Sunday, September 14, 2008
We need time and money to carry this message, this is our 7th tradition, giving of our money and time to reach the still suffering alcoholic.
I asked how the donations were processed and was told that they do not automatic processing through visa or direct withdrawal (yet....) but if you are interested in contributing monthly to GSO you may send the 12 postdated cheques and they will cash them monthly.
Just another way to show your gratitude and help continue GSO's ability to carry the message to the still suffering Alcoholic.
Yours in Service,
Area 83 International Self Support Chairperson
Monday, August 18, 2008
The next Area Meeting is Saturday, September 6, 2008 at 10:00 a.m. for directions or the address please email me.
Please support your Local Service Days and enjoy sobriety and the fellowship at these events.
Please contact me if I can be of any assistance.
Yours in Love and Service,
Area 83 Self Support Chairperson
“Our Twelfth Step - carrying the message - is the basic service that the A.A. Fellowship gives; this is our principal aim and the main reason for our existence.
Therefore, A.A. is more than a set of principles; it is a society of alcoholics in action. We must carry the message, else we ourselves can wither and those who haven't been given the truth may die.
Hence, an A.A. service is anything whatever that helps us to reach a fellow sufferer ranging all the way from the Twelfth Step itself to a ten-cent phone call and a cup of coffee, and to A.A.'s General Service Office for national and international action. The sum total of all these services is our Third Legacy of Service.”
Bill Wilson 1951
This fall Area 83 International as well as many of the groups and districts will be holding their elections for new service positions.
Our principle of rotation ensures that we never become experts in our position and allows new me
Standing for, electing, and voting for these positions is an important part of giving back to Alcoholics Anonymous, and must be taken seriously.
It is the important to put “personalities before the principles” from our 12th Tradition (12. Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.) when election and/or voting.
There are many things to consider when nominating and/or voting someone into a service position.
1) Do they want the position?
2) Do they have the capacity to fulfill the position?
3) Are they the right person for the position?
Unique to A.A. is our 3rd Legacy voting procedures which can found in our Service Manual. While each group/district is autonomous, following these procedures can help ensure that “gods will” prevails in our elections.
Time and time again have I seen fairness prevail when 3rd legacy voting procedures were followed.
Many groups/districts invite an active me
It is a good idea to pass out copies of the 3rd legacy voting procedures to your group/district to ensure that me
GSO→Area→District→Group (GSR is the link)
Area 83 Self Support Chairperson
Sunday, May 11, 2008
2) Attend business meetings and listen to your treasurer’s report, ensure that the splits are being sent.
3) Review your group’s prudent reserve; is it too much or too little?
4) Talk to your sponsees about the 7th tradition, its history and how it ties into their spiritual growth. If you are unsure on how to do this, give them the brochure. Self Support; Where money and Spirituality Mix. They can be ordered free from the General Service Office.
5) Practice love & tolerance at Business Meetings (Group, District & Area).
6) Carry the message from GSO to Area to District to Group, don’t be the broken link in the communication chain.
7) Bring a Friend to your next District Meeting.
8) Invite a District Self Support Chair to your next business meeting to help educate your newcomers to service.
9) Be informed? Read Box 459 and know what is happening at the General Service Office.
10) Read and understand the traditions and concepts and how they apply to your spiritual life.
11) Subscribe to Grapevine. Did you know the traditions were first introduced in the Grapevine? Many new ideas are. Pass read grapevines to newcomers.
12) Participate in the Birthday Giving Plan.
13) Make sure your group has Self Support Flyers on the bulletin board.
14) Be active and stay active, at any level of service.
15) Discuss the new Green Self Support Card at your business meeting.
16) Show a newcomer how to make coffee.
17) Nominate new people for service positions in your group.
18) Attend a Service Day in your District even if you have been to a lot of them, support the people putting on these days.
19) Attend a Delegates Report and carry this message back to your friends and sponsees,.
20) Show that gratitude is an action word.
21) Leave the fellowship money in your will (no more than $3,000.00 will be accepted).
Sunday, March 30, 2008
Our Self Support Workshop was a skit about the story of Self Support. We also handed out worksheets asking for your opinion on the following topics.
1) Self Support; Contempt Prior to Investigation
2) Communications & Participation; The Key to Unity & Self Support.
We had a Self Support Meeting this morning with 9 in attendance. We had a discussion on the progress or sometimes lack of we felt we were making in the Districts. The general opinion was the lack of response from the groups.
Jim B. reported that he recruits "Self Support Champions", who are well respected members in his District that volunteer to do Self Support Presentations,.
Miles C. reported that contributions to the 7th tradition are up at his group since they began reading the Green Self Support Card, this has enabled his group to support other levels of A.A.
Jim A. reported that he has bought some subscriptions to Box 459 and that he is distributing these to groups that don't attend the District meeting.
We welcomed a new Alternate DCM/Self Support Chair from District O2 and listened to her sharing.
We discussed the theme Communication & Participation; The Key to Unity and Self Support.
My thanks to Miles C. Tom C, Joe A, and Jim A. for participating in the Self Support Skit Saturday afternoon, you guys did a great job and the skit was well received.
And as always my thanks to the District Self Support Chairs for their ideas, enthusiasm and support. It is not always a well received topic but remember , without money and service there is no Alcoholics Anonymous.,
Your in Service,
Area 83 Self Support Chairperson,
Thursday, March 6, 2008
Dear Self Support Chairs,
Our Assembly is fast approaching; I look forward to connecting with you there. We will hold our usual meeting Sunday morning above the Atrium. At which time will continue our discussion on “moving forward”, as presented by Jim B. at our last meeting.
