CER Chair’s Report, March 2021 (2-Day Online Assembly)

Dear Fellows,

I bid you a warm welcome to this first Assembly of 2021. We are again online, due to the public health crisis. I wish to thank you for your readiness to extend the standard time frame from one day to two, due to the number of items that have accumulated over the last few quarters.

One major item we had intended to do in person, if at all possible, is the Group Inventory which, under normal circumstances, would have been carried out in December. We put it off in December in the hope we could now meet in person, but that was not to be.

Clive, one of our Trustees of the Board of AA Great Britain has offered to moderate and the Steering Committee will do a debrief on the second day. I wish to thank Clive and the team, coordinated by Dena, for the excellent preparation and their service. The inventory checklist addresses issues such as trusting each other, how we arrive at decisions, the effectiveness of our efforts in carrying the message and maintaining a `safe space ´for all, as we go about the Region´s affairs.

My hope is that the exercise will prompt you, the members of the Assembly, to suggest any changes you see fit which would help us improve our efforts. Initiatives are most welcome.We request that they be submitted by email to steering-committee.cer@aamail.org, if possible, before the next Steering Committee meeting on March 25th, which may be attended by all.

The General Services Conference 2020 fell victim to the pandemic and the fellowship has decided to hold Conference online this year, in April. Our team of Delegates and Alternative Delegates have prepared a session to bring us up to date and get our feedback on the extra Conference Questions which have been added to the 2020 list.

On Day 2 we will hear from the Intergroups, the Officers of CER, our Trustee and the CERES* Board in addition to conducting the Group Inventory debrief and the election to fill the position of the Health Liaison Officer.

The Inventory, as I said, poses pertinent and important questions which remind us that while the Twelve Steps should shape our actions as each of us grows in recovery, the Twelve Traditions and Twelve Concepts provide us essential guidance for all our interactions.

Meeting online is stressful for many and some of us really miss the opportunity of shared fellowship over the weekend of the quarterly F2F Assemblies. I trust, nonetheless, that our interactions at this Assembly will be in line with that guidance. I have appended the Inventory Questions and further background material to the end of this report.

Yours in Fellowship,

Patrick – Chair

CER March 2021 Inventory Questions

  1. Do the current agenda, format, and scheduling of the CER Assembly effectively address communication and the business to be conducted? How could CER more effectively conduct its business? (Concepts I& X)
  2. Are the issues brought to the assembly made clear so all know what they are voting for or against? Do we try to reach important decisions by thorough discussion, vote and, where possible, substantial unanimity? (Concept XII, Warranty Four)
  3. Do we trust our trusted servants?* (Concept III)
    *Region Officers, (Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, Treasurer), Region Liaison Officers (e.g., Public Information, Electronic Communications), Regional Conference Delegates, the General Service Board, Conference?
  4. Do we practice the prudent use of our Seventh Tradition? How? (Tradition Seven and Concept XII, Warranty Two)
  5. How has CER responded to the COVID-19 pandemic, both for itself and to support groups and intergroups? (for example, use of online platforms and any resulting issues). Could any improvements be suggested?
  6. How can we improve the methods of encouraging and selecting effective leaders as well as nurturing leadership qualities in our trusted servants? (Concept XI)
  7. Are Officers well-informed of the scope of their service authorityand service responsibility or accountability by specific job descriptions or guidelines? (Concept XI)
  8. What can CER do to help members of the Assembly be better prepared as we come to participate? (Concept IV)
  9. Do we collectively and individually respect and adhere to the group conscience decisions of the Region, even when they are not what we personally may think is best? (Tradition Two)

Aims of CER

The Continental European Region od AA Great Britian, as guided by the Three Legacies of AA (Recovery, Unity and Service) and with a primary purpose of carrying AA’s message to the still suffering alcoholic, aims to:

  1. Lead public information initiatives and cooperate with the professional community at the European level.
  2. Facilitate the exchange of information / best practice experiences between AA Groups / Intergroups.
  3. Provide alcoholics, both local and abroad, with access to AA services and support, particularly in isolated and remote areas.
  4. Represent and link the AA Groups / Intergroups with the annual General Service Conference.
  5. Create opportunities for AA members to contribute and gain experience in AA service.
  6. Encourage cooperation with each European Host Nation AA.

The Twelve Traditions of A.A

‘Our Traditions are a guide to better ways of working and living. And they are to group survival what A.A.’s Twelve Steps are to each member’s sobriety and peace of mind… Most individuals cannot recover unless there is a group. The group must survive or the individual will not…’-Bill W

Tradition One: Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends on AA unity.

Tradition Two: For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority –a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.

Tradition Three: The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking.

Tradition Four: Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or AA as a whole.

Tradition Five: Each group has but one primary purpose –to carry it’s message to the alcoholic who still suffers.

Tradition Six: An AA group ought never endorse, finance, or lend the AA name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property, and prestige divert us from our primary purpose.

Tradition Seven: Every group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.

Tradition Eight: Alcoholics Anonymous should remain forever nonprofessional, but our service centers may employ special workers.

Tradition Nine: AA, as such, ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.

Tradition Ten: Alcoholics Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the AA name ought never be drawn into public controversy.

Tradition Eleven: Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, and films.

Tradition Twelve: Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our Traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.

The Twelve Concepts for World Service

Concept I: Final responsibility and ultimate authority for AA world services should always reside in the collective conscience of our whole Fellowship.

Concept II: The General Service Conference of A.A. has become, for nearly every practical purpose, the active voice and the effective conscience of our whole Society in its world affairs.

Concept III: To ensure effective leadership, we should endow each element of AA —the Conference, the General Service Board and its service corporations, staffs, committees, and executives —with a traditional ‘Right of Decision’.

Concept IV: At all responsible levels, we ought to maintain a traditional ‘Right of Participation’, allowing a voting representation in reasonable proportion to the responsibility that each must discharge.

Concept V: Throughout our structure, a traditional ‘Right of Appeal’ ought to prevail, so that minority opinion will be heard, and personal grievances receive careful consideration.

Concept Vl: The Conference recognizes that the chief initiative and active responsibility in most world service matters should be exercised by the trustee members of the Conference acting as the GeneralService Board

Concept Vll: The Charter and Bylaws of the General Service Board are legal instruments, empowering the trustees to manage and conduct world service affairs. The Conference Charter is not a legal document; it relies upon tradition and the A.A. purse for final effectiveness.

Concept VIII: The trustees are the principal planners and administrators of overall policy and finance. They have custodial oversight of the separately incorporated and constantly active services, exercising this through their ability to elect all the directors of these entities.

Concept IX: Good service leadership at all levels is indispensable for our future functioning and safety. Primary world service leadership, once exercised by the founders, must necessarily be assumed by the trustees.

Concept X: Every service responsibility should be matched by an equal service authority, with the scope of such authority well defined.

Concept Xl: The trustees should always have the best possible committees, corporate service directors, executives, staffs, and consultants. Composition, qualifications, induction procedures, and rights and duties will always be matters of serious concern.

Concept Xll: The Conference shall observe the spirit of A.A. tradition, taking care that it never becomes the seat of perilous wealth or power; that sufficient operating funds and reserve be its prudent financial principle; that it place none of its members in a position of unqualified authority over others; that it reach all important decisions by discussion, vote, and, whenever possible, by substantial unanimity; that its actions never be personally punitive nor an incitement to public controversy; that it never perform acts of government, and that, like the Society it serves, it will always remain democratic in thought and action.

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