— Bonnie L., Chair of the Board, General Service Trustee
Your Board of Trustees has just held another virtual meeting in November 2020. Perhaps the most important business discussed was the need to call for a special meeting of our delegates in January. An official announcement will come from WSO, but we do need a majority of our 2020 delegates in order to conduct some business, including items that will affect the planning of our upcoming Conference. This special meeting is expected to be fairly brief, but please do plan to attend if you were a delegate for WSBC 2020.
Meanwhile, our Conference Planning Committee is working toward their plans for World Service Business Conference 2021. Due to the ongoing pandemic, the committee is currently planning for both a face-to-face Conference and a virtual Conference. I ask that delegates and their service bodies please watch oa.org for announcements of all relevant Conference deadlines and updated details. At WSBC 2021, registered delegates from all eleven regions of OA will have the opportunity to vote as we conduct the business of OA and elect trustees to our board. This is when the voice of each service body can have the greatest impact on the future of OA.
OA Pamphlet is Now a Best-Selling E-Book
Speaking of great impacts, did you know that OA’s Where Do I Start?: Everything a Newcomer Needs to Know pamphlet continues to be an Amazon Best Seller in the One-Hour Health, Fitness & Dieting Short Reads category? It has also ranked as high as second in the One-Hour Self-Help Short Reads category. Congratulations and thanks to our WSO special workers for making more of our literature, and especially literature for newcomers, only a few internet clicks away during this time of social distancing.
Virtual Successes Among Our Regions
Amongst all the chaos of last year, OA saw many bright spots emerge in our Fellowship, including shining reports from all our regions, which persevered and even thrived as we all made the switch to virtual gatherings:
- Region One utilized drop-shipping for their assembly agenda and reported that assembly attendance doubled.
- Region Two made a successful switch to a virtual convention.
- Region Three reported that three hundred attended their virtual assembly and convention.
- Region Four had a very successful assembly and has been hosting weekly “community conversations,” which have seen up to 88 percent participation from the region’s intergroups.
- Region Five began hosting weekly virtual meetings and reported worldwide attendance.
- Region Six reported that assembly attendance was up 58 percent this year and 874 OA members attended the Region Six convention.
- Region Seven saw increased attendance at their region meeting.
Region Eight successfully held a virtual convention and assembly with full parliamentary procedure and voting and saw increased attendance.
- Region Nine held a virtual assembly that included attendees from sixteen countries speaking thirteen different languages. Five newly participating service bodies attended from Iran, South Africa, Israel, Russia, and Spain.
- Region Ten held their first virtual assembly successfully.
- Virtual Region reported a 20 percent increase in virtual meetings in just three months.
Together we can—and we have!
I long to return to the meetings as we’ve known them, rather than the virtual world we have all been forced into due to the pandemic. Sadly, by the time that happens, my second and final term as your chair will have ended.
In whatever form our World Service Business Conference takes place, I look forward to “seeing” many of you at WSBC, and I thank you for the honor of serving in this capacity.