(The General Service Office has made this optional statement available as an A.A. service piece for those groups who wish to use it.)
Suggested Statement on Safety Our group endeavors to provide a safe meeting place for all attendees and encourages each person here to contribute to fostering a secure and welcoming environment in which our meetings can take place. As our Traditions remind us, the formation and operation of an A.A. group resides with the group conscience. Therefore, we ask that group members and others refrain from any behavior which might compromise another person’s safety. Also, please take the precautions you feel are necessary to ensure your own personal safety, for example, walking to your car in a group after a meeting. If a situation should arise where someone feels their safety is in jeopardy, or the situation breaches the law, the individuals involved should take appropriate action. Calling the proper authorities does not go against any A.A. Traditions and is recommended when someone may have broken the law or endangered the safety of another person.
Service Material from the General Service Office
Our Common Welfare Each member of Alcoholics Anonymous is but a small part of a great whole. A.A. must continue to live or most of us will surely die. Hence our common welfare comes first. But individual welfare follows close afterward. —Tradition One (Long Form) It is hoped that our common suffering as alcoholics and our common solution in A.A. will transcend most issues and curtail negative behaviors that could jeopardize the safety of anyone attending an A.A. meeting. Nevertheless, Alcoholics Anonymous is a microcosm of the larger society we exist in. As such, problems found in the outside world can also make their way into the rooms of A.A. For this reason, groups and members discuss the topic of safety — to raise awareness in the Fellowship and to seek through sponsorship, workshops and meetings, to create as safe an environment as possible to carry A.A.’s message of hope and recovery to the still-suffering alcoholic.
Due to the current changing health situation, many AA meetings across the U.S. and Canada are finding it safer to close. To help members during this time, we are giving everyone free access to all of our 2020 Grapevine and La Viña issues. (The audio to Grapevine’s stories will be available as well, so people can listen to the stories if they like.) Please share with your fellows. We have also included a link to our Youtube channel with some original audio stories as well as other important information.
With the current public health situation created by the COVID-19 pandemic, your Area 59 Officers have been working to understand and follow PA health officials’ advice regarding our event planning. As previously announced, Eastern PA General Service (Area 59), has cancelled our April 5th Pre-Conference Sharing Session that was to be held at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia.
We are developing a system that will enable all AA Members to gain access to a set of discussion threads and to share their perspectives on 13 select Agenda Items. The following link can take you to the site:
Once you are there, you click “apply for membership” and our site administrator will set your email up to access the “Area 59 Pre-Conference Sharing” section. Once you agree to follow some good manners guidelines and state that you are a Member of A.A., you will be given access. Then you will be able to click on individual items, access the Agenda Item background information and see other Member’s sharing on each topic
The purpose of the sharing is to give our Delegate an idea of the group conscience from across Area 59 in order to prepare to participate in the annual General Service Conference (G.S.C.). (Only elected Delegates participate in the G.S.C.) The G.S.C. is where final deliberations and decisions are made with regard to the group conscience for all of A.A. on the Agenda Items. This year, the G.S.C. will be held the week of April 17th and it will be a virtual conference through online meeting technology due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
So, as a Member, please know that we value your input. You can find additional information on our Area 59 website: www.area59aa.org. You should also feel free to contact any Area 59 Officer or your Delegate (delegate at area59aa dot org.) If you have questions or issues with the sharing site or in gaining access to it, please contact officer-at-large at area59aa dot org.
Here I will post links to our local A.A. Meetings that have moved to an on-line format. Please report any broken links or let us know about your on line meetings. Meeting on line is nice to see people from around the world but sometimes we need a familiar face.
This is an On-Line meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous. We are glad you are all here — especially newcomers. In keeping with our singleness of purpose and our Third Tradition which states that “The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking,” we ask that all who participate confine their discussion to their problems with alcohol. When we use digital media, we are responsible for our own anonymity and for protecting that of others. When we post, text, or blog, we should consider whether we are publishing at the public level. When we break our anonymity in these forums, we may inadvertently break the anonymity of others. Please No Recording Screen Sharing/Shots and remove your last name from participants list. > Click Participants > YourName > More > Rename Thank You
This is a variation of a service piece provided by: (The 1987 General Service Conference) for on-line groups who wish to use it.)
For Zoom users: With the rush to shift to online meetings, many of us did not take time to investigate what this meant to the spiritual foundation of our recovery – namely, anonymity. Now that online meetings are accessible, we want to pass on best practices for protecting anonymity. These have been curated from the membership and online resources.
The default Zoom settings run counter to AA’s spiritual foundation of anonymity. The meetings are publicly accessible and full names and faces are often displayed. Additionally, by default all Zoom meetings are recorded to the cloud. Turning that feature off is simple, fortunately.
There are other settings in the Meeting subtab that can also be adjusted, such as disallowing remote control of devices, file transfer, data sharing with Zoom, and screen sharing.
Here are some suggested settings for your meeting to use. Please note that most, if not all, of the settings below are not the Zoom default:
Go to: Settings > Recording and click off the Local and Cloud recording features. In the Zoom Settings section, under the Meeting subtab:
Require Encryption for Third Party Endpoints
Disable Auto saving chats
Disable File transfer
Disable Feedback to Zoom
Disable Screen sharing
Disable desktop/screen share for users
Disable Remote control
Allow Virtual background (this is the Zoom default and allows the user to use a virtual background instead of the inside of their apartment, for example)
In the Zoom Settings section, under the Recording subtab:
Disable Local recording
Disable Cloud recording
Disable Automatic recording
We will update this page with additional information as we learn it and encourage you to share tips and tricks with us that we can include. And stay tuned for information on Seventh Tradition contributions.
We have upgraded our Zoom package to bring this to more people who are in need of this information. We will have a max of 500 participants. Because so many people have contacted us about this webinar we decided to do it again this Sunday, March 22nd at 7pm EST … Details to join and itinerary are below.
What we will go over: Zoom Best Practices Zoom Meeting Controls Roberts Rules Of Order In Zoom Zoom Third Legacy Voting Starting an Online meeting via Zoom Q&A
Details to join: Zoom Best Practices and 3rd Legacy Voting (Option 2) Time: Mar 22, 2020 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)Join Zoom Meeting https://zoom.us/j/521468240 Meeting ID: 521 468 240