Monthly EC Skype Meeting Sunday,
February 8, 2015 14:00 p.m. CET
A. The meeting was called to order with the serenity prayer.
B. Roll Call of European Countries: Majbrit,, Denmark, WSO European Chair; Will, Germany, WSO EC Secretary
Martin, UK, WSO Trustee; Raymond, ACA UK Chair.
C. A quorum was established
D. EC Members Reports: were not yet possible because there were not yet formal country representatives.
E. Guests Introductions:
Sophie – Greece
Martin – Slovakia
Alex – UK, Helpline, Skype Meeting Representative Jenny – Hungary
Daniel – Amsterdam
Jeffrey – English ACA Prague
E. Minutes: Motion to approve the January 24, 2015 Teleconference Minutes The motion was seconded and the minutes were approved.
F. Committee Reports:
1. EC Chair, Majbrit
She has been reaching out to members and started four new meetings in Europe and connected with countries that previously were not on the list. To groups out there, you are on her radar, and she is here for you. There is a lot of activity surrounding translations. Many groups are interested in this, which she can send to Robin from the literature committee to take them through the procedure. She also receives questions about how to receive literature books around Europe. It’s one of our main problems that we don’t have a book fulfilment center in Europe and everything has to be shipped from the US. She is particularly pleased to help unite members from the same country that may not know each other. For example, this month two people from Greece wanted to start a meeting, and she was able to connect these two people to start two new meetings in Greece where they could support each other although they live in opposite sides of the country. This is a very rewarding job to do this.
(As the meeting format and positions are still being established, the Committee Reports were also open to questions from guests)
Guest question – is the EC looking to fill out posts?
Majbrit – We currently have me as the Chair and Will as the secretary from Munich. We don’t have a treasurer, literature committee, members and public service committee, but that would be good to be divided into countries so people calling in can represent their country and let us know what is going on and if they are struggling with any issues. There can also be an HI Committee, and Martin is the IG Liaison Committee, while the Website Database Committee is Ray. An ABC Committee would be good as well. So yes, we need to fill some posts.
Guest question – Is this info available online?
Majbrit – It will be in the minutes. Is anyone available for service?
(Many guests were interested in service but would need clarity on the roles and responsibilities of the particular positions. Many members expressed the desire to check with their groups in their home country before making any decisions)
Alex – She would like to offer her service, but she would need to consider what would work best with UK IG and how that could best serve the EC as well.
Jeffrey from Prague – He would be interested in participating but would also like to see the positions in writing to have a look at it. Since he’s open to various things, maybe it would be good to prioritize the positions to help guide people into positions that are most needed. He would be available for various roles.
Daniel from the Netherlands – Thanks for the service everyone. He is also interested in doing service at the EC level. He needs some clarity on what is expected and what is required, so he can make a decision.
Majbrit – This is of course our first meeting, but we would eventually like to function independently from the WSO. At the moment, we do not have our own finances. The 7th tradition comes from the WSO. She and Martin would like to establish a budget. Another goal is to help the countries get literature and establish translations. It would be nice to have our own treasurer at the EC, someone that could send a report. We will work it out.
Martin – We will create our own clarity. Majbrit has essentially been doing this on her own. We won’t create the whole thing over night. Anything you think you can contribute, just say.
Daniel – Can visitors speak at this point?
Majbrit – We are relaxing a bit about the procedure.
Daniel – He was curious and came on the call. He is also a member of the Dutch IG and he can speak for Netherlands and other countries from fellow travellers. There is a need to get literature to Europe more easily and affordably. In Holland that is a big issue. How can we get literature legally, faster, and easier? He would be very interested in helping there. He may be moving to a different country, but he is interested in helping at that level.
Majbrit – Denmark has its own text, but Denmark has the same problems. They are trying to clarify if they could print the Danish literature on demand. This is one way. Another way could be the seeding program.
We could get a warehouse in Denmark for literature and send out the literature from Europe to Europe. But this isn’t possible without a budget. This is what Majbrit is focusing on, because particularly the shipping fee is very problematic in Europe. Some of these materials will then become available when the WSO webpage relaunches, which is planned to happen soon. Nevertheless, she receives daily requests for people to receive literature directly from her rather than the US. We would need to create an EC that is self-supporting, so that we will be able to staff an office or a storage center. In April, she is going to Austin, TX. She is planning to bring back a big suitcase with books, but this would be for her public service work.
