Aloha! You can click on the link below to read my full report back on the 2013 General Service Convention in New York. Thank you for letting me be of service!
Aloha! You can click on the link below to read my full report back on the 2013 General Service Convention in New York. Thank you for letting me be of service!
2013 May Committee Meeting Chair’s ReportAloha everyone! The May 2013 Area Committee Meeting is our last event for several months until we meet again in October for our 2013 Budget Assembly. We don’t have a location yet, but we will be sure you are informed as more information becomes available.
Since our last meeting I’ve been busy with a number of activities:
Finally, as you may know one of our aims here in Area 17 this panel has been to improve contact and communication with the Young People in AA groups as well as with the Al-Anon Family Groups. To this end we have been inviting representatives of these organizations as guests at our Assemblies and asked them to give a short report of their activities.
I’m happy to report that both Ken, our Area Delegate, and I have been invited to the Al-Anon Family Group Assembly being held this weekend. Ken will be giving a brief report and we will be joining them for their meal and meeting.
There’s a long break between now and our October Budget Assembly and our work will be continuing during those months. We are open for business if you will. Please feel free to contact myself and any of Area 17 Officers, DCMS, and Standing Committee Chairs if you need assistance, want to get into service, or just want to chat.
Aloha and thank you for letting me be of service.
Area 17 Area Chair
If you are interested in standing for Pacific Region Trustee, Area17 will be voting by 3rd Legacy Procedure during the Budget Assembly in October for our representative to nominate! Read the requirements below:
You must be present to stand.
In love and service,
Panel 63 Delegate
Aloha friends! There is a staff opening at GSO for those that are interested. Please see the announcement:
Applications must be sent in before August 1, 201
Here’s what to take back to your Districts and Committees from the 2013 May Area Committee Meeting.
Aloha everyone! We’ve just finished our 2013 Inform the Delegate
Assembly which was hosted by the No Ka Oi District 5. They did a superb
job of hosting and I’d like to extend my thanks to everyone involved.
Our first order of business at this assembly was to elect a new Area 17
Secretary. The secretary we elected back at the 2012 Elections Assembly
did a great job but found that it was necessary to step down. I want to
point out that I respect this person greatly and my respect only
increased when she took stock and realized that someone else should have
the opportunity to serve.
And that person is…
Jim D. from Kauai! Jim is familiar to many of us as he has served our
Area in a number of General Service postions over the years, most
recently as our Panel 61 Hospitals Standing Committee Chair. Welcome
Other information to take back to your groups and committees…
Our next Area Committee Meeting will be held May 18th, 2013 on Oahu at Unity Church on the slopes of Diamond Head, hosted by Waikiki District 10. Area Officers, Standing Committee Chairs, and DCMS are required to attend.
The Area 17 Standing Committee Chairs will be holding a Standing Committee workshop on Sunday May 19th on Oahu at Palama Settlement. More information will be announced as it becomes available.
Our next Assembly will be the 2013 Budget Assembly. It will be held October 5th and 6th, 2013 in Honolulu, District 2 and more information will be available at the May Committee Meeting.
Please have everyone take a look at the website and send feedback to [email protected].
In addition, please thank all of the groups in Hawaii Area 17 for the continued financial support of the work of Hawaii Area 17. Our 2014 budget will be presented for the first time at the May Committee Meeting. Our budget seems like a ‘dry’ document, but in fact it is really a list of our hopes and dreams.
And finally, our delegate Ken K. wants to thank everyone in the Hawaii Fellowship who worked so hard to be sure he is fully informed as he prepares to go to the 63rd General Service Conference: “The General Service Conference Takes Its Inventory – Our Solution in Action.”
Aloha! It will soon be time for us to gather in Kula on Maui for our 2013 Inform the Delegate Assembly. This is, in many ways, our most important gathering as we will letting our delegate know the results of our research into the topics that have been assigned to each district.
I’m attaching the agenda to this post and it will soon be available on the event listing on our calendar. Keep in mind that it is subject to change both prior to the assembly and during the assembly as we adjust to the needs of the day.
Our first order of business is to elect a new Area Secretary. Please spread the word as the more who stand for the position the better.
We’ll need to arrive on time and plan on staying for the entire assembly as this is also the busiest assembly of the year. Hopefully you’ve already booked your flight. If not, please check out our air travel information page to find out how you can help Area 17 collect airline miles we can use to offset our expenses.
