December 2018 Holiday Meeting Information

Give yourself the gift of an abstinent holiday …

 

Christmas Eve, Monday, December 24

  • Shaughnessy Meeting (730 pm, Fairview Baptist Church, 1708 West 16thAvenue, Vancouver) will be open.
  • Monday Night LifeLiners (730 pm, Avalon Women’s Centre in White Rock) will be open. Please note that due to a building policy, this meeting is for women only.

Christmas Day, Tuesday, December 25

  • There will be a special meeting at Fairview Baptist (1708 West 16thAvenue, Vancouver) at 730 pm on Christmas Night. Contact: Chelsea – 604-836-8715.
  • The Coquitlam meeting (715 pm, King of Life Church, 1198 Falcon Drive) will be open.
  • OA Study Hall at the Alano Club (176 East 2nd) in North Vancouver will be CLOSED.
  • People in Recovery (Three Bridges, 1128 Hornby Street) will be CLOSED.

New Year’s Eve, Monday, December 31

  • Shaughnessy Meeting (730 pm, Fairview Baptist Church, 1708 West 16thAvenue, Vancouver) will be open.
  • Monday Night Lifeliners (730 pm, Avalon Women’s Centre in White Rock) will be CLOSED.

New Year’s Day, Tuesday, January 1

  • OA Study Hall at the Alano Club (176 East 2nd) in North Vancouver will be open.
  • The Coquitlam meeting (715 pm, King of Life Church, 1198 Falcon Drive) will be open.
  • People in Recovery (Three Bridges, 1128 Hornby Street) will be CLOSED.

Intergroup’s December Meeting:  A reminder that the “December” meeting of Intergroup will not be held on the last Saturday in December.  Instead, we will meet on Saturday, January 5, 2019at 10 am, at Unity in Action Church, 1630 Edinburgh Street, New Westminster.

Holiday Phone Marathons

OA Virtual Services has phone marathons through the holidays as well.  The schedule is below.  To join the call, dial 712-432-5200 and enter Conference ID 4285115# (long distance charges may apply depending on your phone plan – this call originates in the USA).

Date Holiday Theme
Monday, December 24 Christmas Eve Day The Dawn of a New Spirit
Tuesday, December 25 Christmas Day Experiencing the Joy of the Promises
Wednesday, December 26 Kwanzaa/Boxing Day Sharing Our Experience, Strength and Hope
Monday, December 31 New Year’s Eve Day Progress not Perfection
Tuesday, January 1, 2019 New Year’s Day Awareness is the First Step

You can also find information on how to attend virtual meetings by phone, online, and other media here:  http://www.oavirtualservices.org/our-virtual-meetings/

Intergroup Phone Buddies

You are not alone in OA.  We have Intergroup Phone Buddies available through the holidays if you need to reach out.  Our phone buddies are:

  • Christa S – 778-870-0831 (call or text; 24 hours)
  • Gail L – 604-299-1115 (call only; 24 hours)
  • Tim C – 778-835-6469 (call or text; 24 hours)

A joyous, abstinent holiday season to all! 

 

Longtime OA Member Tries Virtual Meetings

Since it would get dark so early and I no longer drive at night, I made a conscious effort this past winter to replace my face-to-face evening meetings with virtual meetings.

I found two excellent meetings. One is a Step Study videoconference meeting based in Newfoundland, Canada. The other is a non-real-time meeting that uses a popular messaging app. That meeting is moderated by members from Region Nine.

virtualmeetingShares in the latter meeting are a combination of text and voice messages, and I hear people from all around the world, all with very different accents. This blew me away when I first heard it. It also seems to be a much younger group than I see at my face- to-face meetings. I hear babies crying in the background sometimes.

This has been an extremely rewarding experience, and it makes it real to me that we truly are a worldwide Fellowship. Virtual OA saw incredible growth in 2017. In the first nine months of the year, 121 new virtual groups were registered with the World Service Office— including online, phone, and non-real-time groups, plus two new virtual service boards. In addition, membership in virtual groups on Facebook is increasing, with some groups reporting 500–1,500 members.

