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Information about and from our Area Delegate.

Delegates Corner - November, 2023

Gratitude Month Greetings Everyone,
A lot has been going on and it has been a while since we got caught up. After seeing everyone at the October assembly where our weekend guest was the South Florida area 15 Delegate, Cary W., I was the guest for the weekend at their assembly. One assembly can be a lot and two back-to-back were exhausting and exhilarating. Cary and I shared a debrief after the two weekends and noted things from each other’s gathering we would like to see at our own. They have a much larger attendance, over 400 voting members at the Sunday morning business meeting and often they do not adjourn until late afternoon. Saturday night is a banquet, and I had the honor of being their guest speaker. It was fun and a learning opportunity to see how another area conducts their area business.

Meanwhile with the General Service Office I have continued to participate in the launch of the new OnBoard system that allows for more effective communication to the delegates and in turn to the membership. I have also been involved as a member of the Conference Inventory Committee, tasked with the developing a plan, per an advisory action, to conduct an inventory of the General Service Conference itself at the 75th GSC in 2025.

As a member of the Conference committee on Public Information I am thrilled to see the launch of the Membership Survey in both the Meeting Guide app and on line at Attached is the official announcement for this survey and the links. The PI committee was asked at the 73rd GSC to review and accept the results of the membership survey conducted in 2022. We found the results of this survey to be so similar to the previous years that we wondered if we might try a different strategy, hence we asked that the survey be presented to the fellowship for any and all to take. It is open only until November 26th so if you have not had a chance to participate, please do so soon.

Also attached you will find a survey pertaining to our quest for information from the fellowship regarding making any changes to our literature, specifically anything written by our founders. Please take a moment to report your feelings about this passionate subject. I am certain we will discuss this further as we approach the next General Service Conference. And in preparation for that also I have attached a list of the PROPOSED agenda items. A FINAL list will be available, usually after the Board meeting in January, any earlier reports will be shared right away. The background material for the final agenda items is due February 16-23, please prepare accordingly for Pre-Conference workshop presentations. The calendar is filling quickly, and the available dates are very abbreviated this year, the time between the information being received by the delegates and our April assembly is 6 short weeks. DCM’s if you have not already secured a date please contact me asap and if we have discussed a date please contact me to confirm asap. Our Alternate Delegate Lori P. will facilitate some presentations this year so we may get as much information out to as many districts as possible. An informed group conscience at the April sense of the assembly is our focused goal for this Pre-Conference season.

Last week myself and our interim Board chair Mike L. hosted a full Conference Sharing Session following the October Board meeting.135 Delegates, Trustees and GSO staff participated in this second of its kind events. The agenda for this event allowed for all who participated to ask questions and make observations of the Trustee and staff. I am very pleased to report the unity and positive direction that these sharing sessions are becoming. This is a great opportunity thanks to technology available today to keep transparency and communication flowing up and down the triangle I am honored as Delegate Chair to be a part of this newly developing process. I have attached the latest AAWS report to this communication for you as well.

SSAASA, said with sass and jazz hands held high! What a great event, and we of Area 14 can say we proudly hosted. The highest of accolades to the event Chair, Annette D. and all who helped her make SSAASA 7 such a successful event. I attended several workshops, and all were excellently presented. It was wonderful to get together with some of the delegates from the Southeast Region and meet some of the delegate- elects that are coming aboard for the 74th GSC. At the Sunday business meeting it was awarded that Area 71, Virginia will host SSAASA 8, Congratulation! Please mark your calendar and make plans to attend in 2025. Area 71 was the host of the very first SSAASA so it is great fun to see it return there.

For many decades now, A.A. has formally set aside all of November as Gratitude Month. This is a time to express our collective gratitude for our individual sobriety. The history of gratitude month dates back to the 1940s when the General Service Board hosted small “Gratitude Dinners.” These gratitude dinners became weeks and today we embrace the entire month to express this and often make special contribution to our General Service Office. Bill W. stated that “Gratitude should go forward, rather than backwards”. Today our General Service Office makes possible so much that is necessary for us to continue to carry the message at the grass roots of A.A., from one alcoholic to another. The resources we can enlist to do this today are greater than ever but the economic cost are greater too. I have attached a letter from our General Manager at the General Service Office asking for the help of the fellowship. Historically we have always risen to any need and I am certain we will do so again.

In closing I would like to wish everyone the most wonderful holiday season! With a grateful heart I thank you all for this most amazing gift of service to the fellowship that you have given me. My Thanksgiving blessings are abundant. Plus, I love pumpkin pie!

Eat heartily, love one another, and celebrate our sobriety!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Mary A.
Delegate Area 14, Panel 73