Come prepared having read all the posted documents, like the minutes from the Orientation Assembly, in advanced so we don’t have to take the time to do that when we meet and can go immediately to corrections and voting on their acceptance.
I’m looking forward to seeing you all again soon!
Thank you for your service,
It’Is the Monday after PRAASA 2013 and I’m in the lobby of my hotel waiting for a shuttle to the airport. I apologize for not getting this report up earlier, but after a full weekend of activities I was a wee bit too tired to try to write last night.
This report will be about the final day of PRAASA 2013. Sunday, the last day, is really just a half day with most of the activity, besides the wrap-up meeting, ending at noon. Of course we are slow to leave as we have so many folks to say good-bye to before we head out, and chat we do. Most of the folks, besides those of us from Area 17, are friends I see once a year. As this was my sixth PRAASA in seven years some of my relationships go back quite a ways.
On Sunday we don’t break out into smaller groups, all the meetings are large ones. The format is pretty simple:
I didn’t attend the Wrap-Up Meeting as this is really for upcoming PRAASA folks to learn how to plan one and what to expect in the way of problems. If I were on the Delegate’s committee I’d have attended. If we had a PRAASA of our own coming up soon I’d definitely have attended. But as I was on our PRAASA Host Committee just two years ago it’ll be a while before we need to prepare for our next one.
And now my location has changed, I’m at the airport waiting to board for my connecting flight to Seattle…but let’s continue on with my report…
The “What’s On Your Mind” portion of the day is much like we do at our own Area Assemblies. This is the when all those folks who never got a chance to say something take a moment and let us know who they are and what’s on their mind. At my first PRAASA in Portland this is when I finally took a chance and said something. Since then I’ve probably said too much at too many PRAASAS so I kept my mouth shut. I’d had my say when I made a friendly amendment and that was enough.
Next up is the Trustee’s Panel. This is one of my favorite parts of PRAASA (it’s all my favorite part really). This when we get to hear from the Past Pacific Region Trustees in attendance, as well as any other trustee that happens to be there.
Rod B. moderated the panel and I believe we had seven past trustees in attendance. I’m sorry if I don’t remember all the years represented, but it was a wonderful opportunity to hear from these wonderful servants of AA telling stories and anecdotes about their time in service and commenting on the issues of today.
Gregg M., someone familiar to all of us in Hawaii, shared a wonderful story about a closed meeting of AA that had on ongoing debate about whether a certain person, who had a desire not to drink – but had never actually had a drink – could participate. She continued to attend while they continued to have the discussion, thus avoiding having to actually ask her to leave. He told the story to make the point that we are a very loving bunch and would much rather err on the side of inclusion than exclusion.
Madeleine P., our immediate Past Trustee reminded us we are just the servants carrying the message and not to take ourselves too seriously or make ourselves too important.
All the Past Trustees were great and I wish I had time to listen to them all. The ones I’ve worked with are really service heros of mine and I’ve gotten so much from their experience over the years that it’s hard to summarize. Let’s just say that no matter what jobs you’ve had in AA, your service is never really done.
Then it was time for the Ask It Basket. The basket had been sitting on stage all weekend and was chock full of questions, both hard and harder. This really is, as Madeleine P. says, “Stump the Delegate.” Once again Rod was in charge doling out the questions.
Ken, our Delegate, had the question, “Why is the GSB planning to combine the AAWS and Grapevine boards when Bill W. warned against this in the Service Manual?”
Now I can’t say that Bill actually warned against this in so many words so I’m going to look it up, but that was the question before Ken. Rather than say more, I’m going to suggest that we all look into what everyone seems to be calling “The Plan.”
Many of the questions were about “The Plan,” but many were not. One of my favorites, and I hope our Grapevine Chair is reading this, was, “Besides subscribing, what what can we do to support The Grapevine and La Vina?” Heather, what’s the answer to that?
And all too soon PRAASA came to close. Idaho Area 18 did a great job…maybe not quite as great as Hawaii Area 17, but our weather is a bit nicer. Seriously though, I’d like to extend my thanks to the Area 18 2013 PRAASA Chair, David F. and his whole team who did a wonderful job of hosting the Pacific Region. The problems were minor and sometimes even apropos as when the lights went out twice during the never-ending business meeting: almost as if God was saying, “Enough already!”