For the self support Workshop in Kingston this month, I have written a short fictional skit that incorporates the message of Self Support. Join us at the workshop when 4 of our District Chairs will perform this skit for us.
I have a fun idea for our last workshop in the Fall and will be looking forward to discussing it and getting some help.
Is Your Presentation Engaging?
People learn and retain information in different ways; some learn visually, some learn hands on (by doing), some learn through listening etc…. While repetition is a great way of learning (hearing the same thing over and over again) the message doesn’t necessary have to be repeated the same way.
Your presentation could incorporate many different ways of carrying the message
o Use pamphlets (GSO Approved of course)
o Visuals; such as white boards or your presentation board
o Orally - give your presentation
o Provide handouts for later reading
o Overhead projectors
Some of the feedback I hear is that the message is old and all we talk about is money, while there is no shame in talking about money, the message of self support is about time and money, and the service structure. I remind people that the message is important to our fellowship and must be carried to the new person.
So the Self Support Tip for March is to review your presentation and see if there are ways you could incorporate some of the tips above.
I have posted this information on our Blog www.area84selfsupport.blogspot.com
Yours in Love and Service,
Area 83 Self Support Chair
Monday, February 18, 2008
Dear Self Support Chairs/Alternate DCM’s, I have updated our Blog with some information for February. This month I decided to share with you some of what is happening in other Districts.
This morning I had a great conversation with a District Self Support Chair, we agreed that education is the key to our 7th Tradition; we must get the message out there especially to the newcomer. Sometimes to patiently inform our me
One of the first things I do when I go to a different group is check out their bulletin board, I look for service flyers, self support flyers and information on our Area 83. I am always surprised at the lack of information that is current. As a self support chair you could carry materials whenever you go to a new/different group and if they don’t have flyers and Self Support brochures find out who the GSR is and leave the information behind. This is a great way of getting the information out to groups that do not attend District meetings. In my opinion these groups cut themselves off from the “branch” of A.A.
- Check out the Blog for a picture submitted by Gari V. of some well designed
- Keep sending me information on what you are doing so I can post it to the Blog, sharing our experience is huge part of our fellowship.
- Also a reminder that the Asse
mbly is coming up, Sunday at the Asse mbly, there are 2 motions under old business that deal with money, it is important to know this and to ensure that your Districts are aware of these motions.
- Saturday our committee has a workshop in the afternoon, I have asked several Self Support chairs to participate in a skit called The Story of Self Support; it is fictional, with a strong self support message throughout it.
- Book early: for the A
mbassador Hotel as it does fill up some years. The A mbassador Conference Resort, 1550 Princess Street, Kingston, ON, Canada, K7M 9E3, 613-548-3605, 1-800-267-7880
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you need anything or wish me to participate in your service days and workshops.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you need anything or wish me to participate in your service days and workshops.
In Love and Service,
In Love and Service,
Area 83 Self Support Chairperson
Submitted by Gari - District Committe Member -District 42
The idea of Self-Support Cans was sent out to the groups and this month the District voted that it would not be using them (all votes except one abstention were against the use). The groups felt that if the District needed financial assistance for anything, they just needed to let the groups know and the money would be forthcoming. Background with this District is that the groups have NOT been supporting the District. Now, with an active Self-Support Chair, many discussions at the district level and the info going back to the groups... we may actually be able to develop a prudent reserve!!!
My past experience with these cans (in
In Service & Lovin' It!
Miles C – Self Support Chair -District 30
Miles reports that the 4th tradition has tripled in his group over the last year; as a result of this they have been able to send more money to District and over $700.00 to The General Service office. I asked Miles what he believed caused this huge increase and he said that he thought it was a combination of things, including reading the new green Self Support Card, as well as informing the group about inflation and their responsibility.
Monday, January 21, 2008
So the topic for January is What does Self Support meant to you ?
The second important issue is.... what is your presentation saying ? Service work is fun, it is interesting and it helps you grow spiritually, it is our 12th step, our recovery in action. Are you telling people this or giving them heck ? Remember we are here to share our experience, strength and hope, not berate people. I feel a good presentation should contain some of the following elements.
1) A definiton of Self Support
2) The Rockfeller Story
3) Our Service Structure - group, district, area, general service office , world services, grapevine
I will be contacting 2 District Chairs to present at the Area Assembly this March, please contact me if this interests you.
In Love and Service.
Friday, December 7, 2007
Thursday, December 6, 2007
Dear Self Support Chairs,
How do unity and self support relate to each other?
How do I personally feel I am doing on this topic - communication and participation?
Area 83 Self Support Chair.
Monday, October 29, 2007
While several Districts within Area 83 use Self Support Cans, most do not use them. I am asked about them all the time.
I think the cans can be supportive for contributing to areas of need within A.A. but I want to stress that the cans do not represent the Self Support Committees role in Area 83, they are one of our tools.
Our role is to increase the awareness within our Area of the history and spiritual principles around our 7th tradition. We need to talk about a “little bit of money and a whole lot of time”. So please use the cans if your Districts and groups wish, but be clear where the money is going.
When I was Self Support Chair in District 26 some of the groups in my District used the cans to purchase Big Books and 12 and 12’s, which we then couriered to a remote community.
