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Quarterly Report, Oct-Dec 2008

Dear FA Members:

I am pleased to send the attached report from the World Service Board. Please note the following highlights from the past quarter; more detailed reports from each World Service Board committee are attached.

Office Manager: We are delighted to inform you that Lynne Guzinski began work as our World Service office manager on January 5. Lynne has a BS in accounting from the University of Massachusetts, experience with Quick Books, and excellent people skills. Please join us in warmly welcoming her.

Office: We have shifted more fully on-line with our business processes. The ordering of CDs and literature is now to be done on-line, as are the registration of any changes made on the meeting change form. The registration of new meetings will occur as in the past through hard copies sent to the meeting’s intergroup or chapter.

Business Convention (May 29-31, 2009 in Danvers, Massachusetts): Information has been sent to World Service contact people regarding registration for this year’s World Service Business Convention. Please note that all who will be serving as Conference members (the voting body conducting WSI business) must register as such by March 1.   This deadline will be strictly enforced.  The business convention (the meetings) is open to everyone who is interested and who registers for the convention itself.  Please see www.foodaddicts.org for details and forms.  Applications for open positions on the World Service Board will also be available on our website with a March 1st deadline.

Fellowship Convention (October 16 - 18, 2009 in Santa Clara, California): Information has been sent as above.  On-line registration for the Fellowship Convention will be open from June 1 through September 1, 2009.  You are encouraged to reserve your room at the Santa Clara Marriott (800-228-9290) as soon as possible. Note that we plan to hold the Intergroup and Chapter Forum at both the Business and Fellowship Conventions.

Literature Committee: A draft of the Sponsorship pamphlet has been brought before the board for its comments. The writing committee is now working on revisions in a second draft.

Public Information Committee: We remind you of the exciting news of a new posting on the “Media” page on the World Service home page that is available to members and to the media: a clip of the Today show’s interview of an FA member. The committee is working to make large retractable FA banners available for use at health fairs. 

Connection Representative: Please register your meeting’s Connection representative on the meeting change form, which is available under “For Members” on the World Service home page.

Thank you for your good service. We hope to see you at one or both of this year’s conventions!


Kesaya N., for the World Service Board

Bylaws Committee (Joshua P.)

  • The special committee on governing documents: This ad hoc committee appointed by the bylaws committee chair formally began its work in November 2008.  The first major task on our agenda is to assist WSI committees and the WSB in developing updated policies and procedures.  In the first phase of this work, committees and the WSB have commenced work on revising—or newly drafting, if necessary—updated operating procedures.  When finished, these procedures will contain important information about how the committees and the board function, and should be useful for members of the fellowship wondering how to interact with the committees or the WSB.
  • Adoption of policies and procedures: The governing documents committee is also developing a proposal for the process of adopting WSI policies and procedures, since our governing documents do not currently address this need.  We may present this as a motion for a new WSI policy or bylaw amendment to the conference at the business convention this coming May.
  • As usual, please feel free to contact the chair of the bylaws committee, Joshua P., at bylawschair@gmail.com if you have any questions relating to bylaws or other governing documents.

Chapter and Intergroup Support Committee Report (George M.) 

  • The Committee continues to devote its time to supporting and dialoguing about Intergroup, Chapter, Pre-chapter, and Regional issues and programs throughout the world with the members of the Committee.
  • Planning is in high gear for the Chapter and Intergroup Forums to be held at the Business Convention in Danvers, MA and the Fellowship Convention in Santa Clara. CA. They will take place on May 29, 2009 in Danvers, MA from 1:00-4:30 PM, and October 16, 2009 in Santa Clara, CA from 1:00-4:30 PM.
  • Two issues of the "Best Practices Newsflash" are being drafted to be integrated into Gratitude in Action Quarterly Newsletter.
  • The Committee continues to support the Office Committee's efforts to improve the administrative systems within the Chapters and Intergroups.

 Convention Committee Report (Ann H.)

  • Planning continues for the 2009 World Service Business Convention (WSBC), May 29 – 31 in Danvers, Massachusetts, and the Fellowship Convention, October 16 – 18 in Santa Clara, California. Hotel rooms are still available for both conventions but they do tend to fill up quickly so we encourage early reservations.
  • On-line registration for the WSBC is now open and will close on April 15. In addition, for the first time we are asking all Conference members (the voting body), including World Service Board, Intergroup and Chapter officers and board members, to register online, by following the prompts on our home page.  The March 1 deadline for Conference member registration will be strictly enforced.  We will be unable to register Conference members on-site.
  • The WSBC is open to anyone interested in service in FA. You do not need to be a voting member to attend.  Members interested in helping with the on-site logistics of either of these events should contact Ann H., Convention Committee chair, at: convention@foodaddicts.org.