I will miss Idaho, it’s a wonderful place with great AA and great AA servants who really went all out to welcome us and make our stay one filled with Aloha. I’m sure they are going to do great job in 2014 when we head back to Boise for the 2014 Pacific Regional Forum. I’m hoping I’ll be able to extend my stay a few days (on my own dime of course) and explore Idaho a bit more – there just wasn’t time for that on this trip and, Hawaii resident that I am, I think I’ll like July weather a bit more than chilly early March (though they did say we’d raised the temperature a bit).
Thank you Hawaii Area 17 for funding me to PRAASA 2013. I am honored to serve you and look forward to answering any question you may have about my experience, about PRAASA in general and how valuable it is to us all, or chatting about anything else you have on your mind.
Thank you for letting me be of service,
Hawaii Area 17
Panel 63 Area Chair
It’s Sunday morning, the last day of PRAASA 2013. But this report isn’t about the last day, it’s about the longest day of PRAASA, Saturday. I’m writing this so late as our business meeting went well into the night which is, in my experience of six PRAASAS, not the norm.
Saturday at PRAASA is generally a full day and evening of events. The day starts with panels as on Friday, but then it moves into other areas. Here’s the general structure.
The Panel topics in the morning focused on several different Concepts covering II, III, IV, IX, X, & XII. Of course those aren’t the only Concepts, we have 12, but those were chosen to fit in with the overall theme, the same as the GSCS upcoming theme, “THe General Service Conference Takes Its Inventory – Our Solution In Action.”
The presenters were all good and I got something new from all of them. By this time during PRAASA one can be operating with information overload. My advice is to try to listen to everything, but not to try to remember it all. In my experience the important things will stick.
We had no presenters or readers and timers from Hawaii Area 17 during the panels on Saturday, but that probably would have been unfair as we had so many on Friday. O
One of the highlights for me we was a Spanish Language presentation that reminded me just how difficult it might be for members who speak other languages to understand our proceedings at regular AA meeting. I don’t speak Spanish and can only understand a few words, none if spoken rapidly. An interpreter did translate afterwards, but of course it’s likely that much of the flavor of the presenter’s language was lost. Still it was an excellent presentation, the translator doing a fine job. We’ve had translation issues come up in Hawaii, most recently with the request for a Tongan translation.
Then it was time for lunch. Not being a Delegate or Past Delegate I had to option of attending either the Fellowship Lunch or the AFG Lunch. I guess I could have gone out into Boise as well, but I find that having lunch at PRAASA, and sitting with folks you don’t know, is a great way to meet new people and get fresh ideas.
Next up was Rod B.’s Trustee’s Report. Those of us at the recent February Committee meeting heard much of the same material as presented Ken K., but it’s always good to hear it from our Trustee. He has a great sense of humor, a real love for AA, and a dedication to serving us all that is definitely worth emulating.
Then it was time for our PRAASA business meeting. PRAASA is not a working conference or assembly in the sense that no votes are taken on issues relative to AA as a whole or even in the Pacific Region. But PRAASA does have business and that’s the business of PRAASA itself. The first order of business is generally to review the minutes of the past meeting and the financial report from the last PRAASA. Sometimes this goes smoothly, sometimes it doesn’t.
During the PRAASA it didn’t. Madeleine P., our immediate past Pacific Region Trustee ran the meeting and she had her work cut out for her. Folks were in a mood to question everything and they did. Indeed the discussion wasn’t finished by 3:30 PM, the scheduled end time, we hadn’t even gotten to old business or new business. It was agreed that’s we’d reconvene after dinner and the speaker to finish the business of PRAASA as there were some important topics on how PRAASA will operate to discuss. I should note that the voting members of PRAASA consist of everyone who is registered and present. There’s a committee made up of the current Pacific Region Delegates who work hard to formulate plans and recommendations, but as in AA, everywhere, the ultimate authority lies with us and not with those we’ve placed in positions of leadership. We are responsible.
As soon as the business meeting had adjourned for the afternoon, I’d tried to schedule a photo opportunity for the Hawaii Area 17 members who wished to participate. Photos like this have to be done in relative privacy as it’s both a breach of etiquette and a possible breach of anonymity to include passers-by or folks who don’t want to be in a photo.
Unfortunately it didn’t work out quite as well as I’d hoped and I take full responsibility for that. The word didn’t get around to everyone from Hawaii apparently as we had a light crowd of only about 16 members. I took the photo, three of them in fact, but no one else offered me a camera, nor did I think to ask them to and we broke up moving on to the next event. Sadly two members showed up just after we’d split up and several folks had left. I didn’t feel right about that, but at the time there was nothing to be done for it, I wouldn’t have been able to call back everyone and we were pressed for time.
