District 69: A message from your DR
Greetings District 69!
Tradition Four states: “Each group should be autonomous, except in matters affecting other groups or Al-Anon as a whole.” I know for a long time I stopped reading before the comma. It wasn't until I got into service beyond the group level that I realized how important the last part of that sentence is. I think growing up in Alcoholism made me afraid of people who I labeled "authority figures" When someone stated that "this is the way it was" I would kick into flight or fight mode. Looking back at my program over the last several years, I'd see how I brought this attitude into Al-Anon business meetings. A good friend of mine reminds me that our Service Manual is the collective group conscious of Al-Anon as a whole and these guidelines are put in place to ensure that newcomers have the basic same experience at a meeting in 2018 that they would have in the 1980s or 1960s. Tradition 4 also helps me remember that if I’m obedient to the unenforceable, then I’m not in my self-will (which is a default behavior of mine). I’m not here to change Al-Anon, Al-Anon is here to change me.
Have you ever read the service manual? There are some fascinating explanations in there as to why Al-Anon is set up and structured the way it is. I know that whenever a conflict is brought to me, the answers are always there.
In case you didn’t know, World Service in Virginia Beach will not be providing free service manuals to the meetings this year. They can be purchased from the San Diego office for $6- + tax and it is suggested that every meeting has one. I included this in the Intercom as well but I am taking a survey and would like either the GR or Secretary of your meeting to email me the following before the end of April:
- Do you currently have a service manual?
- Do you plan on purchasing a new service manual that just came out?
- If no, can you share why not?
There’s a lot of excitement happening in D-69 in April. From the men’s meeting’s Pancake Breakfast to the “Day in Al-Anon” at the end of the month, I hope to see your smiling faces out at one of our events.
Remember, together we CAN make it!
As always, thank you for letting me be of service,
District Rep. 69