Chair Report for Nov 2023
And so, another month of service to our groups. We posted the December Assembly Announcement on the website. You can find it here: https://aa-intergroup.org/oiaa-assembly-16-december-2023/. This information is translatable on our website by the upper right-hand button on the page.
At this assembly, we will approve the 2024 budget, which is available on the website for you and your group to review. We will also hold an election. Five positions are up for election: chair, vice chair, treasurer, trustee at large and international trustee. Duties and qualifications, suggested resume forms, a description of our election process, the Third Legacy Procedure, are all linked and live. The board has received resumes for the positions and those wanting to stand will present their qualifications to the assembly. Eligible voting members per our bylaws are intergroup representatives, or their alternates, OIAA officers or their alternates, OIAA committee chairs or their alternates. We need to meet a quorum before conducting all business. To participate, your group must register with OIAA and have a registered intergroup representative, by December 8th, 11:59 pm ET.
Board news heads this month’s report. We have a plan to approve the guidelines before the year ends. Our secretary heads up this work. We will discuss and approve the first half at the November board meeting and the second half in December. We will post these on the website for review by the membership. We will hold workshops for any questions or discussion with interpretive services available. We will hold them at times to reach as many of our international members as possible. We plan to bring them to the assembly for a vote in March, as guidelines, bylaws, officer/trustee elections, and the budget are the four areas defined by our bylaws that require a membership vote.
Additionally, the board approved two more charters: the Unity Committee and the Ad Hoc Communications Committee. The Board voted to forward the Ad Hoc Communications Committee to full standing committee status. So, look forward to that vote to come to the assembly in March as well. Look for the committees to post their mission statements to their webpage on the website. As with any of our committees, there is always the availability for membership service work. Service facilitates recovery. It helps me practice the traditions. It helps me work on my character defects. And I especially enjoy going to the committees as a non-voting member, if invited, and watching the interactions of recovering members committed to serving our organization. They are the nuts and bolts, the oil that keeps the wheels turning, the core and heart of our network that serves our groups.
Three standing committee charters are outstanding: Convention, PIC, and CPC. PIC and CPC have lost their chairs. So, we are looking for those interested in chairing those important committees. PIC is Public Information and CPC is Cooperation with the Professional Community. Helping these committees become reestablished may be an assignment for our new Trustee-at-Large, depending on the skills and experience that person brings to the table. If you want any additional information on service in this area, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We do have a Convention Chair-Terry N. She came on board this year and her primary assignment is to prepare for our presence at the International Convention in Vancouver in 2025. She spearheaded our Birthday Celebration in June this year. And she is currently committed to helping our Unity Committee plan and execute the OIAA International Convention in 2024. Our vice chair is helping her with her charter. And if you want to join her committee, it meets on the third Sunday of the month at 11:30 EST; Zoom ID: 896 6153 1454; Code: Convention. To join or contact Terry N., email@example.com.
Speaking of the Unity Committee, Terry and Jan, our PAC chair, attended the last Unity Committee meeting. We discussed the assets and liabilities of different meeting platforms. We are hoping to reach as many suffering alcoholics as possible, through whatever platforms they might be using. PAC practices careful onboarding to eliminate problems encountered by our groups. Jan discussed problems with certain platforms. Carlos shared his experience with groups in Central and South America. Jan said she was in communication with Tech, and Carlos agreed to reach out to his contacts to share their experience in listing groups using other platforms. It was an exciting meeting of communication, cooperation, and collaboration. If you want to join this work, contact Carlos D, the Unity Chair, firstname.lastname@example.org. They meet the first and third Thursday at 4 pm ET, Meeting ID: 992 5516 4740; Passcode: Unity2021. Interpretive services are available with two weeks’ notice. They are also looking for a committee secretary.
So, the next news is the 38th Annual ICOAA Seminar hosted by the Greater Cincinnati Intergroup in Florence, Ky, October 12-15th. Nona, your vice-chair, and I attended. Besides participants from Intergroups and Central Offices from the U.S. and Canada, the GSO sent AAWS and Grapevine presenters and staff members to the Seminar. The organization also asked to make a presentation as the only Online Intergroup attending. We also distinguish ourselves by listing international groups. We do not sell literature to support ourselves but depend on the contributions of our member groups. Cathy C, regional trustee, presented for AAWS on Friday night. We made a presentation of OIAA on Saturday night and were well-received. Jon W, Grapevine editor, followed us with a presentation about the Grapevine and upcoming editions and new collections of books. ICOAA stands for Intergroup Central Offices of A.A., an organization that meets online weekly to discuss problems and solutions that concern our area of service. The group is largely composed of brick-and-mortar intergroups both in the US and Canada. Their issues are representative of such intergroups-purchasing and selling literature, employee challenges, rent, raising funds to keep it all functioning, listing groups and distributing paper meeting lists, constructing websites, and the all-important question of what to do with online groups. It was a privilege to go and represent you with a presentation of what we do, what we offer to our groups, how we are both carrying the message to the still suffering alcoholic, regardless of the platform on which we reach you, face to face or modem to modem. I found the other participants welcoming and curious.
