW website in the development area until the transfer of the GROW business archives is complete.


Summary of Comments on Proposal 1

There was little discussion about the first 5 proposals and members were appreciative of the work of so many members that went into the new website.


Results of Voting on Proposal 1

Voting: Sixteen (16) participants in favor, and no one voted against Proposal 1.1. Therefore, Proposal 1 is adopted as a Group Conscience decision.


Group Conscience Decision:

Propose the launch of the new GROW website after the April 2019 Business Meeting for use by the membership. Place the current older GROW website in a subfolder within the GROW hosting structure to allow access for the ongoing transfer of GROW business archives to the new GROW website.

0419 – Secretary’s Report

Apr 2019 Secretary’s Report

Our Trusted Servants:

  • 12 Step Listkeeper (4/19-10/19): Sophie sophieflook@gmail.com
  • Birthday Listkeeper (4/19-10/19): Amanda D. amandabauman26@icloud.com
  • Sponsor Listkeeper (4/19-10/19) Sherrie W. thesherrie@earthlink.net

Trusted Servants who make up the Steering Committee:

  • Business Meeting Chair (10/18-10/20): Joan B. joanb333@gmail.com
  • GSR (10/18-10/20): Kate M. ammakate@yahoo.com
  • GVR (10/18-10/19): Barbara M. barbaramanolache@aol.com
  • Greeter (4/19-4/20): Sarah K smkeester@gmail.com
  • Greeter (4/19-4/20): Louise H maryalicelouise@outlook.com
  • Listkeeper (4/19-4/20): Karen fromie10@gmail.com
  • Listkeeper Alternate (4/19-4/21): Laurie B rubylaurie@gmail.com
  • OIAA Rep (10/18-10/19): Lynn H. lilitaliangal@gmail.com and
    Kirsten V. lesserseattle@gmail.com
  • Secretary (10/18-10/19): Ruth F. serenity9918@gmail.com
  • Temporary Mentor (4/19-4/20): Karrie C. kchaneycoo@gmail.com
  • Treasurer (10/17-10/19): Sue W. scwills502@gmail.com
  • Webkeeper (non-rotating): Tanya C. Tanyaq42@gmail.com
  • Webkeeper Backup (10/18-10/20): Allison M. paonia.allison@gmail.com
  • Weekly Leader Listkeeper (4/19-4/20): Gigi telperion.1214@gmail.com

Immediate Past Trusted Servants

  • 12 Step Listkeeper (10/18-4/19): Danna M. dmcd9999@zoho.com
  • Birthday Listkeeper (10/18-4/19): Sophie sophieflook@gmail.com
  • Sponsor Listkeeper (10/18-4/19): Cheryl B. cab7thtradition@gmail.com
  • Greeter (4/18-4/19): Gigi telperion.1214@gmail.com
  • Greeter (4/18-4/19): Laurie B. rubylaurie@gmail.com
  • Listkeeper (4/18-4/19): Nancy cybergram@eastlink.ca
  • Temporary Mentor (4/18-4/19): Louise emerrilymeet@gmail.com
  • Weekly Leader Listkeeper (4/18-4/19): Amanda D. amandabauman26@icloud.com

0419 – OIAA Report

Apr 2019 – OIAA Report

I’m Lynn H, OIAA representative for GROW.

Currently the March Business Meeting is addressing:

  • Forming an Ad-hoc committee tasked with exploring and gathering information on the desirability of using the AAWS Meeting Ap license. Some information shared in support of this ap:
    • “Meeting Guide app will be part of the new AAWS AA app launched in 2019. The people that run it now will be handing over the reins to AAWS so there should be no traditions issues moving forward.
    • Meeting Guide is a free mobile A.A. f2f meeting finder app. It gets its data by syncing with area, district, Intergroup/Central Office and International G.S.O. websites.
    • Sites that use their own custom database only need to create a JSON feed to make their data accessible.
    • The app is now used by more than 100,000 users every month, using it on an average of 5.75 times per month.”
  • Attending the World Convention in Detroit.
    • Voting has been to attend so far.

Website issues continue. A little over a year ago the OIAA server crashed and everything was lost. They are slowly recovering by restoring old pages, there was no backup. The members page is still not where they were as the website as it has no information connected to its tabs for any helpful information. Some member website information was sent out as an email in Feb. The page the public sees is up to date with links to groups and useful AA information, very helpful to those seeking help. They do now have a “Donate” button on the OIAA website for groups or individuals to make donations via PayPal.

When I first started there was a lot of back and forth, arguing, about the state of the group. An old time member was admonishing new members for not doing things the right way. Honestly, this turned me off completely and my involvement with the group has been minimal. I know members are diligent in trying to turn the group around but information and direction is fractured. My involvement with the group has been minimal due to this.

Submitted by Lynn H.

0419 – Listkeeper’s Report

Our membership as of March 31, 2019 is 366 list members and 37 of those are 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 2 regular list addresses.)

This time last year we had 350 members. We are GROWING!

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

Nancy has completed her term as Listkeeper–thank you Nancy! Karen will continue for another year and Laurie has volunteered to serve as alternate Listkeeper.

Respectfully submitted, Karen H and Nancy C | GROW Listkeepers

0419 – Business Meeting Agenda

April 2019 Business Meeting Agenda

***IMPORTANT NOTE: Please DO NOT respond to this message.
Additional individual emails will be coming, to which you can respond.

Agenda for April 2019 Business Meeting
Trusted Servant Reports:

  • Trusted Servant (TS) Positions – Incoming & Outgoing TS identified (Secretary’s Report)
  • Semi-Annual Reports: OIAA, Treasurer, Listkeeper Reports
  • Business Items (each will be posted separately to facilitate discussion and voting)

Below are the proposals received to date that we will discuss during the Business Meeting. The following list contains brief summaries rather than the full proposal language as it will be presented. If you have an item that you would like to have addressed, or if I have not accurately represented an item that you recommended, please email me privately and I will make the appropriate corrections.

  • Proposal 1.1 – Propose the launch of the new GROW website after the April 2019 Business Meeting for use by the membership
  • Proposal 2.1 – Propose creating a 1-year rotating position of Admin to maintain the functionality and server side of the website.
  • Proposal 3.1 – Propose using current job descriptions of Backup Web-keeper, Web-keeper and Admin positions track the upcoming changes for review in October 2019 Business meeting.
  • Proposal 4.1 – Propose assigning Allison M to the GROW Web-keeper position and assigning Tanya C to the GROW Admin position, both positions commencing April 2019.
  • Proposal 5.1 – Propose opening the Backup Web-keeper position to the membership.

From the October meeting we will re-visit these 3 proposals:

  • Proposal to have the topic on the first Sunday of each month be the step with the same number, i.e. January, Step. 1.
  • Proposal to remove the sponsor list from the GROW website.
  • Proposal to have the Sponsor Listkeeper work with the Temporary Mentor to assure newcomers have a temporary sponsor if they request one.

Participants in this meeting will also consider these new proposals:

  • Proposal to update the job description for the Weekly Listkeeper
    Proposal to add language to the form letter sent by the Weekly Listkeeper if the job description is updated.
  • Proposals to update the job description for the Sponsor Listkeeper

During the first three days of our meeting, we will discuss the 5 proposals related to the new WEB site. I will send out the proposals separately, calling for three days of discussion on each.

Respectfully yours,
Joan B.
GROW Business Chair
email

0419 – Business Meeting Welcome

Apr 2019 – Business Meeting Welcome

I am Joan, an 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 fourth day, I will post the results/consensus of our 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,
Joan B.
GROW Business Chair
email

1018 – Group Conscience Decisions Summary

October 2018 Group Conscience Decisions

During the October 2018 GROW Business meeting, the following Group Conscience decisions were approved:

  1. Delete item d. (Web Page Information) in the GROW FYI CONTENTS section of the FYI Letter sent out by the Secretary each month.
    For more information on this group conscience decision, please refer to Proposal 2 from the October 2018 business meeting.
  2. Add a reminder to the Weekly Meeting Format Letter (between the Preamble and “How It Works”) to emphasize the principle of anonymity in our meetings: “Who you see here, what you hear here, when you leave here, let it stay here.”
    • Recommended Language: Insert the following sentences as a separate stand-alone paragraph between the Preamble and “How It Works” in the Weekly Meeting Format Letter.
      • “Who you see here, what you read here, when you leave here, let it stay here. (Anonymity refers to personal information and personal issues – not the message of recovery.)”

    For more information in this group conscience decision, please refer to Proposal 3 from the October 2018 business meeting.

  3. Increase the monthly contribution to Dean Collins (oso-aa.org) to reimburse him for any time and effort to support GROW’s website, particularly the new website WordPress configuration. Double the current contribution from $12 per month ($72 for six months) to $24 ($144 for six months).
    • Recommended Language: Edit the sub-bullet in the Treasurer’s job description under the 11th bullet (“Pay all group expenses…”) to reflect the change in contributions to oso-aa.
      • $24.00 monthly to OSO-AA (PayPal: dean.collins@insightplanners.com) (6 months expenses)

    For more information about this group conscience decision, please refer to Proposal 4 from the October 2018 business meeting

  4. Each month, the Temporary Mentor will send a short letter reminding GROW members of AA resources available to them. She will also include the recommended language in Temporary Mentor Letter #1.
    • Recommended Language: Add a new 10th bullet to the Temporary Mentor job description as follows.
      • Each month, the Temporary Mentor will send a short letter reminding GROW members of AA resources available to them.

    For more information in this group conscience decision, please refer to Proposal ## from the October 2018 business meeting.

  5. Insert the following language as a new third paragraph in Temporary Mentor Letter #1 and as a monthly stand-alone message to GROW:
    • Just a reminder that you can learn more about AA by visiting one of these links:
    • The Alcoholics Anonymous general services office and information such as “The AA Big Book and 12 & 12, along with many pamphlets as well as links to local resources for AA.
    • AA’s Online Intergroup (OIAA) where you can find meeting lists as week as real-time phone and other Internet types of meetings.
    • AA’s Grapevine magazine with stories and audio stories and Grapevine subscription options.

    For more information in this group conscience decision, please refer to Proposal ## from the October 2018 business meeting.

  6. Expand on the Temporary Mentor by establishing a Newcomer Committee, as the Sponsorship pamphlet suggests some groups do.
    • Recommended Language: Add as a new 11th bullet to the Temporary Mentor job description as follows.
      • Establish and lead a Newcomer Committee (that may include members who are new to recovery from alcoholism) who will assist in supporting newcomers to GROW and AA.

    For more information in this group conscience decision, please refer to Proposal ## from the October 2018 business meeting.

  7. The General Services Representative (GSR) will post the GSO Calendar of Events each month to the GROW list. The Calendar is contained in the back pages of the current quarterly Box 4-5-9.
    • Recommended Language: “You can find the GSO Calendar of Events on pages 11-12 [depending on the month] of the 4-5-9 Newsletter [Note: link to the newsletter changes for each issue].”

    For more information in this group conscience decision, please refer to Proposal ## from the October 2018 business meeting.

  8. The Grapevine Representative (GVR) will post a link to the calendar on the Grapevine website each month. This may be within her report or separate from it.
    • Recommended Language: Add a new 8th bullet to the Grapevine Representative’s job description as follows.
      • Either as part of the Grapevine Form Letter or in a separate message to GROW members, the GVR will share a link to the Grapevine Calendar of Events (at http://www.aagrapevine.org/calendar).

    For more information in this group conscience decision, please refer to Proposal ## from the October 2018 business meeting.

  9. The new GROW Website extension to the April 2019 meeting granted by default.

1018 – Final Summary

Final Summary of October 2018 Business Meeting

Ladies, we have come to the 17th day and the end of our business meeting. During this meeting, we considered 12 proposals and approved seven Group Conscience decisions. There are three proposals for which did not achieve a 2/3 majority vote by the 17th day, and these proposals will be reconsidered at the April 2019 business meeting. I have sent separate messages listing Group Conscience decisions as well as the proposals to be reconsidered in April.

This has probably been the most productive (and complicated) business meeting that I can remember, and I have attended almost all of GROW’s business meetings. What impresses me most is that all but two of the proposals were designed to help our members stay sober. Rather than focusing on ‘bureaucratic’ decisions about job descriptions and meeting protocols, we actually focused on what GROW can do to better support its members’ sobriety.

You should feel very good about what you accomplished in October 2018! I want to thank each of you for your active participation during this meeting. You all are truly miracles! You have made GROW a better online meeting.

A few days after the meeting, our Listkeepers will remove your name from this business list. You do not need to do anything to unsubscribe.

The meeting is now adjourned.

Respectfully, danna M GROW Business Chair

1018 – Proposal 1: GROW Website

Proposal 1: GROW Website

GROW will extend the Website Workgroup mandate to the April 2019 Business Meeting.

Rationale: While much work has been done and much accomplished, the website is not yet ready to go “live.” The Webkeeper and website workgroup will finalize the test site and prepare recommendations on how to manage the site in April 2019. They will also recommend new Trusted Servant positions and job descriptions to maintain the site in the future.


Summary of Comments on Proposal 1.5

Eight (8) participants commented on the test website. Those who commented were happy with the site, praising its improvement over the current static HTML website. One person submitted questions/comments for the workgroup to consider as it moves forward. Please refer to the section on the sixth 3-day period for next steps.


Results of Voting on Proposal 1.6

Although the Chair had announced that we would vote on Proposal 1 (to extend the Website Workgroup mandate to the April 2019 Business Meeting) during the sixth 3-day period. However, doing so would take us beyond the 17th day. Since the guidelines call for such proposals to be tabled until the next business meeting and the desired extension would end by the April 2019 meeting, a vote at this time of no practical value.

Therefore, no vote will be taken, and the website extension is granted by default.


Group Conscience Decision:

Website extension is granted by default.

1018 – Fifth 3-day Session Minutes

Fifth 3-Day Period

During the fifth 3-day period of our business meeting:

  • We voted on Proposals 11.5 (GSR & Box 4-5-9 Calendar) and 12.5 (GVR & Grapevine Calendar).
  • We re-voted on Proposal 3.5 (“Let It Stay Here”).
  • We received a Minority Opinion on Proposal 10 (Managing Sponsor Information & Beginners’ Meeting)
    • Proposal 10.5a – discontinue “Available Online Sponsors” webpage
    • Proposal 10.5b – coordination between Temporary Mentor & Sponsor Listkeeper
    • Proposal 10.5c – Beginners’ Meeting
  • We commented on the WordPress-based test GROW website.
  • Sixth 3-day period – next steps

Our business meeting guidelines state: “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.” Therefore, the sixth 3-day period is the last of the October 2018 Business Meeting.

Results of Voting on Proposal 11.5 – GSR & Box 4-5-9 Calendar
Seventeen (17) participants voted unanimously in favor of Proposal 11.5; therefore, the proposal is approved and adopted as a Group Conscience decision.

Group Conscience Decision: The GSR will post the Calendar of Events each month to the GROW list. It is to be the link to the current quarterly Box 4-5-9, with the indication of the pages of the Calendar.

Results of Voting on Proposal 12.5 – GVR & Grapevine Calendar
Seventeen (17) participants voted unanimously in favor of Proposal 11.5; therefore, the proposal is approved and adopted as a Group Conscience decision.

Group Conscience Decision:
The Grapevine Rep will post link to the calendar on the Grapevine website each month. This may be within her report or separate from it.

Results of Re-vote on Proposal 3.5 – “Let It Stay Here”
Two (2) participants voted in favor, and 13 voted against (87%) Proposal 3.5 (which was limited to deleting the Anonymity Statement from the bottom of the Weekly Meeting Format Letter). The vote exceeds the requirement for a 2/3 majority, so this part of Proposal 3 fails.

Therefore, the existing Anonymity Statement in the Weekly Meeting Format Letter will not be deleted.

Results of Minority Opinion on Proposal 10.5 (subparts a, b, and c)
As a result of the minority opinion, three participants changed their vote on Proposal 10.5a (discontinue “Available Online Sponsors” webpage). Due to a misunderstanding, the Chair had not asked if participants wanted to change their votes on subparts 10.5b (coordination between Temporary Mentor and Sponsor Listkeeper) or subparts 10.5c (Beginners’ Meeting) but did so mid-day of the last day of the 3-day period. After notifying the group of the larger scope of the Minority Opinion, one participant changed her vote on Proposal 10.5b.

Proposal 10.5a (discontinuing the “Available Online Sponsors” webpage)
In the Minutes on the fourth 3-day period, the Chair reported a vote of eleven (11) in favor (60%) and 5 against. In error, the Chair said the vote met the 2/3 requirement for a Group Conscience decision. The Minority Opinion brought that vote into question. As a result of the Minority Opinion, three participants changed their votes from “I agree” to “I disagree,” bringing the vote to an 8-8 tie, which would trigger a re-vote on Proposal 10.5a.

Our business meeting guidelines state: “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.” A sixth 3-day period would take us beyond the 17th day of the meeting, A sixth 3-day period would take us beyond the 17th day of the meeting, so a re-vote on Proposal 10.a is not practical.

Therefore, Proposal 10.5a is tabled and will be reconsidered during the April 2019 Business Meeting.

Proposal 10.5b (managing information about sponsors)
Thirteen (13) participants voted in favor (87%), and three (3) voted against Proposal 10.4b, exceeding the requirement for a 2/3 majority vote in favor of the proposal. Early this morning, I received a change of vote on this sub-part. Since notice that the Minority Opinion applied to all sub-parts of Proposal 10 was not received until after noon on the last day of the 3-day period, the Chair believes the change of vote should be accepted, which would call for a complete re-vote on the proposal.

Our business meeting guidelines state: “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.” A sixth 3-day period would take us beyond the 17th day of the meeting, so a re-vote on Proposal 10.b is not practical.

Therefore, Proposal 10.5b is tabled and will be reconsidered during the April 2019 Business Meeting.

Proposal 10.5c (Beginners’ Meeting)
Subpart 10.5c was defeated unanimously with a vote of 16 “I disagrees.” No particpants indicated a wish to change their vote as a result of the Minority Opinion.

Therefore, Proposal 10.5c fails, and GROW will not establish a Beginners’ Meeting to operate parallel to the main GROW meeting. This proposal cannot be considered again until October 2019.

Comments on the new GROW test Website

Eight (8) participants commented on the test website. Those who commented were happy with the site, praising its improvement over the current static HTML website. One person submitted questions/comments for the workgroup to consider as it moves forward. Please refer to the section on the sixth 3-day period for next steps.


Sixth 3-day Period

The sixth and last 3-day period of the business meeting will focus on two outstanding issues:

The 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.”

Although the Chair had announced that we would vote on Proposal 1 (to extend the Website Workgroup mandate to the April 2019 Business Meeting) during the sixth 3-day period. However, doing so would take us beyond the 17th day. Since the guidelines call for such proposals to be tabled until the next business meeting and the desired extension would end by the April 2019 meeting, a vote at this time of no practical value.

Therefore, no vote will be taken, and the website extension is granted by default.

Later today, the Chair will present a list of “Recommended Language” for Group Conscience (GC) decisions that did not include them when presented. Five of the seven GC decisions did not have Recommended Language but added or changed job duties or form letter contents. In order to speed the process along and since all of these are already implied by the GC decisions, I will simply ask for objections to the language and address anything that arises.

Respectfully, danna M GROW Business Chair

1018 – Proposal 12: GVR / GV Calendar

Proposal 12: GVR and Grapevine Calendar

The Grapevine Rep (GVR) will post link to the calendar on the Grapevine website each month. This may be within her report or separate from it.

Rationale: Follow up to the Group Inventory of Fall 2018 and subsequent review in the business meeting, and in the spirit of connecting with AA as a whole: As far as being “informed about AA as a whole”, 5 out of 8 responses stated a need for more information… No one felt we weren’t supporting AA as a whole, just that we weren’t as informed as we could be.


Summary of Comments on Proposal 12.4

Three (3) participants commented on the proposal calling for the Grapevine Representative to send out a link to the Grapevine Calendar each month. All comments supported it because it improves members’ understanding of AA organizations and events, as was raised in responses to the Group Inventory questions. One participant raised offered “Recommended language” that would be added to the TS job description. Another answered that the TS should have the discretion to carry it out. We will vote on Proposal 12.5 during the fifth 3-day period of our meeting.


Results of Voting on Proposal 12.5

Voting: Seventeen (17) participants voted unanimously in favor of Proposal 11.5; therefore, the proposal is approved and adopted as a Group Conscience decision.


Group Conscience Decision:

The Grapevine Rep will post link to the calendar on the Grapevine website each month. This may be within her report or separate from it.

1018 – Proposal 11: GSR / 4-5-9 Calendar

Proposal 11: GSR and 4-5-9 Calendar

The GSR will post the Calendar of Events each month to the GROW list. It is to be the link to the current quarterly Box 4-5-9, with the indication of the pages of the Calendar.

Rationale: Follow up to the Group Inventory of Fall 2018 and subsequent review in the business meeting: As far as being “informed about AA as a whole”, 5 out of 8 responses stated a need for more information. Several members expressed gratitude for the GSR report and the Box 459 newsletter. No one felt we weren’t supporting AA as a whole, just that we weren’t as informed as we could be.

