So You’re Thinking Of Becoming An Intergroup Representative For Your Home Group…
Serving as an Intergroup Representative (IGR) offers you a rewarding opportunity to share in Alcoholics Anonymous’ Third Legacy – Service
Intergroup Rep (IGR) ~ Handling A.A. services at the local level
-from Circles of Love and Service-
Central/Intergroup offices provide vital local services and Twelfth Step opportunities. All areas function independently and handle local A.A. services in the manner best suited to local needs. While General Service Representatives, District Committee Members, Area Committees, Area Assemblies, and the General Service Conference are concerned with matters affecting A.A. as a whole, Central/Intergroup offices and answering services fill a different need. They handle local services only—such as coordinating local Twelfth Step calls, providing meeting lists, and, in some places, furnishing public information speakers for non–A.A. groups and for A.A. meetings in institutions.
Central offices and General Service Area Committees are complementary, rather than competitive, A.A. operations. They exist to help ensure A.A. unity and to fulfill A.A.’s primary purpose of carrying the A.A. message to the alcoholic who still suffers.
In 1990 the General Service Conference stressed the importance of communication and recommended that delegates establish and maintain contact with offices in their areas to share Conference information and assure that Central/Intergroup offices have a voice in the Fellowship through their existing service structure.
“What is the Role of an Intergroup Representative?” you ask? Great question!
Here’s how it works. The IGR is elected by his or her group. They then attend the monthly Intergroup Business Meeting. To this meeting you bring any suggestions, comments or opinions your group may have. The IGR or alternate casts their group’s vote on all matters requiring a group conscience and represents their home group in all matters concerning Eastside Intergroup (ESIG). You are the point of contact for ESIG should it wish to communicate in any way with you home group and are the conduit for any information, concerns, ideas, and and anything that your home group may want to send to ESIG.
As the IGR you are also the link in the chain connecting the AA group to those who are elected to maintain the operation of ESIG. This allows the Intergroup to better serve its members — which is the reason for its existence as provided for in the 9th Tradition which says “AA as such ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve”.
Each month IGRs and alternates participate in the Intergroup business meeting and this meeting is also attended by the officers and committee chairpersons. Each group represented has one vote (1 group, 1 vote, if there are multiple persons from the same group).
Each individual group determines the qualifications and period of service for its IGR. Experience shows that the elected group representatives can function best when they are elected and are able to attend the next meeting in the company of the outgoing rep and become better oriented and more knowledgeable regarding the Intergroup business meeting and the duties of a group representative.
There are a number of things you can do to become a better trusted servant of your group and AA as a whole
- Point of Contact ~
You and your backup will serve as the conduit between your home group and ESIG to communicate any news, concerns or information and ideas your home group may want to send to ESIG
- Visit the ESIG Office ~
Drop in, introduce yourself, and meet the office manager and volunteer
- Attend Intergroup Meetings Regularly ~
Intergroup holds monthly meetings open to any members. This is a great opportunity to hear current discussions and voice your opinion, even if you don’t have a vote. You can also weigh in on giving ideas for AA activities, listening to committee reports. Inviting other members of your group is encouraged as a way of learning how else to carry AA’s sole purpose – To carry the message to other alcoholics
- Know the AA Literature ~
Knowing the AA literature and each of its contents is essential in being able to know which literature to recommend to better serve your group. This is very important!
- Sign Up Volunteers as a way to “Carry the Message” ~
As the IGR your responsibility brings you information with overall activities such as 24 hour hotline, 12th step calls, volunteers in the office and any of the Intergroup’s committees. You are the conduit who communicates these opportunities and more to your home group members
- Help Keep AA Effective & Self-Supporting ~
One of the most important ways an IGR can serve is to encourage the group to regularly contribute to the operations of the Intergroup Office. This is imperative because the Board of Directors cannot keep the office running smoothly when the money is coming in sporadically. Inconsistent contribution totals works against the efficiency in carrying the message. Keep members aware, on every level, that AA is fully self-supporting through our own contributions. *There is an example of group contributions to AA Service Entities on our website.
- Keep Your Group Information Up-To-Date ~
Verify with the office that your group’s meeting time, location and day are all up to date. Chek in with the office at least annually to make sure the office’s information mirrors your meeting information. Notify the office if change in names, addresses, and phone numbers of your group’s officers
- Inform your Group Members ~
Take a few moments at every meeting to make any new Eastside Intergroup announcements and throughout AA as a whole. Make a quick commentary with interesting information “Here is some important information to share thru Intergroup…”
- Finances ~
Become familiar with the Intergroup finances. Keep members informed of the monthly balance sheet. Explain how the money is used to support various activities of the office and the Committees
- Our Newsletter ~
Encourage your group members to become avid readers of our newsletter, “Pass It On”. Provide the office with news and items of interest about your group for possible publication, such as a member’s experience with the AA program
- ESIG Events ~
Announce and encourage members to participate in ESIG Events and Committees. We hold two Special Events each year – Our Pancake Breakfast in the Spring and our Picnic in the Summer. There is a Hotline workshop and a semi-annual Twelfth Step workshop every quarter. The ESIG Committees meeting monthly prior to the IGR meeting. Consider attending these functions with group members to better understand how they function and provide Twelfth Step opportunities. Announce upcoming activities at every meeting!