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 email@example.com 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 survey, share 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