Recommended Language: You can find the GSO Calendar of Events on pages 11-12 [depending on the month] of the 4-5-9 Newsletter [Note: link to the newsletter changes for each issue].”


Summary of Comments on Proposal 11.4

Four (4) participants commented on this proposal, all of them supporting it because it improves members’ understanding of AA organizations and events, as was raised in responses to the Group Inventory questions. We will vote on Proposal 11.5 during the fifth 3-day period of our meeting.


Results of Voting on Proposal 11.5

Voting: Seventeen (17) participants voted unanimously in favor of Proposal 11.5; therefore, the proposal is approved and adopted as a Group Conscience decision.


Group Conscience Decision:

The GSR will post the Calendar of Events each month to the GROW list. It is to be the link to the current quarterly Box 4-5-9, with the indication of the pages of the Calendar.

1018 – Fourth 3-day Session Minutes

Fourth 3-Day Period

During the fourth 3-day period, we voted on two proposals, discussed two new proposals, and discussed a Minority Opinion that reopened discussion on Proposal 3 (“Let It Stay Here”). We also began to review the new WordPress-based GROW website.

We voted on two new proposals:

  • Proposal 8 – Group Inventory Follow-up (withdrawn) – no voting
  • Proposal 9 – Step Meeting
  • Proposal 10 – Sponsors & Beginners Meeting

We discussed two new proposals:

  • Proposal 11: GSR & Box 4-5-9 Calendar
  • Proposal 12: GVR & Grapevine Calendar

We also discussed the Minority Opinion on Proposal 3.2 (“Let It Stay Here”) – and received a status report on and access to the new WordPress based GROW website.

Voting Results
Results of Voting on Proposal 9.4 – Step Meeting

Reflecting our discussions, participants were asked to vote on one of two versions of Proposal 9.4: (a) being only a Step Meeting and (b) being a Step/Tradition Meeting. Eleven participants voted in favor (58%) of Proposal 9.4b (Step/Tradition Meeting only), and eight (8) participants voted in favor (42%) of Proposal 9.4a (Step Meeting only). Neither option met the requirement for a 2/3 majority, and neither version is approved. Because participants overwhelmingly approved the proposal to set aside the first week of each month for a Step Meeting, it’s not appropriate to say the proposal can’t be raised for a year. Because voting was so close, more discussion is needed. Therefore, the proposal has been set aside to be considered again during the April 2019 meeting.

Results of Voting on Proposal 10.4a – Discontinue “Available Online Sponsors” Webpage
Eleven (11) participants voted in favor (58%) and five (5) voted against Proposal 10.4a, meeting the requirement for a 2/3 majority. Therefore, the proposal is approved. The Chair called for those who voted against the proposal to submit a Minority Opinion. If, after hearing the minority opinion, any participant wants to change their vote, we will conduct a re-vote. Until we know the outcome of this phase of our process, the proposal does not become a formal Group Conscience Decision.

Results of Voting on Proposal 10.4b – Managing Information about Sponsors
Thirteen (13) participants voted in favor (87%), and three (3) voted against Proposal 10.4b, exceeding the requirement for a 2/3 majority vote in favor of the proposal. The Chair called for those who voted against the proposal to submit a Minority Opinion. If, after hearing the minority opinion, any participant wants to change their vote, we will conduct a re-vote. Until we know the outcome of this phase of our process, the proposal does not become a formal Group Conscience Decision.

Results of Voting on Proposal 10.4c – Beginners’ Meeting
No participants voted in favor, and sixteen (16) voted against Proposal 10.4c, representing a unanimous decision not to establish a Beginners’ Meeting to run parallel with GROW’s email meeting. Therefore, the proposal fails and cannot be raised again for a year.

Discussions
Comments on Proposal 11.4 – GSR & Box 4-5-9 Calendar

Four (4) participants commented on this proposal, all of them supporting it because it improves members’ understanding of AA organizations and events, as was raised in responses to the Group Inventory questions. We will vote on Proposal 11.5 during the fifth 3-day period of our meeting.

Comments on Proposal 12.4 – GVR & Grapevine Calendar
Three (3) participants commented on the proposal calling for the Grapevine Representative to send out a link to the Grapevine Calendar each month. All comments supported it because it improves members’ understanding of AA organizations and events, as was raised in responses to the Group Inventory questions. One participant raised offered “Recommended language” that would be added to the TS job description. Another answered that the TS should have the discretion to carry it out. We will vote on Proposal 12.5 during the fifth 3-day period of our meeting.

Discussion following Minority Opinion on Proposal 3.2 – “Let It Stay Here”
Participants voted to approve Proposal 3.2b (adding the following between the Preamble and “How it Works” of the Weekly Meeting Format Letter). The proposal as approved also deleted the Anonymity Statement from the bottom of the Weekly Meeting Format Letter. The Minority Opinion argued that the Anonymity Statement should not be deleted, and several women changed their vote as a result. It was pointed out that the Anonymity Statement duplicates Tradition 12 (which is above the topic section). So, deleting only part of the Anonymity Statement is inconsistent. We will take a re-vote, addressing only the deletion of the Anonymity Statement, on Proposal 3.5 during the fifth 3-day period of our meeting.

Discussion on the new test GROW Website
The website is not yet ready to go “live.” The Webkeeper and website workgroup will finalize the test site and prepare recommendations on how to manage the site in April 2019. They will also recommend new Trusted Servant positions and job descriptions. Participants were asked to review and comment on the test website. We will discuss the test site through the end of the fifth 3-day period. The discussion period will end on Monday, October, 15. Participants were encouraged to offer comments that will highlight areas that can be improved.

During the Fifth 3-day Period of the Business Meeting, we will vote on Proposals 11 and 12, take the re-vote on Proposal 3.2, and accept Minority Opinions on Proposals 10.4a and 10.4b. We will continue to review and comment on the GROW WordPress-based test website through the end of the fifth 3-day period.

Respectfully, danna M GROW Business Chair

1018 – Third 3-day Session Minutes

Third 3-Day Period

During the third 3-day session, we voted on three proposals, discussed three new proposals, and received a Minority Opinion that reopened discussion on Proposal 3 (“Let It Stay Here”).

We voted on three proposals:

  • Proposal 5 – Creating a Newcomer Committee
  • Proposal 6 – Temporary Mentor & AA Resources
  • Proposal 7 – Abolish the OIAA Rep Trusted Servant Position

We discussed three new proposals:

  • Proposal 8 – Group Inventory Follow-up (withdrawn)
  • Proposal 9 – Step Meeting
  • Proposal 10 – Sponsors & Beginners Meeting

We also received a Minority Opinion related to voting on Proposal 3 – “Let It Stay Here.” As a result of the Minority Opinion, four women decided to change their vote. Therefore, we will further discuss the proposal and minority opinion during the fourth 3-day period and have a revote during the 5th 3-day period.

During the fourth 3-day period of the October 2018 GROW Business Meeting, we will talk about the proposed new WordPress-based GROW website, vote on Proposals 9 and 10, discuss Proposals 11 and 12, and re-visit Proposal 3 on adding the “Let It Stay Here” anonymity statement in the Weekly Meeting Format Letter.

Voting
Proposal 5.3 – TM & Newcomer Committee

Sixteen (16) participants voted in favor (80%), and four (4) voted against Proposal 5.3. Therefore, the proposal meets our requirement for a 2/3 majority is adopted as a Group Conscience Decision.

Group Conscience Decision:
To expand on the Temporary Mentor by establishing a Newcomer Committee, as the Sponsorship pamphlet suggests some groups do. That committee could be rapid-response for new members much as the OIAA link for “Get Help Now” is. The only requirement could be much less sober time, giving our newer members an opportunity to share their experience, strength and hope.

Proposal 6.3 – TM & AA Resources
Nineteen (19) participants voted in favor, and no one voted against Proposal 6.3. Therefore, the proposal meets our requirement for a 2/3 majority is adopted as a Group Conscience Decision.

Group Conscience Decision: Each month, the Temporary Mentor will send a short letter reminding GROW members of AA resources available to them. She will also include the recommended language in Temporary Mentor Letter #1.

Proposal 7.3 Abolish OIAA Rep Position
Ten (10) participants voted in favor (56%), and eight (8) voted against Proposal 7.3. We did not meet the requirement for a 2/3 majority vote in favor of the proposal. Given that this proposal has been discussed before recently with the same outcome, the Chair will not ask for the Minority Opinion.

Proposal 7.3 is therefore set aside and cannot be revisited for one year.

Discussion
Proposal 8 – Group Inventory Follow-up – Withdrawn

During the 3-day period, it was revealed that there were already instructions within the Group Inventory guidelines for the business meeting to take appropriate actions to address any issue raised in Group Inventory responses. Therefore, the proposal was withdrawn. Many of the proposals on our agenda already address these issues, and the review of responses was completed within 24 hours.

Proposal 9 – Step Meeting as Topic 1st Week of Month
Thirteen (13) participants commented on Proposal 9.3, and there was general support for having a Step Meeting each month. Many felt that this proposal addresses an area of concern that came out in responses to the Group Inventory. Comments fell into three substantive areas: whether the Step Meeting should be the first meeting of each month, whether it should also include the Tradition of the month, and assignment of the Meeting leader.

Most of the comments expressed the feeling that few people share in response to the Step/Tradition message each month and that having a dedicated topic meeting would bring more attention to these basic parts of the AA program. It would also be more helpful to newcomers to highlight the steps and traditions in this way.

There was concern that sharing on the Traditions would be lost if they are not included in the Step meeting topic and many participants wanted to include the Tradition of the month in the Step meeting. Participants agreed that it would not be difficult to get volunteers to lead the Step (/Tradition) meeting as part of the current process, although a few were concerned about reducing the opportunity to lead on a topic of choice or dictating a topic to meeting leaders.

Based on the comments, the Chair created two versions of the proposal for voting, asking participants to vote on only one of them. Proposal 9.4a was for a Step [only] meeting, and Proposal 9.4b was for a Step/Tradition meeting. During the fourth 3-day session, we will vote on Proposal 9.

Proposal 10.3 – GROW Sponsors & Beginners’ Meeting
This proposal covered a lot of territory. Discussions on the two proposals related to the Temporary Mentor (both adopted as Group Conscience decisions) led to this proposal when concerns were raised about the support GROW offers newcomers. We took a new look at the way we manage information about available sponsors and whether we give newcomers enough opportunity to talk about common issues during early sobriety. Because the proposal contained different subtopics, the Chair split it into three subparts: discontinuing the “Available Online Sponsors” Webpage (10.4a), managing Information about Available Sponsors (10.4b), and Beginners Meeting (10.4c)

Fifteen (15) participants commented on discontinuing GROW’s “Available Online Sponsors” webpage, giving greater responsibility to the Temporary Mentor in managing information about potential sponsors, and establishing a Beginners’ Meeting to operate parallel with GROW’s main mailing list.

Available Online Sponsors Webpage (10.4a)
The Temporary Mentor reported that some newcomers had contacted women on the webpage list but did not received responses timely or at all. Others questioned whether the list of sponsors was updated frequently enough to assure that the women listed were still interested in being sponsors. In addition, many of the people on the list do not share regularly; therefore, women seeking sponsors can’t get a sense of potential sponsors’ program. Finally, the list of “Available Online Sponsors” on our website may create the erroneous impression that these are the only women who can or will be sponsors. Participants felt that we should discontinue the current “Available Sponsors Webpage” and rely on the Sponsor Listkeeper’s monthly email.

Managing Information about Sponsors (10.4b)
Earlier in this business meeting, the group recognized an overlap between the Temporary Mentor (TM) in helping newcomers find sponsors and Sponsor Listkeeper. The proposal called for the women currently on the available sponsors webpage to work with the TM to find temporary sponsors for newcomers. It was pointed out that both the volunteers on the 12th Step list and the Available Sponsors might support the TM. When asked what a “Temporary” Sponsor is several participants shared their personal experience. Others talked about the awkward for newcomers before they understand the sponsor relationship and when they are still perhaps hesitant to make the commitment as an important reason for Temporary Mentors. We were reminded of the “Questions & Answers about Sponsorship” pamphlet.

The current list of available sponsors does not distinguish between those who are willing to sponsor newcomers and those who are not. It is also important to assure women who are listed as available sponsors understand their responsibility to be respond timely when contacted. It was suggested that we send out a monthly announcement that anyone who does not have a sponsor but wants one can contact [Trusted Servant(s)] for help. Another participant suggested that we rotate people on list of available sponsors, but others felt rotation would not be helpful.

One participant compared GROW to f2f meetings in the degree to which they get involved in sponsorship issues. She felt GROW sometimes became too involved in what is normally treated as a personal process – that people looking for a sponsor are responsible for finding one – and f2f meetings don’t usually go beyond advising people to “get a sponsor.”

We also discussed the overlap between the Sponsor Listkeeper and Temporary Mentor in this area was also discussed. In the past, GROW has not differentiated between those interested in being temporary sponsors or who want to work with newcomers, but this information is helpful to the Temporary Mentor. The Sponsor Listkeeper, however, maintains information for all GROW members, not just newcomers.

Proposal 10.4b adds a bullet to the Sponsor Listkeeper and Temporary Mentor job descriptions that calls for them to cooperate in potential temporary sponsors as well providing monthly lists of available sponsors to the GROW mailing list.

Beginners Meeting (10.4c)
There was a lot of discussion of the proposal to start a separate mailing list for a Beginners Meeting that would be configured like the business meeting mailing list as a subset of GROW members. The proposal called for a moderator and assumed that members of this list would volunteer to present topics similar to the way it is done in GROW.

Many participants supported the idea as a way to improve GROW’s service to newcomers, an issue raised in response to the Group Inventory. Others argued that GROW already focuses on newcomers through its Greeters, Temporary Mentor, and 12th Step Volunteer list and that a new dedicated Step/Tradition meeting will be valuable support for people new to the AA program. Several Beginners meetings are already listed on AA’s website, and it is not necessary for GROW to duplicate them. Finally, members were concerned about spliting our GROW’s focus.

The additional workload involved in running a separate meeting might be very difficult for the Trusted Servants who would to support the meeting. Assuring GROW’s guidelines are applied to the separate meeting is also problematic. It is to fill all TS positions now (we still have a vacant position), and the Secretary expressed concern about adding new positions.

It is also important for new members be responsible for finding what they need to have a healthy sobriety. While the women who commented were very receptive to and supported the idea of a Beginners Meeting, they also had many concerns about how such a meeting would be managed. We are voting yes/no in each subpart of Proposal 10 during the fourth 3-day session.

Two new proposals were presented for discussion during the third 3-day session. The both grow from the Group Inventory responses and concerns that we don’t provide enough information about the larger AA organization. They are:

  • Proposal 11.4 – GSR & 4-5-9 Calendar
  • Proposal 12.4 – Grapevine Rep & Grapevine Calendar

Respectfully, danna M GROW Business Chair

2018 Business Meeting – October

2018 Business Meeting – October

(topics are listed below are in order of presentation)

1018 – Second 3-day Period Minutes

Minutes for Second 3-day Period

During the second 3-day period of the business meeting, we announced the results of voting on the first three proposals and discussed three proposals presented at the end of the first 3-day session.

Results of Voting on Proposal 2.1 – Change FYI Letter

Fifteen (15) participants in favor, and no one voted against Proposal 2.1. Therefore, it is adopted as as a unanimous Group Conscience decision:

Group Conscience Decision:

Delete item d. (Web Page Information) in the GROW FYI CONTENTS section of the FYI Letter sent out by the Secretary each month.


Results of Voting on Proposal 3.2 – “Let it Stay Here”

Proposal 3: Add the 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.”

In response to comments, the Chair presented two versions of the proposal. The first version (3.2a) reflected suggested edits to the recommended language that met with general approval. The second version (3.2b) contained the suggested edits as well as the deletion of a similar line (the penultimate paragraph) of the current Weekly Meeting Format Letter. Participants were asked to vote on one of the two versions (indicating an automatic “I disagree” vote for the other version).

Four (4) participants voted in favor (25%), and 12 voted against Proposal 3.2a. Therefore, the proposal did not meet the requirement for a 2/3 majority vote in favor of the proposal. 

Twelve (12) participants voted in favor (75%), and four (4) voted against Proposal 3.2b. Therefore, Proposal 3.2b met the requirement for a 2/3 majority vote in favor of the proposal. 

Before we can adopt Proposal 3.2b as a Group Conscience decision, the participants who voted against it will have the opportunity to express their “Minority Opinion” during the third 3-day period of the Business Meeting. If no one wants to submit a Minority Opinion, the proposal is adopted. If a Minority Opinion is submitted and one participant decides to change their vote, we will vote a second time on the proposal, giving all participants the opportunity to change their vote. Minority Opinions are invited for submission during the third 3-day period of the Business Meeting.

Results of Voting on Proposal 4.1 – Contribution to oso-aa.org

Eighteen (18) participants voted in favor, and no one voted against Proposal 4.1. Therefore, it is adopted as a unanimous Group Conscience decision:

Group Conscience Decision:

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: Change the sub-bullet in the Treasurer’s job description to reflect the increase:

$12.00 $24.00 monthly to OSO-AA (PayPal: dean.collins@insightplanners.com) (6 months expenses)


Summary of Discussions

Comments on Proposal 5.3 – Newcomer Committee

Eight (8) participants commented on Proposal 5.2 creating a Newcomer Committee to support the Temporary Mentor.
The Trusted Servants who jointly proposed the creation of a Newcomer Committee explained their reasoning as to why it was important and how the committee would operate. Our current Temporary Mentor shared her experience with a portion of newcomers who have tried without success to get a sponsor based on our “Available Online Sponsor” webpage, reporting their queries were not answered timely or at all. Given that some newcomers need a lot of guidance and support, the Temporary Mentor sometimes finds the position overwhelming and could use the support of women who themselves are new to AA’s program in answering questions and supporting women brand new to sobriety.
The committee would be informal, something like the 12th Step List, with members who volunteer and are not Trusted Servants. This gives women with less sober time the opportunity to be of service while also building a strong foundation for their own recovery. The Temporary Mentor would lead the group.

Most of the women who commented on this proposal supported the idea and appreciated the explanations given by the current and immediate past Temporary Mentor. One member suggested that there should be a requirement for a minimum of three months to be on the committee. Others cautioned against overwhelming our new members with too much information too soon. In the third 3-day session, we will vote on Proposal 5.3 as presented.

Comments on Proposal 6.3 – TM & AA Resources

Six (6) participants commented on the proposal for the Temporary Mentor to send links to AA resources (AA, OIAA, Grapevine) to newcomers and to send these links to the larger GROW group each month as a reminder. Comments were generally positive, although some offered additional resources (like AA’s GSO and AA-approved literature like the Big Book, 12×12, and Living Sober). As with Proposal 5.2, a couple of participants cautioned against overwhelming people with too much information at one time, suggesting more packets of information would be more effective. In the third 3-day session, we will vote on Proposal 6.3 as presented.

Comments on Proposal 7.3 – Abolish OIAA Representative Position

Thirteen (13) women commented on the proposal to abolish the Trusted Servant position of OIAA Representative. Comments both supported and opposed the proposal, and many participants asked questions about the impacts of withdrawing our representative from OIAA.

Supporting the proposal, several women who had held the OIAA Rep position confirmed that their experience had been one of frustration with OIAA’s lack of organization and contentious meetings. OIAA Rep resigned her position and welcomed any replacement who could overlook the chaos and confusion in OIAA that we have experienced for 15 years.

Several  women agreed with withdrawing from OIAA with a few caveats:

  • that GROW would continue to be listed on the OIAA website. (Note: groups do not have to participate in OIAA to be listed on their website.)
  • that GROW would explain why it is leaving OIAA to the entire membership of our meeting.
  • that individual GROW members would continue to have access to the OIAA website.

Several women felt that GROW’s participation in OIAA is important for a variety of reasons that include:

  • GROW’s hosting the OIAA Suite during International AA Conferences
  • OIAA’s improvement over time related to the frequency and volume of “flaming” emails
  • The importance of OIAA to AA as a whole, especially because there GSO does not recognize OIAA/online groups at General Service Conferences – when OIAA is finally recognized by GSO, GROW might be able to send a delegate to such conferences.
  • The importance of the principle of discussion and debate in reaching decisions affecting AA as a whole and online AA in this specific case.
  • Not basing our participation in OIAA on how our OIAA Rep chooses to do her job
  • OIAA’s apparent success as the first point of contact for people new to recovery and to online AA. (One member pointed out that she found GROW on OIAA’s website.)
  • Some of GROW’s OIAA Reps have liked their interaction with OIAA and have gone on to do service with them.

A couple of participants asked about the OIAA Rep position in relation to GROW’s GSR who also serves as a contact with the larger AA organization. (The Chair points out that all references to OIAA were removed from the GSR job description in an April 2018 Group Conscience decision. Unfortunately, the changes to job titles and descriptions have not yet been made on GROW’s website.) During the third 3-day period, we will vote on the proposal as presented.

