2022 – Group Conscience Decisions

2022 Group Conscience Decisions

April 2022

  1. Group Conscience Decision: Assign “qualifying GROW membership” to TS positions for which this requirement has not been specified. Required membership in GROW will be equal to the length of the term of office.
    Requirement for membership in GROW equal to the term of office will be assigned to the following Trusted Servant Position Descriptions:
    • 12th Step Listkeeper – 6 months
    • Birthday Listkeeper – 6 months
    • Sponsor Listkeeper – 6 months
    • General Service Representative (GSR) – 1 year
    • Grapevine Representative (GVR) – 1 year
    • Greeter – 1 year
    • OIAA Representative – 1 year

    For more information on this Group Conscience decision, please refer to Proposal 1 from the April 2022 business meeting.

  2. Group Conscience Decision: Revise the Secretary’s position description to delete contradictory, ambiguous, or unreasonable expectations. The bullet referring to the “Mini-Steering Committee” will also apply to the Business Meeting Chair and Listkeepers position descriptions.
  3. For more information on this Group Conscience decision, please refer to Proposal 2 from the April 2022 business meeting.

    Secretary

    • 1-year term
    • 2 years sobriety
    • One-year membership in GROW
    • Must be member of Business List
    • Adheres to confidentiality of private emails
    • Serves on the Steering Committee
    • Works closely with the other Trusted Servants including privately and discreetly informing members who stray from the guidelines
    • Maintains a current list of trusted servants and term dates
    • Serves on GROW’s Mini-Steering Committee with the Business Meeting Chair and Listkeepers to address questions/concerns/issues from any member of GROW
    • Maintains a list of emergency contact phone numbers of all trusted servants for use by trusted servants, not for general distribution
    • Calls for nominations/volunteers
    • Confirms nominees will accept and serve
    • Announces new trusted servants
    • Sends Steering Committee Welcome Letter to all new trusted servants
      Informs the business chair if elections are needed for trusted servants
    • Sends FYI Letter and GROW Mail List Guidelines monthly to GROW membership
    • Acts as a focal point to receive complaints when Trusted Servant(s) do not fulfill responsibilities, and works with the Steering Committee and the Trusted Servant to resolve performance issues
    • When a Trusted Servant becomes unavailable or unwilling to fulfill her duties, works with the Steering Committee to fill the position
    • Conducts a Group Inventory every 2 years (in even-numbered years) between the Business Meetings of April and October by sending out the 12 Questions on our website. Three questions will be sent to the group each week over a 4-week period. Each week’s responses will be summarized, posted back to the group, and the results discussed and reviewed by members at the next Business Meeting to determine if action needs to be taken. These will be posted in addition to the Weekly Topics.
    • In the event that the current Greeter and / or Listkeeper is unable to complete the task of their respected positions, the Secretary will put out a call to the membership for help to fulfill those tasks needed until the current Greeter and / or Listkeeper issue is resolved. The Secretary’s call to the membership would include a prerequisite of having served in those requested positions so that they may assume those duties quickly and efficiently.
    • Common duties and requirements to all Trusted Servant positions are described here
    • Wording for letters commonly used are provided in the links below:
      • FYI Letter
      • GROW Mail List Guidelines
      • New Trusted Servant Letter
    • List of other Trusted Servant letter templates are provided here

  4. Group Conscience Decision: Revise the AA Preamble wherever it appears in our form letters and on our website to reflect the October 2021 General Service Conference decision to change the wording in AA’s Preamble from “men and women” to “people.”
    For more information on this Group Conscience decision, please refer to Proposal 3 from the April 2022 business meeting.

  5. Group Conscience Decision: GROW approves the expenditure of funds to acquire support services from Dean Collins (oso-aa.org) or other professionals in managing the GROW website. GROW therefore authorizes the Website Administrator to incur expenses up to $300 per year to secure the needed support.

    Recommended Language: Add fifth bullet to the “Pay all group expenses…” section of the Treasurer’s position description: “Up to $300 per year to Dean Collins dba Insight Planners, or other professionals, for consulting services on GROW’s WordPress-based website. Add a tenth bullet to the Website Administrator’s revised position description: “May seek professional services to resolve technical issues up to an annual limit of $300.”
    For more information on this Group Conscience decision, please refer to Proposal 4 from the April 2022 business meeting.

  6. Group Conscience Decision: GROW approves a new form letter that the Temporary Mentor can send to the group each month, as required in her position description.< br/>
    For more information on this Group Conscience decision, please refer to Proposal 5 from the April 2022 business meeting.

    Recommended Language:

    Temporary Mentor Letter #3
    “Hello, GROW members. As Temporary Mentor, I work with new members who often do not know how to find more information about AA. I provide this to our new members in my first message to them, but all GROW members might also benefit from visiting AA’s main websites. This is 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.

     
    Please contact me if you have any questions.

    [ Name ]
    Temporary Mentor

  7. Group Conscience Decision: GROW modifies the current web keeping-related trusted servant positions, eliminating the webkeeper backup position, adding a ‘Topic Archivist’ position, and assigning 5-year terms for the Website Administrator and Webkeeper positions.
    For more information on this Group Conscience decision, please refer to Proposal 6 from the April 2022 business meeting.

    Recommended Language:

    Website Administrator

    • 5 year term
    • 4 years sobriety
    • 4 years GROW membership
    • Must be familiar with WordPress and the administration of Websites
    • Member of Business List
    • Non-voting member of the Steering Committee
    • Maintains GROW Server account
    • Maintains a periodic backup of the GROW database
    • Maintains GROW website updates (WordPress, theme, and plugins)
      May seek professional services to resolve technical issues up to an annual limit of $300
    • Consults with Steering Committee before making substantial design or content changes to GROW website
    • Supports Web-keeper and Topic Archivist on WordPress site issues
      Provides Web-keeper and Topic Archivist with all necessary information and passwords to access all web accounts and web server
    • Provides the Webkeeper’s email address to the web hosting service and designate her as co-owner
    • As owner of the g-r-o-w web account, helps ensure that the annual service fee is paid. If necessary, provide copies of invoice/receipt to GROW Treasurer for reimbursement
    • Upon retirement, transfers website account to successor, provide successor with all necessary information, including job guidelines, and serve as a mentor during the transition to ensure continuity of service.
    • Common duties and requirements to all Trusted Servant positions is described here

