May 2017 Regional News
Northern New England News
The contents below are excerpts from the May Northern New England Minutes, and may be shortened from the original reporting in the minutes:
|•||Chairperson: present||•||RCMA, Granite State: absent|
|•||Vice Chairperson: present||•||RCM, Maine: present|
|•||Treasurer: open||•||RCMA, Maine: open|
|•||Acting Secretary: open||•||RCM, Seacoast: present|
|•||RD: absent||•||RCMA, Seacoast: absent|
|•||RDA: present||•||RCM, Eastern Maine: present|
|•||RCM, Champlain Valley: present||•||RCMA, Eastern Maine: open|
|•||RCMA, Champlain Valley: open||•||MRLE Chairperson: present|
|•||RCM, Granite State: absent||•||Acting Website Coordinator: open|
MRLE Report (Multi Regional Learning Event)
Flyers were printed out and distributed at NEZF. We still have 9 of 12 regions in the NEZF committed to supporting the MRLE. The World Board Participation Request form has been submitted and we should expect to hear back sometime this summer. World Services did reply and note that they do not currently have any scheduling conflicts.
Future of the WSC- WSC Participant Video Conference Call
Aattended the WSC Participants Video Conference Call on the Future of the WSC on 4/8/2017. We discussed the challenges faced during the 2016 WSC with the existing format of discussing and making decisions on old business and new business and proposed changes that could take effect as early as the 2018 WSC. The proposed changes can be found in the Future of the WSC PDF I sent in the March minutes and I will also include a copy in the May minutes. There was general consensus that we could use the new Video Conferencing technology to push new business proposals through the decision-making process earlier on in the conference cycle and that this technology would be able to help make new business at the WSC in future conference cycles more manageable.
The NEZF in Sturbridge, MA on April 28-30.
On Friday night, Regional reports were read, it was really interesting and exciting to hear about how NA works in other geographies in the northeastern US. There is a lot of interest in the MRLE and there is interest from other regions in our Zone about hosting an NEZF Service Symposium in the future. More will be revealed.
Trusted servant reports were read. An Ad Hoc committee was formed to discuss the vehicle that the NEZF website will use to provide PR and H&I resource sharing between regions. An update will be provided at our next NEZF web call in late June. Our web call schedule was changed to the last Sunday of each month at 3pm using the same Zoom video-conferencing platform that the WSC participant calls are using. We started reviewing and approving a few house-keeping policy updates to align our policy with how we actually do business.
On Saturday we began with Open Forum. We discussed How do we get better participation from the group level up to WSC? Ideas included: GSR assembly put on by region, making RCMs accountable, direct participation by delegate team in ASCs, service learning day to focus on involving young members, helping the newcomer understand that service is also a way to enhance your network and personal recovery beyond the local fellowship, focusing on service in sponsorship, focus on how that service work affects your personal recovery. Expansion of network, limiting service commitments, stripping down standing subcommittees.
Then we had a workshop on Fellowship Development where we discussed an area split in NE region. This situation was based on personalities, not principles so there was not much for our region to draw on. They did note that a shared services positions was created… they had a separate meeting list in the same geographic territories, it sounded messy. We also had a presenter who talked about FD subcommittee who goes around to areas and provides workshops on whatever the fellowship needs, including building stronger home groups, area planning tools, IDTs, sponsorship. The purpose of subcommittee is to provide access to service bodies to broader network of experience, connect areas together- one may have significant PR tools, others may have no PR.
Our next workshop was on Unity, led by former NE Region RDs.
- We brainstormed what the newer member’s experience with the older people in areas/regions. Feedback included that older members stop showing up, or were unwilling to serve, may have a mixed message or started in another program, showed apathy, they are resistant to technology, lack of patience with the newcomer, as sponsors don’t encourage or require service commitments.
- Then we brainstormed what the older member’s experience was with newer members? Feedback included that they are enthusiastic but have a lack of experience and understanding with what we’ve been doing for thirty years.
- Then we brainstormed how we become like-minded? Major takeaways were that old-timers need to work on training, mentoring newer members, stay involved in service, get egos out of the way, and newer members need to reach out directly to request participation from old timers, sponsorship is a big area for improvement.
Technology and social media
- Current resources were highlighted, including Social Media IP, PR Handbook, PR Basics, Green and Gold traditions essays and our new guiding principles workbook. Social media is a great PR resource, and way to disseminate and share information internally. However there are potentially challenges for NA principles like personal anonymity and fellowship unity. What are some of the principles that come into play (or perhaps should come into play) when using social media? What successes can you share about applying these principles while using social media as a NA member or service body? Feedback included quick disseminate information, share information, coordinate service work, PR tool.