New Proposals to be Discussed during the Third 3-day Period
Three new proposals were presented for discussion by meeting participants:

Proposal 8 addresses follow-up on the 2018 Group Inventory:

GROW’s Steering Committee will review the comments made in response to the 2018 Group Inventory questions and, where appropriate, make recommendations for changes that would reflect the group’s feedback.

Proposal 9.3 calls for seting aside one meeting each month as a Step Meeting:

Grow will allocate the first weekly meeting each month as a Step meeting. The Weekly Lead Listkeeper will identify the date of the first Sunday each month when asking for volunteer leads, naming the corresponding Step (eg, January = Step 1) as the topic for that week. Grow will continue to have a Tradition as a monthly topic, sent out by the Weekly Lead Listkeeper as per current Grow conscience/guidelines.

Proposal 10 seeks to improve GROW’s handling of announcements about oneline sponsors and to establish a Beginners’ sub-meeting to run parallel with our main meeting:

GROW will better support newcomers to our group and to AA. This will involve a two-pronged approach:

In order to assure that newcomers have access to a sponsor, GROW will: Discontinue GROW’s webpage “Available Online Sponsors” (http://www.g-r-o-w.com/members/ts/sponsor.htm). The GROW members on that list will work with the Temporary Mentor to assure that newcomers who want a sponsor are assigned a temporary Sponsor. To further support newcomers to the AA program, GROW will Open a closed beginners’ meeting similar to how we are running the biz meeting.

Participants will discuss these three proposals during the third 3-day period of the October 2018 Business Meeting.

Respectfully,
danna M
GROW Business Chair

1018 – Proposal 10: GROW Sponsors

Proposal 10: GROW Sponsors

GROW will better support newcomers to our group and to AA. This will involve a two-pronged approach.

In order to assure that newcomers have access to a sponsor, GROW will: Discontinue GROW’s webpage “Available Online Sponsors“. The GROW members on that list will work with the Temporary Mentor to assure that newcomers who want a sponsor are assigned a temporary Sponsor.

Other ways GROW can improve our support to newcomers and others in need of sponsors might include sending out a monthly announcement to the effect that “If any person here does not have a sponsor and wants one, please contact [Temporary Mentor/Sponsor Listkeeper], who will arrange a temporary sponsor. The Sponsor Listkeeper could continue to send out a monthly list of available and willing sponsors, but the women on that list will rotate on a regular basis.

To further support newcomers to the AA program, GROW will Open a closed beginners’ meeting similar to how we are running the biz meeting.

Examples of how this could be accomplished include:

Interested members can ask the listkeepers to sub them to the beginners meeting.

GROW can provide a moderator and a meeting leader (length of time to be determined). The meeting could include topics such as Living Sober, the first three steps, sponsorship, etc. Examples of weekly topics include Steps 1,2, and 3 for week 1; Living Sober for week 2; general discussion or topic of choice for week 3; sponsorship problems and opportunities for week 4.

Rationale: During our discussions on the Temporary Mentor (newcomer committee and providing links to AA resources), it became clear that there are issues related to the Online Available Sponsors list/webpage because the people on that list do not always respond timely (or at all) to newcomers’ requests for help. Further, Available Online Sponsors do not rotate, and the only members that rotate on both the 12th Step List and the Sponsor List are the listkeepers. The Available Online Sponsor webpage creates the impression that only people on the sponsor list can sponsor, which in reality is not the case.

The AA pamphlet Questions & Answers on Sponsorship offers suggestions on how a group can better support new members. The following excerpt is from (pages 23-24) of that pamphlet:

“What procedures can a group set up to sponsor new members?

Carefully planned sponsorship activity within a group is often likely to produce better results than sponsorship left to chance.

A typical pattern of planned sponsorship within a local group might include the following:

  • A regular committee on sponsorship or a Twelfth Step committee, with members rotating frequently. If there is an intergroup or central office that keeps a list of local groups and the members available for Twelfth Step calls, such a committee may check to see whether the group has enough of its members on the office list to fulfill its responsibility.
  • Regular beginners meetings (also called newcom-ers meetings) — particularly in larger communities where there are many newcomers. A Guide for Leading Beginners Meetings may be ordered from G.S.O.
  • Regular assignment of members to greet newcomers at meetings and introduce them around. In large groups, people on a hospitality committee may wear badges for the benefit of the newcomer. In smaller groups, the secretary may, during the announcements, simply ask newcomers to come up and make themselves known after the meeting, so they may be introduced to other members.
  • Another suggested announcement. “If any person here does not have a sponsor and wants one, please see the secretary, who will arrange a temporary sponsor.” Where this practice is followed at each meeting, members say, it reminds the group of the value of sponsoring and being sponsored.
  • Closed-meeting discussions of sponsorship problems and opportunities. Some groups schedule meetings especially for this purpose.”

Summary of Comments on Proposal 10.3

This proposal covered a lot of territory. Discussions on the two proposals related to the Temporary Mentor (both adopted as Group Conscience decisions) led to this proposal when concerns were raised about the support GROW offers newcomers. We took a new look at the way we manage information about available sponsors and whether we give newcomers enough opportunity to talk about common issues during early sobriety. Because the proposal contained different subtopics, the Chair split it into three subparts: discontinuing the “Available Online Sponsors” Webpage (10.4a), managing Information about Available Sponsors (10.4b), and Beginners Meeting (10.4c)

Fifteen (15) participants commented on discontinuing GROW’s “Available Online Sponsors” webpage, giving greater responsibility to the Temporary Mentor in managing information about potential sponsors, and establishing a Beginners’ Meeting to operate parallel with GROW’s main mailing list.


Available Online Sponsors Webpage (10.4a)

The Temporary Mentor reported that some newcomers had contacted women on the webpage list but did not received responses timely or at all. Others questioned whether the list of sponsors was updated frequently enough to assure that the women listed were still interested in being sponsors. In addition, many of the people on the list do not share regularly; therefore, women seeking sponsors can’t get a sense of potential sponsors’ program. Finally, the list of “Available Online Sponsors” on our website may create the erroneous impression that these are the only women who can or will be sponsors. Participants felt that we should discontinue the current “Available Sponsors Webpage” and rely on the Sponsor Listkeeper’s monthly email.

Managing Information about Sponsors (10.4b)

Earlier in this business meeting, the group recognized an overlap between the Temporary Mentor (TM) in helping newcomers find sponsors and Sponsor Listkeeper. The proposal called for the women currently on the available sponsors webpage to work with the TM to find temporary sponsors for newcomers. It was pointed out that both the volunteers on the 12th Step list and the Available Sponsors might support the TM. When asked what a “Temporary” Sponsor is several participants shared their personal experience. Others talked about the awkward for newcomers before they understand the sponsor relationship and when they are still perhaps hesitant to make the commitment as an important reason for Temporary Mentors. We were reminded of the “Questions & Answers about Sponsorship” pamphlet.

The current list of available sponsors does not distinguish between those who are willing to sponsor newcomers and those who are not. It is also important to assure women who are listed as available sponsors understand their responsibility to be respond timely when contacted. It was suggested that we send out a monthly announcement that anyone who does not have a sponsor but wants one can contact [Trusted Servant(s)] for help. Another participant suggested that we rotate people on list of available sponsors, but others felt rotation would not be helpful.

One participant compared GROW to f2f meetings in the degree to which they get involved in sponsorship issues. She felt GROW sometimes became too involved in what is normally treated as a personal process – that people looking for a sponsor are responsible for finding one – and f2f meetings don’t usually go beyond advising people to “get a sponsor.”

We also discussed the overlap between the Sponsor Listkeeper and Temporary Mentor in this area was also discussed. In the past, GROW has not differentiated between those interested in being temporary sponsors or who want to work with newcomers, but this information is helpful to the Temporary Mentor. The Sponsor Listkeeper, however, maintains information for all GROW members, not just newcomers.

Proposal 10.4b adds a bullet to the Sponsor Listkeeper and Temporary Mentor job descriptions that calls for them to cooperate in potential temporary sponsors as well providing monthly lists of available sponsors to the GROW mailing list.

Beginners Meeting (10.4c)

There was a lot of discussion of the proposal to start a separate mailing list for a Beginners Meeting that would be configured like the business meeting mailing list as a subset of GROW members. The proposal called for a moderator and assumed that members of this list would volunteer to present topics similar to the way it is done in GROW.

Many participants supported the idea as a way to improve GROW’s service to newcomers, an issue raised in response to the Group Inventory. Others argued that GROW already focuses on newcomers through its Greeters, Temporary Mentor, and 12th Step Volunteer list and that a new dedicated Step/Tradition meeting will be valuable support for people new to the AA program. Several Beginners meetings are already listed on AA’s website, and it is not necessary for GROW to duplicate them. Finally, members were concerned about splitting our GROW’s focus.

The additional workload involved in running a separate meeting might be very difficult for the Trusted Servants who would to support the meeting. Assuring GROW’s guidelines are applied to the separate meeting is also problematic. It is to fill all TS positions now (we still have a vacant position), and the Secretary expressed concern about adding new positions.

It is also important for new members be responsible for finding what they need to have a healthy sobriety. While the women who commented were very receptive to and supported the idea of a Beginners Meeting, they also had many concerns about how such a meeting would be managed. We are voting yes/no in each subpart of Proposal 10 during the fourth 3-day session.


Results of Voting on Proposal 10.4

Discontinue “Available Online Sponsors” Webpage

Voting: Eleven (11) participants voted in favor (58%) and five (5) voted against Proposal 10.4a, meeting the requirement for a 2/3 majority. Therefore, the proposal is approved. The Chair called for those who voted against the proposal to submit a Minority Opinion. If, after hearing the minority opinion, any participant wants to change their vote, we will conduct a re-vote. Until we know the outcome of this phase of our process, the proposal does not become a formal Group Conscience Decision.

Results of Voting on Proposal 10.4b

Managing Information about Sponsors

Voting: Thirteen (13) participants voted in favor (87%), and three (3) voted against Proposal 10.4b, exceeding the requirement for a 2/3 majority vote in favor of the proposal. The Chair called for those who voted against the proposal to submit a Minority Opinion. If, after hearing the minority opinion, any participant wants to change their vote, we will conduct a re-vote. Until we know the outcome of this phase of our process, the proposal does not become a formal Group Conscience Decision.

Results of Voting on Proposal 10.4c

Beginners’ Meeting

Voting: No participants voted in favor, and sixteen (16) voted against Proposal 10.4c, representing a unanimous decision not to establish a Beginners’ Meeting to run parallel with GROW’s email meeting. Therefore, the proposal fails and cannot be raised again for a year.


Group Conscience Decision:

none

1018 – Proposal 9: Monthly Step Meeting

Proposal 9: Monthly Step Meeting

Grow will allocate the first weekly meeting each month as a Step meeting. The Weekly Lead Listkeeper will identify the date of the first Sunday each month when asking for volunteer leads, naming the corresponding Step (eg, January = Step 1) as the topic for that week. Grow will continue to have a Tradition as a monthly topic, sent out by the Weekly Lead Listkeeper as per current Grow conscience/guidelines.

Recommended Language: Add a bullet to the Weekly Lead Listkeeper’s job description as follows:

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.

Rationale: It appears the Step/Tradition monthly topics are shared on much less than any weekly topics despite us having longer to do so.

From time to time (about 10 times over the last 4 years) we have seen a Step as a weekly topic. The number of shares was similar to weeks where the topic was self-selected by the lead – showing that by having the focus of a Step in the weekly meeting does encourage more sharing than our current monthly practice.

As our primary purpose reminds us, our job is to carry the message. Creating an opportunity for more reflection and sharing on the corresponding step each month can only add to our effectiveness as a group in sharing the program. Not to mention be of potential benefit to our own programs!

By agreeing which week would be the Step topic week in advance gives us the chance to nominate ourselves as weekly leaders for whichever week we like, knowing we are free to offer to lead the Step week or any of the other weeks where the topic is open for our own selection.

As is current for our conscience/guidelines should there be a weekly leader drop out or vacancy the Weekly Lead Listkeeper can send a message out to the group requesting a new volunteer for a specified date.


Summary of Comments on Proposal 9.3

Thirteen (13) participants commented on Proposal 9.3, and there was general support for having a Step Meeting each month. Many felt that this proposal addresses an area of concern that came out in responses to the Group Inventory. Comments fell into three substantive areas: whether the Step Meeting should be the first meeting of each month, whether it should also include the Tradition of the month, and assignment of the Meeting leader.

Most of the comments expressed the feeling that few people share in response to the Step/Tradition message each month and that having a dedicated topic meeting would bring more attention to these basic parts of the AA program. It would also be more helpful to newcomers to highlight the steps and traditions in this way.

There was concern that sharing on the Traditions would be lost if they are not included in the Step meeting topic and many participants wanted to include the Tradition of the month in the Step meeting. Participants agreed that it would not be difficult to get volunteers to lead the Step (/Tradition) meeting as part of the current process, although a few were concerned about reducing the opportunity to lead on a topic of choice or dictating a topic to meeting leaders.

Based on the comments, the Chair created two versions of the proposal for voting, asking participants to vote on only one of them. Proposal 9.4a was for a Step [only] meeting, and Proposal 9.4b was for a Step/Tradition meeting. During the fourth 3-day session, we will vote on Proposal 9.


Results of Voting on Proposal 9.4

Voting: Reflecting our discussions, participants were asked to vote on one of two versions of Proposal 9.4: (a) being only a Step Meeting and (b) being a Step/Tradition Meeting. Eleven participants voted in favor (58%) of Proposal 9.4b (Step/Tradition Meeting only), and eight (8) participants voted in favor (42%) of Proposal 9.4a (Step Meeting only). Neither option met the requirement for a 2/3 majority, and neither version is approved. Because participants overwhelmingly approved the proposal to set aside the first week of each month for a Step Meeting, it’s not appropriate to say the proposal can’t be raised for a year. Because voting was so close, more discussion is needed. Therefore, the proposal has been set aside to be considered again during the April 2019 meeting.


Group Conscience Decision:

none

1018 – Proposal 8: Group Inventory Follow-up

Proposal 8: Group Inventory Follow-up

GROW’s Steering Committee will review the comments made in response to the 2018 Group Inventory questions and, where appropriate, make recommendations for changes that would reflect the group’s feedback.

Rationale: Doing a group inventory is a positive and healthy effort. However, if all we do is record our members’ answers and then file the inventory away (on our website), we are not following through in the spirit of AA. We should assess our members’ comments and determine if action needs to be taken.

To make it relatively painless, Trusted Servants (individuals or teams) could volunteer to take one question and then, within a set amount of time (e.g., a month), send a note to the other TSs with their findings. At that point, we can ‘flag’ actions that call for a proposal at our next business meeting in April 2019. (Some actions may be simple enough not to require a Group Conscience process.)


Summary of Comments on Proposal 8

During the 3-day period, it was revealed that there were already instructions within the Group Inventory guidelines for the business meeting to take appropriate actions to address any issue raised in Group Inventory responses. Therefore, the proposal was withdrawn. Many of the proposals on our agenda already address these issues, and the review of responses was completed within 24 hours.


Results of Voting on Proposal 8

Withdrawn.


Group Conscience Decision:

none

1018 – Second 3-day Session Close

Close of Second 3-day Session

The second 3-day session of our October 2018 Business Meeting is closed. During this period, we voted on three proposals and discussed three new proposals.

Participants voted on:
Proposal 2.1 – Change the monthly FYI Letter
Proposal 3.2 – Add an anonymity statement to the Weekly Meeting Format Letter
Proposal 4.1 – Increase GROW’s contribution to oso-aa.org

Participants discussed:
Proposal 5.2 – Temporary Mentor & Newcomer Committee
Proposal 6.2 – Temporary Mentor & AA Resources
Proposal 7.2 – Abolish OIAA Representative Position

The Chair will distribute separate e-mails describing the voting results and summaries of discussions for each proposal.

During the third 3-day period, we will consider the Minority Opinion on Proposal 3.2a; vote on Proposals 5, 6, and 7; and discuss three new proposals:

Proposal 8.3 – Group Inventory Follow-up
Proposal 9.3 – GROW Step Meeting
Proposal 10.3 – Online Sponsors

Respectfully,
danna M
GROW Business Chair

Trusted Servants 10/2018

Trusted Servants

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

Trusted Servants who make up the Steering Committee:

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

1018 – First 3-day Session Minutes

Minutes of First 3-day Session

During the first 3-day session, participants discussed the first three of nine proposals. These proposals addressed:

  • A minor edit to the FYI Letter sent out each month by the Secretary.
  • Adding a sentence to the Weekly Meeting Format Letter to emphasize AA’s principle of anonymity.
  • An increase to the monthly contribution GROW makes to oso-aa.org, the server that supports both our e-mail meeting and our website.

Proposal 2.1 – FYI Letter Change

Five people commented on the proposal to delete “d. Website Information” from the table of contents of the FYI letter, all agreeing with it. We will vote on Proposal 2.1 in the next 3-day period. This change was based on the fact that no website information currently appears in the letter. Website information is included in the Listkeeper Letter. During the second 3-day session, participants will vote on whether to adopt the proposal as a Group Conscience Decision.

Proposal 3.1 – “Let It Stay Here” addition to Weekly Meeting Format Letter

Twelve (12) particiants commented on the proposal to add a sentence to emphasize AA’s anonymity principle to the Weekly Meeting Format Letter. The sentence “Who you see here, what you hear here, when you leave here, let it stay here” between the Preamble and “How It Works.” A couple of participants felt the new language was not necessary. One person raised the question of whether we should enforce this principle if a member violated it. No one responded to this query.

Two participants suggested changes to the wording of the insert, and those who commented expressed approval of the changes. Therefore, the Chair incorporated these two changes into a revised Proposal 3.2a upon which we will vote in the second 3-day session. The first would change the word “hear” to “read” to reflect the online nature of our meeting. The second would clarify what we mean by “anonymity” with an additional sentence: “(Anonymity refers to personal information and personal issues – not the message of recovery.)”

When it was revealed that The Weekly Meeting Format Letter already contains a similar sentence (penultimate paragraph of the format), participants generally felt the same message should not appear in the letter twice. Therefore, the Chair prepared a second version of the proposal upon which we will also vote in the second 3-day session. Proposal 3.2b would delete the current penultimate paragraph (“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.”

Proposal 4.1 – Increase Contribution to oso-aa.org

Eight (8) participants commented on the proposal. While there were some questions, in the end there was consensus supporting the proposal. In the next 3-day period, we will vote on the proposal as presented during the second 3-day session.

Respectfully,
danna M
GROW Business Chair

1018 – Proposal 7: Abolish OIAA Rep

Proposal 7: Abolish OIAA Representative Position

Abolish the Trusted Servant position of OIAA Representative and discontinue GROW’s participation in that group.

Rationale: The October 2018 OIAA Report reveals that OIAA continues to struggle with funds and internal conflict. Several of our past OIAA Reps have described meetings dominated by conflict, and GROW has long debated whether to continue participating.

In 2003, we considered leaving OIAA. In 2004, we decreased the amount of our contributions to OIAA. In 2008, we discussed withdrawing our Rep from OIAA and eliminating the position. In 2009, the OIAA Rep recommended continuing to contribute to OIAA but withdrawing our Rep from OIAA meetings. As a group, we decided against this. In 2009, after OIAA failed to cash two contribution checks, we decided to stop our contributions completely. In 2016, we again debated whether we should send a Rep to the meetings and whether we should eliminate the TS position. In 2017, we considered a formal proposal to discontinue our participation and eliminate the position; however, we decided to give it one more year before taking this action.

Our OIAA Rep’s Report confirms that OIAA is still plagued by the problems we’ve talked about since 2003. This time, their Treasurer absconded with OIAA’s funds. Meetings are still concerned more with personalities than with AA’s principles. Given this history, it doesn’t seem likely to improve.


Summary of Comments on Proposal 7.3

Thirteen (13) women commented on the proposal to abolish the Trusted Servant position of OIAA Representative. Comments both supported and opposed the proposal, and many participants asked questions about the impacts of withdrawing our representative from OIAA.

Supporting the proposal, several women who had held the OIAA Rep position confirmed that their experience had been one of frustration with OIAA’s lack of organization and contentious meetings. OIAA Rep resigned her position and welcomed any replacement who could overlook the chaos and confusion in OIAA that we have experienced for 15 years.

Many participants agreed with withdrawing from OIAA with a few caveats:

  • that GROW would continue to be listed on the OIAA website. (Note: groups do not have to participate in OIAA to be listed on their website.)
  • that GROW would explain why it is leaving OIAA to the entire membership of our meeting.
  • that individual GROW members would continue to have access to the OIAA website.

