Quarterly Report, Jan-March 2008
Dear FA Members:
This quarter has been especially busy with preparations for the Convention. Because my full annual report and that of each of the committee chairs will be soon made available on line, we are sending an abbreviated quarterly report at this time. Some of the highlights of this quarter:
- Documents posted: All meetings and delegates should have received word that we have posted the drafts of the revised bylaws and the FA book. We look forward to discussion of the documents at the convention.
- World Service Office: Hiring for the World Service Office has been completed, with the selection of Karen Seligson, office manager, and Ann S., office assistant. The office is staffed from 10am – 3pm (EST), Monday through Friday. Options for online ordering of literature and tapes are fully established, and the transition to online communication with WSI contacts has been completed.
- Liability Insurance: During the past year various members of the board have worked to address the question of liability insurance coverage for individual meetings. Our insurer has advised us that such insurance should be handled by Intergroups, rather than by the WSI itself. Accordingly, and in keeping with requests received from several meetings, we have helped form an ad hoc group, chaired by a member of the WAI board, which will work on this issue.
- Twelfth Step: Work has begun on the shift to identifying CDs by titles, rather than names. Those whose stories are recorded will have the option of giving the World Service Office permission to release their names and contact numbers to any who might wish to reach them. Work has also begun on a new Gratitude in Action that will include “Letter to the Frontier,” address best practices, and share news of service throughout our organization. It will be made widely available through email.
- Meeting guidelines, Meeting Format, Suggestions for Meeting Health: The meeting guidelines have been reorganized for clarity and the meeting format edited to better match current practices. Both documents will soon be made available and will be posted online. An open discussion at the 2007 business convention regarding how we maintain meeting strength yielded many helpful suggestions, which will also be made available.
- Resolutions Committee: The World Service Board received three motions, submitted for possible inclusion on the agenda of the 2008 business convention. (See attached summary of the Resolution’s Committee report.)
- 2007 Motion Regarding Adoption of AA Pamphlet: The literature committee met to discuss this motion. (See attached summary of the committee’s final report.)
- FA World-Wide Census: A sub-committee of the Public Information committee is working hard to establish easy and effective means for us to do an annual census. We will start this year’s census at the Convention.
- World Service Meeting List: An ad hoc committee of intergroup and chapter representatives met to discuss WSB’s concern regarding anonymity and the use of personal phone numbers for meeting contacts. A summary of the committee’s report is attached.
With thanks for the good service you do,
and on behalf of the board,
Kesaya N., WSI Chair
Summary of Resolutions Committee Actions 2008
The World Service Board received three motions, which were handled as noted below:
MOTION #1 as originally submitted:
To make “Gratitude” a tool of the Program.
Sponsoring Group: Monday, 7PM, Fort Mason, San Francisco, CA
Present Status: The motion-makers withdrew this motion from further formal consideration. They accepted instead the Resolution Committee’s suggestion that they ask the World Service Board to consider adding to the tool of writing the action of writing a gratitude list. Action: The motion has been referred to the WSB for its consideration.
MOTION #2 as originally submitted:
To add a discussion of medications to the FA pamphlet Living Abstinently: A Guide for Sponsors as suggested by the Chairperson in her remarks at the 2007 Business Convention.
Sponsoring Groups: Albuquerque, NM Tuesday 6:30 pm; Novato, CA Tuesday 9 am; Petaluma, CA Sunday 9 am; San Rafael, CA Sunday 6:30 pm, Monday 7 pm, and Wednesday 11 am; Sebastopol, CA Monday 7 pm and Wednesday 7 pm; and Sonoma, CA Thursday 7 pm.
Amended Motion: That the World Service Board develop a concise statement expressing, in substance, the WSB statement of 9/9/07 regarding medications and sponsorship, to be inserted in the sponsorship tool in the meeting format, at or before the 2009 Annual Business Convention.
Present Status: Following an affirmative vote by the majority of FA meetings, the amended motion has been placed on the agenda of the 2008 convention.
MOTION #3 as originally submitted:
That Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous World Service International [sic] purchase annually a liability insurance policy to cover all FA meetings held within the United States and to make the certificate of insurance available to such FA meetings for submission to local organizations and locations requiring same. This purchase to take effect in the fiscal year 2008 with notification to all FA meetings.
