My Home group NEW DAWN is where between 60-80 people meet every day at 7 AM. For ten years this was a simple "meeting" without "group" affiliation. Last fall we became a Group, and that's when "stuff" began.
One faction (for want of a better word) was armed and ready for battle. They have pushed through a couple dozen "rules", i.e., nobody allowed to talk beyond 2 minutes. Each business meeting there are constructed and voted more rules, or simple changes in wording of former rules. (Reminiscent of a small bureaucracy.)
Another group wishes for the "old" days when we simply held "group conscience" meetings. They (we) realize the necessity of being a contributing group. Note that all the officer positions are filled, about 30 attend the business meetings, and that is all good. The rub comes here:
Each Thursday we invite a 'speaker' who uses about a half hour, then we discuss anything after that. The last two Thursday-morning speakers shared SO 'from the heart'. They are not "old-timers". Both were slightly nervous, and obviously not versed in the grand art of public speaking. But their (one each of last two Thursdays) messages were clear. They are truly loved by their AA fellow members.
(Briefly!) After each of those Thursday meetings, the chairperson received telephone calls (two different callers), saying he had better get some "better speakers". This has devastated the chairperson, and the speakers, and potential speakers.
Almost all members of the group find the behavior APPALLING! Fear pervades those who might be asked to speak. NOTE: the callers--who broke several Traditions--each are heavily influenced by this group of "old guard" long-timers. Bad scene. This self-righteous group of gurus is called by all--even themselves, proudly--"The Jury"...and yes, there IS a judge.
Maybe it is time for a serious "group inventory" or at the least, some serious 8th and 9th Step work.
We are handling it--you betchum, Red Ryder--but I wanted to put this out there, so every one of us realizes that AA with all its miracled wonderful goodness, experiences some member-waywardness now and then, usually at the group level. But there is not a single cold human heart which cannot be melted by prayer, talking, mediating, more prayer, and finally a splitting of a group...if it comes to that.
And as we know, NOTHING which happens now has not happened before. And survival of Alcoholics Anonymous has prevailed through all these nearly 75 years.
The marvelous miracle we witness daily here, upon which we all agree...is that miracle of one drunk talking to another drunk--and both staying sober. Praise God!
Peace and Love, blogger peeps...
Unnoticed sounds pitched too low for the human ear to recognize, still can make people sad. How sad!