Monthly EC Teleconference July 2nd, 2016
14:00 p.m. CET
Please notify the secretary at EU-Secretary@adultchildren.org with changes, additions, or motions for this meeting.
A. Call to Order: Please be sure that any background noises in your area are eliminated since the sounds make it difficult for participants to hear. When speaking, please say your name first. This will help us record your name with your input. Thank you.
1) Open with the Serenity Prayer
2) Tradition Seven: Every ACA group ought be self-supporting, declining outside contributions.
B. Roll Call of European Countries:
C. Establish Quorum
Majbrit, Denmark, WSO Vice Chair/European Chair;
Jeffrey, Prague, Czech Republic, EU Finance and Literature Sub-Committee Chair/WSO Board Trustee;
Iuno, Madrid, Spain Michael, Ireland Kadri Liisa, Estonia Linda, Latvia Marthy, Netherlands Xanthi, Greece Denis, Russia
Non-committee members are welcome to listen to this teleconference but are requested to remain silent unless asked to participate. We respectfully request that guests hold their comments until the end of the meeting. If someone needs to talk further, they may do so after the end of the meeting.
E. Motion put forward by Jeffrey to approve the backlog of minutes that were recently posted for ACA Europe. The motion passed with unanimous approval.
F. Official welcome of EC Country Representatives:
Denmark: Michal, Hasse Finland: Hannah Greece: Xanthi
Latvia: Linda Netherlands: Marthy Norway: Irena
Sweden: Suzanna Czech Republic: Jeffrey
Jeffrey: We thank you very much for you service. One of the first things we will be doing is posting on slack to get your input on creating our website for the EC, which will include a page for each one of your
countries. Contact information, links to your own pages, etc. Also, as of now, there is a listing in phone number and a playback phone number.
Majbrit: I discussed with a couple of members the role of advisory to their countries. We don’t want to create confusion or step on toes concerning country representatives. As the country rep of the EC, you are not a trustee. So this doesn’t conflict with how we elect trustees or how we appoint trustees to the intergroup as such. As a country rep, you don’t necessarily have to be in the intergroup of the country you are working with, but it would be nice if you were. Ultimately, you can have the role without being a trustee because you are serving as a liaison between the intergroup and EC committee. You wouldn’t have any authority within the intergroup you’d be reporting out of if you aren’t already or don’t become a member.
Also, we opened up ACA in Birgu, Malta. A completely new country and hopefully we’ll hear from them soon as they grow.
Overall, I’ve answered about 30 emails from members looking for information on how to find a meeting, etc. I’ve referred them back to the respective countries they are from because I do have contact information for some countries that allows me to do that. We’d very much like the Country Reps to serve as a contact point we can refer newcomers to.
G. Open Call
Q1: (Michael) What information are you looking to receive for the website. A1: (Jeffrey) We are at the opening stage. We need to put together a plan and architecture to determine what all we want to have on the website. Aside from a page for each country, what other things should we have? Publications for each literature that link back to language specific country pages. It could easily balloon up into something unimaginable so we thought it would be a great thing to have everyone contribute what information they’d like to have and we’ll streamline it. We are also considering password protected areas for different areas of the website. (Majbrit) We can also use it to determine best practices to help make meetings safer and increase feelings of belonging; sponsor meetings in a different country; find guest speakers, etc. If we can build a website where we as the European fellowship can learn from each other, nurture one another, make people feel that they are part of the ACA family and bring countries closer to one another, then we can get a sense of really getting support for what we need.
Majbrit: To help people feel closer and less nervous we have someone who explains how the meeting works to the newcomer. Then a member will take care of them by telling them about literature, how many meetings there are, and giving a newcomer coin. After 6, they get to choose a teddy bear. And we make a big deal of passing the bear around and giving it strength and hope and then giving it to them. And every month, they get a coin. We also have two people go for coffee with the newcomers to help them feel like part of the ACA family.
