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Document 4d: Sample FA Telephone Meeting Format


Click here to Google Doc Version of the Telephone Meeting Format. This link will ask you to sign into to login to your Google account and then it will create a copy of the Telephone Meeting format. You can revise this copy to put in your meeting's information.


FA TELEPHONE MEETING FORMAT

INTRODUCTION:

Welcome to the [day of the week, time a.m./p.m., time zone] meeting of Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous – FA. This meeting lasts for 90 minutes.

My name is _____________(name/location). I am a food addict and the leader for this meeting. After a moment of silence, will you join me in the SERENITY PRAYER? [pause]

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.

The Meeting Tech will now place all callers on mute [*5-1]. Please do not press STAR 6 on your phone to unmute until you are ready to speak, then press STAR 6 again to mute when you have finished speaking. When speaking, please announce your name and where you are calling from. When you are done speaking, please repeat your name and where you are calling from. Please do not use a speaker phone when you are sharing or reading – it creates an echo and distortion on the line.

In order to keep our meeting safe for everyone and avoid cross talk and confusion, we ask that you not interrupt the phone call for any reason. This includes questions about phone numbers, problems with volume level or background noise, or any advice or correction to the person speaking. The leaders will handle any problems, and phone numbers will be given out at the end of the call. Thank you!

PREAMBLE:

Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous is a fellowship of individuals who, through shared experience and mutual support, are recovering from food addiction.

We welcome all who want to stop eating addictively. There are no dues or fees for members; we are self-supporting through our own contributions, neither soliciting nor accepting outside donations. FA is not affiliated with any public or private organization, political movement, ideology, or religious doctrine. We take no position on outside issues. Our primary purpose is to abstain from addictive eating and to carry this message of recovery to those who still suffer.

We would like to encourage those who do not yet have 90 days of continuous abstinence in FA to read. To be a reader, just arrive 10 to 12 minutes early to the phone call and sign up. 

Would _________________ (name & location) please read the DEFINITION OF FOOD ADDICTION?

Please press *6 to unmute, and mute yourself again when you are done.  

DEFINITION OF FOOD ADDICTION

Food addiction is a disease of the mind, body, and spirit for which there is no cure, but it can be arrested a day at a time by our adapting to a disciplined way of eating and the Twelve-Step program of FA. When we abuse food by using it as a drug, our lives become unmanageable.       

Food addicts have an allergy to flour, sugar, and quantities that sets up an uncontrollable craving. The problem can be arrested a day at a time by the action of our weighing and measuring our food and abstaining completely from all flour and sugar.

FA defines abstinence as weighed and measured meals with nothing in between, no flour, no sugar, and the avoidance of any individual binge foods.

INTRODUCTIONS AND WELCOME:

In a moment we will introduce ourselves. Please make sure you are in a quiet place, so everyone can be heard. 

Please unmute with *6 and introduce yourself by your first name, and tell us where you are calling from.

We will start with those who are new to the FA program. Are there any newcomers to FA on the call?

[pause, and write down phone numbers of newcomers.]

Is there anyone at this meeting for the first time, though not new to FA?

[pause] 

Would everyone else who cares to, please say your name and where you are calling from? If you overlap with someone else, just repeat your information if you don’t think we heard you.

[Leader continues]

If you have not already done so, please be sure you are muted by pressing *6. Do not press *6 on your phone to unmute until you are ready to speak, and then return to mute when you are finished speaking.

FA is based on the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous. We will now read a portion of the “How It Works” chapter from AA’s Big Book. AA has asked us to leave this text intact, so the words “alcohol” and “alcoholic” remain.

Now _______________ (name & location) will read the “How It Works” excerpt. Please press *6 to unmute.

HOW IT WORKS       

Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves. There are such unfortunates. They are not at fault; they seem to have been born that way. They are naturally incapable of grasping and developing a manner of living which demands rigorous honesty. Their chances are less than average. There are those, too, who suffer from grave emotional and mental disorders, but many of them do recover if they have the capacity to be honest.

Our stories disclose in a general way what we used to be like, what happened, and what we are like now. If you have decided you want what we have and are willing to go to any length to get it—then you are ready to take certain steps.

At some of these we balked. We thought we could find an easier, softer way. But we could not. With all the earnestness at our command, we beg of you to be fearless and thorough from the very start. Some of us have tried to hold on to our old ideas and the result was nil until we let go absolutely.