    Webkeeper

    • 5 year term
    • 2 years sobriety
    • 2 years GROW membership
    • Must be member of Business List
    • Non-voting member of the Steering Committee
    • Should be familiar with WordPress and website management
    • Maintains public website (g-r-o-w.com) for GROW to provide information about Alcoholics Anonymous and for the purpose of attracting new members. Information should include:
      • Info about Alcoholics Anonymous
      • Info about GROW
      • Frequently Asked Questions
      • Our Guiding Philosophy
      • Guide for Email Etiquette
      • Traditions in Cyberspace
      • How to become a member
    • Maintains the password-protected private section on g-r-o-w.com to provide GROW members with information about GROW, including:
      • List of trusted servants and job descriptions
      • Info about how we conduct business
      • Group conscience decisions
      • Common Welfare Guidelines
      • Archives in keeping with group conscience guidelines
      • Important Addresses
    • Works closely with the Business Meeting Chair and the Steering Committee to ensure that pertinent group history is preserved in the member’s section of the GROW website and that archived materials are accessible to GROW members
    • Consults with Steering Committee before making substantial design changes to GROW website that have not been dictated by group conscience decisions
    • Posts all business meetings and keep updated throughout the business meeting
    • Ensure that any material posted on g-r-o-w.com appropriately protects the anonymity of anyone mentioned
    • Upon retirement, transfers website account to successor, provide successor with all necessary information, including job guidelines, and serve as a mentor during the transition to ensure continuity of service
    • Common duties and requirements to all Trusted Servant positions is described here
    • Topic Archivist

0422 – Minutes for the third 3-day session

Minutes for the third 3-day session

During the third 3-day session of our meeting, we invited the Minority Opinion on one proposal and voted on four proposals.

Proposal 3 would change the language of the Preamble as it appears in our weekly meeting by replacing “men and women” with “people.” Sixteen people voted on the proposal. Eleven voted “I agree” (69%), and five voted “I disagree.” The vote exceeded the requirement for a two-thirds majority. During this session, we invited those who voted against the change to submit a Minority Opinion; however, no one chose to do so. Therefore, the proposal is accepted as a Group Conscience Decision.

Proposal 1 addressed GROW membership requirements for those Trusted Servant positions that had not contained the requirement. The discussion period was extended to allow us to consider each position separately. For all but one position, the required length of membership in GROW is equal to the term of office. However, most participants felt that a 2-year requirement for the GSR was too much. After this change was made, Fourteen participants voted unanimously to accept the proposed GROW Membership Requirements, and the proposal is accepted as a Group Conscience Decision.

Proposal 4 sought to authorize the Website Administrator to use professional website services to help resolve issues with WordPress and related plugin issues, with a spending limit of $300 per year. Fourteen participants voted unanimously to approve the expenditure of GROW funds for the service, and the proposal is accepted as a Group Conscience Decision. We will add a bullet to the Treasurer and Website Administrator positions to reflect this decision.

Proposal 5 would add a form letter for the Temporary Mentor position to facilitate the task of informing all GROW members of AA resources available to them. Temporary Mentor Form Letter #3 contains links to AA resources including GSO, OIAA, and the Grapevine. Fifteen participants voted unanimously to adopt the form letter, and the proposal is accepted as a Group Conscience Decision.

Proposal 6 offered revised website-related position descriptions for the Website Administrator and Webkeeper and replaced the Webkeeper Backup with the more accurate Topic Archivist position. Fourteen participants voted unanimously to adopt the new position descriptions, and the proposal is accepted as a Group Conscience Decision.

Most of the proposals considered during the meeting reflected topics that came up during the October 2021 meeting or in follow-up activities. One topic that had been raised was the idea of job-sharing of Trusted Servant positions, similar to what our Listkeepers and Greeters do now. The Listkeepers submitted a Statement on Job-Sharing that explained why they had decided against proposing further job-sharing arrangements. The statement is available on the website in the April 2022 business meeting.

In closing the meeting, the Chair asked Trusted Servants to review their position descriptions and to download their form letters at this time. She explained that these materials now include all Group Conscience Decisions made between April 2018 and October 2021 that had not been posted since 2018.

0422 – Minutes for the second 3-day session

Minutes for the second 3-day session

(Links to Proposals open a new page.)

During the second 3-day session of our business meeting, we voted on Proposal 2 (Revise Secretary’s Position Description) and Proposal 3 (Preamble Language).

We did not vote on Proposal 1 (assigning GROW membership requirements to Trusted Servant position descriptions that do not currently address this issue). The Chair extended discussion so that participants could discuss the requirement for specific positions. Two people submitted comments that did not change the proposed terms of service.

Sixteen people voted in favor of revising the Secretary’s position description and no one voted against it; therefore, Proposal 2 is adopted as a Group Conscience Decision.

Sixteen participants voted on Proposal 3 to change “men and women” in the Preamble to “people.” As background, this change was approved at the 71st General Service Conference annual meeting in April 2021 as a non-binding advisory action. By Tradition, each AA group is autonomous and can make its own decision about whether to change the Preamble it uses in its meetings. It’s impossible to know what decision the thousands of individual AA meetings are making for their own group. The change does not involve our basic text. It is not suggested that Big Book language should be changed. The Preamble was developed years after the BB’s first publication by people in the General Services Office.

Eleven (69%) voted in favor of making the change, and five voted against it. The majority vote is greater than the 66% required to carry the measure. During the third 3-day session, we invite those who voted “I disagree” to offer their minority opinion on the issue during the third 3-day session. If anyone changes their vote as a result, we will conduct a re-vote on Proposal 3. If no one changes their vote as a result, the proposal is accepted as a Group Conscience Decision.

During the second 3-day session, participants discussed Proposal 4 (Website Support Services), Proposal 5 (Temporary Mentor Letter #3), and Proposal 6 (Website Position Descriptions).

Six women commented on Proposal 4 which would authorize the expenditure of up to $300 per year for professional consulting services in support of our website. The consultant would help resolve issues related to WordPress plugins. All of the comments supported the proposal, but there were some questions. One participant wanted clarification on the relationship between support services for the mailing list and the website. The most likely candidate for providing these services also runs the oso-aa.org server, but this work would be completely independent of that activity. Another expressed concern about the amount of Prudent Reserve GROW should withhold but agreed that we could wait to see what impact this decision might have.

