Conference 2020

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Committee One

  1. Would Conference:
    1. Review Chapter 10 of the AA Service Handbook for Great Britain 2018.
    2. Consider publishing a telephone responder’s leaflet to include malicious calls.

Background

Both experienced and new responders have requested guidance on how best to handle such calls.

Chapter 10, Page 65/66 AA Service Handbook for Great Britain 2018.

To assist in AA’s duty of care to its members.

Consider the contribution to the carrying of the message, financial and practical implications when deliberating each question.

  1. Would the fellowship share experience of appropriate resources and support for alcoholics who have special needs or disabilities?

Background

The group’s experience was that a member with autism wasn’t treated fairly when sharing, and that inappropriate comments were made about this individual.

We think there needs to be more awareness of members with special needs and disabilities within AA, so groups can have a better understanding of dealing with this when it arises. This would help to support all individuals with disabilities, whether visible or not.

Consider the contribution to the carrying of the message, financial and practical implications when deliberating each question.

  1. Would conference share its experience and discuss any benefits of separating intergroup meetings into a GSR section and a Public Information & Cooperation with the Professional Community section?

Background

Sometimes intergroup meetings can take up a lot of time with reports and requests from the various public information officers. Would it be better for the PI committee to discuss their reports and requests separately and then send a representative to intergroup so as intergroup can then focus more on the issues and matters arising from Conference (Concepts 3,4 & 5).

Consider the contribution to the carrying of the message, financial and practical implications when deliberating each question.


Committee Two

  1. Can Conference consider whether the General Service Board be given authority to approve posters, videos and pamphlets produced by Subcommittees without these items needing additional approval by the General Service Conference, which may cause unnecessary delay?

Background

“Right of Decision” (Concept 3), “active responsibility” (Concept 6), “custodial oversight” (Concept 8), “Good service leadership ” (Concept 9) and “authority” matching their “responsibility” (Concept 10).

Consider the contribution to the carrying of the message, financial and practical implications when deliberating each question.

  1. Could Conference emphasise the benefits and share experience of effective formats for pre and post conference meetings at Region level?

Intention: to encourage more active participation by individual members within the groups and among GSRs which then may benefit the service structure at all levels thus bringing the whole fellowship closer together (Concepts 1 & 4).

Consider the contribution to the carrying of the message, financial and practical implications when deliberating each question.

  1. Review the revised chapter The General Service Conference, section 1.5 Delegates, point B, Rotation in the AA Structure Handbook for Great Britain

Background

Revised chapter The General Service Conference, section 1.5 Delegates, point B, Rotation.

Consider the contribution to the carrying of the message, financial and practical implications when deliberating each question.


Committee Three

  1. Would the Fellowship consider how any person or persons wishing to open a new meeting may be guided as to the effect on other groups and AA as a whole?

Background

Tradition 4

Tradition 7:

“Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups, or A.A. as a whole”

“Every A.A. group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions”.

For further consideration:

to meet essential expenses?

Consider the contribution to the carrying of the message, financial and practical implications when deliberating each question.

  1. Can groups reflect on and share their experience of how they select officers?

Background

AA Structure Handbook for Great Britain, section 2 “The Group, Officers” states:

“The group’s welfare is of primary concern in choosing officers…” “Most groups make sure that their officers have had a known period of continuous sobriety, at least one year, and have shown themselves willing and available to give dependable service through regular attendance at meetings.”

“Each nominee is usually approached by other members of the group and, if he or she agrees, that name is put forward at a business/service meeting, so letting the group conscience decide the election.”

Can groups, including intergroup and region, consider how well their processes for selecting officers fit with the above guidance? Can groups share their experience of the processes of selecting, nominating and approving officer appointments which work well?

Consider the contribution to the carrying of the message, financial and practical implications when deliberating each question.

  1. One member, one vote

What more can be done to raise understanding across the Fellowship of the spiritual principle that we do not take part in the business or policy of groups which we visit, but which are not our home group?

Background

The AA Structure Handbook for Great Britain 2018, page 75

“Most members feel more at home in one particular group than in others

and consider it their home group, where they accept responsibilities and try to sustain friendships. They do not take part in the business or policy of groups which they visit but in which they would accept no service assignments.” Pamphlet The AA Group Q22, p.23

“… The home group affords individual AAs the privilege of voting on issues that affect the Fellowship as a whole; it is the very basis of the service structure… where they participate in business meetings and cast their vote as part of the group conscience of the Fellowship as a whole. As with all group conscience matters, each member has one vote.” The AA Service Manual (USA & Canada) p.S25*

*available from the General Service Office, item code 3360

Consider the contribution to the carrying of the message, financial and practical implications when deliberating each question.


Committee Four

  1. Would the Fellowship share experience and make recommendations with regards to the issue of rotation within AA’s structure, as envisioned by Bill.

