All posts by AA SF/Marin Intergroup

The Buzz | January 22, 2021

Stay Tuned! Central Office Survey Coming Soon!

The Central Office lease expires in October 2021 so we will be surveying the fellowship to gather general information about how our fellowship has used A.A. Central Office services in the past and what you may want or need from Central Office in the future. So keep your peepers peeled! 👀Among other things, our Central Office currently offers a bookstore with 10-minute parking for literature pickup, a reception area for incoming calls and greeting visitors, a conference area for committee meetings, staff offices and copy area, storage for event materials and archives, and an ADA compliant wheelchair lift.

 

Marin Teleservice Commitments Turnover

Still looking for a great way to be of service to the still suffering alcoholic? Marin Teleservice features opportunities requiring minimum time commitment with maximum service impact! Come join us at our January 26th, 2021 Business Meeting where we will turn over commitments. Direct meeting link here and posted on aasfmarin.org.



Reminder: A Feminine Victory is Tomorrow!

Don’t forget about this sober women’s event happening tomorrow, Saturday, January 23rd, 2021 @ 10am PST, kicking off with an exciting presentation followed by an afternoon of fabulous speakers. Come check it out! See flyer below and here for details.

Parents in Recovery: Reading & Discussion Continues

All are invited to share their experience, strength and hope at the Zoom reading and discussion of “The Family Afterward,” from 6:30-7:30pm PST for the next two consecutive Tuesdays (January 26th & February 2nd).

Zoom Meeting ID: 844 0631 2649

Please email 12.stepevents@gmail.com for the meeting password and for any questions. This information is also available here on the Events Page of aasfmarin.org.

The Week in Service…

  • Marin Teleservice Orientation and Business Meeting is on Tuesday.
    • Orientation @ 6:30pm PST
    • Business @ 7:30pm PST

 

Shasta Winterfest Next Week

This year’s Shasta Winterfest event is going virtual! See the flyer below for details or visit the website listed on the flyer.

 

On the Up and Up

For the love of climbing vines, please share this information with your social media communities and encourage your A.A. fellows to subscribe to The Buzz. All of our prior updates can be found here.

Keep your group in the loop! Drop our subscription link in the chat at your meetings and tell your members to subscribe to stay in-the-know on what’s happening with SF/Marin A.A.       🐝
 

Your IFAA Intergroup | Central Office

The Buzz | January 15, 2021

January Intergroup Summary

Intergroup held its monthly meeting on Wednesday, January 6th. Please see this link for the minutes summary from that meeting, along with IFAA’s financial report.

Calling All Writers: The Point wants to hear your story!

Time to get creative, y’all. As usual, the deadline to submit articles for The Point’s February issue is January 22nd, 2021

Don’t forget to check out The Point‘s current issue here, along with The Point’s very own podcast, right here!

Tuesday Chip Meeting: January Lineup

Check out the awesome flyer below to see who’s on deck for this month’s Tuesday Chip Meeting (Marin). You won’t want to miss these heavy hitters! Please note the first date has passed, so the next Tuesday Chip will be on 1/19 @ 8:15pm PST, meeting info below.

A Feminine Victory, Sober Women’s Event

Hey Ladies! Next Saturday, January 23rd, 2021 @ 10am PST, this event will kick off with a presentation scintillatingly titled, “Angels, Saints & Sinners: Pioneering Women in the Early Days of A.A.” I mean, who doesn’t want to hear that?! Followed by an afternoon of fabulous speakers, this day couldn’t be more perfect. See flyer below and aasfmarin.org for details.

The Week in Service…

  • SF H&I Business Meeting is on Saturday.
  • Archives Committee meets on Sunday.

  • Marin General Service Orientation and Business Meeting is on Monday.
    • Orientation @ 7pm PST
    • Business @ 7:30pm PST

  • SF Teleservice Orientation and Business Meeting is on Monday.

  • HelpChat Orientation and Business Meeting is on Tuesday.
    • Orientation @ 5pm PST
    • Business @ 6pm PST

  • Parents in Recovery: Reading & Discussion continues Tuesday.

Holiday Closure

Central Office / The Bookstore will be closed Monday, January 18th, 2021, in observation of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Books and chips are still available for purchase online.

It’s Still Nesting Season, Right?

For the love of baby birds, please share this information with your social media communities and encourage your A.A. fellows to subscribe to The Buzz. All of our prior updates can be found here.

Keep your group in the loop! Drop our subscription link in the chat at your meetings and tell your members to subscribe to stay in-the-know on what’s happening with SF/Marin A.A.      🐝
 

Your IFAA Intergroup | Central Office

Intergroup News | January 2021

This is an unofficial summary of the January 2021 Intergroup meeting provided for convenience; it is not intended to be the completed approved minutes. For a complete copy of the minutes and full committee reports see “Intergroup” on our website aasfmarin.org.

Our Intergroup exists to support the groups in their common purpose of carrying the A.A. message to the still suffering alcoholic by providing and coordinating services that are difficult for the individual groups to execute.

