MBAIAA Newsletter – October 2021

Published on October 19, 2021

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

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions – Page 88

“Although all inventories are alike in principle, the time factor does distinguish one from another.  There’s the spot-check inventory, taken at any time of the day, whenever we find ourselves getting tangled up.  There’s the one we take at day’s end, when we review the happenings of the hours just past.  Here we cast up a balance sheet, crediting ourselves with things well done, and chalking up debits where due.  Then there are those occasions when alone, or in the company of our sponsor or spiritual adviser, we make careful review of our progress since the last time.  Many A.A.’s go in for annual or semiannual house-cleanings.  Many of us also like the experience of an occasion retreat from the outside world where we can quiet down for an undisturbed day or so of self – overhaul and meditation.”

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions – Pages 89

What’s Happening Locally

October Birthday Meeting – Saturday, October 30th @ 7:00PM

The Birthday meeting is on Saturday, October 30th at 7:00pm and will be held on Zoom.  This month the meeting is hosted by The Marina Women.  This is an online meeting that meets at 5:30pm on Mondays.  This month the speaker will be Kathleen R.

Please join us!  There will be a 50/50 raffle which you can participate in by sending money through Venmo.  Tickets are 3 for $5.00 and be sure to put the word ‘Raffle” on the transaction.  We will be drawing the winner at the end of the meeting.  The meeting will be open at least 20 minutes early and after the meeting for fellowshipping.  Come 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!

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

First Ever MBAIAA Dog Show – Saturday, October 23rd at Oak Newton Park in Monterey

Come join us for our first in person outdoor event in way too long.  On Saturday October 23rd we are having a picnic and a not so serious dog show!  This free event will include a meeting at 11:00 AM.  It will be a topic discussion meeting in which we’ll discuss the importance of our pets in our daily sober lives.  At noonish we will have hot dogs and lemonade.  Then, at 1:00 we will feature your favorite 4-legged friends.  Wear a costume or bring your dog in a costume! – Your dog deserves the spotlight!  All dogs will take home a ribbon!  This whole event will be FREE and FUN!  Bring your own chair .

Monterey Bay Area Roundup (MBAR)

The Monterey Bay Area Roundup (MBAR) committee has made the decision to put all of it’s efforts into a face-to-face conference to be held on Labor Day 2022.  If you would like to participate in putting this fun event together, the planning meetings are on the second Saturday of each month at 11:00 am.

  • Zoom Meeting ID:  831 4306 2293
  • Password: 2022

MBAR’s next meeting will be held Saturday November 13th @ 11 AM.

MBAR is having a BBQ – Everyone is welcome!  The get together will be held Saturday Oct 30th 1-4pm.  Please join us for some Backyard BBQ and Fun!  You can RSVP to OR on our Facebook page… And we will send you the address.  Bring a side dish and your own drinks.  There will be a swimming pool (bring your own towels) as well as live music by Nelson & Steve.  Wear costumes for Halloween if you would like!  No dogs please, but kids are welcome!

Online Meeting Listings

Note that our website has a new format for listing our Online and In-person meetings on Meeting Guide Online. All Online meetings have been moved to this new format.

On your mobile device you can also access meetings using the Meeting Guide Mobile App.

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

This letter just arrived from the new manager of General Service:

