COVID-19 Email #2: Update from the World Service Board about COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
March 16, 2020
Dear FA Members,
The last week has continued to present challenges to all of us as the impact of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, is felt around the world. Many meetings have closed, and the World Service Board has received questions about appropriate alternatives when meeting places are no longer available or members choose not to meet.
FA meetings are by definition, “in-person,” as approved by the FA World Service Conference and stipulated in our by-laws. Phone or online gatherings are not FA meetings. Thankfully, FA has developed a robust suite of tools to assist us in our recovery as outlined in the Living Abstinently pamphlet. Meetings are just one of those ten tools.
With that in mind, there are many ways to safeguard our recovery when we are unable to attend in-person meetings. Given our natural tendency to isolate, we suggest the following as ways to stay connected without in-person meetings:
- Listen to MP3 qualifications or podcasts (instructions are here)
- Call a fellow and read a connection article or a piece of Conference-approved literature
- Set up an informal group support audio or video conference call, and without using the FA meeting format, read from a piece of Conference-approved literature and take turns sharing
- Write an article for connection magazine or host a virtual writing session (for information click here)
- Make extra phone calls and expand your reach to fellows you don’t know yet
- Set aside your committed meeting times to engage in any of these suggestions
Please consider this a special opportunity to appreciate the experience of our fellows on the frontier who do not have regular face-to-face contact with other FA members. Use the frontier phone list to reach out to fellows around the world.
The absence of in-person meetings will affect newcomers as well as current FA members. The FA website will direct anyone searching for a meeting to call the web and directory contact for up-to-date information. It will be helpful if the web and directory contact has a list of available sponsors ready.
As always, we encourage our members to keep their recovery front and center. Don’t eat no matter what, no matter what, don't eat! With the Twelve Steps as our guide, we are fortunate to have principles that reinforce our need to support each other in challenging times. Let us lean on each other (spiritually!) as much as we can during the weeks ahead with faith, not fear.
Please know that the board is meeting regularly to monitor the situation and will provide on-going updates.
Thanks to everyone for reaching out with your questions and concerns.
The World Service Board