2010 World Service Business Conference Report

2010 World Service Business Conference Report

Wednesday started out at the wonderful morning OA meeting, with the topic of Spirituality. The word ‘ritual’ is in there, as is spirit. Exquisite sharing from people with long term abstinence, expressed physically, emotionally and spiritually.

The Region Chairs did a fantastic job with their forum entitled “How Does Service, Serve Us?” subtitled “Preaching to the Choir.”  The results of the forum and lots of wonderful ideas on service can be found at: http://www.oa.org/pdfs/2010forum.pdf.

Next stop, committee meetings. I serve on the Conference Literature Committee. We addressed some requests for new literature, and looked at some pamphlet re-write opportunities. All literature is reviewed at least every 7 years (although it can be reviewed more frequently).

That evening, was a forum to discuss the 7 pieces of literature voted on at the conference.  Each piece of literature is reviewed by a committee of up to 17-18 delegates. Next, the new or modified literature goes back to the board of trustees and requires a 2/3rds majority vote to end up on the agenda for the conference to consider. The voting delegates were given the opportunity to ask questions about the documents at this session.

Thursday the Conference began with introductions of the Board of Trustees, staff, volunteers, Region Chairs and then each state and country was called by region and we all stood. It’s very powerful. There were 15 trustees, 165 delegates which gives 180 eligible voters.  The standing rules were next reviewed and had some minor amendments before adoption, regarding debate – to reflect the way it was already being done.

Three motions were put on what’s called a consent agenda. That means the motions are routine, non-contentious, like housekeeping and with no objections, so that was 3 less motions we didn’t have to address.  The agenda was adopted as presented. The Chair reserved the right to amend.

We next met the makers of all the motions, in case we had a question.

The 7th tradition was collected and we donated $1,271.52.

There was a question and answer period next, for all the board reports. Again, these are all listed on the oa.org website. We were ahead of schedule and dug into the Diversity and Recovery pamphlet. The 2/3rd’s majority vote was not met, and so this motion was defeated. That was all we had time for before breaking for lunch.

First on the afternoon agenda was the Region and General Service Trustee Nominee speeches and question period.  The nominee for Region 10 spoke. He was a very large man and after his speech, a trustee asked him if he felt he was in a healthy body size (requirement for the board of trustees). He replied in the negative and the trustee then asked that his application be nullified. We then heard from five excellent candidates for only three GST positions.

We went back to the literature. There was much debate and question about the Questions and Answers pamphlet, which removes the word compulsive ‘over’ eater and all references are to ‘eater’. There is a motion later on that addresses dropping the ‘over’ eater and just going with compulsive ‘eater’, and everyone seemed to have strong opinions on this matter. So we voted to postpone the rest of the literature votes until after Item G.  You again can look at this on the website.

On Friday the amazing 7:15 a.m. OA meeting again had strong recovery. Our topic was about not being a glum lot and by the time the meeting was over, we were all laughing our heads off.

The morning credentials were 15 trustees, 165 delegates for a total of 180 eligible to vote. Then we observed a short demo for possible webcast attendance at WSBC for remote delegates. This is of particular interest to Region 8, as we have tried a few systems with minimal success. We want out South and Central American reps to attend assemblies.

Then we voted for the region trustees, Meg H from Region 2 and Gerri H from Region 8 (our region). The nominee from Region 10 withdrew his nomination for lack of physical qualifications.

While the ballots were being counted, the Trustees began to answer ‘ask it basket’ questions from the delegates:

? A local IG makes a one page meeting local meeting list and wondered if that could be done with the WSO meeting info. This will be investigated.

? Why does OA literature say our disease is incurable – can’t God cure us if He wants to? The Trustee referred us to pg 85 in the Big Book which states that we are not cured – 10th step promises (the hidden promises)

? How can a meeting be self supporting if the host location won’t accept a donation? The trustee responded that if a church, you could see if they had a ‘love donation’ policy rather than ‘rent’, which could interfere with their non-profit status. Hospitals also have special projects. A location which will accept no remuneration is not in line with the 7th tradition and perhaps a new location should be found.

? A group has a Trivia night to raise money. Since husbands, friends, etc. come is the meeting self supporting through its own contributions? Answer – Yes, anyone can buy literature from the OA website, even if not an OA member.

? How does one start a new intergroup? Write to WSO and order an Intergroup starter kit! It has everything you need.

? An OA member sobs and shares negatively, disrupting the meeting and it affects newcomers. How do we handle that? Answer – the OA website has many downloadable documents, including how to handle a disruptive member. You can also check the ask-it basket on the website and find many other similar situations to help solve those kinds of ‘challenges’.