The Intercounty Fellowship has been organized by, and is responsible to, the member groups in San Francisco and Marin for the purpose of coordinating the services that individual groups cannot provide.

The meeting was held on Wednesday, January 6, 2021, online via Zoom. The meeting was started with a call to order and the Serenity Prayer. The December 2020 minutes and the January 2021 agenda were approved.

Officer Reports

Board Chair – Alan G.

Election of Drew H. to a Board member position

Alan G.:  Introducing new Board member Drew H., former recording secretary. Per bylaws his appointment is subject to approval by the IGRs at the next Intergroup meeting which is this meeting.  Are there any objections?

Jaime G., IGR, Sesame Step:  Under impression everyone who submitted an application will be recognized and given a chance to state a case before the group prior to the Board electing a new member. How and when was Drew vetted to be brought to the floor for approval? Is this the only Board position available?

Alan G.:  A second Board position will be available soon; Karen G. will be stepping down. The Governance Committee will address the process of nomination and election.

Taran R., Chair, Governance Committee:  This abbreviated process is normal for a back-filled position. A back-filled position is where a member departs prior to their term being up. We do review all active Statements of Interest. Clarifies that Jaime is referencing a formal election. A Formal Election is candidates who have submitted Statements of Interest are put forward to the full Intergroup assembly and given the opportunity to say a few words prior to a vote. Regarding Drew: we’ve been talking with him for a while. He has experience with this Intergroup as a former IGR and Recording Secretary, as well as a skill set they need.

Jaime G.:  His opinion; this is stacking the deck in the Board’s favor. He submits his qualification, loves A.A. and does not want it to be co-opted.

 John H., Hi Noon 5D:  Question regarding protocol. Sounds like a governor appointing a senator. The Board elected someone without an Intergroup vote or consultation, is this correct?

 Alan G.:  This is the time when Intergroup is consulted and votes to approve or reject the Board’s candidate.

 Maury P., Executive Director IFAA:  This is in Section 4.3 of the Intergroup Bylaws and is standard procedure. It’s not a new or recent process.

 Michelle G., IGR, Lush Lounge:  Please clarify again this is the normal process. Her understanding also is that all people who submit Statements of Interest are brought before the Intergroup meeting for a vote, not a pre-recommended candidate brought for an approval vote.

 Lara A., Board Member & member of Governance Committee:  Yes, per the IFAA Bylaws, Section 4.3, this is normal process for filling a vacancy prior to a member’s term being completed (back-filling a position). The Governance Committee felt Drew was the best candidate based on his skill-set and experience from the current active Statements of Interest.

 Alan G.:  Launches poll for a vote to approve or reject Drew’s appointment. Only those qualified may vote (IGR, IG Committee Chair, Alt IGR – if primary IGR is not present).

 Jaime G.:  Why ask for Statements of Interest if the Board already has a candidate selected? He is still interested. Is his statement on file and will he be considered for the next open board position?

 Taran R.:  The Board does due diligence, reviews all Statements of Interest and reaches out to those who are the best fit but doesn’t contact all candidates necessarily. Yes, Jaime’s Statement of Interest still on file. The next Board position is open now, as of this meeting. It is not an emergency to fill but we are looking to fill it soon.

 Alan G.:  Reminder: the poll is open to IGRs, IG Committee Chairs only, and Alternate IGRs, if their primary IGR is not present.

 Kathleen C., IGR, Cocoanuts:  How often are people chosen out of the normal cycle versus in a normal cycle?

 Taran R.:  It’s not uncommon; approximately one in any given cycle. The second or third time in Taran’s three years on the Board.

Melissa F., IGR, Hilldwellers:  How many Statements of Interest were submitted?

 Taran R.:  Three.

 Darryl B., Celtic Friday Morning Men’s Stag:  What will the poll results tell us? Drew is approved or not approved? What is the Board’s plan if Drew is not approved?

Taran R.:  We’re following the consensus model the IFAA has adopted whereby a vote is taken on the business at hand. The Consensus Model is a vote for, a vote against but not blocking, a vote to block.

The floor is open for objections to be heard and to reach a new motion or decision that works for the issues surrounding the objections.

Alison T., IGR, Sometimes Slowly:  Drew has worked hard for our Intergroup for years, a well-earned position.

Taran R.:  Announcement to group: send your attendance to “Attendance – Maury” in chat. There are 38 voting members in attendance by the attendance record but 65 people have voted in the poll. This means some people voting have not registered their attendance or are not qualified to vote.

Tom H., IGR, Be Still AA:  Clarifying question to the Board: the poll they have results from right now has members counted who are not eligible to vote?

Taran R.:  Yes, it is possible we may need to relaunch the poll.

Tom H.:  If so, the ballot is invalid and should be discarded and the poll taken again. Clarifying question to the Board: is the election of Drew H. by the Intergroup representatives covered by a quorum and, if so, do we have that number and what is that number?