It was time to move on and I headed to the Chair/Alt Chair roundtable for day two. Again I can’t stress enough how important these roundtables are for the participants. This is were we can really learn how others do our job, ask questions, get support, and network with others doing our job in the Pacific Region.
I put forward a topic during this discussion, “How do we handle corporate memory at the area level?” I explained that by this I wasn’t talking about archives, but rather the business of our Area itself. Yes we in Hawaii Area 17 take and publish minutes of our discussions, but how many of can truly say we remember all the motions and outcomes from Panel 61, Panel 59, or earlier. It’s hard to look through the minutes of so many meetings when you are actively seeking information during an assembly so I wondered what others do.
Some Areas are, of course, in our position, they have minutes but don’t have much more organization than that. Some Areas, however, have a number of ways of dealing this this and I will be looking into how we can improve our corporate memory of actions taken, and just as importantly, those not taken.
After the roundtables it was time to break for dinner. I ran back to my room and changed into something a bit more formal. I also tried to let everyone from Hawaii know we were going to try again to take a group photo right after the speaker. This took me all over the building as well as around the dining room. I also had to make a trip back to my room for my camera. Because of this I declined sitting with a table filled with our Hawaii members. Don’t think this is a hardship though, sitting with folks I don’t know is one of the highlights of my PRAASA and I was grateful the company I did have, a group of alcoholics from Utah, a place I’ve not been nor one I immediately associate with alcoholism. Apparently Utah has its fair share of us.
Dinner was followed by our main speaker, a past trustee Ruth J. She told us her story, filled with humor and warmth, and genuine humility. She’s been to 39 PRAASAS if my count wasn’t off and her love for PRAASA is obvious to all.
Next we did take another picture, this time with at least another half dozen of us. I truly apologize for anyone who missed participating if they would have wished to do so. Next year we’ll organize before PRAASA to make sure we’ve got everyone covered. Live an learn.
And last but not least, it was time to reconvene the business meeting. Usually at this time of the evening, after 9 PM, there’s be late night discussions scheduled and this year was no different. I don’t know how many people attended them as it seemed most of us returned for the business meeting. We are passionate about our PRAASA and want to see the best for it so it’s not surprising.
At issue were three things, the first being the recommendation of the delegates to change the way PRAASA rotates between Areas. In the past it’s been on a bid system and that’s how we’ve gotten PRAASA to Hawaii every ten or eleven years. We’ve put in a bid having done the footwork in advance and were approved. The delegate’s committee had come up with a plan simply to rotate PRAASA through each area on a fifteen year schedule.
You’d think that’s what we’d be taking about, and we were, sort of. What we actually talking about was their report, not voting on the proposal itself, which had actually been tabled and thus wasn’t part of current business. It would have to come off the table for that.
We got through the report, finally. Then it was time to discuss the actual motion. Of course it was on the table so we had to bring it off table first causing more than a little confusion. You can’t, of course, discussed tabled issues till you’ve taken them up again. We did and eventually after much loving discussion the motion passed. As I understand it, we will be changing the way we rotate PRAASA in the future, once the current bids have been played out if I’m not mistaken. I could easily be mistaken, it was a confusing meeting and I hadn’t been at PRAASA last year when the initial discussions were held.
Then came a proposal, from David F., past Idaho Area 18 delegate, to stop shipping the PRAASA archives to each PRAASA but rather to continue them online. The actual archives would be stored at location to be determined. As these archives are documents, we don’t do cups and t-shirts at PRAASA, digitizing is possible and as I understand Area 72 did much of the work already.
It was hear that I finally said something in front of all PRAASA attendees. The proposal was worded such that the archives of PRAASA would be placed under the ‘archives tab’ on the website. To an old webmaster this is a problem. By wording the proposal this way it limits design choices to one, a tab. There are many ways of creating links on a webpage and page tabs are only one. In essence the motion, as worded, had the unintended effect of making design, not just content, choices for our PRAASA website.
I discussed this with the motion author who happened to be sitting at my table and subsequently made a friendly amendment, which he graciously accepted. Basically I asked that the wording being changed from ‘under the archives tab’ to ‘accessible through an appropriate archives link.’ It seems a small thing, but it’s less limiting in the future and we don’t know how web design will change in the future. Links we’ll probably have with us, but what form they will take we don’t yet know.