Remember we deal with alcohol—cunning, baffling, powerful! Without help it is too much for us. But there is One who has all power—that One is God. May you find Him now!

Half measures availed us nothing. We stood at the turning point. We asked His protection and care with complete abandon. Here are the steps we took, which are suggested as a program of recovery.

Now __________ (name & location) will read THE TWELVE STEPS as adapted by FA.

THE TWELVE STEPS 

  1. We admitted we were powerless over food—that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character. 
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory, and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to food addicts, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

[Leader reads.] The following passage is also from the Big Book.

Many of us exclaimed, “What an order! I can’t go through with it.” Do not be discouraged. No one among us has been able to maintain anything like perfect adherence to these principles. We are not saints. The point is that we are willing to grow along spiritual lines. The principles we have set down are guides to progress. We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection.

Our description of the alcoholic, the chapter to the agnostic, and our personal adventures before and after make clear three pertinent ideas:

  1. That we were alcoholic and could not manage our own lives.
  2. That probably no human power could have relieved our alcoholism.
  3. That God could and would if He were sought.

Now _______________ (name & location) will read the TWELVE TRADITIONS as adapted by FA.

THE TWELVE TRADITIONS 

  1. Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends on FA unity.
  2. For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority—a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.
  3. The only requirement for FA membership is a desire to stop eating addictively.
  4. Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or FA as a whole.
  5. Each group has but one primary purpose—to carry its message to the food addict who still suffers.
  6. An FA group ought never endorse, finance, or lend the FA name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property, and prestige divert us from our primary purpose. 
  7. Every FA group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.
  8. Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous should remain forever nonprofessional, but our service centers may employ special workers. 
  9. FA, as such, ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve. 
  10. Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues, hence the FA name ought never be drawn into public controversy.
  11. Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, and films. 
  12. Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our Traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities. 

 The DISCIPLINES of this meeting are:

  1. To preserve anonymity, we ask that you do not record or share the audio of this meeting under any circumstances.
  2. Please participate alone in a quiet, private location free of children or pets. No drinking, eating, gum, or multi-tasking such as texting or computer work.
  3. Business meetings are held after the first meeting of every month. All members are welcome to attend. Members with 90 days or more of continuous abstinence in FA, and who are committed to this meeting, will have a voice and a vote and service positions open to them.
  4. Please remember that naming specific foods, or even describing them without a name, may trigger cravings for some members.

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

Are there any FA or AWOL announcements? Press *6 to unmute.

LITERATURE:

Information on how to get started in FA and other FA Conference-approved literature is available on the FA website. Qualification recordings may be downloaded as well.

(Optional: Would the LITERATURE representative please unmute and announce yourself and give your phone number?)

connection:

connection is a magazine of experience, strength, and hope created by food addicts for food addicts. You may subscribe at foodaddicts.org for a digital or print copy of the magazine. You may also submit art and articles.

(Optional: Would the connection representative please unmute and announce yourself and give your phone number?)

PHONE LIST:

We maintain a phone list for this meeting, for fellows who would like to reach out to one another. If you would like to be added to this list, or receive a copy, please send your contact information to ____________ (email of phone list contact). Please provide your first name and last initial, phone number with time zone, and if you like, your email address.

THE TOOLS OF RECOVERY:

We would like to encourage those who do not yet have 90 days of continuous abstinence in FA to read one of the TOOLS OF RECOVERY. To volunteer to read, please join the call 10-12 minutes early to sign up. Press *6 to unmute, and please be sure to mute yourself again when you are done. 

❖ __________ (name & location) has volunteered to read ABSTINENCE:

In the past, addictive eating was our most common reaction to life. We obtain abstinence from addictive eating by weighing, measuring, and committing our food to an FA sponsor. We have found that we must abstain completely from all flour and sugar.

❖ __________ (name & location) has volunteered to read SPONSOR:

We ask an FA sponsor to guide us through the recovery program on every level: physical, mental, and spiritual. Ours is a program of attraction. Find a sponsor who has what you want and ask how it was achieved.

❖ __________ (name & location) has volunteered to read MEETINGS: 

We attend meetings, where we share our experience, strength, and hope with each other. We have found that unless we give to newcomers what we have received from the program, we cannot keep it for ourselves.