October 15, 2021

Dear A.A. Friends,

It is with much gratitude and joy that I share my first communication with you as General Manager of the General Service Office.  By way of introduction for those who don’t know me, my name is Bob and I’m an alcoholic!  I have crossed paths with many of you throughout my years of service to our Fellowship and I am overjoyed to continue the many friendships  I have forged and look forward to many more.  As your General Manager, my primary focus is service — service to all of you: our members, your groups, our boards and all the employees of the General Service Office.  As I contemplate the word service and what it means to me, I am reminded of what I was taught early on in A.A.  “It’s not so much what we do but how we do it.”  The spirit of that philosophy is my vision for the office and a guide for me in how I desire to serve; with kindness, patience, tolerance and love — rooted in our principles.  Speaking of our principles, my vision for our office is not really mine, it’s ours.  It was defined for us years ago by our co-founders and is memorialized in the Three Legacies.  My focus and priority is to infuse the spiritual principles (embodied particularly in our Twelve Concepts, but also in our Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions) into the daily operations of the office.  With this in mind, efforts are in motion to establish a monthly “1728 Meeting” for all employees of GSO and the trustees and directors of our boards.  The name “1728” is taken from the meeting established by our Class A (nonalcoholic) trustees many years ago.  It’s still held during each Board Weekend, for the purpose of broadening their understanding of our Steps, Traditions and Concepts (12x12x12=1728).  The meeting format will give all in attendance the opportunity to learn about and apply our principles to current projects and issues.  We will also be including presentations of our principles during all employee and department meetings.  With the support and unity of all three of our boards, we are restructuring the General Sharing Session, which is held during our Board Weekends, and reinstituting the “town hall” style meeting.  This will prove to be very effective in the infusion of our principles; not only in the office operations, but also the working relationships with the boards.  It will provide a great opportunity for discussion of current issues and topics within the office, committees, boards, and the Fellowship.  The spirit of this meeting will allow for wide participation with no fear of reprisal.  Covid has been difficult on our groups, families, and our lives in general.  It’s been a long road for the employees of GSO as well, who moved to a virtual work environment in March of 2020.  I’m very happy to announce that we have returned to the office at 475 Riverside Drive on October 1.  Our primary focus is the health and safety of all our employees.  To this end, most employees will have a hybrid schedule allowing them to continue to work from home a few days per week.  Unfortunately, we will have to continue our current visitor policy and will not be able to entertain outside visitors to the office.  Welcoming visitors to GSO has always been an important part of our history and it is my hope that we will be able to reinstitute office visits and tours after the first of the year.  With the shift to a virtual work environment, many of our processes were forced to change and we lost access to some of the tools that helped us with our work.  I realize some of these changes have caused challenges for some of you when interacting with the office.  I want to express my gratitude for your candor in letting us know the details of your experiences.  This is helpful.  The services provided by the General Service Office are the reason why we are here.  Before coming to GSO, I enjoyed a 35-plus-year career in customer service.  My commitment to each and every one of you is that the office provide you all with a high level of service.  I know many of us were disappointed with the cancellation of our International Convention last year.  Recently, I travelled to Vancouver, British Columbia, to participate in the beginning of our preparations for the 2025 Convention.  I returned filled with hope.  The enthusiasm of the membership and friends from Western Canada was infectious, and we couldn’t ask for a more beautiful venue for our celebration.  Please begin your early planning thoughts now.  It will be here before you know it.  It will prove to be an enormous and enthusiastic renewal for our Fellowship around the world!  In closing, in my short three months serving in this role, I have been touched in so many ways.  The dedication of each and every employee of the General Service Office is inspiring.  With the challenges of working remotely, preparing to return to the office, and navigating our first in person/hybrid Board Weekend in October, the office continues to carry out its mission with humility, unity, and good spirits.  I look forward to keeping in touch with all of you regularly and seeing many of you in person very soon.  Thank you for the privilege to serve you.

Bob W.
General Manager, G.S.O.

“I am responsible, when anyone, anywhere reaches out for help, I want the hand of A.A. always to be there, and for that, I am responsible.”
Responsibility Statement

Current IGR Minutes & Financial Reports

A Note From Jana

Central Office is fully open.  We are now open Mon – Fri 9:30 – 5:30.  We have a wonderful staff of volunteers who answer the phones and address the daily tasks of facilitating 12th step calls and being there to help the alcoholic who still suffers.  We are fully stocked with World Service approved literature and have a couple of new books from the Grapevine. ‘ Mujeres en AA’ Women in AA (Spanish-language) is a collection of stories taken from the pages of Grapevine and La Viña.  We also have ‘Free on the Inside’ which features 50+ powerful stories by sober members of Alcoholics Anonymous who have experienced AA in prison.  There is also a new collection of 3 volumes of “The Best of the Grapevine.  Come by and check them out!

We have recently experienced a paper shortage, so General Service has been unable to send certain books.  That said, we received a large shipment of literature this week and are fully stocked with World Service approved literature.

We are updating the website everyday.  Many meetings are opening up to face to face meetings and some have chosen to do a hybrid of Zoom and face to face.  As things begin to look more positive in terms of the pandemic, each group has the autonomy to decide their own method of re-entering the traditional ways that we meet.  I would suggest that each group has business meetings addressing these issues.  Please be sure that if any changes are to be made in the way that you meet, you inform the webteam so that people can find you.   Also, if you could contact me to let me know the changes as well, it would be appreciated.

There has been a discussion about when to resume the in-person Birthday Meeting.  There are many issues o consider.  First, of course, is the reopening of Monterey High School for outside events.  That was accomplished last week (mid-September).  Then there are issues about their COVID protocols and our own COVID protocols.  Trust that we are making every effort to resume the long-held tradition of the monthly Birthday Meeting, but we must do so in a well thought-out and cautious manner.  The cost of utilizing the high school has gone way up.  The biggest reason is that they are forced to pay the custodian for additional hours to sanitize the place before we arrive and after we leave.  They have asked us to wear masks and to limit attendance to approximately 125 members.  We have asked the IGRs to bring this to their groups for a vote as to whether have the monthly birthday meeting to be in person or continue on Zoom for a couple more months.  Hopefully we’ll begin the new year with a chance to start again fresh and proceed with caution.  Please feel free to come by or call – (831) 373-3713) – so that we can discuss this matter and get a consensus of opinion.  Your messages are also more than welcome – you can reach us here.   Just as we were able to respond to the shutdown, we will respond to the changes carefully 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.  Thanks again everybody and HAPPY FALL!

“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.