FAQs about ACYPAA (nee REDYPAA) until 2014

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Question: What is YPAA?

Answer; YPAA stands for Young People in Alcoholics Anonymous. Here’s a little history:

Alcoholism recognizes no barriers, age included. The first Young People’s Groups (YPGs) in Alcoholics Anonymous appeared in 1945 in Los Angeles and Philadelphia. In 1957, a meeting of young AAs from across the U.S. and Canada started what is now the International Conference of Young People in AA (ICYPAA). At the 1960 Convention, Bill W. noted that the age of new members was much lower than when he and Dr. Bob founded AA 25 years earlier. The trend has continued. The number of young people suffering from alcoholism who turn to AA for help is growing and the purpose of YPGs, just as it has been for many years, is to carry AA’s message of recovery to alcoholics no matter what their age.

Question: Are YPAA groups really AA?

Answer: Yes! Young People’s Groups are in no way separate from Alcoholics Anonymous as a whole.

The General Service Board and General Service Office recognize young people’s groups as part of Alcoholics Anonymous, The only age requirement is that you be young at heart and have room to grow. Members of YPGs are involved in and committed to Twelfth Step Work, Hospital and Institution Work, Public Information, General Service, and every other facet of AA service. Newcomers are shown, by people their own age, that using AA principles in their daily lives and getting involved in AA service can lead to a lasting and comfortable sobriety.

Question: So what is ACYPAA?

Answer: ACYPAA stands for All California Young People in Alcoholics Anonymous.

In 1973, the All California Young People in Alcoholics Anonymous Roundup was established as an annual gathering in California to provide an opportunity for young AAs to come together and share their experience, strength, and hope. ACYPAA is visible evidence that large numbers of people are achieving a lasting and comfortable sobriety in Alcoholics Anonymous. AAs who attend an ACYPAA Roundup return home better prepared to receive young alcoholics who come to AA seeking recovery. ACYPAA is held every spring and typically draws around 2,000 young and young at heart AA members from all over the state of California.

Question: So is ACYPAA really coming to Redding?

Answer: Yes!

REDYPAA (Redding Young People in Alcoholics Anonymous) won the bid for ACYPAA in March 2013 at the Roundup in Fresno, Calif. Much hard work and dedication was put into the bidding process, not just this past year but since REDYPAA’s birth in 2008. There have been many AA members over the years that have put their hearts into helping REDYPAA grow and into bringing this amazing conference to our small Northern California town. And this year that hard work paid off, ACYPAA XLII will be held in Redding, Calif. on April 3rd- 6th 2014, This is a very exciting opportunity for our community and we are thrilled and honored to be a part of something so special. (If you would like more information on the ACYPAA committee, how the bidding process works, how you can get involved, or on ACYPAA in general please go to ACYPAA.org or call the ACYPAA Chair, Robin 530-638-9106.)

Question: What does ACYPAA mean for the Redding AA community as a whole?

Answer: With over 50 service positions on the ACYPAA committee and numerous other ways that people can help this conference move forward, the possibilities for members to experience a fulfilling and perhaps new way to be of service to AA are endless. This unique opportunity also presents a wonderful avenue by which members can create unity within the fellowship and within their own recovery. By rallying together to organize this conference, we are given a great gift to work together as a team and a family to further the blessing of our primary purpose to carry the message to the alcoholic who still suffers. The conference itself has great potential to touch the lives of hundreds of young (and young at heart) alcoholics and change their outlook on recovery forever. There are few, if any, who deny the magic of an AA conference. Also, the ACYPAA Host Committee will be donating a set amount funds made from the conference back into the stream of AA through donations to our local Intergroup Office, the General Service Office, District 11, CNIA, and Northern California Hospitals and Institutions.

Note: ACYPAA  Conference planning committee meets 2nd and 4th Sunday at Shasta Regional Medical Center in Liberty Room #2 at 2 p.m.