The use of the Self Support Can is District/Group conscience, so if you are thinking about introducing them please approach your District Table First.
- Collect empty coffee tins
- Create a wrap round for the Cans, this wraparound should clearly state who is collecting the funds, what the funds are being collected and that this is not part of the 7th tradition.
- Create and distribute information to the GSR’s to take back to their groups
What some of the districts are using them the money for.
- Literature for District Committees
- Literature for Police Stations
- Literature for Jails
- Big Books for Women’s shelters and halfway houses
- Remote Communities
Some Districts have been very successful using the Self Support Cans.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions. Or to share with me what you are doing in your District for posting on the Blog. This will help other District Chairs.
Area 83 Self Support Chair
11 District Chairs in Attendance Meeting Chaired by Sheree N. Area 83 Self Support Chairperson.
The meeting began with the Serenity Prayer, each District Chairperson was then given opportunity to share on activities (or lack of) in their Districts.
Topics that came up.
- Lack of support from the Groups – in that Chairs are not being give the opportunity to share.
- One District has been successful at giving SHORT presentations at open meetings, the benefit of this is that it reaches more people.
- Green 7th tradition cards – some groups are reading them with success and noticing an increase in contributions, some groups are not interested in them.
- Self Support Cans – how different districts are using them and how they are being perceived. We noted that it is important to differentiate them for the normal 7th tradition being taken and clearly mark where the funds are going.
- One District Self Support Chair hosted an open discussion on Self Support rather than giving a presentation and it was well received. This was done at a Round-up.
- Contributions are up in some Districts.
- How to recruit a Self Support Committee.
- How to build your own District Display.
- Lack of People to fill District Chair Positions – it was suggested that the GSR’s move into these positions therefore the groups would then need to replace the GSR.
- The principle behind the 7th Tradition – Being Responsible.
- Some District Chairs shared that they are simply educating during their presentations, and that the money comes as a result of a gentle awakening of conscience. One District Chair shared he uses guilt as his primary motivator.
- It was suggested members could have a Self Support Display at medallions and anniversaries.
- It was suggested that we move forward with our thinking and concentrate on the theme of the 2008 General Service Conference – “the Key to Unity and Self Support. We plan to discuss this at our next meeting.
- We agreed to meet again at the January Area Meeting, Gary P, has secured a room for us.
- It was suggested that it is our responsibility as sober Alcoholics to share with our newcomer’s information on the A.A. Service Structure.
Our Next Meeting:
Please come with your ideas on how to support our Delegate at the General Service Conference on the theme “the Key to Unity and Self Support”. Our spring Assembly workshop will be based on this theme.
Sunday, October 28, 2007
This is a link to the Concepts checklist on the the GSO Website. The 12 Concepts like the 12 Steps and the 12 Traditions are crucial to our fellowship. Our legacy of Service , Recovery and Unity are outlined for us in out in the Concepts, Traditions and Steps.
Sunday, October 7, 2007
With that thought in mind here is a great overview of the General Service Board, aptly and kindly written by Joe D. past Delegate to Area 83. My thanks to Joe for is continued service to Area 83 and his help with this topic.
The General Service Board
The General Service Board (the Trustees) is the chief service arm of the Conference, and is essentially custodial in its character. . .Excepting for decisions upon matters of policy, finance, or A.A. Tradition liable to seriously affect A.A. as a whole, the General Service Board has entire freedom of action in the routine conduct of the policy and business affairs of the A.A. service corporations. . . .
*excerpt from the Conference Charter
The Trustees of Alcoholics Anonymous are concerned with everything happening inside and outside A.A. that may affect the health and growth of the fellowship. Whenever a decision on movement-wide policy is needed, they turn to the General Service Conference. Trustees are members of the Conference body, therefore, they participate in policy-making — but as individual Conference members, not as a group.
The Trustees do much of their work through our two operating corporations, A.A. World Services, Inc. and The A.A. Grapevine, Inc., and through the Trustees’ committees. There are eleven standing committees of the Board of Trustees, most of which are the opposite numbers of Conference committees and stay closely in touch with delegate members of those committees throughout the year. Trustees’ committees meet quarterly, with subcommittees and individuals assigned to work on projects throughout the year. Membership averages about six or seven per committee and consists of Trustees and directors of A.A.W.S. and the Grapevine; a few committees also include appointed committee members with particular expertise in the subject area. The chairperson is a Trustee, and the secretary is usually a G.S.O. staff member.
This relationship was established when the Conference structure was first set up, and over the years, the only changes considered necessary have been in the composition of the General Service Board, not in its duties or responsibilities. The Bylaws of the General Service Board describe fully all aspects of the workings of the board.
The General Service Board consists of 21 men and women, 14 alcoholics (Class B) and seven nonalcoholics (Class A), who bring varying talents and backgrounds to their service responsibilities. In the words of a former Eastern Canada Regional Trustee – Class B – Boozers, Class A – Amateurs.
There is always a careful balance on the board between Trustees who are elected primarily to bring regional and A.A. service experience to the board and those selected primarily for business or other professional backgrounds.
Two major changes in board composition have taken place over the years. The first was in 1962, when because of the Fellowship’s growth, it was necessary to broaden the base of Trusteeship to bring in A.A.s who had service experience in different areas of the U.S. and Canada. At that time, the board was increased in size to make room for several A.A. Trustees from states and provinces away from New York City.