Jeffrey: I think that’s wonderful and I think we should expand on this into some sort of best practices European ACA guidebook/document. People can come together and share the things that make their fellowship great to help everyone grow and learn together.
Q2: (Kadri Liisa) To be counted *garbled* European Committee, your group must appoint you, correct? You can’t represent your country without having been voted. A2: (Jeffrey) The country representative for the European Committee is an advisory role for the European Committee decided on by the European Committee. It’s not decided on by any other group, intergroup, or meeting, or fellowship, or committee anywhere else in the fellowship in the world. It’s just a mutual personal contract between the EC of the WSO and the individual. Obviously, it would be good if that person has good relationships and support of groups or intergroups in their country, but at the end of the day, we are not waiting on the permission of any group or intergroup to appoint a country representative. This is not a service position, it’s not a trusteed servant. It’s an advisory role. We simply need people that we can trust, that we can go to in order to get information on how to support things in that country.
Majbrit: I just want to explain the history of being an advisory person on the EC. When I started doing EC work two and a half years ago, I was sending out invitations to all the intergroups in Europe asking them to send a person to the skype call we had at the time. Before we even had skype meetings, I sent out invitations to connect with me so that I could know what need the intergroups had. I think I sent out emails to about 50 people with only two responding. After the skype meetings two years back, I did the same thing. I told people to call in and ideally, these people would be a member of the intergroup. Now when we say we as people will elect people who are interested in working for their fellowship but they’re not necessarily a trustee, they are an advisor, 11 people have signed up in two weeks. Clearly there is a huge difference that people think I’m not necessarily a trustee, I get the information, I pass it along to my fellowship, and if they choose so, they may use me as a liaison between the EC and the intergroup. But, we have never said someone from an intergroup can’t join us, they can always join us, but then they will have to be vetted, approved as trustees because they will have to have completed their step work, having a working concept of the traditions, and all of this stuff. But as an advisor, we can also have a newcomer in Malta who has an idea about what is needed in Malta to support their new fellowship, they can do that type of service without being a trusted servant.
There are two levels of service here. There is the level where you appointed to that role by your fellowship and then there is the level where you as a person decide to step up and reach out for help and support or to share something that will strengthen the fellowship.
Q3: (Michael) When Ireland gets its intergroup, would there be a connection between the intergroup and the EC? What exactly would the intergroup even do? A3: (Majbrit) We have different levels of communication. We have a chair person who is a chairperson for all intergroups all over the world that is sending out information to the intergroups. The board of the WSO is aware of a new intergroup and gives them information. The EC as such is also going to work on different levels with a new intergroup. So it’s not a conflicting position, but now you are telling me you don’t have an intergroups and now you know the EC might even want to help and support an intergroup. That will make it easier for the intergroup to do its service because it knows someone has its back. (Jeffrey) Intergroups like all groups are autonomous so they mostly deal with their own business. An intergroup might deal with one or two groups but not necessarily all groups in the same country. Obviously, we’re interested in working with the fellowship on multiple levels. For better or worse, there is no real hierarchy between the intergroups, the fellowship, and the EC. As a result there is no chain of command and as such there are many multiple points of contact.
S1: (Iuno) I will be the country representative for Spain. I would also like to correct the record on the webpage which lists we have a Spanish intergroup, that is wrong. R1: (Jeffrey) Wonderful and welcome officially on this call. You are now our country representative for Spain. We will send you an invitation to join our working committee on slack so you will have access to the other country representatives. (Majbrit) Write to email@example.com about the intergroup problem. If you write to the email address, you’ll get in contact with Gloria, our special worker. She’ll be able to take the meetings down from the webpage.
