Fellowship News

16 12, 2020

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.

19 03, 2020


There is a lot of concern about how we can still reach out to newcomers, and that newcomers will not want to attend phone or online meetings. Here are some suggestions:  

  • During this unprecedented time, GOING TO ANY LENGTHS means attending online and phone meetings even if we would prefer to meet in-person. It’s true that many of us still managed to get alcohol under any circumstance. However, this is different. If you know a newcomer, connect with them by phone and agree to meet them at a virtual meeting. They will feel less alone if you are there too.  
  • Secretaries might consider asking at the beginning of each meeting if any newcomers are present and/or leave some time for newcomers to speak in the last 5 minutes of a meeting. If there’s anyone who needs extra support, maybe they can be encouraged to speak up during the meeting.  
  • One group gave out the hotline number for Central Office at the end of the meeting. 
  • Central Office and Teleservice are getting calls from people who need to talk and connect in order to stay sober. We are putting them in touch with people on our 12th Step list so we can keep the phone lines open for other calls. That means 12th Step calls will be increasing; please check your messages regularly and call us back ASAP. 
  • A great way to be of service during this time is to help the elders in our community who may not be very tech savvy and might be intimidated by this transition to online meetings.  Have one-on-one chats with them through Zoom and show them how to do all of the items above. This will help them feel confident with the tools and ensure they are not isolated in their inability to physically get to a meeting.
  • Things are still evolving. If you have other ideas about how to reach out to newcomers, please let us know! 
19 03, 2020

Online Meeting Etiquette: zoom tips and tricks

  1. Mute yourself when not speaking
  2. Lag time makes group responses difficult to do in unison.  It is better to stay on mute when you are not speaking.
  3. Zoom has a “Raise Hand” feature to support sharing (see below). You can also send a private chat to the leader to share.
  4. To reduce “cross talk” the host can disable the chat feature. Take a group conscience.
  5. If you are concerned about anonymity, you can change your name by clicking on the ellipses (…) in the window of your personal image/icon.  Select “Rename” to do this.
  6. You can add a virtual background to your image by going to the preferences section under the zoom.us menu and select “Virtual Backgrounds”
  7. Join the meeting early or stay on after the meeting for Fellowship!

    To raise your hand in a Zoom meeting, click the “Raise Hand” icon on the bottom left of the Zoom window. When you click the Raise Hand icon, a hand icon will appear next to your name that will notify the host your hand is raised. You will also see the hand icon turn green. When you want to lower your hand, you can click the hand icon again and your hand will be lowered. Keep in mind that a host can lower your hand for you, as well as disable the raise hand feature altogether. If the raise hand feature is disabled you will not see the option to raise your hand.
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