In 1966 came the next major change. From the beginning, there had been a majority of nonalcoholics on the board. By the mid-1960s, however, A.A. had solid experience in running its own affairs and had developed a practical method for bringing in Trustees from a distance. So the Fellowship took the next major step and reorganized its board to include seven nonalcoholics and fourteen recovering alcoholics.
There are eight regional Trustees, six from the United States and two from Canada, who serve a four-year term. All Trustees represent the Fellowship as a whole — regional Trustees bring to the board’s discussions a regional A.A. point of view and experience that is invaluable. When time for rotation occurs, each area in the region can nominate one candidate. Voting on these candidates takes place at the General Service Conference by delegates from the region, and an equal number of members of the Conference Committee on Trustees and from the Trustee’s Committee on Nominating. The third legacy procedure is followed – many regional Trustees have come from the hat. Each Regional Trustee serves on two or three of the Trustee’s committees and during the middle two years of their 4 year term serve on either A.A.WS or Grapevine Corporate boards.
In addition to the eight regional Trustees, two Trustees-at-large, one from the U.S. and one from Canada, ensure that the entire Fellowship is well represented on the board. They, too, serve a four-year term. The Trustees-at-large are members of the Trustees’ International Committee and other Trustees’ committees, and can be appointed as directors of one of the corporate boards. They may fill in for regional Trustees, as needed or requested. Trustees-at-large also serve as the World Service Meeting (location alternating between New York City and a meeting outside US/Canada) delegates representing the U.S. and Canada. Trustees-at-large also serve as delegates at the Zonal Meetings of the Americas, known as the Redela Meeting (Reunion de Las Americas). The Zonal meetings are held on the off years between World Service Meetings. At election, each area in either Canada or the US can nominate a candidate. The area’s nominees are voted on at a regional luncheon at the General Service Conference with only one candidate from each region being selected for the US and two candidates from each region in Canada being selected. Regional nominations are voted on by third legacy procedure by delegates from either the US or Canada and by the members of the Trustee’s Nominating Committee.
In addition to Class A Trustees, regional Trustees and Trustees-at-large there are four general service Trustees, two from the A.A. World Services Board and two from the Grapevine, who serve on these boards and were nominated by each of these boards to be members of the General Service Board. In practice these general service Trustees have served as non-Trustee board members of their respective board for up to 4 years. The selection is presented to the Trustee’s Nominating Committee and the General Service Committee on Trustees and finally to the General Service Conference for disapproval, if any.
Class A Trustees are sought by the General Service Board because they have specific skills or knowledge in areas such as business, religion, medicine, treatment etc. The Service Manual describes them as”…persons who are not and have not been afflicted by the disease of alcoholism and who express a profound faith in the recovery program upon which the Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous is founded.” The Fellowship is notified of a Class A Trustee vacancy through Conference members, current and past Trustees and Box 4-5-9.
After resumes are reviewed by the Trustee’s Nominating Committee, selected candidates attend a General Service Board weekend and are interviewed. The General Service Board approves the candidate and forwards their recommendation to the Conference Committee on Trustees. Finally, having reviewed their resume, the Conference Committee forwards the name of the recommended Class A Trustee to the General Service Conference for disapproval, if any. Class A Trustees serve for up to six years, one year at a time and are appointed to Trustee’s committees and may serve on either A.A.W.S. or Grapevine boards.
Class A’s have shared that they feel they have a lot to learn to be on an even par with Class B’s and generally have no experience with the Service and Conference structure before joining the Board. The Fellowship has always wondered what motivates nonalcoholic professionals to become Class A Trustees. A number have responded: “It is our privilege. Alcoholism has touched our families. A.A. has touched us and our families in positive ways beyond our wildest dreams. A.A.’s message of recovery is carried from one alcoholic to another. We are grateful to all A.A. members who carry the message.”
Leonard Blumenthal, nonalcoholic Chairman of the General Service Board has worked with alcoholics professionally for 40 years. He saw the A.A. process at work in an A.A. meeting for the first time in 1966. He feels dedicated to this program, which is “helping people to stay better.” He expressed gratitude to all A.A. members who share their journey with him and promised: “You’ve got me as a lifer.”
Herb Goodman, Class A Trustee expressed his gratitude for “this touching and moving question” and feels lucky that he has been welcomed into this wonderful Fellowship. Herb was nominated by a professional friend who kept disappearing to meet “friends” on international business trips.
Class A Trustees are different in that they are selected because of their professional experiences and since they are not members they need not be concerned with anonymity. They can use their names and show their faces when dealing with the media.
We in the Fellowship owe a debt to the men and women that serve on our General Service Board for the tireless efforts they put forward to ensure that our program of recovery continues to grow and prosper. And rest assured that Concept Nine, good service leadership, is alive and well at every level of service, in particular, at the General Service Board.
*more information regarding the General Service Board can be obtained from Chapter Nine of the A.A. Service Manual
Sunday, September 2, 2007
I get a big thrill out of looking over a vast sea of faces like this with a feeling that possibly some small thing that I did a number of years ago, played an infinitely small part in making this meeting possible. I also get quite a thrill when I think that we all had the same problem. We all did the same things. We all get the same results in proportion to our zeal and enthusiasm and stick-to-itiveness. If you will pardon the injection of a personal note at this time, let me say that I have been in bed five of the last seven months and my strength hasn't returned as I would like, so my remarks of necessity will be very brief.