Taran R.:  Yes, it does require a quorum. We are looking up that number. Alan re-launches the poll to approve or reject the election of Drew H. to the Board. Clarifies again what a qualified vote is.

Tanya V., IGR, Daily Women’s Meeting:  I went to orientation a few months ago, been to IG meetings, am I qualified to vote?

Alan G.:  Yes. We are tallying new poll numbers.

Taran R.:  Replying to Tom: half plus one is a quorum, per our Bylaws.

Tom H.: That quorum number represents the total number of registered, active IGRs, whether or not they are at the meeting correct? The quorum number is not just the IGRs that are present at this meeting tonight, correct? What is the Intergroup quorum number?

Taran R.:  Correct, the total number of registered, active IGRs, not just those at the meeting tonight. Per Maury, that number is 79, prior to orientation.

Quorum Reached: Drew H. approved by IGRs as a new Board member: 80% in favor.

Alan G.:  Drew H. is approved as new Board member. Vanessa B. is the new Recording Secretary. A new Board member position is open, so contact governance@aasfmarin.org to submit statements of interest. Thank you Karen G. for your service (Board member stepping down).

Board Chair, Alan G.

Group conscious regarding bequest

There are 38 groups in the SF/Marin area who have given their informal group conscience: 18 to keep the funds, 20 to return the funds. The deadline for a vote (per discussion with the estate lawyer) is March but we prefer to have the vote in February, if possible.

Reviews consensus model and the Board’s intention for consensus model being adopted: it enables the group to share the power, build a stronger community and better protects the minority opinion in addition to respecting the Traditions and Principles of our fellowship.

Treasurer – Renee T.

Contributions, Operating Expenses, Unrestricted Cash and Finance Rating

  • Group Contributions: $8,647 = $1,007 over budget (Nov) and $19,062 under budget (YTD)
  • Individual Contributions: $12,969 = $8,033 over budget (Nov) and $62,808 over budget (YTD)
  • Operating Expenses: $22,845 = under our monthly average of $24k
  • Unrestricted Cash: $114,232 = equal to approximately 4.7x monthly operating expenses
  • The rating for November 2020 is “Excellent”

Special Projects Fund

  • Period of reporting: April – November, 2020
  • Beginning balance: $140,000
  • Expenses through 11/30/20
  • IT Software: $2,182
  • Consultant Services (Approx 355 hours at $50/hour): $17,750
  • Balance as of 11/30/20: $120,068

If the Intergroup returns the funds, it will be paid from the unrestricted cash. Intergroup’s financial “rating” may go down, but it won’t cripple it. 

Questions and Comments

Kevin O., IGR, Greenfield Beginners:  Where do the contributions from the Faithful Fivers stand? Have the donations been increasing? Please separate out the contribution figure from the Faithful Fivers.

Renee T.:  I believe it’s broken down in a document that went out with the PDF packet to IGRs, but I can break it down further and present that if not. I think Faithful Fivers has gone up during the year. It’s a good thing for me to present during the year-end totals next month in December, so I’ll make that note.

Fiona B., IGR, Ten Years After:  The last Special Projects Fund report listed consultant services at $16,300. The group was told that work would be placed on hold. Report this month says $17,750 funds spent. Why is there a difference of $1,450 when told work would be placed on hold?

Renee T.:  All new aspects of consultant work were placed on hold. Some pieces were 80-90% completed at that time and the consultant had a few last hours already worked that needed to be paid out. Alan please confirm. Any remaining hours to be paid is still tagged to the Special Projects Fund for accounting purposes because it relates to that work.

Alan G.:  Confirmed, that’s correct.

Darryl B., IGR, Celtic Friday Morning Men’s Stag:  Will the need to upgrade IP systems be communicated to the IGRs or to the individual groups?

Renee T.:  I’m not sure if Treasurer’s Report is the time to answer that (thank you for email regarding this; we did receive it and will reply back). Hoping when Bequest return/keep vote is taken, we can get into the reporting and discussion of the actual technology project.

Darryl B.:  If we return the funds, will the “Excellent” financial rating remain in place? Where does the 4.7 financial rating come from? Is it arbitrary?

Renee T.:  I don’t know right now as December just closed. I haven’t done all the closing entries. It might decrease from “Excellent” to “Good” or “Fair” but I need to look at that more. The financial rating comes from Treasurer’s Narrative document sent out in IGR packet.

Darryl B.:  Is this the first time we’ve used the Special Project Fund for something like this? I didn’t see in the notes anything defining what the Special Projects Fund is used for, aside from this current project.

Renee T.:  It was set up for this current project.

Jaime G.:  Back to the voting: is Vanessa’s position (Recording Secretary) a Board member voting position? Meaning can she vote on the Board members before the vote goes to the IGRs at the monthly meeting?

Alan G.:  No. She can vote on the approval or rejection though because she is an IGR.

Jaime G.:  Also, as an IGR, can I see the minutes for the Executive Board’s meeting and if not, why not?

