MBAIAA Newsletter – January 2021

Published on January 22, 2021

Step 1 – “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable”

“Under the lash of alcoholism, we are driven to A.A. and there we discover the fatal nature of our situation. Then, and only then, do we become as open-minded to conviction and as willing to listen as the dying can be. We stand ready to do anything which will lift the merciless obsession from us.”

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions – Page 24

What’s Happening Locally

January Birthday Meeting

Our Monthly Intergroup Birthday meeting is Saturday, January 30th at 7:00 pm.  It will be hosted by the Sunrise Group that meets daily at 6:45am.  The speaker will be Clifford from Annapolis Maryland.

We are happy to announce that we are re-instating COINS to the birthday meeting.  Anyone celebrating annual sobriety milestones can email their address to Jana at and a birthday coin will be mailed to you.

Don’t forget that you can participate in the 50/50 raffle! Tickets are 3 for $5.00 and can be purchased through Venmo (an online payment platform).  Just put The word RAFFLE on the transaction and your name and tickets will be entered into the drawing.  No limit to the number of tickets you can purchase.  We will draw the winner at the end of the meeting.

Traditionally held at Monterey High School, we will be meeting on Zoom.  The meeting will be open for fellowshipping 30 minutes before and after the meeting.  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

Again, the meeting begins at 7:00 PM on Saturday January 30th. vCome a little early, stay a little late, we will have time for fellowshipping. 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.

Remote Meetings

We have 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 newly elected panel is looking forward to serving our groups for the next two years.  We are currently preparing for receiving, reviewing and presenting Agenda Topics.  Agenda Topics will be presented to groups in March so that we can gather our local group consciences.  Different than a “yes or no” vote, we are looking for an informed group conscience to take back to our delegate.  The delegate will deliver this information to A.A.  World Services in New York so that every topic can be assessed from all viewpoints.  This is the term “WE are A.A.” in action.

If your group does not have a General Service Representative, please consider electing a GSR to provide you with information so there’s an informed group conscience.  About the GSR position: 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.  Your understanding will grow within these two years.  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.

With gratitude and service,

Jessica A

Current IGR Minutes and Financial Reports

A Note From Jana

This month I have included the year end reports in the financial information.  I am very pleased to report that we have come through the past difficult year quite well.  We were able to replenish the Prudent Reserve with an even greater amount than we deducted from it in October.  It is only thanks to you, our members. Your support of MBAIAA is consistent and encouraging.  Gratitude month was an extremely successful contribution drive and many people have sent gratitude contributions continually throughout the year.  But I can’t stress enough the importance of supporting the individual groups in the traditional manner of the 7th tradition. In this way, the funds can be distributed to the various entities (Central Office, New York, and the Northern California districts) in the manor that was decided by your individual group conscience.  I continue to be moved by the ability of us AAers to adapt to current times.

We have big news at MBAIAA!  We have newly elected officers at the Steering Committee level.  Our Bylaws ask us to elect new officers in the spirit of rotation.  Our new Steering Committee Chairperson is Daniella W.  We welcome her to this important role.  I work directly with the Chairperson and, together with the Steering Committee, we formulate the agenda for the IGR meetings and make sure we are working together to be sure that our Primary Purpose is being served.   Amalia L is our new Treasurer and Jessica L is the new Recording Secretary.  Norma R. is the new Women’s 12th Step coordinator and Brian S is the Men’s.  Stephanie J. continues as the PICPC (Public Information and Cooperation with the Professional Community) Chair.  Continuing in the IGR at Large position are Susan B, Brandon L and Allison B.  Newly elected IGRs at large are Brianne F, Karen S and Jane D.  These are your trusted servants.  They will help us take MBAIAA into the future.  I encourage you all to volunteer for IGR service – we meet on the second Tuesday of each month.

I would like to take a moment and thank the outgoing officers.  With Chris T as Chairperson, they worked cohesively and diligently to carry us into this new and ever evolving time in Alcoholics Anonymous .  Chris’s unending devotion to calm and level-headed leadership guided us through this time of uncertainty.  A big thank you to all!

We have some new names on our newsletter list and for that we are grateful.  If you would like to join that list, please sign up on the website. If you are receiving this newsletter in error, please unsubscribe below.

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.  Please email me at if you would like to meet me at the office to pick up books or for any questions you might have. We must stay in touch and keep communication going with the groups and Central Office.

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.

“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.