GSRs and Conference Agenda Items: What Next?
From our Panel 64 Delegate for California Northern Interior Area 07
The 2014 General Service Conference (GSC) Agenda Items and background information is now available for General Service Representatives (GSR) to discuss with their Home Groups. At our Pre-Conference Assembly on April 12 in Woodland, we encourage every GSR to come to the microphone and share their group conscience on Agenda Items with the California Northern Interior Area (CNIA) Delegate. This spiritual experience is the foundation of our Area’s Conference process.
As GSR, you are the link in the chain of communication between your Group and the General Service Conference which operates all year round. Why do we need a Conference? See S20 in the A.A. Service Manual for a superb answer. The short answer is so we can better help the alcoholic who is still suffering.
The General Service Conference Annual Meeting will be held April 27-May 3 in New York. Our theme is “Communicating Our Legacies—Vital in a Changing World”. As the CNIA Delegate, I will represent our Area at the Conference and need your help to send me to New York as a well informed Delegate for our Area.
Confused already? You are not alone. As a first year GSR, the Conference process can seem very confusing and intimidating. There are dozens of Agenda Items — so how should you go about choosing which Items to discuss with your Home Group and what format should you use to discuss the Agenda items so you can get the group’s conscience?
The Confidential Agenda and Background information, available from your District Committee Member (DCM), gives a detailed explanation of each Item. Remember this information is Confidential (full names of members are used) and for A.A. Members only. Please do not allow anyone to post this on bulletin boards or place on websites or social media. Please help us protect the anonymity and confidentiality of our members.
When looking at the GSC Agenda Items decide what your group has a passion for; Grapevine magazine? Public Information? Cooperation with the Professional Community? Literature? Finance? Corrections? There are interesting Agenda items covering all of these areas including an Item to approve a correction to inaccurate text in the Big Book!
How do groups participate in the Agenda process? Many groups hold a GSC Agenda items meeting separate from their regularly scheduled recovery and business meetings to discuss the Agenda Items. Some groups have a pizza party or go to a coffee shop after the meeting to discuss the items. Other GSRs make the entire list of Agenda Items available to the group and ask members to share their opinions or take a survey. Each group is autonomous, so any way that you and your group decide to participate is the right way for you.
If your group has never done this before, ask for suggestions from your DCM or someone who attended PRAASA or a Pre-Conference Workshop. You might consider only discussing two or three Items at first while providing the entire list to anyone interested. By focusing the discussion on a couple of Items you can get your Home Group members involved.
Don’t worry about always having to come to a consensus among your group. Please take notes on majority and minority opinions, and then attend the Pre-Conference Assembly and share them with me. Please let me know WHY your home group members feel a certain way about the Items (not just a score card of who’s for it and who’s against). I’m looking for your group’s conscience, opinions, ideas and experience on these Agenda Items.
Most importantly, have fun and enjoy the process. There are amazing opportunities for growth on this spiritual journey we are on together. Thank you for your Service!