FAQ about AA #1

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From AA.org Archives

Q. What is the history behind AA’s Responsibility Statement?

A. The Responsibility Statement reads:

I am Responsible.  When anyone, anywhere, reaches out for help, I want the hand of A.A. always to be there.  And for that:  I am responsible.

It was written for the 1965 A.A. International Convention in Toronto. In an article titled, How I am Responsible became a part of A.A., from the GSO newsletter, Box 459, the article identifies former AA trustee, Al S. as the author of the Responsibility Statement.

In the souvenir book for the 1965 Convention, Dr. Jack Norris writes:

“…We must remember that AA will continue strong only so long as each of us freely and happily gives it away to another person, only as each of us takes our fair share of responsibility for sponsorship of those who still suffer, for the growth and integrity of our Group, for our Intergroup activities, and for AA as a whole. It is in taking responsibility that real freedom and the enduring satisfactions of life are found. AA has given us the power to choose – to drink or not to drink – and in doing so has given us the freedom to be responsible for ourselves. As we become responsible for ourselves, we are free to be responsible for our share in AA, and unless we happily accept this responsibility we lose AA. Strange, isn’t it?”

In a Grapevine article in October 1965, the Responsibility Statement is discussed:

Two major thoughts stood out in the remarks of the many speakers, alcoholic and nonalcoholic, at AA’s July Toronto Convention. The first was admiration and gratitude for AA’s startling success in sobering up hundreds of thousands of lost-cause drunks. The other was concern that the success which has come to AA over the thirty years since its start in Akron, Ohio in 1935 would not lead us to any complacency about the size of the job still to be done.

The theme of the Convention was: Responsibility. “I am responsible. . .when anyone, anywhere, reaches out for help, I want the hand of AA always to be there. And for that: I am responsible.”

AA’s co-founder, Bill, in his talk to over 10,000 attending the major sessions of the Convention, stressed the need for cooperation with all who work on the problem of alcoholism, the more than 100 agencies in the United States and Canada alone now engaged in research, alcohol education and rehabilitation.

“Too often, we have deprecated and even derided these projects of our friends just because we do not always see eye to eye with them,” Bill said. “We should very seriously ask ourselves how many alcoholics have gone on drinking simply because we have failed to cooperate in good spirit with these many agencies. No alcoholic should go mad or die merely because he did not come straight to AA in the beginning.”

In that article, Bill W. expressed his views:

“The first concern of AA members should be with problem drinkers the movement is still unable to reach,” Bill said. He estimated that there are 20 million alcoholics in the world today, five million in the U.S. alone. “Some cannot be reached because they are not hurt enough, others because they are hurt too much,” he declared. “Many sufferers have mental and emotional complications that seem to foreclose their chances. Yet it would be conservative to estimate that at any particular time there are four million alcoholics in the world who are able, ready and willing to get well if only they knew how. When we remember that in the 30 years of AA’s existence we have reached less than ten per cent of those who might have been willing to approach us, we begin to get an idea of the immensity of our task and of the responsibilities with which we will always be confronted.”

Results of 2013 GSC Inventory

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Back in July there was a posting from Box 459 about how the General Service Conference was taking its inventory. Below are some selected abridged results. For all of them, see this link.

Summary of 2013 Inventory

Question 1:

Reflecting on Concept I, how well does the Conference ensure that it is the conscience of A.A. as a whole?

The Conference, as designed, is highly effective in ensuring the conscience of A.A. as a whole.

Recommendations/Suggestions:

  • Encourage groups to participate more fully in the Conference process.
  • Feedback from the areas is very important to delegates and the current schedule for distributing background material and the agenda makes it difficult to have area membership discussions.

Question 2:

How well is the use of floor actions serving us?

Floor actions emphasize that everyone has a place to express their opinion…the Conference has the power to decide whether or not to hear a floor action.

