Chair Report for Aug 2023
Two topics are in this report: the first deals with our service committees and how our service to you deals with the 9th Tradition-…” directly responsible to those they serve;” and how your service to us deals with the 7th Tradition- “self-supporting through our own contributions”…contributions through your 12 step service work in the committees that service you.
The second topic is the imperfectly perfect assembly procedures worked out for us in our July 29th Assembly after 6th months of development in our Ad Hoc Guidelines Committee, progress not perfection in action, an axiom with which we are all familiar.
First, what are our service committees and what do they do? Some provide administrative services, like Communications, Guidelines, Steppers, Policy and Admissions, your Board. Some provide services to raise the awareness of the professionals who treat alcoholics about what AA is or isn’t, like Cooperation with the Professional Community (CPC.) Another provides non-promotional public information about our organization. It is called Public Information. One has been created to listen to the needs of our groups and help to provide solutions. That committee is called IGForum. Since we are an online organization, a robust Tech Committee is the glue that holds us all together. A subcommittee of Tech, the Techsteppers, was created in the beginning of the year to provide a solution to the problem of group disruptors and safety. Steppers and Policy and Admissions are our first contact-fielding questions, listing groups. Communications, yet a relatively new Board Ad Hoc Committee, has developed a vendor process in conjunction with Finance to ensure we reach our international members with interpreter and translation services. They are also engaged in creating videos that explain various functions, like ”What exactly are intergroup representatives (IGReps) and what are their responsibilities?” We have a Convention and Unity Committee. Convention will make sure we have a presence at the 2025 International Convention. They conducted the AA Birthday Celebration in June. And in conjunction with the Unity Committee-which is our connection to our international brothers and sisters-they are planning an international convention with online groups. Two other Board Ad Hoc Committees are currently under the OIAA umbrella, Get Into Action, which has produced workshops, panels of speakers, who share their experience in solving the issues of online groups, and a nascent Grapevine/Magazine Committee. Finally, all of your basket money donations are managed by our Treasurer and Finance Committee. Their ever-watchful eagle eye insure we are grateful and prudent with the funds you have entrusted us with to provide services for you and your on-line groups.
Why do I lead, this month, with a brief description of our service committees. First, any of these would welcome those who are interested in stepping up to service outside the groups. They have a committee page on our website where you can find meeting and contact information. Their mission statement and purpose are there. This same resource is where they can report to you directly, including their agendas and minutes. They could list specific service opportunities needed by their committees. I don’t need to report for them in this report. And as our committee chairs realize their responsibility, per the 9th Tradition: ….” directly responsible to those they serve,” they realize the valuable asset of our website they have in getting their service message out there to you, our fellowship. Miraculously through the dedication of our tech team, you can access this material in the language you speak. We envisioned a multilingual organization and for carrying the message of our services to you; the tech team brought this vision to fruition.
Bill Wilson said, and I paraphrase, any service which helps the still sick and suffering, is a necessary one, from the 5 cent cup of coffee (I know, inflation, right?), to those that answer the phone, mail the literature, and answer the letters. To be sure, we live in different times: In our Brave New “Modum to Modum” World of an international online AA community. But you can step up and join us in this lifeboat, called OIAA, and make a contribution to service. You know, the 7th Tradition doesn’t mention money. Service to help the drunk, is also a contribution you can each individually make, and I encourage you to explore our committees on our website. And get involved. I found early in sobriety, I was responsible for the group before I trusted myself. I grew in recovery when I served the group. It enriched and facilitated my recovery. You have that same opportunity.
The second reason I lead this month with the committee structure, is I encourage the Committee Chairs and Alternates to participate in of Combined Board/ Steering team meetings. These are listed on our calendar. Here, we can discuss challenges and success, examine problems and hammer out solutions. Here we can go forward with a unified vision. I encourage us all to use the asset of our website to carry the message and stay connected to the fellowship and to each other in service.
My second topic of this report is our recent assembly on July 29th. It is the first assembly of the year where we tackled actual business motions, all related to finance. We had robust discussions. We passed five of 6 motions, and we postponed the 6th until September. The assembly did what I call, “heavy lifting.” This is the true work of the OIAA Intergroup Representatives and the work your groups sent you here to do. Here you have a voice in the specific areas accorded by our bylaws.
I have to say, I am not a parliamentarian, don’t like assembly procedures. And I was on the subcommittee of the Guidelines Committee which spent 6 months hammering them out. We did not handle the Assembly Procedures perfectly, but we were imperfectly perfect in getting the work done. And, we have ideas for “parliamentary” improvement. Putting the motions on share screen, in the chat, on the ballot, may clarify what we are voting for or against. Those Assembly Procedures have been posted on the website. Our Vice Chair served as our Parliamentarian during our assembly, and I was grateful she was there. Imperfectly perfect is still progress. Finding common solutions, that is what we are about through discussion and substantial unanimity.
So, I look forward to seeing the Steering Committee in a few weeks. I would love to hear from IGRs or others as they explore service in the committees. And I am looking forward to our September assembly when, tentatively, we will bring you the first of our Guideline work. We want to expand the board to include an international and at large trustee, who will help us serve you as we shoulder the load in your service.
Humbly and respectfully submitted:
Oh, and look out for our August Safety Workshop, a fall IGRForum and the exciting October 2nd International Convention of Online Groups. If you want to step up to service, we need your help!! It’s really a mouse click away.