Quarterly Report, Oct-Dec 2007
Dear FA Members:
Warm greetings. I have much news to share. As I have mentioned, we are moving to web-based communications so that we may more effectively serve you. We owe our gratitude to the individuals and WSB committee members who have created a new web-based interface to connect FA World Service and you. Updates:
- We have developed new database connections that will enable us to quickly revise the meeting directory on the
FA-WSI home page. **Please continue to send meeting change forms to your Intergroup or Chapter.** Changes inputted by the Intergroup or Chapter Office Committee will immediately appear on the FA-WSI home page. Change forms are now available at www.fadocs.org, but we will be posting them on the home page under the members section.
- We have implemented on-line ordering for literature, CDs, and for subscriptions to The Connection.
- We ask that the WSI contact person for each meeting be accessible via email. If your meeting has not changed from a postal service to an email address, we ask that you use the meeting change form to do so by March 7. If necessary, a WSI contact person without an email address can still serve by asking someone else in the meeting to receive and print WSI communications. Thank you!
Over the past year, the World Service Board has given much thought to the Tradition of Anonymity and issues related to safety, given the increasing sophistication of search engines on the web. It is now possible to input a home phone number and, in many cases, retrieve from that a range of personal details and any information in which that person’s first and/or last name may appear (e.g. FA reports or the FA directory, FA CD titles, etc.). Because of issues related to anonymity and safety, the WSB has become uneasy with the posting of personal phone numbers as the contact points for meetings. We have asked an ad hoc committee of Intergroup and Chapter representatives to help us find an effective solution to this problem.
The issues of safety and anonymity also bear upon the titles of our qualification CDs. In some cases, a web search of a phone number or a person’s full name pulls up the order form listing that person’s CD. The board, the Traditions Committee, and members of the Twelfth Step Committee have discussed the advantages and disadvantages of the use of personal names on CDs. Some feel strongly that we must continue to make it possible for members to contact and speak with those who make CDs. Others think that the use of personal names focuses us on personalities rather than principles and that it implies a kind of endorsement of an individual’s program. After much discussion, the Board has decided that we will move to the use of titles rather than names on all CDs. We will contact all people who have made CDs to inform them of the change and to ask if they would like to leave their number and/or email address with the office so that any member can contact them.
Finally, in anticipation of the convention and in accordance with the recommendation of our parliamentarian, I have appointed a Resolutions Committee to receive and handle convention motions. The committee is charged with serving the motion makers and the fellowship by helping to clarify the language, context, and background of each motion. For a full description of the committee’s role, see the chair’s section of the full report that follows.
We look forward to the WSI business convention (May 30-June 1) and to seeing many of you there! To all delegates – our thanks for your willingness to serve. Information related to the convention will be posted on the web in the near future. We remind those who are delegates that substantial preparation time will be necessary before you attend the convention this year. Drafts of the FA book, the complete draft of the revised bylaws, all committee reports, and information related to various motions will be made available on the web. Delegates must read the materials before the convention in order to be ready to act on them there.
For the World Service Board, in service,
Kesaya N., WSI Chair
Chair’s Report (Kesaya N.)
Charge to the Resolutions Committee
The committee’s purpose is to assist groups who wish to bring motions to the floor of the convention and to serve the fellowship through its deliberations. The committee is not to decide the merits of the motions proposed, but it will make a recommendation to the fellowship, offering its opinion on whether or not any motion ought be presented on the floor. The committee is appointed by the WSB chair. It shall consist of 5-7 members who are geographically representative of the fellowship. It is not a standing committee and the chair and members are appointed on an annual basis.
Prior to the business convention, the committee shall:
- Assist the motion makers.
The committee should directly contact the motion makers to discuss their motion. The committee’s role is to confirm that the motion as submitted meets the motionmakers’ intent; that the language is clear and grammatically correct; and that the proposed motion does not duplicate or conflict with already existing provisions in the bylaws or policies and procedures. The committee should encourage awareness of the context created by our Traditions and Concepts.
- Gather facts.
Setting aside any of its own opinions, the committee should seek the opinions of those who might wish to comment on the motion -- either in favor or opposed -- soliciting the viewpoint of any WSI committee responsible for the area covered by the motion, as well.
- Issue an opinion.
The committee should return the motion to the WSB secretary and chair with its recommendation regarding whether or not the conference should hear the motion, noting its reasoning and that of any relevant WSI committee, as well. The resolution committee’s recommendation will be included with the motion when it is sent to FA groups for their consideration and vote regarding whether it should be placed upon the business convention agenda.
