All posts by AA SF/Marin Intergroup

Update #16: Town Hall Two Coming Up

The virtual Town Hall on June 18 was attended by almost 300 members. We gained valuable information from those who joined us and have received positive feedback that the information presented was useful and appreciated. Considerations for resuming face-to-face meetings were reviewed along with dialog about the concerns our groups are faced with today. All of the information from the meeting is posted here.

With the news of an increase in local COVID-19 cases, reopening will be delayed. The poll results from the Town Hall reflect that our community is also being patient. We have an opportunity to use this time to continue working together in planning for a safe and sustainable return to in-person meetings. 

It became clear that members want to explore possibilities for Hybrid Meetings and discuss liability issues/waivers. We are scheduling another Town Hall for July 16 from 6:30 to 8:30 PM to cover these topics and to continue our open dialog. Additional will be posted on aasfmarin.org and sent out in the next update, but please mark your calendars now.

The July Intergroup Meeting will be on July 1, therefore we are hosting our monthly orientation for new IGRs on June 30.

Other events and service committee meetings, including GGYPAAs 4th of July Marathon are posted on our events calendar.

Our Intergroup Archives Committee is still looking for you to support an effort to capture this unprecedented time in AA’s history where nearly all meetings in the Bay Area have become virtual. We want to ensure that these experiences are recorded so future generations of AAs can understand this time and draw on the resiliency and innovation demonstrated. 

Please fill in your responses here to ensure that your group history is represented in our Archive. Suggestions to help you get started are included and multiple entries for each meeting are encouraged!

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.

All decisions will be re-evaluated as the situation changes; we are doing our best and appreciate your support and understanding.

Your AA Central Office

Update #15: Town Hall this Week (6/15/20)

Our first virtual Founders Day Extravaganza is behind us and we learned what worked – varied and diverse speakers –  and what didn’t – the recording! Sadly, due to a technical error, we were not able to retain the audio recording of the event. We do have results from some of the fun polls we took throughout and congratulations to offer Cathy P, in Novato, and Melanie L, in San Francisco, the winners of our door prizes.

As promised, we are happy to share the results of our Shelter-in-Place survey from last month! We took the information you offered and used it as we prepare for…

… what’s next in the land of IFAA Intergroup | Central Office? Our first ever virtual Town Hall, is this Thursday, June 18, from 6:30 to 8:30 PM. We will discuss considerations for resuming face-to-face meetings and have an open dialog about working together as a community as we start planning to meet in person again. Details and registration information can be found here. We hope to see many of our SF and Marin members in attendance. 

During the Town Hall we will touch on the following: 

  • Suggested Topics for Discussion as You Plan for Reopening
  • What to Do if an AA Member Tests Positive for COVID-19 & Attended Your Meeting
  • Consider New or Revised Service Opportunities
  • Perspective on the above through the lens of our Traditions

Introductory information is posted here and we hope to see YOU there!

We also have the June Intergroup Meeting Summary posted. Included are the IFAA financial reports through April 2020. The June issue of The Point has also been posted and, once again, includes an audio recordingThe Point Committee is always looking for content; we’d love to read your stories of experience, strength and hope on how you have managed these last few months. More information can be found here.

If writing your own story is too much at the moment, allow us to remind you that our Intergroup Archives Committee is looking for you to support an effort to capture this unprecedented time in AA’s history where nearly all meetings in the Bay Area have become virtual. We want to ensure that these experiences are recorded so future generations of AAs can understand this time and draw on the resiliency and innovation demonstrated.  Please fill in your responses here to ensure that your group history is represented in our Archive. Suggestions to help you get started are included and multiple entries for each meeting are encouraged!

In addition to the Town Hall this week, several service committees will hold their monthly meetings in the second half of this month. Among them are the IFAA Archives, Marin Teleservice (Orientation and Business Meeting), CNCA and the new Intergroup Representative Orientation. And the July Intergroup is on the 1st, so go ahead and mark your calendar now! Additional information for each of these – and more – can be found on our Events Calendar.

