— Bonnie L., Chair of the Board, General Service Trustee

World Service Business Conference 2021 is a hot topic with many of our members since we will be doing a full agenda virtually for the first time in OA’s history. Leading up to Conference, plans have continued to evolve, so delegates have had to keep a close eye on emails and postings from the World Service Office. They’ve also had to make extra preparations to capably fulfill their duties to elect new trustees and vote on New Business Motions, Bylaw Amendments, and literature proposals on behalf of their service bodies. The future of OA is entrusted to our Conference delegates.

Pandemic Perspective
When this pandemic began over a year ago, I’m not sure any of us could have imagined what the impact would be or how long it would continue. Our world of virtual meetings exploded in a very short time. While many of us long for face-to-face contact, hugs, and the connection of eye contact across the room, we are blessed in other ways. We now have a record number of meetings—1,145—held virtually around the globe, and this number is still growing. Until the pandemic took over the world, how many of us had ever attended a meeting in another country? I was blessed in previous years to attend physical meetings in Canada, the United States, Scotland, England, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, France, and more. Sharing with others in face-to-face groups at home and abroad is an amazing experience, but today, each of us can have a similar experience because our virtual meetings take us anywhere and everywhere. That may be the silver lining of this cloud we are learning to live in.

A Good Year Financially
Your treasurer writes in detail in this issue of A Step Ahead about OA’s excellent audit results for 2020. To her words, I will add that when I first joined the Board of Trustees, we faced some very lean fiscal years. At times, we had difficult decisions to make about our budget. I am thankful that is not the case today. Thank you to our growing Fellowship for your Automatic Recurring Contributions and for your increased contributions as we have grown virtually to create more meetings and larger meetings online.

New Life for Lifeline
As many of you know, the Board of Trustees voted in 2019 to discontinue Lifeline magazine and oalifeline.org at the end of 2020, with a promise to create a new online platform for members to share their stories. It’s been a slow restart, but a team is working on some wonderful, fresh ideas for the next iteration of Lifeline. This work is in the early stages, and more news will follow as those seeds begin to sprout and grow.

Convention Plans
A decision has been made to move forward with the 2021 World Service Convention, scheduled August 26–28 in Orlando, Florida USA. I know many who plan to attend, myself included, and I am praying to Higher Power for a continual improvement in our health and safety around the globe so that every member in our Fellowship who wants to attend can do so. I am very much looking forward to a grand celebration of recovery from compulsive eating and compulsive food behaviors through the Twelve Steps of Overeaters Anonymous.

Rotation of Service
This is my final article for A Step Ahead. I will observe and honor our principle of rotation of service at WSBC’s close of business on April 24. Serving you as a member of the Board of Trustees, and for the most recent two years as chair of the board, has been both a privilege and a challenge. I look forward to seeing many of you virtually at WSBC and possibly in Orlando. I will surely continue to meet some of you as we “trudge the Road of Happy Destiny” (Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th ed., p. 164). May God bless you and keep you until then.