With the first World Service Conference planned for 2010, Greysheeters Anonymous is coming into its own as an autonomous 12-step fellowship.
Like AA and other groups that have gone before us, GSA is faced with a major challenge during its start-up. When Tradition 2 tells us that "...our leaders are but trusted servants. They do not govern..." who takes the initiative to organize a new fellowship? To bring groups together? To organize the first World Service Conference?
The World Service Board of Trustees' role during the start-up of any 12-step fellowship is necessary but temporary leadership. As in other 12-step fellowships, the GSA WS Board exists to serve, not dictate. The goal of the Board is to help GSA become a fellowship that is run by members for members through the World Service Conference, growing organically as we execute on our mission to carry our unique message of hope.
Below is an overview of the three ways that the WS Board is providing necessary but temporary leadership until we have a fully-functioning World Service Conference.
Suggesting a Service Structure. The GS World Service Board of Trustees has proposed a service structure that features 19 Intergroup Areas, each consisting of a geographic region with anywhere from five to twenty registered GSA meetings. Each Intergroup Area elects a Delegate who participates in the WS Conference process. This proposed structure is posted on the GSA website (http://www.greysheet.org/cms/intergroup-areas.html) and suggests one possible way to make sure that GS groups worldwide have representation at the first WS Conference. This initial proposal is not a mandate. It’s only a starting point. GSA members and groups are welcome to propose alternative Areas to meet their needs. More on how to do that in a moment.
Facilitating Communication. The Board is leading the efforts to create a platform for two-way communication throughout the fellowship. The Pre-Conference Focus Group phone meetings for Delegates and Intergroup organizers on July 27 and 28 were the first of what will be several meetings for Delegates between now and the WS Conference. At those meetings, Delegates and Intergroup organizers from the Southeastern U.S., Northeastern U.S., Pacific U.S. Connecticut, Israel, Iceland, the United Kingdom and the Phone Meetings offered their input on the issues that need to be addressed by the first World Service Conference.
However, not all geographic areas with face-to-face GSA meetings were represented at the Pre-Conference Focus groups. That's a problem. Every group deserves to have its voice heard. The only way to do that is to join with other GSA groups in your area to form an intergroup and elect a Delegate. If your geographic area has more than five registered GSA meetings, you can have your own Intergroup. If you form your intergroup and identify your delegate by September 7, the Delegate from your area will be able to participate in the Pre-Conference Delegate Assemblies set to start in mid-September. To get help forming your Intergroup, visit http://www.greysheet.org/HowToFormAnAreaIntergroup.pdf and http://www.greysheet.org/InvitationAgendaMinutesExamples.pdf.
Creating Opportunities for Delegate Participation in WS Conference Preparation. Third, the Board is designing the process that gives Delegates opportunities to participate in the preparations for the WS Conference. Delegates will also be playing critical roles in the development of proposals that will address every aspect of our fellowship's operation, including financial issues, technology issues, public information, starting and growing new meetings, how the WS Conference operates, how the Board operates, who serves on the Board and much more. Delegates and Board members will work together on committees to decide how we want to handle all these issues.
P.S. Service is a great way to strengthen your defense against that first bite. Getting involved in the WS Conference planning process can help protect your abstinence, teach you new skills, give you new confidence AND give you the chance to participate a historic event. After all, there will only be ONE first GSA WS Conference! Contact Gayla to sign up.
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