MBAIAA Newsletter – October 2020

Published on October 23, 2020

Step 10 – “Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.”

“A spot–check inventory taken in the midst of such disturbances can be of very great help in quieting stormy emotions.  Today’s spot check finds its chief application to situations which arise in each day’s march.  The consideration of long-standing difficulties had better be postponed, when possible, to times deliberately set aside for that purpose.  The quick inventory is aimed at our daily ups and downs, especially those where people or new events throw us off balance and tempt us to make mistakes.”

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions – Page 90

What’s Happening Locally

October Birthday Meeting

I have happy news!  The Intergroup has taken responsibility for the Birthday Meeting once again! This month, The Topic Tag meeting is hosting the monthly birthday meeting, which is traditionally held at Monterey High School.  We will be meeting on ZOOM.  The ID number and password are listed below.  There will also be a direct link on our website.

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

The meeting begins at 7:00 PM on Saturday October 31st… Feel free to ‘come’ in costume!

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, November 14, 2020
  • Saturday, December 12, 2020
  • Zoom Meeting ID: 973 2426 8424
  • Password: MBAR2021

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

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.,

G. Gregory

Current IGR Minutes and Financial Reports

A Note From Jana

Autumn greetings to everyone –

This year has dragged and flown by simultaneously.  We are now 8 months into this unprecedented time and I must tell you that as its members have a real survival instinct individually, so does the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous.  You have all stepped up to the task of making a dramatic change in the way we do things. Zoom meetings are the next best thing to what we are used to and , while there are no hugs possible, the warmth and the honesty in meetings, is there and we are reaching newcomers and old friends alike.  We are so grateful for your support!

Any personal contributions are welcome.  Please remember to support your individual groups.  All of the entities of AA need your support.  Our webpage indicates the various ways to support AA – for convenience, we’ve added a Paypal button to the website.  You can always go old school and mail a check to MBAIAA 1015 Cass St #4 Monterey CA 93940. Or,  you can go really old school and drop a cash contribution in the mailslot at the office.  I go to the office to check the mail frequently and I also am happy to meet you there if you need literature too.  Feel free to contact me here.

A reminder that this is YOUR office.   This office only exists to facilitate the groups.  Please send a representative from your group to the monthly IGR meeting so that we may continue to communicate.  Every group has a seat at the table if they send a representative.  If you would like to attend the meeting, contact me and I will send you the pertinent information and a reminder that the meeting takes place on the second Tuesday of each month via Zoom.

If you are hungry for fellowship, please join us at the birthday meeting on October 31st at 7:00 pm on Zoom.

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

Again. let me say to you, these difficult times will pass.  None of us are sure what the future holds, but Alcoholics Anonymous will be there, changing but consistent with the same message “Our common welfare should come first, personal recovery depends on AA unity”.

“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.