Recommendations/Suggestions:

•   Provide background information to delegates on floor actions and the process by which they are handled at the Conference.

Question 3:

Reflecting on Concept X, how well is the authority of the Conference defined?

The Conference is the place where business and spirituality mix.

Recommendations/Suggestions:

  • Delegates should stay better plugged into board activities throughout the year.

Question 4:

How well does the Conference fulfill the General Warranties of Concept XII?

The Conference is excellent at encompassing a wide variety of abilities… the Conference structure itself provides an adequate safeguard to protect A.A. from any misuse of authority.

Recommendations/Suggestions:

•   In response to an expressed concern about the disenfranchisement of groups and A.A. as a whole from the general service structure, consider holding the Conference at a less expensive location, perhaps rotating it around the US and Canada to reduce costs and increase participation.

Question 5:

Should delegate areas be more consistently based on actual membership numbers?

Conference composition should not rely on rigid proportional representation by population alone.

Recommendations/Suggestions:

  • Further discussion is needed on the question of whether or not our largest member centers should consider resizing.

Question 6:

What improvements could be considered to make sure the agenda selection is more effective?

Agenda selection “goes on all year long.”

Recommendations/Suggestions:

  • Increased communication throughout the Fellowship is neces­sary for an informed Conference.
  • Agenda selection should be emphasized as a year-long process, with more involvement from the Conference Agenda Committee.

Question 7:

How well do all Conference members communicate to the Fellowship about why we have a Conference and how the committee system works? How could we improve in this com­munication?

Increasing participation in the Conference process throughout the Fellowship is a primary concern.

Recommendations/Suggestions:

  • Perhaps agenda items that don’t make it to the Conference should go to the appropriate Conference Committee anyway, for discussion at a time outside the week-long duration of the Conference.
  • Make Conference agenda information and background material available to the Fellowship and continually update throughout the year.

Question 8:

How well do the delegates balance their preparation for the Conference, especially in keeping with Concept III and Article Three of the Conference Charter? How could we improve in the practice of our rights and responsibilities under Concept III and Article Three of the Conference Charter?

Right of Decision is a great responsibility, carrying with it the importance of providing reasons why a decision was made; explaining the “reasoning” behind conclusions reached at the Conference is helpful throughout the Fellowship.

Recommendations/Suggestions:

  • Use technology to develop a secure electronic location where delegates could share and store pertinent Conference informa­tion online.

Question 9:

How can we improve the way time is allotted during the Conference for reports, presentation/discussion/workshop topics, and thorough discussion of agenda items?

Committee time is precious.

Recommendations/Suggestions:

  • Consider distributing minutes of all trustee meetings to all del­egates.
  • Regional trustees might consider … hold­ing more Q&A sessions at the regional level throughout the year.

Question 10:

How are leadership and participation affected by late night work sessions?

Conference members are here to conduct A.A.’s business.

Recommendations/Suggestions:

•   Implement a time limit for different sessions and close them when the time is up.

Question 11:

Could the committee process be improved to more effectively introduce change in the Fellowship, and if so, how?

Flexibil­ity is a key ingredient in change, and not everything has to be in black and white.

Recommendations/Suggestions:

  • Sharing between committees throughout the year can help facilitate better understanding of the issues and help introduce change; cross-pollination between committees could ease workloads.

Question 12:

Is the current makeup of the board (numbers and propor­tions) still the most effective? If not, what changes should we consider?

The current ratio of board members (Class A/Class B) is adequate..

Recommendations/Suggestions:

  • Trustees need to focus on bigger issues and concerns for the Fellowship and not get caught up in administrative details bet­ter handled by staff.

Question 13:

How could we improve the methods used to solicit trustees and directors to get the most appropriate people interested in the positions?

Broadly advertising board openings is necessary to cast a wide net..

Recommendations/Suggestions:

  • Focus on the social sciences, technology, finance, publishing, journalism and media worlds for new Class A candidates, with lesser emphasis on the medical and religious fields.