(The AA Service Handbook for Great Britain, page 10, 1.10, the Older Member)

“Here we may find service in AA is seemingly being taken over by those much younger in sobriety. This is how it should be: our traditions have always supported the idea of rotation in our service activities…”

AA Structure Handbook for Great Britain 2018, p.77

As Bill Sees It, 307 “Circle and Triangle”; 207 “The Fellowship’s Future”; 25 “We Cannot Stand Still”. AA Comes of Age, page 224 – page 227. Concept XI: “Do we practise rotation in all our service positions”?

Background

Newly appointed Group Service Representatives (GSRs) often find it difficult to integrate at Intergroup.

Perhaps we could look at how well we cultivate a spirit of willingness for service for the younger member throughout the structure, within sponsorship and on a one-to-one.

Consider the contribution to the carrying of the message, financial and practical implications when deliberating each question.

  1. Could Conference discuss ways the fellowship can assist sponsors in their responsibility of encouraging newer people into service positions?

Background

Sponsoring into service is a vital link in the ongoing strength of AA to carry its message. Working through the structure of Group Service and on to Intergroup, Region and Conference should be aspired to but may be considered as unattractive or beyond reach. The Intergroup is a fundamental link between the groups and the region and need people to carry out the work.

Consider the contribution to the carrying of the message, financial and practical implications when deliberating each question.

  1. Review revised Chapter 3 AA and Electronic Communications, section 3.6 The AA GB Website of The AA Service Handbook for Great Britain 2018.

Background

Revised Chapter 3, “AA and Electronic Communications”, section 3.6 The AA GB Website.

Consider the contribution to the carrying of the message, financial and practical implications when deliberating each question.


Committee Five

  1. Can Conference discuss their experience of sobriety requirements for Prison Liaison Officers and members sharing at prison meetings and, if deemed necessary, recommend amendments to Chapter 8 of “The AA Service Handbook for Great Britain” in order to give more clarity?

Background

Section 8.1 of The AA Service Handbook for Great Britain states that “Prison sponsors are appointed according to the intergroup conscience. It is recommended that sponsors have a minimum of 3 years continuous sobriety.”

There is much discussion regarding the length of sobriety required for:

  1. The prison Liaison Officer
  2. Members going in with the prison meeting sponsor to give a main share.

With the exception of “Regional Representatives”, all other service positions have a minimum continuous sobriety requirement of 2 years. Does this also apply to the prison liaison officer – the liaison officer may not, necessarily, be a prison meeting sponsor – rather facilitating it.

Likewise, many groups are interpreting the chapter as indicating that any member attending the meeting should have 3 years continuous sobriety, even though they are not sponsoring the meeting.

This greatly restricts the number of available members that can support the prison meeting.

Experience has demonstrated that many people are more encouraged by people in early sobriety – say 6 months – as they find it easier to relate to the rawness, and problems, in their first year of sobriety.

Guidance, and clarification, would be of great use to our Prison Liaison Officers.

Consider the contribution to the carrying of the message, financial and practical

implications when deliberating each question.

  1. Would Conference consider the implications of the adoption of the practice by AA in Great Britain of inviting speakers from overseas and paying their expenses? Make recommendations.

Background

This matter was brought to Conference in 1995 and dealt with by Committee No. 6, question No. 4. Here is the transcript:

“Having considered the implication of the adoption of the practice by AA in Great Britain of inviting speakers from overseas and paying their expenses, the Committee decided that neither AA money nor AA’s name should be used for this purpose, as to do so would be in breach of Tradition 4 and Tradition 12.”

Consider the contribution to the carrying of the message, financial and practical implications when deliberating each question.


Committee Six

  1. Conference is asked to consider and make recommendations on ways to reach out to problem drinkers in black, Asian and minority ethnic communities. Membership of AA is still predominantly white, even in racially mixed towns and cities.

Background

AA Membership Survey 2015

Consider the contribution to the carrying of the message, financial and practical implications when deliberating each question.

  1. Would the Fellowship share experience in reaching out to the growing homeless community, many of whom have problems with alcohol?

Background

Brighton Intergroup has established the role of Homeless Liaison Officer. The key features of this role are as follows:

  • A weekly visit to the town’s homeless day centres
  • Provision of AA’s PI materials to the staff
  • Regular communication with clients who are struggling with alcohol problems
  • Introduction to local AA meetings

The Homeless Liaison Officer works in partnership with the intergroup’s PI, Health and Young People’s Liaison Officers. In Brighton, the team includes a Polish AA member who can communicate more easily with homeless people from Poland and the Baltic states.

Conference is asked to consider establishing additional services within its service structure to reach out to suffering alcoholics in the homeless community.

Consider the contribution to the carrying of the message, financial and practical implications when deliberating each question.