Martin – He was working with the seeding project to help this. WSO worked out a new program. IGs get a one-time only discount for books and then pay on an instalment plan. If you are in countries with an IG the WSO recommends that you do this. The website currently doesn’t show the right price. A motion is on the table for IGs to continuously get this discount. Please contact us for any questions on seed funding.
Guest question – should we contact the EC info email through Majbrit?
Majbrit – As an IG, it would be good if you could contact Martin. As a first step, you can contact Majbrit, and she can forward the request to Martin. She and Martin are working for the same purpose, to get literature here to Europe.
Guest question – May it be a suggestion if we make both email addresses public for everyone on the line now.
Martin – He will have to find the email for the IG committee; however email@example.com is his private email.
2. EC Treasurer
No trusted servant and no report.
3. EC Secretary,
Will was very grateful we received a template for an agenda from a member of the WSO board.
4. EC Literature Committee
No trusted servant and no report.
5. EC Members and Public Service Committee, 6. EC Hospitals & Institutions Committee,
7. EC Intergroup Liaison Committee,
Martin informed us that the Intergroup Subcommittee at WSO level is there to help IGs help one another. Some countries have IG, some do not; others we do not know. Members are encouraged to ask anything about IGs at the end of meeting.
8. EC Website/Database Committee,
No trusted servant present and no report.
9. EC 2015 ABC Committee
No trusted servant and no report.
G. Old Business:
i.. Support groups and IGs in Europe
ii. Increase visibility with regular meetings and web site presence. iii. Facilitate communication and coordinate service between EC and European Groups and between EC and WSO.
C. Select or recruit trusted servants for EC service positions; possible qualifications (being involved and committed).
D. Funding – From 7th Tradition donations or from WSO? E. Forming a “European Region”?
H. New Business:
Guest Comments: To allow that all of our guests have a chance to share, we will limit guest comments to 3-5 minutes. If someone needs to talk further, they may do so after the close of the meeting.
Majbrit encourages guests to make comments, but does not always know exactly what people need, so feel free to ask questions.
Jenny Hungary – She is quite new to ACA. She just joined in September. She is not aware of what IGs are. Is there one in Hungary, for instance? Or can she carry any further information about this?
Martin – On the WSO website, it shows that Hungary has an IG, but he’s not sure whether or not it’s active. It hasn’t registered in the last 18 months. There is an email address firstname.lastname@example.org. It would be interesting to know if they need any help. In general, an IG is there to help the groups it represents, either with literature or with public information inquiries, or to negotiate translations. It’s essentially a service committee for a particular area.
Majbrit – Bonnie, a member of the committee for Intergroup liaisons at the WSO, had been asking around and made a list of IGs. Majbrit can send this to Martin. There may be a lot of email addresses and addresses for meetings, but if groups do not activate their status online, we don’t know if the groups are still in existence. Majbrit wrote to over 200 groups in Europe and received 20 responses back. EC is also here to let people know we’re not alone, so that we can build a foundation in Europe for people to be able to share experiences and support one another. A healthy meeting will grow exponentially if they are supported well and if they understand the foundation they are a part of. She has seen that over the past 1.5 years. This is what she does on a daily basis: support meetings, answer questions, etc. Specifically for Hungary, she is not particularly sure if there is still an active IG. She needs people on the ground in particular countries to help with this kind of thing.
Martina Vienna – She would like to serve on the European level but she doesn’t know yet how. She has about 10 people in her group, but there are only two women sponsors at the moment. So it affects the group if people don’t work the steps. Would it be possible to organize a sponsorship list? Would that be a part of the EC? Also, can we as a group donate to the EC? If yes, how?
Majbrit – At the moment, we do not have our own budget. If people donate to the WSO but mark it as being for the EC, the WSO Treasurer can send it back into our budget. She will bring up the budget in a board call this month. On the topic of sponsorship, we do not have a list of sponsors. As this is an anonymous fellowship, it might be difficult to create this kind of list.