So that was my contribution to the business of PRAASA. Sure it’s small, but it’s service and I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to lend a hand. My amendment was accepted and soon afterward the motion was passed.
There were a few more bits of business, including a motion for PRAASA to take it’s own inventory in the future (which was tabled for discussion next year as we were approaching 11:30 PM when we had to be out of the room) and we adjourned till next year. Whew…it was a long day.
I’m still working on my first cup of coffee on Sunday, the last day of PRAASA and I’ll tell you all about it later today once this has all come to close for another year.
Yours in service,
Today was the first actual day of PRAASA 2013 and a full day it was, even though we didn’t start until late morning.
The structure of the first day of PRAASA is fairly simple as you may have noted if you’ve been the PRAASA website at praasa.org. While the timing changes a bit from PRAASA to PRAASA the general structure is as follows:
Today we had a number of Hawaii Area 17 folks up in front in service as readers and presenters. Our Panel 63 Delegate, Ken K., kicked off our participation with a brief report of what we’ve been doing in Area 17 during Panel 1. While his report was factual, he remembered to leave us laughing when he said that in Hawaii our meetings are multi-lingual, being held in English, Pidgin, and The Language of the Heart.
Next up was David J. H. from Maui who presented on the topic of “How Do We Grow Leadership in a New Generation of AA’s?” during Panel 2. It’s an excellent question and he reminded us that we were shown by example how to become leaders in AA and not simply told what to do. It was a wonderful reminder that we should all lead by example and not by command.
Panel 3 had two Hawaii participants as Coleen W. of Maui was the reader for the Panel giving us the opening reading. She was followed by Karen N., also of Maui, who gave an excellent presentation on “The 3 R’s: Rituals, Rigidity, Rules.” She reminded us that while AA isn’t rigid we should check ourselves to make sure that we aren’t being rigid. And she finished with the biggest rule in AA, “We absolutely insist on enjoying life.”
The panels ended for the day with the fourth Panel when Ken K., our delegate, returned as a presenter on the topic of “The General Service Board Gets a Make-Over: Service Do or Service Don’t?” The topic was an involved one discussing the merits and problems with an idea afoot to combine the AAWS and Grapevine Boards into one body at certain times. I may have that one wrong so please check with Ken for more information.
It was then time to break for dinner and I was privileged to be able to dine with our Pacific Region Trustee, Rod B., our delegate Ken K., and our Mynah Bird Chair, Rochelle A. Conversation included, but was not limited to AA. Rod is a great fellow, a wonderful servant, and an interesting and delightful conversationalist. He gave me the benefit of his thoughts on several things pertinent to our Area and you’ll be hearing more about it later after I’ve had time to digest both the ideas and my dinner.
Then it was off to the Roundtables. These are one of the best things about PRAASA. Much as we have roundtables for our DCMS, Standing Committee Chairs, Intergroup Chairs, and Area Officers at our Assemblies and Committee meetings so it is at PRAASA. There are Roundtables both for various service positions and for various topics. I attended the Area Chair/Alt Chair roundtable.
The format of these roundtables is pretty simple. We all introduce ourselves, and tonight we had 22 chair and alt chairs in attendance, and then go around suggesting topics for discussion. Once we have enough topics to fill our time up, the person who made the suggestions gives a quick overview of their concern and we have a discussion on how our area deals with whatever the topic is. Our topics tonight were
Those are the topics as I copied them down and there’s definitely some overlap. Notes were kept by a volunteer secretary and we’ll be getting them soon. We’ll also have each other’s email addresses so we, as area servants, can remain in touch with each other.
These roundtables are a wonderful opportunity to foster unity throughout the Pacific Region, learn that our problems aren’t unique, share what works with each other, and just as importantly, what doesn’t.
I had a wonderful post roundtable discussion with the Alaska Area Chair. Alaska shares many of the same issues we do by virtue of being, like us, a place I like to describe as a “remote community made up of remote communities.”
That’s it for today though. It was an exciting day with so many of our Area 17 servants participating in service to PRAASA. Our Area has a well earned reputation for being very well informed, very active in service, and an area which isn’t afraid to innovate to solve problems.
Tomorrow is an even busier day, so it’s time for me to sign-off and get some sleep!
Thank you very much for the opportunity to serve and participate here at PRAASA 2013.