Alan G.:  I don’t see why not. I don’t know if it’s written in the Bylaws. Most things of business dealings are available at Central Office but will let you know.

Lara A.:  We’ll look it up and follow up.

Jeremy B., IGR, Larkspur Haven:  Aren’t we keeping $10k of the gift? Would we only take $10k from the operating fund to pay back this this back? Did we receive $150k as part of the bequest?

Renee T.:  We accepted $10k of the bequest at the time it was presented to us so the figure we would be returning is $140k.

Jeremy B.:  You said earlier you opened the Special Project Fund for this bequest. Has Intergroup ever had a capital gains fund in the past, or slowly accumulated bequests $10k at a time to pay for similar projects?

Renee T.:  No, not to my knowledge.

Alan G.:  No.

Jeremy B.:  So typically any prior IT projects you’ve paid out of the operating fund?

Maury P.:  We rarely get bequests, maybe two in the last five years. This is not typically an issue; we’ve never had a Special Projects Fund.

Ayn P., IGR, Morning Attitude Adjustment:  It was said twice in the previous IG meeting, no more funds would be spent. Now, an additional $1,532 has been spent. Can you inform the IGRs if something needs to be completed? I am a stickler on the money. It was said, no more spent and now we find more has been spent. Please, do caveat in the future if any money is promised that hasn’t been paid.

Alan G.:  Absolutely. We’ve been focused more on the big picture concern of voting to return or keep the bequest but absolutely, we will provide those details.

Melissa F., IGR, Hilldwellers:  I want to be sure a letter from the Dallas Intergroup will be read by Kathleen C. They are another large group who’s been through this exact situation and has valuable information and wisdom to share which will be useful to our situation.

Kathleen C., IGR Cocoanuts:  There is a concrete question about the money that is currently still being spent on IT consultant services. Is Fred still working and incurring expenses? How many hours and how many dollars is left to be paid?

Maury P.:  He hasn’t worked in 2021 and there is no new, active development. There is documentation and training that needs to be finished which we’re in the first phase of. The rate is $50 per hour and I don’t know the hours he still has to put in for. I’ll have to ask.

Kathleen C.:  So it’s open-ended?

Maury P.:  No, I don’t know how many hours need to be done to finish the training and the documentation.

Alan G.:  Kathleen, I think your concern is that it’s coming out of the Special Projects Fund. That money won’t be paid out of the Special Projects Fund if we return the bequest. Does that answer your question?

Kathleen C.:  That is my concern.

Jim B., IGR, Barnyard:  Go to website and reference October 21 special Intergroup meeting, questions & comments. GSO was contacted and regarding Seventh Tradition indicated no accumulated funds for no special purpose. We have a stated purpose, and not accepting a contribution carrying any obligation, this has no obligation. It’s not about politics, it’s about serving the still suffering alcoholic in the digital age, getting better access to information through our Central Office and getting up and running on Zoom when the pandemic hit. Bill W. did accept $5,000 from Rockefeller in 1938. Alcoholics needed help.

Alan G.:  Thank you all. We need to move past Treasurer’s Report into New Business.

Officer Reports, continued

Executive Director, Maury P.:  Elects to skip her report and move on to new business.

New Business

New Motion presented by Serenity Seekers, Chip G:  Should IFAA keep the additional $140,000 in bequest funds in excess of our stated policy limit of $10,000? (A “yes” vote means that IFAA keeps the funds, a “no” vote means that IFAA returns the funds.)

Alan G.:  Reviews consensus model; Chip G. has the floor.

Chip G., IGR, Serenity Seekers:  First point: I believe an issue arose because the Board did not give membership adequate notice the issue that needed to be addressed. Item on page 2, 6-C, on the agenda: an item is proposed as an agenda topic is voted on at the next month’s meeting which is designed to give people time to get a group conscience. The bequest was presented and voted on in the same meeting. There was no time for thoughtful consideration by the broader membership in SF/Marin. We may not have even had a quorum. Second point: some members argue there is technically nothing prohibiting us from accepting a large gift, but what is the spirit and intent specifically in this case? Refer to tonight’s agenda, page one, first paragraph: Intergroup observes intent and spirit of A.A.’s 12 Traditions and 12 Concepts of World Service, not just a letter of the law but spirit and intent. Page 163-165 in the Twelve Steps and the Twelve Traditions explains why the principle of corporate poverty is valuable to us spiritually. In the Opposition Statement in the back of materials sent out, 40 A.A. members opposed the bequest, explain why it violates Traditions and Concepts and is dangerous to the spiritual health of A.A. and all of us. Long form of Tradition Seven: Experience warns us nothing can destroy spiritual heritage as feudal disputes of property, money and authority. Third point: People argue Central Office can do a lot of good with the money. Slippery slope, money will overtake us spiritually if we start down that road. Where do we draw the line? Originally it was $10k following the example of GSO. We will be okay with the money we have. We have a higher power that makes sure we have what we need. Let’s not let fear rule us and make us violate our Traditions just because it’s the easy thing to do right now. Kathleen C. has a letter from the Dallas Intergroup that has valuable information.

