Mini Conference Story from a Newbie

I love the outdoors. An opportunity to hang out at a state park? When my sponsor suggested I attend the mini-conference, I was all over it!

A friend and I went in together and got a cabin with a hot tub. It was going to be a vacation! We had food and smoothies and all sorts of fun planned. We had a great time driving to the event, and listened to a lead by Bill W. on the way.

When we arrived at our cabin which could’ve slept six, I was pleased by the beautiful view of the lake, and then there was the hot tub! I was amazed that this lovely cabin was affordable for the two of us. We unpacked our pumpkin pie and smoothie maker and delicious food and soon had a visit to the hot tub. Ahhhh… it was going to be a warm and relaxing weekend, in spite of the March temperatures.

We then proceeded to the lodge to register for the mini-conference. Now I must say that I have attended my share of conferences and played my share of “hooky” from sessions in order to do what I wanted. I expected some meetings and focus groups and hanging out with people. What I did NOT expect was what I got, which was an intense and inspiring view of how our Fellowship works, the nuts and bolts of it.

I was moved. Seriously moved.

I had seen my involvement in AA at the group level, as meetings and secretaries and Seventh Tradition baskets, as coffee and discussions and the “meeting after the meeting.” I did not comprehend what was happening deep underneath my meeting-oriented experience of AA. Such was my introduction to another area of service. I learned so much, and met people whose
hearts and minds were deeply committed to our Fellowship, and who showed it in their actions and attitudes. There was a lot of laughter, and seriousness, and well-meaning dispute and discussion. I was engaged from the outset, and have now become more involved in this other area of service as a result.

The Twelve Steps of AA saved my life. The Traditions and Concepts keep us going.

I am responsible…

My Remarkable Mini-Conference Story

This will be my 4th year of attending the Area 53 Mini Conference and I am super excited!

When I attended my first Mini Conference 3 years ago, I was filled with a nervous anticipation of what to expect. I found the experience to be overwhelming (in a great way). And, I couldn’t wait to go back to my home group and friends to share what I had learned from this amazing experience. Participating was a privilege. It was at my first Mini Conference that I learned from Bill F. the difference between a Trustee A and a Trustee B…and I still chuckle every time I hear him explain it!

Now, three Mini Conferences later, I find that I am still filled with anticipation – no longer as nervously. I am super excited about attending. Being a part of the Mini Conference Committee definitely adds to that excitement because it gives me the advantage of knowing in advance some of the spectacular events that this year’s Mini Conference has in store for us.

Everything from the minute you arrive – being greeted at the door, Mini Conference Registration Desk, the Speaker Meetings, the interactive Workshops, the Hospitality Room, the Early Bird meetings, and the delicious meals – promise to add to the remarkable story that you will leave with. I know you will want to go back and share with your home group and friends in the Fellowship.

I look forward to seeing you soon. If there is anything you need while you are there, please feel free to ask Frank G., Area 53 Delegate.

My story,
Marcia H.

District 26 Adds COYPAA Position

In keeping with the theme of “Supporting Our Future” District 26 voted to add the service position of COYPAA (Central Ohio Young People of Alcoholics Anonymous) Liaison. Kalen C, past DCM of District 30 and the current Area 53 Alternate Recording Secretary, was elected to hold the 2 year position. The goal of the position is to have a collaboration with COYPAA to work together through idea sharing. Mutually, we hope to work towards carrying out our primary purpose – to carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers.

The trusted servants of District 26 look forward to having COYPAA participation in our meetings, committees, workshops and events as well as having the opportunity to be of the same service to COYPAA.

Important Conference Terms

The 2017 Area 53 Mini-Conference committee and agenda topics have been determined by the Area 53 Delegate. You can preview them on the Mini-Conference homepage.

Agenda topics typically begin with a few special words. It will be useful to understand what is implied when you see them in conference materials or on the area website.

Consider … Where this word is used, a recommendation requiring a vote is probably indicated. When possible, a recommendation from the Committee as to whether they voted to approve or disapprove the action being considered should be forwarded to the full assembly as a motion, along with the actual vote count, both “for” and “against”

Discuss … Where this word is used a recommendation requiring a vote is probably not indicated, although exceptions may occur. Use common sense. If a vote is not indicated, then a brief overview of the Committee discussion should be given when reporting out.

Review … The committee can decide whether this item requires a vote. If no vote is required, a brief overview of the Committee discussion may be given when reporting out.

The General Service Representative

The general service representative has the job of linking his or her group with A.A. as a whole. The G.S.R. represents the voice of the group conscience, reporting the group’s thoughts to the district committee member and to the delegate, who passes them on to the Conference. This communication is a two-way street, making the G.S.R. responsible for bringing back to the group Conference Actions that affect A.A. unity, health, and growth. Only when the G.S.R. keeps the group informed, and communicates the group conscience, can the Conference truly act for A.A. as a whole.

