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IMPORTANT INFORMATION ON GROUP FORMATION AND MEETING LISTS
May 31, 2011
NA Foundation Group
St. Phillips Church
1200 Favor Road, at corner of Windy Hill Road,
west of South Cobb Drive in Smyrna, Georgia near Austell Road.
Welcome to the regular Thursday meeting of the "NA Foundation Group".
Please help us open this meeting with a moment of silence for the addicts still suffering, followed by the "Serenity Prayer."
I have asked someone to read "How it works?"
I have asked someone to read "The Twelve Traditions of Narcotics Anonymous."
Does anyone have something that you need to share at this time?
Our Fifth Tradition directs each NA group to carry the message to the addict who still suffers and the Fourth Tradition gives each group the ability to do this in any manner that they choose as long as they have no adverse effect on other groups or NA as a whole. In keeping with our Traditions, we have chosen to fulfill our primary purpose by developing new recovery literature. We read from the NA Way of Life book, Traditions War: a pathway to peace and other new, unapproved material as a way of improving it by catching flaws, incomplete thoughts or misstatements of NA experience. We open this process to all who see the need and would help. Review forms are available on request at cost of production.
At this time, I turn the meeting over to _________________ to direct us in our primary purpose.
Meeting - stop promptly at 9:00
Pass the 7th Tradition basket. Proceeds over prudent reserve go to fund our service structure.
Recognize clean time with the Chip System.
Announce NA group needs, events and activities.
State the Twelfth Tradition.
Close with the WE version of the "The Serenity Prayer."
Tallahassee WOLF Group
TIME AND PLACE:
Sunday from 1:00 to 2:30 at
211 - A Delta Court - Faith Counseling Center
at corner of John Knox and N. Meridian Roads
Welcome to the regular Sunday Meeting of the NA Way of Life Foundation Group of Tallahassee, Florida. The NA WOLF Group. This is a world-wide home group since there are other NA Foundation Groups in the US and other countries. Please cut off cell phones or set to vibrate.
Please help me open this meeting with a moment of silence to reflect on why we are here followed by the Serenity Prayer.
Please take care of this facility and care for it as if it was your home. Part of living a spiritual way of life is to experience the pride in attempting to leave any place better than we found it.
Let us all please respect our readings by not adding commentary - these are the principles that have made our recovery possible.
I have asked _______________ to read "Who is an Addict?"
I have asked _______________ to read "What is the NA Program?"
I have asked _______________ to read "Why are we Here?"
I have asked _______________ to read "How it Works"
I have asked _______________ to read "The Twelve Traditions of NA"
Our Fifth Tradition directs each NA Group to carry the message to the addict who still suffers, and the Fourth Tradition gives each group the ability to do this in any manner that they choose as long as they have no adverse effect on other groups or NA as a while. In keeping with our Fifth Tradition, we have chosen to fulfill our primary purpose by helping to develop new recovery literature.Our special format allows us to go over to a regular recovery meeting should someone needing an open discussion come into a lit review. We read from the NA Way of Life book and other new works in progress both as a way of recovering and to develop and improve these literature works in progress. We open this process to all who see the need and want to help. We read shared recovery experience and discuss it.
We would like to recognize any member with thirty days or less clean. This is not to embarrass you but so that we can get to know you. (pause) Are there any members from outside the Big Bend Area visiting us today? (pause)
Our meeting format is to one by one read from the literature, share about what you have read or whatever is on your heart, see if someone else would like to share and so on. (Start the reading)
At this time, we woudl like to recognize and celebrate Clean Time. (Do Key Tags) Pass 7th Tradition. Are there any NA related announcements?
Please help me close this meeting with the Third Step Prayer or prayer of your choice in silence.
January 14, 2007
2861 Fifth Avenue
1. Welcome to the regular Wednesday/Sunday meeting of the NA Foundation Group Knoxville.
Foundation Group announcements: we are in no way affiliated with Parkridge Community Center, we only rent this facility for a fee. The Office is off limits and we only have one bathroom, so please knock. Please take care of this facility and care for it as if it was your home as we do.