Several women felt that GROW’s participation in OIAA is important for a variety of reasons that include:

  • The importance of OIAA to AA as a whole, especially because there GSO does not recognize OIAA/online groups at General Service Conferences – when OIAA is finally recognized by GSO, GROW might be able to send a delegate to such conferences.
  • OIAA’s apparent success as the first point of contact for people new to recovery and to online AA. (One member pointed out that she found GROW on OIAA’s website.)
  • The importance of the principle of discussion and debate in reaching decisions affecting AA as a whole and online AA in this specific case.
  • Not basing our participation in OIAA on how our OIAA Rep chooses to do her job – some of GROW’s OIAA Reps have liked their interaction with OIAA and have gone on to do service with them. GROW members have enjoyed GROW’s hosting the OIAA Suite during International AA Conferences.
  • OIAA’s relative improvement over time related to the frequency and volume of “flaming” emails.

A couple of participants asked about the OIAA Rep position in relation to GROW’s GSR who also serves as a contact with the larger AA organization. (The Chair points out that all references to OIAA were removed from the GSR job description in an April 2018 Group Conscience decision. Unfortunately, the changes to job titles and descriptions have not yet been made on GROW’s website.)


Results of Voting on Proposal 7.3

Voting: Ten (10) participants voted in favor (56%), and eight (8) voted against Proposal 7.3. We did not meet the requirement for a 2/3 majority vote in favor of the proposal. Given that this proposal has been discussed before recently with the same outcome, the Chair will not ask for the Minority Opinion.

Proposal 7.3 is therefore set aside and cannot be revisited for one year.


Group Conscience Decision:

none

1018 – Proposal 6: Temporary Mentor

Proposal 6: Temporary Mentor & AA Resources

Each month, the Temporary Mentor will send a short letter reminding GROW members of AA resources available to them. She will also include the recommended language in Temporary Mentor Letter #1.

Rationale: Many of our members who have not been to f2f meetings and are new to our program are not aware of the many resources available to them (especially when people are not.) This is to inform / remind our members that there are real-time meetings, literature for downloading, and audio stories available at all times of the day and night.

Recommended Language:

Add a bullet to the Temporary Mentor job description as follows:

  • Each month, the Temporary Mentor will send a short letter reminding GROW members of AA resources available to them.

Insert the following as a new third paragraph in Temporary Mentor Letter #1:

Just a reminder that you can learn more about AA by visiting one of these links:

  • the Alcoholics Anonymous general services office and information such as “The AA Big Book and 12 & 12, along with many pamphlets as well as links to local resources for AA.
  • AA’s Online Intergroup (OIAA) where you can find meeting lists as wekk as real-time phone and other Internet types of meetings.
  • AA’s Grapevine magazine with stories and audio stories and Grapevine subscription options.
  • Each month, include the same language in an open message to the GROW mailing list.

Summary of Comments on Proposal 6.3

Six (6) participants commented on the proposal for the Temporary Mentor to send links to AA resources (AA, OIAA, Grapevine) to newcomers and to send these links to the larger GROW group each month as a reminder. Comments were generally positive, although some offered additional resources (like AA’s GSO and AA-approved literature like the Big Book, 12×12, and Living Sober). As with Proposal 5.2, a couple of participants cautioned against overwhelming people with too much information at one time, suggesting more packets of information would be more effective.

During the third 3-day session, we will vote on the proposal as presented.


Results of Voting on Proposal 6.3

Voting: Nineteen (19) participants voted in favor, and no one voted against Proposal 6.3. Therefore, the proposal meets our requirement for a 2/3 majority is adopted as a Group Conscience Decision.


Group Conscience Decision:

Each month, the Temporary Mentor will send a short letter reminding GROW members of AA resources available to them. She will also include the recommended language in Temporary Mentor Letter #1.

1018 – Proposal 5: Newcomer Committee

Proposal 5: Newcomer Committee

To expand on the Temporary Mentor by establishing a Newcomer committee, as the Sponsorship pamphlet suggests some groups do. That committee could be rapid-response for new members much as the OIAA link for “Get Help Now” is. The only requirement could be much less sober time, giving our newer members an opportunity to share their experience, strength and hope.

This committee could have a list of online resources including the AA website, the Grapevine website, the OIAA web site with its links to online meetings including realtime, perhaps even speaker links such as Joe & Charlie on YouTube and other immediate resources for a suffering newcomer. It could be a group of volunteers who are able to respond within hours, as the listkeepers do. My thought is that the Temporary Mentor could lead 2-3 other women who would not hold Trusted Servant positions, like the 12th Step Volunteers.

I suggest that anyone volunteering for this list could be given the list of resources we suggest and become familiar with them before agreeing to take this on. Cruise through the AA, OIAA and Grapevine websites, use them themselves a bit. They do not need to be willing to sponsor.

Rationale: My concern is that all the support that we more-experienced online AAs know about is not known to a newcomer. Yes, a Facebook group could have addressed this, but our anonymity was so much more easily at risk. We can do this “in house” with a small group. This differs from the 12th Steppers in that many of these new members do not get as far as writing to the main list. They are sharing with the Temporary Mentor. Some have had no luck with responses to emails sent to potential sponsors. Others have been challenged to find a resource to help them locally.


Summary of Comments on Proposal 5.2

Eight (8) participants commented on Proposal 5.2 creating a Newcomer Committee to support the Temporary Mentor.

The Trusted Servants who jointly proposed the creation of a Newcomer Committee explained their reasoning as to why it was important and how the committee would operate. Our current Temporary Mentor shared her experience with a portion of newcomers who have tried without success to get a sponsor based on our “Available Online Sponsor” webpage, reporting their queries were not answered timely or at all. Given that some newcomers need a lot of guidance and support, the Temporary Mentor sometimes finds the position overwhelming and could use the support of women who themselves are new to AA’s program in answering questions and supporting women brand new to sobriety.

The committee would be informal, something like the 12th Step List, with members who volunteer and are not Trusted Servants. This gives women with less sober time the opportunity to be of service while also building a strong foundation for their own recovery. The Temporary Mentor would lead the group.

Most of the women who commented on this proposal supported the idea and appreciated the explanations given by the current and immediate past Temporary Mentor. One member suggested that there should be a requirement for a minimum of three months to be on the committee. Others cautioned against overwhelming our new members with too much information too soon.

In the third 3-day session, we will vote on Proposal 5.3 as presented.


Results of Voting on Proposal 5.3

Voting: Sixteen (16) participants voted in favor (80%), and four (4) voted against Proposal 5.3. Therefore, the proposal meets our requirement for a 2/3 majority is adopted as a Group Conscience Decision.


Group Conscience Decision:

To expand on the Temporary Mentor by establishing a Newcomer Committee, as the Sponsorship pamphlet suggests some groups do. That committee could be rapid-response for new members much as the OIAA link for “Get Help Now” is. The only requirement could be much less sober time, giving our newer members an opportunity to share their experience, strength and hope.

1018 – First 3-Day Session Close

Close of 1st 3-Day Session

The first 3-day session of the October 2018 meeting has closed. Participants commented on three proposals. A summary of comments will follow for each of these proposals.

Proposal 2.1 – FYI Letter Change
Proposal 3.1 – “Let It Stay Here”
Proposal 4.1 – oso-aa.org Contribution

In order to facilitate closure on Proposal 3.1, the Chair is presenting two versions for voting. The first version (3.2a) presents the original proposal, modified to reflect changes suggested by participants. The second version (3.2b) adds deletion of the existing “Anonymity Statement” which is the penultimate paragraph of the current Weekly Meeting Format Letter.

During the second 3-day session, we will vote on the above proposals and open discussions on three new proposals:

Proposal 5.2 – Temporary Mentor & Newcomer Committee
Proposal 6.2 – Temporary Mentor & AA Resources
Proposal 7.2 – Abolish OIAA Representative Position

The second 3-day session will end on Saturday, October 6. On Sunday (10/7), the Chair will announce the results of voting and summarize comments on the three new proposals.

If you have questions or comments on the process, please contact me at dmcd.grow@gmail.com. Now, prepare yourself for a string of individual e-mail messages!!!

Respectfully,
danna M
GROW Business Chair

1018 – Proposal 4: Contribution to oso-aa.org

Proposal 4: Contribution to oso-aa.org

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).

Rationale: Dean provides servers to AA groups without charging anything, and he provides technical support. Many groups make donations to help defray costs, including labor. An increase will help Dean with expenses and show our gratitude for his support over the years.

Recommended language: Change the sub-bullet in the Treasurer’s job description to reflect the increase:

$12.00 $24.00 monthly to OSO-AA (PayPal: dean.collins@insightplanners.com) (6 months expenses)


Summary of Comments on Proposal 4.1

Eight (8) participants commented on the proposal. While there were some questions, in the end there was consensus supporting the proposal. In the next 3-day period, we will vote on the proposal as presented.


Results of Voting on Proposal 4.1

Eighteen (18) participants in favor, and no one voted against Proposal 4.1. Therefore, it is adopted as a Group Conscience decision.


Group Conscience Decision:

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).

1018 – Proposal 3: “Let it Stay Here”

Proposal 3

Add the 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.”

Rationale: In f2f meetings, we respect the principle of anonymity and giving people the space to share without fear. Although it will never be perfect the familiar AA saying helps remind us of the spirit of honoring a share without repeating it. In the Group Inventory, it was noted that a person had mentioned taking pieces from shares and repeating them at other meetings. Whilst they said they omitted the name, it is still a form of repeating another person’s share elsewhere.

Recommended Language: Insert the following sentence 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 hear here, when you leave here, let it stay here.”


Summary of Comments on Proposal 3.1

Twelve participants generated 17 comments, most of them supporting the proposal. A couple of participants felt the new language was not necessary.  One person raised the question of whether we should enforce this principle if a member violated it. No one responded to this query.

Two participants suggested changes to the wording of the insert, and those who commented expressed approval of the changes. The first was to change “what you hear here” to “what you read here” since this is an online format. The Chair has revised the proposal to reflect this change.  A second change would insert clarification of what “anonymity” means (“Anonymity refers to personal information and personal issues – not the message of recovery.”). The Chair has added this sentence to the recommended language in the revised proposal. Proposal 3.2a will include only these changes.

When it was revealed that The Weekly Meeting Format Letter already contains a similar sentence (penultimate paragraph of the format), several people felt the sentence shouldn’t appear twice. The Chair has therefore added as part of the Group Conscience decision deleting the existing penultimate paragraph (“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.” Proposal 3.2b will also include this change.

We will vote on two versions of Proposal 3 in the next three days. Proposal 3.2a incorporates the two suggested editing changes. Proposal 3.2b adds deleting the existing “Let It Stay Here” message from the end of the current Meeting Leader Format Letter.


Results of Voting on Proposal 3.2a

In response to comments, the Chair presented two versions of the proposal. The first version (3.2a) reflected suggested edits to the recommended language that met with general approval. The second version (3.2b) contained the suggested edits as well as the deletion of a similar line (the penultimate paragraph) of the current Weekly Meeting Format Letter. Please see the full text of version 3.2a at the end of this message.

Participants were asked to vote on one of the two versions (indicating an automatic “I disagree” vote for the other version).

Four (4) participants voted in favor (25%), and 12 voted against Proposal 3.2a. Therefore, the proposal did not meet the requirement for a 2/3 majority vote in favor of the proposal.

Please see the results of voting on version 3.2b for next steps (Minority Opinion).

Full Text of Proposal 3.2a
Proposal 3.2a: Add the 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 read here, when you leave here, let it stay here.”

Recommended Language:
“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.)


Results of Voting on Proposal 3.2b

In response to comments, the Chair presented two versions of the proposal. The first version (3.2a) reflected suggested edits to the recommended language that met with general approval. The second version (3.2b) contained the suggested edits as well as the deletion of a similar line (the penultimate paragraph) of the current Weekly Meeting Format Letter. Participants were asked to vote on one of the two versions (indicating an automatic “I disagree” vote for the other version). See the full text of Proposal 3.2b at the end of this message.

Twelve (12) participants voted in favor (75%), and four (4) voted against Proposal 3.2b. Therefore, Proposal 3.2b met the requirement for a 2/3 majority vote in favor of the proposal.

Our Business Meeting Guidelines allow three days for the minority opinion to be presented and discussed. If, after hearing the minority opinion, any participant wants to change their vote from “I disagree” to “I agree” on Proposal 3.2b, we will conduct a second vote.

At this time, I request each of those who voted “I agree” on Proposal 3.2a to send me a private note letting me know if they plan to post a minority opinion.

After considering the Minority Opinion, if any participant wants to change their vote from “I disagree” to “I agree” on Proposal 3.2b, we will conduct a second vote. If the minority does not want to express their opinion, we will close this discussion, and the vote will stand.

Full Text of Proposal 3.2b:
Proposal 3.2b: Add the 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 read here, when you leave here, let it stay here.”

Recommended Language:

  1. 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.)
  2. Delete the penultimate paragraph of the existing Weekly Meeting Format Letter which currently reads: “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.”

Discussion following Minority Opinion

Participants voted to approve Proposal 3.2b (adding the following between the Preamble and “How it Works” of the Weekly Meeting Format Letter). The proposal as approved also deleted the Anonymity Statement from the bottom of the Weekly Meeting Format Letter. The Minority Opinion argued that the Anonymity Statement should not be deleted, and several women changed their vote as a result. It was pointed out that the Anonymity Statement duplicates Tradition 12 (which is above the topic section). So, deleting only part of the Anonymity Statement is inconsistent. We will take a re-vote, addressing only the deletion of the Anonymity Statement, on Proposal 3.5 during the fifth 3-day period of our meeting.


Results of Re-vote on Proposal 3.5

Two (2) participants voted in favor, and 13 voted against (87%) Proposal 3.5 (which was limited to deleting the Anonymity Statement from the bottom of the Weekly Meeting Format Letter). The vote exceeds the requirement for a 2/3 majority, so this part of Proposal 3 fails.

Therefore, the existing Anonymity Statement in the Weekly Meeting Format Letter will not be deleted.


Group Conscience Decision:

The existing Anonymity Statement in the Weekly Meeting Format Letter will not be deleted.

1018 – Proposal 2: Change FYI Letter

Proposal 2: Change FYI Letter

Delete item d. (Web Page Information) in the GROW FYI CONTENTS section of the FYI Letter sent out by the Secretary each month.

Rationale: Currently, the bullet is in the contents, but no such information is provided in the body of the text.


Summary of Comments on Proposal 2.1

Five people commented on the proposal, all agreeing with it. We will vote on Proposal 2.1 in the next 3-day period.


Results of Voting on Proposal 2.1

Voting: Fifteen (15) participants in favor, and no one voted against Proposal 2.1. Therefore, Proposal 2 is adopted as a Group Conscience decision.


Group Conscience Decision:

Delete item d. (Web Page Information) in the GROW FYI CONTENTS section of the FYI Letter sent out by the Secretary each month.

1018 – Treasurer’s Report

Oct 2018 – Treasurer’s Report

Donations
$142.07 Bal from April 2018
$214.65 PayPal donations
$160.03 Ally Bk check donations
$516.85 Total Donations

Distributions
TBD GSO*
TBD Dean Collin/oso.aa.org*
$0 Grapevine
$0.90 International Exchange
$122.00 Prudent Reserve
TBD Total Distributions

TBD Balance

*A proposal is being considered that would change the amount paid to oso-aa.org, which would affect the amount distributed to GSO.

Respectfully,
Sue W.
Treasurer

1018 – Secretary’s Report

Oct 2018 – Secretary’s Report

Outgoing Trusted Servants

  • 12 Step Volunteer Listkeeper (4/18-10/18): Cara A. (caracadams@gmail.com)
  • Birthday Listkeeper (4/18-10/18): Kristen (pequenogato2@gmail.com)
  • Business Meeting Chair (10/16-10/18)): Danna M. (dmcd9999@zoho.com)
  • GSR (10/16-10/18): Joan B. (joanb333@gmail.com)
  • GVR (10/17-10/18): Sophie (sophieflook@gmail.com)
  • OIAA Representative (‪10/17 – 10/18)): Jenny P (jsaufler@gmail.com)
  • Secretary (10/17-10/18): Karrie C. (kchaneycoo@gmail.com)
  • Sponsor Listkeeper (4/18-10/18): Susan P. (susan.poplawski@gmail.com)
  • Webkeeper Backup (10/16-10/18): Cheryl D. (cdematt@gmail.com)

Incoming Trusted Servants

  • 12 Step Volunteer Listkeeper (10/18-4/18): Danna M (dmcd9999@zoho.com)
  • Birthday Listkeeper (10/18-4/19): Sophie F (sophieflook@gmail.com)
  • Business Meeting Chair (10/18-10/20): VACANT
  • GSR (10/18-10/20): Kate M (ammakate@yahoo.com)
  • GVR (10/18-10/19): Barbara M (barbaramanolache@aol.com)
  • OIAA Representative (10/18-10/19): Laura Graham (grahamlaura1989@gmail.com)
  • Secretary (10/18-10/19): Ruth Flemming (serenity9918@gmail.com)
  • Sponsor Listkeeper (10/18-4/19): Cheryl Baughman (cab7thtradition@gmail.com)
  • Webkeeper Backup (10/18-10/20): Allison McGuigan (paonia.allison@gmail.com)

Current Trusted Servants as of October 2018

Our Trusted Servants:

  • 12 Step Volunteer Listkeeper (10/18-4/19): Danna M. (dmcd9999@zoho.com)
  • Birthday Listkeeper (10/18-4/19): Sophie (sophieflook@gmail.com)
  • Sponsor Listkeeper (10/18-4/19): Cheryl B. (cab7thtradition@gmail.com)

Trusted Servants who make up the Steering Committee:

  • Business Meeting Chair (10/18-10/20): VACANT
  • GSR (10/18-10/20): Kate M. (ammakate@yahoo.com)
  • GVR (10/18-10/19): Barbara M. (barbaramanolache@aol.com)
  • Greeter (4/18-4/19): Gigi (telperion.1214@gmail.com)
  • Greeter (4/18-4/19): Laurie B. (rubylaurie@gmail.com)
  • Listkeeper (4/18-4/19): Nancy (cybergram@eastlink.ca)
  • Listkeeper Alternate (4/18-4/20): Karen (fromie10@gmail.com)
  • OIAA Rep (10/18-10/20): Laura G. (grahamlaura1989@gmail.com)
  • Secretary (10/18-10/19): Ruth F. (serenity9918@gmail.com)
  • Temporary Mentor (4/18-4/19): Louise (wemerrilymeet@gmail.com)
  • Treasurer (10/17-10/19): Sue W. (scwills502@gmail.com)
  • Webkeeper (non-rotating): Tanya C. (Tanyaq42@gmail.com)
  • Webkeeper Backup (10/18-10/20): Allison M (paonia.allison@gmail.com
  • Weekly Leader Listkeeper (4/18-4/19): Amanda D. (amandabauman26@icloud.com)
  • Immediate Past Business Meeting Chair: Danna M. (dmcd9999@zoho.com)
  • Immediate Past GSR: Joan B. (joanb333@gmail.com)
  • Immediate past OIAA: Jenny P (jsaufler@gmail.com)
  • Immediate Past Secretary: Karrie C. (kchaneycoo@gmail.com)

1018 – OIAA Representative Report

Oct 2018 – OIAA Representative Report

Hi, I’m Jenny, an alcoholic and your group representative at the Online Intergroup of Alcoholics Anonymous.

OIAA is the global intergroup for online meetings of all kinds. Members are from all over the world and they provide the first line of communication for people seeking help/info/meeting information via the web. There is a very active 12th step committee; for every request for help they receive, over three responses are sent to the individual questioner.

Most members, including GROW, participate in the monthly role call by saying a little about their online meeting such as format, number of members, etc. Participation throughout the month is spotty and often includes a lot of cross talk. The last 6 months of meetings have been difficult for me to “attend” simply because there is so much frustration being vented.

Sometime before April, the previous treasurer absconded with the treasury (approx. $3,000). As a result, funds are low and tensions are high. Incoming funds are low, willing servants are hard to find, and some of the “old timers” are angry about it (and not afraid to say so). Part of the frustration is that without participation, OIAA may cease to exist. Full disclosure: I do not hold a service position at OIAA.

There is a monthly topic meeting (Tradition and concept) which while somewhat educational and informative still has all the above issues.

Thank you for letting me be of service.

Jenny P.
OIAA Representative

1018 – Listkeepers’ Report

Oct 2018 – Listkeepers’ Report

Our membership as of September 27, 2018 is 364. Regular list members 323 and 41 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).

This time last year we had 319 members. We are GROWING!

Karen and I have been working together for a few years in various capacities and have a great working relationship!

Our Greeters, Laurie and Gigi are doing an excellent job and we all enjoy working together!

Respectfully submitted,
Karen H and Nancy C
GROW Listkeepers

1018 – GVR Report

Oct 2018 – GVR Report

I have been Grapevine Rep (GVR) for 12 months. Each month I’ve sent out one email containing the Grapevine topic for the month and various other AA/Grapevine announcements.

At the last Business Meeting we agreed that the Grapevine topic could be better highlighted and this does seem to have encouraged more sharing from Grow members on the monthly topic.

I always copied and pasted an article related to the topic in full at the end of my GVR email. This is permitted by Grapevine as it’s us sharing it with our group. Feedback seems to show that Grow members appreciate having the story there in full to read.

