Gratitude in Action - Winter 2018
What is GIA?
GIA is a quarterly email publication of the WSI 12th Step Committee. Its purpose is to inspire FA members to engage in service, and to carry the message of FA recovery to those who still suffer from food addiction.
Personal Reflections... Why Do Service?
In my disease, I was self-centered and - even if I didn’t know it - incapable of thinking of others. FA told me that my own recovery would rely on helping others and putting others’ needs first (i.e. becoming less focused on myself!). What a bind! But FA is a program of action. With the encouragement and example of so many others before me, I have learned to be of service to others. By taking the actions suggested in FA, "little by slow" my self-centeredness and selfishness are being replaced by the joy of thinking about others, and being one among many. Thank you, Higher Power, and FA.
Jim D., California
Spotlight on Service: Speaker Seeker
Many meetings consider this position essential. Here are some excerpts from Document 7, Service Positions - Descriptions of Responsibilities:
Speaker seekers find strongly committed members to lead the meeting each week. This is an important responsibility because the speakers chosen by the speaker seeker provide the first impression of FA to a newcomer.
In larger meetings, those who serve in this position carefully book the meeting's speakers as much as one full month ahead of time. Resist the temptation to book members to speak before they reach their 90 days of continuous abstinence. This can place undue stress on newcomers.
Prior to the meeting, call the speaker to remind them of their commitment to lead and, if needed, give directions to the meeting location. This is a good opportunity to go over some important suggestions, such as bringing photos; beginning the qualification with numbers, in order to provide context; speaking for the newcomer.
For the full description of this service position, and other helpful suggestions, please see Document 7, Service Positions - Descriptions of Responsibilities on the FA website.
Personal Reflections... Speaker Seeker
I am currently speaker seeker for two of my meetings. One of my favorite things about this position is that it gives me a reason to make calls to fellows I otherwise might not call.
In this way, I have made some precious connections. When I feel lonely, I often put on my "Speaker Seeker hat," and start making calls. Another gift is that often, the speakers like to meet for fellowship dinner before the meeting. It has been wonderful to get to know them better over dinner.
Not only is the Speaker Seeker position a great way to fight my tendency to isolate, it is also a lesson in trust. I have learned how to not freak out if someone cancels last minute. The meeting will not flop. Someone who regularly attends the meeting will certainly step up to do the service. Or we can listen to an MP3, or maybe have an FA Book meeting. Whatever happens, I have learned that the meeting will work out just fine, because God always shows up.
Susan D., California
A member inquired about a meeting that voted to use an open, "sign-up" type of journal to keep track of information, such as who leads each meeting, who shares during the meeting, and the number of people in attendance at each meeting.
The reason for the journal was some members of the meeting were not being asked to qualify or chosen to share after the speaker. The group believed that such a journal would help the meeting feel more inclusive.
While the motivation of the group was admirable, members of the Traditions Response Committee felt that there are several Traditions called into question with this practice:
- Tradition 9 reminds us that rotation of leadership is best. However, Document 7 on the FA website (Service Positions - Description of Responsibilities) states that it is the responsibility of the Speaker Seeker to find strongly committed members to lead the meeting each week. Perhaps the group needs to trust that God will work through the Speaker Seeker (Tradition 2) to choose who will lead and share, rather than referring to those listed in a log book.
- There are also issues of anonymity to be considered. Registering in a log book who shares, who attends, and who qualifies could make a newcomer feel uncomfortable or believe their actions were being monitored and tracked (Tradition 5). Keeping names as a written record of the meeting could endanger the anonymity of those in attendance (Tradition 12).
Highlight: Ordering and Using Audio Recordings from the FA Website
Did you know that there are currently 108 audio recordings of FA qualifications available through the FA website? The vast majority of these are in English, but six are in German and four are in Spanish. There are also two historical recordings about FA's beginnings. All are available either as CDs or as MP3 audio downloads.
Audio recordings are great for strengthening our individual recovery. They are also used regularly in smaller meetings and young fellowships, in lieu of a live speaker. As stated in Document 3 on the FA website (Format Options for FA Meetings), "These recordings . . . allow meetings to benefit from hearing members with long-term abstinence."
To order either CDs or MP3s, you can log in to the FA website. Instructions for ordering CDs or downloading MP3 recordings are relatively straightforward. But if you are having trouble, email firstname.lastname@example.org for help.
Words to Live By
Service includes practicing love, tolerance, patience and willingness, especially listening and keeping an open mind in all our affairs. We are required to give of ourselves in service to others without expecting any 'payback' or recovering anything in return for A.A. service.
– 51st Annual Meeting of the General Service Conference of Alcoholics Anonymous, 2001
Subscribe to Gratitude in Action
- Go to the FA homepage at www.foodaddicts.org
- Click "login" at the top of the right page
- Type in your email address and password
- Click on "Manage my email list preferences"
- Ensure Gratitude in Action is clicked as "Subscribe"
Send Us Your Suggestions!
Our next Spotlight on Service will feature the connection representative. How has your experience with this position enhanced your recovery? What would you suggest to members who are new to this position? Let us know by March 1 by emailing us at GIA@foodaddicts.org.