Watch the Southeast Overeaters Anonymous Region 8 (SOAR 8) Conference via Online Video

Remote attendance of the Southeast Overeaters Anonymous Region 8 (SOAR 8) Conference is available with the aid or current computer technology. This technology can be used to videoconference as sub-committees between assemblies so that members can have the face-to-face meeting experience from wherever they may be in the Region. Another use reported by current members is that it allows for video “face to face” contacts with other OA members – some in very remote parts of the region – who otherwise are limited to phone meetings. Please download this PDF for more information on linking into the conference. Please download this PDF for more information on using Oovoo.

2014 OA Retreat Weekend – North Florida

NF2014OAWeekend

 

Do you ever feel like something is blocking your enjoyment of life? Would you like to experience the benefits of clearer connections to your Higher Power, to the program, and to each other?  Do you have your own personal experience, strength, and hope? What things have you done in program to unclog your pipeline? Are you willing to share with others? 
 
Come, join us at this retreat to experience plenty of opportunities to practice, improve, and cultivate these connections and receive more of what OA has to offer! Continue reading

News from WSO

Did you know we have podcasts on the website that talk about pamphlets in our wide array of literature? Check out these new ones!

NEW PODCASTS ON OA WEBSITE

This year at the World Service Business Conference 2014​ the Ask-it -Basket was answered by the Trustees after the conference. The answers to that Ask-It-Basket can be found in this post here. Continue reading

2014 World Service Business Conference Report

2014 World Service Business Conference
April 28 – May 3, 2014
Albuquerque, New Mexico
WRAP-UP REPORT

Theme of the conference was “Our Primary Purpose” and there was a focus in seminars and forums on carrying the message. The first seminar was Monday evening, with three more on Tuesday afternoon all looking towards how we can help spread the message. Continue reading

November 2014: Region 8 Convention and Business Assembly

The Region 8 Convention and Business Assembly will take place November 14-16, 2014 at the Radisson Royale Bogota Hotel in Bogota, Colombia. Need more information? Call Sarah G at (224) 636-9136 or email her at sarahganitsky48@gmail.com, or email Sara K at roitman60@gmail.com.

Region 8 Convention Continue reading

24th Annual Florida State Convention of OA – Feb 21-23, 2014

Looking for a weekend of highly concentrated recovery in 2014? Come to the 24th Annual Florida State OA  Convention at Cocoa Beach Hilton Oceanfront February 21- 23. The theme this year is “Together We Can … Be a Team in 2014.” The official opening ceremony is at 7:30 PM Friday night, but workshops start at 4:30 that day. The convention will be wrapped-up at noon on Sunday.

Service
This is YOUR CONVENTION and you make it happen! The convention offers many  opportunities to provide service and reinforce your personal Step 12. In addition to meeting and workshop leaders (90 days continuous abstinence required), we need volunteers in the boutique, hospitality room, registration table, literature table, service desk, to act as a Hugger/Greeter, meeting room timer, and to sell tickets for drawings. No one will be turned away for lack of funds. If you cannot afford registration, consider giving service or a donation.

Registration
Registration is now open, and costs only $25 for the weekend if you register by Feb 1st
(but it increases to $35 after that date), or $30 for one day registration. There will be no refunds after 2/14/2014. There are two ways to register: on-line or by mail.

  • To register on-line, go to www.flsconvention2014.eventbrite.com. A surcharge is added when using this site.
  • To register by mail, use the paper copy registration form, which may be downloaded from the web site of your local Intergroup (e.g., www.oanfi.org) or Region 8 (www.oaregion8.org). Make checks payable to “Florida State Convention 2014.”

Send to: Barbara Carter
28303 SW 101 Avenue
Newberry, FL 32669
Email: bcarter337@att.net

Meals
All meals must be ordered before 2/7/2014. There is an optional Banquet Saturday evening (chicken, pork or vegetarian options) for $46 (includes all taxes and tip). For your convenience, you may choose to prepay for all your meals: a weekend meal package costs $135, which includes breakfast, lunch and Dinner Banquet on Saturday, plus breakfast on Sunday.

Hotel reservations
You must make your own reservations before 2/07/14. Hotel requires a credit card to hold your reservation. Use code FSCOA1 for special rates: $109 Double, $129 Coastline View, $159 Ocean view, plus 11% taxes per night. These rates will be honored until FEB 7th. Any
reservations made after that date will be charged at the current room rate. THERE WILL BE NO EXCEPTIONS.