I have always felt some of the Grapevine announcements get a bit lost in the monthly topic meeting email, and it was my intention to send out a second email just for these; however, I didn’t but I’ve passed that on as an idea in my handover of the service position to the incoming GVR.

I also discovered towards the end of my term that there is a handbook or set of guidelines available to GVRs. It is on the Grapevine website and I’ve emailed a link to it for the incoming GVR. I found it really useful to read about the history of the magazine, the format, how it carries the message and how it’s a recovery tool and the explanations as to why things are in it, I definitely recommend we continue to inform future GVRs that these guidelines are there.

Final thought… there’s a lot of audio available through the Grapevine website! Worth checking out if you have a subscription.

Thanks for letting me serve as GVR.

In love and service
Sophie

1018 – GSR Report

Oct 2018 – GSR Report

The current issue of Box 459, Summer 2018, has some touching articles and some informative articles.

The cover article tells the story of getting the Big Book translated into Navajo, which is an oral language.  Many dedicated people kept the project going for years to insure an accurate translation in the native language.   It’s an inspiring read.

There is information on openings for Trustees, an informative piece about myths and misconceptions concerning outside interests in AA, medical, judicial, treatment.  The General Service conference is summarized with recommendations put forward there.

There are 2 requests from AA members to share for the development of 2 new pamphlets, one for Spanish speaking women and one for experience concerning the 3 legacies of recovery, service and unity.

As always there is a list of AA functions, mostly in the US, but a few outside as well.

Box 459 is available online at
https://www.aa.org/newsletters/en_US/en_box459_summer_2018.pdf

Joan B.
GSR

1018 – Mini Steering Committee Report

Oct 2018 Mini Steering Committee Report

The “mini” Steering Committee (Chair, Secretary, and Listkeepers) dealt with two incidents in the last six months. Both of them involved differences of opinion between two members and were settled quickly. Neither incident was directly related to GROW operations or AA traditions.

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

2018 Group Inventory Responses

2018 Group Inventory – Responses to Questions

  1. What is the basic purpose of the group?
  2. What more can the group do to carry the message?
  3. Do new members stick with us, or does the turnover seem excessive?
  4. Do we emphasize the importance of sponsorship? How effectively? How can we do better?
  5. Are we careful to preserve the anonymity of our group members and other A.A.’s outside the meeting rooms? Do we leave the confidences they share at meetings behind?
  6. What more can the group do to carry the message?
  7. Are all members given the opportunity to speak at meetings and to participate in other group activities?
  8. Are we mindful that holding office is a great responsibility not to be viewed as the outcome of a popularity contest, are we choosing our officers with care?
  9. Does the group do its fair share toward participating in the purpose of A.A. – as it relates to our “Three Legacies” of Recovery, Unity and Service?
  10. As a group, do we remain informed about AA as a whole? Do we support, in every way we can AA as a whole or just the parts we understand and approve of?
  11. Are we considerate of all our members?
  12. As a group, have we done a thorough and fearless inventory, or have we missed an important element?

Question 1. What is the basic purpose of the group?

  • To carry the AA msg & support other women in recovery.
  • As we are an A.A. group I find our basic purpose to be to carry the message of AA.
  • To share our hope, strength and experience of the AA program, to show those still suffering that there is a way out.
  • The basic purpose of this group is to provide a safe place online for women who are alcoholics to find strength, support, and hope, and grow their program.
  • To spread the message to the still-suffering alcoholic.
  • To provide support to AA members, an alternative to face to face meetings that may be tough to get to for whatever reason/or in addition to f2f meetings, to share experience, strength and hope.
  • To carry the AA message and help women recover and live sober lives!
  • To stay sober and to help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety. To provide an alternative or supplement to attending f2f meetings.
  • to carry the message to other (women) alcoholics – new and old
  • To maintain our sobriety and to help others alcoholics achieve sobriety. To make this possible via the internet to reach out to recovering alcoholics and to newcomers. To make AA available to those who can attend f2f meetings, but also to those who are shut-ins for a variety of reasons.
  • To stay sober
  • To carry the message in the spirit of the traditions
  • Our basic purpose is to spread the message of AA to those who seek it. To provide support and daily interaction through our AA program/lifeline.
  • The purpose of the group for me is help each other achieve sobriety.
  • To help other alcoholics to get and to stay sober.
  • GROW provides an online ‘venue’ for an AA meeting and general support amongst AA members. I’ve observed this to be a home group for some or a supplementary group for others that already attend f2f meeting.
  • The basic purpose of GROW is to help women recover from alcoholism by carrying the message of hope in the program of Alcoholics Anonymous.
  • The purpose of the group is to carry the message of recovery in AA, using the 12 steps and adhering to the 12 traditions.
  • I believe the basic purpose is to help the new sober female in her sober journey. As well as support all members with varying degrees of sobriety.

Question 2. What more can the group do to carry the message?

  • Since we are a program of attraction rather than promotion, I don’t see what more we can do except be listed as an online AA group.
  • I think inquires are answered promptly and new members are welcomed.
  • Follow up with newcomers, if they aren’t sharing with the group or disappear for a period of time.
  • I like the 12th step list that we have, and the welcome for new members.
  • These are good beginnings in providing a foundation to carry the message.
  • When I was new to AA and attended my first few f2f meetings I was approached by women after the meeting and we exchanged telephone numbers. One of those women rang me every few days to see how I was, to find out how I was getting on with the meetings I’d been getting to. She suggested other meetings to try and generally helped me through those early weeks, introducing me to other women or giving me the name of someone at a meeting to look out for.
  • When I meet a new woman in a f2f meeting this is what I do, or try to do. If they’re new to the meeting or new to AA or new to the area I still do this. If I’d been left to find my own way I’m not sure I would have made it.
  • I wonder if there’s something in this that could be translated into our online meeting environment? As a way to help carry the message?
  • The other idea I have relates to us as a group emailing some of our sharing to Grapevine. They are keen to hear about any aspect of recovery and sobriety and I’ve often thought that as we are perhaps more used to sharing in writing we would be in a positive position to carry the AA message through Grapevine. It would be up to individual group members but perhaps the GVR could highlight specific topics that Grapevine are looking for contributions on, or reminders that shares on Steps or Traditions or birthday shares are always useful and welcome. It’s not just about getting them published in the printed magazine, there’s a lot of articles that are just published on the GV website.
  • Members could carry the message more by sharing it with their physicians, therapists, and in their face to face meetings.However, I would fear that if the group became too large we would have an issue.
  • Encourage more members to participate in share in our topics and volunteering.
  • Possibly send out a big book excerpt mid week to the group – maybe one that matches the topic of the week – so everyone could read it quick on an email. If things get sent to me instead of me taking it upon myself to find it, I am more apt to read it :)-I think we do a great job here at Grow. There are many members who share their ESH and believe the regular meeting, monthly step and tradition as well as Grapevine meeting, I think we are all carrying the message.
  • I think we are doing a good job. We are easy enough to find on aa-intergroup.org, and it sounds like we get some friends-of-friends referrals.  We remain rooted in the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions of AA, which keeps us on the right path.
  • word of mouth – if I meet a woman in a meeting who doesn’t have access to f2f meetings or who might go travelling I usually share with her about grow
  • I can’t think of anything. Changes have been made in the past to enchance GROW (i.e, adding the Grapevine topic) and some are in the works (updating the GROW site to a new software).
  • To carry the 12 step message
  • I love talking about the traditions and am wondering if there is a way to invite people to share on them in a different way. We don’t have a lot of women posting on the tradition/step of the month. Could they be sent out separately with a piece of text from the 12×12 to get people started?
  • I believe we are doing all we can according to the Big Book. We are here for those who seek sobriety.
  • I like the Sunday meeting. Perhaps suggestions on the literature related to the topic.
  • GROW is doing many things right by me. What more can it do? No suggestions.
  • I don’t have suggestions as I feel GROW does a wonderful job now.
  • We can make sure that we stay visible, especially in the online world of AA. We can also spread the word individually in our f2f groups by sharing about it in groups as a whole and with individuals who might find benefit from our group.
  • Be a giving example to people we meet in the community.
  • Pray for those in the rooms and out of the rooms.

Question 3. Do new members stick with us, or does the turnover seem excessive?

  • Hard to tell, as a newcomer myself!
  • I often wonder what happens to all the new women that we welcome! Only a very small number seem to share in the weekly topic meetings.
  • I remember when I joined I had a lot of correspondence with a Greeter. She answered all my questions and was encouraging and welcoming. I kept in touch with her quite frequently in my first few weeks as a member here, but I wasn’t new to AA so I had experience of how groups and meetings work, of what the program is and isn’t.
  • I guess at the moment it’s up to us as individuals to reach out to members we might not have heard share for a while or to newcomers we’ve greeted /welcomed or exchanged messages with but how do we know if this is happening?
  • The 12th step list is a way of carrying the message to those sharing but what about those who don’t share? In a f2f meeting we’d see the ones who come late, sit at the back, leave early etc.
  • Is there a way of having some kind of temporary sponsor or buddy available?
  • Interested to see what others share on this question.
  • I think the turnover seems normal. We see the same in face to face groups, as well as other online groups. Social media is one of those things where people pop in and out of; we’re such a transient society as it is, sadly.
  • turnover does not seem excessive
  • I am a newcomer and from what I have seen it does not seem excessive. I am not sure how many members we have but I don’t see a lot of people asking to be taken off the mailing list… not sure that I would see them all anyway
  • I think we have had a good run lately of people sticking! I hope that continues! 🙂
  • I doubt we have more turnover than most f2f groups. Some newcomers may think that they will stay sober by reading emails and will learn that it doesn’t work any better than just showing up to a meeting and not accepting the help that is offered to them there.   I think we do a good job of welcoming our new members in and inviting them to participate.
  • I wouldn’t know about numbers for turn over – I only see emails that are sent to the entire group which request to remove from the list – not sure if people stick or not
  • I don’t always share but I read the emails so maybe that’s the case with a lot of people.
  • In my opinion, the turnover has gotten less over the past couple of years.
  • I don’t know about turn over and not sure it matters because from what I have read some members live in isolated places or travel and this meeting forum is the only way to keep sober.
  • There are a lot of people unsubscribing by posting to the group. It makes it seem like a lot of women are leaving. And it seems to be people who haven’t posted very much.
  • I think the number of those who go back out is the same as face-to-face meetings, maybe slightly more because of the ease of internet contact. Maybe we could ‘assign’ someone to maintain contact with newcomers?
  • I can’t answer since I have no idea about the statistics.
  • I cannot accurately comment on how many join and then leave GROW. Still, I have some thoughts to share:
  • My visual memory is much stronger than any other form, so I refer to what I see in my f2f group. The vast majority of AA visitors come and go within a few months. The majority of members leave within a couple of years. Some stick for five or more years. I only regularly go to one meeting nearly every week, my home group, so I don’t know how many move on to other groups. I’d say no more than 5% have continuous sobriety in AA for more than a couple of years.
  • My intuition is that society needs more treatment methods for alcoholism. AA is not the best treatment for everybody. Fortunately, it is not the only treatment. We need to better understand why humans use and abuse alcohol. We need to understand the mind through neuroscience.
  • Not being a list keeper, I don’t know what the turnover rate is.
  • We have no way of knowing. The listkeepers publish numbers every business meeting but that does not tell us if newcomers are staying.  Also we cannot know if new members are leaving GROW to go to f2f meetings, having been supported to do so by finding GROW online first.  Every once in a while someone will share that, which is lovely!
  • We do have turnover, but I compare it to f2f groups and I don’t think it’s excessive.
  • It would appear that way. So not sure of reasons. Maybe found a f2f meeting, too time consuming, not disciplined to read shares every day. Hate to think it, go back out and just not sharing enough but reading the shares. The latter is me!

Question 4. Do we emphasize the importance of sponsorship? How effectively? How can we do better?

  • Some new GROW members are on their first day of sobriety and some just joining us have decades in AA, so women at different points in their program want different things. The monthly sponsor list (hopefully) lets newer ladies know that sponsors are available here.  I have never approached any GROW member asking clarification or more information and not gotten the help I sought.
  • I think we do what we can to suggest sponsorship to the new people that come in. Sending out the sponsorship list reminds those that we have many women available and willing to sponsor.
  • All we can do is continue to make the suggestion of sponsorship. I think we are effective in doing that.
  • “Do I have a Sponsor?” – that was one of the first questions I was asked by several members when they welcomed me to GROW. That was 7 years ago so don’t know if newcomers are being asked that now. I think the importance of sponsorship is emphasized almost every week.At times the meeting topic is Sponsorship. The weekly shares often mention members talking to their sponsors- or by being of service by being a sponsor. And the Sponsor List is sent out monthly.
  • We have the monthly sponsorship reminder that goes out as a reminder about sponsorship. It’s hard to know whether newcomers are approached because it happens privately. I feel that this meeting is so clear in its emphasis on steps and traditions that the importance of sponsorship comes through in shares.
  • I think we do a pretty good job of focusing on sponsorship. Of course, most of this comes when people share. We also have a Temporary Mentor to help people new to the group and a list of women who are available to sponsor on our website. I don’t know what more we could do.
  • I think we do a good job. One suggestion would be to send the list of sponsors to each new person to our group when they join. I am not sure how many women are now in the group, but our list of sponsors is rather short.
  • A list of available sponsors is sent out monthly to all members, along with an invitation to join our list of sponsors.We also have a Temporary Mentor position. Perhaps she could remind the members from time to time that she is available, temporarily, to assist until they find a Sponsor?
  • I think we share the importance of sponsorship in shares. In addition a list of online sponsors is published monthly.

Question 5. Are we careful to preserve the anonymity of our group members and other A.A.’s outside the meeting rooms? Do we leave the confidences they share at meetings behind?

  • I have mentioned at f2f meetings that I am a member of an online group; if someone asks me for more details I let them know how to go through the process of joining but don’t volunteer to forward emails. At times, I have copied/pasted shares on a specific topic for someone in a local group but I have never shared email information or identifiers other than first names as included in the shares.  I would hope that other GROW members do this or stuff like it.
  • I don’t know that there is any way to confirm or deny that we are doing a good job of this. I believe that the women that are here are trying to practice the principles in all their affairs, to the best of their ability and that includes preserving anonymity. We highlight the traditions in our weekly meeting and the step and tradition meeting, each month.
  • I can’t speak of others but I know I do. And we are reminded each week in GROW and at all the F2F meetings I attend by the reading of the Anonymity Statement.
  • I’m careful! there have been a changes made in the scripts re: not forwarding things no urls and the recent discussion of anonymity and Facebook for GROW and that has all contributed to this awareness of privacy and confidentiality .
  • GROW is very good about protecting people’s anonymity outside the meeting, but that is fairly easy with an online meeting. There is some personal information on our website for women who have volunteered to be Trusted Servants, but the website is password protected. I’m not personally aware of any issues with anonymity coming up in the past. Occasionally, I share at my f2f meetings about something a Grow member has shared, but the focus is on the message, not the particulars.
  • I think we do a good job. One example is voting down a facebook page because of the risk of member exposure.
  • I respect the spirit of anonymity. I will protect a member’s name but may share a part of her story with another alcoholic if I think it will help her.
  • I have not heard complaints about this, so I assume anonymity is respected.

Question 6. Do we take the time to explain to all members the value to the group of following our guidelines of e-mail etiquette? As a member, am I familiar with and do I follow these guidelines?

  • I think we do a good job of making the information available to all of our members. What they do with it is up to them, though.  Our guidelines are clear and succinct.
  • I believe that by sending out the monthly etiquette guide we are doing what we can to remind those of the guidelines. They are similar to that of f2f meetings so I am familiar and continue to practice them. There are many trusted servants here that I’m sure go out of their way to help those that don’t understand or follow the guidelines. I appreciate the desire of the women here to follow them. Doesn’t seem to me that we have many disruptions.
  • I believe so. The Guidelines are sent out regularly and if someone slips up, the members are reminded again of the Guidelines.
  • I’m familiar with the guidelines and follow them. And I do worry about newcomers who are very sensitive. It’s important to enforce the guidelines but with compassion!
  • I don’t know if we actually explain to everyone why our guidelines are important, but I know that people are great about adhering to them. There are few distractions in our meetings from our focus on recovery from alcoholism, and conflicts are not visible in the online meeting. When issues come up, they are addressed privately with the members involved. As a long-time member, yes, I am familiar with the guidelines and try hard to adhere to them.
  • I want to say that I am familiar but at the same time it wouldnt hurt me to go over the guidelines. Pretty sure that the only thing I may violate is character length.
  • Our Secretary sends us a list of Group Guidelines each month. I understand and follow the Guidelines to the best of my ability
  • I think we explain this when someone does not follow the guidelines. New members receive them and they are published monthly, but I think it’s in private that they are enforced.

Question 7. Are all members given the opportunity to speak at meetings and to participate in other group activities?

  • Members are given a week to respond to the weekly topic. Options for participating in service work, Grapevine posts, topic leaders and 12th step work opportunities are posted. I believe we do a very good job with this.
  • I think Grow encourages people to share in meetings on topic and to participate in our business meetings. Unfortunately, sometimes it feels like few people hear those messages. We have over 200 members, yet often it is the same people sharing each week on topic. The list of people participating in business meetings doesn’t seem to change much from year to year. It’s hard to know how to encourage more participation in an online group.
  • I think all members are given the opportunity to speak in meetings. The meeting is open to all who wish to share. And members can also share Off Topic.
  • I’m not clear about what the other group activities are.
  • Are all members given the opportunity to speak at meetings and to participate in other group activities? Yes. Everyone is encouraged to share on the topic, step and tradition, grapevine and the business meeting.
  • Yes, I feel sharing by any group member is welcomed and encouraged in Grow, quite often the weekly lead will say something along these lines.
  • The wording for participation in this inventory is a good example of how we do this too.
  • Perhaps there’s room for improvement in encouraging more members to participate in the business meetings?
  • Yes, indeed, every member has the opportunity to share in this group.
  • This is an easy one for a group that uses email, everyone can participate at any time.
  • I have never seen anything to indicate that members are denied an opportunity to speak, on topic or not, and to be included in group activities.

Question 8. Are we mindful that holding office is a great responsibility not to be viewed as the outcome of a popularity contest, are we choosing our officers with care?

  • In Grow, we are grateful when people step up to take a service position. Every cycle, it is like pulling teeth to get people other than the ‘regulars’ to take a service position. It is NOT a popularity contest, as we seldom have to worry about two people volunteering for the same job (so there is no vote).
  • We publish the positions that are open and refer to service work being important to our sobriety. I don’t believe since I’ve been a member of this group that we ever had to choose between two people so I don’t believe it’s a choice of any sort. If I’m correct it seems like it’s first to volunteer first to serve.
  • I believe the majority of the members are aware that holding office is a responsibility. The job description of each office position makes it clear what the responsibilities are and the qualities one needs to fill the position to the fullest. If someone has questions, they are free to ask. I know there are some positions I can’t fill due to my skill set. Having the best qualified members who desire to fill a posiwetion enhances GROW.
  • I believe that anyone who wants to be of service and serve a role of a trusted servant to this group is welcome to do so. I haven’t seen it as a popularity contest.
  • I think the advantage of us being online is that there’s less room for making things into a popularity contest and our guidelines around email etiquette seem to work well in helping us as a group avoid conflict in our meetings.
  • The job descriptions are helpful but also highlight the responsibilities involved.
  • As for Trusted Servants, we try to be careful that each one will be able to perform the tasks of the position. It is more a matter of who is willing and able than a popularity contest in this group. I am certainly glad for this.
  • Yes
  • Frankly it never occurred to me that it could be a popularity contest–it is my feeling that holding an office in such an esteemed organization like this is a very serious responsibility that requires commitment and time.

Question 9. Does the group do its fair share toward participating in the purpose of A.A. – as it relates to our “Three Legacies” of Recovery, Unity and Service?

  • Seeing the short list perhaps more members of GROW could volunteer for sponsorship opportunities.
  • At face-to-face meetings we always call 1st step when we have someone new to AA. Perhaps we could share privately with that person our first step stories.
  • I think Grow does as much as it can to participate in AA overall. We have representatives on OIAA and GSO. We are good about supporting and promotion the Three Legacies.
  • GROW members participate in the 3 Legacies of Recovery, Unity and Service by addressing the physical, mental and spiritual parts of our disease through their shares – although it may said be indirectly.
  • I believe we do. We are a group of women that truly focus on recovery and the solution. We do a good job of reminding each other it is a we program and that is being of service.
  • In my experience we seem to do best at Recovery & Service.
  • Regarding Unity, I’ve found warm, supportive, loving, generous fellowship amongst the women in the group but I know I’m quite good at reaching out. I wonder if members who don’t reach out themselves get reached out to? Like if someone goes quiet and doesn’t share for a while do members reach out to check in with that person?
  • Also, how unified are we with AA as a whole? I’m not feeling like there’s dis-Unity, just maybe that it’s the nature of us being online that means it may be harder to feel the unity with the wider AA fellowship online or offline.
  • The legacy of Recovery we do very well imho.
  • The legacy of Unity we typically do about as well as most groups I’ve participated in. We are open to all opinions in our business meetings, and when we do not have a consensus, we work towards that with care.
  • The legacy of Service at levels above the group are not as open to us as an online group. It has not always been easy to convince our members of the need to stay connected to OIAA but I personally believe this is very important. As an international group we have not formally associated with a particular Service office. We are registered as an online group with GSO in New York. Most of us are in the US and tend to think of that as the group to affiliate with. But we have or have had members in Australia, New Zealand, and Europe, and have not heard much about their Service offices. These are the facts as I know them today.
  • Yes, the group welcomes new members, everyone is invited to share and to serve as trusted servants. The business meeting is open to all and everyone has a voice in making decisions.
  • The joy of this group is its dedicated focus on the principles of AA and all sharings these legacies.