To keep up with this incredible growth, the Find a Meeting page at oa.org has been expanded to include a variety of digital meeting options, including meet- ings via email or bulletin loops, social media pages, bulletin boards or forums, and mobile applications. OA calls these meetings “non-real-time” meetings because they do not meet in real time or have designated start and end times. Non-real-time meetings may take place over a period of hours or days.

Finding non-real-time meetings is now easier than ever, since a new category has been added to Find a Meeting at oa.org. Click the “Non-Real-Time Meeting” button to view your options.

To register a non-real-time meeting, download the OA Non-Real-Time Group Registration/Change Form (an interactive PDF), fill out the form, and email it to info@oa.org.

~ A Step Ahead, Second Quarter 2018

Questions About Whether We’re Spreading Hope When We Share

Think back to the moment we first walked into an OA meeting. We finally gave up outwitting or toughing out our disease. Our eating discouraged us. The shape of our body discouraged us. So did our emotional health.

We come into OA on a losing streak. None of us thought that, gee, OA might be a fun place to meet friends and network. We came because our lives, as we were living them, were pretty lousy: chained to food like a slave to their master. None of us had the foggiest idea what to do, we just wanted a place that could help us where no one else could before. So when we went to our first meeting, what were we looking for? Why, hope of course! All we wanted was a tiny glimmer, a glinting of shining hope. Half a ray of hope, even an eighth of a ray, would have been infinitely more hope than we walked in with.

But how do newcomers (or current members) get that hope? In our first meeting, we were probably confused by all the terminology chucked around: abstinence, food plan, Higher Power, unmanageability. What’s it got to do with stopping the uncontrollable urge to eat? Then we hear someone describe their journey. We hear in them what’s familiar: the obsession, the physical need for our binge foods, the fear and self-doubt. We hear in another’s words the lonely secrets of our food behaviors.

But the problem isn’t the only thing we need to feel hopeful. If everyone shared only about the problem, then it’s just talking. What we felt and heard was that OA has a solution. We didn’t necessarily know what “Twelve Steps” meant, but we heard people talking about how their compulsive eating had been arrested. We saw that they achieved some physical recovery. And we imagined ourselves in their place. “If they were like that before, and they are getting better, then I can too!”

If we heard hope, then we probably left our first meeting with some lightness in our hearts. Finally, we’d stumbled into a path forward.

But what if we hadn’t heard hope? What if we didn’t hear that there was a solution? What if we mostly heard about the problem? Or sharing that’s mostly retellings of the difficult problems of the past week? Would we have stuck around?

Just as newcomers need to hear hope, current members, no matter where we are in our journey of recovery, need to hear hope, too. Even more important, we desperately need to share hope. Step 12 tells us that we are to carry the message of hope to those who still suffer. The Big Book tells us explicitly and implicitly that we must share what happened (the problem), what we did (the solution in OA), and what we’re like now (how we’ve been changed by OA). This isn’t optional; it’s foundational to maintaining our spiritual condition. It’s mirrored again in Tradition 5 that tells us that the primary purpose of any OA meeting is to carry the message to still-suffering compulsive eaters. It’s not about us, it’s about others. It’s about hope! As practicing OAs, we can ask ourselves three important questions about our sharing:

  1. What percentage of our sharing is about our problem with food? With non-food life problems? Or is a retelling of events of the past days or week?
  2. What percentage is about how we are working toward the solution?
  3. Are we remembering to describe how our lives have changed for the better through OA?

Or we can ask one big question: Do I consistently share so that I feel better or so that someone else in the room feels hope so they can get better?

These answers make all the difference to us as well as the newcomer. If we hear ourselves talking about the solution, we may be more likely to continue reaching for it, reminded of its daily importance to us. Just as the still-suffering compulsive eater may be more likely to stick around and reach for the solution when they hear hope from us.

Hope is a diamond for the newcomer, each of our recoveries are its facets, and our Higher Power is the light that sparkles through it.

Anonymous, June, 2017