- We brainstormed what challenges to applying our principles have been faced using social media: As individuals? As service committee, for communications within the fellowship? Feedback included maintaining anonymity, respecting others anonymity, maintaining spiritual principles, providing equal access to information for those who do not participate in social media.
- We brainstormed that considering the challenges and applying our spiritual principles, what solutions can be offered? Taking our personal recovery into our social media interactions, electing a single point of accountability to be the administrator of group pages, and asking people to sign onto some terms and conditions of the page before joining. Fourth, fifth concept, 12th
- We finalized some housekeeping changes to our NEZF policy.
- We discussed the Greater NY region proposal about Illicit and Illegal Literature. While no official resolution was reached, there was general consensus that while we should discourage the distribution and sales of illegal/illicit literature at future NEZF workshops, all NA members are welcome at such workshops and to create a scene at such a workshop would create further disunity and make NA appear unattractive as a whole. More will be revealed.
- We discussed the potential workshop topics for the October 2018 NEZF in NJ region and some of the ideas included: the future of the WSC work we’ve been doing on our video conference calls and the IDT on an atmosphere of recovery in service.
RD/RDA Year 1&2 Budget
Per our conversation at region, I have attached a revised RD/RDA Year 1&2 budget. I’m not quite sure how this budget was being generated before me, but I have defined the Year 1 budget as expenses the RD/RDA expect to incur between May 2017 and May 2018, and the Year 2 budget as expenses that the RD/RDA expect to incur between May 2018 and May 2019. As you can imagine, the Year 2 budget from last year has become the Year 1 budget.
Missing from the Year 2 budget last year and therefore added to the Year 1 budget for this year were: October 2017 NEZF, December 2017 MRLE, and travel expenses for RD/RDA to travel to ASC meetings. I have also added MARLCNA. Total Year 1 RD/RDA budget is $4,980. I will note that this is a significant increase over the Year 2 budget from last year, which is primarily due to the expenses that were inexplicably left out of the Year 2 budget last year. The only thing I added to the Year 1 budget (last year’s Year 2 budget) was MARLCNA. The Year 2 budget last year covered only WSC 2018 expenses. In my budget, green highlighted items are items I included in my versions of the budgets that were not included in the prior version of these budgets.
Year 2 budget (last year’s Year 1 budget) is mostly the same, with the only change being the addition of MARLCNA. Total Year 2 RD/RDA budget is $2,870.
I’d like to recommend changing the names of these budgets. They are currently really confusing, especially as we progress and the Year 2 budget becomes that Year 1 budget. I recommend we change the terminology. I think we should be calling this year’s budget the ‘2017-2018 Budget’, and next year’s budget the ‘2018-2019 Budget’. This way as the year’s roll on, the names of the budgets remain the same.
The IDT Workshop on Social Media and Our Guiding Principles has been scheduled for July 15, 2017 at 12pm at Mercy Hospital in Portland, ME. The RD from Western NY and CT regions have agreed to co-facilitate. The event will be paired with a speaker jam which will run from 2-6pm. I brought flyers. I suggest that a $100 check get cut to me for food expenses. The flyers were $12.66 when combined with the MRLE flyers I also printed.
East Coast Convention Unity Call
I received an email from a board member of this year’s East Coast Convention. On the opening night of the East Coast Convention (at Connecticut College, New London, CT, June 24-26), a ‘Unity Call’ will be held. The “Unity Call” features members and institutionalized members joining together in a call; and listening to the opening night speaker at the NA convention while a member shares their experience, strength and hope living a productive responsible life without the use of drugs. I think the ‘ask’ here is to bring work of the ‘Unity Call’ at the ECC in June to our H&I Subcommittees to see if there are any commitments being held in our region whose host institution is interested in participating in the ‘Unity Call’.
I’ve attached January 2017 NAWS News with my report. NAWS is seeking feedback on its two new pieces of recovery literature- a mental health IP and a daily meditation book based on the living clean- and links to the online surveys can be found in the attached PDF. Feedback is due by June 1, 2017.
NAWS is working on building a local service toolbox and is soliciting input from the fellowship on what types of tools you’d like to see developed. A link to the online survey is available in the attached PDF on P4. For example, they plan to build a guide to consensus-based decision making as a priority unless the survey results direct them otherwise.
Revisions to the GWSNA has been published and can be found on the NAWS website.