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Quarterly Report 2009 - July-Sept

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:

Fellowship Convention (October 16 - 18, 2009 in Santa Clara, California): Many thanks to the members of Western Area Intergroup whose wonderful service made the fellowship convention possible. Slightly more than 800 people attended. This year, all sessions were based on standard meeting formats (discussion meetings, qualifying meetings, Big Book meetings, etc.). Initial feedback has been strongly positive.

New Bylaws Chair: Because of unexpected life changes, Joshua P. needed to step down. We are grateful for his service and for the willingness of Kris M., of California, to assume the position of interim bylaws chair.

Revised Meeting Format and Meeting Guidelines: A revised meeting format will be posted on the web by November 1. We encourage meetings to read and consider using it. We also hope that you will devote some part of your business meeting each month to discussing the first sections of the guidelines.

FA Census: Thanks to the sustained efforts of the Public Information Committee and its teams, the 2009 FA census has been completed. The full report will be posted on the website under “Media” by November. The census revealed that we now have more than 4,000 members in six countries.

Office Administrator: The volume and complexity of matters handled by the World Service Office has continued to increase. Through the extraordinarily generous service of the office chair, we have managed to meet needs, but the situation is neither workable nor fair in the long run. We have a part-time staff person now, but the Board is now planning to hire, in addition, an office administrator.

Literature Committee: At last year’s business convention, the World Service Conference delegated the finalization of the sponsorship pamphlet to the board. The final draft of the pamphlet will be submitted to the WSB for its discussion and approval next month. Board members spent the summer reading the draft of the book and discussing next steps.

Chapter and Intergroup Forum: The forum has been helpful and very popular, but it requires a full year of preparation and an exhausting level of work. We have held three forums in two years, especially taxing the planners. The most popular forum sessions centered on meeting health and the FA program of recovery – not on the kinds of chapter and intergroup issues that were originally intended as the forum’s focus. After lengthy discussion, the board decided that we should use the coming months to reconsider the scope, purpose, and coordination of the forum.

With gratitude for your service, Kesaya N., Chair

For the World Service Board

WSI COMMITTEE REPORTS – 3rd quarter 2009

Bylaws Committee (Joshua P., chair)

  • Finalizing edits to bylaws and policy manual in accord with changes voted on by the 2009 World Service Business Conference; will post edited versions on the website.
  • Assisting WSI committee chairs with development of their committee operating procedures and assisting WSB executive committee with development of board operating procedures.
  • Making plans to review the WSI policy manual in order to identify obsolete policies and propose new policies of ongoing importance to the fellowship.

Chapter and Intergroup Support Committee (Misch E., chair)

  • Conducted chapter and intergroup chairs’ meeting to discuss writing committee policies and procedures.
  • Prepared for the forum at the fellowship convention.
  • Began work on updating the Chapter Manual.
  • Submitted reports from the intergroups and chapters and an article on “best practices” to the Gratitude In Action newsletter.

the connection Committee (Jacquie P., chair)

  • Changed magazine size to make it more rectangular, rather than square.
  • Began process of establishing graphic guidelines.
  • Firmed up process for fellowship convention presentation.

Convention Planning Committee (Ann H., chair)

  • Over 800 recovering food addicts from four countries, 32 states, and five Canadian provinces attended our second fellowship convention, held at the Santa Clara Marriott, in Santa Clara, California, from October 16 - 18. On Friday a successful Chapter and Intergroup Forum started off the weekend, with Saturday’s schedule devoted to modeling strong FA meetings. Six members recorded their stories for the CD library, including two in Spanish. The Saturday night dance was a spectacular demonstration of the joy of recovery.
  • Planning is now underway for the 2010 business convention. We will return to the Sheraton Ferncroft in Danvers, Massachusetts from Friday, June 4 through Sunday, June 6. More details will be available in the coming weeks.

