Gratitude in Action - Spring 2017
A quarterly email publication of the WSI 12th Step Committee. Help carry the message of recovery from food addiction!
Spotlight on Service: Greeter Position
The Newcomer Greeter stands up at every FA meeting, even if there are no newcomers present. This reminds us of the importance of this service position.
Greeters have several responsibilities:
- Introduce themselves when the meeting's leader asks greeters to stand. Welcome newcomers before and after the meeting, and during the break. Answer questions.
- Offer newcomer packets.
- Introduce newcomers to sponsors if they wish to begin the FA program. Share their own phone numbers.
- Ask the newcomer for his/her phone number, and follow up with a friendly call.
- Point out literature, speaker CDs, and connection magazine.
Here are some examples of how the Newcomer Greeter position has helped FA members in their recovery.
I always try to remember what my first meeting was like
A welcoming smile and a friendly hello was my first experience at an FA meeting, 6 years ago. I was scared and overwhelmed at the prospect of attending a twelvestep program. The greeter talked with me, and shared some of her experiences with food addiction. She guided me to the literature table, gave me a newcomer package and introduced me to a sponsor.As I attend my committed meetings now (six years later, with a weight loss of over 50 pounds), I always try to remember what my first meeting was like, and how a kind and caring person helped me toward the greatest gift I could give myself: recovery from food addiction.
Shawna O., Toronto
I remember how people were willing to talk to me
"Being a greeter has been one of the best service positions I have held in FA. Each time I speak with a newcomer, I have the opportunity to remember my first meeting and how powerful it was for me. I don't specifically remember who the greeters were, but I do remember how people were willing to talk to me, despite not knowing me. I had no idea what to do at a recovery meeting. The greeters made me feel a little bit better. They gave me hope."
Katey T., Utah
Being a greeter brings my focus back to what's really important
"What comes to mind for me is going to my first meeting and being touched (and slightly taken aback) that there were people who came up and talked to me, even though they didn't know me. I thought nobody would want to talk to me, let alone strangers. It's very easy for me to be in my own little world at a meeting and forget that the whole purpose is the newcomer. Being a greeter brings my focus back to what's really important. Being a greeter helps me remember what it was like for me when I first came in. It helps me feel like I'm giving back in whatever small way I can."
Andrew R., California
What a great way to rekindle my own gratitude for the FA program
"Although I have often served as the 'official' newcomer greeter in my meetings, there are usually a whole bunch of FA members surrounding the newcomers at my meetings. This is because it is ingrained in us that we are all there to greet the newcomer. We know from our own experience that the newcomer feels awful and confused. Welcoming them keeps the enthusiasm alive in all of us. What a great way to rekindle my own gratitude for the FA program. When I talk to that person who is just at her wits end with this disease, I am reminded of all the gifts I have received here - gifts I can only keep if I give them away to that still suffering newcomer."
Rachel W., Jerusalem
As our fellowship grows around the world, FA members are learning how to use free internet phone service providers to connect with others. The Traditions Review Committee is often asked about phone lists and the practice of listing free internet providers by company name.
The challenge comes in the form of Tradition 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. If phone lists include the names of individual phone services or companies, this can be interpreted as endorsement of those providers.
Thus, the TRC recommends that phone lists not highlight specific providers but instead include a note at the bottom indicating that FA members interested in finding free online phone calling services should search the internet for services that meet their needs.
With this in mind, and in the spirit of service, let's all do our best to make calls to those on the Frontier!
Words to Live By
"Just as the aim of each A.A. member is personal sobriety, the aim of our services is to bring sobriety within reach of all who want it. If nobody does the group's chores, if the area's telephone rings unanswered, if we do not reply to our mail, then A.A. as we know it would stop. Our communications lines with those who need our help would be broken."
AA 12 Steps and 12 Traditions, p. 124