But there are two or three things that flashed into my mind on which it would be fitting to lay a little emphasis; one is the simplicity of our Program. Let's not louse it all up with Freudian complexes and things that are interesting to the scientific mind, but have very little to do with our actual AA work. Our 12 Steps, when simmered down to the last, resolve themselves into the words love and service. We understand what love is and we understand what service is. So let's bear those two things in mind.
Let us also remember to guard that erring member - the tongue, and if we must use it, let's use it with kindness and consideration and tolerance.
And one more thing; none of us would be here today if somebody hadn't taken time to explain things to us, to give us a little pat on the back, to take us to a meeting or two, to have done numerous little kind and thoughtful acts in our behalf. So let us never get the degree of smug complacency so that we're not willing to extend or attempt to, that help which has been so beneficial to us, to our less fortunate brothers.
Thank you very much
Fall will soon be upon us and many of the Districts are having Fall Conferences, Round-Ups and Service Days.
If your District is having an event this fall be sure to ask them if you can set up a Self Support Display. If you don’t have one, it is easy and inexpensive to make one, or you can borrow the Area’s Display.
In preparation for the Fall events I have ordered some “Self Support: Where money and Spirituality Mix” brochures, many of the ones we have are out dated. As well I have ordered green, laminated Self Support Cards that some groups in other Areas read out when the “hat” is being passed, the green cards speak to the importance of the 7th tradition and how the money is used.
I have ordered some for all the Districts and will be giving them to your District Committee Member at the September Area Meeting. Be sure to ask your DCM for yours. These will be great to pass on to the groups in our Area, I have ordered enough so that each group can have a couple. However there is a back order, so in September I will only be able to give you a smaller portion.
Be sure to ask your DCM for yours.
Looking forward to seeing you all in October.
Yours in Love and Service,
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
My thanks to Barry W, Past Delegate who kindly supplied the answers to the following questions.
Why do we have a prudent reserve?
This is an amount of money set aside to be used in cases of financial emergency, to carry us through periods when income (contributions) are less than expenses, or for winding up the Area's financial obligations should it ever decide to cease operation.
How did Area 83 determine it’s current prudent reserve of one year’s operating expense?
At some point in the past the Area Assembly, based on the analysis and recommendation of the Area Treasurer, decided to set the prudent reserve at it's current level. This level is subject to change by the Assembly at any time it deems fit.
How is it invested ? Who manages it ?
The reserve is managed by the Area Treasurer on behalf of Area 83. The guidelines are fairly flexible on how it is invested with the proviso that the Area must be able to access the cash quickly in case it is necessary - so no long term bonds, stocks, etc.. It is not the Area's intention to create an income flow from the reserve.
Past Delegate Area 83 International
Panel #49 1999-2000
Monday, August 6, 2007
In 1954 A.A.'s Board of Trustees established a reserve fund whose principal purpose is to provide the financial resources necessary to continue the essential services of G.S.O. and the Grapevine for up to one year in the event of an unexpected and substantial reduction in the normal revenues of the organization.
Area 83 has a prudent reserve of 1 year, this money is invested in an interest bearing account that has little or no penalty should we need to access it.
It is suggested that after meeting it's expenses, each group should have a prudent reserve. Funds in excess of the groups expenses and the prudent reserve can then be forwarded to support District/Intergroup/Area and General Service Office.
Here are some General Service Conference Approved pamplets that suggest and explain the need for a prudent reserve. You can order these from General Service office or veiw them online at www.aa.org
Self Support; Where money & spiritulaity Mix
Memo to an A.A. Group Treasurer
The A.A. Group....Where it all begins.
Monday, July 30, 2007
some down time and have participated in a couple of retreats that took
me away from anything electronic. Have some fun by trying to answer the questions, for the answers you can email me or check out the Blog in a couple of weeks.
Who is the current Delegate of Area 83 ?
What panel does she sit on?
According to the General Service Treasurer if all members gave __________ a month A.A. would be truly Self Supporting,
Who is our immediate Past Delegate ?
Contributions to GSO for 2007 have been budgeted at __________ . The total __________________for GSO ( 2007) is anticipated at $12,525,550.
Did you know that for 2007 the ___________ anticipates a loss of $81,300.
The ___________________ represents your group at the Area Assemblies.
How many Area Assemblies are held during the two year period of the Area Committee?
In what publication were the traditions first introduced?
What is the web address (url) for General Service Office?
DCM is the abbreviation for _________________________.
What does the DCM represent ?
Concept I: Final responsibility and ultimate authority for A.A. world services should always reside in the collective conscience of our whole______________________.
Alcoholics Anonymous just celebrated a birthday in June, what birthday was it?
Sunday, May 27, 2007
Has GSO ever been self-supporting through contributions?
Alcoholics Anonymous has had a philosophy of being self-supporting since the early years, when we were rebuffed by John D. Rockefeller, "I am afraid that money will spoil this thing." Through the interpretation and understanding of our Seventh Tradition, most groups have attained the self-supporting stage.
Over the years, our central offices have frequently been entities of a different colour. Rather than quietly operating under the ‘self-supporting umbrella’, the Fellowship frequently has imposed the apparent virtue of ‘corporate poverty’ on our service centres. GSO / ‘Head Office’ has been no exception.
In the very early years, both Bill and Dr. Bob were thrilled when the Trustees of the Alcoholic Foundation allotted each of them some of the monies coming in from sales of the Big Book.