Town Hall Introduction

The Intercounty Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous (IFAA), our Intergroup | Central Office has been dedicated to providing updated and accurate meeting information and best practices as a result of the move from in person to remote meetings due to the Shelter-in-Place Orders issued in San Francisco and Marin. We are fortunate that so many members stepped up to help and allowed us to be 100% operational since day one of the Stay Home Order. We will continue to support our local members and the groups in San Francisco and Marin to the best of our ability. Along those lines, we are now looking ahead at the Social Distancing requirements of our local authorities and how they will impact our fellowship and its ability to meet in person. As we’ve seen, our members have been able to pivot once during this global pandemic and we hope to be able to do so again, with as much grace as we can muster and in support of our common welfare.

As many of you know, the service structure in Alcoholics Anonymous places the individual groups at the highest level of service, and as such, our Ninth Tradition Service Committees, including IFAA, do not direct what each autonomous group can or cannot do. Our role is to provide the community with services that the individual groups cannot readily provide for themselves, giving space to the groups to focus on their primary purpose of carrying the message to the still suffering alcoholic. 

Therefore, it is important to understand that the information presented is not a directive, but rather a tool for groups to use in protecting the health and safety of everyone. As members of Alcoholics Anonymous we have a vested interest in securing the fellowship from the possibilities of litigation or public controversy. Though our personal positions regarding the guidelines may differ, it is our hope that we work collectively in putting our common welfare first.

Please note that the IFAA service area includes both San Francisco and Marin and that local guidelines and protocols vary by county. Additionally, there are State guidelines, which by some measures appear to be less restrictive than those of our two counties, and quite likely individual host facility guidelines, which may be more restrictive. As more information becomes available, we will do our best to share additional documentation with you.

It is our understanding that Public Health Officers in counties that observe the SIP order will have the right to request, observe, and where violations occur, cite our meetings, or the facility they are held in, ultimately leading to the possibility of fines. If a meeting is not in compliance with the mandated Social Distancing Protocol and issued a citation or fine, the Intercounty Fellowship of AA will not be financially responsible nor be held liable for any and all fines as a result of a group’s non- compliance of the Public Health Order and Social Distancing Protocol. Financial responsibility and liability will fall to the individual group as well as the facility or meeting location. 

Further, please be aware that our host facilities may require meetings to sign a liability waiver stating the facility will not be held liable for any COVID-19 related illness. Further, some host facilities may not be ready to welcome groups back in or may do so at their own discretion. It is imperative to begin a dialog with your meeting facility as soon as you begin to consider meeting again as that will assist you with an informed group conscience.

We also want to remind the groups who have liability insurance certificates through IFAA that the policy covers only the meeting space listed on our schedules and DOES NOT cover Coronavirus. Groups must be prepared to handle liability for any claims that arise as a result of the Coronavirus or lack of compliance with standing public health guidelines.

IFAA is dedicated to assisting the groups in San Francisco and Marin safely return to meeting while limiting the risk of public health, controversy, liability, and the protection of our members and fellowship as a whole. We will continue to monitor the progression and re-opening of our two counties and changes to Public Health Orders. As new information is released we will update the groups and make amendments to our recommendations as needed. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we navigate through these unprecedented times.

Intergroup News | June 2020

This is an unofficial summary of the June 2020 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, June 3, 2020, online via Zoom. The meeting was started with a call to order and the Serenity Prayer. The May 2020 minutes and the June 2020 agenda were approved.

Standing Reports

Board Chair, Alan G. The online Town Hall meetings will be via Zoom on June 18, 6:30 to 8:30 pm. All are encouraged to attend. The focus will be on restarting in-person meetings. San Francisco and Marin General Service will be there. Please encourage pre-registration for meeting of which the link will be in The Buzz and on the website Events Calendar. Intergroup meetings will continue to be online for the time being. Each A.A. meeting should have a Trusted Servant as a point of contact, so please encourage secretaries and treasurers to register their commitment online at www.aasfmarin.org/register.

