Chair Report for Jan 2024
January 2024 Chair’s Report: From where I serve….
And so, another month of service to our groups. The first news is our December Assembly, often denoted as the assembly for elections and budget approval. I participated last year as an IG Representative for my homegroup, the Dawn Patrol. I considered standing for election, but my sponsor had had a serious accident, and I was not in the “right space.” However, the outgoing chair’s message to our fellowship inspired me to send in my resume, as no one stood for vice chair. The board appointed me, and here I am. Three officers this last year were appointments and three of us stood to be elected by substantial unanimity. We are grateful for your trust and support. We have tried to build a unified team to help serve you.
In addition to three elected officers for a term of two years, we created and elected two additional trustees’ positions. The first international trustee and trustee-at-large bring new skill sets to the board. Our organization has attracted people willing to serve. The process of creating these positions took a year, from proposal to fruition, moving carefully through the ad hoc guideline’s discussion and consensus, through board discussion and consensus. We notified you along the way and posted the opportunities for new trusted servants on the web. That is how a careful process works: from idea through motion to fruition and implementation. Thank you for your questions along the way helping us define what we needed to do, and vote of support for our actions in December.
And we passed our 2024 budget!!! This, again, was a process, defined by our treasurer and the finance committee, officers and committee chairs budgets. The finance committee and board approved each request. Sometimes we negotiated to bring the bottom line to a realizable figure based on the projected income of your contributions.
We also developed a process for expenses not in the budget as well. We have unplanned expenses. The finance team developed plans for this contingency. They also heard your voice of concern for financial oversight. They answered your concerns by explaining the good practices they employ to ensure your contributions are not only safe but well spent. They built both independent audits, if the membership approves the funds for it, or internal financial review by qualified volunteers into their guidelines. A member even requested we provide a spread sheet comparing this year’s budget to last year’s. Our team put that together for the assembly and made it available on the website for you to take back to your groups. They used it as well for the budget discussions at the assembly. Thank you for your questions and comments, line by line. Thank you for trusting your trusted servants. The process takes all of us. The money is your generous support, your basket money. We have plans to use it for services to your groups. Financial contribution is part of our seventh tradition responsibility. Service is another responsibility. Join us in service! There are multiple possibilities. Service facilitates recovery.
For election results and a copy of the budget, use these links: Election Results; OIAA 2024 Budget compared to 2023. For other information about the finance committee, go here: Finance Committee Page .
Finally, the assembly was a smooth operation developed by skilled volunteers. We notified you ahead of time and provided documents for you to take your groups. There were rumors of swarms of disruptors; our tech events team was ready! They posted information in chat, provided links, counted the quorum, answered questions, clearly stated motions, provided parliamentarian support. In addition, a communications committee was responsible for finding interpretive resources. It took a team, who have practiced and developed and analyzed areas of strength, shoring up areas of weakness. It was an amazing process to watch, December 2022 to December 2023. And you provided your support by being present in each of the six assemblies, December 2022, March, June, July, September, and December 2023, to fulfill the quorum required by our bylaws to conduct business. Thank you.
So, what’s next? We are conducting a survey, required by our bylaws, to establish our quorum for next year. Please keep an eye out for it. If you like analytics through December 1, 2023, go here: Report for Technology Committee – Dec 2023.
From December to December, we have met the challenge of providing technical support to our groups to help deal with “disruptors” by creating their Techsteppers team. This subcommittee of tech is planning four Safety workshops this year. They scheduled the first one on the first Saturday of February. To find out more about our tech committee, go here. To find out more about the first Safety workshop, go here. Other safety resources are here.
We had a successful IGR forum in October! We planned four this year. At the January 27th Forum, we will highlight our Ad hoc Communications Committee. The board voted to forward this committee to standing committee status. We will ask for your approval at the March assembly. In addition to providing interpretive resources, helped with editorial tasks on the guidelines, and the committee has completed its third video for our YouTube channel on the cusp of board approval, “The Role of the OIAA Intergroup Representative.” Look for it soon. We have other informational videos here: https://www.youtube.com/@AA-Intergroup.
The topic for your input at this Forum is “Building Fellowship in your online group“. Nona quoted our Big Book, with her notice for this topic: “…the fellowship in Alcoholics Anonymous. There you will find release from care, boredom, and worry.” (p52) What does your online group do to build fellowship? Groups have volunteered to share their experience with this. Thank you! If you have any ideas for topics for future forums, please let us know.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your “Ask It Basket Questions,” topics of interest or suggestions for the IGR Forum. Sharing experience, strength and hope is the purpose of this forum.
Email email@example.com if you would like to be a part of the planning committee. All members are welcome to participate.
What’s next: The board is finalizing the OIAA guidelines. We will post them on our website and provide workshops in February and March for you to ask questions and make comments. We will ask for your approval at our March assembly.
What’s next: Working together with an expanded board and with committee chairs, to plan services for you as your groups who light the torch of hope for the still suffering alcoholic. This will again include both PIC and CPC, Public Information and Cooperation with the Professional Community committees, developing new services through tech, and a 2025 International Convention planning committee. If you want to participate in our committee work, check out each committee’s mission, and meeting times on Committee tab of the home page. You are always welcome to join.
Finally, what’s next: An OIAA International Online Convention, the planning of which began Thursday, December 21st, at the bimonthly Unity Committee meeting. If you or your group has ideas or would like to be involved, go to the Unity Committee page for details about joining the committee or getting in touch.
There are so many of us in the background, making this possible: tech, finance, the board, committee chairs, and the foundational work of both PAC and Steppers. These volunteers are your first contact, how you list, how you update, whom you contact for issues. They are always available, and I am grateful for their foundational work, through the transition from email to real-time organization beginning in 1995 with a Cyber Suite at an AA International Convention. Thank you for supporting us all. For more information about these committees:
Finally, I have been thinking of the first tradition: the unity of your group and our organization is foremost for fulfilling the primary purpose of the fifth tradition, for principle of the inclusiveness of the third tradition, no matter whether still drinking or not. We have experienced disunity this year, fueled sometimes by its spread through social media or email chains or text messages rather than the group conscience consensus of board meetings, committee meetings and the assembly. We have been given the tools of technological togetherness and we have wrestled with defining its use. We have suffered disunity whether in our groups as we have used technology to carry the message in the face of Covid resulting in the disunity that occurred between in person and online members who preferred one means of face to face over the other. This sometimes created a disunifying us vs them mentality. We forgot the importance of we.
We have suffered disunity in the larger fellowship over leadership changes and in our intergroup with the growing pains of a fellowship in transition and formation. Nevertheless, we have held on to the principles we inherited from the founders and the sacrifices they made for us. We come to decisions on how to do this through the presence of a Higher Power in the group conscience of the second tradition. We do that by serving and not governing. We do this together. Together we find the consensus of substantial unanimity, and a return to unity. We reach out to all who wish to recover from alcoholism, anyone, anytime, anywhere. We are here to serve you. Thank you from all of us, for giving us the opportunity.
See you in a few weeks and I am grateful for your support personally, and for the organization.
Humbly and respectfully submitted:
So, I am including a few more links in this report for your use to useful links to your group, from uploading group events or announcements or submitting your story, check them out:
We are looking for an archivist. If interested contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or if you are interested in our history, go here: History of OIAA.
And remember, if you want to step up to service, we need your help!! It’s really a mouse click away. Service Opportunities