Alex B., Liaison from Marin General Service, Alt IGR, Weekend Warrior:  This is a Fifth Tradition issue to me: carrying the message to the still suffering alcoholic. $5k was accepted in the early days specifically to publish the Big Book. This is very much akin to this issue. GSO postponed printing the Fifth Edition of the Big Book in order to get their digital footing and platform sound. It’s about modernizing the way we communicate to the alcoholic in the future. In 2003, when I came into A.A., I was handed a printed meeting directory. For those that oppose, consider that for the future generation of alcoholics, are we going to be sending letters? Printed schedules? Or will that be done digitally through a device? This will support putting in a digital framework that other Intergroups can use, open source, a wonderful way to increase awareness and hope. I want an informed group conscience, don’t care if it’s past March. I also support Renee. She did comment there were some outstanding expenses coming on behalf of the contractor.

Tom H., IGR, Be Still AA:  Regarding GSO letter mentioned earlier. Cautions treasuries not to accumulate funds for no stated purpose. My understanding is, we accepted the funds, then discovered the purposes. There was a multi-month debate on how to spend it. Acceptance of large gifts from whatever source carrying any obligation whatever is unwise. It is up to Intergroup to define “large gift.” We follow the GSO limit of $10k per bequest. There is a problem with the process here. I support corporate poverty.

Kathleen C.:  I reached out to the Dallas Intergroup as they have been in the same position. Dallas is big: 1.3m people, hundreds of meetings, three full time employees in Central Office. I received a letter from Matt Jackson, current Board Chair: In 2016, office manager accepted large bequest ($50k) and they had to figure out what to do with it. It was placed in a Special Purpose account and they drew out $5k per year for 10 years. The then-Board felt it gave it a stated purpose and didn’t run afoul of the Seventh Tradition and also noted the GSO response: it’s up to a group conscience, adherence to $10k is not technically required. Matt states the consensus of the current Board would recommend adherence to the GSO guidelines as it relates to the bequest and as such would be inclined to reject any bequest in excess of $10k.

Fiona B., IGR, Ten Years After:  I support Chip; very well said. It was previously stated that only 7% of groups were represented in Intergroup. Curious what that is now since the influx of numbers. Believe it’s still a small percentage which indicates it’s a small group of people on the Board making these decisions, not the larger membership. It’s not the amount of money, it’s the process: lack of transparency. Minutes weren’t made public. It was disclosed the Board changed their mind; originally decided only the $10k, then later accepted the remaining $140k. Where are the minutes and why was that decision made? Contention is the result of no acknowledgement of what went wrong. Don’t rush vote, have discussions on process. How we can learn going forward?

Gregg M., IGR, Gratitude Center 6am:  We’ve been talking about the “all-or-nothing” option. Can we find a middle ground? Stick with the $10k recommendation from GSO but think about where the rest of funds could go into A.A. rather than just here in Intergroup in the San Francisco area. They were given in spirit of helping A.A. There are other outlets and other groups in need. Is there a middle ground where it can stay under the A.A. umbrella?

Jaime G.:  It’s not about money. We’re not in money management business; it’s a bad mix. This is a large amount and has created bitter turmoil. This affects A.A. as a whole. This is setting precedent that other groups may follow suit. What changed with the Board with accepting the full $140k? What was the thought process? Who made the decisions? What did they talk about?

Mary W., IGR, God Could and Would if He Were Sought:  We could talk about the Traditions but we have a motion on the table that needs to go to a vote. How long do we have to discuss this? We can’t discuss this ad-infinitum. What is deadline?

Fiona B.:  There’s many new IGRs. It would be great to have a Q&A document the Board members could provide to new members. It would also help with transparency and to not review the same information every time.

Out of time for questions, need to close meeting.

Alan G.:  This issue is still going strong and we’re retreading a lot of information over and over again. We’ll keep trying our best to provide all information to the new IGRs. To Mary W.’s question: we spoke with the lawyer of the estate and set a deadline for a vote at the March meeting. It would be great to have a vote in February. We’ve heard quite a few people speak at each meeting, so let’s just keep going. Alison was promised time, then we need to close.

Alison T., IGR, Sometimes Slowly & SF GSR Liaison:  I am reminding people of many great committees and opportunities for service. Maybe find way to split meeting so we can include committee reports.

Targeted Message

  1. Encourage members of your groups to sign up for The Buzz; we are currently coordinating fellowship wide communication through that channel.
  2. A survey regarding the services offered by Central Office and Intergroup will be forthcoming. Please encourage participation by local members in SF and Marin. When it is ready, a link will go out via The Buzz.
  3. Please review information about your group using the new online Meeting Finder to validate accuracy. Trusted Servant Registration is now available in the Update Meeting Info link.

Adjourn with the Responsibility Statement

Next Intergroup Meeting is Wednesday, February 3, 2021. Our monthly meeting will continue to be held online per local guidelines from the health department until further notice. Please email development@aasfmarin.org with any questions.