Cocoa Beach Hilton Oceanfront
1550 N. Atlantic Ave.
Cocoa Beach, FL 32931
1-866-580-7402 (Reservations)
1-321-799-0003 (Direct)

Rates are available for three days before and after the event. Hotel check-in is at 3:00 PM,
Friday; check-out is Noon Sunday. All rooms have a refrigerator and coffee pot.

Report from Miami’s 2012 SOAR Assembly

Friday Report from Miami’s SOAR Assembly

As always, thank you for allowing me to do this service.  —Harriette

Friday July 13, 2012

Theme of Assembly, “Recovery:  Pass It On”

40 Reps, funded chairs, visitors, and board members were present.  There were 40 eligible to vote and 2 nonvoting.

2 from Colombia,  SA

Desire of Assembly is for renewed hoped for the future of OA and to pass it on.

“Recovery: Pass it on”

1.  First thing I can do is to pass on solution we have found to a cunning,
baffling, disease.

2.  Most important thing I can do is to guard my abstinence and maintain a fit
spiritual condition.

The Strategic Operations Plan will now be Region 8 Action Plan.  There are 7 committees, 7 tasks, 7 ideas on how to implement the action plan.

Members were asked to come to the mic and give ideas on each committee’s action plan.

(I worded the following so we can see how we may perhaps use these also in the Triangle.)

I.  IG Outreach – what more can we do?
A.  Find where meetings are that are not sending reps to IG.  Attend their
business meeting and try to determine why they are not.

B.  Let the group know how attending IG has helped you and your group.

C.  Develop a phone tree and call members from non-attending groups and
encourage them to speak to their group about sending a rep and how
important it is.

II.  Concepts of Service
A.  Invite Trustee and/or Board members to come and do workshops.
B.  Go to the Region 8 website and make use of skits that are there.
C.  Hold Concept Service workshops.

III.  Unity with Diversity – addresses any personal barriers and apathy and/or
negative perceptions
A.  Get ideas out to groups and encourage groups to act on ideas.
B.  Invite members who struggle with diversity to speak and share their
experience.
C. Focus on unity and not diversity.

IV.  Ways and Means – helps groups understand why 7th traditions are
important.
A.  Ask reps to go back to their groups and stress how being a rep has
helped them.
B.  Have 7th tradition skits at Serenity Days or Retreats.
C.  Ask board members or Trustee to come and do a workshop on why
7th tradition is important and why it is more than just putting a few
dollars in a basket.
D.   Remind members how the donations are used.

V.  Tech-web
A.  Create podcasts on web site so members can share how program
helped them.
B.  Put WSBC and other reports on web site.

VI.  12th Step Within
A.  At workshops, retreats, and at meetings encourage the identity of
Abstinent sponsors.
B.  Ask abstinent sponsors to stand.
C.  Pass list of abstinent sponsors.
D.  Post list of abstinent sponsors in Newsletter.
E.  Stress meaning of abstinence when talking about sponsorship.
F.  Ask sponsors to stand and qualify about 1 minute.
G.  Create a WE CARE book and pass around at meetings.
H.  Ask board members or Trustee to come and do workshop on
Sponsoring.

VII.  PIPO = Public Information Professional Outreach
A.  Have seminars for members doing outreach to help develop
continuity.
B.  Ask everyone at IG to take information to their doctor.
C.  Teach groups how to have public information events.
D.  Have a Public Information month.
E.  Find where Health Fairs originate in our area.  Go to the original source
and see if they would allow a member/s to come and do a presentation
about program.