“Two years ago the trustees set aside, out of AA book funds, a sum which enabled my wife and me to pay off the mortgage on our home and make some needed improvements. The Foundation also granted Dr Bob and me each a royalty of 10% on the book Alcoholics Anonymous, our only income from AA sources. We are both very comfortable and deeply grateful.” (Language of the Heart pages 62-66)
The decade following World War II saw much activity. Nell Wing, Bill’s secretary (and later the first GSO Archivist) wrote.
“The year I came to the foundation--in fact, that entire decade, 1945 to 1955--was an exciting and important time in AA history, probably the most productive period of growth and development we've seen to date.
What was happening? The Big Book was earning money, and had been since 1942. Old debts had been repaid. The trustees were passing resolutions about making AA self-supporting. By 1945, the groups were contributing to the support of the office.”
(Grapevine, September 1977)
Those must have been heady, exciting times. But I found no solid proof that the Fellowship has ever completely supported GSO through contributions. I asked a couple of staffers at GSO. Both thought not. I also asked Donald Meurer, the CFO of AAWS, Inc., whose ‘standard AA folklore’ answer was yes – once, a long time ago.
Bill W. wasn’t concerned that literature sales were made to outside entities. He felt that usually these copies would wind up in the hands of alcoholics. With Overeaters Anonymous and other 12-Step programs purchasing our literature, one might wonder if that is still the case today.
At the Special Forum held in Philadelphia in the fall of 2006, the topic arose during one of the Question and Answer sessions.
Question: Is A.A. self-supporting if we use revenue from the sale of literature to support services? What percentage of literature sales are sold to non-A.A. entities?
Response: Currently 17% of literature sales are to non-A.A. entities. In the 1980s, the number was 30%. Our co-founder Bill W. said that even books bought by outside entities usually end up in the hands of alcoholics.
The use of literature revenue to fund services was the case even in Bill W.’s and Dr. Bob’s time. If the Fellowship were to fund 100% of services through Seventh Tradition contributions, or if services were reduced, we may be able to lower the price of literature. Meanwhile, revenue from literature makes up for the shortfall of contributions.
One trustee, though, has shared that if we really want to control the destiny of G.S.O. and our Central Offices, we need to stop reliance on literature sales.
So there you go, a typical AA answer. Probably, but then again, maybe not. One thing is for sure – if each of us and each of our groups digs a little deeper and contributes a little more to our Intergroups and Districts and Area and GSO, we could become truly self-supporting through these contributions, for the first (or second) time.
Panel 53 Delegate,
Area 83 Eastern Ontario International
Sunday, May 6, 2007
A. Discuss a request to increase the maximum annual contribution (or a one time bequest) that the General Service Board can receive from an A.A. member from $2,000 to $3,000.
A. This item was discussed and passed, therefore making the maximum annual contribution (or one time bequest) that the General Service Board can receive from an A.A. member is now $3,000.00.
The above figures are in American dollars.
Yesterday I had the privilege of hearing our Delegates
(Dot D.) first report on the General Service Conference, Dot spoke enthusiastically about her experience. Area 83 was ably represented at the GSC.
Encourage others to hear her report by attending the Zone and District Services Days that are hosting her over the next couple of months. She is carrying the message from General Service Office to the Area/Districts and Groups. Let’s support her and our fellowship by attending Service Days.
2007 G.S.O. Budget*
Contributions for 2007 have been budgeted at $6,200,000 in total. (Contributions received for the year 2005 were 12% or $650,000 greater than in 2005.)
During 2006, contributions from groups and individuals of totaled $5,922,000 which was $517,000 or 10% greater than budget and $640,000 or 12% greater than 2005. Contributions received from World Service Meeting Countries toward the World Service Meeting International literature fund amounted to $145,000 approximately $20,000 more than 2005. In total, Contributions received for 2006 were just over $6,068,000. In addition to the work trusted servants are doing to carry the message of the necessity for voluntary contributions, historical evidence suggests that usually in the year following an International Convention, we enjoy a healthy increase in contributions.
Total Operating Revenue for 2007 is anticipated at $12,525,550, approximately even with the 2006 Budget and 1.5% less than the 2006 actual results.
Total Operating Expenses for 2007 have been budgeted at $12,525,550 approximately $231,000 or 2% more than 2006, and $242,000 or 2% more than the 2006 budget as well.
Did you know that for 2007 the Grapevine anticipates a loss of $81,300. This compares with the 2006 budgeted profit of $19,883 and an actual loss from operations of $48,857.
June’s Blog Topic
Is A.A. really Self Supporting?
Thursday, April 19, 2007
The Grapevine has been continuously published since 1944, and it preceded all AA literature except for the Big Book. Because of a problem with anonymity and a conflict with the FBI’s in-house magazine called “The Grapevine”, we changed our name to “The AA Grapevine.” The legal name is Box 1980 which appears on the shipping label as the return address. So you can see how it does protect a member’s anonymity.
Bill W used it to communicate with the Fellowship of AA. He used it to get new ideas out to the membership as a whole. For example the Twelve Traditions were first seen in The Grapevine in an article called “Twelve Suggested Points for AA Tradition.” A number of the stories in the back of the Big Book appeared in The Grapevine first. It is now considered “The Voice of the AA Fellowship.” The articles are written by the membership for the membership. In 1986 the General Service Conference issued a blanket approval for the magazine since each issue could not be approved in advance. So it is Conference approved.
