My name is and I'm an alcoholic and sit as your District Chairperson. This is an open business meeting for alcoholics or those who believe they have a problem with alcohol.
Request that cell phones be turned off or vibrate - Please keep yourself on mute when not speaking. Use raise hand function/raise hand if you want to respond. We will be using the yes/no reactions to take votes, please make sure you know how to use them.
Please take a moment to update your Zoom Name to include your group and Group and or District Position.
Start with a moment of silence followed by the Serenity Prayer.
• As the group chair I will act to conducts this meeting as directed by the group conscience. We will follow the agenda in the order it has been presented. It is my responsibility to set the agenda and timescales for discussion, I will refrain from offering opinions but will call upon members during the discussion and for voting if votes when necessary
• We follow Robert’s Rules of Order, and each member will have a chance to speak before rebuttals are heard. Please ask for clarification of the topic or motion when called upon
• Statement of acceptance - Please be advised that the discussions can include individual statements by members who are invested in making their points, members are cautioned not to confuse the speakers passion for the topic with hostility.
When your a GSR
At district meetings, you join with G.S.R.s from other groups. Perhaps you’ve already worked with an intergroup or central office, where groups band together to help alcoholics just in your locality. But your general service district is the second link in an entirely different chain, which extends much farther. Your district is one part of a general service area. With your fellow G.S.R.s, you elect a district committee member, and all the D.C.M.s make up the area committee. Now, do you just sit back and let your D.C.M. take it from there? No! G.S.R.s stay very much in action in each of the 93 areas in the U.S. and Canada.
You attend area assemblies four times a year (in most areas). At the electoral assembly (held every two years), along with the other G.S.R.s and the D.C.M.s from the whole area, you elect committee officers — and your area’s Conference delegate.
Just as you rely on your group for help in your personal recovery, so the A.A. groups of Canada and the U.S. rely on the General Service Conference in maintaining the unity and strength of our Fellowship — our obligation to all the alcoholics of today and tomorrow. It’s up to you to keep two-way communication going between your group and the Conference. Via your D.C.M. and your delegate, you can see to it that your group’s conscience on matters of importance to all A.A. becomes a part of the consensus when these matters are discussed at the annual Conference meeting in April. In return, you can enable your group to benefit from the meeting’s sharing of experience among area delegates and the other Conference members. Your D.C.M. may want to present your delegate’s report at a special group meeting. The D.C.M. receives a copy of the Conference Final Report, a full account of proceedings. Copies of the report are available to groups upon request.
As G.S.R., you are “group contact” in the original sense, too. Upon your election, your name and address are sent (by you or your group secretary) to the secretary of your area committee, or your district or area registrar and to G.S.O. (Be sure to include, as well, the name of the G.S.R. you are replacing, so the records won’t be confused.) You will be listed as contact for your group in the next printing of the appropriate A.A. Directory.
In return, G.S.O. sends you the G.S.R. Kit (see the section below, or check G.S.O.’s website, aa.org, for some of its contents), and the quarterly bulletin Box 4-5-9. You use these — and share them with the other members of your group. Are some pamphlets marked “new” on the Literature Order Form? Check the literature rack to make sure your group is offering all the sobriety tools available. Does Box 4-5-9 carry news of a future International Convention? Spread the happy word.
Because you’ve made a special point of studying the information listed below, you can help when your group faces a problem involving one of the Traditions. You don’t have to know all the answers — no one member possibly could — but you learn where to look for good suggestions, drawn from broad A.A. experience.
Thinking of Tradition Seven particularly, you work with the group treasurer to remind your group of its part in keeping all of A.A. self-supporting. You explain the importance of financial support of your intergroup/central office, G.S.O., district and area committee, and the Birthday Plan for individual contributions. Contributions can also be made online through aa.org as recurring monthly, quarterly or annual contributions.
Since you’re in touch with A.A. throughout your area, you can bring to your group the news of upcoming local conventions. As G.S.R., you share with your fellow members the joy of widening A.A. horizons.
Information you’ll need
On the general service structure: The A.A. Service Manual/Twelve Concepts for World Service, “Inside A.A.” and “Circles of Love and Service” — all in the G.S.R. Kit; in addition, the Conference Final Report, and the video “YourA.A. General Service Office, the Grapevine, and the General Service Structure” (DV-07).