Treasurer, Renee T. We have financials for April 2020. Group Contributions are down, Individual Contributions are up and your help is really appreciated. Our current rating is “Excellent.” Special Projects Fund: Contributions of $140k were received in April. This was supported by Intergroup during our 2020 meetings. Special Projects will be reporting to the Board and Intergroup regularly. Note: H&I Contributions are down 78% and we have no updates from GSO.

Executive Director, Maury P. Is meeting regularly with Central Office volunteers on Zoom. Many will not be returning once Shelter-In-Place is over. Purchasing literature with curbside pickup is up and running. We are continuing to reach many members via The Buzz. We need more communication between San Francisco Teleservice, Marin Teleservice and HelpChat. We are also looking at how to maintain the website while we transition away from Shelter-In-Place and how meetings will be listed going forward. It seems Zoom disruptions are on the rise, so we are reviewing the options for listing remote meetings on our website. A fourth option to “Registration via Zoom” will be discussed soon.

New Business (moved to before Reports to accommodate Elections)

Board Elections, James O.

Introduced candidates NIkki T., Charlie B., Lara A. and Taran R. Voting was conducted via Link and the  Governance Committee will tally the votes.

Old Business

Survey Results

We had 289 respondents of which most did not hold a service position. Most meetings have seen an influx of newcomers. The majority of meetings have not discussed what to do after Shelter In Place has been lifted. Most groups are using a Member’s Zoom account, while others have gotten a Zoom account for the group. The majority of meetings have reported a decrease in meeting interruptions (but that seems to be changing). Having “one-click access” to meetings did not seem have a relationship to the number of meeting interruptions. Most meetings are able to meet their expenses and Venmo is the most widely used method of digital collections. Many meetings were not paying rent during Shelter in Place and few groups were required to pay during this time period. Some meetings were paying rent voluntarily. Services provided by Intergroup were highly rated by the respondents. Some meetings are talking about how to handle contact tracing after Shelter in Place is lifted.

Questions

Q; Is the survey still open?  A: No. Q: Will the members at large have access to the presentation? A: Yes. Q: What are the three areas of feedback mentioned in the survey and where do we send? A: Send feedback to maury@aasfmarin.org while considering the following: Do we need workshops on digital contributions? What to include in the considerations for going back to in-person meetings? Options for meeting listings?

What’s On Your Mind?

Fellowship Committee: Founders Day Celebration via zoom is on Saturday, June 13, 1:00 to 5:00 pm.

It will include a History Presentation, Service Panels, Remote Communities Panel and aThree Legacies Panel. Spanish-to-English and ASL interpretation will be provided all day. It will be set up as a Zoom Webinar to avoid “Zoom bombing.”

Does AA have any resources for keeping members (especially members of color) safe and providing outreach to the various communities of color? Women’s Kitchen Table meeting is very interested, if anyone has information. Nikki from General Service has been putting together resources. 

Intergroup Committee Reports

Public Relations Committee, Guru P. We are working on Diversity and Inclusion; Bleam Mental Health Initiative (Mental Health SF + BEAM). We received an inquiry from the New York Times. We are developing a pamphlet proposal for “Housing-Challenged Members.”

The Point, John B. There are 6 great articles for the June issue which is now up on the website. We are looking for submissions for the July issue (topics cover the 7th Step/Tradition/Concept).

Marin General Service, Alex The Founder’s Day celebration in Marin will be on Sunday, June 7, 2:00 to 5:00 pm.

Election Results

Our newly elected Board Members are Taran R., Charlie B. and Lara A.

Targeted Message

  • Founders Day 2020 – Saturday, June 13, 1:00 to 5:00 pm
  • Town Hall and Presentation of FAQ on Considerations from Reopening – Thursday, June 18, 6:30 to 8:30 pm. Register here.
  • Archives Committee Survey
  • Communicate what Intergroup is and does – each of us is part of the Outreach Committee!
    “Intergroup/Central Office is the local AA service provider that brings you aasfmarin.org, our meeting schedule, 12th step support – including 24/7 phone coverage, Sunshine Club meetings and HelpChat, AA literature, group insurance and more.”

