Minutes for March 2018
Monthly EC Teleconference
April 7th 2018
14:00 p.m. CEST
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 Four: Each group is autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or ACA as a whole. We cooperate with all other Twelve-Step programs.
B. Roll Call of European Countries:
Chair of TC – Majbrit
European Committee Present:
Majbrit – Chair
Charlie H – WSO Board member and Chair of Literature Committee WSO
Jim – Brooklyn, USA – Chair of ABC Committee WSO
WSO Secretary – Marcia J
Country Representatives & Guests:
Marc & Dirk – Netherlands, IG Translation Committee
Sylvie – Spain IG
Alexia – Germany, CR & Chair of Literature & Translation & Service Board
Leena – Finland Chair of IG
Apologies: Tanya – CZ, Sec & Jeffrey F – CZ, Finance & Treasurer
Reminder 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 questions and comments until later in the call when we open it up for discussion. If someone needs to talk further, arrangements can be made after the end of the call.
When the call is opened for discussion, this will be your chance to have direct contact with the WSO and ask questions about anything related to our fellowship such as service structures, translations, literature, etc.
Majbrit – EC Chair & WSO Board Trustee updates
Feb minutes not yet approved – postponing until next conference call
Literature in pdf format has been requested by Translation Committees. Dutch/German experience was discussed and how to provide more support – a bi-monthly call for Translators and Majbrit/Charlie to work out a procedure for smoother translations.
Digital version to use computer technology to do an initial translation is being considered but US copyright law needs to protect the ownership of the material. Steps forward should be known within a month
Registrations on the WSO website – if the local fellowship has a website, we would like the url web address to link from WSO to the local website. Any concerns about that, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
FLOOR OPENED for questions
Marc – Netherlands, representing NL Translation – What kind of help can we expect or rely on from EC & WSO as meetings don’t seem healthy?
Majbrit response – we will be there but as all groups are autonomous and can make enquiries to EC and WSO – by email or by phone. Suggests seeking support from IG as they have a say as to how things are run in NL and EC is in background to support IG and meetings if there is no IG.
Charlie re USA experience – how to get meetings to follow basic ACA outlines. When problems arise locally, members turn to IG, then WSO and WSO offers ESH about meetings and how the Traditions work. It’s a broader group of experience to know what to do next. Question to NL – If there was one type of help or a problem you’re facing that could be most beneficial to you, what would that be
Mark – in Amsterdam it seems people are not sharing ESH, they’re more dumping so difficult for newcomers to understand what ACA is about. When expats come to English meetings they don’t seem to get it and some old members of ACA are not attending as it doesn’t feel safe.
Charlie – great questions. At the WSO AWC Toronto – there’s a session on meeting safety as it’s hard to know what to do if some people aren’t respecting boundaries. For Newcomers it can seem complicated. At WSO, we’re working on a shorter version of the big text for Newcomers. This may also be discussed in the translation committee. Focus on a few simple things to talk about in the meetings. Just get a small body of things to focus on early on –
The Laundry List
Marcia – A meeting in Iowa mostly attended by newcomers who’ve never been to 12 step meetings uses the Laundry List Workbook and after we have a fellowship meeting where people can ask questions – like group sponsorship as most of these people don’t have sponsors. Very hard when everyone is new as there isn’t enough ESH at that point. I’m here to hear your questions and to start to understand what is needed in Europe.
In USA, we understand how we are and tend to treat you Europeans that you have the same cultural feelings, etc as us in US and listening to you will help us to better help you. Sometimes our solutions may not be your solutions. Thus, by being present and getting to know you we hope to be able to help you.
Majbrit – The literature Sub committee are working on the Danish booklet- the Purple Booklet – on speaks of why we come to ACA. It’s been used for 25 years in Denmark – 12 statements 12 statements that give clarity and all of the 55 meetings in Denmark it reads:
- We come to ACA to learn a new way of life through the twelve step program of ACA. which consists of Twelve Steps, Twelve Traditions, The Serenity Prayer, concepts, slogans ACA-literature, ACA meetings and telephone and personal contacts. We come to learn to leve the program one day at a time. We do not come here for anyone else. We attend to help us selves and share our experience, strength and hope with others.
- We are but experts in our own history, how we leve the program, how the program works for us and what ACA has done for us. No one speaks for ACA as a whole.
- WE respect the anonymity. No questions asked. We strive for an atmosphere of love and acceptance. We do not care how you are or what you have done. You are welcome
- We do not judge. We do not criticize. We do not discuss. We do not give counsel in personal or family issues.
