January Delegate’s Letter – Checking In and Remaining Close
Dear Al-Anon Friends,
Greetings from Erie, PA! I am writing to check in with you as we open a new year. Much of the news from the WSO since our November AWSC meeting was sent out in The Loop (WSO electronic newsletter – click here to subscribe. Be Informed!) or the October Chairperson of the Board letter. In this message I would like to touch on a couple items – the Service Manual and the new non-geographical Area. However, before my comments on those I would like to share some personal sentiments.
What a wonderful time to be in service! I have found that my service responsibilities and friends in service have often carried me through the past year. Service in 2021, gave me opportunities to make good of the day and the day to make good of me. Talk about one day at a time living! I am very grateful for that. My hope is that you, like me, are finding a blessing in Al-Anon service and are also settling into any new service position you may have, more and more with each new day, meeting, report, email, prayer, and yes sometimes even an amend. That is how this works – enjoy the journey.
Finding balance in life while being a Delegate as well as reaching out has been the two main things I have been struggling with, as well as working on, my first year of this term. I feel I am entering this second year of the term, having made some strides in both areas, little by slowly. Practice makes progress and experience brings growth. Looking forward to what is next, for you, and for me!
My hope is also that you and your loved ones are well. Be assured of my constant prayers on your behalf. And I ask for your prayers for me. My home group remains face to face at this time; however, we have kept our Zoom account in case we find ourselves needing to transition to a virtual meeting at some point again over the next months. And as a personal update, I am well and I am happy to report that Erie has not seen much snow……yet. I know that can change in a flash and as I write this note our weather report is indicating snow is on the way but I have enjoyed the unseasonal warmer temperatures and clear roads we have had. Quite a change for us in the Northwest sector of Pennsylvania!
Now for a couple updates:
2022-2025 Al-Anon / Alateen Service Manual
I would like to offer an update to my Nov. AWSC Delegate’s Report that noted a January release date for the new Service Manual. Please note, the electronic version of the 2022-2025 Al-Anon/Alateen Service Manual version one (1) [P-24/27] is actually scheduled to be posted in English, French, and Spanish to al-anon.org by mid-April 2022. As a result of the various supply chain issues pertaining to paper and shipping, the print ersion will follow and is scheduled to be available in late summer. I am very much looking forward to the next Service Manual since I recall being part of the policy updates at the 2021 WSC. That was exciting and be assured that the updated language will help clarify topics around the workings of Electronic groups and non-geographical service structures.
Updates to the Manual will be noted with the use of vertical lines in the outer margins. In the meantime, let us navigate through this historical time in Al-Anon with grace and unity and please don’t hesitate to reach out ifyou have questions or need help reasoning things out.
“Every Al-Anon and Alateen member is encouraged to actively use and study this Manual. It gives a clear and concise picture of the Al-Anon fellowship, its purpose and functions, and how it helps us to resolve group problems and maintain unity.” [Reprinted with permission from 2018-2021 Al-Anon/Alateen Service Manual version two (2) , Al‑Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc. Virginia Beach, VA]
New Non-Geographical Area
I could ‘feel it’ at the 2021 WSC that I was voting on something historic when we voted to recognize permanent electronic meetings as Al-Anon Family Groups and we created a new Area for them to be part of in the AlAnon structure. It has been even more impactful to follow and hear how these Permanent Electronic Groups (AFGWME) are having countless business meetings to elect their various service positions for the first time! I am truly grateful and awe struck by all the work and dedication that the World Office staff is implying to help this new Area prepare to hold their first Assembly in January 2022! Our fellowship is growing and this new Area has over 600 groups and counting! And yes, more will be revealed as we progress through the first part of the new year. At our February AWSC meeting, our PA Area’s Electronic Work Group (AEGWG) will have more insight to offer and we look forward to moving forward in Pennsylvania with our own discussions and decisions.
Maybe your home group or groups in your District too are working on navigating this time and deciding for themselves how their group wants to meet? I would like to offer the reminder that as long as we are in a pandemic, groups can continue to meet temporarily in what manner they deem safe and necessary. In group records we can list the temporary status of our meetings so others can find us. As always, please keep the newcomer in mind as we all work to assure our meetings are accurately represented on our meeting searches at the local, Area, and world level. Thank you for all your diligent work on this!! And thank you for working at applying our principles to each new situation and day that we find ourselves! Let us keep our principle of love at the helm as it guides us each step of the way under the care of God.
As I conclude this message and we embark on a new year, I would like to pass on this prayer that was shared with me recently. Let all who care to join me in the following prayer from As We Understood (B-11), p. 214-215. Amen!
All my best to you and wishing you a happy and healthy new year of fresh opportunities, deepened relationships, and the wonders of recovery. Thank you for your service and for all you do for this worldwide fellowship we all love. Keep in touch and be assured I am keeping you and all our fellow family and friends of alcoholics close. We are blessed beyond measure for this life available to us and our Twelfth step calls us to carry this message to others – what a glorious gift to share, what HOPE for many! Keep up this life saving work as we are “embracing the future in unity and courage”.
Looking forward to when our paths cross. I am grateful to call each of you my friend. Please let me know how I can be of service. My email address is [email protected].
PS. I love creating WordArt, please enjoy this image for you – The Twelve Concepts of Service.
Your friend in service,