❖ __________ (name & location) has volunteered to read TELEPHONE: 

Food addiction is a disease of self-centeredness and isolation, so we use the telephone daily to connect with FA members. We begin with a committed call to our sponsor. Phoning others throughout the day, we share our hope, and when we need help, we ask for it. Above all, we call if we are tempted to take the first addictive bite.

❖ __________ (name & location) has volunteered to read ANONYMITY: 

Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of our program. We are not afraid to admit our own addiction, but at the public level, we protect the program by concealing our full names and faces. Humility is essential for our recovery. No individual member should ever be seen as representing FA as a whole. Within the program, we reach out to help, but we do not gossip or reveal anyone’s membership in FA except our own. Each person’s story is theirs to reveal. 

❖ __________ (name & location) has volunteered to read LITERATURE: 

We study FA Conference-approved literature to strengthen and reinforce our program. When we read it daily, the literature impresses on us basic truths we have found vital to our recovery. Literature is an ever-available tool that gives us insight into our problem, strength to deal with it, and the hope that there is a solution for us.

❖ __________ (name & location) has volunteered to read WRITING: 

Writing is an indispensable tool for sustaining abstinence and working the Twelve Steps. We write down our food plan each day before committing it to our sponsor. When we are troubled, writing also helps us see situations more clearly and better discern any necessary action.

❖ __________ (name & location) has volunteered to read QUIET TIME: 

To maintain our abstinence, we must learn to rely on a Power greater than ourselves. We set aside a full half hour each day to sit quietly and relax. In this time with our Higher Power, we listen, seeking the perspective, serenity, and strength that will enable us to stay abstinent and respond sanely to the challenges and joys of the day.

❖ __________ (name & location) has volunteered to read GRATITUDE: 

Food addiction is a disease of negativity. Our contented abstinence depends on our willingness to replace negative thoughts and feelings with thankful ones. In the past, we thought of gratitude as a feeling, but in FA, we practice it as an action.

❖ __________ (name & location) has volunteered to read SERVICE: 

We do service by staying abstinent. Abstinence gives us freedom from compulsion and obsession with food so that we can be available to others. Any service that reaches a fellow sufferer adds to the quality of our own recovery. We are promised a life of sane and happy usefulness as a result of working the Twelve Steps. Service fulfills that promise.

MEETING FORMAT OPTIONS

  1. QUALIFICATION 

Today we have a speaker, ___________ from __________ (name and location).

Please share for ______ minutes your experience, strength and hope as a recovering food addict. If you wish, I can give you a 3-5-minute notice when it is time to wrap up. You may give us your phone number if you would like.

[Share until approximately ____ a.m./p.m./time zone and then proceed to the SEVENTH TRADITION.]

[At _______(time) give the qualifier a 3-5 min warning to wrap up.]

[At ______ (same time), the Meeting Tech presses *2 to get the number of participants.]

  1. SHARING MEETING  

The meeting is now open for sharing from all those with 90 days or more of continuous abstinence in FA who are working with an FA sponsor. Please limit your share to ___ minutes. Press *6 to unmute. Please be sure to mute yourself again when you are done. 

[At approximately _____a.m./p.m./time zone, proceed to the SEVENTH TRADITION.]

  1. LITERATURE MEETING

[Choose a reading from one or more of the following books or pamphlets.]

A. ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS (BIG BOOK) MEETING 

[When choosing a selection from the Big Book, please avoid pages 64-103. A meeting that focuses on Steps Four through Twelve is not appropriate for newcomers.]

Today I’ll read a short passage from the book Alcoholics Anonymous, also known as AA’s Big Book.

[At __________ (time)]: 

The meeting is now open for sharing from all those with 90 days or more of continuous abstinence in FA who are working with an FA sponsor. 

[At approximately ____ a.m./p.m./time zone, proceed to the SEVENTH TRADITION.] 

B. FOOD ADDICTS IN RECOVERY ANONYMOUS [GRAY BOOK] MEETING

[When choosing a selection from the Gray Book, please avoid pages 386-416. A meeting that focuses on Steps Four through Twelve is not appropriate for newcomers. Read and share on one chapter at a time. Bookmark the next chapter for the next leader so the book can be read consecutively.] 

Today I’ll read a passage from Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous. Typically, we refrain from mentioning food by name, but we will read these stories as they are written. 

