Sponsorship: Are you doing it right?

I had been feeling really confused about being a sponsor recently, not sure about whether I was doing enough, whether I was helping the fellows that I was working with in their recovery. I felt that the sponsees that I had didn’t stay in program; those that did, I wasn’t sure I was instilling ‘the message’ of recovery. In short, I was restless, irritated, and discontent regarding my ability to sponsor. I thought I should stop the service of sponsorship, because I wasn’t doing it right.

I needed help, but I didn’t know where to go. The people I talked to said I was doing a good job, but I didn’t want to believe them—I’m willful that way. And my sponsor told me to give it up to my higher power and let the response be my guide. I realize now that I had listened to her, but I didn’t hear her. So I kept on going in this funk, letting myself (and my program) suffer because of this self-doubt. One day, my sponsor’s words over the preceding weeks and months finally sunk in, and I decided to ask my Higher Power for help. Finally, I was willing to hear advice from my Sponsor, and when I was willing to do the next right thing, the answer came from my Higher Power.

I remembered the Sponsorship Kit I got when I was first asked to take on this service by my sponsor. Reading through the instructions and advice in the kit, I realized that I was indeed a sponsor; but there was more that I could do, with specific ideas and instructions to make sponsorship easier and more effective for all involved. It’s an amazing tool to use, and I recommend it.

If you are thinking of sponsoring, please give it a try after a good check-in with your sponsor and your higher power. If your meeting has a need for sponsors, remember that anyone can sponsor to the level of their ability… the Sponsorship Kit not only taught me that, but reminded me of that as well. Many fellows have different opinions about this, but I think that any member who has completed the fearless moral inventory of Step 4 to the best of their ability and is abstinent can sponsor newcomers in the program to help them understand the first three steps. I put myself up as a temporary sponsor for the first time before completing my first set of steps. No one asked me to be their sponsor, but I know that the change in me, in my willingness, helped my program.

~ Tim C.

Anonymity Inside and Out

The podcast series for 2016 centered on “Service and My Recovery.” In addition to the Steps and Traditions, each podcast explores one of the Twelve Concepts of OA Service.

Podcasts are available at any time and at no charge, so follow this series to become more familiar with the Concepts and to learn the many ways service can boost your program and strengthen your recovery.

Principles of Tradition Eleven– Anonymity, and Concept Eleven – Humility

<<Listen to the podcast here>>

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

“Trustee administration of the World Service Office should always be assisted by the best standing committees, executive staffs and consultants.”– Concept Eleven

The principle of Tradition Eleven is Anonymity and Concept Eleven is Humility. The workshop speakers share their individual stories of recovery and how anonymity and humility are important in their service work.

For additional study, review The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous and The Twelve Concepts of OA Service.

The 2016 podcasts are produced from recordings of monthly virtual workshops held on the second Sunday of every month, and OA members can also participate in the virtual workshops before new podcasts are released. See the Datebook Calendar on oa.org for the complete schedule of telephone workshops and dial-in instructions.

Previous podcasts in this series include –

Tradition One – United We Stand
Tradition Two – Who’s in Charge?
Tradition Three – All together now we are reaching out our hands
Tradition Four – There are no musts…but is it good for OA as a whole?
Tradition Five – Always to extend the heart and hand of OA
Tradition Six – Keeping Our Meetings Focused on the Primary Purpose
Tradition Seven – The many ways to contribute to OA
Tradition Eight –  Suit up, show up, be a part of and share the load
Tradition Nine – Service structure, not power structure

Tradition Ten – Neutrality and Clarity


2015 Workshop Series

If you need help working the Twelve Steps, check out last year’s “Working All Twelve Steps” podcast series. Each podcast focuses on one of the Twelve Steps.

Intergroup Update – January

The monthly Sea to Sky Intergroup meeting was held on Saturday, January 7th. Here are a few highlights –

The January Newsletter is now available and contains news, information and upcoming events to watch for. Feel free to print extra copies for your meeting or share by e-mail. Information and articles for the newsletter are always welcome and can be sent to seatoskynews@gmail.com. 

The December Meeting Directory is now available to help you find meetings throughout the month. If you have changes/edits to the meeting directory, send an e-mail to oameetingdirectory@gmail.com.