SOME GREAT THINGS HEARD

1.  “How can I do more to carry the message.”
2.  “If we each would just touch one other person…”
3.  “Without you what would I have?”
4.  “Stick around for you will never know when the miracle will happen.”
Saturday Morning SOAR Business Assembly
7-14-2012
42 Voting members present
1.    Minutes from Raleigh 2012 Assembly adopted and approved
2.    Chair reports
·         Region Chair, Gloria- shared ESH and photos from her trip to Caracas, Venezuela by invitation of the National Service Board.
·         Vice Chair-Sander extended thanks to the Triangle IG for doing a wonderful job hosting the March 2012 Assembly!
·         Sander shared that flyers for local events can be posted on the Region 8 website.  They must bear the official OA logo (only if blanket permission has been granted from WSO).  These forms can be emailed to him through the region 8 contacts tab.
·         Our Treasurer, Patty, shared that Region 8 is a 5013C and individual donations to the region are tax deductible.
·         Our current Secretary, Jane and Trustee, Gerri will not be running for another term in their position as board members
·         Trustee Gerri encouraged OA members to support OA’s recovery magazine, Lifeline, in order to help it become fully self-supporting. She suggested taking old subscriptions to your doctor’s office or a health professional’s office.
3.    Additional Reports
·         Our own Triangle SOAR rep Harriette shared the Raleigh Report regarding the March 2012 SOAR assembly.
·         Pedro, from Medellin, Colombia gave a final report from the 2011 SOAR assembly in Medellin.  Pedro emphasized that the spirit of recovery during the convention overcame language barriers.  He also said that the convention in Medellin bridged the gap between the US and Latin America.

4.    Motions
·         Consent Agenda- Motion to change wording in Bylaws
Motion for Miami Business Assembly
Move to make the by-laws consistent with current practice by amending Article VII, Section 1, Part A. Page 12 as follows
Current Wording A. Region-8 shall hold regular Region-8 Recovery Convention and Business Assemblies three (3) times a year, on a rotation basis among the states, countries and territories in the Region as approved at the previous Region-8 Business Assembly.
Proposed Wording A. Region-8 shall hold regular Region-8 Recovery Convention and Business Assemblies three (3) times a year, on a rotation basis among the states, countries and territories in the Region as approved at the Region 8 Business Assembly one year previous.
Intent:
To make the By-Laws consistent with current practice, which allows the hosting intergroup 12 months to prepare for the Assembly and Recovery Convention.

It was approved

·         A second motion was discussed that would amend bylaws as follows:
A. Region-8 Committee Chairman shall be nominated by said Committee and appointed by the Region-8 Board yearly at each late October early November Region-8 Business Assembly, on the following schedule:

1. Even Years: Ways & Means, Intergroup Outreach, and By-Laws/Electronic Documents

2. Odd Years: Technology/Web Site, Twelfth-Step-Within, Unity with Diversity, Public Information/Professional Outreach Committee

The intent for this motion was to stagger the 2 year terms of committee members in order to ensure the greatest possible operation stability.
This motion was approved.
·         The final motion was to amend the current years’ budget.  Region 8 currently has a prudent reserve of 80% and bylaws state that is shouldn’t exceed 60%.  The overage is due to careful spending and the “Spend 5 to keep Medellin Alive” campaign.  The motion increased the budget for our region chair to meet her mandatory responsibilities, created a reserve fund for travel in region 8, and increased this year’s annual donation to WSO by $500.
This motion did pass following much discussion and an approved friendly amendment.

5.    Following lunch, committees met to discuss their progress and make a plan of actions to take before our next assembly.  I am serving on the Unity with Diversity committee and was personally challenged to look into starting a special interest group in my area.
6.    Nominations were held for funded committee chair positions. Individuals who were not present or nominated are still welcome to apply for the positions with applications due 60 days prior to the November assembly.
7.    The Boca Raton, Florida group bid to host next summer’s July, 2013 assembly.  They sang and performed a skit for our entertainment. The group will serve as host next summer.

My trip to Miami included the very purposeful attendance at the business assembly as well as beach time, connecting with new friends in recovery, and an evening of dancing! The recovery side of the convention hosted sessions in both English and Spanish.  Our lunch time entertainment was a fashion show of items that were available at the boutique. I had the new experience of listening to our dinner speaker Pedro, from Medellin, Colombia, share completely in Spanish. His address was translated for those of us who are not fluent Spanish Speakers.  I appreciated the diversity of OA that was evident in this year’s Miami convention. Our disease affects a wide range of people from all cultural backgrounds, but we are blessed to have a solution that works for all who wish to work it!

