First off, I would like to say Congratulations to the East Sound Group for having such committed homegroup members. It tells me that you all want your group to function at its best. It was my pleasure to meet you all.
It is interesting that you have a Group Inventory Committee, that was a first. I was told you were most interested in Diversity, Covid, and Safety. These were all discussed in depth.
Even though the I like to stick to the Group Inventory questions that are put together by The General Service Office for A. A. Groups.
I asked Question #1-what is the basic purpose of our group?
The answer: To carry the message “in and out of the group”. To remain open minded, and to meet people where they are, ex: spiritually and financially.
Question #2-Do new members stick with us, or does the turnover seem excessive?
Answer: A lot of young people move on and you want them to move on to better their lives. There were “newcomers” in the inventory (23 days, 60 days, and 90 days online) they kept coming back which is a good sign.
Question #3– Do we emphasize the importance of sponsorship?
Answer: 2 of the “newcomers” one in person and one online both expressed their experience. The in-person said that no one had spoken to him about sponsorship as of yet and he was 23 days or so sober. The online/hybrid member said she didn’t know anything about getting a sponsor for 3 months.
It was brought up during the inventory that the East Sound Group has safety issues. The only specific example was a possible Sponsor/sponsee scenario although there was no mention of a specific case actually happening. Other idea that other safety issues were happening by another member but nothing specific was given.
It was mentioned that there are 15 East Sound Group meetings. One Mindfulness meeting, one Women’s Tradition hybrid meeting, one Men’s meeting discussion online only meeting, one (Burning Desire) in person Daily Reflections meeting, one evening non-conference approved literature online only meeting, one As Bill Sees It hybrid meeting, one 3-7-11 step prayers meeting, one speaker tape discussion online only meeting. Once a month, the last Friday of the month there is a speaker meeting and one Sunday night speaker meeting hybrid meeting. Most of these begin at 5:30pm or so.
SUGGESTED SOLUTIONS TO ALL THINGS DISCUSSED:
Create more Big Book Study meetings.
Create more 1st step meetings for newcomers. Stress the importance of sponsors and the steps(program)
Add a line during the readings about sponsorship, whatever the group conscience decides.
Pass out the “Yellow Safety Card” to newcomers and explain it. Perhaps even mention it in the readings during the meetings.
Make speaker meetings more inviting so members get to know people with sobriety better, making it easier for newcomers and others to pick a sponsor. More examples of the program and newcomers won’t feel pressured to share.
Go back to the “good old days” of paper flyers. Get the word out that AA meetings exist on Orcas. Perhaps leaving the “business card” anywhere and everywhere. They are easy to place and easy to pick up.
Change the time of some of the meetings to make it easier for people with jobs and families to make it to the meeting.
Using the Chair positions and the District and Area level to help with things like Public Information (PI), Cooperation with the Professional Community (CPC), Language Chair at the Area level to assist with translation. The Area level knows of translation for Russian, French, Spanish. Both the District and Area chairs are eager to help. There are Spanish speaking meetings that are translated into English. These are hybrid meetings.
There was considerable discussion of outside events. It was suggested that expanding fellowship opportunities outside meetings could improve the group’s attractiveness. It was also suggested that CPC and PI could raise the exposure of the group to outside organizations and individuals.