MBAIAA Newsletter – April 2020

Published on April 2, 2020

Step 4 – “Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves .”

Therefore, we started upon a personal inventory. This was Step Four.  A business which takes no regular inventory usually goes broke.  Taking a commercial inventory is a fact-finding and a fact-facing process.  It is an effort to discover the truth about the stock-in-trade.  One object is to disclose damaged or unsalable goods, to get rid of them promptly and without regret.  If the owner of the business is to be successful, he cannot fool himself about values.

We did exactly the same thing with our lives.  We took stock honestly.  First, we searched out the flaws in our make-up which caused our failure.  Being convinced that self, manifested in various ways, was what had defeated us, we considered it’s common manifestations.

Alcoholics Anonymous  Page 64

What’s Happening Locally

Unfortunately during this time of ‘Shelter in Place’, we cannot gather together in celebration as we usually do.  No events will be scheduled for the foreseeable future.

Remote Meetings

We now have a temporary page on the website listing all of our Remote Meetings. The page now lists 37 virtual meetings and 8 of those meet daily. And the Remote Meetings page also lists information on protecting our anonymity at virtual meetings. Read it carefully and join us online. We need each other to continue our sobriety.

Digital Contributions At Online Meetings 1

Online meeting spaces make it difficult to “pass the basket.” Some groups have set up digital contribution accounts with services like Venmo, PayPal, Google Pay, etc. to deal with this problem. Now might be a good time to review an essential piece of AA literature, “Self-Support: Where Money and Spirituality Mix.”

Each group is autonomous and might consider taking a group conscience on whether digital contributions are an option, and which platform (or mix of platforms) best suits their groups’ needs.

Why collect 7th Tradition for an online meeting?

Our regular meeting locations still have operating expenses

  • Our meetings facilities may rely on contributions to pay their rent and utilities
  • Meeting supplies will still be needed when our meetings reopen – coffee, paper products, literature, refreshments. And after an extended closure, we may experience a large influx of people who are motivated to re-join the fellowship in person.

Central Office and the General Service Office still have operating expenses

  • Websites – which we may now  rely on more than ever!
  • Phone lines, rent and insurance on office space
  • Utility and other ongoing expenses
  • Paid Special Workers who deserve our continued support. Their compensation is crucial to their ability to serve us.

Our Districts and Areas and H&I still have expenses

  • Regular expenses to support the work of committees and events that will take place when the crisis has passed are still there.
  • Web services support for groups
  • Expenses for venues for events that have been cancelled may still need to be met, since any income from the event won’t be there to support the pre-payment of reservations, cancellation fees, etc. The expense of re-arranging for venues to reschedule events is very real.

News From A.A. World Services

March 19, 2020 – The General Service Office of Alcoholics Anonymous (G.S.O.) U.S./Canada functions as a repository for A.A. members and groups who are looking for the shared experience of the Fellowship.  As the global situation related to Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to develop, we are fully committed to continue to serve as a resource center of shared experience to help navigate this unprecedented public health emergency.  It is important to note the G.S.O. is not an authoritative body over our groups, nor does it initiate rules or directives, as each A.A. group and entity is autonomous and decisions are made through its group conscience.  Providing guidance on health issues is outside the scope of the A.A. sharing that G.S.O. offers.  For anyone experiencing health and safety questions, it is suggested they contact national, state/provincial and local health authorities for appropriate information.  However, in response to the global outbreak, we do have some general experience regarding how some A.A. groups and members have begun to address this issue.  Many are following ‘’social distancing’’ guidelines established by local, state, provincial, and federal officials, while at the same time maintaining their recovery and attending digital A.A. meetings.  By attending digital meetings, groups can focus on A.A.’s primary purpose: to carry its message of recovery to the alcoholic who still suffers.  Many groups have alerted local A.A. offices or hotlines if they are temporarily not meeting in their regular space.  Some groups have shared that they are utilizing digital platforms such as Zoom, Google Hangouts, or conducting conference calls.  A.A. groups are also creating contact lists, keeping in touch by phone, email or social media.  Many local A.A. central/intergroup offices, and areas have added information to their websites about how to change a meeting format from “in-person” to a digital platform.  A.A. in the digital age has certainly taken on a new meaning in these challenging times.

We are here to help by providing a list of resources:

Current IGR Minutes and Financial Reports

A Note From Jana

Hello Fellow Alcoholics,

We are experiencing an unprecedented time in our fellowship.

Most of the places we hold our meetings are not available to us.  Our website is the best place to get information on online meetings – we update it frequently.  Much thanks to our terrific website team for staying on top of this.

In our program, we are taught to live One Day At A Time, and that is the only way we can get through these difficult times. I encourage you to talk with each other, support each other, to use all the resources that are available.

As far as meetings go, if you are able to meet, the group should make some decisions about trying to sit further apart, about eliminating food service, eliminating hand holding etc.

Each group is autonomous and can make their own decisions.  Each individual can decide for themselves how to proceed.  At this time we ALL need to be good citizens and behave in a way that is responsible and follows the law.

It is important that we stay in communication with each other.  I am working remotely from my home, answering emails and also checking with our 24 hour answering service daily.  The answering service is still referring urgent calls to the people on the 12th step call list.  This is an emotional and difficult time for all of us and particularly to the alcoholic who still suffers.

Please keep in mind that with so many meetings being closed, our office is not receiving the 7th tradition contributions, so if you have the ability to send a gratitude contribution, please do so.  Checks are to be made out to MBAIAA and mailed to 1015 Cass St #4 Monterey, CA 93940 (or just drop a check in the mail slot at the office), and Venmo contributions can be made by sending the donation to @aamonterey through Venmo or by contributing directly on our website.  There is much more information there.  I am pleased to tell you that MBAIAA is in a healthy financial situation with a good strong prudent reserve to see us through this difficult time, this is a storm we can weather, but all contributions are helpful.

The 2020 International Convention scheduled for July 2-5, 2020 in Detroit has been cancelled.  To the people who have already purchased Raffle tickets for the convention, we will be reaching out to you to return your contribution and asking that if it is possible for you to do so, that you consider it an additional way that you can support MBAIAA.

Once again I must stress the importance of unity.  Protect yourself and your loved ones and together in fellowship, we will get through this.  I am so moved by the quick response you have all shown in putting together these remote meetings and stay in touch with your fellow alcoholics. KEEP IT UP!!!

1 This information is from the AA Intergroup of SF & Marin Online Contributions page.