MBAIAA Newsletter – December 2020

Published on December 15, 2020

Step 12 – “Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of theses steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.”

“The joy of living is the theme of AA’s Twelfth Step, and action is the key word. Here we turn outward toward our fellow alcoholics who are still in distress. Here we experience the kind of giving that asks no rewards. Here we begin to practice all Twelve Steps of the program in our daily lives so that we and those about us may find emotional sobriety. When the Twelfth Step is seen in its full implication, it is really talking about the kind of love that has no price tag on it.”

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions – Page 106

What’s Happening Locally

December Birthday Meeting

I have happy news!  The Intergroup has taken the responsibility for the Birthday Meeting once again!  This month, The Steering Committee is hosting the monthly birthday meeting, and the speakers are Mike & Melinda M. – a couple who has been sober together in marriage for many, many years.  Traditionally held at Monterey High School, we will be meeting on Zoom.  The access numbers are below and there will be a direct link on our website as well.

  • Zoom Meeting ID:  652 224 0517
  • Password:  Sobriety

The meeting begins at 7:00 PM on Saturday December 26th.  Feel free to come to the meeting in your most festive holiday gear!

We are holding the 50/50 RAFFLE!  You will need to have a Venmo account to participate.  Tickets are 3 for $5.00 and when you purchase them through Venmo, you must indicate that they are for the raffle.  Please purchase them in groups of 3 and make sure your name and the word Raffle appears in the Venmo transaction.  You can purchase tickets anytime from now until mid-meeting on the 26th.  We will draw the winner at the end of the meeting!

Come a little early, stay a little late…  It will be wonderful to see all of your faces!  During this time of ‘Shelter in Place’, we cannot gather together in celebration as we usually do, so this will be the next best thing.

MBAIAA  Zoom Alcathons

MBAIAA is hosting Zoom alkathons for the holidays.  We are looking for groups and individuals to host meetings for Thursday – Christmas Eve, Friday – Christmas Day, and also New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.  We know that holidays can be difficult to navigate, whether you are a newcomer or an oldtimer, so MBAIAA is hosting extra meetings.  The meetings will take place every hour on the hour on Thursday, December 24th 7:00pm thru 10:00pm and Friday, Christmas Day, 8:00am thru 11:00am. The hours will be similar for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s day.

Please take a group conscience at your next meeting and vote to host an hour or two of this special way to be of service.  Email us at to find out what time slots are available.  Individuals are also welcome to host meetings.  This is a terrific way to be of service!

All meetings are open and even meetings that are hosted by groups that are gender specific are open to ALL.  Please contact Jana at to Sign up for a timeslot or two (or more!) on the Alcathon schedule.  There will be some in-person meetings at the Fellowship Hall as well.

We have important elections coming up in January at the Steering Committee level. We need a new Steering Committee Chairperson, a new Treasurer and a new Recording Secretary.  In addition, we need 3 IGRs -at -large.  The sobriety requirement for Chairperson and Treasurer is two years.  For all other positions the sobriety requirement is one year.

Please step up and into service. MBAIAA NEEDS YOU!

Remote Meetings

We now have a temporary page on the website listing all of our remote meetings.  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.

There are physical meetings happening as well – you can check the website for those too.  All meetings are following safe practices.

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 General Service

Monterey General Service held elections in November and is looking forward to serving our groups for the next two years.  Please welcome Jessica A. as the new District Committee Member Chair (DCMC.).

Despite many challenges, We have enjoyed great participation,  We weathered fires, financial insecurities, and a full blown pandemic – still found a way to support one another.  If your group would like a vote in the future of A.A., please consider electing a General Service Representative to provide you with information so there’s an informed group conscience.  This is an excellent time to join, prior to the Agenda Topics (the most burning issues), usually presented in March.  It is a two year commitment – a firm foundation in the Steps and Traditions is very helpful.  As a G.S.R. you are conveying the information, without giving your opinion, to your group.  Willingness is the key.  You will find a host of new friends.  We meet the third Tuesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. via a digital platform.  Please read the pamphlet and if interested , let your group know you are ready to be of service.

In love and service,

Susan G.

Current IGR Minutes and Financial Reports

A Note From Jana

Warm Holiday Greetings to All –

First, let me send my deepest gratitude to you for supporting MBAIAA in our recent contribution drive, Gratitude Month.  Your response was overwhelming in these difficult times.  We can continue to do our important work in keeping with our Traditions and Steps, to have the hand of AA to always be there.

Recently, the IGRs voted to pass the 2021 budget.  Our bylaws require that we have a budget to go into 2021, even though there are many unknowns involved.  We agreed as the Budget Committee to revisit the budget quarterly to assess where we are financially to see if any changes need to be made. You can see the budget on our website

I also encourage you to volunteer for IGR/Steering Committee service. We have an important election coming up in January. Help us take MBAIAA into the future.

I continue to be moved by the ability of us AA’ers to adapt to current times.  The New Year holds promise of better days in terms of the Virus.  It won’t be quick, and we won’t resume “normal” activities right away, but just as we were able to respond to the Shutdown, we will respond to the changes cautiously and TOGETHER.  Look after each other, support each other, remember that we can’t stay sober alone.  Share with others what was so freely given to you.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Joyous Kwanzaa, Light for Winter Soltice… however you choose to celebrate, be safe, be happy, joyous and free.

“Nothing is so bad that a drink won’t make it worse.”
The Best of the Grapevine volume 3

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