Key highlights include:

  • 57th Birthday Marathon and Intergroup Renewal – Mark January 15, 2017 on your calendar to Celebrate OA’s 57th Birthday!! Join your friends in recovery for a marathon to celebrate our fellowship and our Intergroup Renewal! The day will run from 9:30am to 4:30pm at the Vancouver Metrotown Hilton (6083 Mackay Avenue, Burnaby) and will include time for sharing and fellowship and fun. We will also collect ideas for an intergroup inventory which will help us take our first step on our road to Intergroup Renewal!
  • New meeting!  A new East Vancouver meeting has started on Wednesday nights from 7:45pm to 8:45pm at the Britannia Community Centre in the Family Activity Room
  • Betty-Lou from the Soul Food on Five (Richmond) meeting is designing our Intergroup’s quilt block for the quilt to be raffled at the Region 1 Convention in October. Theme: Recovery in the Emerald City. If you’d like to help, Betty Lou is at 604-370- 0544.

Check out OA’s new social media platform to attract newcomers and inform the Fellowship! Visit our new, official Overeaters Anonymous Facebook page. With each “Like,” the number of page followers goes up and helps carry the message to the still-suffering overeater searching for a solution. Support your abstinence, hear about OA resources,  read inspirational quotes from OA-approved literature—and see what others “like”—at OA’s new social media page.

We are very pleased to welcome Tim C (Shaughnessy) as our new Intergroup Treasurer as well as Jennifer S (North Shore) as our new Newsletter Editor. We are looking for members to serve as Literature Coordinator, Public Information Coordinator, Meeting Directory Coordinator and 12th Step Within Coordinator. If you are interested in being of service, please contact Carlos by e-mail or at 604.671.5917.

The next Intergroup meeting will be Saturday, January 28th from 10am to 12pm at Unity in Action Church (1630 Edinburgh Street) in New Westminster. Just a reminder that all members are welcome at Intergroup meetings.

Responsibility Pledge
Always to extend the hand and heart of OA to all who share my compulsion; for this I am responsible.

Neutrality and Clarity

The podcast series for 2016 centered on “Service and My Recovery.” In addition to the Steps and Traditions, each podcast explores one of the Twelve Concepts of OA Service.

Podcasts are available at any time and at no charge, so follow this series to become more familiar with the Concepts and to learn the many ways service can boost your program and strengthen your recovery.

Principles of Tradition Ten – Neutrality, and Concept Ten – Clarity

<Listen to the Podcast here>

“Overeaters Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the OA name ought never be drawn into public controversy. – Tradition Ten

“Service responsibility is balanced by carefully defined service authority; therefore, duplication of efforts is avoided.”– Concept Ten

The principle of Tradition Ten is Neutrality and Concept Ten is Clarity. The workshop speakers share their individual stories of recovery and how neutrality and clarity are important in their service work.

For additional study, review The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous and The Twelve Concepts of OA Service.

The 2016 podcasts are produced from recordings of monthly virtual workshops held on the second Sunday of every month, and OA members can also participate in the virtual workshops before new podcasts are released. See the Datebook Calendar on oa.org for the complete schedule of telephone workshops and dial-in instructions.

Previous podcasts in this series include –

Tradition One – United We Stand
Tradition Two – Who’s in Charge?
Tradition Three – All together now we are reaching out our hands
Tradition Four – There are no musts…but is it good for OA as a whole?
Tradition Five – Always to extend the heart and hand of OA
Tradition Six – Keeping Our Meetings Focused on the Primary Purpose
Tradition Seven – The many ways to contribute to OA
Tradition Eight –  Suit up, show up, be a part of and share the load
Tradition Nine – Service structure, not power structure



2015 Workshop Series

If you need help working the Twelve Steps, check out last year’s “Working All Twelve Steps” podcast series. Each podcast focuses on one of the Twelve Steps.

How much is too much?

How much time do you think a member should dedicate to service and to Step work in order to be healthy and balanced? How do I know when I exaggerate leaving behind my family, my friends, my work, my exercise?

 

Thank you for your question about balance and healthy service.

What healthy and balanced service looks like for each OA members is personal and depends on individual circumstances and how the service impacts life’s manageability.

Tradition 4 reminds us of the importance of striking a healthy balance between responsibility to ourselves and our responsibility to each other.

My first and best service was to get and stay abstinent. I must keep my abstinence first in all things or I will lose what I love and the gifts I’ve been given. Doing what I need to do regarding Plan of Eating and working the Steps to keep spiritually fit is my first priority.

After that I look to things that support my recovery like sponsoring and doing service at my meetings. I have been taught that if I want to keep what I’ve been given I need to give to away.