Seven participants commented on Proposal 5 to add Form Letter #3 to the Temporary Mentor’s position description. All of them supported the proposal. Several reported that our form letters are helpful to them in their own Trusted Servant positions.

Six women commented on Proposal 6 which presented new position descriptions (PD) for the Website Administrator, Webkeeper, and Webkeeper Backup (who would become the Topic Archivist). All of the comments were supportive of the proposal; however, there were questions. One participant asked for an explanation for setting the terms of office for Website Administrator and Webkeeper to five years. The primary reasons are how difficult it has been to fill the Webkeeper position and the level of skills necessary. One woman suggested adding a line to the Website Administrator’s position description about working with a professional(s) in support of website management. The Chair will add a bullet to the PD. Another wanted clarification of the PD item saying “Should be familiar with WordPress and website management,” suggesting that the words “should be familiar” do not clearly convey the demands of the position for someone considering volunteering.

During the third 3-day session, we will vote on Proposals 1, 4, 5, and 6 and consider any Minority Opinion on Proposal 3 that is submitted.

0422 – Minutes for the first 3-day session

Minutes for the first 3-day session

The Business Meeting has completed the first three-day session. Twenty-three GROW members are enrolled for the meeting. If you would like to participate, please send an e-mail to our listkeepers at grow-owner@oso-aa.org, and they’ll put you on our business mailing list. Trusted Servants provided reports at the beginning of the meeting.

Summary of Comments on Proposals 1-3

During the first session, we discussed three proposals. (The titles below are linked to the proposals on GROW’s website – password: sobertodayhow2484.)

Proposal 1 (GROW membership requirements): Eleven participants commented on Proposal 1. No one opposed the proposal, but more than half disagreed with the proposed requirement for length of membership in GROW for the General Services Representative. Feeling that a requirement for two years’ membership in GROW was unreasonable, they wanted to reduce that to one year. There was general agreement that the six-month requirement for the three six-month term Trusted Servants is appropriate. However, one person felt that 12th Step Volunteer Listkeeper should have been in GROW for at least a year. There were a few participants who wanted to shorten the membership requirements proposed for the OIAA Rep, Grapevine Rep, and Greeter from one year to six months. Given the interest in addressing specific positions and the lack of general consensus for many of the positions, the Chair is extending the discussion period through the second 3-day period when we will discuss the preferred required length of GROW membership for specific positions.

Proposal 2 (Secretary’s position description): Eleven participants commented on Proposal 2, all of them supporting the revisions to the Secretary’s position description. One participant suggested that the language changes related to the Mini-Steering Committee should also be made to the position descriptions for the Business Chair and Listkeepers. The Chair has added this to the proposal.

Proposal 3 (Preamble language): Twelve people commented on Proposal 3 to change “men and women” to “people” in GROW’s Preamble. This change was approved at the 71st General Service Conference annual meeting in April 2021 as a non-binding advisory action. By Tradition, each AA group is autonomous and can make its own decision about whether to change the Preamble it uses in its meetings. It’s impossible to know what decision the thousands of individual AA meetings are making for their own group. The change does not involve our basic text. It is not suggested that Big Book language should be changed. The Preamble was developed years after the BB’s first publication by people in the General Services Office.

During the first days of commenting, there appeared to be consensus for approving the wording change. However, one participant submitted a persuasive argument that the language should not be changed based on, among other things, AA’s Traditions – specifically Tradition 3, Tradition 4, and Tradition 10 The commenter also cited language in the first paragraph of the Preamble, pointing out an inherent contradiction between the advisory action and the statement that “A.A. is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution; does not wish to engage in any controversy, neither endorses nor opposes any causes. Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety.” After reading the opposing viewpoint, several participants commented that they would not support the change, and discussion of this proposal continued late into the night.

We will vote on Proposal 3 to change the Preamble that GROW uses in its weekly meeting and wherever it appears on our website. Voting will end late on Thursday, April 7th. The Chair will report on the outcome in the summary of our second 3-day session.

During the second 3-day session, we will vote on Proposals 2 and 3. We will continue to discuss Proposal 1 to fine-tune the requirement for GROW membership for seven positions. We will also discuss the last three proposals:

Proposal 4: Website Support Services
Proposal 5: Temporary Mentor Letter #3
Proposal 6: Website Position Descriptions

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

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

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

0422 – Proposal 6: Website Position Descriptions

Proposal 6: GROW modifies the current web keeping-related trusted servant positions, eliminating the webkeeper backup position, adding a ‘Topic Archivist’ position, and establishing 5-year terms for the Website Administrator and Webkeeper positions. (See proposed Position Descriptions below.)

Recommended Language
Summary of Comments
Results of Voting

Rationale:

Since the current website administrator has been in her position, the webkeeper and webkeeper backup positions have not been filled at the same time.  In addition, the roles and responsibilities are not outlined correctly.

Our current Webkeeper Backup is really posting the weekly meeting topics and not maintaining any aspects of the website structure or design.  This position is necessary for the group and more accurately defined by the new position that is being proposed: Topic Archivist.  Posting the weekly meeting topics maintains an archive of topics that is available for all members to review.  Simplifying this position description will very likely result in more members being willing to volunteer for this position.

The Website Administrator and Webkeeper roles have been very hard to fill by volunteers and are key to maintaining the infrastructure for the group. The premise of this proposal is that by having these two positions with 5-year terms, we can a) better communicate our expectations to the members who fill these roles, b) ensure continuity of infrastructure for the group, and c) have more lead time to identify and train future volunteers.

We will discuss this proposal during the second 3-day session. Please send your comments to grow-business@oso-aa.org or to me privately before midnight (your time) on Thursday, April 7th.
Please remember to include the proposal number in the subject line of your message.

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The 3 positions are:

Website Administrator: Basically, our current web admin is doing both Web Administrator and Webkeeper jobs now. Main focus would be on keeping the plug-ins up-to-date, patched, maintaining security of the website, etc.

Webkeeper: Would manage the webpage structure (categories, menus, etc.), would make any adjustments to content based on group conscience decisions, and would maintain the business meeting content

Topic Archivist: Duties would be what our current webkeeper backup is doing now, posting the weekly topics to the webpage. The requirements for this position have been simplified.