Adjourn with the Responsibility Statement

Next Intergroup Meeting: Wednesday, July 1, 2020, 7:00 pm, location to be determined. Please email development@aasfmarin.org with any questions.

Treasurer’s Report

Month Ended April 2020

For April 2020, Gross Profit (revenue minus COGS) was $28,941, this was over budget by $8,149 due to higher than expected Individual contributions and lower COGS. Gross Profit is $11,193 over budget year to date.

Total Operating Expense for April was $24,764, which is slightly over our monthly average of $24K.

The result is a Net Operating Surplus of $4,192 for the month, this is $6,268 over budget. This leaves the fellowship with a $17,332 surplus year to date.

Group Contributions for April were $13,388, under budget by $2,948. Group contributions are $11,231 under budget year to date. Individual Contributions for April were $15,335*, over budget by $12,611. Individual contributions are $24,969 over budget year to date.

(*Not included in this figure is a $140k individual contribution in April 2020 – See Special Projects Fund)

Total Unrestricted Cash for April 2020 was $103,866, an increase of $2,833 from March 2020.  Unrestricted Cash is more than 4x monthly operating expenses.

OVERALL RATING FOR APRIL 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.

Shelter-in-Place Survey Results

On May 1, 2020 we shared the following message in the update that was sent out to our subscribers to The Buzz, our electronic newsletter:

We are looking ahead and hope to make the transition back to physical meeting rooms as smooth as possible. Along those lines, we are hoping to get a strong response to our Shelter-in-Place survey which will support that effort. In it, we seek to find out about meeting disruptions, self-support and what things might look like ahead.

We hoped that the questions would be thought-provoking and stir members toward conversation about what would come next. We were optimistic that the results would yield experience, strength and hope that we could pass on to make a smooth transition back to our physical meeting rooms. 

As much as possible, Intergroup hopes to facilitate a transition that supports the fellowship in being stewards of AA for the future. What will the transition look like? What will meetings look like? Will groups return to their old spaces as if nothing happened? Will groups continue to meet online, or perhaps as a hybrid of both online and in a physical space?

We assumed there would be local and state requirements, as well as those of individual meeting facilities that we will need to incorporate and abide by. Per our fourth Tradition, each group will continue to be autonomous, within the structure of the wider communities in which we exist. 

With information from the survey and from conversation with other areas and service entities, we wanted to provide our members with tools to create best practices for the new normal. As always, they will be offered as suggestions and in support of AA as a whole.

On May 22, with 289 members responding, we closed the survey.  We shared the results at our June Intergroup meeting and are posting them here for you, too:

Shelter-in-Place Survey Results

Our next steps were to take this information, along with the information we’ve seen from State and Local officials regarding the next phase of reopening, and put together considerations for resuming  physical meetings.

We will present this resource at our first ever virtual Town Hall, on Thursday, June 18 from 6:30 to 8:30 PM and hope you will join us. We will also have time for an open dialog about working together as a community.  Details and registration information can be found here.

Update #14: Are We There Yet?

Keep Your Zoom App Updated

We have gotten some reports that members are having trouble accessing meetings on Zoom. If this happens to you, one reason could be that your application is not current.  

Zoom has once again made changes to meeting defaults and ALL USERS WILL NEED TO UPDATE THEIR VERSIONS to continue to use Zoom. The update allows participants to click to open links in the chat and meeting hosts to report disruptive meeting attendees. Click here for more information.

June Intergroup Meeting, Wednesday, June 3 at 7PM

Our June Intergroup Meeting is this week. We will hold elections for incoming Board Members and review the final results of the Shelter-in-Place Survey. Further, we are planning a Town Hall to discuss considerations for groups in re-opening. 

A link for the Intergroup meeting on Wed will be sent directly to all Integroup Reps, Alternates, Integroup Committee Chairs, Liaisons and Board Members. Anyone else interested in joining us can email development@aasfmarin.org to request the link.

Orientation will be held tomorrow, Tuesday June 2 at 6:30PM. While the Shelter-in-Place order is in effect, orientation is online and advance registration is required. Please contact chair@aasfmarin.org if you are planning on attending the orientation and we will send you a “New IGR” packet of info. and meeting access information.