Sponsoring Group: FA Meeting, Santa Monica, California, Saturday, 9:00 am
Present Status: The makers adopted the suggestion of the Resolution Committee and formally withdrew Motion #3 in favor of the Resolution Committee’s recommendation below.
Resolution Committee Recommendation: The Resolution Committee believes that it is not yet clear if purchasing insurance for meetings is the wisest course, and there are many factual, legal and financial issues in play here. Many meeting groups are distressed over this and may not be well informed on insurance issues; they need assistance in responding. Therefore, the Resolution Committee recommends to the World Service Board that an ad hoc committee be formed for the purpose of determining the feasibility of purchasing liability insurance for meeting groups, to report the results to the Conference at or before the 2009 Annual Business Convention.
Action: The WSB has established an ad hoc committee to examine the question of liability insurance for meetings.
Status Report on the 2007 Motion Regarding “Approval of AA Pamphlet on Medications”
Background: A motion to adopt for FA use the AA pamphlet on medication was presented for the FA Business Convention in 2007 but was withdrawn by the makers. The issue was referred to the Literature Committee for decision before the 2008 Convention.
On February 4, 2008 at 10:00 PM, there was a teleconference between Fran (Resolutions Committee chair) and four of the original motion-makers. While all motion makers on the 2007 motion were contacted by email, only these four responded. These four had been part of the group that proposed the emergency motion.
The motion-makers declined the opportunity to personally present their point of view by way of teleconference to the Literature Committee. They were agreeable to Fran presenting it because they were sure that the urgency of their position would be seen in the written support for the motion that they submitted one year ago.
Literature Committee Deliberations: On February 24 and April 2, 2008, meetings were held by the Literature Committee to discuss the motion to adopt the AA pamphlet on medication. The Literature Committee was provided with the 2007 motion as originally presented, the pamphlet and six letters in support. The Chair and six members attended each of two meetings.
Fran from Boston, as Resolutions Committee Chair, facilitated the meeting.
After two thorough discussions the committee came to a consensus that the principle that sponsees must check with their physicians before making any medication changes should be clearly stated to our fellowship. The Literature Committee was divided as to whether the entire AA pamphlet on medication would be appropriate for Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous. The Committee believed that this issue is now being addressed organizationally by FA and that the question of whether to adopt this pamphlet is essentially moot.
Decision: The Literature Committee recommended that FA not adopt the AA pamphlet.
Action: The Literature Committee’s report was sent to the motion-makers and the World Service Board.
Summary of the Report from the Ad Hoc Committee Addressing FA Member Safety and Anonymity, April 2008
Charge: The World Service Board expressed concern about safety and anonymity related to the phone numbers listed as contact numbers on the World Service website’s FA directory. The Board asked an ad hoc Intergroup/Chapter committee to suggest solutions. The board sought a web-based directory that would not list personal phone numbers but that would provide newcomers and members with quick access to a live person who could answer questions regarding meeting locations and times.
Discussions: A committee consisting of representatives of Chapters, Intergroups, and the WSB met twice to explore the issues. The group investigated a series of options. By group conscience, the committee ultimately made the following recommendations:
- That no change be made to the existing system.
- That WSB, via the Office Committee, send out an email to existing WSI contacts (those are the individuals currently listed on the meeting directory) with the following statement:
Recently, the World Service Board has been made more aware of the power of the internet, and subsequent ability for using search engines to connect pieces of data (ie “Googling” on a phone number and retrieving a member’s address and/or involvement in FA). Although this hasn’t presented a major issue, we want to notify our fellowship and give WSI Contacts the following options if this is a problem for you. You can:
- not be a WSI Contact and have your meeting send a Meeting Registration Change form to your Intergroup or Chapter (if registered with a chapter) providing the contact information for the new WSI Contact; or
- continue as a WSI Contact, and take steps to protect your anonymity [the committee recommended including instructions for measures that can be taken]
- That WSB, via the Public Information Committee and Office Committee, add a statement to the existing meeting registration change form on FADocs.org and the FA web site as above.
Action: The World Service Board accepted the recommendations.