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Recommended Language:

Website Administrator

  • 5 year term
  • 4 years sobriety
  • 4 years GROW membership
  • Must be familiar with WordPress and the administration of Websites
  • Member of Business List
  • Non-voting member of the Steering Committee
  • Maintains GROW Server account
  • Maintains a periodic backup of the GROW database
  • Maintains GROW website updates (WordPress, theme, and plugins)
  • May seek professional services to resolve technical issues up to an annual limit of $300.
  • Consults with Steering Committee before making substantial design or content changes to GROW website
  • Supports Web-keeper and Topic Archivist on WordPress site issues
  • Provides Web-keeper and Topic Archivist with all necessary information and passwords to access all web accounts and web server
  • Provides the Webkeeper’s email address to the web hosting service and designate her as co-owner
  • As owner of the g-r-o-w web account, helps ensure that the annual service fee is paid. If necessary, provide copies of invoice/receipt to GROW Treasurer for reimbursement
  • Upon retirement, transfers website account to successor, provide successor with all necessary information, including job guidelines, and serve as a mentor during the transition to ensure continuity of service.
  • Common duties and requirements to all Trusted Servant positions is described here.

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Webkeeper

  • 5 year term
  • 2 years sobriety
  • 2 years GROW membership
  • Must be member of Business List
  • Non-voting member of the Steering Committee
  • Should be familiar with WordPress and website management
  • Maintains public website (g-r-o-w.com) for GROW to provide information about Alcoholics Anonymous and for the purpose of attracting new members. Information should include:
    • Info about Alcoholics Anonymous
    • Info about GROW
    • Frequently Asked Questions
    • Our Guiding Philosophy
    • Guide for Email Etiquette
    • Traditions in Cyberspace
    • How to become a member
  • Maintains the password-protected private section on g-r-o-w.com to provide GROW members with information about GROW, including:
    • List of trusted servants and job descriptions
    • Info about how we conduct business
    • Group conscience decisions
    • Common Welfare Guidelines
    • Archives in keeping with group conscience guidelines
    • Important Addresses
  • Works closely with the Business Meeting Chair and the Steering Committee to ensure that pertinent group history is preserved in the member’s section of the GROW website and that archived materials are accessible to GROW members
  • Consults with Steering Committee before making substantial design changes to GROW website that have not been dictated by group conscience decisions
  • Posts all business meetings and keep updated throughout the business meeting
  • Ensure that any material posted on g-r-o-w.com appropriately protects the anonymity of anyone mentioned
  • Upon retirement, transfers website account to successor, provide successor with all necessary information, including job guidelines, and serve as a mentor during the transition to ensure continuity of service
  • Common duties and requirements to all Trusted Servant positions is described here.

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Webkeeper Backup Topic Archivist

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Summary of Comments

Six people commented on Proposal 6 which presented revised position descriptions for all of the website-related Trusted Servant positions. In addition, the proposal would abolish the position of Webkeeper Backup and create a new position of Topic Archivist. The comments supported the proposal; however, there were questions to which the Chair responded ‘publicly’ on the business list.

One commenter asked about the reasoning behind the proposed 5-year terms of office for the Website Administrator and Webkeeper. The proposal initially made both positions non-rotating; however, this was changed to five years to reflect AA’s principle of rotation. The 5-year term also recognizes the difficulty we’ve had in attracting volunteers.
Another commenter suggested that the Website Administrator’s position description should include a bullet authorizing her to use professional services to assist with website management. The Chair has added a bullet as suggested.

Finally, a commenter asked about the implications for getting volunteers of the language “should be familiar with WordPress and website management” in the Webkeeper’s position description. There is a clear but unavoidable tension between the need for volunteers and the skill levels necessary to perform the job.

In the third 3-day session, we will vote on Proposal 6.

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Results of Voting

0422 – Proposal 5: Temporary Mentor Letter #3

Proposal 5: GROW approves a new form letter that the Temporary Mentor can send to the group each month, as required in her position description.

Rationale
Recommended Language
Summary of Comments
Results of Voting

Rationale: The Temporary Mentor position descriptions calls for her to send a short letter each month reminding GROW members of AA resources (GSO, OIAA, and Grapevine) available to them. However, this hasn’t happened regularly in the past. Providing a form letter will be a reminder and will make it easier for the Temporary Mentor to fulfill this task.

During the second 3-day session, we will discuss Proposal 5. Please send your comments to grow-business@oso-aa.org before midnight (your time) on Thursday, April 7th.
Please remember to include the proposal number in the subject line of your message.

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Recommended Language: Temporary Mentor Letter #3

“Hello, GROW members. As Temporary Mentor, I work with new members who often do not know how to find more information about AA. I provide this to our new members in my first message to them, but all GROW members might also benefit from visiting AA’s main websites. This is 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.

Please contact me if you have any questions.

[ Name ]
Temporary Mentor

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Summary of Comments

Six people commented on Proposal 5 adding a new form letter to the Temporary Mentor position description, all of them supporting the proposal. Several talked about how useful form letters have been to fulfilling their own duties. The letter facilitates the Trusted Servant in fulfilling a responsibility: “Each month, the Temporary Mentor will send a short letter reminding GROW members of AA resources available to them.” The letter mirrors form letter #1 but provides links to AA resources to all GROW members instead of just new members.”

In the third 3-day session of the meeting, we will vote on Proposal 5.

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Results of Voting

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0422 – Proposal 4: Website Support Services

Proposal 4: GROW approves the expenditure of funds to acquire support services from Dean Collins (oso-aa.org) or other professionals in managing the GROW website. For example, the Website Administrator will request help in better utilizing current 3rd-party applications that allow us to offer improved information access. GROW therefore authorizes the Website Administrator to incur expenses up to $300 per year to secure the needed support. Prior to enlisting the help of an IT professional, the Website Administrator will provide the Mini-Steering Committee and Treasurer a short summary of the tasks and an estimated cost.

Rationale
Recommended Language
Summary of Comments
Results of Voting

Rationale: Our Website Administrator is familiar with WordPress (the content management software that makes the site work); however, she is not as familiar with the many plug-ins that had been added to accomplish specific tasks (like creating sidebar menus and automatically-generated lists like the one for Trusted Servants and the table of contents for a meeting).