Will – It could be possible to have a list that is distributed individually but not posted publicly. Only members that agree to have their names included would be on the list. He didn’t have direct experience with this kind of list, but he didn’t see a direct conflict with the traditions if these kinds of guidelines were put in place.
Martina – For an IG we had a list. There was only name and email of people that were willing to be on the list. There was also a notice of anonymity and a minor screening per email.
Majbrit – She often refers people to the phone bridge, even though it is mostly in the US. This is a program of attraction, so hearing a possible sponsor share can be good. Also, if you have the yellow workbook, you should probably be able to get through the steps with a sponsor in the US. In her case, she is Danish, so her inner child speaks Danish, and her international sponsee’s inner child speaks a different native language. She does not yet have a solution for this.
Daniel – In his belief, ACA is not as old as other programs and the red book has not been around as long. So finding sponsors that have worked the program can be difficult. He often connects with sponsees over skype or over the phone or emails. He has also worked with a cosponsor in the US and went through the steps with her. Also, it is often too complicated for people in Europe to remain registered with WSO etc. He has sat down with people and gone over the process but it doesn’t always stick with them. Hopefully having an EC that is more local will help this process along.
Majbrit – Sponsorship was also a major question at Riga. Most countries in Europe have had some kind of material that relates to ACA but it was not conference approved literature. We didn’t get our literature until 6 years ago. So yes, this is very new. But having a service structure like the EC helps make things more transparent, so that information can flow more easily. Hopefully the whole committee can help establish procedures for new countries to get connected into the EC. John M. from WSO is writing some guidelines for ACA groups internationally. Hopefully they are more clear and precise and easier to read. We’re also getting a new WSO webpage. Each country will have its own language version, so all the information is in the local language. In short, this is an ongoing process.
Alex – She gets questions about sponsorship on the helpline. If no sponsor is available, she directs them to the fellow traveler portion in the red book. The adult child relationship with sponsor / sponsee has not always been as successful as in other fellowships. A fellow traveler can be a good option.
Will – After looking over his notes for the minutes, he would like to see if members would be interested in discussing the roles of service members from the EC, and also from country representatives joining the meeting. If the members are interested, Will would suggest we discuss the general roles at the next meeting. Is there a motion for that?
Majbrit – Public Service could be very helpful in the countries themselves. Long term, she would wish that all countries would be represented at the EC. This is all still really new. But in Denmark, the fellowship grew exponentially once it had its own literature. So it would be very good to help countries get their own literature.
Will – He brought forward a motion to discuss the roles of service positions at the EC. At this stage, the main distinction would probably be between European Committee Officers (Treasurer, Secretary, etc.) and the Intergroup Representatives attending the EC on behalf of a particular Intergroup of Country.
The motion was seconded and then passed.
Martin – He will pass the comment on the difficulty of registering groups back to the WSO. Many groups don’t register at WSO, because it doesn’t make sense to register groups on a website that is only in English. ACA is focused on becoming more international and more multi-lingual.
Majbrit – The next convention will be in Finland in September. Hopefully the new WSO website can help solve some of the problem with localized sites in multiple languages.
Daniel – A fellowship can differ from country to country but still be a part of ACA, as long as it follows the traditions as best as it can. In Holland, the fellowship was growing very fast a few years back, and then there was a huge drop in participation. This is of course a program of attraction not promotion. He
definitely believes his IG needs help and would love to work with other countries. ACA is developing. The situation in Europe is different than in the states – many countries, many cultures. In Holland, there was even resistance to starting an IG, which held the IG back for almost two years. He hopes there is a way to collaborate together to help the fellowship grow.
Majbrit – We can focus on our common goal to get better by doing the steps. There might be variations in terms of cultural and language barriers. But being on these conference calls, making it known to your own homegroup and the meetings in your home country, will let people know that there is an EC call every month where we can say what’s on our mind and what concerns us.
Raymond – Denis couldn’t make meeting today, but they have made good progress on translating the BRB. They have also just translated the ABC ballot requests, which are available on the repository. Raymond is happy to be on the call and looks forward to hearing everyone next time.
Motion to end the EC was seconded.
Announcements: The next EC Skype Meeting is scheduled for Saturday, March 7th at 14:00
The meeting closed with the Serenity Prayer.