MBAIAA Newsletter – November 2020
Published on November 22, 2020
Step 11 – “ Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.”
“Those of us who have come to make regular use of prayer would no more do without it than we would refuse air, food, or sunshine. And for the same reason. When we refuse air, light or food, the body suffers. And when we turn away from meditation and prayer, we likewise deprive our minds, our emotions, and our intuitions of vitally needed support. As the body can fail its purpose for lack of nourishment, so can the soul. We all need the light of God’s reality, the nourishment of His strength, and the atmosphere of His grace. To an amazing extent the facts of AA life confirm the ageless truth.”
Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions – Page 97 – 98
What’s Happening Locally
November Birthday Meeting
I have happy news! The Intergroup has taken the responsibility for the Birthday Meeting once again!!! This month, The Serenity Group Meeting is hosting the monthly birthday meeting, and the speaker will be Charlie. 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 November 28th.
This time we are resuming 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. 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.
Monterey Bay Area Roundup 2021 – Planning Stages
Monterey Bay Area Roundup planning meetings are held the second Saturday of the month at 11:00 AM. Upcoming meetings will be held via ZOOM. Dates and other details are listed below.
- Saturday, December 12, 2020
- Zoom Meeting ID: 973 2426 8424
- Password: MBAR2021
MBAIAA Zoom Alkathons
MBAIAA is hosting Zoom alkathons for the holidays. We are looking for groups and individuals to host meetings for the Thanksgiving holiday on Wednesday and Thursday on Zoom. 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 Wednesday, November 25th 7:00pm thru 10:00pm and Thursday, Thanksgiving day, November 26th 8:00am thru 11:00am. Sign up info for the Thanksgiving Alkathons will be available on the Website this week.
Keep in mind that Christmas Alkathons will follow, so lets fill up those time slots!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org to find out what time slots are available. There will be some in person meetings at the Fellowship Hall as well.
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
Dear friends and trusted servants,
I am writing to inform you that the General Service Board has authorized a drawdown of $1.5 million from the Reserve Fund by A.A. World Services, Inc. to cover cash flow requirements in the 4th quarter of 2020. Note: This will put the Reserve Fund balance at approximately $13.1 million, which reflects a level of approximately 7.8 months of office operating expenses. (The Reserve Fund calculation is based on recent actual operating expenses.). Evaluating the finances and cash flow, even with the continued increase in Seventh Tradition contributions, we still expect a decrease in income from last year of more than $2 million, which creates this immediate cash flow pressure.
Previously, in May, A.A.W.S. drew down $3 million to address the sudden emergency situation related to the severe drop in revenue we saw in March and April. Also, over the summer we refunded nearly $4 million for 2020 International Convention registrations. Note: We received $972,000 as an advance against our International Convention insurance claim to recover lost income, and we expect the balance of the claim to be paid out very soon. Since May—through September—the groups have responded with breathtaking generosity in their Seventh Tradition contributions, which have ensured continuation of services to the Fellowship. For six months (March through August), our publishing revenue was well below budgeted levels, but September saw a positive uptick in literature sales. Not a trend yet, but very encouraging. We have cut expenses in as many key areas as possible, without affecting quality of literature production or delivery of services.
The office presented a reforecast 2020 budget to the Board in August, and we are constantly updating and reporting financial results to the trusted servants with fiduciary responsibility for the operating corporation. We have begun work on the 2021 operating budget, with three quarters of 2020 actual results now available. And, at the direction of the Board, we wanted to share this latest information with you.
Sincerely yours, in service to A.A.,
Gregory Tobin, General Manager
A Note From Jana
Warm Thanksgiving greetings to all.
Recently, you received the 2021 Proposed Budget as an email. Please look it over and with your group, vote on the budget so that we may proceed. You can click here to view the proposed budget. Our bylaws require that we have a budget to go into 2021, even though there are many unknowns involved. As a Budget Committee, we decided to present this budget, but to get together in a few months and see what changes might have happened and adjust things as necessary.
November has traditionally been known as ‘Gratitude Month’. In November, we set aside time to express thanks to the fellowship. Gratitude month dates back to the 1940s when the General Service Board hosted gatherings to express personal gratitude for sobriety and appreciation to our professional friends for their articles, books, radio and T.V. interviews relating to A.A. over the past year.
In the Monterey area Gratitude Month is traditionally practiced by passing the Seventh Tradition basket a second time, with the entirety of the collection from the second basket being contributed to Central Office. However, in this time of pandemic quarantine, the vast majority of meetings are conducted virtually, so we are reaching out to you, our members, asking for your financial help. If you can provide a helping hand you can visit our Contributions Page, use the QR code below, or mail your donation to: MBAIAA 1015 Cass St #4 Monterey CA 93940.
We thank you in advance for your continued support.
MBAIAA is a 501[c]3 non-profit corporation; contributions are tax deductible. A receipt will be mailed for your records. Your contribution becomes the hand that is there for the alcoholic who still suffers. The amount of the contribution is secondary to the spiritual connection that unites all members and groups here and around the world.
Warmest regards for the holiday season and may the New Year hold brighter days.
“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.