Report submitted by Janeen T. SOAR Rep

Report from July 2010 SOAR 8

Report from the July 9–11, 2010 SOAR 8
Recovery Convention and Business Assembly
from SOAR Reps Mary Anne and Neill

Executive Summary

Recovery

The theme of the convention was “Twelve Steppin’ in the Big Easy.” The recovery convention sessions were organized around the steps and made festive with theme days. For example on Friday all of the attendees from the local COLA intergroup wore New Orleans Saints colors (black and gold) and on Saturday, they all work Mardi Gras beads and other accessories in the Mardi Gras colors of gold, green, and purple. The Friday night skit was on the theme, “Am I Still Your Sponsor?” while the panel presentation, with three speakers focused on the theme “Without the Steps, OA is just another diet and calories club.” On Sunday morning the 12th Step Within Committee presented one of the OA Road Show skits demonstrating what happens to a meeting when people share their mess instead of the message.

Announcements

  • The 12th Step Within Committee is very interested in ideas about what intergroups do to help spread the recovery message to those in relapse or still struggling.
  • The Ways and Means Committee is interested in fund raising ideas that local IGs have used successfully.
  • The July 2011 SOAR will be in Nashville, TN, July 8-10, at the Holiday Inn Opryland. It will be hosted by the Middle Tennessee Intergroup. Registration will be $40.
  • Everyone is encouraged to attend OA’s 50th Birthday Celebration to be held August 26-29, 2010 in Los Angeles.
  • According to the CRC 7 of the 10 states with the highest rates of obesity are in our SOAR region. Our regional chair announced this to draw our attention to the need to grow OA in our region, to make it available to everyone who wants it. She said emphatically that obesity is not an outside issue.
  • We are trying to increase our service to countries in our region outside of the US. There was a delegate to this assembly from the island nation of Aruba. Our chair and trustee will be conducting a service and traditions workshop and speaking at an assembly in Bogota, Columbia.
  • Responding to a request for more efficient checking of credentials, the board instituted a system in which board members and IG reps showed their badges to the doorkeeper who kept a simple tally and reported that tally for voting purposes. It was more efficient, but the down side was that it didn’t let us know which intergroups, or even how many intergroups were there. We only know that there were 28 reps, 7 funded chairs, and 3 board members as the voting members of the business assembly. This does not count the parliamentarian and the regional trustee who cannot vote..
  • Non controversial motions (i.e. to institute two new forms for transactions with the treasurer) were voted to be placed on a consent agenda. If any one objects to any piece, it cannot be part of the consent agenda. Once a consent agenda has been accepted by the group because there were no objections, the whole content is voted “yes” or “no” with no pro and con speeches and no discussion.
  • The Technology/Website Committee is looking into developing a system in which contributions to SOAR can be made online with PayPal or something similar. This is contingent on finding a process that does not violate the traditions by seeming to endorse an outside enterprise as well as full protection of privacy.
  • In addition to the two new forms on the consent agenda, the Assembly made the following decisions:
    • A section was added to the By-Laws to allow for emergency appointment of nominees to the regional trustee position if there should be no nominations at the fall assembly, or if a vacancy should arise when there is no business assembly before WSBC needs the nominations. There had been no contingency plan for this in the by-laws until this vote.
    • New language for the Soar8 Policies and Procedures Manual (the P&P) was accepted to flesh out descriptions of the Unity in Diversity Committee and the Bylaws/Electronic Documents Committee which were created at the last assembly. New language was not yet accepted for the new Technology/Website committee as that committee is still working on defining its role.
    • An emergency motion passed to move the SOAR8 webmaster position from being a part of the Technology/Website committee to a position in service to the board. Although the current webmaster is a volunteer, the motion was amended to give the board the freedom to hire a non-volunteer webmaster in the future if that should become necessary. Whether or not the webmaster is a volunteer, his or her expenses to attend SOAR assemblies will be paid, but he or she will not vote.
    • Following the resignation of our long-time secretary Joel, an interim secretary was elected to serve through the end of the November assembly when the elections are held.
    • Nominations were taken for board positions. Elections will be held in November.
    • Because only 17% of Region 8 intergroups (10 of 59) were represented at WSBC this year, we can send up to 5 additional delegates from the region. However, in the treasurer’s opinion based on the current budget, we will only be able to afford to send 3. Eleven delegates, including Neill, were nominated from the floor. They must each submit applications to the SOAR8 board by early in September. Voting for delegates will take place at the November election.