Treasurer’s Report

Month Ended November 2020

For November 2020, Gross Profit (revenue minus COGS) was $21,713, this was over budget by $7,695. Gross Profit is $26,502 over budget year to date.

Total Operating Expense for November was $22,845, which is under our average monthly expenses of $24k. Program expenses (committees) are less than expected.

The result is a Net Operating Deficit of $1,035 for the month. This leaves the fellowship with a $16,682 surplus year to date.

Group Contributions for November were $8,647, over budget by $1,007. Group contributions are $19,062 under budget year to date. Individual Contributions for November were $12,969, over budget by $8,033. Individual contributions are $62,808 over budget year to date. Bookstore Sales remain low and are $59,928 under budget year to date.

Total Unrestricted Cash for November 2020 was $114,232 an increase of $4,430 from October 2020.  Unrestricted Cash is 4.7x monthly operating expenses.

OVERALL RATING FOR NOVEMBER 2020:  EXCELLENT

INTERGROUP FINANCE RATING SYSTEM

Every month we rate our monthly finances as “Excellent”, “Good”, “Fair” or “Poor”.  Generally speaking, here are the definitions of those terms:

EXCELLENT:  We exceeded our budget.  Our income was greater than our expenses for the month and we have more than two months’ worth of operating expenses in unrestricted cash balances.  Operating expenses are roughly $24K/month, so we’d have over $48K in unrestricted cash balances for the month.  The Intergroup rating has been “excellent” since December 2019.

GOOD: We are meeting our budget.  Our income for the month, or for the YTD, was slightly greater than our expenses and we’d have approximately 1.5 – 2 months of operating expenses in unrestricted cash balances. The last time we were “good” was in November 2019.

FAIR: We are not meeting our budget.  Our expenses were greater than our income for the month and for the YTD – and our unrestricted cash balance would be somewhere between 1 and 1.5x our operating expenses.

POOR: We are not meeting our budget and our unrestricted cash balances fell below one month of operating expenses. The last time we were “poor” was in December 2016.

The Buzz | January 8, 2021

The January Issue of The Point is Posted!

That’s right, y’all. You know where the teasers are (they’re below the short stack). Check out the full issue here, along with The Point’s very own podcast, right here!

Teleservice and Banana Pancakes by Luke H.
“More often than not I don’t know a thing about what I’m doing when I first try something, and what I do know is usually wrong. Such has been my experience with Teleservice in San Francisco.”

Another Perspective on Service by John W.
“As a grateful heir to the legacy of those who walked the walk before me, I found the limitless lode would only pay dividends if mined for the rest of my life with the proceeds given away entirely.”

And don’t miss out on these gems: Letters to the Editor, Little Sister, Follow the Golden Rule, and much, much more!

SF General Service DCM Workshop

Outgoing and former General Service Reps, are you interested in continuing your General Service participation? Interested in becoming a District Committee Member, but not sure how? Join General Service before their next business meeting, this Tuesday, January 12th, 2021 @ 6:45pm PST for a New DCM Workshop! Meeting info below and at this link.


Parents in Recovery: Reading & Discussion

A doctor said to us, “Years of living with an alcoholic is almost sure to make any wife or child neurotic. The entire family is, to some extent, ill.” (Pg. 122, Big Book).

All are invited to share their experience, strength and hope at a Zoom reading and discussion of “The Family Afterward,” starting next week, from 6:30-7:30pm PST over four consecutive Tuesdays (January 12th, 19th, 26th & February 2nd).

Zoom Meeting ID: 844 0631 2649

Please email 12.stepevents@gmail.com for the meeting password and for any questions. This information is also available here on the Events Page of aasfmarin.org.

The Big Book further advises families to realize that, “all will not be fair weather,” as the alcoholic starts their recovery. Early recovery is a major test for families, often continuing for many years. But there is no going back if we want healing for ourselves and our loved ones. Family challenges faced by recovering alcoholics are not unique to each, whether they have “time,” are in early recovery, or are new to A.A. We are not alone.

The Week in Service…

  • The Point Committee meeting is on Saturday.
  • GGYPAA meets on Sunday.

  • SF Public Relations Orientation and Business meeting is on Monday.
    • Orientation @ 6pm PST
    • Business @ 7pm PST

  • SF General Service Orientation and Business Meeting is on Tuesday.

  • SF Service Manual and Concepts Study is on Tuesday.

  • Marin H&I Business Meeting is on Tuesday.

To Seed, or not to Seed

For the love of new growth, please share this information with your social media communities and encourage your A.A. fellows to subscribe to The Buzz. All of our prior updates can be found here.

Keep your group in the loop! Drop our subscription link in the chat at your meetings and tell your members to subscribe to stay in-the-know on what’s happening with SF/Marin A.A.     🐝
 

Your IFAA Intergroup | Central Office

The Buzz | January 1, 2021

Celebrate your new commitment! 