On the Traditions: “A.A. Tradition — How It Developed” (kit); also Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, A.A. Comes of Age, and “The Twelve Traditions Illustrated.”
On group affairs: “The A.A. Group” and “Self-Support: Where Money and Spirituality Mix” (both in the kit); the A.A. Guidelines (listing of titles and prices in the Literature Catalog), which suggest ways your group can work with other groups and with agencies outside A.A.
Financial Support: Current experience indicates that many groups provide financial support for their general service representatives to attend service functions.
Tradition "Our A.A. experience has taught us that:
Each member of Alcoholics Anonymous is but a small part of a great whole. A.A. must continue to live or most of us will surely die. Hence our common welfare comes first. But individual welfare follows close afterward.
For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority—a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience.
Our membership ought to include all who suffer from alcoholism. Hence we may refuse none who wish to recover. Nor ought A.A. membership ever depend upon money or conformity. Any two or three alcoholics gathered together for sobriety may call themselves an A.A. group, provided that, as a group, they have no other affiliation.
With respect to its own affairs, each A.A. group should be responsible to no other authority than its own conscience. But when its plans concern the welfare of neighboring groups also, those groups ought to be consulted. And no group, regional committee, or individual should ever take any action that might greatly affect A.A. as a whole without conferring with the trustees of the General Service Board. On such issues our common welfare is paramount.
Each Alcoholics Anonymous group ought to be a spiritual entity having but one primary purpose—that of carrying its message to the alcoholic who still suffers.
Problems of money, property, and authority may easily divert us from our primary spiritual aim. We think, therefore, that any considerable property of genuine use to A.A. should be separately incorporated and managed, thus dividing the material from the spiritual. An A.A. group, as such, should never go into business. Secondary aids to A.A., such as clubs or hospitals which require much property or administration, ought to be incorporated and so set apart that, if necessary, they can be freely discarded by the groups. Hence such facilities ought not to use the A.A. name. Their management should be the sole responsibility of those people who financially support them. For clubs, A.A. managers are usually preferred. But hospitals, as well as other places of recuperation, ought to be well outside A.A.—and medically supervised. While an A.A. group may cooperate with anyone, such cooperation ought never go so far as affiliation or endorsement, actual or implied. An A.A. group can bind itself to no one.
The A.A. groups themselves ought to be fully supported by the voluntary contributions of their own members. We think that each group should soon achieve this ideal; that any public solicitation of funds using the name of Alcoholics Anonymous is highly dangerous, whether by groups, clubs, hospitals, or other outside agencies; that acceptance of large gifts from any source, or of contributions carrying any obligation whatever, is unwise. Then too, we view with much concern those A.A. treasuries which continue, beyond prudent reserves, to accumulate funds for no stated A.A. purpose. Experience has often warned us that nothing can so surely destroy our spiritual heritage as futile disputes over property, money, and authority.
Alcoholics Anonymous should remain forever non-professional. We define professionalism as the occupation of counseling alcoholics for fees or hire. But we may employ alcoholics where they are going to perform those services for which we may otherwise have to engage nonalcoholics. Such special services may be well recompensed. But our usual A.A. "12 Step" work is never to be paid for.
Each A.A. group needs the least possible organization. Rotating leadership is the best. The small group may elect its secretary, the large group its rotating committee, and the groups of a large metropolitan area their central or intergroup committee, which often employs a full-time secretary. The trustees of the General Service Board are, in effect, our A.A. General Service Committee. They are the custodians of our A.A. Tradition and the receivers of voluntary A.A. contributions by which we maintain our A.A. General Service Office at New York. They are authorized by the groups to handle our over-all public relations and they guarantee the integrity of our principal newspaper, the A.A. Grapevine. All such representatives are to be guided in the spirit of service, for true leaders in A.A. are but trusted and experienced servants of the whole. They derive no real authority from their titles; they do not govern. Universal respect is the key to their usefulness.
No A.A. group or member should ever, in such a way as to implicate A.A., express any opinion on outside controversial issues—particularly those of politics, alcohol reform, or sectarian religion. The Alcoholics Anonymous groups oppose no one. Concerning such matters they can express no views whatever.