Procedural Changes

Business Accomplished


Full Report

Friday night 07-09-10

7:30 pm. Opening Business Meeting

After the traditional opening—serenity prayer, 12 steps, 12 traditions, and the 07-09 reading from For Today—Stephanie (Action is the magic word), our chair, welcomed the representative from an intergroup that had not been represented at SOAR before, the Caribbean island Aruba. She then went on to talk about how even though this was a business meeting, abstinence was the most important thing that any of us were there for. She encouraged us to do whatever we needed to do to maintain our abstinence including asking someone to be a temporary sponsor for the meeting, calling or texting our sponsors back home, and maintaining our regular daily spiritual practices. She distributed “smiles on a stick” and reminded us then, and throughout the meeting of our slogan, “Fun in abstinence!”

She explained our new system of checking in at the door, an experiment in streamlining the meeting by eliminating the intergroup-by-intergroup roll cal that has traditionally started each session and been repeated after every break. IG reps showed their badges to the doorkeeper who kept a simple tally and reported that tally for voting purposes. It was more efficient, but the down side was that it didn’t let us know which intergroups, or even how many intergroups were there. We only know that there were 28 reps, 7 funded chairs, and 3 board members as the voting members of the business assembly. This does not count the parliamentarian and the regional trustee who cannot vote.

The meeting ratified a new agenda that added election on an interim secretary (necessitated by the early resignation of our previous secretary, Joel) and nominations for representatives from SOAR to next year’s World Service Business Conference.

Our vice chair, Gloria (Trust God. Clean House. Help Others.) was ill and unable to attend, but she is getting better and expected to be back at work soon.8

The business meeting concluded with a tutorial on using our website OAregion8.org. One feature that was especially highlighted were our link to the meeting list for the region. Through this connection, if a meeting changes its information on the OA.org website, it will automatically be updated on the SOAR website as well. There is an events calendar to which intergroups can submit their retreats, conferences, and other events, and a message board called the forum which includes, but is not limited to password-protected sections for communication among committee members between assemblies.

8:30 pm COLA Welcome, Skit and

In the skit, performed by the host intergroup, a sponsor checks in with her sponsees, asking them each if she was still their sponsor.  She asked them why they hadn’t been in contact or had stopped working their program.  They all had reasons or excuses for not being in regular contact.  She reassured each one that she was still there for them, but that they needed to stay in touch and work the steps.

The evening’s panel discussion topic was “Without the steps, OA is just a diet and calories club”.  Three people shared their experience, strength, and hope. Highlights from the panel are highlighted under the first name initial of the speaker:

D.  “I did all my eating in private.  I did a lot of dieting in my head.  I avoided interaction with people.  When I came into OA, I wanted to find THE DIET.  I did lots of diets, the cabbage soup diet, 2 shakes and a sensible dinner diet, etc.  I dieted off my weight, but I gained it back.  I smiled on the outside, but I was dying on the inside.  People in OA understood me when no one else could.  I bought all the OA literature and though that I could figure OA out all by myself.  Having a sponsor really helped me.  ‘Keep coming back’ really worked for me!”

A.  “I heard that if your Big Book is falling apart, then you are not.  I have been a compulsive overeater all my life.  I had no emotional skills to deal with life, so I ate.  I gained weight due to a death in my family, 70 pounds over the summer.  I spent my life holding back from experiences due to fear.  All the solutions I found before OA were about diet and calories.  I weighed 263 pounds twice and was alternately anorexic and bulimic in my life.  When I came into OA I found that there was a spiritual solution for my compulsive overeating.  I learned the importance of the fellowship.  I got a sponsor.  I had a calling network.  But I had to work the steps and use the tools.  Then I experienced freedom, freedom from the bondage of food and fear.”

G.  I am abstinent for 17 years with a 100 pound weight loss.  The diet clubs worked for a while, but I would always gain the weight back.  I have a disease that is mental, physical, and spiritual.  All my life, I looked for the book that would show me how to live.  When I joined OA, you (the fellowship) gave me the book, the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.  As the Doctor’s Opinion states, my body is as abnormal as my mind.  I used to make the refrigerator my God.  When I came into OA, I had borderline diabetes, high blood pressure, heart palpitations, and knees that hurt.  My doctor told me that I might not live to be 50.  I went out of his office, prepaid for a year of a well-known diet club.  Then I went to an ice cream store.  I decided that if I might die, I might as well eat some good food before I died.  In OA I found that I had to be food sober from my binge foods.  I work the steps and use the tools.  I make 3 OA phone calls a day.  I do what I need to do each day to be abstinent.