? Young people – how to avoid the liabilities with under 18 members at meetings? Answer – check the Teen pamphlet for some ideas, OA cannot make a statement about liability guidelines as it creates a liability for OA!

? Why do the regions move seating positions after each session of the World Service Business Conference … isn’t that a lot more work for the support committee? Answer – Years ago there was no seating assignments and the room was mobbed when it opened for people to get the best seats, saving for friends and causing chaos. This system was started fifteen years ago, works well and the committee says it is a little work but creates order.

? A newcomer’s purse was stolen at a meeting with a large amount of money in it. Could the money be replaced from the 7th tradition? No – but the members could take up a special collection to reimburse her.

Finally we had the results of the election:

Region 2 – Meg H – 178 votes cast, no illegal ballots, 89 needed for election, received 170.

Region 8 – Gerri H – 179 votes cast, no illegal ballots, 90 needed for election, received 174.

Both were elected

Next we started the balloting for 2 General Service Trustees – there were five nominees

We were instructed to submit our ballots, voting for no more than two of the five. Blank ballots are not counted. There were three run offs:

176 ballots cast:

Barbara B – 78

Karen C – 9

Ray F – 45

LaVernia – 35

Vicki W – 115

Vicky was elected and LaVernia’s name removed for less than 20% of the votes.

We returned to Ask-it basket questions while the new ballots were counted.

? Can you copy PSA’s which are purchased from the WSO website? Yes, but the radio stations like the jacket with the award sticker on it. You do not need permission to copy the CD, but you do for the jacket.

? Strong meeting checklist and group inventory, what’s the difference? Both documents are downloadable. There are 2 parts to the inventory – 1 for the meeting and 1 for the individual. Both are great documents.

? F2f and virtual meetings that are not registered and what do you do if they don’t follow meeting guidelines. Pg 85 of our meeting packet described the qualifications for a group. Though a group isn’t registered, it must still abide by guidelines. If a trustee learns of a controversy, he/she can have a conversation with the meeting organizers. If not corrected, the BOT can de-register the meeting. They can still meet, but not be listed on an OA meeting list.

? Can there be a discount for ordering both the hard copy and the electronic version of Lifeline magazine? They are taking this under consideration.

? An IG ordered literature and got old versions of pamphlets. This probably was an error. Recommended informing WSO and getting replacements at no cost.

? Are program questions actually a traditions violation for outside literature? (The reference was to HOW questions) The World Service website has guidelines for having literature approved through the conference literature committee and the Board of Trustees. Locally produced literature is allowed. It should be approved by the local service body (Intergroup). If used in groups, autonomy permits this.

? HOW literature is copywrited by CEA HOW. (some of it) Trustee said you could use it but OA policy suggests that it be submitted and approved for OA literature.

? AA non-approved literature, can you use it? Trustee said “NO”; can this literature be adapted as OA approved? Trustee said we’d need permission from the author and they it must go through the whole submission process.

? Who decides where literature votes go on the WSBC agenda? Procedural motions come first.

? There were complaints about a meeting called ‘coffee shop’; it bashes OA lit in favor of AA. They hold group conscience without telling the members – trustee suggested that if they didn’t care for the meeting, they shouldn’t go. Meetings that break traditions will die ultimately; The BOT and Region Chairs are not meeting police.

The results of the GST vote:

178 cast, candidate needed 96 for election

Barbara – 88 votes

Karen – 59 votes

Ray – 30 votes

Ray was eliminated for not having at least 20% of the vote and a third ballot was executed with Barbara and Karen as the two candidates.

While we waited for the results, a break was taken, after which the results were announced

Barbara received 104 votes, and Karen received 73 votes. Barbara was declared the winner of the election.

Friday afternoon is when we began to address the motions that were on the agenda voted on by our intergroups and other service bodies.  The order of debate is based on the number of “yes” responses (so if time runs out, matters are not addressed).

We started out with a request to rescind the postponement of the votes on all literature, as motion G was being withdrawn. This motion was out of order, until G was actually withdrawn, so the maker of the motion G moved to withdraw it. (Motion G rescinds the WSBC policy created in 1991 to drop the verbiage ‘compulsive overeating’ and only use the verbiage compulsive eating. All of the new literature which we would consider had dropped the “over” and it was surely to be a hotly debated topic. The result was all new literature could not stand on its own merit but would probably be defeated. The motion to withdraw was adopted, and we were able to go back to the request to hear the literature motions next. It also was adopted).

