Obviously I suck at keeping my blog up! However there is so much good info to share from the recent (October) Assembly and Convention in Spokane, WA that I must post this!
If I had to pick one word to describe Assembly, a good one would be....enthusiasm! The reps and visitors were engaged, sharp and full of love of OA. We got substantial business done in a businesslike way and also participated on a variety of Project Teams to help foster Strong Personal Recovery, Strong Meetings and Strong Intergroups - the theme for Region 1 for 2019. 19 of our 25 Intergroups (IG) were present. The Assembly Binder of 343 (count ‘em 343) pages was chock a block full of information and resources for everyone throughout Region 1. Since Assembly we have heard of at least one IG who is using the binder as the basis of 2019 program planning. It is available to review online on our Region 1 website under "documents" on this same "more" tab you used to read or for purchase from Amazon.
Convention exceeded our wildest dreams with over 160 attendees. Some noteworthy quotes from our keynote speaker included “Work the Program!” and “Put down the food.” A rich history of the backstory on the Big Book was shared. I heard amazing things in the workshops. The Shame workshop was especially noteworthy to me. The speaker shared her technique for dealing with shame (she called the 12 Steps “Shame Busters). One thing she does is write letters from her Higher Power that always start “Dearly Beloved your name here”. Another workshop had a writing exercise I loved which asked the question: “what is your original lie?” One thing I noted as I looked around during different sessions and the keynote sessions is that people were really paying attention, very much leaning in to listen and learn. A great atmosphere.
And all this happens from phenomenal volunteer efforts. The Lake Country IG did a fabulous job. Other IG helped out with parts of the effort to make it more manageable. A special shout out to the tech team who organized the audio services and recording. This effort saves Region 1 a bunch of money. Thanks to all of the volunteers who contributed to a beautiful Convention and Assembly.
Next October, 2019 we are in Portland, OR Building Bridges for Recovery. Please plan to be there. It is always better when we are all together.
I know I have at least one reader for the blog. Thanks T.
I hope there are more over time. However, I have to hold up my end and write some new stuff from time to time!
Right now there is a lot of hubbub getting ready for WSBC later this month. On April 5th there is a Region 1 Intergroup Chairs and Green Dot phone in session scheduled for 7PM. “Green Dots” are delegates attending WSBC for the first time.
I thought I might share a few tips for WSBC gleaned from my five previous trips.
This year there is NO hotel shuttle. Uber or Lyft are the less expensive ways to get to the hotel. Region 1 delegates have shared their arrival info so look and see if anyone is arriving close enough to you to reasonably share a ride.
Plan to take advantage of the grocery shuttles to have the food you prefer to eat available in your room. I usually eat at least lunch in my room. Sharing that mealtime with others is a fun and relaxing way to get a real break in the business day. You’re invited!
Dress in layers. The hotel rooms are often over air-conditioned at least according to my comfort dial. I always pack a shawl to add a layer. I have seen delegates with gloves and scarves! Whatever makes you comfortable as there are long stretches of time spent sitting.
Read your online Binder and make notes of things you want to ask about. Region 1 has a reputation for asking questions that I consider a very healthy sign of interest and engagement. Going to the center mic for a question can help the whole body. Chances are if you had a question, others did too. Joining the pro/con groups preparing at the lectern for debate is a fabulous way to help all. This year for the first time there is a session called Meet the Maker (no not Higher Power). They mean the maker of the motions to be discussed. The idea is that much can be clarified by a direct discussion ahead of time.
RSVP for your banquet choice and for the grocery shuttles. https://oa.org/members/events/world-service-business-conference/ to find the info.
That’s plenty of info for now. Looking forward to talking with any of you who can make the call. I will share my ESH from WSBC soon after! Safe travels to all Region 1 Delegates! See you in Albuquerque. (and I am so glad there is spell check for that city name!)
Region 1 Assembly and Convention October 2017
The dust is settling from a very productive Assembly and very interactive Convention in Seattle, WA in mid October.