Question 10: As a group, do we remain informed about AA as a whole? Do we support, in every way we can AA as a whole or just the parts we understand and approve of?

  • I’m pretty sure we do what we can to support AA in the way I learned AA works… Service, unity and recovery. Sharing the message. One alcoholic talking to another, or the grateful recovering women in the group. 🙂
  • As a group we are informed about AA as a whole through our GSR and our OIAA Rep. How much any individual chooses to avail themselves of this information, there is no way to know.  I am grateful when our GSR sends the Box 4-5-9 link to the group.  I also appreciate when our OIAA Rep sends us a report of what is going on in our Intergroup.
  • I would say this is an area we could improve on.
  • We have Box 459 newsletter sent out which is really useful and informative but we have no other communication either from our inter group or announcements about aa news or business or events that might be relevant.
  • I feel it is a bit like we operate as a group in a bit of a bubble apart from aa as a whole.
  • We support the Traditions of AA, as well as our own GROW Guidelines. To keep us informed about AA as a whole, we could have more input from the GSR and OIAA Meetings.
  • Not really aware of our following developments about AA as a whole but I dont in our f2f meetings either. On the other hand, I see no difference between GROW and the AA we find outside.
  • We have reps for Grapevine, OIAA & GSO who report/present to the group. Not sure what else we could do to participate with AA as a whole.

Question 11: Are we considerate of all our members?

  • I believe we are. In any AA group there are men and women at different stages of their recovery. Some may approach recovery differently. But I believe we are all here because we don’t want to be out there… And that we are considerate to each other.
  • I believe that we are very considerate of all our members. I myself have tried to help and been seen as interfering; that was not my intention but without personal connection that can be hard to portray.  The last thing I want to do is to upset a Trusted Servant who is just trying to do her job.  We now have the small steering committee to handle any disruptions, as well as our trusted Secretary.
  • There are lots of examples where we are very considerate – prayer requests when members are ill or struggling. This is wonderful and feels warm and loving and supportive.
  • Our email etiquette means we don’t get exposed to some of the problems some online meetings experience, like flaming.
  • Is there more we could do to consider the needs of new or returning women? Assigning a buddy, perhaps? Someone to keep in touch as the woman finds her feet?
  • I believe that we are considerate of all our members by welcoming them to the group, and by sending personal messages of sobriety celebrations. Also, by following our Group Guidelines and Email Etiquette, members are considerate of each other.
  • The only area I could suggest being more considerate, “softer”, is when someone breaks the etiquette rules. Sometimes they are newcomers who are just finding their way and feel chastised/criticized and leave the group. Perhaps we could send a softer message to the offending member.

Question 12: As a group, have we done a thorough and fearless inventory, or have we missed an important element?

  • I think GROW does a GREAT job to see where they can grow (sorry no pun intended) and change. By holding our group to the standards of any AA group, I believe we have done a great job practicing these principles in all our affairs. (I’ve been a part of three women’s groups and this one is my favorite. By far!)
  • It seems that there are elements that could be missing from our inventory questions, which were written for f2f groups.I believe that this group possibly draws in part from women who are not sure that they are alcoholics and want to find out what AA is like without going to f2f meetings.  The experience of being a part of a group of alcoholics who are smiling, laughing, hugging and otherwise relating in a healthy manner is not to be missed.  We encourage new members to find this for themselves when they can.  That is all we can do!
  • I think the questions have been really useful.
  • It’s great to have a chance to read the thoughts of others who’ve participated.
  • The inventory may be thorough but the important element to me is what actions could be taken next, or at least discussed.
  • Without the next part of the process does the thoroughness become somewhat irrelevant?
  • There is no area in which I find GROW lacking.The format protects the process, ruling out crosstalk, etc.  There are established protocols for most any circumstance that comes to my mind.

1018 – Business Meeting Open

October 2018 Business Meeting Open

Greetings GROW Members:

The October 2018 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.

PLEASE:

  • Send all replies, comments and votes 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.
  • Trusted Servants (both Incoming and Outgoing) are automatically subscribed by our Listkeepers.
  • If you are not a Trusted Servant, 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.

Agenda for October 2018 Business Meeting
Trusted Servant Reports:

  • Secretary – Incoming/Outgoing Trusted Servants
  • Treasurer – Donations to GROW and Expenses paid
  • Listkeepers – Current number of GROW members
  • Business Meeting Chair – Activities of the “Mini” Steering Committee
  • General Services Representative – Activities of AA’s General Service Board and the Box 4-5-9 Newsletter
  • Grapevine Representative – Activities to inform GROW members about articles and information available in AA’s Grapevine, the international journal of Alcoholics Anonymous.
  • OIAA Representative – Activities of the Online Intergroup of AA

In the October 2018 meeting, an ad hoc committee began developing and implementing a new GROW website. Our first business will be to receive and discuss the workgroup’s progress to date and talk about next steps (Proposal 1).

In addition to GROW’s website, participants in this meeting will consider several proposals:

  • Change the monthly FYI letter sent out by the Secretary.
  • Add a sentence to the Weekly Meeting Format Letter to emphasize our principle of anonymity.
  • Increase the amount of our biannual contribution to oso-aa.org.
  • Create a Newcomer Committee to support the Temporary Mentor to assure quick responses to questions and issues and to help new members adjust to the online meeting format and practices.
  • Each month, the Temporary Mentor will send a short letter reminding GROW members of AA resources available to them.
  • Abolish the Trusted Servant position of OIAA Representative and discontinue GROW’s participation in that group.
  • Review Group Inventory responses to identify appropriate changes that will improve our online meeting.

I look forward to your participation at the meeting!

Regards,
danna M.
GROW Business Chairdmcd.grow@zoho.com

1018 – Business Meeting Welcome

Oct 2018 – Business Meeting Welcome

Greetings, and welcome to the October 2018 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 fourth day, I will post the results/consensus of our 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
dmcd.grow@gmail.com

Sep 30: AA in Two Words

AA in Two Words

As Bill Sees It
September 30
A.A. In Two Words, p.271

“All A.A. progress can be reckoned in terms of just two words: humility and responsibility. Our whole spiritual development can be accurately measured by our degree of adherence to these magnificent standards.

“Ever deepening humility, accompanied by an ever greater willingness to accept and to act upon clear-cut obligations-these are truly our touchstones for all growth in the life of the spirit. They hold up to us the very essence of right being and right doing. It is by them that we are enabled to find and to do God’s will.”
Talk, 1965 (Printed In Grapevine, January 1966)

Wow. I love this short and powerful message. Wouldn’t the world be a better place if everyone showed humility and responsibility in their life? It starts with us. Today. Almost all our problems can be fixed with a little humble pie and taking responsibility for our part. I know I need a dose of each every day so I am reminded I am no one else’s life manager but mine. God willing, I continue to do the right thing today and tomorrow. Making the world around me a better place, one day at a time. It starts with me. It starts with you. AA in two words: humility and responsibility.

Sep 23: Isolation and Loneliness

Isolation and Loneliness

I am grateful to be here today with GROW and celebrate an AA birthday. I recently came back to the rooms after 25 years away. This came about as the result of circumstances I was in. I did not drink. I never stopped living according to AA.principles. But I began to experience the most painful case of isolation and loneliness I ever thought possible. I simply could not stop crying. These feelings were ever-present when I had been drinking too I know. In fact, the Big Book says:

What are we likely to receive from Step Five? For one thing, we shall get rid of that terrible sense of isolation we’ve always had. Almost without exception, alcoholics are tortured by loneliness. * * AA World Services Inc. Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions (p. 57).

Isolation serves a purpose for the drinker, No one will see, stop or judge us on how much we drink. We don’t have time for anything else but drinking. We had drinking ‘friends’ but they are long gone. We can stay in our heads. As a friend used to tell me, ‘ When we are in our heads we are behind enemy lines.’ We can easily neglect ourselves and our home because no one will see us. And in a certain way we are saying, Don’t bother me–I need to feel sorry for myself right now. Or, I have to rage and nurse a resentment–I’ll get back to you. Of course, we won’t.

It is rare that isolation isn’t coupled with loneliness. We deny it, but there is a huge hole inside of us and when we were drinking, we thought alcohol could heal the ulcer. Of course it didn’t work. It got worse. We are social beings. We need other human beings. A god of my understanding was rarely even a thought! There is no such thing as we can do it all ourselves. The power of a group is much greater than that of an individual. Our human and spiritual sides atrophy and cause the pain of loneliness. Despite our isolation perhaps, we look everywhere to dismiss the loneliness. These really are the underpinnings for setting us alcoholics up for failure. We refuse to see the connection. Talking through my tears, I actually fought coming back to the rooms. Really, go figure!

I gave little or no attention to a Higher Power. He did stay on the side waiting for me to make a move and ask Him for help all through this time. I was not used to interacting with people. I surely wasn’t used to smiling or thinking about someone else. I came to realize how my unshared emotional pain and isolation were wallowing–selfish–and digging me into a deep hole. First I came to GROW and then found a f2f meeting. The funny part of this all is that I was so SURPRISED how much better I felt back in the rooms. Btw, I was told not to waste a lot of time looking for my Higher Power because He wasn’t hiding!

One last note. Let me offer one caveat. The ‘craving’ for isolation is not lifted like the craving for alcohol. It sneaks up on us and we may not attend meetings. We have all the denial we had when we were drinking. While I had not been hiding, I needed to be here no matter what in my life impeded me. I will keep coming back. I am grateful I found a way to do it. My sponsor has made this clear. In no way do I recommend the path I took to return to the rooms. I was blessed to have survived.

Please share on this topic ISOLATION AND LONELINESS or on any other topic from your experience, strength, and hope. We are glad most of all that you are here.

hgz, b. dos 9/21/83

Sep 16: Why Service Works/Chronic Relapsers

Why Service Works/Chronic Relapsers

“Practical experience shows that nothing will so much insure immunity from drinking as intensive work with other alcoholics. It works when other activities fail. This is our twelfth suggestion: Carry this message to other alcoholics! You can help when no one else can.” -BB page 89

So this is why service worked for me…

  • When I help other women, or anyone for that matter, I am bringing God into the room, because before “I” brought nothing but chaos and drama….now that I am recovered; I bring Him. When I do anything of selfless service it glorifies what God did for me…Him using me as a vessel heals me, calms me, and makes me sane. Also I get to be a living breathing example of what AA is-not this white knuckle sobriety or chronic relapsing which seems to be the new normal in AA.
  • When I am selflessly engaging with someone I am NOT thinking about myself. It blocks me from selfish thoughts and self-preoccupation, which is precisely what makes and keeps us spiritually ill. Not only that, but I just feel like crap when I am totally self-absorbed, like when I was drinking. In an effort to help them, my mind gets empty and I can operate from spirit, instead of self. Mental clutter begets more clutter, and then suddenly I’ve become a hoarder with all sorts of toxic, self-created problems.
  • Service repaired my soul. Working with others healed me spiritually, mentally, emotionally, psychologically, and even physically!
  • Service/Sponsorship helped me to grow in God and strengthen my sobriety so much so that I haven’t once in the 4 years I have been sponsoring romanced the idea of drinking-Immunity. I get relief and restored sanity daily because no matter how bad my day, someone ALWAYS has it worse. Self pity is instantly tuned into compassion. I get to help them which means that my brain has less time to mess with me….when I am being used by God in service I am sane=whole.
  • Sponsoring lifts me up inside, which is perfect for alcoholics who always need to feel good…lol! Seriously, God knew the alcoholic had to have a “good feeling”, something in it for me!
  • Service is the opposite of being a selfish alcoholic-I can’t treat my selfish disease with more selfishness-which is why AA is not “self help”-the Self Help industry emphasizes on self, we emphasis on God and others. It’s self that get us crazed.

Impart, I get immunity from drinking when I carry the message of AA. No room to relapse. The real message is in the book-not in slogans, rehabs or meetings. Fellowship is but one part of recovery. Fellowship is support, love and friendships…Meetings are a place we gather to share the solution with the newcomers…But the Immunity comes with working then Steps then Working with Others.

Growing in my connection and knowledge of God-and teaching other women to do the same. Half measure avail me NOTHING. If I go to meetings and am not working the Steps or sponsoring other women my sobriety will reflect that-barley hanging on; that isn’t in the big book. Celebrating relapses as though it’s a normal part of recovery-Relapse is a result of half measures-kinda working the program, expecting my sponsor to fix me, just attending meetings, not fully doing the to Step work, not being fully honest which will result in a shaking foundation that is laid in the first 3 Steps….

The book tells me if I think I have control over my drinking I should head over to the nearest bar and try that theory out…LOL!! Can you imagine if a sponsor said that now?!? Oh wow, she would be racked over the coals! “Hilarie, you think your normal, you still think you have power…go drink and get back to me” Instead we are so afraid that they might “get mad at us” or say something bad behind our backs, that we allow them to breeze through the first 3 instead of going with the gut that says…”I KNOW she thinks she’s still in control, but I move her along anyways” I’ve done this, so I call myself out. I admit it it. What I should have done is what the bb says instead of making myself their higher power by thinking I could make them better.

Getting stuck on those who aren’t completely willing and just want to hang out and talk, keeps me from helping someone who is really ready…I have just allowed my ego to sponsor and developed a savior complex-NOT GOOD! Moving on and being ok with the fit they will throw (because they will) My gut knows when I am playing God…You think God’s gonna let me get away with that…hell no! LOL…Thank God for God who reveled that to me in inventory and then gave me courage to stop people pleasing sponsees. That doesn’t mean I’m always right, or that I am the sponsor for them-but at least I can admit that I needed edification there instead of getting stuck in this old idea.

If you are a chronic relapeser I ask you to stand down for a year or two…wait to speak until you have something of substance to share. I know that flies in the face of “make everyone happy” modern AA, but I don’t care. We have adopted the idea that relapse is normal in recovery and it’s not. If they are doing all the that they should be doing then relapse isn’t even an issue…it’s something we don’t entertain anymore. If that pisses people off-good. We should be pissing people off instead of people pleasing them to death. My biggest turn arounds in sobriety have come with facing the uncomfortable truths of myself and my behavior. Change is not comfortable-sorry.

We spend so much time coddling them instead of teaching them. We practicality throw a party because they “came back” cool, your back…now lets see where you messed up….
Which Step did you stop at?
Were you not entirely honest with your sponsor?
Did you not fully concede to Step 1?
Do you still have a lurking notion that you can drink normally?
Where you not fully convinced that God could do for you what he did for me?
Did you really turn your will over?
What did you leave off your 4th and didn’t say in the 5th?
How about defects? Which ones were you unwilling to let go of? Did you pray for willingness to do so?
How many outstanding amends do you really have?
How is the daily inventory going?
Prayer and meditation daily?
Sponsoring others? Home group? Service commitment?

My guess is that the reason for the relapse is one if not all of these things. But who cares…lets just blame our sponsors, our life circumstances and drink because I always can “keep coming back”….THEN, we get to listen to them…the newcomer then thinks this is normal…and the old timers let it slide.

Shame on us for not having the courage to pull these women aside and tell them to shut up and listen until they have truly entered into the sunlight of the spirit. They use to make people wait five years before they could speak…and made sure they had quality sobriety-that they weren’t just dry and speaking to hear themselves talk. You can’t transmit something you haven’t got…Get it first, then we will hear you…until then-listen, do what your sponsor says, be honest, do the work and pray…otherwise, stand down.

If they get pissed and bring it to the meeting format so that they can draw out and feed off the emotions of other lukewarm recovering alcoholics to falsely justify themselves and their numb hurt feelings-so be it. Integrity has taking a back seat to making sure “feelings” aren’t hurt…Stop it! LOL! That’s why I got so messed up in the first place…my mom never wanted my precious “feelings” hurt! Feelings get hurt-so what, get over it. Our entire fellowship is just handed over to those who think AA is a revolving door of white chips which causes confusion in the minds of those who really do want to live. We no longer have the right to confuse or use people-not anymore. If we don’t start standing up for our fellowship instead of conforming to this wishy washy people pleasing crap-then we will lose it. The message is so watered down that’s it’s almost gone. We are people pleasing drunks into a early grave. I’m not letting go of my fellowship to protect feelings of chronic relapeser anymore.

Thanks for letting me share!

Sep 09: All or Nothing

All or Nothing

My name is Suanne and I am an alcoholic. The following reading comes from the Grapevine, March 1962.

“Acceptance and faith are capable of producing 100 per cent sobriety. In fact, they usually do; and they must, else we could have no life at all. But the moment we carry these attitudes into our emotional problems, we find that only relative results are possible. Nobody can, for example, become complete free from fear, anger, and pride.

Hence, in this life we shall attain nothing like perfect humility and love. So we shall have to settle, respecting most of our problems, for a very gradual progress, punctuated sometimes by heavy setbacks. Our old-time attitude of “all or nothing” will have to be abandoned.”

Man, this smacks me between the eyes sometimes. All or nothing because that’s the way I am. I have a hard time with balance. However, with the principles of our program, I am learning and I hope I will always be teachable. I used to think that if I was working a good program, I would never get angry again, or depressed again. However, I’ve found this is an ongoing surrender. When I ask God to remove any defects of character that are not of any use to Him, I don’t get struck “perfect”. I have to remember that there are still some defects He is using right now. Serenity comes when I”m doing the best I can today, asking for God’s will and doing my best to do whatever He puts before me. Sometimes I get it right and sometimes I don’t. But I”m willing and I’m willing to learn from my mistakes as well. Thy will be done.

Ladies, this is your meeting. Please share your experience with the above or with whatever you feel led to share on. Thanks for allowing me to be of service.

Hugs
Suanne G
DOS 6-20-01
Waco, TX

Online Sponsors 10/2018

Available Online Sponsors

Women who have volunteered to sponsor GROW members.

Sep 02: Attitude Adjustment

Attitude Adjustment

Hello everyone.
“Not picking up a drink creates infinite possibilities for me. … Who knows? This could be the greatest day of my life.” Grapevine DAILY QUOTE Book on p. 9

I love reading this passage and have it taped on my bathroom mirror so, I can’t miss it every day. I feel a combination of hope and gratitude when I read it and know that it’s only because of GOD and AA that it’s a possibility.

Is today the greatest day of your life? I don’t know if it’s mine but, I sure don’t want to miss it just in case.

Please share your experience, strength, and hope on this reading. The quote comes from a Grapevine article titled “Attitude Adjustment” (Jan 2006).

Aug 26: AA Literature

AA Literature

Hello ladies of GROW, my name is Allison M and I am an alcoholic. I’ll admit to being hooked on our wonderful array of AA literature! Who else here is a fan of it?

My first impression of the first 164 pages of our Big Book was that it was frumpy, outdated and chauvinistic. But it didn’t take long to uncover the gems scattered in the pages, and I actually now enjoy re-reading certain passages that always seem to calm me down or help me find an answer to almost any problem that weighs on me. Do you have a favorite passage?

And what about the stories from the Big Book? My go-to is “Freedom from Bondage” on page 544 of the 4th edition. I identify so strongly with this story that the first time I read it, I briefly wondered if I had written it during a blackout and forgotten! I have found some amazing stories in Experience, Strength and Hope, a collection of stories from earlier editions of the Big Book that have been retired to make room for new stories. It’s amazing to see how we members have grown and evolved in the program through the decades. Again and again I go back to “The Professor and the Paradox” and “Stars Don’t Fall” from previous editions and continue to be moved by them. What are some of your favorite stories from the Big Book, any edition?

I’ve recently been tearing through the AA Grapevine books, compilations of Grapevine stories relating to specific categories like step work, sponsorship, and emotional sobriety. It’s like having a topic meeting on demand! Is there a Grapevine story that has stuck with you over time?

There are some great memoirs written by women who are living sober in AA. They aren’t technically AA literature, but I have read some incredibly moving and motivating stories that have given me fresh energy and insight into living a fulfilling sober life.

I look forward to hearing your favorites from the wide selection of AA literature we have to choose from, or about what is affecting your sobriety today!