Our relations with the general public should be characterized by personal anonymity. We think A.A. ought to avoid sensational advertising. Our names and pictures as A.A. members ought not be broadcast, filmed, or publicly printed. Our public relations should be guided by the principle of attraction rather than promotion. There is never need to praise ourselves. We feel it better to let our friends recommend us.
And finally, we of Alcoholics Anonymous believe that the principle of anonymity has an immense spiritual significance. It reminds us that we are to place principles before personalities; that we are actually to practice a genuine humility. This to the end that our great blessings may never spoil us; that we shall forever live in thankful contemplation of Him who presides over us all
12 Concepts of Alcoholics Anonymous
Final responsibility and ultimate authority for A.A. world services should always reside in the collective conscience of our whole Fellowship.
When, in 1955, the A.A. groups confirmed the permanent charter for their General Service Conference, they thereby delegated to the Conference com- plete authority for the active maintenance of our world services and thereby made the Conference — excepting for any change in the Twelve Traditions or in Article 12 of the Conference Charter — the actual voice and the effective conscience for our whole Society.
As a traditional means of creating and maintaining a clearly defined working relation between the groups, the Conference, the A.A. General Service Board and its several service corporations, staffs, committees and executives, and of thus insuring their effective leadership, it is here suggested that we endow each of these elements of world service with a traditional “Right of Decision.”
Throughout our Conference structure, we ought to maintain at all responsi- ble levels a traditional “Right of Participation,” taking care that each classifica- tion or group of our world servants shall be allowed a voting representation in reasonable proportion to the responsibility that each must discharge.
Throughout our world services structure, a traditional “Right of Appeal” ought to prevail, thus assuring us that minority opinion will be heard and that petitions for the redress of personal grievances will be carefully considered.
On behalf of A.A. as a whole, our General Service Conference has the principal responsibility for the maintenance of our world services, and it traditionally has the final decision respecting large matters of general policy and finance. But the Conference also recognizes that the chief initiative and the active responsibility in most of these matters should be exercised primarily by the Trustee members of the Conference when they act among themselves as the General Service Board of Alcoholics Anonymous.
The Conference recognizes that the Charter and the Bylaws of the General Service Board are legal instruments: that the Trustees are thereby fully empow- ered to manage and conduct all of the world service affairs of Alcoholics Anonymous. It is further understood that the Conference Charter itself is not a legal document: that it relies instead upon the force of tradition and the power of the A.A. purse for its final effectiveness.
The Trustees of the General Service Board act in two primary capacities: (a) With respect to the larger matters of overall policy and finance, they are the principal planners and administrators. They and their primary committees directly manage these affairs. (b) But with respect to our separately incorporat- ed and constantly active services, the relation of the Trustees is mainly that of full stock ownership and of custodial oversight which they exercise through their ability to elect all directors of these entities.
Good service leaders, together with sound and appropriate methods of choosing them, are at all levels indispensable for our future functioning and safety. The primary world service leadership once exercised by the founders of A.A. must necessarily be assumed by the Trustees of the General Service Board of Alco- holics Anonymous.
Every service responsibility should be matched by an equal service authority — the scope of such authority to be always well defined whether by tradition, by resolution, by specific job description or by appropriate charters and bylaws.
While the trustees hold final responsibility for A.A.’s world service adminis- tration, they should always have the assistance of the best possible standing committees, corporate service directors, executives, staffs and consultants. Therefore, the composition of these underlying committees and service boards, the personal qualifications of their members, the manner of their induction into service, the systems of their rotation, the way in which they are related to each other, the special rights and duties of our executives, staffs and consultants, together with a proper basis for the financial compensation of these special workers, will always be matters for serious care and concern.
General Warranties of the Conference: in all its proceedings, the General Service Conference shall observe the spirit of the A.A. Tradition, taking great care that the conference never becomes the seat of perilous wealth or power; that sufficient operating funds, plus an ample reserve, be its prudent financial principle; that none of the Conference Members shall ever be placed in a position of unqualified authority over any of the others; that all important decisions be reached by discussion, vote, and whenever possible, by substantial unanimity; that no Conference action ever be personally punitive or an incitement to public controversy; that though the Conference may act for the service of Alcoholics Anonymous, it shall never perform any acts of government; and that, like the Society of Alcoholics Anonymous which it serves, the Conference itself will always remain democratic in thought and action.