Saturday 07-10-10

8:30 am. Business Meeting Continues

The morning session began with the serenity prayer, reading of the 12 concepts, and the 07-10 entry in Voices of Recovery. To perpetuate Fun in Abstinence, we were introduced to Recovery Bingo. Everyone was given two bingo “cards” with each of the 25 blocks containing a word or phrase such as “Bylaws,” “Meeting,” “Motion,” “Service,” “Serenity,” or “Sponsor.” Any time someone in the meeting used one of the words on either or both of the reps’ cards they would mark off that square. If a player was able to mark off five cells in a row in any direction, he or she was instructed to wait until the current item of business was open and then proceed to the center microphone to call “bingo.” Prizes were given to the first 10 people to get “bingo.” Neither of your reps really liked this game very much because we found it hard to pay attention to the business at hand, take good notes for our report to you, and mark our cards at the same time.

In the Saturday morning meeting, there were 41 voting and 4 non-voting members in the room including the pages from the Memphis group.

After adoption of the standing rules, the concept of a consent agenda was explained. If there are items that are deemed completely non-controversial—in this case the treasurer had proposed the modification of 2 forms that she uses for routine business functions—the chair can seek a consent agenda. For this to occur, the group has to vote unanimously that they have no debate or questions about any item included. If any one objects to any piece, it cannot be part of the consent agenda. Once a consent agenda has been accepted by the group because there were no objections, the whole content is voted “yes” or “no” with no pro and con speeches and no discussion. The two form revisions were accepted as a consent agenda and the agenda was accepted so that no further discussion or voting was required.

Minutes from the March meeting in Memphis were approved.

As is customary, the parliamentarian gave a lesson in procedure. She covered two points—withdrawing a motion and “The Gordian Knot.”

  • Withdrawing a motion. If the chair has not stated the motion, it is the property of the maker of the motion and can be withdrawn. Once the chair has stated the motion, it belongs to the assembly. The chair may ask if there are any objections to the withdrawal. If anyone objects, it is resolved with a straight “yes” or “no” vote.
  • The Gordian Knot (named after the near-legendary action of Alexander the Great). This occurs only when there has become a hopeless tangle (for example many nested amendments and people wanting to withdraw amendments, etc.) and neither the chair or parliamentarian know how to resolve it. It calls for a suspension of the rules which allows all of the action to date to just be set aside and for the group to begin at the beginning. To implement the Gordian Knot requires a 2/3 majority.

Each of the board members was to give a five-minute report. Because neither the vice chair nor the secretary were there, the chair asked for and received permission to extend the time for herself and the regional trustee.

  • The Chair praised COLA for their recovery presentation of the previous night and talked about how the board had attempted to implement suggestions from the March meeting to streamline procedures. This included pre-assigning mentors for green dots (first time reps), the consent agenda (explained above), the elimination of the roll call, and continuing to work toward remote attendance. (Currently, members unable to attend can log in and watch the assembly but they have no mechanism for speaking or voting.) She gave a brief report from WSBC (as did several other board members) and reported that she and our regional trustee (Gerri, trust God and buy broccoli) will go to Bogota, Columbia for a service and traditions workshop and to speak at an assembly there. She also reported that, according to the CRC 7 of the 10 states with the highest rates of obesity are in our SOAR region. She said that this was a call for the need to grow OA in our region, to make sure that it is available to everyone who wants it. When questioned from the floor about whether obesity is an outside issue, she said emphatically that it is not.
  • The Treasurer provided a new  report to update the one provided for the meeting packet as that one had to be produced 30 days before the assembly. She hopes that the November contributions will bring our regional finances into better line with our budget. She asked that if groups want confirmation of their contributions that they include an e-mail address for that purpose. Two technical issues are currently under investigation. One is the pros and cons of enabling groups to make contributions online through an intermediary such as Pay Pal. The other is to make the mandated list of group contributions available on the website, but with some assurance that this information is not available to inappropriate readers.
  • The Trustee, like the Chair, reported on the WSBC. She reiterated that only 17% of the service bodies (primarily intergroups) in Region 8 were represented at WSBC, which permits the region to send up to 5 additional delegates next year, as funding permits. She encouraged everyone to attend OA’s 50th Anniversary Celebration in Los Angeles August 26-29 and passed around a sample of the souvenir bookmark issued to celebrate the anniversary. She also stressed the importance of supporting Lifeline—including placing them in doctors’ offices with local meeting information written on the back. She concluded by talking about the importance of carrying the message by example, by maintaining a normal weight.
  • One of the Region 8 delegates also gave a report on WSBC. All 3 reports are carried in full in the most recent issue of the SOAR Newsletter, available on the website. Everyone reporting on WSBC encouraged members to give feedback on the new tool “Plan of Action.”