We next considered the replacement pamphlet for “A guide to the 12 steps for you and your sponsor”. This was the second time the item was on the floor (last year it was defeated and the delegates asked for another re-write). The new pamphlet is called “Sponsoring through the 12 steps.” There was much debate about the use of compulsive eater and the complete dropping of compulsive OVEReater. The chairman ruled that these words could be considered an editorial change and with that, the motion was adopted. It takes a 2/3rd majority vote to pass new or amended literature.

The re-write of the “Tools” pamphlet was adopted.

The re-write of “To the Family of the Compulsive Eater” was adopted.

Then we moved on to other motions. If you want to read them in their entirety, please go to http://www.oa.org/world-service/conference.php, and read all the motions in their entirety.

The maker of Proposal Item H came forward with a substitute motion, which was clearer for the delegates to consider. [These re-writes and substitute motions, motions to delay or postpone all come out of the Reference sub-committee, which is part of the Bylaws Committee. The people who make motions work with this committee to help them get their motions ready so that the delegates are more likely to adopt a motion. They get virtually no down time, as when we’re not in session, they are working with the motions and make recommendations on whether or not we should consider passing the new policies, literature, bylaws, etc.]  The new motion read, “Move that the WSBC Final Conference Report be made available electronically. All delegates and service bodies will continue to receive the printed version unless otherwise requested.” The printing of the final report is quite expensive and the shipping even more so.  This document currently is only printed in English so many of the non-English speaking countries discard it as it is of little use to them. So, this could potentially save our fellowship a considerable amount of money. After debate, this motion was adopted.

Item C proposed the creation of a conference Committee for Youth in OA. After debate, this motion was adopted. Currently this committee is a board-sponsored committee, and now the delegates will be able to participate in a more meaningful way.

Item D also addressed communication concerning the business conference from the trustees and the WSO to each individual intergroup and regional office to not receive duplicate information unless requested, also another big money saver and it was adopted.

Item F was along these same lines as the two previous motions, regarding notice of the conference and all special meetings, that electronic transmission would occur unless instructed by each individual service body. This also was adopted.

Saturday morning flew by, starting with Item F, a motion to require all groups (face to face and virtual) and service bodies (Intergroups, service boards, regions) wishing to register with the WSO to provide at least one email contact and name when submitting their registration request. The required email address is for use within the OA organization and will not be published. The motion was amended to add ‘electronically’ after register. Both the amendment and then the amended motion were adopted.

We then moved on to Item E, which read “In accordance with our Traditions, we suggest that OA groups maintain unity and honor our Traditions by selling and displaying only approved books and pamphlets at their meetings. This includes OA Conference and board-approved literature; AA Conference-approved literature and locally produced OA literature. Locally produced literature must be developed according to the OA guidelines for locally produced literature and should be used with the greatest discretion. Local literature should be considered temporary and discontinued when OA literature approved for general use is available to cover the topic.  The rationale is that groups are autonomous except for matters affecting OA as a whole; a program of “musts.”

There was an amendment to insert “it is strongly suggested that” in front of “locally produced literature” and strike the work “must” but that failed.

The original motion was adopted.

Next we moved onto Proposal I, to create a ninth tool; “A plan of Moving”. The Reference committee recommended the amendment “Action Plan”. And after debate, the amendment was adopted. Rationale: Tool to promote use of other tools, not exercise.  Tool specific to the individual as to what we can do o help Abstinence (get off the couch, exercise less, bookending grocery shopping).  Argument against: better to propose “A Plan for Self Care.”  We voted on the original motion (a written ballot was requested – 90 votes in favor, 82 against) and now we have a new tool, Action Plan. We don’t know exactly what that will look like and the conference literature committee will write it into the Tools pamphlet for the delegates to consider in 2011.

There was no more time for additional motions and so they are not considered. We held hands and said Roseann’s promise together and the 2010 World Service Business Conference of Overeaters Anonymous was declared closed!

Highlights of the Board of Trustee meeting:

Officer elections:
New Chairman of the Board – Bob F (unopposed)

1st Vice Chairman, Kayla W and Cheryle T nominated, Cheryle T elected

2nd Vice Chairman, Vicki W nominated, Joe L declined, Vicki elected

Treasurer, Kayla W and Joe L nominated, Joe elected.

The 7th tradition collected Saturday morning totaled $1,816.31, and the three day total was $3989.74.

The committees for 2010/2011 were presented and voted in by the Board.

We also voted to pursue an official governmental proclamation for the 2010 Convention to honor OA’s 50th birthday.  This motion was adopted.

This detailed report is based on notes loving taken by our new region trustee.  Thank you all for allowing me to be of service.

Joyfully Abstinent, Recovered & Emotionally Sober by the Grace of God
Raleigh, NC, U.S.A.