Notes From AWC Workshop Session on European Service, April 27, 2019

More thorough notes regarding the AWC session on European Service will be available after we have access to a recording of the session. This is a brief summary of the key points.

About 30 participants attended. Most were European, with three WSO board members—Majbrit M., Charlie H., and Carole C. Sue V., co-host of the 2019 ABC/AWC in Toronto and chair of the WSO committee on global outreach, also attended. 

Three main topics were addressed: 

  1. Introduction 

Majbrit asked participants to introduce themselves individually. She then discussed the European Committee’s greatest current needs. The most important things right now, is for members to step up and form the guidlines for what is most important for european fellowships; Translations, mentoring/sponsoring new fellowships (how to apply traditions/concepts and how to set up a service structure, distributions of literature where there is non.

In addition to volunteers, I recall you emphasizing that those Europeans with experience could be service sponsors to newer fellowships. 

Majbrit; I called for volunteers because that is what all of us are, and I did not speak to a new structure of the EC because I believe that this should be guided by the group conscious.  And about that, people are volunteering on their own accord. I was asked the question; “If I step up will that prevent anyone from my service group/IG to step into other positions?” I do not believe so. the future structure of the EC depends on members stepping up to volunteer their service ESH. 
Granted I was not clear enough in my introduction. For that I want to apologize. 

Future of European Leadership

At a later point in the program, Majbrit and Charlie discussed the future of strategic leadership for European fellowships and the European Committee. 

Majbrit and Charlie clarified that the EC needs more than just volunteers to support existing activities. They noted that many European fellowships are working on full capacity, and it is time for them to play a greater role in guiding the future of Europeans in ACA. As Majbrit put it, it is time for the European Committee to become more truly European. Also, since she is leaving the board by April 2020, it is important that other Europeans consider stepping up for WSO board service. 

Charlie noted that the European fellowships are in a much different place than in 2013, when the Danish fellowship hosted an ABC. Many fellowships have undertaken very complex and demanding service activities, including translation, book distribution, and the 2019 AWC. He welcomed a discussion in which Europeans take a leading role in thinking through how WSO and Europeans can work together to best serve the fellowships.

  1. Assessment of Needs 

In the final session, three breakout groups were formed to examine core areas of needs, including translation support, sponsorship, and other ways that fellowships could support each other. Each table gave a brief report of its findings. The following are some suggestions that arose: 

More systematic guidance for translators 

Workshops and written guidance focusing on the Traditions

Creating a database of helpers with specific areas of expertise

Asking Europeans with service experience to take more extensive leadership of the EC, to begin charting the next stage of ACA in Europe

A service manual

Help with sponsorship

Service sponsorship, to assist local fellowships

More written guidance about Service on the WSO/EC websites 

Greater use of audio recordings, so that those with long-term ACA recovery can share their experience through workshops and online talks. 

Assigned mentors for new meetings

In general, there was broad agreement that European fellowships would benefit from greater availability of “how-to” information for serving meetings, InterGroups and national committees. In addition to EC calls, this could include online workshops, new written guidance, and a network of service sponsors.