SOAR Business Assembly Report
March 17, 2017, 7pm-10pm session
We have 8 green dot representatives at the assembly, including 1 from Bogota, Colombia, 1 from the Triad IG, and 1 from the Piedmont IG.
33 voting delegates are present for the evening session.
The treasurer gave a presentation on the 501 ( c )(3) public charity nonprofit tax designation. Questions have been asked regarding the use of WSO’s 501 status by the regions. The treasurer explained that no group or intergroup can use WSO’s 501 (c )(3) tax number as it would compromise WSO’s tax exempt status. Any group or intergroup can apply for 501 status. That group should: 1)-consult an attorney or an accountant; 2)-be aware that there may be an initial fee and an annual fee; 3) the state may have additional tax-exempt laws.
Presentation-DOES OUR GROUP NEED LIABILITY INSURANCE?
Groups meeting in churches or schools may be want to consider group liability insurance to cover the group in case anyone is injured during a meeting or OA event. In other words, who is responsible, the institution or the meeting? Some institutions may require groups to have group liability insurance.
Forum topic: Keep It Simple (based on 12th Step Within Simplicity Project on WSO website)
Examples: 3 – L – 1: 3 meals a day – 1 day at a time – Life in between
Food plan, Action Place, Recovery Plan, Serenity Plan
Physical, emotional, spiritual recovery categories- what am I doing each day?
The Blessings of Recovery ( 3 speakers )
- – I am a sugar addict. I wanted sugar more than my eyes, my limbs, or my life, but I didn’t want you to know how crazy I was. Diabetes ran in my family, and I saw the ravages every day, but still continued to eat sugar. When I went to my first OA meeting, they made me treasurer. Couldn’t they see that I was crazy? I was still battling sugar every day. I was bloody, but abstinent. Then my mother, my older sister, and then my grandmother all died and I felt like I was in hell. I felt joyless and broken. My savior arrived as a little tri-fold pamphlet called “12-Stepping a Problem”. This pamphlet and my willingness to use it became my ladder out of hell and my road to joy. I discovered the lies in my life; that I was mean, that I was evil, that I should do everything for my family, that I was the fix-it kid, but that I never did anything right. I had punished myself daily for years. I took Steps 4- 9 to surrender these lies. God gave me acceptance, understanding, and forgiveness for myself and others. Speaking about the Promises is speaking about joy of my recovery journey.
- – Pain and fear brought me into OA. I knew I had a “different relationship” with food. If you had my life, you would overeat also. The food stopped working, but I threw everybody out of my life before that happened. Pain came when I realized that I was the common denominator in the issues of my life. I was obsessed about food, what I ate, what you ate, what I was going to eat, what I shouldn’t eat. I could diet, but I couldn’t keep it off. I wore shapeless clothes and wouldn’t be in photos. I stopped being able to soothe myself with food. I Googled eating disorders, and “OA” came up. I just wanted a food plan and I would be out of there. I was STILL dieting! I was finally given “the gift of desperation”. I wanted what others had, the physical, emotional, and spiritual recovery. I started working the Steps and got honest with myself. I was living in illusions and lies. I worked with a sponsor. I have maintained a healthy weight for 3 years, and I could never do that before OA. I was also getting sane, present, and available. I love working with sponsees. Today I have a life that is unbelievable. I have the ability to love and to be loved.
V.- In OA I found acceptance for who I was for the first time. I was a very fat unhappy person. I had cancer; OA helped me to lose weight, get healthier, and I am still here! I was a night eater; I do not do that anymore. My sponsor told me that I needed to work the Steps. My wife is in OA and does a lot of service, and I started helping her. Service helps me to show up. I have lost 50 lbs in the program. I want to live a better life so I’m sticking with OA!
March 18, 2017
There are 35 eligible voting delegates present.
Treasurer’s report- We have $35,000 in the budget and are maintaining a 66% prudent reserve, which is higher than the 40 – 60% called for in the Bylaws. This is a good thing as we are sending 4 delegates and the chair and region trustee to WSBC in April, and this will spend down the prudent reserve. We file taxes every year but do not pay taxes. By law, the SOAR 8 treasurer and the secretary have to be bonded. At one time, our chair had to be bonded, but we changed the P and P because our chair is not a US citizen and cannot be bonded in this country.
Secretary’s report- Packet is completed for this conference and credentials are up to date. On to Albuquerque!
Vice-chair- I coordinate planning and preparation for conventions, the topic for Friday night speakers, and help with bids for upcoming conventions. As of now, we have no bids for Spring 2018 convention.
Chair-I am translating an OA 12-Step workshop into Spanish. I am planning the Forum for the next region assembly in Miami, coming in October. I have prepared a marathon on sponsorship involving the Board of Trustees at WSO. We welcomed 389 people who joined us by phone for 3 hours to discuss and to share on various topics related to sponsorship.
Trustee- I voted on the revised edition of the OA 12 & 12. Approved a process to de-register groups that are not following the Traditions. Three (3) groups in New Zealand were violating the traditions and causing harm to OA as a whole. They have been de-registered. We are developing new guidelines for anonymity in the digital world. The new Courier is available for health professionals and can be accessed at OA.org. Please feel free to download a copy and give to health professionals. We have a new A Step Ahead (what is going on at WSO) available in color or in b/w for download.
7th Tradition totals – Friday 3/17 – $525; Sat. 3/18 – $117.
March 18, 2017
There are 38 eligible voting delegates present.
Bylaws Motion 1- Change the quorum requirements in the Bylaws from 2 to 8 intergroups from states outside the state or territory where the assembly is being held. Adopted
P & P Motion 1- Change assembly time from March and September to March/April and October/November to facilitate more flexibility in planning/preparation of conventions. Adopted.
P & P Motion 2-Move the Tech/Web committee down the list of committees to be defunded. Currently, Tech/Web is #2; this motion would move the committee to #5. Adopted
P & P/Motion 3-All reimbursements for SOAR 8 expenses shall be in the form of a check. Adopted. This motion was fairly controversial as we have a chair and several delegates who are not US citizens and have difficulties cashing American checks in their countries’ banks. Arrangements will be made so that they can cash their checks in the US before returning to their respective countries.
WSO Strategic Plan for 2017 – 2019 – “Keeping OA Strong Worldwide”
-WSO is creating articles for a series “Are you a piece of the puzzle?”
-Developing 12 powerpoints for Traditions workshops
*Very important!! Please take back to your intergroups and discuss – “How can we promote and contribute to unity?” Please forward ideas to your region Trustee. Sample idea- Skype in an international speaker for a meeting.
Emergency P and P motion- At least 3 of 4 board members, including the treasurer must meet the requirements and criteria for bonding. Adopted.
We had six (6) remote attendees, including 1 from Brazil.
Please be aware that you can donate to Region 8 using Paypal or the mail-in contribution form.
Submitted by Neill M., Triangle NC SOAR representative