SIP Survey Results | Town Hall Meeting

We received 289 submissions to the Shelter-in-Place survey posted last month. The results indicate that many groups have yet to discuss leaving the virtual realm to return to in person meetings. We want to provide you with as many resources as we can as you begin to have that conversation. 

Join us for a Town Hall Meeting on Thursday, June 18 at 6:30PM.  We will present an FAQ for groups to use as considerations are made for meeting face-to-face again. The information has been gathered from members in San Francisco and Marin in cooperation with the other local service entities, as well as from other Intergroups around the country. Please mark your calendar and register to receive a link to access the meeting.

As most of you know we moved into Phase 2 of the State of California’s Resilience Roadmap. Last week, the Mayor of SF released this information. Please note the following excerpt:

“San Francisco’s current Stay Home Health Order does not have an expiration date and will be amended over the coming weeks and months to allow for a gradual and safer reopening. Today’s plan details the next phases, and provides dates that the City anticipates additional businesses and activities can resume with modifications. The dates in the plan will be finalized through amendments to the Health Order or directives, and will be guided by health indicators. If the City makes progress faster than expected, then the timeline outlined below may shift to allow some reopening to occur earlier. For each phase, guidance will be issued to provide businesses and operators with adequate time for planning and compliance with health and safety requirements.”

The bottom line is that we are still in a holding pattern. We hope you will meet us online on the 18th in an effort to come together as a community and work towards moving forward safely and with Our Common Welfare at the forefront of the eventual shift.

2020 Intergroup Founders Day Event

Our Intergroup Fellowship and Archives Committees are planning a virtual Founders Day extravaganza for Saturday, June 13 from 1 – 5 PM. We are extremely fortunate to have such dedicated members coming up with an amazing program which includes ASL and Spanish Interpretation. While we will miss gathering together in person, we can’t wait to share on: The Birth of AA, Service Makes A.A. Tick, Anyone Anywhere: a Remote Communities Panel and more! All of the details can be found here.

We’re making History! Right! Now!

Our Intergroup Archives Committee is looking for you to support an effort to capture this unprecedented time in AA’s history where nearly all meetings in the Bay Area have become virtual. We want to ensure that these experiences are recorded so future generations of AAs can understand this time and draw on the resiliency and innovation demonstrated. 

Please fill in your responses here to ensure that your group history is represented in our Archive. Suggestions to help you get started are included and multiple entries for each meeting are encouraged!

From General Service

District 10 Concepts Study  The monthly offering will be held Tuesday, June 2 from 7 – 9PM. More information and access details can be found here.

Post-Conference Assembly  On Saturday, June 6, 2020, Area 06, California Northern Coastal (CNCA), will gather online to hear our Area Delegate report on the 70th annual, but first ever VIRTUAL General Service Conference at the Post Conference Assembly. Additional details, including how to join, are posted here. Join from the comfort of your own home to hear what happened with your group conscience.

Other Service Committee orientations and business meetings including SF Public Relations Committee (formerly SF PI/CPC), Marin H&I, SF General Service, Marin Bridging the Gap, The Point, GGYPAA and SF Teleservice can be found on aasfmarin.org on our Events Calendar.

Please, for the love of take-out and well made masks, 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.

All decisions will be re-evaluated as the situation changes; we are doing our best and appreciate your support and understanding.

Your AA Central Office

We’re making History! Right! Now!

Overview: SF/Marin Intergroup Archives would like to capture this unprecedented time in AA’s history where nearly all meetings in the Bay Area have become virtual. We want to ensure that these experiences are captured so future generations of AAs can understand this time and draw on the resiliency and innovation demonstrated. 

If you or another group representative are able, please fill in your responses here to ensure your group history is represented in our Archive!

