Twelve Concepts of FA - Long Form
Terms and Definitions. For purposes of these Concepts, the following terms and definitions shall be used.
- World Service Conference (WS Conference). The voting body at the annual FA business conference, which serves as the collective conscience for the FA fellowship. The voting body comprises voting members elected by FA meeting groups to represent the fellowship, the Board of Trustees of FA, and the board members of any FA service entities (i.e., intergroups, chapters, and any other service entities which may be developed in the future).
- World Service Board (WSB). The Board of Trustees of FA, elected by the fellowship of FA as represented by voting members elected by FA meeting groups to represent the fellowship and board members of all FA service entities.
- World Service Office (WSO). Refers to the central office of Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous, based in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts at a location designated by the WSB.
- Annual FA business meeting (WSBC). Yearly meeting of the WS Conference, FA members, and visitors.
The Long Form of the Twelve Concepts of FA:
- The final responsibility and ultimate authority for FA world services should always reside in the collective conscience of our whole fellowship.
- When, in 1998, the FA fellowship, as a unified body, confirmed the corporate documents of the organization of Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous, Inc., they thereby delegated to the World Service Conference complete authority for the active maintenance of FA’s national and worldwide services. In doing so, they made the Conference the actual voice and the effective conscience for our whole fellowship, except with respect to any possible change in the Twelve Steps, Twelve Traditions, or Twelve Concepts of FA. (Any changes proposed to the Twelve Steps, Twelve Traditions, or Twelve Concepts, require approval by a majority of the worldwide FA groups, as specified in the World Service Bylaws.)
- To ensure excellence and effectiveness in leadership, and as a traditional means of creating and maintaining clearly defined—and therefore effective—working relationships between the Conference, the World Service Board and any service corporations, staffs, committees and executives which may be formed in the future, it is here suggested that we endow each of the elements of our organization with a traditional "Right of Decision."
- Every service responsibility should be matched by an equal service authority the scope of such authority to be always well defined whether by tradition, by resolution, by specific job description or by appropriate charters and bylaws. Accordingly, voting rights shall be established at the Conference level for all officers and committee chairs of service bodies beyond the group level, such as FA chapters, intergroups, and the World Service Board of Trustees. In addition, the principle of trust in delegation, i.e., the assumption that our trusted servants will effectively carry out the service tasks which have been delegated to them by the FA groups, as necessary to run the organization underlies the structure of decision-making throughout the service operations of FA. This is known as the “Right of Decision.” Only through reliance on this principle will we maintain a harmonious balance between the group conscience as the ultimate authority and the trusted servant as the delegated authority.
- Throughout our world service structure, we ought to maintain at all responsible levels a traditional "Right of Participation," taking care that each individual or group of our world servants shall be allowed a voting representation in reasonable proportion to the responsibility that each must discharge. These responsibilities are primarily set forth in the World Service Bylaws.
- Throughout our world service structure, a traditional "Right of Appeal" ought to prevail, thus assuring us that minority opinion will be heard and that petitions for the redress of personal grievances will be carefully considered. Such opinions or grievances may be considered through group conscience at the group, chapter, intergroup, or World Service Board level. They may also be considered by the WSB Twelve Traditions Committee, or by the WS Conference at the annual business meeting.
- Our WS Conference has the principal responsibility to act on behalf of FA as a whole in the maintenance of our worldwide services, and it traditionally has the final decision respecting large matters of general policy and finance. But the Conference also recognizes that the chief initiative and the active responsibility in most of these matters should be exercised primarily by the trustee members of the Conference when they act among themselves as the World Service Board of Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous. The fundamental principle of trust underlies this system of mutual delegation and is confirmed by our Second Tradition. Accordingly, our leaders (both the voting members of the WS Conference, and our World Service Board of Trustees) are to be considered trusted servants whose decisions are assumed to be based on good motives and each person’s understanding of the will of God, though always subject to questioning where appropriate.
- The Conference recognizes that the corporate documents (i.e., the World Service Bylaws, Policies and Procedures, and Continuing Effects Motions Manual) of the corporation of Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous, Inc. are legal instruments, through which the Trustees are fully empowered to manage and conduct all of the world service affairs of FA. The Trustees of the World Service Board are the principal planners and administrators in the larger matters of overall policy and finance. They and their committees should exercise chief initiative and active responsibility in most of these matters.
- Good service leadership based on tolerance, responsibility, flexibility, and vision at all levels is indispensable for the future functioning and safety of FA. Primary world service leadership, once exercised by the group of members who founded FA, must necessarily be assumed by the World Service Board of Trustees.
- The trustees should always have the best possible committees, corporate service directors, executives, staffs, and consultants. Composition, qualifications, induction procedures, rights and duties, just financial compensation, and the nature of working relationships will always be matters of serious concern. Decisions regarding such matters will necessarily be decided at times by the World Service Board, which maintains responsibility for day-to-day world service matters. Such decisions, however, will always be subject to the approval of the Conference, whose vote determines the content of the World Service Bylaws, which are used to determine the outcome of many of such matters.
- Among Twelve Step programs, FA is unique in that food addicts must work with their drug, food, each day in order to survive. Therefore, our program must necessarily differ from others with respect to the way of life, including both structure and disciplines, to which we must surrender to maintain the health of FA as an organization. In light of this, and notwithstanding our immeasurable debt to Alcoholics Anonymous and other Twelve Step programs, the final authority for all decisions regarding service in FA must always be our collective and individual experience of recovery through the FA program and our individual understanding of the will of God as we understand God, rather than any other programs, whose structures and approaches may differ from our own.
- General Warranties of the Conference: in all its proceedings, the World Service Conference shall observe the spirit of FA Tradition, taking great care that the conference never becomes the seat of perilous wealth or power; that sufficient operating funds, plus an ample reserve, be its prudent financial principle; that none of the Conference members shall ever be placed in a position of unqualified authority over any others; that all important decisions be reached by discussion, vote, and, whenever possible, by substantial unanimity; that no Conference action ever be personally punitive or an incitement to public controversy; that, though the Conference may act for the service of Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous, it shall never perform any acts of government; and that, like the fellowship of Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous which it serves, the Conference itself will always remain democratic in thought and action.