Sara H Region 1
Conference was all about our OA Responsibility to Carry the Message. We were given OA’s Pocket Guide, Carrying the Message which is available at the OA Bookstore on www.oa.org There was much focus on Virtual Services which help members in distant locales and foreign countries, and bringing OA up to date regarding social media so we have a larger opportunity to carry the message.
I arrived Tuesday afternoon. I flew in with my Green Dot Delegate, a woman who was new and whom I’ll mentor this week. We took a trip to a grocery store for supplies and dinner. The first night’s workshop was “All About Conference.” We were guided through procedure and process for our business meetings. These are very formal and use strict Robert’s Rules as well as WSBC-specific guidelines. We’re given a 300+ page manual to guide us through the week’s work and business meetings. Happily this is all available online weeks ahead of time so we can read and formulate questions and opinions. This session is a real help in going through the rest of conference.
The second day started with a workshop called The Forum. We were seated randomly and participated as small groups and challenged to create a skit depicting carrying the message in different situations.
The second project of day 2 was gathering with the Conference Committee we’d signed up for. Mine was the Twelfth Step Within (TSW) committee. This group’s goal is to carry the message to those who still suffer within the OA fellowship., to deal with relapse and to encourage OA members to maintain recovery and prevent relapse. The subcommittee I chose is revising the “Been Slipping and Sliding?” writing tool in the TSW Handbook. OA revises every piece of literature each 10 years or more often as needed. My subcommittee will meet on the phone monthly until the WSBC Board of Trustees OK’s all revisions, then it will go to next year’s WSBC for Conference approval.
Day 3, Thursday May 5th began our en masse business meetings.
There were 199 voting members including 17 Trustees and 182 Delegates from 19 different countries. This is a very exciting experience! Each business meeting started with the Serenity Prayer, but first a member would recite the prayer for us in his or her home language including Swedish, Gaelic, Spanish and more.
Time was given for questions on Officer’s reports and Committee reports from the previous year.
*Treasurer says our finances are strong especially due to literature income. Keep buying books from OA, not 2nd hand please! Please consider the Automatic Recurring Contribution option. https://oa.org/contribute/
If every member donated $7.50 quarterly in addition to our meeting contributions, Overeaters Anonymous would be fully self-supporting. At this time 7th Traditions make up 30% of our working cash.
*Virtual Services reported on a blogger in China. She follows the Traditions and her blog was read by 400 people in its first hours, currently has 6000 followers.
The Conference approved two new pieces of literature:
- Twelve Step Workshop and Study Guide and
- Twelve Traditions pocket guide.
Motions that passed:
- -First names last initials only in online reports.
- -Various housekeeping motions to bring policies and bylaws into current use.
- -Statement on members’ responsibility regarding their own anonymity on social media and responsibility to respect that of other OA members.
- -Created OA Virtual Services Conference Committee
- -Definition of Virtual Groups is not the same as face-to-face groups.
Motions that did not pass:
- -We voted down changing the date of Unity Day.
- -We voted down a motion that the Region Chairs Committee (RCC) meet only in North America, so they will continue occasional meetings on other continents.
- Region 2 Trustee: Hanna S.
- Region 5 Trustee: Linda J.
- Region 8 Trustee: Linda H.
- Region 10 Trustee: Letitia M.
- Steven M.
- Gloria L.
I want to thank Region 1, Peninsula Intergroup and my home group for allowing and supporting my trip to WSBC. It was an honor and a privilege to serve. I’m invigorated and excited about my own recover and about the worldwide fellowship as a whole! I encourage anyone to pursue this amazing growth experience.
Love in fellowship and service,