The Sobriety By the Bay Conference Returns to San Francisco
Written by Laura V.
On January 7th, 2022, The Sobriety by the Bay Conference returned to San Francisco’s Grace Cathedral to do what it does best; bring hundreds of sober alcoholics from across the Bay Area together in unity, service and recovery. Over the last two years, the pandemic has had a profound impact on Alcoholics everywhere, isolating us, closing down our meetings, and limiting our ability to connect in person. So, to say that this year’s Conference was a much-anticipated beacon of hope would be an understatement. Throughout the entire weekend, the enthusiasm & excitement was palpable. Sober alcoholics from fellowships all around the Bay & beyond came to connect! And the experience was transformative.
This year’s Conference promised a roster of impressive speakers, each with an impactful, AA message. One by one throughout the weekend, these powerhouses took to the SBTB podium and delivered! On Friday’s opening night, Sobriety by the Bay attendees excitedly flooded Gresham Hall to hear the weekend’s first speaker, Greg H. of Brentwood, CA kick things off with a clear and powerful message, setting the tone for the rest of the event. Saturday morning, Samantha B. brought down the house with her chair, taking her listeners on a heartfelt recovery rollercoaster of laughter, pain & healing. It was a message that hit deep and stayed on the heart well after the morning meeting commenced.
All weekend long, old-timers & newcomers enjoyed the opportunity to experience sobriety together, sharing themselves, listening, and learning from one-another. Many individuals came from rehabs & detox centers from around the Bay, newly sober and eager to begin the steps, find a sponsor and connect in fellowship for the first time. Early risers gathered Saturday morning for the Too Early Big Book Study. Later that day the 4th Step Workshop drew quite a crowd, bringing members of all lengths of sobriety together to work on one of AA’s most transformational steps. Over the course of a few hours, Paco D. lead everyone through the process of writing a thorough 4th Step, sharing insights and wisdom garnered over 31 years of sobriety.
Saturday night, Chris R. of Ingram, Texas took to the Sobriety by the Bay podium for perhaps the most anticipated event of the weekend. Known for his strong stance on AA and fiery words, Chris R. filled Grace Cathedral’s stunning Nave with a message of depth, weight and clarity for old & young members alike. He spoke of relapse and he spoke of being recovered. Tears filled his eyes as he shared a moment from his early sobriety when an elder AA member looked at him and said the words, “We need you.” He reminded the crowd of the importance of connection and of action, and they thanked him with a thunderous standing ovation when he was done.
This year was The Sobriety by the Bay Conference’s most successful year to date, bringing more alcoholics together than ever before, and raising a whopping $7800.00 to donate to AA’s San Francisco Central Office. To put that into perspective, the previous four years’ donations COMBINED totaled $10,799.00! What a testament to the enthusiasm and generosity of Bay Area members of Alcoholics Anonymous, especially on the heels of the pandemic. Putting on an event like Sobriety by the Bay is no simple task, but being a part of the Conference’s Committee is an amazing & rewarding way to be of service. The planning and organizing begins months in advance, and the committee is always looking for new members from San Francisco and beyond to help bring this transformative event together for our city! If you’re looking for an exciting new way to be of service and would like to be a part of the Sobriety by the Bay Team, please reach out and connect with us by emailing our volunteer coordinator at [email protected] !