Literature Committee (Jane M., Chair)

  • Established a timeline for FA Book publishing and began developing a publishing and distribution plan.
  • Completed review of comments on the new sponsorship pamphlet and integrated them in the pamphlet.
  • Obtained speakers for CD recordings at the fellowship convention, with an emphasis on creating more Spanish-speaking CD’s. Changed the process for the speaker recording time from 40 minutes to 35 minutes to better reflect the available time for a qualification in an FA meeting.
  • Accepted transfer of language translation function from the Twelfth Step Committee.
  • Goals for Next Quarter
    • Identify final stories for the book; develop a financial plan for publication/distribution.
    • Finalize the revised sponsorship pamphlet, review and revise “There is a Solution” and “Living Abstinently” (formerly “Living Abstinently – A Guide for Sponsors”), and review requests for new

Office Committee (Adrienne C., Chair)

  • Updated WSI Worldwide Meeting Directory.
  • Developed procedures to improve the FA Web On-line Services.
  • Worked on the policy and procedures manual.
  • Continued to develop procedures to facilitate the work of the FA office.
  • Assisted the WSI Chapter and Intergroup Support. Committee and the office committee chairs of the intergroups and chapters with improving procedures for updating FA meeting information online.

Public Information Committee (Bonnie H., Chair)

  • The 2009 Census is completed and approved by the World Service Board – it will be posted soon on the Media page of our website along with the 2008 Census.
  • The 2009 Survey is completed and will soon be distributed to the fellowship. We hope that everyone will respond to it.
  • The text of the Tri-Fold Banners is being reviewed by the World Service Board. Upon its approval the banners will be available for sale at the FA office.
  • A Tri-Fold Display has recently been updated and can be sent to any area that would like to use it at a health fair or convention.
  • The Fact File is being revised and will be placed on the Media Page of our website.
  • Committee operating procedures are in final revisions.
  • The PI Kit revisions will include the revision of the form letters to health care professionals and to clergy.
  • The Media Page of the website will be updated in the near future.

Traditions Review Committee (Sue G., chair)

Issue: A question has arisen about anonymity and the FA Frontier Phone List. The FA Frontier Phone List is a list of FA members who have no FA meetings nearby.

Information included on the List is first name and last initial; city, state and country; two phone numbers, often home and cell; and email address. Members have the option of not listing their email address.

The Frontier Phone List is distributed to everyone on the list and to all FA meetings through Intergroup Contacts. It is typically distributed on literature tables. It is also sent out to anyone who requests it and who identifies him or herself as an FA member. The Frontier Phone List carries the FA logo, which states the name “Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous,” thus connecting everyone on the List with FA. Should we have a separate logo for such purposes that would simply show as “FA,” which would presumably better protect the List members’ anonymity?

Recommendation: The TRC felt that this was within the bounds of the 11th and 12th Traditions. As long as members are freely placing their names on the list and understand the purpose of the list, there are no concerns. Names, faces, and personalities are not associated with the information provided, so anonymity does not seem to be an issue.

Similarly, the TRC feels that having a logo saying “Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous” is not an anonymity issue as described in Traditions 11 and 12 and does not cause concern. The TRC concluded that this was a privacy issue rather than an anonymity issue and is therefore not addressed by the traditions. The decision to use a different type of logo is up to the 12th Step Committee.

Issue: Is it a Traditions issue for a member to solicit FA members to participate in a research project for her psychology degree?

Recommendation: FA cannot lend its name to any outside enterprise, and this research project is clearly an outside enterprise. The traditions are therefore involved when FA members are being solicited to participate in an outside enterprise through FA channels, i.e., at a meeting or through phone or email lists. All such requests should be directed to the WSI for approval.

Issue: Is there any tradition concerning an open door policy for FA meetings in view of potential safety issues?

Recommendation: The committee does not consider this a Traditions issue. All meetings should consider personal safety when choosing meeting locations.

Twelfth Step Committee (Jim S., Chair)

  • Continued evolution of the Committee’s mission to encourage service among FA members.
    • Formed a new subcommittee, Service: How it
    • Scheduled the first of a possible series of phone conferences for Sunday, January 17, Three FA members with long-term abstinence will share on meeting health.
  • Prepared to transfer responsibility to the literature committee for translation of FA documents from English into other languages.
    • Developed procedure for translations using both a professional translation service and FA
    • Translated FA meeting format into Spanish and German (approval pending).
    • Translated FA CD qualification format into Spanish (approval pending).
  • Held the first monthly Service Council meeting, which may soon invite all 12th Step members to participate.
  • Responded to requests from FA members relating to accessibility issues for members with disabilities.
  • Published monthly the Frontier Phone List, with a new focus on members with no meetings (instead of fewer than three), and the Frontier Sponsor List.
  • Prepared a survey for contributors and readers of Gratitude in Action e-newsletter, and worked on a fall issue.