Literature Committee (Anne B.)

  • Continue to revise the FA book manuscript.
  • The Pamphlet Sub-committee is still working on the “Sponsorship and Living Abstinently” pamphlets.

Magazine Committee (Jacquie P.)

  • We are experiencing a slight increase of contributions from the fellowship due to the letter sent to WSI reps.
  • A subcommittee was formed to re-draft the committee’s Policies and Procedures.
  • Two editors have left the committee, and we are actively recruiting new editors. The new editors will need to have two years of abstinence.

Office Committee (Adrienne C.)

  • We welcome Lynne Guzinski as our new WSO office manager.
  • To better serve our FA members, the FA literature is now being outsourced from the FA office. We are no longer stocking any FA literature or CDs at or in the FA office. We are now transitioning solely to online ordering of these materials.
  • Literature, CDs, Magazines and Convention Registration must be ordered online only.
  • Existing FA meeting changes can now be made online by your WSI or Intergroup contact person. Please see the link on the home page of our website. After changes are submitted, an email will be sent to your Intergroup or Chapter with your changes. A confirmation email will be also be sent to the FA member making the change.
  • Business Convention and Conference Member Registration can only be completed online. Please see the link on the home page of our website.
  • New translation button is now available online allowing the user to read the website in most languages.
  • We are continuing to make improvements to our website to make it more user friendly.

Public Information Committee (Bonnie H.)

  • weblinks@foodaddicts.org is a new email address for anyone to use if they know of a company, organization, health club, or employee assistance program in their workplace or any other entities that might have the capacity for us to link our website to – please contact us there if you know of any.
  • We have new banners available that stand six feet tall and are a replica of the tri-fold brochure. They are free-standing and very attractive for an Information Session or Health fair.  They roll up to an easy carrying size and can be ordered through the PI Committee at pi@foodaddicts.org.  Please contact us there for any other questions or concerns also.
  • Hopefully you have all heard that the 2008 Census is now completed and you can check it out on the “media” tab on the website. The World Service contact for your meeting will now be inputting your meeting information for the 2009 Census completely via our website which will streamline the process considerably for our next census.
  • We are revising the PI Kit with many updates and changes. If you notice anything that could be helpful to us, please contact us at pi@foodaddicts.org.
  • Keep a lookout for the Survey that will be initiated this year to find out information about our fellowship and also contact us at mediawatch@foodaddicts.org if you see an article or television show or hear a radio broadcast that you feel may benefit from hearing about FA.

Traditions Review Committee (Sue G.)

  • Issue: Would it be a break of tradition if a Chapter were to participate in a “Weight Loss Expo”? Recommendation:  The TRC does not see this as a break in tradition; however it pushes the boundaries of Traditions 5 and 11.   When considering Tradition 5, we need to make sure that our associations reinforce our identity of a 12 step program that is based in recovery from food addiction not weight loss.  By associating ourselves with an Expo where the primary goal is weight loss, it dilutes our program's primary purpose of reaching the individual who is suffering from food addiction.   This Expo also appears promotional and commercial, which speaks to Tradition 11.  The general feel of the Expo overpowers the message of FA.
  • Issue: Are meetings held in the sanctuary of a church a break of tradition? Recommendation: There is wide agreement that we cannot declare this as a tradition violation. However, meetings need to be sensitive to the concerns of the newcomer.  Therefore, the TRC recommends that the following paragraph be included in the Meeting Guidelines on the Website:

In selecting a meeting space, we should be sensitive to the needs of newcomers.  To use the sanctuary or worship space of a religious meeting house could be very confusing or off-putting to a newcomer. We should exercise caution in utilizing these spaces. If the leader is seated on the altar, or speaks from a pulpit or in the location identified with the religious celebrant, it could be seen as disrespectful of the faith associated with religious space or be distressing to persons not affiliated with that faith. In short, to use the worship space is inadvisable and should be avoided. 

If possible, using a meeting space unaffiliated with a religious meeting house is recommended (i.e. hospitals, libraries, community spaces). However, if it is not possible, such concerns are minimized when an FA meeting is held in a parish hall or a Sunday school classroom, or in any other space than the sanctuary or worship space of a religious meeting house.”

