This message is sent to you by the elected servants of Area 72.
The Area chair received an email from a concerned member who attended an in-person meeting where masks and social distancing were not being implemented. They wanted to know how the Area could help. Responding to this question is difficult, for we are a resource for districts and groups, not an authoritative body.
We can share with you that Area 72 is conducting all Area business, including the upcoming Pre-Conferences, Area April Business Quarterly, and all standing committee quarterlies, virtually. This decision was made based on the Governor’s Stay Healthy Washington Plan and realistically where we will be in the next few months.
Western Washington Area 72 is not an authoritative body over A.A. Groups, nor does it initiate rules or directives. We ask that groups consider state mandates and local laws that have been put in place when making an informed group conscience about how to re-open meetings safely.
Traditions 4 states that “each group is autonomous” and decisions are made through individual group conscience. The second part of the 4th Tradition is just as important: “except in matters affecting other groups or A.A. as a whole.” Tradition 1 tells us that “Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon A.A. unity.” These traditions remind us that we must ensure that our group decisions do not negatively impact our fellow members or A.A. as a whole. That we as individuals should act in a way that ensures our common welfare. Traditions 1 and 4 are important now more than ever as we consider the health and well-being of both A.A. members and nonmembers, as well as protect the positive reputation and goodwill of A.A. in the community.
It is not the place for Area 72 to issue any directives or enforce Washington state rules, nor do we have an opinion on whether in-person meetings fall under “essential.” We would encourage each group or meeting that may be meeting in person, or considering meeting in person, to educate themselves about the current mandates by visiting https://coronavirus.wa.gov/what-you-need-know/safe-start/whats-open.
We have also included GSO’s most current statement for you to review, which we have adopted in Area 72. We do believe whatever decisions your group/meeting make on this difficult subject that you should remember the following:
- Being law-abiding is a natural result of our program of honesty.
- We must be neutral in the world and on good terms with the society in which we exist in order to most clearly engage in our primary purpose.
- Behaving in a way which is contrary to the law could easily lead to controversy which would compromise our ability to fulfill our primary purpose, and it could easily negatively affect A.A. as a whole.
Lastly, we want to thank you. When this situation first came about, many of us thought, “This is temporary. We will be back at it shortly.” That has not been the case, but you have adapted. In every group, meeting, committee what we have heard is “How can we help? How can we help the still suffering alcoholic find us? What more can we do?” You have challenged yourselves to think outside of the box that we can often put ourselves in as a Fellowship. No one has all the answers to this situation, but that has not stopped you from listening to each other, finding common solutions, and unifying to continue with our primary purpose. Your efforts are important, and you are helping carry the message across this bridge we are on. Please remember to update any meeting information you have by sending it to our website at: https://area72aa.org.
We are here to help however we can.
Geene D, Delegate
Heather C, Alt. Delegate
Crystal S, Chair
Karla L, Alt. Chair
Lupita Y, Treasurer
Eddy M, Alt. Treasurer