Our Ad Hoc Communications committee had been working on a video,” What is OIAA?”-completed in the nick of time, to embed in our PowerPoint presentation on Saturday night. Despite technical difficulties, we played that video! It received applause. We completed the presentation by reading our notes, and received questions and gratitude that we were reaching anyone, anytime, anywhere. One person came up and said, online meetings saved his life. Someone else shared that she was impressed with our financials; one said, he had changed his view of online groups and their message, based on our presentation. One criticism was at online groups, listed on local brick and mortar intergroups lists, did not seem to be contributing to those intergroups. Nevertheless, we are growing in unity, face to face, modem to modem.
Two personal highlights to this weekend, I was able to hug and spend time face to face with Nona, your vice chair. We shared, laughed, and hugged. And someone came up to us looking for help with a drinking problem. This truly is our primary purpose at its best. What a remarkable weekend. Service truly facilitates my recovery. I hope you join us and experience this rocketing into the fourth dimension of personal relationships, love, and acceptance yourself. And incidentally, in business casual, we were overdressed. The in-person world has changed.
Finally, we held a reboot of our Intergroup Representative Forum on Saturday, October 28th. Nona, our vice chair, facilitated this event. She began with a short PowerPoint highlighting the duties and responsibilities of an intergroup representative. Next, she highlighted two of our standing committees: Steppers, those who answer the calls to Get Help Now, and PAC, a committee which helps groups list with us as well as responds to issues groups raise. Laurie C., alt registrar and Jan BB, PAC chair, made the presentations. Additionally, two IGRs, Beth D (Into Action) and Jacque T (Early Riser’s) also made short presentations about issues facing any group, welcoming the newcomers. Their information included a newcomer letter with valuable links to pertinent A.A. literature a newcomer could access. There packets of information are available for your group, here: https://aa-intergroup.org/documents/oiaa-igr-forum-28-october-2023/. This was a successful event with about eighty participants. Our Tech Chair, Mark M hosted the event and our Zoom Events Team, a subcommittee of our tech committee, supported masterfully, with security, timer, chat links, and chat questions. We also had both simultaneous ASL and Spanish interpretive services.
The IGR Forum is that all important event where you, our membership, can come, bring questions, ask for solutions, and make suggestions. Here, we hear what you need from us. We schedule these four times a year on the last Saturday of January, April, July, and October. Let us know if you have any suggestions for presentations. We are here to serve.
This month I have been thinking about the second tradition. First is the power of the group conscience, which we will gather to elicit again at December’s assembly. We will call on our Higher Power to help us elect our trusted servants with care as well as give final approval for our 2024 budget. We call on the membership to help us with these decisions as specified by our bylaws. Our bylaws call upon the membership to elect officers and non-officer trustees, approve budgets, bylaws, and guidelines, and approve new standing committees.
But the second half of tradition two discusses leadership. There is an important difference between a leader who governs or tells people what to do as opposed to a leader who leads as a steward to serve the fellowship, “Our leaders are but trusted servants they do not govern.” The word “but” has power in the statement. It is the humility of our status. We are stewards of the fellowship, not governors. Bill Wilson developed this skill early as he consulted widely with others in the decisions he made, from not taking the lay therapist job with Towns Hospital, to asking for comments in the mimeographed copies of the Big Book he distributed, to seeking the trusted counsel of Father Dowling in crafting the Twelve and Twelve, to turning over the leadership to the fellowship, thus, creating the general service structure. Although we as leaders need to have ideas about the direction, we want to steer this lifeboat of recovery. We must be careful to consult with each other, hear and consider the opinions of all, consider the minority voice, encourage differences of opinion, and make decisions only when we have come to consensus and arrived at substantial unanimity. This takes time and it is important we take this time. Alcoholics who develop resentments over decisions, need to feel that the Higher Power is part of the final decision, whether they agree with it or not. This they can trust and know we heard their opinion and voice. This returns us to unity despite differences of opinion. This is the trust of the process, an almost sacred trust. We as stewards rather than governors, try to do it with humility by communicating, collaborating, and cooperating with each other and always, always, always, praying for guidance from our Higher Power.
Humbly and respectfully submitted:
If you have ideas for the OIAA 2024 International Convention, reach out to our Unity and Convention Chairs now. (Unity.email@example.com or Convention.firstname.lastname@example.org Tagline-Convention of Online Groups 2024) The Unity committee is also looking for a secretary.
We are looking for an archivist, PIC, and CPC chair. If you have an interest, reach out to email@example.com.
And our 2nd Annual General Meeting on December 16th, 2023, 2 pm EST, during which time we will hold elections for Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer and the new non-officer trustees-International Trustee and Trustee at Large. We need your participation! https://aa-intergroup.org/oiaa-assembly-16-december-2023/ . The upper right-hand button translates this page.
We will also approve the 2024 budget! (https://aa-intergroup.org/documents/2024-oiaa-budget/)
To participate, your group must register with OIAA and have a registered intergroup representative, by December 8th, 11:59 pm ET.
If you need interpretive services, please contact Lesliee A, firstname.lastname@example.org, by December 2, 2023, or sooner.
OIAA General Assembly
Saturday, December 16th, 2023
11:00am PST/1:00pm CST/2:00pm EST
Meeting ID: 839 1683 1125; Passcode: OIAA
And remember, if you want to step up to service, we need your help!! It’s really a mouse click away.