  • Issue: In order to distribute brochures at a Kaiser Permanente facility, it is required to have their name on it. Is this a tradition violation? Background:  The PI Chair has asked us to look at the attached brochure and give comment on whether this would be a break in tradition.   Many meetings are being held at Kaiser Facilities in Calif.  In order to put brochures out they must have the Kaiser name on them.  They do not feel that they are endorsing Kaiser--just getting our information out.  Recommendation:  Distributing brochures with the Kaiser Permanente logo is a violation of Tradition 6.  The TRC suggests working with KP to explore other options or not distributing brochures at Kaiser if this is a requirement.
  • Issue: A chapter has asked us to give our thoughts on a Women's Expo and the cost of $350. Background:  This chapter would like to be at a Women's Expo on 11/7-11/8. The cost of the Expo would be $350.  The group would be set up with only nonprofit groups.  The PI Chair has asked them to run this by the TRC before moving forward. Recommendation:  More information is needed to determine if there is any violation of a Tradition.
  • Issue: Is it okay for individuals to attend Intergroup business meetings via Conference Calls? Recommendation:  Attending Intergroup business meetings via Conference Calls is not a violation of any Traditions. 
  • Open Issues: Weight Loss Expo- People who sent in the question decided not to participate. Meetings in Sanctuary - Accessibility wording presented to the board and is still being discussed.  TRC felt that this is not a tradition issue or a violation. TRC Index of Issues - Sue took to the board with a request for approval.  Committee decided to postpone further discussion and response until Dona is present. 
  • Issue: Is it okay to burn CD’s? Background:  Member asked the TRC to discuss whether burning CD’s was an okay thing to do.  Sue forwarded the request to the PI Chair and the Chair of the WSB because the TRC was not going to be meeting until later.  Recommendation:  TRC felt that this practice does violate Tradition 4. Response to letter was as follows:

Dear Lee Ann,

Thank you for bringing forward the issue of your group's burning copies of WSI/FA qualification CDs and making them available for loan. The Traditions Committee Chair, Sue, shared it with me. The Traditions Committee will not be meeting until later this month, and this is a matter that the board has discussed, so I would like to respond to your questions. I would appreciate it if you would bring this email to the attention of your group for its consideration.

World Service has always requested that groups not copy written materials or CDs, rather expecting that groups will use the materials we directly produce and make available for public distribution. We do this for the sake of the fellowship as a whole and in support of individual recovery. It is common for meetings to ask borrowers to give a returnable deposit for the cost of any CD before they borrow it. As individuals we need to learn to be responsible for our own recovery, to act responsibly when we borrow, and to not expect handouts. This system also ensures that a meeting remains fiscally responsible for its own affairs. We carry the message, not the person.WSI/FA materials are our public face to the world.  Just as we respect ourselves and come to meetings well dressed and groomed, we need to respect our program and present it in materials that look professional. We give a poor impression if we hand out pamphlets that are badly Xeroxed or CDs that are clearly "home made." This is a program of honesty. We assume that people will respect our own organization. WSI -- that is, your meeting, my meeting, and all other meetings -- covers the cost of producing CDs. This expense is returned to the organization -- to us -- through the payments made by those who use the CDs. As a result of this system, we have the funds we need to support the Twelfth Step work that we all do. As is the case with other materials and CDs, to copy is a form of taking what is not one's own.

While it is true that every meeting is autonomous, it is also true that the actions of your meeting affect FA as a whole. Thank you for bringing this to the attention of your business meeting for further discussion. I look forward to hearing from you regarding the discussion.

Thank you again for writing. Greetings and best wishes to you and all in your meeting.  

In service,
Kesaya N.Chair, World Service Board

Twelfth Step Committee (Jamie M.)

  • Continued to serve as a resource and guide for Twelfth Step service, addressing questions and concerns for FA members by facilitating communication and meeting special needs.
  • Worked with the four sub-committee chairs to promote outreach to those FA members who are in outlying areas or isolated due to language barriers or physical constraints.

Accessibility Sub-Committee

  • Continued to meet the needs of those FA members in our fellowship who have accessibility issues.
  • Working on a document which would serve as resource for meetings and individuals to make decisions which would help them to ensure that FA is available to all.

Communications Sub-Committee

  • The Gratitude in Action (GIA) committee has formed with approximately 8 members. The committee is planning to publish the first issue this spring. The GIA e-letter will focus on the history, organization and the 10th Anniversary of FA.

Language Sub-Committee

  • The new Language Sub-Committee chair is working on updating and distributing the FA Universal Language Phone List.
  • Assisting two new Spanish-speaking meetings with the necessary translations and possible speakers.

Outreach Sub-Committee 

  • Continued to meet and discuss various ways to facilitate communication with the greater FA fellowship in areas which have few or no meetings.
  • Maintaining and distributing the FA WSI Twelfth Step Committee FA Frontier Phone List and the FA WSI Sponsor List for Members in Outlying Areas.
  • Planning to discuss criteria for inclusion on the phone lists and possible changes to the terminology and guidelines for the committee.