About the WSI Contact Service Position, from Gratitude in Action, FA's Newsletter about Service
Two years of continuous abstinence and completion of one AWOL strongly suggested are suggested for this service position, which has the following responsibilities:
- Acts as the liaison between the meeting and World Service Incorporated (WSI).
- Makes sure that his/her own name and contact information are accurately recorded with WSI on the FA website (www.foodaddicts.org) by creating or updating his/her own online profile. (If the member does not already have an online profile, then he/she can create one on the FA Website by going to “Login,” and “Create Profile.” If the member already has an online profile, then he/she logs in and verifies the profile information.)
- Provides his/her contact information (first name, last name, phone number and email address, ensuring all are exactly the same as listed in his/her FA online profile) to the Meeting Contact and confirms that his/her online profile information is up to date.
- Receives and reviews all correspondence sent by WSI via email and takes
- Receives and prints the Frontier Sponsor List, the Frontier Phone List, the Universal Language List, and the Gratitude in Action newsletter sent by WSI via email and ensures an adequate number of copies are always available on the literature table.
- Reads the WSI correspondence aloud at the business meeting, makes copies available to members as needed or requested, and gives one copy to the secretary, who files it permanently in the business meeting binder. The meeting can use its Seventh Tradition to reimburse the WSI Contact for any expenses incurred.
- Announces the World Service Business Convention and the World Service Fellowship Convention and all related details (i.e., dates, deadlines).
- In the absence of the Meeting Contact, the WSI Contact can submit meeting information changes using the online Meeting Change Form.
Personal Reflections...WSI Contact Position
When I came into this program in 1996, my lifeline was a connection with my fellowship in Boston, those pioneers who paved the way through their experience, strength and hope. Their wisdom was gleaned over years of working the program ahead of me and it gave me inspiration, clarity, and rooted me in this program.
Service at any level and service where I can give back helps my recovery, but I find particular value in the World Service Inc (WSI) Contact position. Being a WSI contact keeps me connected to World Service and connected to my roots. It’s called "World Service" for a reason. Dedicated, committed service is being done on our behalf around the world. While I love my local fellowship, it’s important for me to remember that I am a part of an organization, a fellowship, a movement, greater than our work at the local level. This continues to give me strength, just as it did twenty-two years ago.
F.A. is more than my own personal recovery, a set of principles, a template for living, and the support I receive from my weekly meetings. It is a society of food addicts in action. It is vital to my recovery to contribute to that society and maintain my connection to the broader fellowship. Reading the WSI update each month helps me build and sustain this bridge between my group and the larger organization. My work as a WSI contact also inspires me to go to the business convention each year, which brings me face-to-face with hundreds of my fellows around the globe.
I am writing this on Canada’s Thanksgiving Day. I am reminded that Thanksgiving is both about thanks and as well as about giving. The program teaches me to practice “thanksgiving" every day.
When I joined FA, one of the big differences I noticed between this program and the other program I had been a member of for so many years was the emphasis on service. For so many years in the other program, I avoided service at all costs. But in FA, my sponsor didn’t give me much of a choice. I was told that if I got “in the middle of the bed,” so to speak, I would be unlikely to fall off the edge. Service was a big part of how that would happen for me. It would make me feel committed to my meetings, accountable to my fellows, and invested in the success of my fellowship. Long-term abstinence would be a natural result.
Through service, I became less self-centered, and that began to change years of self-pity, self-absorption and my habit of criticizing those who were actually doing all the work, while I was sitting on the “sidelines.”
I don’t remember the first time I served as WSI contact. But I know that it was a natural progression in the kind of values FA had gradually instilled in me. My interest in understanding how the groups in my local fellowship functioned expanded into an interest in understanding how FA as a whole worked.
I came into FA in a relatively young fellowship, far away from the centers of FA. More recently, I have lived on the frontier, where (after four years) we now have two tiny meetings. By receiving periodic WSI emails, and informing myself and my meetings about what is happening in our worldwide fellowship, I have become even more invested in FA, and in turn, in my own personal recovery. Serving as WSI contact reinforces for me that I am part of a wider fellowship, and teaches me many of the reasons and principles behind the practices that make FA FA. By serving as WSI contact, I feel truly connected to FA. It makes it easy to feel like I am “in the middle of the bed,” even if I am geographically far from the center of FA.
My first experience with FA was in a small fellowship in rural Vermont…and I do mean small; we were 5 people. As soon as I reached 90 days of abstinence, I was immediately given service positions. It was not a choice; with only 5 members, the need was great. I was willing, reluctant but willing, to take on certain ones, but the sound of the WSI contact terrified me. I didn’t know what it was, mind you. I just knew it sounded big and complicated and probably involved doing things that I didn’t understand and probably wouldn’t want to do.
Fast forward to today, 14 years later. I am currently the WSI contact for 2 of my committed meetings – and that is by choice. I like the position for several reasons, not the least of which is that service of any kind helps me stay abstinent and carry the message of recovery. As WSI contact I am constantly reminded that I am part of an international fellowship, something that goes way beyond my local meetings. As a result, I have served on various WSI committees, participated in several WSI events and attended the annual business convention each spring. When reading WSI announcements at meetings, I have the opportunity to share a bit about my experience of these activities, hopefully encouraging others to get involved.
Doing service in FA has taught me to try things that I don’t particularly want to do – just because. That continues to be a lesson that is, quite literally, saving my life.
Gratitude in Action (GIA) is a newsletter filled with tips, tools, and encouragement for FA members doing service to reach the still suffering food addict. To read about a specific service position, click the link below.