Aug 19: Accountability is Sustainability

Accountability is Sustainability

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

The first five steps barreled into my life all together like a ton of bricks. Step 5 was my turning point! I had tried to be honest with my husband after drinking and his begging me to stop (for years)…not good enough….I tried to be honest with myself and my failed attempts to be sober…not enough and in fact after really trying to stop and repeatedly failing, I was getting worse because my conscious was telling me I was a failure in every respect. I couldn’t do it alone. I’ve been a Catholic my entire life and had fallen away from church, prayer or anything spiritual. It was all fake. One day I cried and finally cried out and asked God to help me. I was powerless and drinking was going to take everything I held dear away. By listening to what I needed, to seek God’s help in order to be open and honest to another human being about my life, my choices and who I had become and how this has happened, came the grace I so desperately sought. I would never have fathomed the questions or the answers which poured out. All of the terrible things I had done and said, the lies, the pain I had caused others. After it was over it was like the entire AA program, made complete sense.

It was an ever so slight shift in thinking and a decision to never want to go through that pain again. My honest words leaving my mouth somehow made things seem real for the first time. It was like being set free from a prison. I found that I could do the work needed to accomplish being sober. I recognize that God is humble and never comes if first not invited, but God will find a clever way to get invited. And so it truly began.

A book I recently read said you cannot heal what you don’t acknowledge and what you do not consciously acknowledge will remain in control of you from within. We must work through our fear, our stinking thinking, guilt, to get to the powerful steps of AA in order to be the women we were meant to be. Step 5 gives a clear structure of recognizing that accountability is sustainability. How do you keep yourself accountable in order to sustain your sobriety?

Aug 12: No God, no peace. Know God, know peace.

No God, no peace. Know God, know peace.

Hi everyone,
My name is Nydia and I am an alcoholic. Thank you for the opportunity to chair.

I found myself thinking today – 10 years to the day I last picked up a drink – only when I stay close to my Higher Power do I find serenity. Like a true alky though, I do tend to wander 🙂 If I expect/ depend upon people, places and things to fill that hole in the donut, there’s no God, and no peace. Only when I turn to my HP to find that inner calm. A place of sanctuary. Below I have placed a few words from Bill W. He says it better than I do 🙂

Taken from the article ‘The Next Frontier: Emotional Sobriety’ by Bill Wilson (January 1958)

“I asked myself, “Why can’t the Twelve Steps work to release me from this unbearable depression?” By the hour, I stared at the St. Francis Prayer: “It is better to comfort than to be comforted.”

Suddenly I realized what the matter was. My basic flaw had always been dependence – almost absolute dependence – on people or circumstances to supply me with prestige, security, and the like. Failing to get these things according to my perfectionist dreams and specifications, I had fought for them. And when defeat came, so did my depression.

There wasn’t a chance of making the outgoing love of St. Francis a workable and joyous way of life until these fatal and almost absolute dependencies were cut away.”

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

Aug 05: Listening Deeply

Listening Deeply

Daily Reflections
August 5
LISTENING DEEPLY, p.226

How persistently we claim the right to decide all by ourselves just what we shall think and just how we shall act. -TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 37

If I accept and act upon the advice of those who have made the program work for themselves, I have a chance to outgrow the limits of the past. Some problems will shrink to nothingness, while others may require patient, well-thought-out action. Listening deeply when others share can develop intuition in handling problems which arise unexpectedly. It is usually best for me to avoid impetuous action. Attending a meeting or calling a fellow A.A. member will usually reduce tension enough to bring relief to a desperate sufferer like me. Sharing problems at meetings with other alcoholics to whom I can relate, or privately with my sponsor, can change aspects of the positions in which I find myself. Character defects are identified and I begin to see how they work against me. When I put my faith in the spiritual power of the program, when I trust others to teach me what I need to do to have a better life, I find that I can trust myself to do what is necessary.

Share on this topic, your ES&H.

Amanda 8-3-2016

Jul 29: Growing Up in AA

Growing Up in AA

Hello women of GROW and thank you for the opportunity to chair!

I am getting ready to celebrate 5 years sober…I’m also 51 years old and finally starting to feel like a grown up woman.

Today, my HP and I have a partnership. As a result I have been able to do things I never thought I could handle.

As a result of working these Steps, I no longer manipulate my partner into doing things I just don’t want to do; if I notice something that needs taking care of, I take care of it.

I no longer try to get something for nothing. If my computer is infected by malware, I pay someone to remove it. I no longer try to find a friend to do it for free.

I face my fear of financial insecurity. I am finally getting new glasses and I chose to go to the clinic that felt supportive, as opposed to one that was inexpensive.

Today I am learning to maintain good boundaries with partners and friends. I’m take care of my body. I am self-supporting through my own contributions! And it feels great.

I’d love to hear how AA has helped you to grow and take responsibility for your lives. What can you do now, with the support of your Higher Power that you thought you were unable or unwilling to handle?

Have a lovely week and I’m looking forward to hearing from you on this topic or whatever is on your heart.

xo
Kirsten

Jul 22: Accepting Others As They Are

Accepting Other As They Are

I read the serenity prayer several times each week, adding 2 words in my mind: “…accept the people and things I cannot change…”. I personally find it much more of a struggle each day to truly accept the behavior of others when they don’t meet my expectations. I also convince myself that they should be able to read my mind and understand that I am not pleased, and therefore change – for me! After all, I am the center of the universe (aren’t I)?

At times I am able to easily turn my expectations over to God, and eventually that promised feeling of serenity washes over me like a warm glow. Other times, my fears and insecurities in my personal and work relationships hit me hard, and I want them to make it (i.e., me) feel better. When they don’t, well, I want to drink, eat or go shopping.

This excerpt is from the Hazelden app that I use every day, I find it so helpful when I am stuck in the mire of expectations (the first sentence really makes me chuckle, it’s so true!):

“Women like to sit down with trouble as if it were knitting. How often we turn minor challenges into monumental barriers by giving them undue attention, forgetting that within any problem lies its solution! However, the center of our focus must be off the problem’s tangle if we are to find the solution’s thread. The best remedy for this dilemma is the Serenity Prayer. We cannot change our children, our husbands or partners, not even the best friends who we know love us. But with God’s help we can change the attitude that has us blocked at this time. A changed attitude, easing up on ourselves, lessening our expectations of others, will open the door to the kind of relationships we seek, the smooth flowing days we long for. We need not take life so seriously. In fact, we shouldn’t take it so seriously. We can measure our emotional health by how heartily we laugh with others and at ourselves. The 24 hours stretching before us at this time promises many choices in attitude. We can worry, be mad, depressed, or frustrated, or we can trust our higher power to see us through whatever the situation. So, we can relax. It is our decision, the one decision over which we are not powerless. I will be in control of my attitude today. I can have the kind of day I long for.”

Please share your thoughts on this topic or anything else you would like to bring up.

Grateful to be of service this week, thank you!
Susan P.

Jul 15: Feelings in Sobriety

Feelings in Sobriety

It’s so hard to handle and feel emotions and feelings sober! With alcohol, I could sure handle them much better. Alcohol was like a wonder drug for me, it gave me courage, self confidence, and a great mood… For awhile anyway.

My first year sober I heard voices and committee meetings in my head constantly. I had to do some serious praying and God took the voices away. My emotions were so out of control though, luckily my home group was balanced and understood my emotional roller coaster. Feelings for me never last forever, they will pass. But new coping skills took practice and I still don’t always have the emotional balance down like I should. For example, at my new job I have a coworker who was my boyfriend 32 years ago. I was his check racker on roulette yesterday and I had nervous butterflies in my stomach just because he was talking to me asking how I was doing. And I still feel like a 14 year old school girl with a crush when I am interested in a man. (I’m 58). I have heard at meetings that you stop maturing when you had your first drink. So maybe with 10 sober years I have the maturity of a 26 year old? Sometimes I can get lost in resentment which is fatal to the alcoholic. Lots of prayers, distancing myself, and finding my part in it. Sometimes I have fear and I try to pretend I’m not afraid of anything. I know when dealing with feelings sober I need other women alcoholics to talk to because they will probably understand. Gratitude is a great way to get grounded and tame the feelings. Thanks for letting me share! Have a great week Grow ladies!

Jul 08: Alcoholic Who Still Suffers: Life on Life’s Terms

Alcoholic Who Still Suffers: Life on Life’s Terms

We hear these words at every meeting. ” A moment of silence for the alcoholic who still suffers, inside and outside of these rooms.” I have to admit, first I see the homeless drunk suffering and sick. I may not even get time to think about the alcoholics inside the rooms.

The other night at a f2f meeting a woman raised her hand and said, “Please don’t forget about those suffering inside the rooms.” This is a young woman who is going to prison for what occurred during her using. Her 6 year old child has been taken away from her. Her sobriety has been fragile but she has been working it. She is heart-broken and ashamed. She needs our prayers and support and continued acceptance. She needs us to understand. These problems are at the heart of Living On Life’s Terms.

Many in our small local f2f group are suffering a lot today. Serious illness; impending death; disabled children; loss; broken families; loneliness; financial problems left over from using. One man is trying to share a lot ‘before he cant’ anymore–he has early Alzheimer’s. Another man just 90 years old, keeps repeating the AA slogan: Don’t drink and don’t die, but the dying part clearly weighs heavily on his mind. He tries to joke about it. But his eyes are not laughing. This is life on life’s terms.

But what can be said of ‘inside the rooms’ alcoholics is that they are sober. They are not drinking. They have a sponsor. They work the Steps. They come to meetings. And still they suffer. Perhaps for the moment, we are okay. We are able to give extra support to those in need. We can pray for them. We can check up on them. The Promises are being realized in our lives. And we can say a prayer of gratitude for today, AA, and our Higher Power. We can do service. We are okay today, one day at a time. We are not doing it alone. Nor are they. AA prepares us for Life on Life’s Terms. It’s not easy but it works.

Jul 01: 4 Reasons Why I’m Active in AA

Reasons Why I’m Active in AA

Hello all, Yolanda, humbly grateful alcoholic here to serve. Welcome to new members and congrats to those celebrating sober milestones – I’m glad everyone is here.

I chaired the end of the month Birthday Speaker meeting at one of my regular meetings yesterday, and it was an amazingly powerful meeting. Several people picked up one year medallions and one person celebrated having 9 years of continuous sobriety – glorious! The speaker was a gentleman who imparts such words of wisdom that it was truly an honor to introduce him and hear his ESH.

He began his story by reading pages 180-181 from the BB, and as I was considering my topic, it continually came to mind. In this section, Dr. Bob’s Nightmare, he’s talking about why he continued to be active in AA:

  1. Sense of duty.
  2. It is a pleasure.
  3. Because in so doing I am paying my debt to the man who took time to pass it on to me.
  4. Because every time I do it I take out a little more insurance for myself against a possible slip.

When people ask why I still attend meetings, sponsor others and do service work, without realizing I was strikingly similar to Dr. Bob, I give these reasons. I have been given SO much from this program that to take it all and not help someone is returning to my old character defects and being selfish and self-centered. This is the sense of duty.

Because it’s a pleasure: to help someone through their steps, be an ear when they need to work through a problem, chair a meeting, make coffee, etc., all these things make me feel I’m contributing to this Society and it fills my cup. It brings me joy to be of use to others!

By doing so I’m repaying a debt to those who showed me the way: my sponsor(s) have put a lot of work and time into my sobriety and they’ve shared so much wisdom with me that who am I to keep it to myself? Again, I can’t be, shouldn’t be so selfish as to keep it to myself. They helped me so I know their words would help others and I’m happy to share how their suggestions helped me deal with various issues and it could possibly help them, too.

Lastly, continuing to be active is my insurance against slipping: working with a Sponsee always reminds me why I got sober. I can listen to their pain and remember my own like I was just drowning in it yesterday, and I never want to feel that way again. If I slip up and drink, I’m right back where I was 3.5 years ago or worse- I would be in jail, in the hospital or dead.

So, why are you here? What keeps you an active “card carrying” member of this fine fellowship? Do you have reasons other than above or what are your thoughts on the reasons Dr. Bob noted- can you relate? I look forward to reading your shares and thank you for allowing me the privilege of serving. The meeting is now open……….

Birthday Announcement

Birthday Announcement

[ Name of Celebrant ] is celebrating [ Length of Sobriety ] of sobriety today!

Please send private greetings to her at: [ Celebrant’s Email Address ]

Congratulations, [ Name of Celebrant ], please feel free to share with us what it was like, what happened and what it is like today.

Birthday Request Letter

Just a reminder that we celebrate 30 days, and 3, 6, 9 and 18 months of sobriety.

And, of course, we also celebrate annual birthdays.

If you have a birthday in the month of June that you would like to have acknowledged by the group, please write to me privately at: [ Birthday Listkeeper’s email address ]. Please include your date of sobriety and I’ll be happy to make the announcement.

We LOVE sending out birthday greetings and we don’t want to miss yours!

Thanks.
[ Birthday Listkeeper’s Name ]
Birthday Listkeeper

FYI Letter

This is a revised Information Page for GROW. Please save this for your records and discard any old FAQ’s or FYI’s that you might have. Thank you very much.

[ Name of Secretary ]
GROW Secretary

Grateful Recovering Online Women [GROW]

Contents:
GROW FYI Contents:

  1. Declaration of Unity
  2. List of Trusted Servants
  3. Important Group Addresses
  4. Web Page Information

Declaration of Unity
This we owe to AA’s future: To place our common welfare first; to keep our fellowship united. For on AA unity depend our lives, and the lives of those to come.

“It takes people to get group jobs done. Most of us agree that AA ought never be “organized.” However, without endangering our commitment to preserve our spiritual and democratic Fellowship, we can “create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.

In AA groups, these trusted servants are called ‘officers’ and are usually chosen by the group for limited terms of service. As Tradition Two reminds us, Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.”


List of Trusted Servants

Our Trusted Servants who serve the group:

  • Listkeeper (beginning-ending month/year)
    Name [ email address ]
  • Back-Up Listkeeper (beginning-ending month/year)
    Name [ email address ]
  • Greeter (beginning-ending month/year)
    Name [ email address ]
  • Birthday Listkeeper (beginning-ending month/year)
    Name [ email address ]
  • Weekly Leader Listkeeper (beginning-ending month/year)
    Name [ email address ]
  • OIAA Rep. (beginning-ending month/year)
    Name [ email address ]
  • Secretary (beginning-ending month/year)
    Name [ email address ]
  • Sponsor Listkeeper (beginning-ending month/year)
    Name [ email address ]
  • 12 Step Volunteer Listkeeper (beginning-ending month/year)
    Name [ email address ]
  • Business Meeting Chair (beginning-ending month/year)
    Name [ email address ]
  • GSR / OIAA back-up (beginning-ending month/year)
    Name [ email address ]
  • *Treasurer (beginning-ending month/year)
    Name [ email address ]
  • *Webkeeper (beginning-ending month/year)
    Name [ email address ]
  • *Back-up Webkeeper (beginning-ending month/year)
    Name [ email address ]

*Steering Committee

  • Listkeeper (beginning-ending month/year)
    Name [ email address ]
  • Back-up Listkeeper (beginning-ending month/year)
    Name [ email address ]
  • Business Meeting Chair( (beginning-ending month/year)
    Name [ email address ]
  • OIAA Rep. (beginning-ending month/year)
    Name [ email address ]
  • Secretary (beginning-ending month/year)
    Name [ email address ]
  • Sponsor Listkeeper (beginning-ending month/year)
    Name [ email address ]
  • Treasurer (beginning-ending month/year)
    Name [ email address ]
  • GSR / OIAA back-up (beginning-ending month/year)
    Name [ email address ]
  • Immediate Past Chair/Secretary
    Name [ email address ]
  • Immediate Past GSR
    Name [ email address ]

Important Addresses
Listkeeper’s Address: [grow-owner@oso-aa.org]
(use this address to change things about your subscription, or to unsubscribe, resubscribe or ask questions about mail problems to the list).

To send shares to the List, use this address: [grow@oso-aa.org ]
(use this address for all your shares or posts to the regular list of any sort.)

Note: Please do not post subscription change requests to the group at large, they are too easily overlooked.

Grapevine Letter

We are all invited to share on the Grapevine topic of the month.

This month’s topic is: [from aagrapevine.org/]. This month’s feature story in print is: [from aagrapevine.org/] – summary available online. This month’s online feature story is: [from aagrapevine.org/]. Note that in order to read entire article, one has to subscribe; however, there is usually one that is available to read in its entirety.

The Grapevine offers a Daily Quote which will be sent directly to your Inbox. You can sign up for it at aagrapevine.org/emails.

The Grapevine also offers you many service opportunities to share YOUR Experience, Strength and Hope either in print (story or artwork –aagrapevine.org/contribute) or audio – aagrapevine.org/audio-portal.

In addition, there are several contests to enjoy such as the photo contest (aagrapevine.org/photocontest) or caption contest (aagrapevine.org/content/submit-caption).

Please take this opportunity to enjoy AA’s “meeting in print”! And to discover all the other wonderful things Grapevine (aagrapevine.org/) has to offer!

With gratitude,
GROW GVR

Greeter Letter 1

Dear [ New Member Name ],

Thank you for inquiring about Grateful Recovering Online Women. We are a closed women’s group of Alcoholics Anonymous whose primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety. If you have a problem with drinking, or think you have a problem with drinking, you are welcome at this meeting.

AA’s Third Tradition says: “The only requirement for AA membership is a desire to stop drinking.” As a closed meeting, we ask that you affirm your adherence to this tradition before we add your name to the meeting list.

We will be introducing you to our group. Please send a short paragraph about yourself when you reply with your adherence to the third tradition. I will include this in the introduction to the group so we can all get to know you.

We invite you to visit our web page to learn more about us, it can be found at www.g-r-o-w.com.

Thank you again for your inquiry and I look forward to hearing from you again soon.

[ Greeter Name ]
Grateful Recovering Online Women

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

GROW Mail List Guidelines

GROW Guidelines for Email Participation

The following group guidelines are based on our experience with mail lists and our adherence to the Twelve Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous (see Traditions in Cyberspace).

Sometimes, new members can be overwhelmed by the volume of e-mails coming through the list. If you experience this, you might find it helpful to create and use a separate email address to reduce the confusion of mixing GROW mail with your primary email address. There are many services that offer free e-mail (just search for “free e-mail accounts” on the web). Be sure to notify our Listkeeper at grow-owner@oso-aa.org if you change your address. You might also want to check out the Digest version containing the day’s posts in a single e-mail (contact our Listkeeper to get the Digest).

  • We do not engage in postings that disrupt our common welfare or distract us from our primary purpose (see Disruptions & Flaming).
  • We send personal messages such as; welcomes, hugs, thanks-you’s, pats-on-the-back, responses to prayer requests, and “enjoyed-your-share” comments privately — not to the group.
  • When responding publicly, we copy and paste only the pertinent parts of the share to which we are responding — not the entire share. This is especially important for those on digest.
  • We post both on and off topic. Please use the subject line to indicate *On*- or *Off*-topic, and if off-topic provide a subject (example — “Off-Topic: Prayer Request”).
  • 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.
  • We direct all mail of a business nature to the business list. If you are not subscribed to the business list, please help us stay focused on our primary purpose by sending questions or concerns about how the group functions to a member of the Steering Committee.
  • We do not allow group postings of any copyrighted material for which permission to distribute has not been obtained from the copyright owner.
  • In keeping with AA’s 11th Tradition and out of respect for anonymity, we do not: 1) include more than this mail list address on anything we post to the group; or 2) forward posts outside the list without getting permission from the original sender and deleting all identifying information; or 3) contact members on social media sites without their prior permission.
  • By the same token, when we wish to forward something to the group, we include only the portions we want to share, deleting all identifying information, such as e-mail addresses, routing info, names, etc. Using copy and paste of the portion you wish to share works best.

Email courtesies:

  • All email programs are different, please set your line length to no more than 80 characters.
  • Short paragraphs with a space between are easier to read than long paragraphs with no breaks.
  • Email written in all CAPS is difficult to read and can be interpreted as shouting. To emphasize something, please use *asterisks* or _underscores_.

Introduction to Group

[ Message Subject Line: ] NEW MEMBER [ NAME ]

Hi Ladies,

Please welcome [ name ] to the group. Personal greetings can be sent to [ New member’s e-mail address ]. As an introduction, [ New Member Name ] wrote:

[ New member’s introductory statement ]

Your Greeter,
[ Greeter Name ]

Mailman Letter – Business List

Welcome to the Grow-business@oso-aa.org mailing list!

To post to this list, send your email to:
grow-business@oso-aa.org

General information about the mailing list is at:
http://lists.oso-aa.org/mailman/listinfo/grow-business

If you ever want to unsubscribe or change your options (eg, switch to or from digest mode, change your password, etc.), visit your subscription page at:

[ specific for each member ]

You can also make such adjustments via email by sending a message to:

grow-business-request@oso-aa.org

with the word ‘help’ in the subject or body (don’t include the quotes), and you will get back a message with instructions.

You must know your password to change your options (including changing the password, itself) or to unsubscribe. It is:

[ specific for each member ]

Normally, Mailman will remind you of your oso-aa.org mailing list passwords once every month, although you can disable this if you prefer. This reminder will also include instructions on how to unsubscribe or change your account options. There is also a button on your options page that will email your current password to you.

