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Date: Saturday, October 5, 2019
Time: 10:00am – 4:00pm
Location: Center of Unity, 1650 Hughes Rd., Grapevine, TX 76051
Speaker: Tom M., NETA65 Past Delegate (Panel 65)
Comments: Lunch will be served / 7th Tradition / Bring your Service Manual
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Date: Saturday, November 23, 2019
Time: 10:00am – 4:00pm
Location: Center of Unity, 1650 Hughes Rd., Grapevine, TX 76051
Speaker: Jimmy D., Southwest Regional A.A. Trustee
Comments: Lunch will be served / 7th Tradition / Bring your 12×12
General Service Board Meeting
The General Service Board of Alcoholics Anonymous, Inc. held its quarterly meeting at the Crowne Plaza Times Square Hotel, New York, NY on Monday, January 28, 2019. Leslie Backus, acting chair of the General Service Board, presided.
The topic of the First Quarterly General Sharing Session was “Social Media — the Colossus of 21st Century Communication.” Class A trustee Peter Luongo presented on the subtopic “Unity and Social Media” and G.S.O. staff member Sandra W. presented on the subtopic “Anonymity and Social Media.”
Trustee-at-large/U.S. Newton P. welcomed all, especially Conference committee delegate chairs. He read a portion of Bill W.’s Grapevine article from 1960 about “the vast communication net that now covers the earth…this colossus of communication.” Peter spoke about how Tradition One firmly and unequivocally states that A.A.’s unity is essential to the mission of carrying the message to the still-suffering alcoholic. He contrasted A.A. unity, which is straightforward and has stood the test of time, with social media, which “is neither straightforward, nor has it stood the test of time. It continues a rapid, unplanned and ungoverned proliferation toward an end that is equally unknown.”
Peter suggested that the answer is not to simply abandon social media, since it is often a helpful tool for those in recovery. Sandra, the second speaker, began jokingly by taking a selfie with the group “for my Instagram page.” Citing statistics about the billions of social network users worldwide and the frequency with which Americans use social media (often multiple times per day), she noted that for her the question is how we can maintain a presence on the social media landscape without compromising our Traditions.
Sandra referenced helpful resources such as the service piece “Anonymity Online” and the Conference-approved pamphlet “Understanding Anonymity.” She also referenced presentations from the recent 2018 Southeast Regional Forum, where a delegate presentation titled “A.A. and Social Media” discussed secret Facebook groups, acknowledging that “with advancements in technology, anonymity is a principle that will constantly need to be revisited.”
After the presentations, Newton invited sharing from the floor. A Grapevine director shared that she sees a great opportunity to reach millions of people with information about A.A. through social media, just as we reach people through our Public Service Announcements in order to help the still-suffering alcoholic.
A delegate chair suggested that our Class A trustees be the voice of A.A. on LinkedIn, in order to reach professionals. A delegate chair shared about her women’s group having a Facebook page. It began with simple posts about where everyone was going for dinner, which helped increase inclusiveness; eventually, however, there were posts that compromised anonymity.
A Grapevine director shared what he called the three absolutes when it comes to social media: this is the world we live in; these are the platforms that exist; and we have no control over what other human beings do. He feels that we need to vote, yes or no, on social media. If the vote is yes, then we need to develop an infrastructure within G.S.O. to engage with social media within our principles. A staff member observed that the question is not “should A.A. be on social media,” because A.A. is already on social media through individual members. But rather, should G.S.O. or AA Grapevine be on social media? In the past G.S.O. has been a communication portal, disseminating information, in a oneway fashion. Is there a need to change this? If so, how should this interaction happen?
An ACM shared that we need to be honest, open and willing to look at how we carry the A.A. message in the digital world. At his job, once he became open-minded about social media platforms, he found they were a great information resource. An A.A.W.S. director stressed that we focus on the accuracy of information about A.A. at the public level. She felt that our silence on certain platforms has opened the door for self-proclaimed spokespeople of A.A. who often misrepresent us with inaccurate information.