At the business convention, the committee will assume the functions of what has been traditionally called the “Emergency New Business Committee.” At the convention, it shall:
- Receive any emergency motions that are submitted at the convention; assist the motion makers in drafting the resolution as fully as time allows; consider the motion in light of our Traditions, bylaws, policies and procedures, and Concepts; consult with relevant committee chairs; and recommend to the conference whether or not the motion should be heard.
Bylaws Revision Committee Report (Debbi N.)
- The committee is meeting twice a month.
- The draft of the revision should be completed February 2, 2008.
- The revision draft will be submitted to the WSB and the parliamentarian February 3 for feedback.
- The revision draft can be submitted to individual meetings by March 15 for fellowship feedback.
Chapter and Intergroup Support Committee Report (George M.)
- An ad hoc committee led by Courtney G. of Natick developed a uniform process and procedure to be used by all intergroups and the WSI Board for requests for financial aid by delegates attending the business convention. The proposal has been approved by the World Service Board with minor changes.
- Planning is in high gear the Business Convention Chapter and Intergroup Forum to be held in Danvers on May 30, 2008 at the Sheraton Ferncroft.
- Two winter issues of the Best Practices Newsflash were emailed, both dealing with meeting health. Part three is soon to follow.
- The Committee continues to devote its time to supporting and dialoguing pre-chapter issues throughout the world with new members who have joined the Committee.
Convention Planning Committee (Ann H.)
The Convention Committee is in the midst of preparations for the seventh annual business convention, whichi is scheduled for Friday, May 30 through Sunday, June 1, 2008 at the Sheraton Ferncroft Resort Danvers. Registration for the convention will be available on-line beginning in early February, and detailed instructions are forthcoming. Once again, full meal plans will be available from Friday evening through Sunday lunch. The following convention mailing included details about registration, the schedule, and board position openings.
Literature Committee (Anne B.)
- Finalized initial editing review stage of all stories for FA book
- Began interviewing copyeditors/proofreaders for FA book
- Began setting up meetings to discuss last year’s tabled motion regarding pamphlet on medications
- Established subcommittees to handle qualification CDs and pamphlets in addition to continuing the work of the book subcommittee
Magazine Committee (Jacquie P.)
- Completed rewrite of fellowship letter regarding meeting subscriptions and Connection Rep service
- Completed draft of magazine service brochure
- Increased subscriptions by 5%
Office Committee (Adrienne C.)
- We are pleased to announce that with the approval of the WSB the hiring of our new office manager Karen and office assistant Anne has been accomplished. WSO office hours are from 10 am to 3 pm Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday.
- Our newly designed website foodaddicts.org is now up and functioning for meeting, intergroup, chapter and WSI updates and magazine, literature, and CD orders. By February 4, 2008, online convention registration will be available.
- Coordination of FA member volunteer support is now in place for answering e-mails and telephone voicemails to support the FA office.
Public Information Committee (Bonnie H.)
- A subcommittee was formed to work on the changes and updates of the FA website detailed above in the Office Committee report.
- The Fact File Subcommittee has been gathering information from AA’s Fact File and NA’s Fact File, hoping to gain permission to use some of their content, as well as using our existing Fact File to put together a current FA Fact File.
- The Survey Subcommittee is working closely with the Fact File Subcommittee to come up with questions to ask the fellowship in order to gain the most useful and current information about our fellowship.
- The Weblinks Project is gathering leads from various companies, churches, organizations, gyms etc. for FA to link to.
- To contact the PI Committee or if you have any questions, write us at PI@foodaddicts.org.
- If you see an article or TV show or radio show relating to food addiction you can send pertinent information to firstname.lastname@example.org and someone will contact you via e-mail.
- fadocs.org is still being used for documents that are helpful in our service work within the fellowship.
Teens and Twenties Committee (Debra F.)
Vision: To bring experience, strength, and hope to people and organizations that care for children and youth who may suffer from food addiction.
- Solidified a “Call Guidelines Script” detailing what to say and how to make the contacts
- Established a “Website Linking Protocol” to FA’s website listed on organizations’/businesses’ websites or in any of their educational materials, employee bulletins, newsletters or any other logical place for our link. Members researched available venues by browsing around a company’s website prior to making contact. Putting together a “Best Practices” worksheet so we can formulate a protocol from the start of research, to finding a contact, to making contact via email, phone or snail mail to person to person contact.
- Organizations contacted this quarter:
- YWCA (Bay area contact)
- BACCUS Network (involved with peer counseling with a presence in colleges)
- Kaiser Permanente (Nat’l organization located in Oakland)
- National Association of Social Workers
- United Educators of San Francisco
- California Teachers Association
- Anticipated contacts for the next quarter:
- United States Teachers Association
- American Dietetic Association (one of the largest food and nutritional organizations in the country)
Traditions Review Committee (Sue G.)
