Riga Convention

Latvia from the 26th. to the 28th. of September

Minutes

Countries participating at the Riga Convention: Russia, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuenia, Poland, Denmark, U.K., USA

Friday

18:00 – 21:00 (45 participants) 

Gunta from Latvia welcomed us and told us what her thoughts and hopes were for this convention. Another member from the Lativan group lead the meeting by reading the Problem, sending the steps around in three different languages; Latvian, Russian and English. The topic of the meeting was my (ACA) story. The meeting lasted for three hours with a break in the middle. There were lots of coffee, Thea, beverages, cookies and fruits. The ambiance was safe, calm and heartwarming. There were no doubt we were all ACA’s. The stories were translated from english into Russian and vise versa. We read the solution. And closed with the serenity prayer in Latvian.Three hours later I was full tired and in a very good mood.

Saturday

10:00 – 15:00 (40 – 50 participants)

Discussion meeting (business meeting) Liisa and I changed parts I was supposed to start but there were misunderstandings. I would like to show them our WSO webpage, the new one and the old one. But needed to get a projector. Gunta went to get one. But it was to old for my Mac.

So Liisa from Finland lead the first part of the meeting. She started by wanting us to hum our own sound holding each others hands. She then decided that we each had a minute to tell our thoughts and ideas. When asked if we could make the timeframe bigger because of the translations difficulties. The answer was no. some of the topics were;

  • Cooperation between countries
  • Email newsletter / Google groups
  • Skype meeting exchanging ideas 
  • Email groups
  • Discussion forum.on the internet
  • Common goal when carrying the message
  • Problems of translation
  • Structure building the fellowship.

The second part of the meeting I talked about;

  • Translation; how to do it right
  • Infringement/copyrights; WSO owns the translations
  • How to work the website; how to find meetings, Phone meetings, Skype meetings.
  • How to find the Repository and all the reports
  • Telling what the money from the 7th tradition and the sale of literature is used for.   

Many had the understanding that WSO was a business making money for the sake of making money and did not understand why they couldn’t just give out the translation for free. 

It was a long discussion but I think I got through by explaining what the money was use for, and how important it is to make a revenue to be able to carry the massage to those who need it.

I promised we would get a Skype meeting once a month, Ray (U.K) is helping me setting it up.

I also talked about keeping the program simple and not mixing it with humming, dancing yoga or other kind things where you could not be anonymous at the meeting.

When I was finished with what I had to say; I took time to answer questions. There were a lot of structural questions. And answers about translations – I was very thorough and patient and clear in my answers.

I told about my visions for the European Committee and how much of the structure is already in place and to just keep it simple using the formats we already have in place and not reinventing the wheel. I invited people to join the European Committee telling them that they are much needed. 

We decided that a new convention should take place every year some place in Europa, and the Finns wanted to get the convention to Helsinki next year. Except from 2018 when the ABC again is coming to Europe. I promised to help out the Finns and support them in terms of money and support giving me an estimated budget that I will take to the WSO board for approval.

After I was done many people came and gave me a big hug even those who couldn’t speak english. Others told my that they finally had a picture of the organization WSO and were thankful.

18:00 – 24:00 Party (74 participants)

On a table where we got in there was a lot of pictures the idea being that we should choose what kind of animal or person we saw us selves as. I chose an old Indian. Then we enjoyed a large spread of different Latvian snakes and foods. And after having being feed we had a meeting on the topic; I’m in this world and the world is in me. All the shares were translated and it was so gratifying and funny.

There were 74 people there also people for the first time from our sister fellowship AA. I spoke with two guys that had had an awakening, and I told them to get I contact with me if they wanted to start a meeting in their own city out side of Riga. We shared stories for almost two hours. And after that I went home. I know that Liisa’s had a singalong. I cannot tell you when the party ended. But people were really dressed up with hats and nice clothes. 

Sunday  

10:00 – 12:00 Guided Tour around the old city of Riga (35 participants)

We had a guided tour through Riga with a lovely ACA lady telling us about the different monument and buildings and the long story of Riga which by the way were founded in 1201. And under a lot of occupation countries, Germans, Swedes, Polish, and Russian and (Soviet dictatorship) The old part of Riga is vey beautiful and well restored with a lot of very small narrow alleys and streets and a lot of very exciting legends. Which made me want to stay and explore?

12:30 – 14:00  The Final conclusions

In the afternoon we met at Gunta’s office I think we were about 35 people there. People were gratified and humble thanking, Gunta and her group for the whole experience. Clapping long and hard of Her and the people involved. After a while the meeting changed character and instead of keeping to the topic people were sharing their story. Some because they just gained the trust to do so and others because they had not had the opportunity before.

It all ended with a very emotional serenity prayer in all our different languages hugging and promise to meet in Helsinki next year about the same.

Thanks for a heartfelt epiphany

and letting Me be at service to you all

Majbrit

Chair of the European Committee

Member of the MPS Committee

Boardmember of the WSO