From page S26 of The A.A. Service Manual

Do We Need A Conference

“We may not need a General Service Conference to insure our own recovery. We do need it to insure the recovery of the alcoholic who still stumbles in the darkness one short block from this room.

We need it to insure recovery of a child being born tonight, destined to alcoholism. We need it to provide, in keeping with our Twelfth Step, a permanent haven for all alcoholics who, in the ages ahead, can find in A.A. that rebirth which brought us back to life.”

Bernard B. Smith, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, 1954 (AA Service Manual)

Information Segment: Where Money and Spirituality Mix

“I believe in Alcoholics Anonymous, the most important service, is passing forward the message of hope and recovery by the twelve steps of AA. Bill writes carrying the message to the next sufferer, is the very lifeblood of our AA adventure, without this vital activity, we would soon become anemic; we would literally wither and die. This does cost the twelve stepper some time and expense. The summary of the eighth tradition states that twelve step work is never paid for. Our book states that we must give it away to keep it. We know we must help other alcoholics to remain sober, that motive became secondary. It was transcended by the happiness they found in giving themselves to others. Then we receive the gift and understanding of, love our neighbor as ourselves.”

Message from Frank G., Alternate Delegate, Area 53 Panel 65
Area 53 Assembly on December 11, 2016

Blue People

The following article appeared in the Box 459 Newsletter (Winter 2016).

A gathering of folks, silhouetted. In blue. A gathering of people, all sorts of people, that look just like us.

This graphic image is affectionately known as the “Blue People.” Originated in January 2006, the simple graphic has come to be regarded as a heartwarming representation of the inclusiveness of Alcoholics Anonymous, a powerful and much-adored depiction of our membership. A graphic image that has also come to be synonymous with G.S.O.’s A.A. website, aa.org.

The General Service Office receives many requests like the following: “Can we use the ‘blue people’ graphic from the home page of www.aa.org on our local A.A. website, or on stationery, business cards, banners, or other items?”

The “blue people” graphic is a copyrighted design and trademark of A.A.W.S., Inc., with all rights reserved for use exclusively by the A.A.W.S. Board, AA Grapevine Board, the General Service Board of U.S./Canada, and the General Service Office of U.S./Canada.

A.A. World Services, Inc., Board of Directors, June 17, 2016

CPC-PI Tip: Websites with Accurate AA Information

CPC-PI TIP: Websites with Accurate AA Information When you are on-line, where do you get your information about Alcoholics Anonymous? Are your sources reliable? The Internet provides options as varied as the individuals creating them, yet only a few websites offer accurate AA information. These include: http://www.aa.org – The official website of Alcoholics Anonymous http://www.area53aa.org … Read moreCPC-PI Tip: Websites with Accurate AA Information

Purpose of Ohio State Convention

The Ohio State Convention of Alcoholics Anonymous is an open, annual service convention hosted on a rotating schedule by one of the four Ohio Service Areas. The purpose of the convention is to carry the spirit of the General Service Conference to the districts and groups in Ohio and Southeast Michigan. This is accomplished by … Read morePurpose of Ohio State Convention

Call for Stories from Young People

This article is from June 2016. It is shown as an example only of sharing requests from GSO to the fellowship. The chair of the trustees’ Literature Committee, Albin Zezula, is requesting stories to update the pamphlet “Young People in AA.” [su_quote cite=”Trustees’ Literature Committee”]In response to the 2016 General Service Conference recommendation that the … Read moreCall for Stories from Young People

Information Segment: Turning a Meeting into a Group

Our twelfth Step – carrying the message — is the basic service that the AA Fellowship gives. This is our principal aim and the main reason for our existence. Therefore, AA is more than a set of principles; it is a society of alcoholics in action. We must carry the message, else we ourselves can wither and those who haven’t been given the truth may die.

Service positions, whether performed by individuals, groups, areas, or AA as a whole, are utterly vital to our existence and growth. Nor can we make AA more simple by abolishing such services. We would only be asking for complication and confusion.

Tradition Four reminds us, “With respect to its own affairs, each AA group should be responsible to no other authority than its own conscience. But when its plans concern the welfare of neighboring groups also, those groups ought to be consulted. And no group, regional committee, or individual should ever take any action that might greatly affect AA as a whole without conferring with the trustees of the General Service Board.” On such issues our common welfare is “PARAMOUNT”.

As vital as Tradition Four is, remember we cannot make any member conform to what format we think works best for AA as a whole. However, districts and areas are responsible to encourage groups to participate and incorporate all thirty-six of AA principles as a whole.

Read moreInformation Segment: Turning a Meeting into a Group