In addition to the two new forms on the consent agenda, the Assembly made the following decisions:

  • A section was added to the By-Laws to allow for emergency appointment of nominees to the regional trustee position if there should be no nominations at the fall assembly, or if a vacancy should arise when there is no business assembly before WSBC needs the nominations. There had been no contingency plan for this in the by-laws until this vote. (Amending By-Laws requires a majority of ¾ of the votes.)
  • New language for the Soar8 Policies and Procedures Manual (the P&P) was accepted to flesh out descriptions of the Unity in Diversity Committee and the Bylaws/Electronic Documents Committee which were created at the last assembly. New language was not yet accepted for the new Technology/Website committee as that committee is still working on defining its role.
  • A general motion also passed, after an unsuccessful attempt to amend it, to fund the regional Chair to attend the World Service Convention every three years. Under the previous policies and procedures, the chair was funded to attend the required meeting of the regional chairs that takes place at that conference, but not to attend the remainder of the conference.

Lunch

A CD of the lunch speaker has been donated to the intergroup tape library.

2:00 pm. Committees met

Neil is on the 12th Step Within Committee. Mary Anne is on the Electronic Documents and By-Laws Committee.

4:00 pm. Final business meeting

In accordance with the by-laws, the Board had appointed Jane C. to act as secretary for the assembly following Joel’s resignation. However, those by-laws also stipulate that at the first assembly after the resignation, an interim secretary must be elected. A written ballot is used for elections. The winning candidate must receive a majority of the votes. Jane C. and Patty S. were nominated and the election was very close. Because some people abstained (turned in blank ballots), no one received a majority on the first 2 ballots. Finally Jane C. was elected to serve through the next assembly after which the person elected at the regular November elections will begin. Both of the candidates for interim secretary were also nominated for that position.

Gloria (the current vice chair) and Janice S. were nominated from the floor as vice chair. They must submit applications 60 days before the next assembly. As there are two apparently eligible candidates, there will be no nominations from the floor in November.

The Chair and Treasurer are elected on alternate years with the Vice Chair and Secretary so that there is never an entirely new board.

Although, as explained above, SOAR is allowed to send up to 5 delegates to WSBC, the treasurer reported that we would most likely be able to afford to send 3. There were 11 nominations including Neill from our intergroup. All applications must be submitted by early September.

The July 2011 SOAR will be in Nashville, TN, July 8-10, at the Holiday Inn Opreyland. It will be hosted by the Middle Tennessee Intergroup. Registration will be $40.

Two emergency motions were passed. The first was to move the SOAR8 webmaster position from being a part of the Technology/Website committee to a position in service to the board. Although the current webmaster is a volunteer, the motion was amended to give the board the freedom to hire a non-volunteer webmaster in the future if that should become necessary. Whether or not the webmaster is a volunteer, his or her expenses to attend SOAR assemblies will be paid, but he or she will not vote. The second was to give the ways and means committee a budget override of $265.99 to cover the costs of additional fund raising.

Saturday Night

After dinner and an inspiring speaker, the group was entertained by The Double Steppers—a local group of cloggers who clogged in a sort of line dance formation, unlike NC cloggers whose performances are more closely related to square dancing. There was a DJ afterward; but tired from a long day of business, only a handful of us stayed to dance.

Sunday Morning. Recovery Meetings

After morning meditation, the 12th Step Within Committee presented one of the OA Road Show skits demonstrating what happens to a meeting when people share their mess instead of the message. It pointed out how important it was for those people with real recovery (even, or especially when they are in the minority within the meeting) to not only share in meetings but to be available to sponsor and encourage those who may not be seeing or hearing much about the 12 Steps in their current meetings.

Members were encouraged to share what their meetings and intergroups did to carry the message within the fellowship.

The assembly ended with a final inspiring speaker, “I put my hand in yours,” and the Serenity Prayer.