Another Trusted Servant is now training for the Webkeeper position and will volunteer for it in October. When this immediate problem is solved, our Website Administrator will be able to devote most of her time to website administration rather than content management. She will need ofessional technical support to accomplish needed website improvements.

Our current point of contact for the oso-aa.org domain, Dean Collins, has agreed to provide services at $20/hour with no monthly minimum, which is FAR less than his professional website pricing.

We will discuss this proposal during the second 3-day session. Please send your comments to grow-business@oso-aa.org or to me privately before midnight (your time) on Thursday, April 7th.
Please remember to include the proposal number in the subject line of your message.

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Recommended Language: Add a fifth bullet to the Treasurer’s position description under the bullet authorizing expenditures (“Pay all group expenses…”) to authorize the Treasurer to make payments to Dean Collins or reimburse the Website Administrator for consulting support on the Grow website.

  • Pay all group expenses per the distribution below and maintain a prudent reserve of $122.00:
    • Make bi-annual contributions before GROW Business Meetings, to GSO (The General Service Office, Grand Central Station, PO Box 459, New York, NY 10164-0423; Group Service # 633230).
    • Allocate 80% of the total available contribution amount to GSO
    • Allocate 20% of GROW’s total available contribution amount to OIAA
      $24.00 monthly to OSO-AA (PayPal: dean.collins@insightplanners.com) ($144 – 6 months expenses)
    • $50.00 annual subscription to Grapevine magazine
    • Up to $300 per year to Dean Collins dba Insight Planners, or other professionals, for consulting services on GROW’s WordPress-based website

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Summary of Comments

Six people commented on Proposal 4 authorizing the expenditure of up to $300 per year to secure professional website support services. All of the comments supported the proposal, although one participant had a question about whether the proposal applies to both the website and the mailing list. The Chair clarified that it applies only to the website.

In the third 3-day session of the meeting, we will vote on Proposal 4.

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Results of Voting

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0422 – Statement on Job-Sharing

The following summarizes conclusions made in considering how Trusted Servant job-sharing could be expanded. It is not a proposal, nor does it require any action on your part. However, if you want to make comments, please feel free to do so. Your input could influence our future discussions of job-sharing. There is no deadline for comments.


Statement on Job-Sharing

Our October 2021 Business Meeting ended with a list of four subjects that we wanted to follow up on this April.

Now, April is here. The side-by-side comparison is done and posted both to the group and on our website. There will be a proposal to make changes to the Secretary’s position description. Our Listkeepers have, with input from our greeters, decided not to submit a proposal for job-sharing at this time. There has been no follow-up on proposing a meeting on the 12 Concepts of World Service and, unless someone has a concrete proposal, the subject is tabled for now.

The idea of job-sharing had two major objectives: to make some Trusted Servant positions more appealing to potential volunteers and to ease workload burdens on people serving in TS positions. Underlying these objectives are the larger and over-riding goals of helping alcoholic women get and stay sober and ensuring the smooth operation of our e-mail meeting.

Keeping all of these objectives in mind, we have decided that it is not necessary at this time to propose job-sharing for other GROW TS positions. Many of our positions are complicated and involve one or more of the following demands:

  • maintaining a current list of a subset of members over time
  • following up on requests or correspondence over time
  • providing specific accurate and timely information to GROW members
  • being a focal point for GROW members on a specific topic or issue

Given the above, as we looked at various GROW TS positions, job-sharing had a real potential of causing confusion for GROW members and creating a heavier workload for the TS due to the extra communication that would be required with their job-share partner.

The Listkeeper and Greeter positions have been successful in job-sharing largely because their duties entail responding to specific requests and taking actions that do not require follow-up. The workload requires checking email several times each day; thus, the job-share approach gives team members a break. In addition, a listkeeper term is two years—a heavy daily workload without the team approach.

After reviewing all Trusted Servant positions, we found that one other position might benefit from job-sharing – that of 12th Step Volunteer Listkeeper. However, because that workload is relatively light, we question the value of adding a second position to that function.

For these reasons, we do not think it is necessary to submit a proposal or change GROW’s positions at this time. However, if a Trusted Servant should find that their workload is unmanageable (due to their own schedule or volume of activity within GROW), we agree that it would be appropriate for that TS to request job-sharing.

Prepared by our Listkeepers with input from our Greeters 
and writing assistance from the Business Chair

0422 – Proposal 3: Preamble

Proposal 3: Revise the AA Preamble wherever it appears in our form letters and on our website to reflect the October 2021 General Service Conference decision to change the wording in AA’s Preamble from “men and women” to “people.”

Recommended Language
Summary of Comments
Results of Voting

Rationale: At the 71st General Service Conference annual meeting (April 2021), a revision to the AA Preamble was approved through advisory action. The change replaced the words “men and women” with the word “people” in the first sentence of the Preamble. The language has been changed on the AA website. GROW should reflect this decision in the Preamble where it appears in our correspondence and on our website.

In our October 2021 meeting, we discussed the change. Most of the comments expressed strong opposition to changing a word of the Big Book. However, the Preamble isn’t in the Big Book. The Big Book was published in 1939. The Preamble was written by Grapevine editors in 1947.

Each AA group is autonomous and should decide whether they want to adopt this change. No AA group is required to read the Preamble at its meetings. In fact, AA groups have adopted similar but different Preamble language in the past. For example, the Texas AA adopted a very long preamble, but individual AA groups in Texas choose whether to use it.

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Recommended Language: Change the first sentence in the Preamble included in the Weekly Format Letter (used by the Weekly Leader Listkeeper) as follows:

“Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women people who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism.”

During the first 3-day session, we will discuss Proposal3. Please send your comments to grow-business@oso-aa.org before midnight (your time) on Monday, April 4th.

Please remember to include the proposal number in the subject line of your message.

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Summary of Comments

Twelve people commented on Proposal 3 to change “men and women” to “people” in GROW’s Preamble.

As background, this change was approved at the 71st General Service Conference annual meeting in April 2021 as a non-binding advisory action. By Tradition, each AA group is autonomous and can make its own decision about whether to change the Preamble it uses in its meetings. It’s impossible to know what decision the thousands of individual AA meetings are making for their own group. This is a Group Conscience decision at a profound level.

