Alcoholics Anonymous, COVID-19 and Our Seventh Tradition
June 19, 2020
Dear A.A. friends,
We in A.A. – here at G.S.O., along with the rest of the world – continue to experience an unprecedented situation. Without question, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our Fellowship, including our organized service structure, is facing enormous challenges, locally and globally. For many of us, the most prominent example is that, for the first time in the 85-year history of our Fellowship, we are navigating the lack of face-to-face meetings. While we have found creative ways to allow for the vital interaction between one alcoholic and another, and welcoming newcomers daily, it is clear that the health crisis has other far-reaching consequences.
As we all adapt to the present reality of digital meetings, the question now is, “How do we responsibly practice self-support, our Seventh Tradition?” As we can no longer pass a physical basket, we are working to find ways to support the Fellowship at all levels, from our groups to Intergroups and Central Offices, from our Districts and Areas to the General Service Office itself.
The reality is that even though meetings, Twelfth Step services and operations have shifted to a virtual environment, expenses continue to accumulate during this crisis, which underscores the importance of practicing the Seventh Tradition. Through this crisis, however, we have witnessed the many ways in which the entire A.A. Fellowship has come together to provide ongoing support. Among them:
Many home groups are still paying rent even though their meetings cannot convene. They are also providing online meetings on platforms that may have associated costs.
Intergroup/Central Offices are still stocking needed literature and fielding Twelfth Step calls, redirecting A.A. members and those looking for recovery to online meetings.
Area-level committees are working to keep channels open between the Fellowship and the delegates and board members that make up our General Service Conference, as well as to do public information, corrections and other service.
G.S.O. in New York is continuing to support all levels of service. Literature still needs to be published and distributed, calls need to be answered, online platforms still need to be updated, and support operations sustained.
In an effort to keep the membership informed during this challenging time we would like to share a brief three-minute video update from Leslie Backus, the Class A (nonalcoholic) treasurer of our General Service Board.
"District 04 has assembled various materials that may assist AA groups in deciding how, when, and with what changes they may need to/choose to implement as meetings are allowed to return to face to face."
What’s New from the Archives of the Harbor Area Central Office
The Historical Documents contains the new document -- AA in Long Beach, The First Known Newspaper Story. This month we take a look back at the first known newspaper story about AA in Long Beach.
As we begin the new year those challenges and changes remain. In that light, a few words of reflection from Bill W.
We Need the help of AA Groups in our area to tell the Harbor Area Archives Committee about their group history. Please visit our Archives Page, for more details.
The Historical Documents section has been improved, to show easily accessible pdf documents. Please visit our Documents Page, for more details.
Speaker Tapes, in mp3 format, have been posted to our website. Please visit our AA Speaker Archives Page, for more details, including new speakers Alabam C., Anthony H., Donna E., Kip C., Norm S., Ron S., Tom B.
The Harbor Area Central Office was first formed in May of 1948 in the Long Beach home of Clarence and Flossie L. It was listed as Alcoholics Anonymous Harbor District. In 1950, Central Office had it first location on Molino Avenue. In 1952 there were 52 registered groups using the services of Central Office. Over the years that number has grown. By 1960 there were 62 groups registered and to date 756 meetings have registered with Central Office. On June 1, 1997 Central Office moved to its current location. On June 8th, 1997 there was a grand opening of the new office currently located at 3450 E. Spring Street. (Taken from “A Brief History of the Harbor Area Central Office of Alcoholics Anonymous 1948-2008”.) Central Office has always had a list of volunteers to answer the phones for the Alcoholic that still suffers who may be looking for a meeting or in need of literature.
Before there was a "Big Book", Twelve Steps, Twelve Traditions, the "AA Grapevine" or General Service -- before there were meetings, clubs, conventions or any AA literature -- before there was an H&I committee, there was a visit to an Akron hospital where "one drunk talked to another."