Newton ended the session by citing a statistic that the average millennial spends nine hours a day on social media. He feels that if we want to reach them we need to have a presence on social media.
If you would like to read the entire Quarterly Report from G.S.O. – click here
The Spring 2019 issue is ready for download.
If you are looking for a really great step speaker, head over to the Tuesday Night Speaker Meeting Group in Haltom City on Tuesday Nights at 7:00pm!
The Get In The Car Group (#getinthecar) is excited to announce that we have booked Mo N. from the Fenton Big Book Group in St. Louis, MO to come share her experience strength and hope with our group on Friday, May 31, 2019.
Mo is a Past Delegate (Panel 63) to the General Service Conference of A.A. for the Northeast Texas Area 65 and is dedicated to serving the Fellowship in every way she can. She brings an enormous passion and dedication to carrying our message of recovery to the still suffering alcoholic. With a love for the Fellowship and a wickedly fun sense of humor, we are sure to be blessed by her message.
Please plan on joining us!
On a beautiful January evening (January 4, 2019) in Grapevine Texas, 45 drunks from all over the D/FW area came to support our little group for its very first meeting.
Upon arriving at the Center of Unity in Grapevine (our new home), folks were greeted at the front door by handshakes, hugs, warm smiles, and warm hearts. There was an energy in the room that was palpable. Alcoholics coming together for one reason and one reason only – to experience a deep and rich personal experience of our basic text.
Terry C., one of our three founders, chaired our first meeting and did a bang up job. Thanks Terry! The hard work we had done to prepare us for this first meeting all came to fruition tonight. But no one could have foreseen what was to unfold when the book study actually started. The original format was to be that we would read the book (just read) from 7:45pm-8:15, take a 15 minute fellowship break, then come back from 8:30pm-9:00pm for sharing on what was just read.
God doing for us… in the moment, the format took a drastic change and open sharing began. Questions were asked… definitions we read from the dictionary, and a discussion that nobody saw coming was born. It was incredibly beautiful to sit back and watch it unfold – just the way God wanted it to be (regardless of what WE had wanted it to be). Terry would call on someone to read, they would share on what they had just read, and then anyone in the room who wanted to provide their experience on that passage, or ask a question about it jumped in and the discussion continued to unfold.
By the time the fellowship break came – the founders all just sort of looked at each other in amazement and realized in that moment that the format was taking on a life of its own. It’s not what we had planned, but it certainly was what was supposed to be. When we came back from break – we continued reading, the discussion continued and you could almost see the amazement in the room at what was taking place.
When the meeting was over, one of the women (not a member of the group) who was there came up to one Rick W. (one of the three founders) and said, “This is THE coolest A.A. meeting I have ever been to.” Stuart R. who was visiting from the Simply AA Group in Irving said after the meeting that he loved what the format morphed into and would definitely be back next week. It was our goal from the very beginning that members and visitors alike who came to tonight’s GITC meeting left with a little bit more information about our book than when they walked in. Time and time again we heard that we accomplished that goal.
Another very special experience for the members in attendance was the presence of the group of guys that “got in the car” and drove all the way from the Altered Boys Group in Oklahoma City for our first meeting. GITC owes a debt of gratitude to that amazing group in OKC because what we experienced tonight was due in large part to the incredible message of recovery and unity that group embodies. We cannot thank them enough for “getting in the car” and driving down to support us tonight. Thank you guys. We love you!
Finally, a massive thanks goes out to each member of GITC who showed up tonight to help setup and tear down. Our Hospitality committee did an amazing job of keeping the coffee flowing and the goodies at the ready. We are so lucky to have so many wonderful miracle people who have taken on trusted servant roles to ensure that GITC continues to stay focused on carrying a clear and adequate presentation of the program of A.A. We could not have done it without you. Thank you!
Now that the first meeting is over, we can begin to settle into a routine, make the minor adjustments we need to make and diligently work at our group’s primary purpose – to carry the message to the still suffering alcoholic.