Other 2013 Conference Results

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Highlights of other Conference considerations included:

Conference Committee on Literature

  • The committee reviewed the draft pamphlet of “Circles of Love and Service” and offered additional suggestions for the trustees’ Literature Committee to consider.
  • The committee discussed a suggestion to add an index to Alcoholics Anonymous and took no action, noting that our Big Book is spiritual in nature rather than academic and that an index might discourage a full reading of the material.
  • The committee thoroughly discussed a request to add the subtitle ‘None Left Behind’ to the newly revised “A.A. and the Armed Services” pamphlet and took no action.

Conference Committee on Public Information

  • The committee reviewed the 2012 Annual Report from the trustees’ Committee on Public Information regarding G.S.O.’s A.A. Web site and requested that as soon as possible, and independent from the Web site redesign, A.A.W.S. insure that A.A. videos on aa.org be accessible on as wide a variety of electronic devices as possible.
  • The committee reviewed all current A.A. video public service announcements and found them all to be relevant and useful, noting that “Living in Chaos,” which the trustees’ committee had suggested for retirement, continues to effectively portray the consequences of alcoholic drinking.
  • The committee reviewed the report from the trustees’ Public Information Committee on establishing a Public Information Social Media Page and agrees with the trustees’ conclusion that A.A. World Services, the General Service Office, and the A.A. Grapevine and La Viña cannot establish a presence on Facebook in a manner which would be consistent with A.A. Traditions.
  • The committee suggested the General Service Board encourage the trustees’ committees to review existing literature that discusses how A.A. members apply the Eleventh Tradition, e.g., “Questions and Answers on Sponsorship” and “The Twelve Traditions Illustrated,” and suggest updates to the literature that reflect current experience with anonymity in a digital age, with an eye towards reaffirming the importance of the Eleventh Tradition to the Fellowship. 

Conference Committee on Finance

  • The committee reviewed the Self-Support packet and suggested adding the following words to the packaging sleeve: “Information from Self-Support packet also available on the Web site aa.org” and “Please Share with Your Group.”
  • The committee suggested adding the following phrase to the Self-Support Green Card (F-42):  “Gratitude expressed through contributions reaches the still-suffering alcoholic.”

 Conference Committee on Grapevine

  • The committee reviewed the 2013 Grapevine Office Report on Audio Strategy and made the following requests:
    • That Grapevine communications regarding the Grapevine Audio Project specify that GV is not recording meeting speakers at A.A. events.
  • The committee requested that the GV board submit a proposal to the 2014 Conference Committee on the Grapevine that would significantly reduce the La Viña deficit. Note: Currently La Viña is subsidized.
  • The committee agreed to forward to the A.A. Grapevine Corporate Board the suggestion that Grapevine produce in the year 2014 or later:
  1. Making Amends (working title) – Members share their experience about making Ninth Step amends from stories previously published in Grapevine magazine and/or AAGrapevine.org.
  2. How I Found My Higher Power (working title) – A collection of stories by AA members sharing their experience with their personal journeys with Step Two previously published in Grapevine magazine and/or AAGrapevine.org.

Conference Committee on Cooperation with the Professional Community

  • The committee discussed how local C.P.C. committees are utilizing new technologies to provide information about Alcoholics Anonymous to professionals, and suggested adding information to the C.P.C. Kit and Workbook on:
  • Using PowerPoint and Webinars.
  • Providing electronic subscriptions to A.A. newsletters.
  • The committee discussed ways of stimulating interest in C.P.C. service work and suggested:
  1. Using mock C.P.C. presentations at service workshops.
  2. Encouraging groups to elect C.P.C. chairs.
  3. Bringing A.A. members along on C.P.C. presentations.

Conference Committee on Corrections

  • The committee discussed how to engage A.A. members in corrections service and shared about the opportunities to highlight the current available corrections literature through local area and district Web sites.
  • In discussing difficulties in engaging A.A. members in corrections service, the committee recognized that some A.A. members who have not been incarcerated may feel they have nothing to offer in corrections service. The committee requested the staff secretary work with the Publishing Department and the trustees’ Committee on Corrections to incorporate text in the Corrections Workbook section “Ideas to Stimulate Corrections Twelfth Step Work Within A.A.” to reassure all A.A. members that they can participate in corrections service by sharing A.A.’s basic message about getting and staying sober.

Other noteworthy discussions/considerations:

  • Conference voted not to consider that the General Service Office of Alcoholics Anonymous develop, implement, and maintain a nationwide online, searchable meeting list and locator.
  • Conference did not approve that the dust jacket include  the following language:

At the time of the third edition, in March 1976, the worldwide membership of A.A. was estimated at 1,000,000 or more. Copies of Alcoholics Anonymous in circulation exceeded 1,450,000. The basic text (pages 1 through 164) remains largely unchanged. This is the A.A. message, just as it was introduced in the 1939 edition of Alcoholics Anonymous, the book that gave the young fellowship its name.