2. Please help me open the meeting with a moment of silence to reflect on why we are here followed by the Serenity Prayer or prayer of your choice in silence.
3. Please respect our readings by not adding commentary - these are the principles that have made our recovery possible.
I have asked ____________ to read "Who is an Addict?"
I have asked ____________ to read "What is the NA Program?"
I have asked ____________ to read "Why are We Here?"
I have asked ____________ to read "How it Works"
I have asked ____________ to read "The Twelve Traditions of NA" (front page only)
Our Fifth Tradition directs each NA Group to carry the message to the addict who still suffers, and the Fourth Tradition give each group the ability to do this in any manner that they choose as long as they have no adverse effect on other groups or NA as a whole. In keeping with our Traditions, we have chosen to fulfill our primary purpose by helping to develop new recovery literature. We read from the NA Way of Life book, Traditions War: a pathway to peace and other new works in progress as a way of improving them. We open this process to all who see the need and would help.
5. For Step Study read from the NA Way of Life book for the Step according to the month of the year.
6. Discussion of the Step.
5a. For discussion, read a page from the NA way of life book at random or selected by the chair from a topic from the page.
6a. For discussion of the topic/page selected
(About halfway though pass the basket and state that the proceeds go to pay rent, prudent reserve and fund the service structure.)
7. Recognize Clean Time via the chip (key tag) system.
8. If you have any announcements, please place them in flyer form on the lit table.
9. Please help me close this meeting with the Third Step Prayer or prayer of you choice in silence.
Tallahassee Way of Life Foundation Group - Tallahassee WOLF Group
211-A Delta Court - Tallahassee, FL 32303
(behind Faith Presbyterian corner of John Knox and N. Meridian Road)
- Meeting Lists -
draft report in progress
Recovery writing by addicts, for addicts
Lit Review - reading new material in group setting is essential to insure spirit and letter of NA recovery. We believe this cannot be delegated to any small group of members or outside writers. All NA members are welcome to come and participate. While most groups share verbally, we share written experience, strength and hope from NA members in the hope of contributing to our common welfare. NA languished for thirty years before members learned to write their own recovery material. We have a special format that allows us to go over to a regular recovery meeting should an NA member needing an open discussion meeting come into a lit review.
Because writing literature is so important, we have prepared the following report to present clarifying information drawn from our service materials to assure Tallahassee members what we are doing is in line with both our service guides and the spirit of recovery. Except for the focus on reviewing new recovery writing, our group reads from approved lit in opening the meeting and follows a format familiar to all NA members.
Tallahassee WOLF Group Members
The information below was copied directly from na.org materials.
Though production of meeting lists does not usually require the creation of a separate subcommittee, most area committees do have one or two people who are responsible for printing meeting schedules on a regular basis. In some areas, this job is handled by one of the committee’s administrative officers; in others, by one of the regular subcommittees. Meeting lists show days, times, locations, and other pertinent information for local NA meetings. Meeting schedules often show:
- whether the meeting is "open" or "closed."
- meeting format (Basic Text study, discussion, etc.).
- location use restrictions (no smoking, etc.).
- additional needs services (wheelchair accessibility, availability of sign-language interpreter, etc.), and
- if the meeting is conducted by a specialized group (for instance, a men’s, women’s, gay or lesbian group).
At one time or another, most area committees have asked themselves whether a particular meeting should be included on the list. The six points (see article below) describing an NA group appearing at the beginning of the "NA Group" chapter in this guide have given most area committees the criteria they’ve needed in making such decisions.
Meeting lists are often used in conjunction with an area’s public relations program. For this reason, we encourage individuals and subcommittees responsible for preparing their area directories to do an especially thorough job. Some of the points to be given extra attention are the accuracy of all listings, the attractiveness and usability of the directory’s format, and profanity in the names of meetings being listed.
Area committees are encouraged to send a copy of their meeting schedule to the World Service Office each time the list is updated. In addition, areas can update their meeting information online at www.na.org. For more information, contact the Fellowship services at WSO.
What is an NA Group?
