World Service Business Conference May 2-7, 2016 Albuquerque
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:
Motions that passed:
Motions that did not pass:
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,
Question: I was recently informed that OA WSO has 15 employees. Yet the budget committee at the WSBC stated that they were going to suggest that we ask members to donate more money to the 7th Tradition to support the WSO more. We would like to know what these 15 employees do and how much they are paid to do these jobs. I have been in OA 46 years and for that committee to state that OA is not free is absolutely absurd! Our program states that there are no dues or fees for members. Where do they get that idea? One of the reasons people come to OA is because they can get recovery on all three levels without paying a diet club and enormous amount of money for membership and food. Our members would like to know just where our money is going when we donate to WSO? Employees? Administration?
I can understand your concern for good stewardship of any money sent into OA to keep OA running. I would like to tell you that one of the things I have always been impressed with is the dedication of our staff at the office. And I am very proud of the fact that the OA office has been voted one of the Best Places to Work in the Albuquerque area for several years. I am very proud that we have hired great people to serve the whole OA fellowship and provide and excellent workplace. My role and my background are not in the area of finance - I believe the OA Board Treasurer has been asked to respond to your inquiry from that point of view. I believe that we as employers should hire the best people possible and pay them a completive wage for their role in our International organization.
One of the things that I have always been impressed with in the process of my becoming more familiar with people and the workings of OA at the World Service level is the people who work hard to keep the costs of doing the business of OA to a minimum. The budget is agreed upon in a process similar to the one we use in Region One Assembly. The General Service Trustees (as a group) make the financial decisions for the fellowship. They are wonderful human beings who want to keep costs to a minimum and yet provide excellent service to OA. They always keep the good of the organization and the purpose of carrying the message to the compulsive overeater who still suffers as top priorities.
The OA office operates very well and their job is to serve the fellowship. Believe me there is no one there being overpaid for doing a poor job or wasting our money.
The workings of the OA office to produce literature, send out books, notices, and keep track of all our meetings, have an excellent website, support Trustees who travel for OA business and to provide services – all of these things cost money. OA is not making a profit but we are not free. Our 7th Tradition states that we will be self-supporting by our own contributions.
I truly believe that the World Service office is an excellent steward of our money. I have personally started donating $20 per month on the Automatic Recurring Donation which is available online. This is in addition to putting more than $3.00 per week in the basket of the meetings I attend regularly.
When I was binging I spent tons of money - that just went to my waist and hips, my craziness and hurt my health. Today I am very grateful for my recovery and give from my gratitude.
In love and service,
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