Suggestions:
 
  • Please complete the following survey for your home group or AA meeting you attend. We welcome stories about the transition process to virtual meetings, the virtual meetings themselves, as well as challenges during the time of COVID and how they were overcome. We also welcome your personal stories during the time of COVID. 
  • Please do include your own personal experiences or stories but be mindful of the anonymity of others and focus on your own experiences. 
  • If you have other digital files/information you would like preserved in our Archive including screenshots please send them to archives@aasfmarin.org with the name of your meeting in the subject line. However, as always, respect anonymity and do not include pictures/screenshots of other members.
  • Please do announce this process and invite members of your group to share personal stories about this time with the Archive, in the last column of the table below. 
Multiple entries for each meeting are encouraged!

Keep Your Zoom App Updated

We have gotten some reports that members are having trouble accessing meetings on Zoom. If this happens to you, one reason could be that your application is not current.  

Zoom has once again made changes to meeting defaults and ALL USERS WILL NEED TO UPDATE THEIR VERSIONS BY 5/31/2020 to use Zoom. The update allows Participants to click to open links in the chat and meeting Hosts to report disruptive meeting attendees.

To install the Zoom release:

On a desktop computer, open Zoom and check for updates.

 

 

 

 

 

 

On a mobile device or tablet, update the app as you would with any other (App Store for iOs or Google Play for Android).

Our friends at the New York Intergroup have made updates to their Protection Guide with more information! Thanks for sharing, NYIG!

Update #13: Phase Two

Our last update included this survey with questions about group practices and experience during the shelter-in-place. In addition to gathering the particulars of individual meetings, it is our hope that the questions are thought-provoking and will stir you toward conversation with your meeting regulars about what will come next. The shelter-in-place order took us by surprise and created a fair amount of chaos — not unlike alcoholism, perhaps. Going forward, and taking an approach based on recovery, we hope to provide a smooth transition as we move toward Phase 2 of the reopening of California. Changes are coming in both San Francisco and Marin.

Intergroup would like to facilitate a transition that supports the fellowship in being stewards of AA for the future. To do so, we need your participation. What will the transition look like? What will meetings look like? Will groups return to their old spaces as if nothing happened? Will groups continue to meet online, or perhaps as a hybrid of both online and in a physical space?

Further, there will very likely be local and state requirements, as well as requirements of individual meeting facilities to incorporate and abide by. Per our fourth Tradition, each group will continue to be autonomous, within the structure of the wider communities in which we exist. 

With information from the survey and from conversation with other areas and service entities, we hope to provide our members with tools to create best practices for the new normal. As always, we will offer them as suggestions and in support of AA as a whole.

The survey will be open for one more week, through May 22. To our local members: if you have not already, please fill it out now. All are welcome; trusted servants are particularly encouraged. Results will be published after our June Intergroup meeting.

In other news, our Fellowship and Archives Committees are actively planning an engaging virtual Founders Day event for the afternoon of Saturday, June 13. Details will be forthcoming, but confirmed speakers include our Area Delegate, Teddy B-W, who will have just come from the 70th annual, but first ever VIRTUAL General Service Conference and William S, from Fairfield, CT, an AA member and published historian who will be doing a visual history presentation. 

In honor of the history that is being created right now we are putting together a time capsule and are looking for “Signs of COVID-19.” If your meeting posted a closure notice when the SIP Order was announced and you can safely get there to see if it is still up, please snap a photo and email it to archives@aasfmarin.org before the end of May. We will share more from the time capsule during our event.

Meanwhile, our local service committees continue to meet virtually. Information, if available, for upcoming orientations and business meetings (SF H&I, Archives, SF Teleservice, Marin General Service, CNCA and Marin Teleservice) can be found here.

In closing, we want to share what one local member wrote earlier this week about her experience over the last two months: 

What has really struck me about this time is how determinedly AA got its act together and got online. Intergroup was absolutely stellar, and there were a lot of regular old AAs, too, who just said “ok, we gotta get this meeting online” and they rolled up their sleeves and figured it out. And then people started showing up from around the country and even the world at our meetings, and suddenly we could make it to a meeting across town that was inconvenient before, and out of this horrible health crisis, AA flowered, again, in a whole new way. It feels like a freakin’ miracle, to me. We didn’t just survive, we grew!