If you are a newly elected trusted servant, you are encouraged to register with Central Office. Having current meeting contacts is vital to staying connected. To register (Secretary, Treasurer, Intergroup Representative), click into your meeting on aasfmarin.org, hit the “Update Meeting Info” button, and fill out the form. We will confirm your submission with a welcome email full of resources to assist you in your new position!

Coming Soon! 

Keep your eyes open for the Central Office survey we will circulate to better understand our fellowship’s needs for Central Office space as our current lease will expire in October 2021.

Upswing in Court-Ordered Newcomers

Our front line volunteers, as well as trusted servants for some groups, say that there appear to be more and more folks being ordered by the court system (judges, probation officers, lawyers, etc.) to attend A.A. meetings. We can speculate that the pandemic and holiday drunkenness may be leading to more DUIs and other consequential encounters with the legal system. How can we help the suffering alcoholic in this scenario? Read all about it!

Heads up for meetings using NYIG Zoom Accounts

Any group using a NY Intergroup hosted Zoom account will need to transition to another, non-NYIG account by the end of February 2021. Check out this NY Intergroup FAQ for more info on what your meeting needs to do.

What’s happening in local A.A. 🐝

Keep your San Francisco and Marin fellows in the loop with the Buzz! Drop the link to subscribe in the chat at your meetings and encourage all members to subscribe so we can build an engaged, informed, and educated community.

Service Committee Meetings This Coming Week 

New Beginnings

For the love of fresh starts, please share this information with your social media communities and encourage your A.A. fellows to subscribe to The Buzz. All of our prior updates can be found here.

Your IFAA Intergroup | Central Office

Front Line Volunteers Report Upswing in Court-Ordered Newcomers

Our volunteers in Teleservice, HelpChat, and our email help responders, as well as trusted servants for some groups, say that there appear to be more and more folks being ordered by the court system (judges, probation officers, lawyers, etc.) to attend A.A. meetings. How should your group respond? This is a matter for a group conscience, and once a decision is made about handling these new folks, how do we let them know that they can or can’t get attendance verified? And how do we do it in a pandemic where most meetings are still held online?

The Fourth Tradition states that each group is autonomous, and thus can decide whether or not to cooperate and sign “court cards” or provide some other attendance verification. This was true prior to the pandemic; some groups used to state “no court cards” on the schedule, when almost all meetings were in person. The presumption often was that unless the group so stated, that court cards would otherwise be signed.

Some court-connected entities have told their clients that screen shots of zoom meeting photo grids, where the court-ordered newcomer’s picture appears, would provide the necessary verification. This clearly violates A.A.’s anonymity strictures, and so we are hoping to avoid this practice by implementing something mutually agreeable. But the groups need to act.

Especially if you are a group’s trusted servant (secretary, treasurer, IGR, or GSR) please raise this issue and help your group make a decision (via a business meeting, just like any other matter of group conscience) about whether to provide attendance verification, and how to then implement that decision.

Implementation could be as simple as designating a “court card signers” who is willing to communicate with newcomers via chat during the meeting and subsequent emails to verify attendance. (If you’d like, you can set up a group email account to be used for many purposes, including this one.) One important function is for this service position to tell the newcomer that it is outside A.A.’s purview to determine what is or is not acceptable verification. It’s also important to be clear with newcomers that A.A. is not affiliated in any way with any outside enterprise: this includes any part of the legal system. Attendance verification, if provided, is simply for the newcomer’s convenience and at their request.

Make announcements in the meeting about attendance verification and how to achieve it. But screen shots of meeting photo grids are not allowed, in order to protect all members’ anonymity.

In the meantime, our San Francisco Public Relations Committee and Marin PI/CPC are trying to inform various elements of the court system about what A.A. does and does not do. This is an ongoing effort, to emphasize our singleness of purpose (helping the alcoholic who still suffers).

For more reading on this matter, please refer to these materials:

https://www.aa.org/pages/en_US/alcoholics-anonymous-as-a-resource-for-drug-and-alcohol-court-professionals

https://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/f-2_InfoonAA.pdf

https://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/p-29_howAAmemCoopProf.pdf

The Buzz | December 25, 2020

Christmas Alcathon Today! 9pm PST

Come join the fellowship without the woes of the holiday chaos at the Christmas Day Alcathon Tonight @ 9pm – Midnight PST. See you there! Details on aasfmarin.org event page.

Reminder: Twelve Gifts of the Season this Sunday

Don’t forget about this event which will be sure to dazzle on Sunday, December 27th, 2020 @ 3pm PST! Wear something festive! Details below and on aasfmarin.org event page.

New Year’s Eve Alcathon

Come ring in the new year with this celebration of experience, strength, and hope! The event will be held December 31st @ 9pm-1am PST, with a midnight meeting especially for newcomers; let’s all celebrate a new sober year together! Check it out here and on the flyer below. 

A Message from Marin Teleservice…

Looking for a great way to be of service to the still suffering alcoholic? Join the Marin Teleservice Committee!

