Welcome to the February Issue of SERVICE MATTERS!
Welcome to the February issue of Service Matters, your newsletter providing information about service in GSA. This month, to celebrate Valentine’s Day, our question and answer section is about loving ourselves in abstinence, or what some GreySheeters refer to as “radical self-care.” We also highlight a new “Help Wanted” section for GreySheeters with special skills to help us in the coming months. If you are qualified and interested in serving in these ways, please step forward. We need you!!
February 2020 - Monthly Board of Trustees Column
Laura L., Vice President/Vice Chair
Hello fellow GreySheeters!
I am a compulsive overeater, my name is Laura and I am your newly elected Vice-Chair of the Board of Trustees. Some of you may know me as I have lived in a number of GreySheet communities since getting abstinent in Cambridge, MA in April, 1982.
I have had a lot of life in these almost 38 years - including college and graduate school, marriage, divorce, deaths of friends and family members, marrying again, two abstinent pregnancies, travel abroad, painful family dynamics, medical issues, and, perhaps most challenging, living with my brain on a daily basis! Through it all, I have weighed and measured my food without exception from that GreySheet, have committed it to a sponsor and have approached every life situation, not with the question of “Will I be abstinent?” but rather, “HOW will I be abstinent?” There is a mountain of experience, strength and hope available to all of us in this program.
Over the years, I have been privileged to serve our community in many different capacities. Joining the Board is my newest level of service. I am acutely aware that my life is limited but that food addiction is not! It will live on long after I am gone. While I am still here, I want to do what I can to preserve our precious GreySheet message for others who suffer so that recovery will always be available to those who seek it.
My role as Vice-Chair of the Board is somewhat less well-defined than other positions on the Board. At the moment I see myself as a multi-purpose person. One of the projects I am currently working on is the republishing of the Shades of Grey compilation. If you are not familiar with Shades, it was the first piece of GreySheet literature our community had following the printed GreySheet Food Plan. Shades was a GreySheet newsletter, created by members of the NYC community in early 1988. It was published quarterly through the spring of 2001. This was back in the “olden days” before GSA, before the internet, cell phones, the Phone Bridge and Zoom meetings. GreySheeters from all over submitted articles on various topics related to GreySheet abstinence and recovery. The newsletters were compiled, edited and printed by volunteer service-givers and mailed to people and communities throughout the world. GreySheeters in outposts would eagerly await the arrival of each edition, hungry for the experience, strength and hope contained in those pages. A compilation of all the issues of Shades of Grey was published years ago and the last copies were sold in the fall of 2019.
I look forward to continuing to carry the GreySheet message through my new service position on the Board. And I encourage us all to remember that our primary purpose is to stay abstinent and to help another compulsive overeater to achieve abstinence. All forms of service help us fulfill this life-saving mission.
With so much gratitude,
Question and Answer
LQ: What do we do to love ourselves in GSA? What does radical self-care mean to us?
BW, IL: Radical self love: Learning to say NO and that No Thank You doesn't need an explanation of Why?
LT, NY: Radical self-care and self-love is as crucial to my emotional and spiritual sobriety as the GS food plan is to my physical recovery.
EW, NM: Believing that I am worthy of joy and acting on my own behalf first became possible with abstinence, when I learned how to take responsibility for having what I need at every meal by bringing back-up, my scale and my commitment. It has spread, over the years to include speaking up with integrity, the most loving thing I can do for myself and everyone else.
LT, NY: I've learned in recovery that when my most persistent character defects (such as irritability, impatience and intolerance) crop up, it almost always means that I need to be practicing more self-care/self-love.
GM, TX: I love myself and my abstinence by spending time with people I love, doing fun activities not solely focused on food.
MO, WA: I force myself to go marketing on my ‘needing rest days off’ telling myself I’d take a new GSr shopping any day of the week and I’d rather not be one!!
SL, CA: I define self love as putting my own oxygen mask on first. I set boundaries for myself in relation to others so that I can focus on being present for my life and for my fellows.
MC, CA: I practice meditation every morning & yoga after each day’s work. I keep my house stocked with abstinent food, and set aside time on Sundays to shop & chop & bag all my w & m lunches for the week.
From the Conference Committee:
Registration packet is available now for the October 30-November 1 WSC in Chicago, IL. Use this link to access for information and to register on line: https://greysheet.org/world-services/world-service-conference/world-service-conference-2020 .Deadline for registration is March 15!!
Seventh Tradition Suggestions:
Here are some ideas for Intergroups and Groups to financially prepare for the WSC! Please keep this collection in the forefront of your mind at your meetings.
Shared room including meals and registration fee - $355 per person ($35 supplement for single room or $390) - due by registration. There are 7 weeks to collect from your members to meet the March 15 registration deadline. If your GSR plans to attend WSC 2020, please consider passing an additional basket dedicated for your GSR or ISR to attend. Request $3-5 + per week per member to meet your goal! Airfare can be collected during or after the registration fee. In order to keep costs down, airfare should be booked by August 30th. We estimate approximately $350. This means your group would collect $70 per month between April and August. Ground transportation to and from airports is $100 maximum. That would be another $30 per month from September to November.
From the Public Information Committee:
The Public Information Committee has been brainstorming and implementing ideas to spread the message of GS recovery to compulsive eaters. Our starting point was reviewing the Public Information Manual that was published on our website in 2014 for any changes or edits. Simply go to greysheet.org and type in Public Information in the search bar and you will find the Manual. In the course of our meetings, the committee agreed that GSA will continue to reach out to hospitals, doctors and counselors. Many in the medical and psychological communities are unaware of our common solution for recovery. Many of these doctors refer patients for extreme measures such as bariatric surgery. It was discussed that AA is a great ally of the medical and hospital community. The committee discussed making a specific subcommittee to explore this area and reach out to the medical and psychiatric community.