The Grapevine has a history of dealing with many controversial issues within the Fellowship of AA. There have been articles covering the God thing, AA and other substances, Singleness of Purpose, Character Defects, Working with Others and many more. It also has books such as Language of the Heart, Best of Bill and the new one Emotional Sobriety. CD’s, pictures and other items concerning AA, such as the picture The Man on the Bed and the Serenity Prayer are also available from the Grapevine.
It is called the Meeting in Print because it has in it, The Preamble,( this is where The Preamble was first seen), The Steps, The Traditions and, it always has a meeting topic for Discussion Meetings.
It is a wonderful 12th Step Tool. It can be used both within and outside the Fellowship. Inside the Fellowship it can be used for members who cannot attend meetings regularly because of illness or location. Also it is a good tool for the hearing impaired Alcoholic. Gift subscriptions can be given to a sponsee, or given to the newcomer at his or her fist meeting, or even before. Gift subscriptions can be given to Treatment and Correctional Facilities. They can be loaned out for members to read.
Outside the Fellowship Older issues can be used in Correctional and Treatment Facilities, to be left there for the people to read. They can be left in Doctors and Hospital waiting rooms and in Police Stations. Of course approval should be received before leaving magazines in these places.
On The Grapevine Website www.aagrapevine.org you can do anything that can be done by phone or postal mail. You can subscribe to the Magazine, renew a subscription, purchase other Grapevine books or materials or submit an article. The Digital Archive lets you look at more than 60 years of experience, strength and hope. Also the audio version of the Magazine can be downloaded from here.
The Grapevine does not receive any funding or financial support from the GSO. It is totally self supporting through the sale of literature and the magazine. This is why we should try and support it in any way we can. Things like, having a personal subscription to the magazine, possibly purchasing items for gifts at medallions, gift subscriptions for sponsee’s , Correctional or Treatment Institutions. One of the ways we all can support it is in the purchase of a Pocket Planner and or Calendars. The ordering process is starting now.
In the DCM’s mail slots at the Area Committee Meeting in June will be an order form for each respective District. The price here will reflect the latest price from the Grapevine, the current exchange rate, GST and any discounts we may be entitled to. The Districts will compile their order over the summer months and the completed order forms along with the payment will be given back to the Area Grapevine Chair at the Area Committee Meeting in Sept. He or she will compile these into one order and send it off to the Grapevine. The DCM’s will pick up their Districts order at the Fall Assembly at Kingston in October. Most of us do buy a pocket calendar of some sort so why not support the Grapevine in this.
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
One that is important and may have wide interest is the Archives Workshop being held in Kingston. The information is below and you may want to mention this in your presentations, we can learn a lot by listening to the wisdom and experience of those that have come before us. Preserving our history is critical to our fellowship. I will post this on our Blog as well. The Area 83 Archivist has a new Blog that she will be updating periodically with interesting information; already on the Blog is information on how to do an Oral History. Here is the link http://area83archivist.blogspot.com/
Please also note that our Registrar has a helpful Blog with group information forms etc… this makes it easy for the groups in your districts, here is the link to his Blog http://area83registrar.blogspot.com/
We have all linked our Blogs together which makes it easy for Area 83 members to access information.
A call letter requesting resumes of those interested in being considered for the role of Area 83 Webmaster and Area 83 Alternate Webmaster has been sent out to the DCMs, please help spread the message. A copy of these call letters is available if you would like one, however because full names are used I won’t be posted it on the Blog.
I also have some interesting “Ask It Basket” topics coming up…… so keep coming back to the Blog for more information.
Monday, April 2, 2007
Dear Self Support Chair,
Thanks again for taking on this important role in your District; I enjoyed meeting many of you at the Area Assembly. If you were unable to attend feel free to contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org if I can be of any help to you.
I have already posted an April Self Support Tidbit, that could be included in your presentations as well as a Concepts Checklist In my experience. The Concepts are rarely discussed at group or District level but you will see by the questions, they could provide an interesting and a valuable discussion topic for all levels of service.
I have contacted a few of the District Chairs to help me prepare for the Fall Assembly, at this time we will have an open forum workshop where we review and discuss guidelines that will help us present the Self Support Message. The following Guidelines are being worked on by District Chairs;
1) District Role in Self Support – Guidelines for District Self Support Chair
2) Presentation Guidelines
3) The Groups Role in Self Support
Yours in Love and Service,
Area 83 International Self Support Chairperson
Monday, March 26, 2007
Cost to provide services in 2005 - $7,622,288
Group contributions coming from 43% of the registered groups of $5,417,046 covered 71% of the costs (literature costs cover the rest). According to his calculation if every member contributed 48 cents US monthly we would be fully self supporting,
Service Material from the General Service Office
A service piece for home groups, districts, areas
Some of these discussion points were originally developed by an A.A. group and further developed by the trustees’ Literature Committee to be distributed by the General Service Office. While this checklist is intended as a starting point for discussion by groups, districts or areas, individual A.A. members may find it useful along with our co-founder Bill W.’s writings, a service sponsor if you have one and reflection on your own service experience. Additional information about the Concepts can be found in The A.A. Service Manual/Twelve Concepts for World Service and “The Twelve Concepts Illustrated” pamphlet. (The Concepts stated here are in the short form.)
Concept I: Final responsibility and ultimate authority for A.A. world services should always reside in the collective conscience of our whole Fellowship.
Does our group have a general service representative (G.S.R.)? Do we feel that our home group is part of A.A. as a whole and do our group’s decisions and actions reflect that?
Do we hold regular group conscience meetings encouraging everyone to participate? Do we pass that conscience on to the district, area, or the local intergroup meetings?