17 Intergroups (out of 25) were represented at Assembly. The focus was on connection and how that contributes to a strong recovery. Three project teams were organized on the topics of Nurturing Newcomers, Supporting Sponsors and Strong Recovery. Look for “products” to help members in your area out of each of these groups. They will have their own tab on the Region 1 website.These teams are in addition to teams giving service to support Region functioning such as Financial Issues and Nominations.
We reelected Beverly M., OR as Chair for her second term. Margie G.,OR was elected Communication Coordinator, Cindy C., WA was elected Member at Large and Gary O.,Idaho was elected Secretary. Leslie W., Alaska was elected Treasurer. I was affirmed to run for election at WSBC, 2018 for Region 1 Trustee. Sue B., WA remains Vice Chair the only position which was not up for election this year. You can reach all of us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Over 260 members attended the Emerald City Convention with the imaginative theme of OZ. Dorothys, scare crows and Tin Men were spotted. The keynote speaker was amazing. Ask your fellows who attended Convention to tell you about her approach to forgiveness. Her main object was loving kindness. There were 4 tracks of different workshops all day on Saturday. Body Image workshops were very well attended. I attended Steps 6 and 7, Step 10 and Steps 11 and 12 sessions myself and the presenters offered practical and helpful ideas.
Region 1 is compiling the handouts prepared by the different workshop presenters and these will be available on the Region 1 website soon. We hope to post recordings of many of the sessions also on this website. We were breaking in a new recording system so we may not have all sessions but by next year we should be pros at this.
I had a weird experience at this Convention.This was my first Assembly and Convention as the official “Trustee of Region 1”. It freaked me out a bit. For no good reason, I felt on display and that I was certainly not perfect enough to be Trustee! There were over 260 hugs that were mine for the asking but I was frozen in the “not good enough” dungeon. I had a serious coming to my Higher Power moment on my way home and realized I had done all that to myself. It never ceases to amaze me how I can judge myself into a corner. My resolution for this in future ...ask for help! I think I can recognize it while it is happening and put myself into reach out mode before I let it take me too far. Thank you OAers and Thank you Higher Power for loving me especially when I am not able to love myself. I’ll be looking for hugs at the Connections Convention in Spokane next October. Hope to see you there.
I am just back from my first Board of Trustee meeting. Here’s what it was like for me. Every morning there are OA meetings before we start business. They are wonderful. The 3 days of meetings include committee meetings and informal sessions where ideas issues are raised. Different points of view and possible solutions to problems are discussed. The formal BOT meeting is where motions are proposed and voted on. In this way decisions are made and action taken. Meeting time included some joint sessions with the Region Chairs. Combining our perspectives was valuable. The ultimate aim is the good of OA as a whole. Two topics in particular were raised that will be seeing further action: sponsors who are asking sponsees for inappropriate actions outside the scope of OA’s 12 Step recovery program. This outside issue pertains to the use of prescription medication. The second involves healthy bodies, healthy boundaries especially protection for new members when 13 Stepping crosses the line to predatory actions. I was happy to see that the BOT takes the good and safety of OA as a whole and for every member seriously.
There were talks about effective communication. Connecting is the most important thing we do at the base of our inverted pyramid of a service structure. Our connections to the fellowship insure that we can take overall actions to help OA grow, for example, improving the OA web site, OA.org, our electronic front door.
Another aspect of communications can be directly addressed here on the Region 1 Trustee Blog.
Our 12 Traditions are the grease that allows our meetings and our fellowship to operate smoothly. Members frequently send questions about the Traditions and perceived Tradition breaks to the trustees. In the past, these inquires have been answered to the best of each trustee’s ability. (often with input from other trustees to broaden the base of ESH). This style of one on one communicating means that the information is not available to other members and meetings to use as a resource as they seek their own group conscience on different issues. Margie, our previous Region 1 Trustee, started to post the Tradition inquiries or other inquires that might be of general interest on this Blog. I plan to continue that model. This BLOG can continue to be a forum for these discussions. When a tradition question reaches me from Region 1, I will post my response and you can post your point of view. It will not name names of course, just different takes on how the traditions inform our meeting life and our personal lives. I appreciate your input. We are all guardians of our Traditions because we need and want OA to survive and thrive. Ours is a program of individual responsibility and combined grace. I hope you will become part of this conversation. Together we can support each other as we trudge the road of happy destiny!