From October through December 2007, the Traditions Review Committee responded to the issues outlined below.
- Funding of delegates at business convention. Chapter and Intergroup Support Committee Chair asked the Committee if it was a tradition violation to set aside money by chapters and intergroups to fund delegates to the business convention. They also wanted to know if there is a difference between having chapters fund delegates and having intergroups fund delegates.
Response: The Traditions Committee was of the opinion that funding should be done at the intergroup (“IG”) level, where the individual is not known. Basing funding at the IG level enhances objectivity and allows for the following of a unified policy of funding. The members of the Committee felt that at this time in our FA history, our chapters are so small and that otherwise there is potential for breaks in anonymity and the sowing of disunity. It was felt that this issue could be revisited when chapters are larger, perhaps in 5-10 years.
- The signing of a member’s full name to FA documents for the public. (Continuation of discussion from September. The PI Chair asked the Committee if it was considered a break in tradition if the PI chair signs her/his full name for letters sent to health care professional.
Response: The Traditions Review Committee consensus was that they do not think it is not a violation of tradition.
- FA members being interviewed on closed-circuit television. An FA member asked the Committee if they thought it was a break in anonymity when members of their fellowship shared their experience and answered questions for students in an introductory level university class on chemical dependency. They were televised on closed-circuit television and a tape was available for a time to students who missed the class. The members of FA involved did not think to conceal their faces. They will have the opportunity to do this each semester and possibly at other campuses within the university system.
Response: The Traditions Review Committee felt that this group should if possible go back and pixilate the taped talk. In the future it is suggested that faces be concealed at the university talks. Pixel faces, even if the taping is for closed-circuit TV and pixilate for tape in the future future. The Committee felt that identifiable information such as names and addresses showing should be protected because of tape.
- Twelve Step Meetings. An FA member asked the Committee if it would be a violation of tradition if they wanted to have a Twelve Step meeting. The area is experiencing rapid growth and a few members with long recovery experience in AA think it might be helpful to have a meeting based on the Twelve Steps. This would be along the lines of an AA step meeting while maintaining the regular FA meeting structure. This is by no means intended to replace an AWOL. It is intended to help newcomers begin to have a sense of what the steps can mean in their lives, in the hope that it will help them strengthen their program.
Response: Following the practice of not voting the same month an issue is first presented unless it’s an emergency, we will table this issue until the January 2008 meeting.
- Continuation of discussion on term limits for committee. In prior discussions the subject on term limits on this committee was brought back to the table. It was agreed that we should set the limits and many things needed to be considered. We need to assure continuity and rotation. We also need to talk about the descriptors “ex officio” and “consultant.”
Response: Kennetha, Sue and Debbie would meet to pull together information for charge, number and selection of committee duties of committee members and suggested terms of committee members. They will have it ready for discussion at the January 2008 meeting.
Twelfth Step Committee (Jamie M.)
Outlying Areas Subcommittee
- Worked in conjunction with the Twelfth Step communications subcommittee to produce the FA e- newsletter “On the FA Frontier”
- Distributed the phone lists “FA WSI Sponsor List for Members in Outlying Areas” and the monthly “FA WSI Phone list for Members in Outlying Areas” to those members in outlying areas and to WSI and Intergroup Contacts
- Continued work on document: “FA Guidelines: Supporting Food Addicts with Special Needs”
- In the process of finalizing a pamphlet entitled “FA Guidelines for Supporting Food Addicts with Special Needs” and a policy document entitled “FA Guidelines for Supporting Food Addicts with Special Needs” to serve as resources on the FAdocs.org website
Communications/On the FA Frontier Newsletter Subcommittee
- Distributed the second issue of “On the FA Frontier,” which focuses on the “meetings” tool via snail and email to FA members in outlying areas. “On the FA Frontier” is also archived on the FAdocs.org website along with the last four issues of Gratitude in Action
- In the process of planning, compiling and editing the third issue of “On the FA Frontier”
- Compiled and distributed the “FA WSI Twelfth Step Committee Universal Language Phone List”
- Creating a policy document through an Ad-hoc Committee for the future translation of FA resources such as Intergroup/ Chapter and WSI reports into languages other than English
Additional Twelfth Step Committee Goals
- Review and update the WSI Twelfth Step Committee Policies and Procedures
- Continue to serve as a resource and guide for 12th Step service, addressing questions and concerns for FA members by facilitating communication and meeting special needs