Another member shared this* (non-AA) article which clearly demonstrates the resilience of the recovery community. Your Intergroup Representatives, Service Committees and Board of Directors are working together and with other local service entities in considering creative and engaging ways to harness the growth and surge of energy we have recently experienced. This may take the form of a series of town hall meetings, new online resources, updates for best practices or shared experience, including a checklist of considerations for moving forward. Until next time — Stay tuned. Stay safe. Stay.

And please, for the love of what is yet to come, complete our surveyshare this information with your social media communities, send us pictures for the time capsule and encourage your A.A. fellows to subscribe to The Buzz. All of our prior updates can be found here.

All decisions will be re-evaluated as the situation changes; we are doing our best and appreciate your support and understanding.

Your AA Central Office

Intergroup News | May 2020

This is an unofficial summary of the May 2020 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, May 6, 2020, online via Zoom. The meeting was started with a call to order and the Serenity Prayer. The April 2020 minutes and the May 2020 agenda were approved.

Intergroup-2020-May-Roll-Call

Standing Reports

Board Chair, Alan G. Remember to subscribe to The Buzz. We are still getting remote meeting updates and providing information for Digital Contributions. Also, Intergroup can provide an email address specifically for your group. The link is located on the home page of aasfmarin.org. the next Intergroup Orientation will be on Tuesday, June 2 at 6:30 pm via Zoom. Check the website Events Calendar for details.

Treasurer, Renee T. Group Contributions for March were not unexpectedly under budget and Individual Contributions were up. The rating for March is still “Excellent.” This report reflects the first month of Shelter in Place orders. Please remind all groups to continue to collect the 7th Tradition. Also consider sending a contribution to GSO in New York. They have been hit hard by the crisis and are tapping into their prudent reserve.

Executive Director, Maury P. Central Office is still closed to foot traffic. Books are available through shipping and “no-contact pickup.” I met with staff from several other Northern California A.A. offices plus two Delegates (CNCA and CNIA) last week to discuss the recent transition, current operations, some of the General Service Conference topics (see pie chart for suggested contributions which could affect Intergroups) and A.A. World Service changes in literature pricing. I will be checking in with Central Office volunteers in the next week.

Intergroup Committee Reports

The Point, John B. Check out the latest issue of The Point at aasfmarin.org. It now includes audio for some of the stories. We meet the 2nd Saturday of each month; check the Events Calendar for details and Zoom link.

Public Relations, Guru P. This is the2nd Intergroup meeting for Guru. Just a reminder that Public Relations is our revised title for the former PI/CPC Committee. The new email address is sfpr@aasfmarin.org. We are working with Media.

SF Teleservice, Luke H. Interest in participating with SF Teleservice continues to grow. There are zero empty shifts. We still need substitutes and people for 12th Step calls. Contact us by emailing to  sfteleservice@aasfmarin.org.Question: Has there been an increase in 12th Step calls? Answer: We’ve gotten more calls but the majority of them are Zoom/tech related. Email if you want to be a part of committee.

Fellowship, Elena R. Founders Day is in June. There may be an online celebration, so stay tuned. There is more information to come. Contact: fellowship@aasfmarin.org.

Archives, Mike We had a great event titled “A.A. in the Times of War and Crisis.” We are still looking for archival materials from this unprecedented time (i.e., photos of closure signage on doors of meeting spaces, change of location flyers, etc.). The next history talk has been postponed due to sheltering in place. We would like to find out more about the people who wrote the stories in the Big Book. Contact: archives@aasfmarin.org.

Technology, Taran R. As announced previously, we are still looking for a Committee Chair. If interested, contact us at tech@aasfmarin.org. Sixteen groups have signed up for group-level emails. We participated with a HelpChat Implementation Workshop with 50 other Intergroups. HelpChat is seeking new volunteers, so reach out to helpchat@aasfmarin.org.

Service Community Liaison Reports

General Service, Steve R. The CNCA Pre-Conference is May 16. The General Service Conference is scheduled for June and the Post-Conference Assembly information is soon to follow. The international Convention has been cancelled for the first time since 1955 due to the coronavirus crisis. General Service and Intergroup reps are working together during this time.