- ACA is not a forum for ever dwelling upon our misery, but a way to free ourselves. Our serenity is among other based upon the ability to live in peace with unsolved issues.
- We do not discuss religion, politics, national or international questions, creed systems or political systems. ACA has no opinion of outside entities.
- ACA is a spirituel program, not a religious program.
- The Steps suggests a faith in a power greater than ourselves. This can be compassionate love, the force of good, the ACA group, Nature, the universe, God or what ever a member chooses for their Higer Power.
- We use the program we do not analyze it. The understanding comes with the experience. Every day we use a part of the program in our daily lives.
- We have found it useful to label and degree of sickness. We possibly have different symptoms but the underlying feelings are the same. We realize that we are not alone with our sickness and difficulties.
- Every member has the right to their own opinion and the right within ACA’s framework to express those in meetings. We are all equal no one is more important than the other.
- One of the most beautiful things about the ACA program is that we can say anything at meetings and know it stays there. Everything we hear at meetings, over the phone or from other members is confidential and cannot be shared with anyone not ACA members, partners, family, relatives or friends.
Majbrit – this is read with the Traditions so people know what ACA is about – it’s so we can share what we like. These remind us to share ESH – it works very well in Denmark. The 12 Statements are from Emotional Anonymous in the US and were revised in 2008 and used for more than 25 years in Denmark and it has made a difference. We also read the Cross Talk rules when we have newcomers. Anyone can ask the leader at anytime to read the CrossTalk rules.
Alexia – Germany we have a crosstalk meeting at one . Look at the Guidelines for New meetings. Would like to run a workshop ??? Knows from other 12 Steps but not ACA .. has checked BRB but hasn’t found it yet …Is there something in US? Is there an inventory for Groups?
Charlie – an Inventory for groups is being developed and will be discussed in Toronto; would you like to be part of that? ACA has been around 35 years in US but nearly vanished; there’s been a revival in the last 12-13 years and things are just coming back. We’re starting to use Al-Anon and AA formats for an Inventory of a meeting. We are also writing written guidance to have healthy meetings. We have a booklet called A Good Enough Meeting which is about to be reviewed. We have Guidelines to New Meetings. It’s a free document.
Marcia – what helped us was the 3 things listed in a booked called Ready, Set, Go – What are the Goals of this program as many of us came from AA or Al-Anon and we were trying to work the steps the same way we did there and it was confusing
Why do we come here?
1. We come here to come out of denial out of what happened to us to accept our stories
2. To be supporting in grieving for ourselves
3. To learn how to reparent ourselves.
Maybe knowing that those are the 3 things going to happen in a meeting could also help?
Majbrit – group safety. Handbook in back of BRB
What is the priority to grow the fellowship in NL? What would be beneficial for us to translate first to get people into meetings and help them stay there. My experience in Europe is if a fellowship isn’t working it’s because the Traditions aren’t understood and nobody understands why they’re there as there’s no clear path as to why they’re here or what to do next. Many people dump hurt feelings and problems instead of sharing ESH. Realistically, you won’t know if you haven’t been shown how to do that. Thus members who’ve been in the program for many years and maybe have done steps in other programs are who the newcomer can learn from. However, if those people are all over the place, it’s difficult to maintain a good meeting. That’s why the 12 suggestions that we are experts in our own lives and nobody else’s is useful.
It’s beneficial to go back to the IG to discuss what are the issues preventing us from growing the fellowship – is it meeting safety, is it having a clear path of where this program is taking us …
I have recommended you could ask AA NL if you could get the translations from them of the Traditions.
Leena – Finland – query about Purple booklet and 12 Statements. We have quite a lot of people who haven’t received recovery. WHY focus on Traditions as they’re less important than the Steps in Finland?
Majbrit – by understanding the Traditions, eg First Tradition – that if we’re going into the room and are unified with others who are there, you don’t want to monopolize the time by sharing all your stuff all the time. Some meetings have spiritual timekeepers. In Denmark, we don’t because we know the Traditions and we know we lift spirits high in the meeting and we’ll call a Group Conscience if someone is always monopolising the meeting. We create a safe environment for everyone to speak, including those who never speak. Creating an atmosphere for newcomers to speak when they’re afraid. It’s not a place to go to dump and discussing how is the group functioning as a whole. A very loving understanding of how we treat newcomers. We change the meeting and different themes – but we’ll adapt when there is a newcomer. The only meeting that we don’t change is when there’s a speaker meeting as they come from a long way away and aren’t able to change. Sometimes it’s 4 meetings in a row that are newcomer meetings and it helps remind old timers about how their journey progressed.
Understanding the Traditions is like having a drivers license for how we operate, how we treat each other and that’s beneficial.