The Manual and related publications contain a great deal of useful information and templates for business cards, trifold flyers, and brochures which can easily be printed out and shared with others. The Committee is making a concerted effort to print and disseminate the material. However, we need you. Each GSA member is encouraged to share this information with their treating doctors and/or counselors. We would also encourage individuals, face to face meetings and intergroups to print brochures for their members to disseminate. If each GSA member printed out the tri-fold for medical professionals and gave it to their doctor at their annual physical or shared with their therapist, just think how many seeds would be planted.
Board of Trustees Town Hall Meeting, Jan. 26, 2020
The Board of Trustees held the first quarterly Town Hall of 2020 on 1/26/20. There were 37 total attendees including: 37 Attendees from: CTIG, EIG, ICEIG, ISRIG, MWIG, NEIG Area, NYMIG, PBIG, SEIG Area, SWIG, WSIG; 7/8 Board of Trustees; 6/9 ISRs from EIG, ICEIG, MWIG, NYMIG, SWIG, WSIG; 22/40 Committee Members (All Committees were represented); 10/193 GSRs. The meeting was full of important and interesting updates on what has been implemented as a result of the goals of WSC2019 and also what plans there are for future. Special attention was given to the budget and the Board of Trustees financial goal to double donations in 2020. For more in depth information, click here to see a copy of Grainne’s excellent presentation: http://bit.ly/2uOuVIx
There were also presentations from representatives from the Southwest Intergroup and the Western States Intergroup and from five of the Committees. All presenters put out a call for members to get involved in service at the Intergroup and/or Committee level: Joey spoke of how being a Board of Trustees member has had a positive impact on his abstinence and encouraged others to consider being of service in this fashion.
Q & A from the attendees:
- Q: C.: Is there any way that non-GSRs can attend WSC? Is there opportunity for input?
A: Grainne: The only people eligible to attend WSC are elected delegates. There are, however, several ways to have input: a) provide input via your Group/GSR; attend IG meetings and speak to your ISR, join a committee as a volunteer, attend monthly Committees Connecting meetings, and email input to any committee. Also, draft motions from committees will be published on 3/15/20 on website. One can give input on these motions as well.
- Q: C.: If ISR is going to WSC, does that prohibit GSRs from same IG attending?
A: Grainne: No. All GSRs are welcome in addition to the ISR.
- Q: Laura: What is abstinence requirement to volunteer on a committee?
A: S., Chair Structure Committee: Volunteers need 90 days of back-to-back GreySheet abstinence.
- Q: D.: When is the SWIG GreySheet Couples Speaker Blast?
A: E.: Saturday 2/8/10 at 12:00 PM EST.
To see the complete notes from the meeting, click here: http://bit.ly/2vzwqeh
Weren’t able to attend? Want more information? Click on the link below for the audio recording of the entire meeting! https://bit.ly/2OaAfgf.
Upcoming GSA Meetings and World Services
Committees Connecting Meet next on Sunday, February 9, at 12:00 noon ET at this Zoom link: https://zoom.us/j/663470166. All are welcome! The Literature and Nominating Committees will be presenting. This is a great time to tune in to the latest projects and concerns of committees and offer your input or ask questions.
Tradition 4 meeting – Sunday, February 16 from 1:00 – 1:30 PM ET, at this link: https://zoom.us/j/791453380.
Concept 4 meeting: Sunday, February 23 from 1:00 – 1:30 PM ET, at this link: https://zoom.us/j/791453380.
Audio Recording Links:
January 12 Committees Connecting meeting: http://bit.ly/2S0ANGS
January 26 Tradition 3 meeting: http://bit.ly/2RZT0o0
January 19th Concept 3 meeting: http://bit.ly/2uMYzhm
YouTube Audio recording of Service Matters January issue: http://bit.ly/2UaMZYm
Board of Trustees Town Hall Jan. 26: https://bit.ly/3aZiWJ4
You Tube coordinator for Southwest Intergroup YouTube channel
1. Long association with the 12 Traditions in order to understand when the Traditions are being followed properly or being violated. Understanding of our desire to avoid outside issues. There needs to be a sensitivity as to when a speaker is bashing other 12 Step food programs, or when they are simply mentioning them in passing.
2. Long enough abstinent in GSA so that the volunteer is not bouncing in and out of abstinence, which would create chaos.
3. Ability to edit video, preferably on iMovie but other software programs can be worked with.
4. Enough bandwidth to download large files from the Internet and to upload large files to YouTube.
World Service Conference Training coordinator
The President is responsible to help the conference committee chairs prepare their annual reports and conference motions. All the conference delegates also need to know how to function as a delegate before, during, and after the conference. We plan four training sessions:
|Date of Training
||Who Needs to Attend
||Subject of Training
| March or April 2020
|| Committee Chairs
||Drafting your motions for March 15th and April 15th deadlines
| May or June 2020
|| All delegates
||Consulting your groups and intergroups
| August 2020
|| Committee Chairs
||Writing your annual report for Sept 30th deadline
| September 2020
|| All delegates
||Debating, amending, and voting on motions and following Rules of Order at the conference (and Chairs: Presenting your motions)
We need a GSA member who will work with the President to arrange this training. This would involve working with the board and the committee chairs, updating 2019 materials, and communicating with all delegates. It could also involve delivering the training depending on your interest. It would require comfort with Zoom, MS Office, and daily email communication.
“This position would be best for a WSC2019 delegate who attended last year’s training or has other Twelve Step fellowship conference or parliamentary experience.
Estimated time commitment: several hours of work every week between now and the WSC.
Call for Writings
Help us create the first GSA Daily Reflections Book!
Note to GSRs and ISRs
Has your group or intergroup voted in new officers?