One writer commenting on the change in a white paper pointed out that many groups and AA organizations at higher levels have written their own preambles in the past, citing a state-level decision in Texas to create a much longer and more detailed Preamble. Living in Texas, I can testify that no group I’ve been to here uses the Texas version.

The change does not involve our basic text. It is not suggested that Big Book language should be changed. The Preamble was developed years after the BB’s first publication.

During the first days of commenting, there appeared to be consensus for approving the wording change. However, one participant submitted a persuasive argument that the language should not be changed based on, among other things, AA’s Traditions – specifically Tradition 3 (“The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking.”), Tradition 4 (“Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or AA as a whole.”), and Tradition 10 (“Alcoholics Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the A.A. name ought never be drawn into public controversy.”).

The commenter also cited language in the first paragraph of the Preamble, pointing out an inherent contradiction between the advisory action and the claim that “A.A. is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution; does not wish to engage in any controversy, neither endorses nor opposes any causes. Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety.” After reading the opposing viewpoint, several participants commented that they would not support the change, and discussion of this proposal continued late into the night.

We will vote on Proposal 3 to change the Preamble that GROW uses in its weekly meeting and wherever it appears on our website. Voting will end late on Thursday, April 7th. The Chair will report on the outcome in the summary of our second 3-day session.

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Results of Voting

Sixteen (16) women (69%) voted on Proposal 3 to change the language in the Preamble contained in the Weekly Lead format letter and anywhere it appears on the website. Eleven (11) voted in favor of the change, and five (5) voted against it. The vote exceeds the requirement for a 2/3 majority.

During the third 3-day session, we invite those who voted against the proposal to submit a Minority Opinion explaining their position. If anyone changes their vote as a result of the Minority Opinion(s), we will have a re-vote. If no one changes their vote as a result, the vote stands and the proposal becomes a Group Conscience Decision.

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0422 – Proposal 2: Revise Secretary Position Description

Proposal 2: Revise the Secretary’s position description to delete contradictory, ambiguous, or unreasonable expectations.

Rationale: The Secretary’s current position description assigns duties to the Secretary that are not clearly articulated or that duplicate or contradict GROW policies contained in the Common Welfare Guidelines and Item #9 of the Business Meeting Guidelines. The suggested changes eliminate the contradictions and reflect existing GROW policies.

Recommended Language
Summary of Comments
Results of Voting

Secretary

  • 1 year term
  • 2 years sobriety
  • One year membership in GROW
  • Must be member of Business List
  • Should have completed AA Steps 1 – 12.
  • Adheres to confidentiality of private emails
  • Serves on the Steering Committee
  • Works closely with the other Trusted Servants including privately and discreetly informing members who stray from the guidelines
  • Serves on GROW’s “Mini-Steering Committee” Will be available, in conjunction with the Business Chairperson and Listkeepers, to answeraddress 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
  • Maintains a list of emergency contact phone numbers of all trusted servants for use by trusted servants, not for general distribution.
  • KeepsMaintains a current list of trusted servants and term dates
  • Calls for nominations/volunteers
  • Confirms nominees will accept and serve
  • Announces new trusted servants
  • Sends Steering Committee Welcome Letter to all new trusted servants
  • Fields questions sent both publicly and privately (This is too general to be useful. It should either be written more specifically or be removed.)
  • Serves as temporary back-up to the Business Meeting Chair
  • Does NOT handle anything related to the business meeting (These two lines are contradictory and unnecessary.)
  • Informs the business chair if elections are needed for trusted servants.
  • Reviews GROW mail daily. (Not necessary to the position.)
  • Has an understanding of the duties of each job. (There is no way to verify that the TS “understands” the duty of all jobs. Therefore, this line is meaningless. It is also unreasonable to expect one person to understand everyone else’s job.)
  • Sends FYI Letter and GROW Mail List Guidelines monthly to GROW membership
  • Knows how to access job descriptions and form letters (particularly the monthly FYI and GROW Guidelines letters) necessary to carry out the tasks. (This “duty” should be included in the Common Duties, not in this specific job. Every Trusted Servant should do this.)
  • Sends letter of introduction to new Temporary Mentor and the birthday, sponsor, weekly meeting lead, and 12th step listkeepers when they begin new term. (She already sends welcome letters to all new Trusted Servants. Delete this item.)
  • Is available to temporarily carry out the tasks of the Temporary Mentor and Birthday, Sponsor, Weekly Meeting Lead, and 12th Step Volunteer listkeepers, as necessary. (There is no reason to expect the Secretary to carry out the duties of other Trusted Servants. The Common Duties places responsibility for covering jobs on each Trusted Servant. They are supposed to contact the Secretary or Business Chair to work out solutions when they can’t carry out their duties temporarily or permanently.)
  • Maintains current copies of birthday, sponsor, weekly meeting lead, and 12th Step Volunteer lists. (It should not be the Secretary’s responsibility to maintain current lists. (At the most, the TSs should be responsible for providing her with copies of their current lists. There may be better ways to keep back-up copies of these lists – for example, on the website.)
  • Acts as a focal point to receive complaints when Trusted Servant(s) do not fulfill responsibilities and works with the Steering Committee and the Trusted Servant to resolve performance issues.
  • When a Trusted Servant becomes unavailable or unwilling to fulfill her duties, temporarily serves in that role and works with the Steering Committee to fill the position. Train the new volunteer who accepts the vacant position. (It is not appropriate to expect the Secretary to cover for every TS position. It is her job to work with – even lead – the Steering Committee to see that the job gets done, hopefully by someone who has been in the position before.)
  • Conducts a Group Inventory every 2 years (in even-numbered years) between the Business Meetings of April and October by sending out the 12 Questions on our website. 3 questions will be sent to the group each week over a 4-week period. Each week’s responses will be summarized, posted back to the group, and the results discussed and reviewed by members at the next Business Meeting to determine if action needs to be taken. These will be posted in addition to the Weekly Topics.
  • In the event that the current Greeter and / or Listkeeper is unable to complete the task of their respected positions, the Secretary can put out a call to the membership for help to fulfill those tasks needed until the current Greeter and / or Listkeeper issue is resolved. The Secretary’s call to the membership would include a prerequisite of having served in those requested positions so that they may assume those duties quickly and efficiently.
  • In 12th Step Volunteer Listkeeper’s temporary absence, either alert 12th Step volunteers of a need for support or work with Steering Committee to assure these duties are covered. (There is a process for TSs who can’t do their job to work with the Secretary and Business Chair … and the Steering Committee … to fill the position temporarily or permanently.)
  • Common duties and requirements to all Trusted Servant positions is described here.
  • Wording for letters commonly used are provided in the links below:

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We will discuss this proposal during the first 3-day session. Please send your comments to grow-business@oso-aa.org or to me privately before midnight (your time) on Monday, April 4th.
Please remember to include the proposal number in the subject line of your message.