When two or more addicts come together to help each other stay clean, they may form a Narcotics Anonymous group. Here are six pointsą based on our traditions which describe as NA group:
- All members of a group are drug addicts, and all drug addicts are eligible for membership.
- As a group, they are self-supporting.
- As a group, their single goal is to help drug addicts recovery through application of the Twelve Steps of Narcotics Anonymous.
- As a group, they have no affiliation outside Narcotics Anonymous.
- As a group, they express no opinion on outside issues.
- As a group, their public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion.
ą The six points describing a group have been adapted from "The AA Group," published by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. Reprinted by permission.
Further definition from our service guides:
"The Temporary Working Guide told us that "an NA group is any meeting which meets regularly at a specified place and time, providing that it follows the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions," and that the "primary purpose of an NA group is to carry the message of recovery to the addict who still suffers by providing a setting for identification and a healthy atmosphere for recovery." (Temporary Working Guide, 1988 Edition, pages 1 & 2.)"
"The Basic Text provided more clarity in its discussion of Tradition Four, stating that "There are two basic types of meetings; those open to the general public and those closed to the public (for addicts only). Meeting formats vary widely from group to group; some are participation meetings, some speakers, some are question and answer, and some focus on special problems discussion." (Basic Text, Fifth Edition, page 63.)"
"The NA groups are local, informal groups of recovering addicts. They are the foundation of NA service structure. Groups are formed for the primary purpose of carrying the NA message of recovery and all their activities should reflect that purpose. Conducting Narcotics Anonymous meetings is the primary activity of an NA group. The group may conduct its own affairs in whatever way seems fit to its members provided the group's actions are consistent with NA's Twelve Traditions and do not adversely affect other groups or the entire NA fellowship. In the conduct of affairs of NA as a whole the groups delegate to the rest of the service structure the responsibility for the fulfillment of NA services. Group Service Representatives (GSR's) are elected to participate on behalf of the groups in the area committee and the regional assembly."
"In Narcotics Anonymous, the World Service Conference does not have the authority to dictate policy to groups, and regional and area service committees do not have policy-making authority over the decisions of their groups. The only authority present in the groups is a loving God expressed in a group's conscience."
Another tool that can help an area committee find its way out of "the policy maze" is, simply, a moment’s reflection on NA’s primary purpose. Unsophisticated as this may seem, it can be quite effective in solving some pretty complex problems. Area committees exist primarily to help make NA groups more effective in carrying the recovery message to the still-suffering addict. Area committee services either:
- attract addicts to meetings.
- provide materials for use in meetings.
- conduct activities designed to strengthen meetings, or
- perform the administrative functions necessary to do these things.
When caught in a conflict for which there seems to be no resolution, an area committee can stop, call for a moment of silence, and ask itself, "What does this discussion have to do with carrying the message?"
Some NA groups will not be interested in taking part in area services, no matter how effective and inviting they might be. These groups may feel that their experienced members have more than enough to do with just supporting their recovery meetings. It’s true that NA groups are responsible to support NA services, but they are responsible first to conduct NA meetings. Our tradition of group autonomy gives them the right to decide for themselves whether or not they are able or willing to extend their support to the area committee. No matter what they decide, the area committee has a responsibility to serve all the groups in its service territory, regardless of whether or not a particular group has chosen to participate in the work of the committee.
HOW IT WENT AT THE ASC
It is now several months after this article was written. It may seem to some a put-down on the ASC. It is not too much to hope for that others will see it as a simple report. I have since thought it will eventually get better. The bitter opposition to writing new recovery material is carried out obviously by people who don’t know how NA literature has been written in the beginning. Not knowing, they feel they are preserving something sacred rather than profaning themselves. Certainly, our main goal is the dissemination of useful knowledge so that members of NA can make informed decisions on their own. Being awake in spirit includes being awake in the head. Contempt prior to investigation is not dead! - Bo S.
Coming up on our first ASC, members of the Tallahassee WOLF Group became aware that someone was going from group to group telling members that we were not an NA meeting because we read outside, unapproved literature at this meeting. It has been several weeks now since that ASC and I feel moved to report the events of that day.