Because of our meeting format where we read all the Traditions at the end of the meeting so people are reminded. Danish meetings are 90 mins. Same in Norway and Sweden and you can see the growth in those fellowships. That’s why we’re here – for growth.
Charlie – reason I believe Traditions are important is as ACAs struggle in group situations, work situations because as children we had a hard time functioning in the family; trying to do things alone and solve problems alone. Hard for ACAs to get in a circle of people without pushing on old injuries and traumas inside each other. You spoke how some in your meetings don’t seem to have recovery and how that affects you. The whole idea behind Traditions is a different way for groups to treat each other with respect and proper boundaries. No-one is in charge as we’re all in this together in Tradition 2 and trusting a Higher Power and are always reminded that no matter how much we’re hurting inside it’s important in Tradition 5 to be available to the Newcomer and even when we’re disagreeing with each other, we know we are working at and solving problems in Tradition 1. When we get into fights with each other that we learn to put principals before personalities – when we feel attacked, all the old energy comes up and to remember, even though we’re not agreeing, let’s turn to a HP, let’s put aside our angry feelings and that we’re bothering each other. What’s the principal here – a different way of solving problems. When ACAs come together and create a safe group for each other, that’s important and as powerful as reading a chapter in the book. We start to see we’re living and interacting differently as a result of the program.
Lastly involving translations, after the 3rd sentence you have differences of options. Or if you’re creating a meeting format, it’s a way of processing those differences of opinions without simply going into old behaviors and thought patterns. Traditions are a way of living life more effectively and in a state of recovery than if we don’t have the Traditions to rely on.
How to work through a problems in meetings or language to tell newcomers starts
pg 562 sample meeting format,
pg 569 welcoming newcomers
pg 571 six suggestions for ongoing recovery.
Pg 574 Cross talk
Pg 576 Sharing at Meetings
For meetings without full translation, those sections are really valuable.
Best information is in the last 100 pages. To help your meetings start translating pages 560-591 (The Promises).
Silvia – Spain. Could WSO have a bank of translators in USA who could then do the final copy? Then the countries could pay WSO.
Majbrit – Spanish is spoken a lot in the USA so it’s easier. Other languages are different and they affect the culture. Using a professional translator; the spirit of the material can be lost.
We plan to create a translation sub-committees to share ESH and when to translate what and then communicating with Charlie at WSO and Majbrit at EC for questions. Would that be beneficial?
Dirk & Marc – great idea to help each other all over the world.
Majbrit – Robin our Special Worker gets lots of questions about to translate the ideas in the BRB and knowing how to rewrite into local language. She knows how to explain those in “normal” english.
Charlie – We will add a translation page to the ACA web-page and have some consistency.
We need to ask ourselves:
- What do the Newcomers need most today?
- What needs to be made available first?
- Want to create a community in translation?
Majbrit – many of the people who’ve attended English meetings and others and may have been in program for a long time and are used to making a meeting work a specific way may criticize if other members wish to change the meeting format but if there’s a strong reason to modify the format and interact with one another, referring to the BRB, what has happened to the meetings, if the old-timers need to be there so people can learn from them, then it’s easy to go back and complain. That’s happened in Denmark. ACAs are often afraid when things change and if there’s an explanation and good reason that it’s beneficial for entire fellowship, they tend to come around . It’s about using the Traditions and principals when negotiating because without you’re all over the place. Traditions create framework within the discussion about how we treat one another – principals before personalities.
As a Translation Committee, it’s a new beginning and we support your process.
Charlie – Annual Business meeting end of April so best to wait till after that. When’s a good time to start?
Majbrit – 1st weekend of month is EC and also literature meeting.
Probably June would be the inaugural meeting.
We’ll create a Slack channel in the meantime. NOT the first Sat of the month
Leena – Finland – our meetings are 2 hours long. What else do you do?
Majbrit – In a Traditions Meeting (2nd Fri) – it’s standard in Denmark; We read BRB for 10 mins and Share on that – unless someone has a pressing issue but Tradition Meeting starts with a share about the traditions and why we have them and all members are encouraged to read them and understand what they’re about and how to use them in daily lives to people can learn from that.
Denmark monthly meeting schedule is as follows:
1st – Tradition of the month & Business Meeting is held within the 90 mins (last 15 mins & GC 15 mins)
2nd – Step of the Month – ask someone to lead the discussion with their ESH Chair for 10 mins
3rd – topic meeting from the teddy bear – reparenting, from the Solution or Character Defects & if no-one volunteers there’s 10 mins reading from BRB
4th – Speaker meeting
5th – Service
Dirk – Netherlands – In Tradition 4, we co-operate with all other 12 Step programs – what does it mean? In almost other programs it’s not there; ACA seems to be the only one ..
