STEP 2 MEN’S GAZETTE
July 1, 2020 Vol. One No.33
The GSR Says!
GSR REPORT– JULY 2020
The big news this month is that we received a Post-Conference Report from our Area O7 Delegate, Tom A. Due to poor internet connection in his home, Tom spent three days in a motel room representing our Area at the General Service Conference held via zoom.
93 Delegates from AA Districts all over the United States and Canada attended three days of meetings, discussions, and fellowship. All in all, Tom reported that it was a positive experience for him and the majority of his fellow delegates. Tom’s report to our area was attended by 130 participants! A great turnout.
The Theme of this year’s conference was: A Clear Vision for You.
7th Tradition contributions to General Service Office (GSO) totaled $8.6 million, an increase of 5.71% from the previous year. Worth noting, however is that less than 50% of all groups registered with GSO make contributions. ( Might Step 2 Men’s Group consider contributing a small amount in the future?)
Total publishing revenue was $9.36 million, a decrease of -1%.
And while the Grapevine for the first time surpassed $1 million in on-line subscriptions, total Grapevine revenues were down -2%.
The General Service Office maintains a Reserve Fund, adopted in 1954 to “protect against disaster, technical upgrade and renovation” Prior to the conference the fund was at $16.2 million –9 months operating costs for GSO. When Covid-19 hit the shutdown stage around the country The General Service Office was in the midst of a tech upgrade as well as a renovation of one entire floor of operations. Experiencing a significant decrease in contributions, it was decided to draw the reserve fund down by $3 million to meet outstanding expenses from these projects. It is hoped that by years end those dollars will be put back into the reserve fund.
Prior to the Conference there were proposals for a variety of language changes in AA books and pamphlets. There was no action taken on any of these items. All of these proposals were pushed to the agenda for next year’s conference.
One item of interest, however, is that GSO is looking for submissions from members that might be included in a new printing of the Pamphlet, AA for the Older Alcoholic. They are looking for personal stories of recovery that might address some of the following issues:
-getting sober later in life
-dealing with hearing issues
-dealing with mobility issues
-dealing with dementia/memory loss
Perhaps some of our Step 2 Men’s Group fellows would like to submit a story?
There was quite a bit of discussion about how AA goes forward from here given the dynamics of this world we now inhabit. It was the consensus that individual alcoholics have met these moments and have done whatever has been needed to keep their groups strong and AA as a whole strong! Tom reported that from his perspective the mood of all Delegates in attendance was determined and hopeful that we will continue to maintain our sobriety come what may!
Appropriately, the theme for next year’s conference is: AA In A Time Of Change.
Thank you for allowing me to be of service,
Pass the Basket…please?
As we enter the twelfth week or so without meeting in person…there’s a big elephant in the room! You guessed it…revenue from our contributions. Our trusted servants, Step 2 Men’s Group Treasurer Dan Mc. and General Secretary Tom W. are asking our help.
In fact, we’re all asking each of you and us…to make a contribution to the group. Please make your check or money order payable to “Dan McKinley” and mail direct to: Dan McKinley P.O. Box 221756 Sacramento, CA. 95822.
While an amount of $50 is ideal, we understand this may not be possible for all or even desirable. Any amount is much appreciated, any amount is thoughtful. As always, it is an entirely voluntary contribution. There will be no judging! Well…not much anyway. Just kidding, no one share whether or if you assisted.
Please give what you can. Our group remits a great deal to Central Office, St. Francis Church (both rent & causes) and other expenses. Thank you in advance all of you…you guys are awesome!
PREPARING A CANVAS
I am sure I am carcinogenic.
My father and uncle had a business that sold industrial gasses and welding supplies. I started working there when I was 11.
There were chemicals all over the place. Most of them were for cleaning the dirt and grime of industrial production off what ever it was on. Including sometimes, an eleven year old kid until Nixon’s EPA banned the practice.
Home was not much different. In the garage my father put up two long shelves on each side, where pale to pale, bottle to bottle and container to container were the cutting edge of Dow and duPont chemical with some American Cyanide mixed in between.
My mother had a monthly allowance and my mother liked to paint. Art stuff. Oil Paintings.
She paid for her canvases. She didn’t pay anything for the chemicals. So, why not have the perfectly settled TV watching kid clean off a failed painting she didn’t like with Hydramelanomapolypulmonarydepletingtetracycline. It removes anything from fabric and she can use the canvas again without buying a new one.
Which brings me to today’s parable.
When I was in my last rehab, I met this woman, Tracy. She looked one way for rehab, but as she got close to going home, she began to comb her hair, clean up, put away the coke bottled glasses for her contacts. And, it turned out, she was beautiful. I mean a real looker. She had started a new canvas.
She was also very wise. She used to tell me, “Humility, John, is just keeping an open mind. Now, read these books and listen in the meetings and keep an open mind.”
It was not always easy. Cleaning a moral canvas in rehab and beyond can tear your eyes up, race your heart and make you very uncomfortable.
Confronting the haughty arrogance I used to cover some deep seeded insecurities so deeply embedded in my old paintings can do that. Sure it can.
And just like how you believe there is not God, until you are in jail, and then promising the same God you will be a completely different person, if He/She can just get you out of this jam…….. A thorough cleaning of an honest canvas can do the same.
Its not easy. So its not out of the question to humbly, even a “maybe there is God and maybe there isn’t but please help me through this”. To use a complete open mind that a Higher Power could and it can’t hurt anyway to beg, help me.
I cannot get rid of all the stains, there will be some hues and residual from the past. I can though, start a new work of art. And it’s okay to pray for a guided hand and inspiration. You still be cool, brother.
Contributed by John M.