We had the feeling that we were going to be attacked as a group at the ASC. To allay misunderstandings and give members the information we believed would help them make an informed decision about whether our group deserved to be on the meeting schedule, we prepared the report that follows this story. As I walked into the meeting, I passed out copies to all ASC officers and group representatives. Taking my seat, we listened as the area meeting progressed. When the motion to recognize the WOLF Group was read, the Vice-Chair ruled it out of order because it was not an NA meeting because it read outside, unapproved literature. Our report was not read into the minutes and that was that. At one point, we were subjected to a interrogation including the question, "What is this NA foundation organization?" I replied I knew of no such organization. It was evident that they were largely unaware of the great and overpowering love that brought NA out of the darkness of the days when we had no literature. They were trying to reduce our efforts to some nefarious plot that would explain our intensity and coherence to their satisfaction. In the end there is no explanation except for the great love.
The reason for this report is that later on, I realized that the opposition to our group came not from the representatives but from the area officers. The chair stated that he did not believe literature could be written in open, participatory sessions. There was a chilling coldness, like a lynch mob feeling. I feel distanced and horrified by the grim self-assurance. It felt like some authority was telling them what to do and assuring them that it was for the good of NA. A group applying for recognition by an area service committee. I do not like what happened, particularly that our report was dismissed out of hand while other members were given credence apparently on hearsay and opinion. It was savage and unspiritual. It felt like they were intent on killing the baby we were giving birth.
This opposition has happened elsewhere. The days when ‘literature review’ groups were a common type of NA meeting have long since passed and most members have never attended a lit review meeting. We who hope to make it better will get nowhere if we do not face up to the increasing severity and venom that is allowed to dominate such situations in the name of service.
Of course, we don’t need area recognition to exist as a NA group and being on the schedule as a recovery group or as a lit review or even workshop doesn’t really change anything for us. All the issues have pretty much been brought out into the open. Our positive expectation was that the ASC would look over the report and give the representatives a month to take it back to their groups if they weren’t prepared to vote on it that day. To have our hard work and dedication dismissed as if we were a bunch of unruly addicts disrupting the meeting doesn’t embarrass us. There are some pretty dedicated, sharp members in this area and some of them will read our report. Whatever they decide will be fine by us.
But the members that took charge that day and orchestrated the unified rejection of our friendly overtures will bear scars. We have done our homework. Our love and spirit is evident in the material we write and make freely available. The Area met on a Sunday and two days later the daily meditation in our Just For Today book included the line, "Service brings out the best and the worst in us." How fitting. But as I read in some ‘unapproved’ spiritual literature, love is the greatest revenge.
It makes the situation that NA is going through worldwide into sharp focus. Is it the group conscience of NA that we become an extension of a corporate management system that settles things in a board room for the sake of efficiency and leaves the spirit, minds and hearts of members out of the process? Is this what the 2nd Tradition means to you? We have to bring these things out into the open for any improvement to be possible. Above all, our members are being misled into the belief that service is about power. We believe that the power rests with a Loving God and the hearts of NA members who are working their programs. What do you believe? The negativity doesn’t last because those who get into it don’t stay clean. Their health and well being concerns us. We want them to get in on the good stuff too. Therefore we avoid the kinds of situations that would break into their illusions in a hurtful manner. There are enough good members reading our efforts to feel assured that in the long run, God’s Will will be done.
In the short run, it is evident that many members have been less than pleased by the Sponsorship book. There is a lack of depth in the understanding of the members who spoke during the ASC interrogation. Some thought that new material was being reviewed by the Fellowship. I have not spoken to anyone who saw more than the first three chapters of that book in review. Those who got to see the material were in a few areas who contacted WSO and requested material. Someone more informed than I needs to report on how that all happened. Many members don’t know that the process of distributing material to the entire Fellowship in a complete form has been severely changed. They don’t have enough pieces of the puzzle to see the whole picture. My point is that only a few members were involved with the writing and that the review fell way short of dealing with shortfalls and oversights that would have been corrected had the material been subjected to a more open review. Approving a book as a whole on the basis of a few chapters is just unreal. How could it be ‘approved’ if the Fellowship did not see it in its entirety?