We feature minimum time commitment with maximum service impact!

Come join us at our January 26th, 2021 Business Meeting where we will turn over commitments! Meeting link here and will be posted on aasfmarin.org Events page.

Busy Bees Keep the Hive Alive 

Keep your group in the loop with The Buzz! Drop our subscription link in the chat at your meetings and tell your members to subscribe to stay in-the-know on what’s happening with SF/Marin A.A.      🐝

Box 459’s 12 Tips for the Holiday Season (Adapted)

While some of Box 459’s usual “12 Tips for the Holiday Season” don’t apply given the nature of our social interactions this year, here are a few which have been taken and adapted from those published in this issue of Box 459 (download), which are still useful for keeping this holiday season sober and joyous:

  1. Line up extra virtual A.A. activities for the holiday season. Reach out to newcomers, speak at virtual meetings.
  2. Keep your A.A. telephone list with you all the time. If a drinking urge or panic comes – postpone everything else until you’ve called an A.A.
  3. Find out about special virtual holiday parties, meetings, celebrations held by groups in your area. If you’re timid, invite someone newer thank you are.
  4. Worship in your own way.
  5. Don’t sit around brooding. Catch up on books, walks, phone calls, emails and letters.
  6. Don’t start now getting worked up about all those holiday temptations. Remember – “one day at a time.” 
  7. Enjoy the true beauty of holiday love and joy. Maybe you cannot give material gifts – but this year, you can give love.

Click this link or the photo below for access to other issues of Box 459.

Spread the Warmth

For the love of sitting by the fire, please share this information with your social media communities and encourage your A.A. fellows to subscribe to The Buzz. All of our prior updates can be found here.

Your IFAA Intergroup | Central Office

The Buzz | December 18, 2020

Reminder: Western U.S. & Canada Virtual Forum Tomorrow!

Don’t forget that G.S.O.’s Regional Forum, US/CANS is happening tomorrow, December 19th @ 8am PST. Come see Intergroup / Central Office managers from each region (including ours!) speak to what this year has been like for their fellowships. Register here!

❄  Last Call for
Holiday Events and Closures

This is a reminder that if you are planning any special holiday meetingsalcothons, or events, please send those to us so they can be added to the website and advertised here in the Buzz!

Additionally, if your regular meeting will be canceled over the holidays, please send that information to group.services@aasfmarin.org so it can be updated on the website.

Please don’t forget that Central Office & the bookstore will be closed Christmas Day (Dec 25th), New Year’s Day (Jan 1st), and also from Dec 28th through Dec 31st (for bookstore inventory).

The Twelve Gifts of the Season Speaker Meeting

This event will be online on Sunday, December 27th, 2020 at 3pm PST, and will feature 12 different speakers focusing on the gifts of working the 12 steps! Pull those festive sweaters out of storage and slap ’em on, folks. Details below and on aasfmarin.org event page.

Service Committee Meetings This Week 

  • CNCA Committee meeting is on Sunday.
  • Archives Committee also meets on Sunday.

  • SF Teleservice Orientation and Business Meeting is on Monday.

  • Marin General Service Orientation and Business meeting is on Monday.
    • Orientation @ 7pm PST
    • Business @ 7:30pm PST

  • Marin Teleservice Orientation and Business meeting is on Tuesday.
    • Orientation @ 6:30pm PST
    • Business @ 7:30pm PST

Box 459, G.S.O. Newsletter, Winter 2020

For those of you who aren’t familiar, Box 459 is the quarterly newsletter published by General Service (G.S.O.). Their current issue for Winter 2020 (download) opens with a story that highlights the history and evolution of the ICOAA Seminar (Intergroup/Central Office/A.A. World Services), whose stated purpose is, “to provide a forum, through workshops, discussions, and the exchange of ideas and shared experience, for those who labor on A.A.’s front lines,” at both the local and global levels. The 35th annual ICOAA seminar was virtual this year, which enabled over 200 attendees to be able to attend! Be sure to check out excerpts from our very own Maury P. and Alan G., along with numerous others representing Intergroups from all over!

And that’s not all; there are a number of other interesting articles included so be sure to download the Winter 2020 issue here.

Click this link or the photo below for access to prior issues of Box 459.

Cozy Time, Indeed

For the love of hot cocoa, please share this information with your social media communities and encourage your A.A. fellows to subscribe to The Buzz. All of our prior updates can be found here.

Your IFAA Intergroup | Central Office

Strawberry Loft Meeting Speaker 2020

Speaker: Tom W. — Oakland, CA

The Larkspur Haven meeting which meets on Zoom Sunday’s at noon is a speaker format fellowship gathering. For over 30 years this group has held a Thanksgiving dinner and speaker meeting feeding and providing holiday fellowship and food for hundreds of members. 

This year it was decided to continue the tradition despite not being able to meet in person. More than 360 members from across the USA and around the world took advantage of Zoom to listen to Tom W.’s message of recovery.