Marin Teleservice, Amanda Our business meeting was last week. The phone lines are being run 24/7 and all shifts are currently covered.

Marin H&I, Karen Mill Street New Beginnings and the hospital allowed Zoom meetings. Marin H&I donations are almost non-existent right now. We are asking meetings to earmark some digital collections to H&I. We are sending literature directly to institutions. Question: Is there a way to digitally contribute to H&I? Answer: Yes, by going to the Northern California H&I website at handinorcal.org/contribute.

Marin PI/CPC, Evan We are exploring contacts with local media. We request PI/CPC be mentioned in meetings as there is a great need right now. Contact us at aamarinpipcp@gmail.com for service opportunities. We also need help reaching out to local shelters and nursing homes.

New Business

Board Governance Committee: Board Elections 2020, James O.

New board positions open next month. The commitment is about 8 to 10 hours a month. The 3-year term will start July 2020. We are currently soliciting Letters of Intent from all interested parties. The statement is due no later than May 13 and informal interviews will happen the following week. A letter template was sent out last week via Maury’s email. Email governance@aasfmarin.org for the template with any questions. Requirements: 2-years of continuous sobriety from the date of the election.

Shelter in Place Survey preliminary results reviewed, Maury P

So far, we have about 70 respondents, so the survey is still open. Some preliminary results:

  • Most meetings have not discussed what will happen after the Shelter-In-Place order is lifted
  • Zoom is by far the preferred medium for remote meetings
  • There has been a significant decrease in the number of disruptions
  • Meetings seem to be able cover their expenses
  • Most groups use Venmo for their 7th Tradition
  • Intergroup has been rated very high for its handling of the Shelter-In-Place order
  • Groups need to start having the conversation about safely going back to in-person meetings

What’s On Your Mind?

Michael P.: How can we better help newcomers during stay-at-home? Should Intergroup promote a beginners meeting? How has the newcomer experience changed with the Shelter-In-Place order?

Jillian: We hold the meeting before and after the scheduled time. We also turn the chat back on after the meeting is over. And we have a phone list and email it out.

Evan: Maybe promote a collection of newcomer meetings on the website? Use breakout rooms.

Karen: Suggests adopting a newcomer liaison position.

Marshall M.: Using breakout rooms. Larger meetings have used breakout rooms to good effect.

They have a commitment for breakout room manager.

Michael P.: How can we better outreach to Trusted Servants and help them?

Maury P. A member wrote asking for suggestions to keep attendance up at chip meetings during SIP.  Any ideas?

Targeted Message

  • Fill out the survey.
  • As much as possible, contribute to your group so all service entities are supported.
  • Communicate what Intergroup is and does – each of us is part of the Outreach Committee!
    • Intergroup/Central Office is a local AA service provider bringing you aasfmarin.org, the meeting schedule, 12th step support – including 24/7 phone coverage, Sunshine Club meetings and HelpChat, AA literature, group insurance and more.

Adjourn with the Responsibility Statement

Next Intergroup Meeting: Wednesday, June 3, 2020, 7:00 pm, location to be determined. Please email development@aasfmarin.org with any questions.

Treasurer’s Report

Month Ended March 2020

For March 2020, Gross Profit (revenue minus COGS) was $19,580, this was over budget by $1,992 due to lower than expected Cost of Goods Sold. Gross Profit is $3,044 over budget year to date.

Total Operating Expense for March was $22,726, over budget by $835.

The result is a Net Operating Deficit of $3,110 for the month, this is $1,186 over budget. This leaves the fellowship with a $13,139 surplus year to date ($2,491 over budget).

Group Contributions for March $8,853, under budget by $4,035. Group contributions are $8,283 under budget year to date. Individual Contributions for March were $9,911, over budget by $7,018. Individual contributions are $12,358 over budget year to date.

Total Unrestricted Cash for March 2020 was $101,033, a decrease of $8,202 from February 2020.  Unrestricted Cash is about 4.2 x monthly operating expenses.

The rating for March 2020 is “Excellent”.

OVERALL RATING: 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.