THE LITERARY CORNER:
“One day at a time, sweet Jesus. Whoever wrote that one hadn’t a clue. A day is a fuckin’ eternity”
― Roddy Doyle, Paula Spencer
“An alcoholic is someone who can violate his standards faster than he can lower them.”
― Robin Williams
“Karl Marx: “Religion is the opiate of the masses.”
Carrie Fisher: “I did masses of opiates religiously.”
― Carrie Fisher, Postcards from the Edge
OUR TRUSTED SERVANTS CONTINUE TO BE:
The current ‘Step 2 Men’s Group’ meeting schedule is Monday through Sunday at 11:30 AM. All meetings are online for now until further notice. The Thursday meeting is a ‘Book/Step Study’ format. Each of the M-Sunday gatherings are one hour. Great job men!
Monday: Tim C.
Tuesday: Dick M.
Wednesday: John M.
Thursday: George T.
Friday: Dan Mc.
Saturday: David K.
Sunday: “Guitar Dan” T.
Want to add your name to the “Back-up-Help-Substitute Secretary List”? Just contact Group GS, Tom W., Treasurer Dan Mc. or any Monday through Sunday Secretaries and let them know!
Days since our last in-person meeting. (Friday, March 13 2020)
Today, July 1, will be our 105th online meeting.
June Connections by Device
Contributed by Mark C.
Mouse’s Corner is on hiatus and will return soon.
First Wednesday… July 1st
John M. reviews the 7th Step on July 1st (First Wednesday). “Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.“
John reviews the step corresponding to the number of that month on each first Wednesday. It’s a rewarding meeting with John outlining the step of the month, how he was challenged by it and how we tackle it ourselves, with and without success! Look for his monthly contribution in this edition!
THURSDAY ‘Book & Step Study’
George T. takes us through the Twelve Steps and Big Book portions to start the meeting every Thursday. Each missive is packed with fine prose, fascinating insights and challenging reading. Following the read (about 20 minutes)…the floor is open to everyone’s thoughts on how they may have been influenced or impacted by that writing. It’s really fun to be a part of and members are enjoying it.
Get on in here and show George support and contribute something to the newcomer. Every Thursday at 11:30.
We’ll try to make readings available ahead of time on the website.
July Birthdays …IF They Make It!
Bob R. July 13… Bob celebrates 6 years!
Dave R. July 13… Dave celebrates 9 years!
Daniel O. July 14… Daniel celebrates his first year!
Wally G. July 21… Wally celebrates 20 years!
If your birthday has been missed….there are TWO ways to get included:
* PLEASE ‘reply’ by email now…OR…log-on to step2mensgroup.com with…
- Your First Name w/ Last initial
- Your “AA’ Birthday (ex.8/1/18)
We really want to celebrate your AA anniversary because your birthday made ours possible!
Thanks everybody and apologies to you if you were missed or incorrectly noted.
Alcoholics Anonymous ‘Daily Reflection…’
THE BEST FOR TODAY
The principles we have set down are guides to progress
— ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 60
Just as a sculptor will use different tools to achieve desired effects in creating a work of art, in Alcoholics Anonymous the Twelve Steps are used to bring about results in my own life. I do not overwhelm myself with life’s problems, and how much more work needs to be done. I let myself be comforted in knowing that my life is now in the hands of my Higher Power, a master craftsman who is shaping each part of my life into a unique work of art. By working my program I can be satisfied, knowing that “in doing the best that we can for today, we are doing all that God asks of us.”
The JokeBox will return in August
“The Joke Box” features narratives, anecdotes and jokes from the AA publication “A Rabbit Walks Into a Bar”. Available at the AA Central Office, it contains the best material from the historic AA Grapevine. You can learn more at aagrapevine.org. Thanks to Anthony S. for picking up a copy and suggesting it!
My First Meeting
Please be “of service.” If you’ve never contributed a “My First Meeting”, please help to keep this column going…we need you! What do you remember most of your first meeting? It can be one sentence; it can be up to two paragraphs. Could be funny, poignant or strickly “clinical”. Write what you want…you might have enjoy writing it!
Memory Lane…Remember the Good Times
Nothing humorous found for June.
Step 2 Men’s Group Believes…
“Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”
We’d never presume that the 12 Steps are not clear. Nor would we imply that they need ‘improvement’. However…for purposes of assisting to keep the meeting pointed in an important direction each day, the ‘Step 2 Men’s Group statement is read as follows:
Step 2 Men’s Group is founded on the belief that spirituality is essential to our sobriety. Our group is non-religious, but we do not oppose anyone’s religious beliefs. We believe that respect for others and their beliefs are essential to our spiritual development. Accordingly we ask that avoid criticism of others or of their religion or lack of religion, their race, ethnicity, national origin, age, sexual orientation, physical appearance, trade or profession, length of sobriety, or personal beliefs. Our goal is to further our spirituality, our sobriety and our personal development, not to confront or belittle others. Always remember to be kind to others.
SPECIAL THANKS DEPT:
NEEDS UPDATING AFTER WE’VE PUT IT ALL TOGETHER
Thanks to our ‘GSR’ George T. for “The GSR Says” and “Literary Corner”. Thank you John M. for “Preparing a Canvas”. Thanks to Mark C. for your contributions in making our online meetings a reality. We’re still waiting for YOU gentle reader…Why YOU don’t contribute a short “something?” Any length, most any AA related topic. Reply now and it will get included next month!
On a serious note…the sender’s email address [email protected] has been created specifically for this newsletter. The ‘inbox’ may not be reviewed often. Every effort will be made to NOT share your email address with anyone w/o express written permission from you. You may ‘opt out’ at any time from this newsletter by simple reply…” Stop sending me this junk”! Please suggest columns, advice…ideas. Your comments are always welcome.