Charlie – It was put in about the organisational level – eg WSO ABC, a few other fellowships wanted to be there and hand out their literature. The Tradition tells us to collaborate with others to pass on their message knowing that members may benefit form other types of literature/recovery.
Last summer AA co-operated with us.
No expectation of allowing an AA speaker to talk to ACA …
Majbrit – in Denmark we have worked with other 12 step to get the Traditions, Steps that are already translated so we don’t have to reinvent the wheel.
Greek translation group small so to get proofread and make sure spirit and message was there, they asked NA and AA and OA translators to proofread. I don’t know if that was what was meant but that’s how it works now.
Jim R – from USA, Chair of ABC committee – any questions – please write via website. AND … annually the ComLine does an edition devoted to ABC and outcome and thinks it’d be worthwhile for European delegation to arrive with idea of submitting an article of their interpretation of how it may affect their intergroup and how that will affect 2019 in Sweden. Articles in foreign languages are requested all the time. Ie .. please take notes, interview someone or take a picture (?????? Is this keeping with Traditions on anonymity?).
Motion to close meeting
Closed with ACA Serenity Prayer.
Here is a schedule of ACA meetings in pink + other large AA/Al-Anon regional meetings that might be places to connect with to distribute ACA material?
NEXT MEETING: Sat 5th May 14.00 CEST
Meeting minutes prepared by Tanya M – April 10th 2018
GENERAL REMINDER from Secretary:
Events – As you organize your events, please let us know so that we can post this to the News section of the EC website. This way ACAs travelling to other countries know what events are on, when and where and can do service by visiting.
Website – thanks to those Country Reps who have had time to put together som
|18-20th||Ukraine||Lviv||https://dda-ukraina.jimdo.com/ (link is broken)|
|19-20||Germany||41st Annual Roundup – Rheinland-Pfalz||AA – https://alcoholics-anonymous.eu/event/41st-annual-rheinland-pfalz-intergroup-roundup/|
|9-10||Germany||Dusseldorp – CER June Regional Assembly||AA – https://alcoholics-anonymous.eu/event/cer-regional-assembly-june/|
|22-7-01||Lithuania||Combined 12 step fellowship events||www.suaugevaikai.com (website has expired). a separate English pdf outlines this 9 day AA/Al-Anon/ACA event|
|1st||Germany||Frankfurt AA annual BBQ/Picnic||AA – https://alcoholics-anonymous.eu/event/frankfurt-aa-annual-bbq-and-picnic/|
|13-15||Germany||27th Bavarian RoundUp||AA – https://alcoholics-anonymous.eu/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/IGB-Roundup-2018-Flyer.pdf|
|27-29||Lithuania||9th European Convention of Young People in AA||AA – http://eurypaa2018.com|
|3-5||Germany||Annual Rheinland IG Campathon||AA – https://alcoholics-anonymous.eu/event/annual-rheinland-pfalz-intergroup-campathon-2/|
|31-Sept2||Bulgaria||11th National AA Convention||AA – https://alcoholics-anonymous.eu/event/11th-national-bulgarian-convention/|
|5-7 Sept||Belgium||Action Coming from Love|
|21-23||Belgium||The Road to Happiness||AA – https://alcoholics-anonymous.eu/event/the-road-to-happiness/|
|28-29||France||Big Book Workshop||AA – https://alcoholics-anonymous.eu/event/big-book-workshop/ – mother and daughter US speakers & sponsoring|
|TBC||Russia||Sept or Oct|
|12-14||France||Biarritz AA 2nd English-speaking Convention||AA – https://alcoholics-anonymous.eu/event/biarritz-2018-a-vision-for-you/|
|16-18||Spain||Costa Del Sol IG Convention||AA – http://aaconventioncds.org|
|1-2||Slovakia||AA CER Bratislava||AA -https://alcoholics-anonymous.eu/event/cer-regional-assembly-december/|
e information for your country pages on www.acawsoec.com.As you have time and energy we look forward to receiving your information:
- Number of meetings currently in the country – PLUS details of WHERE and HOW to get to the meeting and WHO to contact to find meetings in your country. Just like on the Czech page http://acawsoec.com/czech-republic/
- History of fellowship and growth to go to your country page
- Local website
Literature – Did you know you can download free copies in different languages of the trifolds at http://www.lit.adultchildren.org/
Contact details of your Translation Committee – so we can provide them with the Guidelines for translation coming from WSO