June 19, 2020
Dear A.A. friends,
We in A.A. – here at G.S.O., along with the rest of the world – continue to experience an unprecedented situation. Without question, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our Fellowship, including our organized service structure, is facing enormous challenges, locally and globally. For many of us, the most prominent example is that, for the first time in the 85-year history of our Fellowship, we are navigating the lack of face-to-face meetings. While we have found creative ways to allow for the vital interaction between one alcoholic and another, and welcoming newcomers daily, it is clear that the health crisis has other far-reaching consequences.
As we all adapt to the present reality of digital meetings, the question now is, “How do we responsibly practice self-support, our Seventh Tradition?” As we can no longer pass a physical basket, we are working to find ways to support the Fellowship at all levels, from our groups to Intergroups and Central Offices, from our Districts and Areas to the General Service Office itself.
The reality is that even though meetings, Twelfth Step services and operations have shifted to a virtual environment, expenses continue to accumulate during this crisis, which underscores the importance of practicing the Seventh Tradition. Through this crisis, however, we have witnessed the many ways in which the entire A.A. Fellowship has come together to provide ongoing support. Among them:
- Many home groups are still paying rent even though their meetings cannot convene. They are also providing online meetings on platforms that may have associated costs.
- Intergroup/Central Offices are still stocking needed literature and fielding Twelfth Step calls, redirecting A.A. members and those looking for recovery to online meetings.
- Area-level committees are working to keep channels open between the Fellowship and the delegates and board members that make up our General Service Conference, as well as to do public information, corrections and other service.
- G.S.O. in New York is continuing to support all levels of service. Literature still needs to be published and distributed, calls need to be answered, online platforms still need to be updated, and support operations sustained.
In an effort to keep the membership informed during this challenging time we would like to share a brief three-minute video update from Leslie Backus, the Class A (nonalcoholic) treasurer of our General Service Board.
Please feel free to pass this information along to members and groups in your Area to watch on their own time or to play before their online meetings.
We are so grateful for your time and attention, your dedicated service and – always – your generous support.
Yours sincerely, in fellowship,