Your question suggests you may feel like you are an under doer or an over doer when it comes to service. Having a Service Action Plan and talking it over with a sponsor who knows your recovery, family and work life may be helpful to set a sane and sound ideal for service. If your service commitments are making your life or that of the people who rely on you unmanageable perhaps it is time to try something different. If you have time in your life to give more, ask for the support of your family/friends, letting them know that you are taking their needs into consideration, then volunteer for something that fits your availability.

OA’s Responsibility Pledge states “Always to extend the hand and heart of OA to all who share my compulsion; for this I am responsible.” There are many ways large and small that an OA member can do that. I’m sure if you look within and ask for help, you will find the healthy, balanced service that suits you and your personal situation.

~ 2015 Ask-it-Basket

The many ways to contribute to OA

There’s a new podcast series for 2016 centered on “Service and My Recovery.” In addition to the Steps and Traditions, each podcast explores one of the Twelve Concepts of OA Service.

Podcasts are available at any time and at no charge, so follow this series to become more familiar with the Concepts and to learn the many ways service can boost your program and strengthen your recovery.

Principles of Tradition Seven –Responsibility, and Concept Seven – Balance

Listen to the podcast here.

“Every OA group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.” – Tradition Seven

“The Board of Trustees has legal rights and responsibilities accorded to them by OA Bylaws, Subpart A; the rights and responsibilities of the World Service Business Conference are accorded to it by Tradition and by OA Bylaws, Subpart B.”– Concept Seven

The principle of Tradition Seven is Responsibility and Concept Seven is Balance.  The workshop speakers share their individual stories of recovery and how responsibility and balance are important in both their service work and in their lives.

For additional study, review The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous and The Twelve Concepts of OA Service.

The 2016 podcasts are produced from recordings of monthly virtual workshops held on the second Sunday of every month, and OA members can also participate in the virtual workshops before new podcasts are released. See the Datebook Calendar on oa.org for the complete schedule of telephone workshops and dial-in instructions.

Previous podcasts in this series include –

Tradition One – United We Stand
Tradition Two – Who’s in Charge?
Tradition Three – All together now we are reaching out our hands
Tradition Four – There are no musts…but is it good for OA as a whole?
Tradition Five – Always to extend the heart and hand of OA
Tradition Six – Keeping Our Meetings Focused on the Primary Purpose


2015 Workshop Series

If you need help working the Twelve Steps, check out last year’s “Working All Twelve Steps” podcast series. Each podcast focuses on one of the Twelve Steps.

OA’s Responsibility Pledge

OA Responsibility Pledge – Always to extend the hand and heart of OA to all who share my compulsion; for this I am responsible.

Question – What have you gained from OA? Do you feel that certain sense to repay? How can you give back?

I have been in program for more than twenty-three years. I came in to prove to my doctor that OA, like everything else I’d tried, wouldn’t work. I weighed 359 pounds (163 kg) and thought I didn’t belong.

Then I heard about gratitude and giving back what had been given. So I went to meet- ings, shared, and qualified. I sponsored. That was enough. Then I started doing service above the group level and thought again, well, that is enough.

I was pretty sure I never took a pledge of any kind. But I started hearing about this OA pledge and finally saw it in the literature. OA’s Responsibility Pledge says, “Always to extend the hand and heart of OA to all who share my compulsion; for this I am responsible.”

I thought the message was good. A pledge is a promise. I’d never thought before about promising to extend my hand or my heart, but I started asking myself how I personally take the pledge. Do I routinely greet newcomers and follow up with a phone call? If I know someone is struggling, do I reach out to that person? Do I support OA financially and in service? Is there more I can do?

If I reach out in small ways, there is so much I can do:

  • Arrive early to a meeting so I can smile, make eye contact, ask how someone is doing, and listen.
  • Greet a newcomer (or someone who looks as lost as I once was).
  • Pay attention at meetings and not check my phone to see if I received any all-important texts.
  • Raise my hand to share, even when I don’t think I have anything to say.
  • Get newcomers’ phone numbers and give mine, telling them, “Give me a call. It will help.”
  • Do service if someone asks me to. I will get so much more out of it than I give.
  • Give to the Seventh Tradition. OA needs financial support to continue to reach the still- suffering.
  • Stay after a meeting and make sure I speak to at least one person.
  • Break my anonymity when I think a person is interested or has questions. I used to wear my disease; now I’m willing to wear my recovery.
  • Pledge to be responsible.

OA was there for me, and I want OA to be there for all who share my compulsion!

~ Karen C., Everett, Massachusetts USA (from A Step Ahead, 3rd Quarter 2016)