S2: (Denis) Hello everyone. I would like to say that I resign from the service position of the Russian Literature and Publishing representative. My fellow traveler Petr has stepped up to this position. As I understand, Jeffrey, you know this person. I think Petr will connect with you this week or next to move forward the relationship between Russian and the EC. R2: (Jeffrey) Do I understand correctly that I should be working with Petr on finding printer to try and print the BRB in Russia or still continue to work with you on this. (Denis) Petr is the contact point from this day, but of course I can still help you or Petr. The official representative is Petr. I am still the contact point for the conference next week. I am only resigning as the Literature and Publishing representative.
Majbrit: Thank you for your service. It’s been a pleasure working with you and we are looking forward to seeing you in Russia.
Q4: (Marthy) I like the ideas about the website and to suggest a bit more about publishing, translations, and etc. Maybe some sort of communication of the rules on translations and publishing. A4: (Jeffrey)
That’s a good point and a bit more clarification, procedure, and best practices needs to be shared more. This brings to mind an idea where we try sharing best practices on translations in Moscow. Maybe we have a guest speaker on an upcoming teleconference on translations in their country. Lessons they learned, something they would do differently. Then it can be kind of like a teleconference/webinar (Majbrit) We also announced we might want to do a workshop on translations, but I know for sure that I have a person who has a huge amount of experience translating and is very good at English. The way she has been working, she came up with a very smart solution to making sure the literature still feels very personal while being for everyone. (Jeffrey) That is a wonderful idea and I think you should go right ahead and contact her. In fact, if we can get guest speakers on a couple of these calls, it will all be recorded and transcribed which we can use to turn into a kind of best practices document on translation that we can share with the fellowship. (Majbrit) Okay. In terms of the website, my suggestion is that we build a website that is so simple, anyone starting off in a new country can find their way around. So a few icons then a login page where more experience members can log in and see. The best practices should be on the first page so everyone has access to it. I have an internal picture of what it could look like, so I’ll draw it up and present it for the next meeting. Everything should be very simple and easy to access though.
S3: (Denis) I think it would be easier for the speaker to do his or her presentation via skype. They can also record themselves and upload it to the listeners. R3: (Jeffrey) Thank you for the wonderful idea.
S4: (Linda) For the website we could have a contact list like we have for the regular meetings. People could just be contacted if they put up their contact information. (Marthy) I think this is a very good idea. R4: (Jeffrey) I think this is a good idea, we just have to work out how to organize it because there are different types of contact lists that we could have. At this moment it sounds like it could be just a few, but when it grows to 50 or 100, some sort of organization would be good. We are currently thinking of hosting the website with a service that provides lots of different email accounts. So on each country page we could have an email for that country that goes to the country rep. Another contact point could be the member’s area for a certain region or intergroup contacts, etc. At the end, we need to think through the structure we plan to use. (Majbrit) The reason we don’t have a list of contacts at the WSO levels is because people have given their contact information for the WSO to send out information. Not the other way around. Most of the meetings want to stay anonymous. Violating that anonymity is actually a big issue at the WSO level because they feel invaded if they get bulk advertisements, etc. We have to be very clear on what people are giving their contact information for as well as what people are being asked for. We may need to hire a full-time employee to moderate the website going forward if we implement a place to share. Worst case scenario we don’t want to have a hundred new comers coming in to share without knowing how to share or how things work. Yes we want to make experience, strength, and hope available, we have to be be smart about how we do it and where we do it to respect the program.
S5: (Denis) I agree with the member’s only area of the website. I think it will be very good and very useful. (Marthy) By any means, get a safe haven for the people who are translating in the countries so they get connected. I’m very glad to hear that it’s being taken care of. I don’t think the worst case will happen.
Linda: In one week have an event in Latvia that is very important to our fellowship.
Majbrit: Congratulations, this is a huge thing for your fellowship. If any other country has an event, please reach out to us so we can make sure the word is spread out. firstname.lastname@example.org is my email. For questions concerning literature, contact Jeffrey at email@example.com
A motion to close the meeting was seconded, and the meeting was closed with the Serenity Prayer.