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Position Description as Revised:

Secretary

  • 1 year term
  • 2 years sobriety
  • One year membership in GROW
  • Must be member of Business List
  • Adheres to confidentiality of private emails
  • Serves on the Steering Committee
  • Works closely with the other Trusted Servants including privately and discreetly informing members who stray from the guidelines
  • Serves on GROW’s Mini-Steering Committee with the Business Chairperson and Listkeepers, to address questions/concerns/issues from any member of GROW
  • Maintains a list of emergency contact phone numbers of all trusted servants for use by trusted servants, not for general distribution
  • Maintains a current list of trusted servants and term dates
  • Calls for nominations/volunteers
  • Confirms nominees will accept and serve
  • Announces new trusted servants
  • Sends Steering Committee Welcome Letter to all new trusted servants.
  • Informs the business chair if elections are needed for trusted servants
  • Acts as a focal point to receive complaints when Trusted Servant(s) do not fulfill responsibilities and works with the Steering Committee and the Trusted Servant to resolve performance issues
  • When a Trusted Servant becomes unavailable or unwilling to fulfill her duties, works with the Steering Committee to fill the position
  • Conducts a Group Inventory every 2 years (in even-numbered years) between the Business Meetings of April and October by sending out the 12 Questions on our website. 3 questions will be sent to the group each week over a 4-week period. Each week’s responses will be summarized, posted back to the group, and the results discussed and reviewed by members at the next Business Meeting to determine if action needs to be taken. These will be posted in addition to the Weekly Topics
  • In the event that the current Greeter and / or Listkeeper is unable to complete the task of their respected positions, the Secretary can put out a call to the membership for help to fulfill those tasks needed until the current Greeter and / or Listkeeper issue is resolved. The Secretary’s call to the membership would include a prerequisite of having served in those requested positions so that they may assume those duties quickly and efficiently
  • Common duties and requirements to all Trusted Servant positions is described here
  • Wording for letters commonly used are provided in the links below:

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Summary of Comments

Eleven participants commented on Proposal 2, all of them supporting the revisions to the Secretary’s position description. One participant suggested that the language changes related to the Mini-Steering Committee should also be made to the position descriptions for the Business Chair and Listkeepers. The Chair has added this to the proposal.

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Results of Voting

Sixteen (16) women voted for, and no one voted against, Proposal 2 to revise the Secretary’s position description. The vote was unanimous and therefore becomes a Group Conscience Decision.

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0422 – Proposal 1: Trusted Servant Membership Requirements

Proposal 1: Assign “qualifying GROW membership” to TS positions for which this requirement has not been specified. Required membership in GROW will be equal to the length of the term of office.

Requirement for membership in GROW equal to the term of office will be assigned to the following Trusted Servant Position Descriptions:

  • 12th Step Listkeeper – 6 months
  • Birthday Listkeeper – 6 months
  • Sponsor Listkeeper – 6 months
  • General Service Representative (GSR) – 21 years
  • Grapevine Representative (GVR) – 1 year
  • Greeter – 1 year
  • OIAA Representative – 1 year

Rationale
Summary of Comments
Results of Voting

Rationale In compiling the “Comparison Chart,” we identified several positions for which no requirement for length of GROW membership had been assigned. To make all TS requirements consistent and reduce confusion about GROW membership requirements, this proposal corrects that omission by assigning a value equal to the term of office for each position.

We will discuss this proposal during the first 3-day session. Please send your comments to grow-business@oso-aa.org or to me privately before midnight (your time) on Monday, April 4th.

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

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Summary of Comments

Eleven participants commented on Proposal 1. No one opposed the proposal, but more than half disagreed with the proposed requirement for length of membership in GROW for the General Services Representative. Feeling that a requirement for two years’ membership in GROW was unreasonable, they wanted to reduce that to one year.

There seemed to be general agreement that the six-month requirement for the three six-month term Trusted Servants is appropriate. However, one person felt that 12th Step Volunteer Listkeeper should have been in GROW for at least a year.

There were a few participants who wanted to shorten the membership requirements proposed for the OIAA Rep, Grapevine Rep, and Greeter from one year to six months.

Given the interest in addressing specific positions and the lack of general consensus for many of the positions, the Chair is extending the discussion period through the second 3-day period when we will discuss the preferred required length of GROW membership for specific positions.

Extended discussion:

During the second 3-day session, very few people commented on the proposed GROW membership requirement for Trusted Servant positions beyond the GSR. The two people that did comment supported the proposed terms of office.

In the third 3-day session of our meeting, we will vote on Proposal 1 which will reflect the GROW membership requirement for the GSR from at one year.

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Results of Voting

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0422 – Mini-Steering Committee Report

Mini-Steering Committee Report
Covering October 2021 to April 2022

The Mini-Steering Committee was established in 2018 to handle issues that arise between business meetings. The four-member panel includes the Business Meeting Chair, Secretary, and Listkeepers. They handle issues that come up that can be resolved quickly – based on AA’s Traditions, GROW Group Conscience Decisions, or common-sense solutions. The Committee takes more complex or difficult issues to the full Steering Committee for resolution.

In the period since the end of the October 2021 meeting, no issues have been presented.

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

0422 – OIAA Representative’s Report

OIAA Representative Report
April 2022

Being OIAA rep is not demanding at all. At the end of the month, I send GROW stats to OIAA. There are almost daily emails, mostly other groups asking for their details to be added and welcoming to new members. Also, OIAA sends emails about business meetings or anything new from GSO. Members are free to ask questions. Joining OIAA in other aspects is rewarding. I am currently on the finance committee and intend to stay with OIAA.

Rene G

0422 – Listkeepers’ Report

Listkeepers’ Report
April 2022 Business Meeting

Hello GROW

I’m Karen, alcoholic and one of your two Listkeepers.
Sophie R is our other Listkeeper.