Speaking with one of the founders of a NA Foundation Group in Knoxville, Tennessee, I was told that the intense negativity was so bad there that even though they got on the meeting schedule, it damn near got them loaded. We don’t want to subject our members to this kind of treatment and so will recommend that henceforth new groups associated with this writing not worry about registering with their area committees. If they are friendly and supportive, then register with them. Otherwise, just register with WSO and send in donations. Do not let it worry you. It is a mean disease and complete creative freedom is one of the things addiction just doesn’t like.
Perhaps our main focus should be on not allowing ourselves to be drawn into negative contests of will with members who may not yet know what is going on. Especially, we don’t want to create injury and wounds through our actions or positions. Be real nice to people. Pray a lot. Go your way in peace. Dealing with a spirit-draining bureau of corporate managers who are changing our Fellowship and Program into something they can relate to and control requires great discipline. It takes time for members to arrive at a stage in their development where they can deal with these issues. Freedom is not coercion and it takes some time for people to read, study and discuss important matters. We are having to generate some of the study materials from our own personal resources with a large dose of divine guidance and good fortune seeing us through. It is easy enough to keep doing the next thing set before us.
When the NA Way of Life is read in our group, it is wonderful to watch the reaction of members who find the writing inspiring and positive. Actually making corrections, clarifying statements and bringing the whole thing into better focus kind of proves what we are trying to do. We plan to make copies of the Tallahassee edits on the Introduction to the 12 Steps and Step 1 available as booklets to let members see what they are accomplishing. Many of you may not entirely get the fact that while the first twenty-seven chapters still need work, we are moving on to address the Steps, Traditions and Principles. You may want to follow this progress. Much is being revealed. Most of the material was written ten or twelve years back and reads like it was written yesterday.
Creation of NA recovery literature is a deeply spiritual act and we are not surprised or dismayed that some members who lack key information get upset. Along with major policy changes at the world service level, they may also be lacking in knowledge of just exactly how reverent and careful we are in this work. We pray that time will heals the wounds that divide us.
Being clean and the benefits of working the 12 Steps of NA grant a degree of calm and visionary ability. Praying for a solution to our situation, I finally came across a sure thing: wait for the wheel to turn. Another time is coming. Members are already beginning to ask questions. Learning precedes breakthroughs. Some of the writing we are doing may help. But most of all, it is part of my personal recovery experience that members will only sit in the dark and accept non-answers for so long, then they will stand up and get going again. Already, I have had telephone calls from the other side of this planet from NA members who have read Traditions War: a pathway to peace. Nature moves in cycles - and so do we. Our time is coming.
Work on The Spirit of NA, NA 20+ and The Clean Kids is being talked up. The Spirit is presented on nawol.org and will be updated as it grows. More and more we are able to focus on improving the material and side-stepping the distractions that would keep us from the work itself. We need your prayers and also we need to ask you to envision a future to allow the book to get out to more and more members.
In Loving Service,
Tallahassee Way of Life Foundation Group
Tallahassee WOLF Group is registered with WSO
Go to NA Way of Life website -
nawol.org to print copies of this Format.
The Contacts will be glad to help you find out more about the NA Way of Life.
Reprinted from the
N.A. FELLOWSHIP USE ONLY
Copyright © December 1998
Victor Hugo Sewell, Jr.
NA Foundation Group
6685 Bobby John Road Atlanta, GA 30349 USA
All rights reserved. This draft may be copied by members of Narcotics Anonymous for the purpose of writing input for future drafts, enhancing the recovery of NA members and for the general welfare of the Narcotics Anonymous Fellowship as a whole. The use of an individual name is simply a registration requirement of the Library of Congress and not a departure from the spirit or letter of the Pledge, Preface or Introduction of this book. Any reproduction by individuals or organizations outside the Fellowship of Narcotics Anonymous is prohibited. Any reproduction of this document for personal or corporate monetary gain is prohibited.