This article was originally published by AA Agnostica on September 29, 2019
Mandate and Purpose
The mandate (purpose(s) and goal(s)) of the Board is to carry out our mission and vision:
Mission Statement: “Our mission is to assure suffering alcoholics that they can find sobriety in Alcoholics Anonymous without having to accept anyone else’s beliefs or deny their own. Secular AA does not endorse or oppose any form of religion or belief system and operates in accordance with the Third Tradition of Alcoholics Anonymous: The only requirement for AA membership is a desire to stop drinking.”
Vision Statement: “Secular AA recognizes and honors the immeasurable contributions that Alcoholics Anonymous has made to assist individuals to recover from alcoholism. We seek to ensure that AA remains an effective, relevant and inclusive program of recovery in an increasingly secular society. The foundation of Secular AA is grounded in our experience that anyone – regardless of their spiritual beliefs or lack thereof – can recover in the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous. Secular AA exists to serve the community of secularly-minded alcoholics by supporting worldwide access to secularly formatted AA meetings and fostering mutual support within a growing population of secularly-minded alcoholics.”
Board members are elected by the attendees at the biennial International Conference of Secular AA with the exception of the IT position, which is appointed by the Chair and confirmed by the Board members.
ICSAA 2018- Host Committee Chair
Vice Chair of Board
In-Reach Committee Chair
Fellowship Committee Chair
ICSAA 2020- Host Committee Chair*
Outreach Committee Chair
Archives Committee Chair
*The ICSAA host committee chairperson is chosen by the host committee and then becomes a board member when the membership of Secular AA votes for the location to host the next ICSAA.
Technology Coordinator of the IT Committee (nominated by the board chair and voted on by the board).
The Purpose of the Board Committees
The purpose of the Outreach Committee is to assure that Secular AA is practicing the principle in AA’s responsibility pledge “When anyone, anywhere, reaches out for help, I want the hand of AA always to be there. And for that: I am responsible”. More specifically, to inform still suffering alcoholics that enduring recovery from alcoholism can be had in AA by agnostic, atheist, and non-religious people. The Outreach Committee is to undertake this goal by means of: Interacting and cooperating with established CPC (Cooperation with Professional Community), Institutions (Corrections and Treatment), PI (Public Information) committees and similar entities within AA.; Acting as the Secular AA CPC, Institutions and PI committees (see AA Guidelines for CPC, Institutions and PI committees).
The primary purpose of the In-Reach Committee is to assure that others in AA are aware of our secular AA experience, which is that “enduring recovery from alcoholism can be found by agnostic, atheist, and non-religious people, within AA”. The secondary purpose of the In-Reach Committee is to promote our ICSAA, regional secular AA events, and website resources to AA members at large. Liaising – The In-Reach Committee shall strive to achieve these goals by liaising within AA with: AA members, AA groups, AA Intergroups, AA General Service Districts and Areas, the AA General Service Office, AA World Services, AA international General Service Offices and AA events such as round-ups, conventions, forums, etc.
The Fellowship Committee is tasked with supporting a fellowship of Secular AA Members to facilitate “sharing our experience, strength and hope” which shall include but not be limited to the following: Maintaining a “help line” to respond to inquiries from still suffering alcoholics; Assist Secular AA members in establishing and promoting regional/local secular AA events, as well as maintaining a listing of such events available to the Members; Maintaining a meeting directory of both physical and online Secular AA meetings; Maintain a mechanism to host secularly formatted online AA meetings; Liaise with other secularly-minded AA entities including websites that service the secularly-minded AA community. Maintain communications between the Secular AA membership and the board.
The Archives Committee is tasked with organizing and providing access to our shared secular AA experience. The Archives Committee must insure that the dissemination of such information is always coupled with a statement conveying the following or a similar alternative as may be outlined in the Guidelines for the Committee: “Please be aware that Secular AA does not attest to the accuracy, relevancy, timeliness, or completeness of information obtained from others, including Members of Secular AA, members of AA, organizations calling themselves AA entities, or any other entity or person. We may share information with our Members just as it is provided to us, for the purposes of an open flow of information and ideas, without a critique or review. Therefore the act of Secular AA making the information available does not constitute an approval or endorsement by Secular AA of the information provided.” The Archives Committee shall: Make available information, such as sample formats, for Members wishing to start a secular AA meeting; Maintain a listing of secularly-inclined AA literature as a resource for Members; Maintain a listing of secularly-inclined AA resources such as websites and blogs as a resource for Members and assuring that any listing or link to such a resource is coupled with a statement of group autonomy, and non-endorsement, consistent with the principles in the Traditions; Maintain a forum to archive Members’ personal and the secularly-minded group’s “experience, strength and hope”, and stories of “what it was like, what happened and what it is like now”; Maintain historical documents, as they become available, on the history of secularists in AA
The Nominating Committee shall present a slate of qualified nominees for board at the Membership Meeting prior to the election (paraphrased). The Site Selection Committee shall solicit and coordinate bids for next ICSAA with a goal of having at least three viable bids. The IT Committee sees to it that these websites are functioning well: The Secular Board, the Conference website, Secular AA Information and Service, the Facebook Coffee Shop and a list of and access to Online Meetings.
Decisions and Contact Information
How decisions are made and how they are shared publicly: The Board meets quarterly via video conference and typically the items on the agenda are reports from each committee and officer, old business and new business. The board discusses and sometimes debates motions and then votes in accordance with our bylaws. The minutes are also made available on the Secular AA website.
About the Author
Sam E is 53 years old and has been sober since a nudge from a judge in 1984 in Minnesota introduced him to AA. He has been married 22 years to an AA sweetheart, Stefanie, who has been sober since 1992. They have three rescue dogs, no kids, and have lived in Vegas since 1993.
Sam never did find God but found Good Orderly Direction from AA. His AA service experience includes every position at the group level, intergroup, local convention and, prior to moving to Vegas, stints in the Hawaii Area: Public Information Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, and Chair. He has religiously participated in PRAASA’s and AA regional forums for more than a decade.
In AA service and secular AA he feels at home and with his people, and he has had a service sponsor since the 80s.
Born an entrepreneurial, Sam’s career includes 8 years in residential real estate in Hawaii followed by moving to Las Vegas in 1993 where he founded a franchise company selling and operating a family entertainment concept across the USA. After that he worked for a consulting firm as a business analyst for small businesses across the US. He currently heads an entrepreneurial global film distribution company and travels extensively worldwide.