Hello Area 72,
This message is sent to you by the elected servants of Area 72.
As you know, our state is now in stay-at-home & stay-healthy status, with only essential business and services open. A question occurring for many of our Areas, including Area 72, is if A.A. is an “essential service” and thus exempt from the restrictions put in place by our Governor’s Office. This is still under investigation. Several of us have reached out to the State to try and find an answer to this question. Earlier today I received a boilerplate reply that led me to submit a deeper inquiry, which I did. Hopefully we will have a response from the State soon. We will let you know what we discover.
I can share with you that other Areas are finding the answer to this question, for their localities, is no. NYC has stated that both A.A. (as in our General Service Office) and A.A. meetings are not essential services. This report comes from a staff worker at GSO.
It is my understanding that there are still some in-person meetings still occurring. One of the important characteristics of Alcoholics Anonymous is that we are law-abiding. True, individual members may not always be, but as an organization and as groups we are. This is for multiple reasons and in line with our Traditions.
- Being law-abiding is a natural result of our program of honesty.
- We must be neutral in the world and on good terms with the society in which we exist in order to most clearly engage in our primary purpose.
- Behaving in a way which is contrary to the law could easily lead to controversy which would compromise our ability to fulfill our primary purpose, and it could easily negatively affect A.A. as a whole.
Thank you all for the work you are doing to try and help navigate this unprecedented and difficult time. I know many of you are hard at work to make sure that virtual meetings are available for both those of us who are here and those of us trying to get here. Your efforts are important and you are helping carry the message across this bridge we find ourselves on. The information you are compiling and the online meetings you are starting are being compiled on our website at: https://area72aa.org/online-virtual-meetings/ Please keep letting us know so we can keep that list updated.
Please know that you are not alone. I just got off the phone with other delegates and all of our Areas are undergoing the same stresses we are, and together as a unified organization we are making it through this. I have shared our list of online meetings with other Areas and they have shared with us in return. In the link above, you’ll see an additional option for online meetings around the country. We are in this together. All Area business is being conducted virtually for the time being.
These times are deeply uncertain, but uncertainty is something we learn to be at peace with in A.A.
Life on life’s terms.
Please be safe for yourselves and for each other.
We are here to help however we can.