Listkeepers work closely with the team of two Greeters, currently Amy N and Karrie C.
As a team of four we manage requests from new ladies interested in joining GROW. Karrie’s term ended in October 2021; however, our new Greeter was unable to fulfill her TS responsibilities and Karrie graciously agreed to step back in and serve until April. Thank you Karrie!

Karen H. has completed her term as listkeeper. Sophie R. will continue as listkeeper until April 2023 and work with Susan P., our incoming listkeeper alternate. Amy and Karrie will be stepping down as Greeters. Diane L and De W have volunteered to be of service as our new Greeters. Diane will serve until October 2022 and De until April 2023.

Our roles don’t take much time but do need us to check our GROW emails several times a day so that requests to join are responded to quickly. We work in pairs – one week on, one week off. Sophie, Amy, and Karrie have been great to work with and I appreciate how the four of us have functioned as a team to keep the list running smoothly and respond quickly to the new ladies.

At our last Business Meeting in October we had 284 members.
Today we currently have 284 members.
We are welcoming new ladies to GROW each month; however, we currently have members unsubscribing at about the same rate as our new subscribers. Thus, our membership has not increased overall in this six-month period.

Listkeepers also administer the Business List to ensure everyone who wants to be included is signed up. So far we have 23 ladies signed up to join the Business Meeting starting Friday, April 1.

In love and service
Karen H.
Co-Listkeeper

0422 – Treasurer’s Report

Treasurer’s Report – April 2022

Deposits
Paypal – Oct5 thru March 30, 2022 $227.28
Ally – Oct 5 thru March 30, 2022 $767.03
TOTAL = $994.31
Disbursements
Dean Collins $144.00
Prudent Reserve $122.00
TOTAL = $266.00
Total Deposits $994.31
Total Bills -266.00
BALANCE = $728.31
80% of $728.31 goes to GSO $582.65
and 20% goes to OIAA $145.66

Respectfully Submitted,

Cheryl Baughman
GROW Treasurer

0422 – Secretary’s Report (Trusted Servants)

Secretary’s Report (Trusted Servants)
April 2022

Outgoing Trusted Servants

Incoming Trusted Servants

  • 12 Step Volunteer Listkeeper – Mary O
  • Birthday Listkeeper – Rene G
  • Sponsor Listkeeper – Theresa B
  • Greeter (4/22 – 10/22) – Diane L
  • Greeter (4/22 – 4/23) – De W
  • Listkeeper (4/22-4/23 – Sophie R
  • Listkeeper Alternate – Susan P
  • Temporary Mentor – Becky L

Trusted Servants – April 2022

  • 12 Step Volunteer Listkeeper (4/22 – 10/22): Mary O
  • Birthday Listkeeper (4/22 – 10/22): Rene G
  • Sponsor Listkeeper (4/22 – 10/22): Theresa B

Trusted Servants who make up the Steering Committee:

  • Business Meeting Chair (10/20-10/22): Danna M
  • GSR (10/21-10/22): VACANT
  • GVR (10/21-10/22): Julie K
  • Greeter (4/22 – 10/22): Diane L
  • Greeter (4/22 – 4/23): De W
  • Listkeeper (4/22 – 4/23): Sophie R
  • Listkeeper Alternate (4/22 – 4/23): Susan P
  • OIAA Rep (4/22 – 4/23): VACANT
  • Secretary (10/21-10/22): Michele R
  • Temporary Mentor (4/22 – 4/23): Becky L
  • Treasurer (10/21-10/22): Cheryl B
  • Website Administrator (10/21-10/22): Cheryl D
  • Webkeeper (10/21-10/22): VACANT
  • Webkeeper Backup (10/21-10/22): Pat S
  • Weekly Leader Listkeeper (4/22 – 4/23): Emily M
  • Immediate Past Business Meeting Chair: Joan B.
  • Immediate Past GSR: Nicole W
  • Immediate Past OIAA Rep: Lynn H & Kirsten V
  • Immediate Past Secretary: Nancy C (deceased)

0422 – Agenda

April 2022 Business Meeting Agenda

***IMPORTANT NOTE: Please DO NOT respond to this message.

Additional individual emails will be coming, to which you can respond.

=============================================
GROW BUSINESS MEETING AGENDA: April 2022
=============================================

– Trusted Servant (TS) Positions – Incoming & Outgoing Trusted Servants
– Semi-Annual Reports: Secretary (all Trusted Servants), Treasurer, Listkeeper, OIAA Representative, Mini-Steering Committee
– Business Items (each will be posted separately to facilitate discussion and voting)

We will consider the following proposals during our meeting. If you have an item that you would like to add, or if I have not accurately represented an item that you recommended, please email me privately and I will add it to the Agenda. Note that I use a different e-mail address (dmcd.grow@gmail.com) for the business meeting.

Proposal 1 – GROW TS Membership Requirements
Proposal 2 – Secretary Position Description
Proposal 3 – Preamble Language
Proposal 4 – Website Support
Proposal 5 – Temporary Mentor Form Letter
Proposal 6 – Website Position Descriptions

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

0422 – Excerpt from Pamphlet “The AA Group”

Excerpt from Pamphlet “The AA Group”

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.

0422 – Business Meeting Guidelines

GROW Business Meeting Guidelines

  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.
    4. 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 (see http://www.g-r-o-w.com/members/groupc/gctopics/gc_index.htm).
  2. We allow a minimum of 3 days for discussion, more when warranted.
  3. At the end of the 3-day discussion period, the Chair calls for a vote. 3 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 3 days to discuss their minority opinion.
    1. If yes, then 3 days of discussion will begin.
    2. At the end of the 3 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.
    3. If the minority does not want 3 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. The group holds to a 2/3 majority to pass or fail any group conscience decision.
  8. Note: if any item on the agenda has not reached a consensus or a motion by the 17th day of the Business Meeting, the item is tabled and held over to the next scheduled Business Meeting.

Please read the excerpt from the AA pamphlet “The AA Group” offering
Guidance About Informed Group Conscience Decisions.

0422 – Business Meeting Welcome

Welcome to the April 2022 Business Meeting

Welcome to the April 2022 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 three-day segments and run for about 17, depending on the volume of business we have.

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 (3) 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 a summary 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,
danna M.
GROW Business Chair
dmcd.grow@gmail.com