I have just started my tenure on the Board of Trustees (BOT) and there is a lot to learn. I am enjoying it already though as the love of OA shines through all the work and my fellow Board members rock.
I didn't start out knowing I wanted to do this. It evolved. Maybe this kind of service is in your future too. Now I feel that "this is something you must not miss". If you like Big Picture kind of issues and you feel this kind of service is interesting, you too can find your way to the BOT. You need to provide service above the meeting level at your Intergroup. I found that service on the Board of Region 1 was a great help to me too. It helps if you also serve as a Rep to Region 1 Assembly and/or a Delegate to the World Service Business Conference. This clues you in to see if you like this kind of service. Hard as it is to imagine, I guess it is not for everyone. My sponsor describes it as worse than watching paint dry - it is just not his thing.
My experience has been totally rewarding. At every stage of my service work, I found myself surrounded with great people and wonderful growth opportunities. The promises continue to come true for me as I find I have a life of happy usefulness that makes me feel belonging. Thanks OA and thanks Region 1 OAer’s!
I received this request for information on starting a meeting:
I would like to start a new meeting in Any Town, USA and already have one other person who for sure wants to do OA with me, and a mention of a few others who are interested as well in our local community. I would love some guidance and help in starting a meeting. I have been a part of the Nicetown meetings, and understand how it is structured and run, and understand we would need to make donations to sell books, and other needed materials, and to pay for a meeting place as a group.
I'd like to purchase a starter pack, and any additional guidance, rules, etc. that I need to know when beginning this meeting.
I would love to start this group asap, and want to get together with people who want to join in on beginning this much-needed recovery group here soon. Please feel free to email or call me anytime? Thank you for your support and help, and I'm excited to begin a new meeting and service work for our mountain community.
How exciting! It is fun and scary to start a new meeting. I have started several myself over the years. I started a meeting on moving to a new town after only about 1 year in OA. All you really need is a place to meet and the starter kit. The starter kit is great because it has 2 copies of each of the literature pamphlets, the formats for leading a meeting and all the readings. Usually in a smaller town the newspaper will run an announcement or listing for something new like a new meeting. You can do flyers on a computer and put them up around town. Just pick a date to start and go for it.
I have tons of advice for you but as always you need to do the things that work for you. One of the most important things to not do is to give into pressure from someone to set the meeting on a day that does not work for you. Unfortunately, I have learned this lesson several times. As soon as I give in and let someone (who really needs the program) talk me into putting it on a day that does not work; that person never shows up for one meeting and I am stuck going on a day that didn’t work for me to begin with. Stick with the day and time that works best for you.
I live in an area of small towns and small meetings – we often have a varied format. That means that on 1st week we do something; 2nd week something else, etc. Some of the options are Step Study, Tradition Study, a podcast speaker, a Lifeline meeting, a meeting using a different reading from one specific book each session, a Big Book Study, a reading from one of the daily readers as a topic, or leader’s choice. You get the idea - there are tons of choices.
I also encourage you to connect with the Intergroup in the local area. If there any meetings somewhat close -- that’s great because you can get together with them for events, workshops and retreats. Those things sure have helped my recovery over the years.
Best of luck. I am excited for you.
Hi! I am Pat O’C., your Region I Trustee. I am thrilled to be your trusted servant on the bottom of the service pyramid of OA. In order to do a good job, I need you. I need your love of OA, your good ideas and your help. I simply cannot and do not want to do this alone. Please reach out to me by clicking below on “contact the Region I Trustee”. If you have a question or comment. I look forward to hearing from you!
Contact The Region I Trustee