Welcome to the summer of 2020. We hope you are doing well as we cope during these strange times. As you know, during this coronavirus outbreak, the news changes rapidly, and we are doing our best to keep up with it. Consider joining our mailing list to stay updated on the latest news.
We are reminded to be respectful of others, wear a face covering when out in public and maintain six (6) feet of distance from anyone not in our immediate household. That’s the least we can all do to keep each other safe, and protect our progress against COVID-19. See Delaware’s response to COVID-19 for up to date information.
We know several groups would like to resume in-person meetings. We encourage our member groups to proceed carefully and responsibly. We ask that you review the considerations contained in the Reopening Our Meetings post to assist you in the decision making process to restart your in person meetings.
If you become aware of any meeting change, please send us an email. We will continue to update our website as quickly as possible, and request your patience as we do so.
Most importantly, if you are new to A.A., or think you have a problem with alcohol please contact us by phone 302-856-6452, or send us email. We are available 24/7 should you need to make contact with another sober member of Alcoholics Anonymous outside of a meeting.
2020 International Convention A Virtual Experience
Throughout the month of July, the 2020 International Convention will come alive online to provide a new experience that includes A.A. speakers; a digital “Carrying the Message Pavilion”; sharing from nonalcoholic friends of A.A. and special guests linked to our history; a presentation of the 40 millionth Big Book; a new Archives video on the history of A.A.; an AA Grapevine video created for the Convention, and more. For more information, please see this letter from AAWS.
Box 4-5-9 is a quarterly news bulletin from the U.S./Canada General Service Office (G.S.O.) of Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.). This newsletter includes information about A.A. service, literature, events, sharing from groups, service committees and individual U.S./Canada A.A. members. To subscribe via email go here.
The focus of the Summer 2020 issue was on how the G.S.O met uncertainty with resiliency during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Never in the history of A.A. (which stretches back to the late 1930’s) has the G.S.O been forced to shutter its doors. How has A.A., since it closed its physical doors, been able to serve a worldwide membership of over two million alcoholics with answering letters, preparing bulletins, keeping prison inmate correspondence flowing, processing group contributions, providing new literature (and keeping older literature up to date), helping prepare for the General Service Conference and World Service Meetings, preserving A.A. history in print and digital archives, and maintaining the aa.org website, in three languages, with its 14 million yearly viewers?
As the pandemic worsened, G.S.O faced an unprecedented logistical, technical and, yes, spiritual challenge. With employees scattered to their homes, how would it continue to fulfill its original function, as described by Bill W., of being a “point of reference on the globe where our few but important universal services can focus and then radiate to all who wish to be informed or helped”?
There were the waves of media inquiries. The first wave focused on how A.A.s might stay sober in an age of social distancing. The second wave focused on the experience of A.A.s on various digital meeting platforms such as Zoom or Google Hangouts. The third wave of media attention came with the advent of trolling attacks on the platforms where A.A.s were meeting.
It was noted that the people doing the truly heroic work are the intergroups — all working tirelessly, coming up with new tech solutions, and the “really amazing story” of the pandemic is A.A.s going to great lengths to make sure other A.A.s have access to meetings.
A Big Book Special Summer Offer
With the goal of stimulating sales and interest in our literature to the benefit of all, A.A.W.S is offering for sale our Big Book, Alcoholics Anonymous in any format, in any language at 10% off list price. The multiple formats include hardcover and softcover, abridged and unabridged, and a new ASL video too! This offer is available for all orders large and small for hardcovers, softcovers, pocket editions, ASL videos, Braille, ebook and more! Please see this flyer for more information, or contact our literature chair.
Our Seventh Tradition
“Self-support begins with me, because I am part of us – the group. We pay our rent and utility bills, buy coffee, snacks and A.A. Literature. We support our central office, our area committee, and our General Service Office. If it were not for those entities, many new people would never discover the miracles of A.A.” — Reprinted from Self-Support: Where Money and Spirituality Mix, page 5, with permission of A.A. World Services, Inc.
As we begin July, the 7th month of the year, let’s review our seventh tradition. Reference the recent General Service Office (G.S.O) COVID-19 and Our Seventh Tradition letter — “We in A.A. – here at G.S.O., along with the rest of the world — continue to experience an unprecedented situation. Without question, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our Fellowship, including our organized service structure, is facing enormous challenges, locally and globally. For many of us, the most prominent example is that, for the first time in the 85-year history of our Fellowship, we are navigating the lack of face-to-face meetings. While we have found creative ways to allow for the vital interaction between one alcoholic and another, and welcoming newcomers daily, it is clear that the health crisis has other far-reaching consequences.”
The financial sustainability of G.S.O. was adversely affected due to a decrease in group contributions and literature sales because of the global pandemic. This resulted in an emergency drawdown of $3 million from the Reserve Fund.
In addition to G.S.O., the other A.A. entities — our groups, districts, area, and intergroup, all provide a specific autonomous service and are in need of support. Separate contributions need to be sent to each entity.
Please see the Contributions page for information on how you (and your groups) can support A.A.