Is the “collective conscience” of Alcoholics Anonymous at work in my home group? In my area?
Where do we fit in the upside-down triangle of A.A.?
Are we willing to do what it takes to insure that our democracy of world service will work under all conditions?
Concept II: The General Service Conference of A.A. has become, for nearly every practical purpose, the active voice and the effective conscience of our whole Society in its world affairs.
Do we have an understanding of the history of the General Service Conference (the “Conference”)?
What is a Conference Advisory Action? Does our home group’s G.S.R., D.C.M., area delegate report back to the group on the highlights of the Conference and Conference Advisory Actions?
Is our group meeting its wider Seventh Tradition responsibilities?
Concept III: To insure effective leadership, we should endow each element of A.A. —the Conference, the General Service Board and its service corporations, staffs, committees, and executives—with a traditional “Right of Decision.”
Do we understand what is meant by the “Right of Decision”? Do we grant it at all levels of service or do we “instruct”?
Do we trust our trusted servants — G.S.R., D.C.M., area delegate, the Conference itself?
Concept IV: At all responsible levels, we ought to maintain a traditional “Right of Participation,” allowing a voting representation in reasonable proportion to the responsibility that each must discharge.
Do we understand the spiritual principles underlying the “Right of Participation”?
What does “in reasonable proportion” mean? Do we understand when it is appropriate for A.A. paid staff to have a vote at the General Service Conference or in our local service structure?
Do we expect that, because we are A.A. members, we should be allowed to vote at any group, even if we are not active members of that group?
Concept V: Throughout our structure, a traditional “Right of Appeal” ought to prevail, so that minority opinion will be heard and personal grievances receive careful consideration.
Do we encourage the minority opinion, the “Right of Appeal”, to be heard at our home group, district committee meetings, area assemblies and the Conference?
What does our group accept as “substantial unanimity”?
Has our group experienced the “tyranny of the majority” or the “tyranny of the minority”?
Does our group understand the importance of all points of view being heard before a vote is taken?
Concept Vl: The Conference recognizes that the chief initiative and active responsibility in most world service matters should be exercised by the trustee members of the Conference acting as the General Service Board.
Are we familiar with how our General Service Board (G.S.B.) Class A and Class B trustees serve A.A.? Are we familiar with how our other trusted servants serve A.A.?
Are we clear about the terms, “chief initiative” and “active responsibility”? Can we see a direct link to our home group?
Concept Vll: The Charter and Bylaws of the General Service Board are legal instruments, empowering the trustees to manage and conduct world service affairs. The Conference Charter is not a legal document; it relies upon tradition and the A.A. purse for final effectiveness.
Do we act responsibly regarding the “power of the purse?”
Do we realize that the practical and spiritual power of the Conference will nearly always be superior to the legal power of the G.S.B.?
Concept VIII: The trustees are the principal planners and administrators of overall policy and finance. They have custodial oversight of the separately incorporated and constantly active services, exercising this through their ability to elect all the directors of these entities.
Do we understand the relationship between the two corporate service entities (A.A. World Services, Inc., the A.A. Grapevine) and the General Service Board?
How can the business term “custodial oversight” apply to the trustees’ relationship to the two corporate service entities?
Does my home group subscribe to G.S.O.’s bimonthly newsletter Box 4-5-9? The A.A.Grapevine? Do I?
Concept IX: Good service leadership at all levels is indispensable for our future functioning and safety. Primary world service leadership, once exercised by the founders, must necessarily be assumed by the trustees.
Do we discuss how we can best strengthen the composition and leadership of our future trusted servants?
Do we recognize the need for group officers? What is our criteria for election? Do we sometimes give a position to someone “because it would be good for them?”
Do I set a positive leadership example?
Concept X: Every service responsibility should be matched by an equal service authority, with the scope of such authority well defined.
Do we understand “authority” and “responsibility” as they relate to group conscience decisions by G.S.R.s, D.C.M.s and our area delegates?
Why is delegation of “authority” so important to the overall effectiveness of A.A.? Do we use this concept to define the scope of “authority?”
Concept Xl: The trustees should always have the best possible committees, corporate service directors, executives, staffs, and consultants. Composition, qualifications, induction procedures, and rights and duties will always be matters of serious concern.
Do we understand how the roles of nontrustee directors and nontrustee appointed committee members help serve and strengthen the committee system?
How do we encourage our special paid workers to exercise their traditional “Right of Participation?”
Do we practice rotation in all our service positions?
Concept Xll: The Conference shall observe the spirit of A.A. tradition, taking care that it never becomes the seat of perilous wealth or power; that sufficient operating funds and reserve be its prudent financial principle; that it place none of its members in a position of unqualified authority over others; that it reach all important decisions by discussion, vote, and, whenever possible, by substantial unanimity; that its actions never be personally punitive nor an incitement to public controversy; that it never perform acts of government, and that, like the Society it serves, it will always remain democratic in thought and action.
How do we guard against becoming a “seat of perilous wealth or power?”
How do we practice prudent use of our Seventh Tradition contributions and literature revenue?
Do we insure the spiritual liberties of all A.A. members by not placing any member in the position of absolute authority over others?
Do we try to reach important decisions by thorough discussion, vote and, where possible, substantial unanimity?
As guardians of A.A.’s traditions, are we ever justified in being personally punitive?
Are we careful to avoid public controversy?
Do we always try to treat each other with mutual respect and love?