Question 14:

What more could be done to insure the General Service Board remains transparent and thorough in their reporting to the Fellowship?

Communication needs to flow both ways and members need to recognize that all information cannot always be made avail­able.

Recommendations/Suggestions:

  • More articles by trustees in the Grapevine to help familiarize the Fellowship with the board’s vision.
  • Consider regional teleconferences with delegates/regional trustees after board meetings to increase communication and help with transparency issues.
  • Utilize technology to disseminate information through the G.S.O. Web site or perhaps provide an interactive live webinar to connect members with G.S.O. staff or trustees.

Question 15:

Reflecting on Concept IX, are the qualities of leadership, as identified in the leadership essay in The A.A. Service Manual, still the qualities that we should try to encourage in Conference members? If so, how successful are we in encour­aging those qualities? If not, what changes should we consid­er?

Leadership, integrity, conviction — we need these qualities now more than ever. “Leadership” is not a bad word in A.A.

Recommendations/Suggestions:

  • To avoid “reading between the lines” by members, it would be helpful for trustees’ committees to include more of the motiva­tion behind their proposals, the reasons why they might make a particular suggestion or recommendation.

8th Sober Sisters Convention is this Saturday

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Theme: I Stood in the Sunlight at Last

August 17
Redding Christian Fellowship
2157 Victor Ave
Redding

Schedule of Events

Registration Opens
8:30 ($18 for non-preregistered includes lunch and drawing)

Morning Workshops
9:30-10:30

Morning Speaker Meeting
10:45-12 Noon
Katie S. of Paradise

Lunch and drawing
12 Noon-1:00

Afternoon Workshops
1:15-2:15

Free Ticket and 50/50 Drawing
2:15-2:30

Sobriety Countdown

Afternoon Speaker Meeting
Annetta D. of Martinez
2:30-4:00

For more information, call:
Greta at 355-9993
Dana at 356-8037

For flyer, click here

Breaking Bill’s Anonymity

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If you have not read or heard, there is a movement (by non-AA organizations) to have a U.S. stamp commemorating Bill W.
Below is a letter from the General Manager of the General Service Office detailing their position.

DATE: July 19, 2013
RE: Petition for Bill Wilson Commemorative Stamp
Dear Friends:
Warm Greetings from G.S.O.!
We have recently been made aware of an effort made by several non-A.A. organizations who have petitioned the U.S. Postal Service to develop a Bill Wilson commemorative stamp (a photo of Bill). The copy of their petition that was forwarded to us also suggested that if such a stamp is created, it would be “unveiled during the 2015 International Convention of Alcoholics Anonymous in Atlanta, GA (July 2-5, 2015).”
We are writing to let you know that the General Service Board of Alcoholics Anonymous and the General Service Office, which coordinate the International Convention, have not been contacted directly regarding this. Furthermore, there are no such plans in place, nor will there be, to include this as part of our upcoming convention.
A letter to the appropriate department at the U.S. Postal Service has been dispatched, explaining our principle of anonymity, and clarifying that this effort is not endorsed or supported by Alcoholics Anonymous.
As you all know, our organization cherishes the principle of personal anonymity of our members, both living and deceased. Our founders believed, as Bill said in a letter to a newspaper editor in 1950, that “personal success in the A.A. program requires humility, that we have no right to claim distinction for the gift of sobriety.”
Bill W. wrote that before Dr. Bob died, they both firmly agreed that neither one of them would accept public honors for A.A. work. Bill felt that “such an example, set before future generations of power-driving A.A. members, might prove to be worth more than any prestige which such honors could confer upon either of us. This was our estimate, and I still believe it to be the right one.” (Letter, February 1960)
We send our gratitude for your continued service to Alcoholics Anonymous and hope this information is helpful to you. Should you receive questions or concerns about this matter, please contact our Public Information desk at publicinfo@aa.orq.