[At ___________(time)]: The meeting is now open for sharing from all those with 90 days or more of continuous abstinence in FA who are working with an FA sponsor. Press *6 to unmute. Please be sure to mute yourself again when you are done.

[At approximately ____ a.m./p.m., proceed to the SEVENTH TRADITION.]

C. connection MEETING

[Choose a connection story.] 

Today I’ll read an article from connection magazine. 

[At ___________ (time)].

The meeting is now open for sharing from all those with 90 days or more of continuous abstinence in FA who are working with an FA sponsor. Press *6 to unmute. Please be sure to mute yourself again when you are done. 

[At approximately____a.m./p.m., proceed to the SEVENTH TRADITION.]

D. TOOLS MEETING

[Read and share on one tool at a time. Bookmark the pamphlet for the next leader so it can be read consecutively.]

During this meeting I’ll read a few sections from the booklet Living Abstinently.

[At ____________ (time)]:

The meeting is now open for sharing from all those with 90 days or more of continuous abstinence in FA who are working with an FA sponsor. Press *6 to unmute. Please be sure to mute yourself again when you are done.

[At approximately ____ a.m./p.m., proceed to the SEVENTH TRADITION.] 

E. PAMPHLET MEETING

Today I’ll read a portion from [name of selected pamphlet-see Meeting Guidelines Document 3 for suggested pamphlets].

At _________ (time):

The meeting is now open for sharing from all those with 90 days or more of continuous abstinence in FA who are working with an FA sponsor. Press *6 to unmute. Please be sure to mute yourself again when you are done.

[At approximately ____ a.m./p.m., proceed to the Seventh Tradition.]

SEVENTH TRADITION:

The Seventh Tradition advises us to support ourselves through our own contributions, neither soliciting nor accepting outside donations. You can contribute directly on the FA website using the “donate” button at the top of the main page. You can designate if you want your contribution to support your local intergroup and/or FA World Service.  

[Optional] MEETING EFFECTIVENESS QUESTION: Would the MESA representative please read the meeting effectiveness question?

GREETERS:

If you are new or have any questions, greeters will be available after the meeting. Greeters, would you please unmute to introduce yourself and give your phone number with time zone? [pause]

Are there any other members with 90 days or more of continuous abstinence who would like to be a greeter today? [pause, write down their contact information]

The Fifth Tradition reminds us that we are all responsible for carrying the message of recovery to newcomers. If you are new or uncertain about FA, we encourage you to attend several meetings to learn about the program. Please stay on the call after the ending, so we can greet you and, if you like, get your phone number.

SPONSORS:

Sponsors are FA members currently being sponsored and living the Twelve Steps. FA recommends that a sponsor be six or more months abstinent. Sponsors help us begin the FA program and guide us in our recovery. We recommend that newcomers and anyone without a sponsor speak with one of these people. Would all qualified sponsors with time available please unmute to introduce yourself and give your phone number with time zone?

SHARING:

The meeting is now open for sharing from all those with 90 days or more of continuous abstinence in FA who are working with an FA sponsor. In order to allow time for all who wish to share, we ask that you keep your share to _____ [suggested time limit, i.e., 3-5 minutes].

The leader may interrupt in order to address any distractions. 

Again, please do not press the *6 key to remove the mute feature until you are ready to share.  Announce your name and where you are calling from before and after your share. Press *6 to mute your phone once you have finished sharing. Please do not use your speaker phone when sharing. We invite anyone who shares to stay on the line after the call, to give your phone number to other fellows who want to reach you.

  • Is there anyone who just got their 90 days who would like to share first? [pause] 

  • Anyone who doesn’t usually share? [pause]

  • The meeting is now open for sharing.

[End sharing approx. 5-7 minutes before end of call.]

Thank you all for sharing. Can the Meeting Tech tell us how many participants attended today’s meeting?

CLOSING THE MEETING:

It is time to close our meeting.  

The Leader and others will remain on the line for a few minutes after the close of the meeting. If you are a newcomer, we encourage you to stay on the line for a few moments. There may be fellows who would like your phone number for an outreach call.

Now ____________ (name and location) will read THE PROMISES from page 83 of the Big Book.

THE PROMISES 

If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are halfway through. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others. That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows. Self-seeking will slip away. Our whole attitude and outlook on life will change. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.

Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us—sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them.

After a moment of silence, please join me in the SERENITY PRAYER. [pause]

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.