  • Conference did not approve amending the Primary Purpose (Blue) Card.

For details on these and all non-Advisory Actions see:

2013 Conference Additional Committee Considerations

2013 Floor Actions That Did Not Result in Conference Advisory Actions

2013 Recommendations That Did Not Result in Conference Advisory Actions

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Results of Conference That Passed

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CONFERENCE ADVISORY ACTIONS OF THE 63rd GENERAL SERVICE CONFERENCE

 

The following could be of interest to most: (details of all on the Abridged Version)

4.      A commemorative 75th Anniversary Edition of the first edition, first printing of Alcoholics Anonymous be published in April 2014.

6.      The statement in the section Referrals From Court and Treatment Facilities in the pamphlet “If You Are a Professional…,” is revised as follows (AKA Court Cards):

“Each group is autonomous.  Some groups, at the request of the prospective member, have the A.A. group secretary sign, initial or stamp a slip that has been furnished by the court.  The referred person provides the slip to the court as proof of attendance.”

12.    The draft pamphlet “A.A—Spiritual not Religious” is a go. The trustees’ Literature Committee will further discuss and it will be brought back next year.

17.    The 63rd General Service Conference affirmed that Internet, Social Media and all forms of Public Communications are implicit in the Short Form of Tradition Eleven, which reads: “….at the level of press, radio and films.”

18.    A.A. World Services is permitted to utilize commissionable support and distribution technologies for the sale and distribution of digital A.A. literature. Yep, that is e-books; no longer will Apple users be the only ones (if they so chose). Developing an App proved so costly for Apple users that other platforms weren’t considered.

19.    Correct typos in the article “Leadership in A.A.:  Ever a Vital Need,” “…badly disturbed or uniformed…” be corrected to “…badly disturbed or uninformed…” in the next printing (noting that this typo has existed since the first printing [‘60s] of Twelve Concepts for World Service).

21.    Added the rotation issue in The A.A. Service Manual, after the section entitled “Stimulating Interest in General Service”:

“The Principle of Rotation

“Traditionally, rotation ensures that service positions, like nearly everything else in A.A., are passed around for all to share. Many positions have alternates who can step into the service positions if needed.

“To step out of an A.A. office we love can be hard.  If we have been doing a good job, if we honestly don’t see anyone else around willing, qualified, or with the time to do it, and if our friends agree, it’s especially tough. But it can be a real step forward in growth—a step into the humility that is, for some people, the spiritual essence of anonymity.

“Among other things, anonymity in the Fellowship means that we forgo personal prestige for any A.A. work we do to help alcoholics. And, in the spirit of Tradition Twelve, it ever reminds us ‘to place principles before personalities.’

“Many outgoing service position holders find it rewarding to take time to share their experience with the incoming person. Rotation helps to bring us spiritual rewards far more enduring than any fame.  With no A.A. ‘status’ at stake, we needn’t compete for titles or praise—we have complete freedom to serve as we are needed.”

Great Workshop on Service and Sponsorship.

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Thanks to all who helped put on another fabulous District 11 Workshop. Speakers representing the various Service Entities were well informed, the Mexican food was top notch, the play was a hit, and the Sponsorship Speakers were truly speaking the language of the heart. Special thanks to our visitors; the current CNIA 07 Chair and the Past-Delegate from Panel 50.

For those that missed the skit, “The Sponsoring Game”, you missed some of the best lines ever. Or, as overheard, “I know that person.”

When the Sponsee, Fran Newbie, tried to ask Sponsor #1 her first question, Edna Hardassia rudely interrupted with, “THAT’S MIZZ SPONSOR # 1 TO YOU, MISSY!” and after Fran was able to ask the question of what #1 would say about her having a bad day and was thinking about drinking, Edna responded with “WHAT KIND OF STUPID QUESTION IS THAT? FIRST OFF, I COULD CARE LESS ABOUT HOW BAD YOUR DAY IS SWEETHEART. THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO HAVE REAL PROBLEMS. I WOULD SAY DRAG YOUR BUTT TO A MEETING AND QUIT WHINING.”

Sponsor #2 was Lenny Lamour (‘Nuff said!).

There was a commercial break, advertising your chance to be the one in control with RoboSponsor, coming fully assembled with pre-programmed sound bites like, “You don’t need to call me anymore, I’ll just call you.” and “I don’t know what the heck I’m talking about.”

Despite some of the audience favoring #1 or #2, the Sponsee was able to make her own decision, wisely choosing Sponsor #3, Keisha Simple, who would share the simple program of recovery as laid out in the book Alcoholics Anonymous, going step-by-step and being careful to be as willing, as thorough and as honest as possible. Fran and Keisha would realize it’s not a destination, it’s a journey; a journey filled with laughter, tears, pain, and victory all encompassed in the wonderful fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous. They were encouraged that all shall be with them in the fellowship of the spirit and they would surely meet some as they trudge the Road of Happy Destiny.