Mailman Letter – Regular List

Welcome to the GROW@oso-aa.org mailing list! This is a one-time automated response confirming your subscription. Please read and save this letter for future reference.


Addresses
Use this address for posting messages to the group: grow@oso-aa.org
Use this address to write to list keepers: grow-owner@oso-aa.org
(details below)


Please note: When sending a message to the GROW group, send it ONLY to: grow@oso-aa.org

If you address your message to more than GROW (in To:, Cc: or even Bcc:) your message will not post to the GROW list. This is to protect our anonymity.


You Can Edit Your User Options
You will find general information about the GROW mailing list at:
lists.oso-aa.org/mailman/listinfo/grow

If you ever want to unsubscribe or change your options (e.g., switch to or from digest mode, change your password, etc.), visit your subscription page at:
lists.oso-aa.org/mailman/options/grow

You can also ask the list keepers to make these changes by sending an email to: GROW-request@oso-aa.org with the word HELP in the subject or body. You will get back a message with instructions.

Password: To change your options (including changing your password) you must know your password. It appears near the bottom of this message.


What If You Forget Your Password?
If you forget your password, send a message to:
grow-request@oso-aa.org and type only the word password in the body of the message. Normally, Mailman will remind you of your oso-aa.org mailing list passwords once every month, although you can disable this if you prefer. This reminder will also include instructions on how to unsubscribe or change your account options. There is also a button on your options page that will email your current password to you.


Where To Find Other Helpful Information
You will find our Guiding Philosophy and Guide for E-mail participation and other helpful information on our website: http://www.g-r-o-w.com

Click on “For Members

Password: sobertodayhow2484


What Happens Next?
A GROW member will be writing to you soon to welcome you and to provide you with more detailed information regarding the format and topic of this week’s A.A. meeting.

To post to this list, send your email to:
grow@oso-aa.org

General information about the mailing list is at:
lists.oso-aa.org/mailman/listinfo/grow

If you ever want to unsubscribe or change your options (eg, switch to or from digest mode, change your password, etc.), visit your subscription page at:
lists.oso-aa.org/mailman/options/grow/

You can also make such adjustments via email by sending a message to:
GROW-request@oso-aa.org

with the word `help’ in the subject or body (don’t include the quotes), and you will get back a message with instructions.

You must know your password to change your options (including changing the password, itself) or to unsubscribe. It is:
[ specific for member ]

Normally, Mailman will remind you of your oso-aa.org mailing list passwords once every month, although you can disable this if you prefer. This reminder will also include instructions on how to unsubscribe or change your account options. There is also a button on your options page that will email your current password to you.

New Trusted Servant Letter

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.

7th Tradition Letter

7th Tradition Letter (aka “Passing the Basket”)
The basket is now being passed.

Tradition Seven: “Every A.A. group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.” We have no dues or fees, but we do have expenses. These include rent for the listserver and web page, bank fees, and contributions to OIAA and GSO. Contributions are appreciated, and can be made by check or by PayPal. To keep you informed, the Treasurer’s Report of our contributions and expenses is posted in the ‘For Members’ section on our website. See procedures below.

To Contribute by Check:
Per group conscience, please make checks payable to [ Treasurer’s Name ] with “GROW” in the memo line and mail to:

[ Treasurer’s Address ]

If you want confirmation of contribution, please include your e-mail address.


To Contribute by PayPal:
To contribute using PayPal, first read “Important Note About PayPal” below so you do this safely. Then, go to PayPal’s secure website: (https://www.paypal.com/us/)

  • If you don’t already have an account, sign up for a PayPal account
  • Click the Send Money tab
  • Enter an amount and recipient’s email, which is:[ PayPal email address set up by Treasurer]
  • PayPal will send confirmation of your payment.

**Important Note About PayPal**

  • If you choose to use PayPal, please remember that PayPal is a safe money-exchange operation if (and only if) you follow the safety recommendations posted on the PayPal website.
  • To safely and securely access the PayPal website or your account, open a new web browser (e.g. Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox) and type in the PayPal URL (https://www.paypal.com/us/) to be sure you are on the real PayPal site.
  • PayPal will send confirmation of payment. They will never ask for your password in an email. Always assume any email from PayPal asking for a reply is a scam and do not reply.
  • To learn more about protecting yourself from fraud, visit the PayPal Security Center. Click “Security Center” on the bottom of any PayPal page.
  • If you are at all uncomfortable using PayPal, consider sending your contribution by check.

Sponsor List Announcement

Dear Women of GROW,

Grateful Recovering Online Women supports sponsorship. We offer this list to you of women who are willing to sponsor on-line. Many of us have found there is nothing like a live voice at the end of the phone, or a warm hug in a f2f contact when we are overwhelmed with a problem in our lives. On-line sponsorship can add another dimension to your recovery as on-line meetings.  Please be aware that you can also ask anyone in GROW to be your sponsor. Online sponsors are not limited to this list. Know that it may take a few trials to find the right fit for you in a Sponsor.

For more information about sponsorship, please visit our web page on sponsorship (g-r-o-w.com/member-welcome/trusted-servants/online-sponsors/) in GROW’s members only section (password: sobertodayhow2484). You can also find AA’s “Questions and Answers on Sponsorship” at www.aa.org/assets/en_US/p-15_Q&AonSpon.pdf.

List of Available Sponsors
[ List sponsor names and information]

Phone numbers of many on the above list are available upon request.

[Name]
Sponsor Listkeeper

 

Temporary Mentor Letter 1

Hi [ New Member Name ],

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

Just a reminder that you can learn more about AA by visiting one of these links:

      • The Alcoholics Anonymous general services office and information such as the AA Big Book (titled “Alcoholics Anonymous”) or the “12 Steps and 12 Traditions,” along with many pamphlets as well as links to local resources for AA.
      • AA’s Online Intergroup (OIAA) where you can find meeting lists as well as real-time phone numbers and other Internet types of meetings.
      • AA’s Grapevine magazine with stories and audio stories and Grapevine subscription options.
      • Each month, our Sponsor Listkeeper sends out a list of women in GROW who have volunteered to sponsor our members. When you read a share that touches you personally or that reflects what you want in sobriety, I recommend that you write to them. After you know them better, you can ask them to sponsor you. The Sponsor Listkeeper can send you a list of available sponsors in GROW.  Please be aware that you can ask anyone in GROW to sponsor you. You do not have to limit your choices to the List of Available Online Sponsors. In case you would like to contact our Sponsor Listkeeper, you can write to her at [SLK e-mail].

     

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

    [ Temporary Mentor Name ]
    GROW Temporary Mentor

Temporary Mentor Letter 2

Hi [ New Member Name ],

I haven’t heard from you, so I assume that you have settled in nicely in our group. If you have any questions, the offer of help still stands. Please feel free to contact me.

[ Temporary Mentor Name ]
GROW Temporary Mentor

12th Step Opportunity Letter

I am responsible….
When anyone, anywhere, reaches out for help, I want the hand of A.A. always to be there. And for that: I am responsible.

Step Twelve: “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.”

Here in Grateful Recovering Online Women, we offer you an opportunity to work the Twelfth Step through serving on our 12th step committee. This is a great way to reach out and have the hand of A.A. there for the suffering alcoholic.

If you would like to serve on this committee, just hit reply, I will sign you up. Before you know it, you will be growing by sharing your experience, strength and hope.

“The joy of living is the theme of A.A.’s Twelfth Step, and action is its key word. Here we turn outward toward our fellow alcoholics who are still in distress. Here we experience the kind of giving that asks no rewards. Here we begin to practice all Twelve Steps of the program in our daily lives so that we and those about us may find emotional sobriety. When the Twelfth Step is seen in its full implication, it is really talking about the kind of love that has no price tag on it.” (12 x 12, page 106)

[ 12th Step Listkeeper Name ]

Weekly Format Letter

Welcome to the Sunday meeting of Grateful Recovering Online Women.

My name is [ Topic Leader Name ] 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:

  1. That we were alcoholic and could not manage our own lives.
  2. That probably no human power could have relieved our alcoholism.
  3. 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:

[ 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. ]


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.”

Weekly Leader Reminder Letter

Dear [Name]:

I’m sending you a friendly reminder that you are scheduled to chair this upcoming Sunday. I’ll be attaching a clean copy of the updated meeting format to this email. Let me know if you have trouble opening it or copying it to an email. Please remember not to add any urls in your post!

**Please reply to this email to verify your availability to lead this Sunday. You must send your meeting lead email on Saturday night, no later than Sunday morning, to ensure that ladies in various time zones will receive the meeting on Sunday morning.

If, for some reason you cannot chair the meeting this Sunday, please let me know before Saturday so I can find a replacement leader.

*For a list of meeting topics that have been previously used, visit the GROW website: www.g-r-ow.com, then go to the Members section and use the password: sobertodayhow2484

Thank you for your service!

[Name]
-Weekly Leader Listkeeper

Weekly Topic Leader Message

My name is [ Weekly Topic Leader Listkeeper Name ]. I am an alcoholic, and I’m also your Weekly Leader Listkeeper. I am taking volunteers for the [ time period ].

Here is the calendar of our upcoming leaders scheduled to chair. A big GROW thank you to all who are committed to growing in service.

Month: [ Month ]
[ Date, Name ] Step Meeting
[ Date, Name ]
[ Date, Name ]
[ Date, Name ]

Here is your opportunity to volunteer to lead a weekly meeting, choosing a topic that relates to your individual experience, strength and hope or a topic you would like to hear about, that relates to alcoholism recovery. The requirements necessary to lead a meeting are 90 days of continuous sobriety and a member of GROW for more than 30 days.

[The April 2019 GROW business meeting designated the first meeting of the month to be a STEP MEETING. Please limit your lead share to the step of the corresponding month.]

If you would like to volunteer, just hit reply and let me know which available date you would be willing to lead. Here are the available dates:

[ Month, Day ] Step Meeting
[ Month, Day ]
[ Month, Day ]
[ Month, Day ]
[ Month, Day ]

We try to give thoughtful attention to those who would like to lead a meeting around their A. A. anniversary. If the date requested is already filled, you will be offered another available date. Around Wednesday or Thursday of the week before you’re set to chair, I’ll contact you and pass on the meeting format. If, for some reason you cannot do the meeting on your selected Sunday, please let me know as soon as possible so I can find a replacement leader.

If you would like to be added to the on-call meeting leader list, please reply and let me know. You will be added to a list of volunteers who are willing to quickly post a weekly topic when the scheduled chair is unavailable. The only requirement is that you are available to check your email every Saturday/Sunday and respond quickly to a request from the Weekly Leader Listkeeper, so she can find someone to chair in a timely manner.

I look forward to hearing from each and every one of you. The topic meeting is a great way of saying “hi” and letting us all get to know you better. Thank you for your participation and thank you for letting me be of service.

[ Name ]
Weekly Leader Listkeeper

P.S. As our membership is *growing*, we are getting duplicate names. When you respond please include your name and the first initial of your last name.

Common Duties Description

Trusted Servant Common Duties

  • 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 names of celebrants collected while in transition, 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.

Birthday Listkeeper Description

Birthday Listkeeper

  • 6 month term
  • 6 months sobriety
  • Must be member of Business List.
  • Sends a notice to the group toward the end of each month, asking who is celebrating 30 days, 3-, 6-, 9-, 18-month, or any multiple of annual birthdays, in the following month (requesting replies to be sent privately).
  • Develops a list of celebrants for each month.
  • At the end of each week — or early in the morning on the day of each birthday — sends to the group a list of these members celebrating 30 days, 3-, 6-, 9-, 18-month, or any multiple of annual birthdays during the coming week (or on that day).
  • At the end of each month, sends a letter to the group with a list including all the celebrants for that month and the total MONTHS of sobriety that were celebrated.
  • Reminds celebrants they are invited to share personal stories on or around their annual sobriety anniversary.
  • Common duties and requirements to all Trusted Servant positions is described here.
  • Wording for letters commonly used are provided in the links below:

Business Meeting Chair Description

Business Meeting Chair

  • 2 year term
  • 5 years sobriety
  • Must remain member of Business List.
  • Moderate business meetings; keep discussions focused on agenda.
  • Keep track of and review all discussions.
  • Be responsible for keeping the issues clear. If a motion is offered, be sure that it is stated clearly and distinctly so that all know what they are discussing and voting on.
  • Set agenda for meetings, placing items on the agenda in the order received.
  • Review all incoming proposals to ensure that they have not been finalized/approved within 1 year. If the proposal was finalized/approved during the last Business Meeting, inform the member of the 1-year Group Conscience revisit decision and table the item to the next Business Meeting.
  • Work closely with other trusted servants, especially the Secretary.
  • Serve as temporary back-up to the Secretary.
  • Will be available, in conjunction with the Secretary and Listkeepers, to answer questions/concerns/issues from any member of GROW. These Trusted Servants will confer among each other to provide an appropriate answer or resolution based on prior Group Conscience guidelines, and will respond back to the inquiring member.
  • Provide a summary report of any activity involving the Steering Committee at the next Business Meeting following such activity. (The Business Chairperson may appoint a designee to provide the report).
  • Know all group conscience decisions and guide group to adhere to them.
  • Have knowledge and good understanding of A.A. Traditions and A.A. Service Manual.
  • Have understanding of Group Conscience Guidelines and A.A. guidelines and how to apply them.
  • As much as possible, remain fair and unbiased, willing to listen and be flexible. (At times the Chair will need to remain flat-footed. Refer to A.A. Service Manual)
  • Have knowledge and good understanding of A.A. Concepts.
  • Review all posts from both business and main list for items which should be brought to the business meeting.
  • Be prepared for an increase in both public and private correspondence.
  • Be accountable for answering questions.
  • Writes and files minutes at end of each 3-day period for business list.
  • Writes and files a summary at end of each 3-day period for main list.
  • Counts votes during group conscience decisions.
  • Announces results of votes in business meeting minutes.
  • Receives information from Secretary if elections are needed.
  • If more than one volunteer for a position, calls for election, and counts votes.
  • Common duties and requirements to all Trusted Servant positions is described here.
  • List of Trusted Servant letter templates are provided here.

Grapevine Rep Description

Grapevine Representative

  • 1 year term
  • 1 year sobriety
  • 1 year membership in GROW
  • Must be member of Business List.
  • Member of Steering Committee.
  • The GVR will chair one meeting a month on the topic presented in that month’s Grapevine.
  • Sends a form letter to the membership which shares the tools of the Grapevine both print and online.
  • The GVR will receive a 1-year subscription to the Grapevine (print and online) paid for by the GROW Treasurer.
  • Common duties and requirements to all Trusted Servant positions is described here.
  • Wording for letter commonly used is provided in the link below:

Greeter Description

Greeter (2 positions)

  • 1 year term
  • 1 year sobriety
  • Reads GROW mail daily.
  • Must be member of Business List.
  • Receives inquiries requesting information about GROW from Listkeeper.
  • Sends initial response to potential new member, using Greeter Letter #1 as approved by group conscience.
  • Keeps track of inquiries.
  • After receiving appropriate response (sometimes need to clarify Third Tradition adherence or being female) sends to Listkeeper to subscribe them to the list.
  • After receiving confirmation from listkeeper that the subscription has been accepted, sends Greeter Letter #2, as approved by group conscience, to the new member.
  • Sends announcement to the group introducing new member to the group. (Place in subject line: New Member <email address>)
  • Sends copy of current Weekly Topic to new members as they join.
  • Responds to questions from new members regarding the group.
  • If new member does not have access to the web, forwards group information, as requested.
  • Works closely with Listkeeper.
  • Sends resubscription requests to the Listkeeper.
  • Communicates with the GROW 12-Step Volunteer Listkeeper about women who may need extra support.
  • Common duties and requirements to all Trusted Servant positions is described here.
  • Wording for letters commonly used are provided in the links below:

GSR OIAA Backup Description

GSR / OIAA back-up

  • 2 year term
  • 2 years sobriety
  • Must be member of Business List.
  • Serves on Steering Committee.
  • Links GROW with A.A. as a whole, serving as group contact with the General Service Office (GSO) of Alcoholics Anonymous (includes providing postal address).
  • Be listed as the group contact in the International Meeting Directory.
  • Anticipate heavy increase in correspondence.
  • Provide GSO with group information as necessary.
  • Keep group members informed of general service activities, information about conferences and conventions, and pertinent mail, including the newsletter Box 4-5-9, which is the GSO’s primary communication tool.
  • Assist the group in solving a variety of problems, especially those related to the Traditions, drawing on all the services offered by GSO when appropriate.
  • Post to the group excerpts from Conference Approved material as needed.
  • Answer group questions regarding A.A. literature, Traditions, Concepts, etc.
  • Be familiar with the group conscience process and help guide the group through group conscience decisions as necessary.
  • Work closely with the group’s OIAA Representative (subscribe to OIAA to remain informed).
  • Serve as back-up to the OIAA Representative.
  • Keep the group informed, via quarterly reports to the GROW business list, of discussions which may affect the group or A.A. as a whole.
  • The new GSR is responsible for informing the GSO of the following:
    • Group name and service number.
    • The new GSR’s name, address and phone number.
    • The previous GSR’s name (for removal from the mailing list).
  • Common duties and requirements to all Trusted Servant positions is described here.

Listkeeper and Alternate Listkeeper Description

Listkeeper and Alternate Listkeeper

  • 2 year term (1 year as back-up; 1 year as primary listkeeper)
  • 2 years sobriety
  • Must be member of Business List.
  • Serves on Steering Committee.
  • Will be available, in conjunction with the Business Chairperson and Secretary, to answer questions/concerns/issues from any member of GROW. These Trusted Servants will confer among each other to provide an appropriate answer or resolution based on prior Group Conscience guidelines, and will respond back to the inquiring member.
  • GROW Administration Password will be changed every two years, starting in April 2015.
  • Conduct a roll call every year. The particulars of when and how shall be left to the discretion of the Listkeepers.
  • Deal with all requests in the administrative mailboxes to subscribe, unsubscribe, or change email addresses on the lists.
  • Maintain two-month archive of all such requests.
  • Receive and forward to greeters all requests for new membership.
  • Process all former members who wish to rejoin the group as new members.
  • Occasionally correspond with requesters prior to forwarding to greeter to clarify the nature of the request.
  • Maintain two-month archive of these requests.
  • Maintain copy of greeter letter to fill in temporarily for absent greeters if no backup greeter is available.
  • Greet, correspond with, introduce and subscribe emergency 12th Step calls.
  • Forward names to 12th Step Listkeeper.
  • Maintain two-month archive of these names.
  • Evaluate each piece of bounced mail and determine if it’s from a nonsubscribed member, a malfunctioning mail server, a full mailbox, a member who has left her ISP without a forwarding address, or is a misdirected email to the Listkeeper.
  • Deal appropriately with each piece of bounced mail, including forwarding, redirecting, returning, answering, archiving, or deleting it.
  • Occasionally assist individual members in troubleshooting email delivery and posting problems and use of their email programs, at the discretion of the Listkeeper.
  • Unsubscribe members whose mail is undeliverable according to pre-established protocol. This protocol includes bouncing mail for up to 24 hours.
  • Deal with tech staff at the listservice when mailing list software is unresponsive or list is not sending mail.
  • Archive 10 digests and business digests.
  • Maintain copies of current Guide to Email Etiquette.
  • Subscribe all trusted servants to the busines list prior to the start of each business meeting.
  • Post intermittent messages about new problems.
  • Post status reports about server problems.
  • Contact listservice when list-approval (i.e. Listkeeper) names need to be changed. Assist with sending new or revised introductory letters to listservice for distribution to new members.
  • Work with Chair and Secretary to deal with disruptions, in keeping with Our Common Welfare Guidelines, as approved by group conscience.
  • The Listkeeper and Sponsor Listkeeper will coordinate to ensure that when someone unsubs, if that person is listed on the Sponsor List, her name will be deleted from the list of available sponsors as well.
  • Common duties and requirements to all Trusted Servant positions is described here.
  • Wording for letters commonly used are provided in the links below:

OIAA Representative Description

OIAA Representative

  • 1 year term
  • 2 years sobriety
  • Serves on Steering Committee.
  • Must be a member of Business List.
  • Subscribes to OIAA as a representative for GROW, linking our group with the online service structure.
  • Participates in the bi-annual elections and the business of the Intergroup as the primary voter for the group.
  • The Alternate votes if Rep is unavailable. Each group has one vote — through their representative or their alternate — and no individual can have more than one vote. OIAA suggests that each representative only serve one member group.
  • Use the GROW business list to keep the group informed of discussions which may affect the group or online A.A. as a whole.
  • Use the GROW business list to receive input from the group and express the group conscience to OIAA.
  • Provide successor with all necessary information, including job guidelines; and serve as a mentor for a period of time to ensure continuity of service.
  • Make quarterly reports of OIAA activities during GROW business meetings.
  • Common duties and requirements to all Trusted Servant positions is described here.