— Judy H., Trustee, Chair of the Board

HAPPY NEW YEAR! When I think about facing a new year, I think about all the possibilities that each new year brings.
Pre-OA, my New Year usually began with resolutions about losing weight. But I could never sustain any diet for long. OA is the only thing I have found that works for me. The hardest part was giving up control, which seems a common trait for compulsive eaters. I love the life I have now, and the possibilities that open up for me in the New Year these days are so much more fulfilling when I’m not face-down in the food. Instead of fretting over how to lose weight, I can spend valuable time doing service that enhances my recovery.

Gender-Neutral Language
WSBC 2022 sensitized OA’s Board of Trustees to the need to show respect for diverse gender identities. To that end, the trustees recently went through OA Bylaws, Subpart A, (not Subpart B since WSBC delegates must make those amendments) and other Board of Trustees’ documents and manuals and removed all gendered language. While the new language may seem a bit awkward at first, it is clearly the right thing to do, given the wonderful diversity we see in our membership.

Multi-Program Gathering
At the end of November 2022, I had the privilege of attending a “Day of Sharing” for all Twelve Step fellowships, along with WSO Managing Director Sarah Armstrong. Hosted this year by Al-Anon, the twelve groups in attendance met for six hours. It was not surprising to see how much we have in common, but at the same time, we learned much from each other. A few of the main discussions were on “Attracting and Engaging New and Current Members,” “Incorporating Electronic Groups and Areas into our Service Structure” and “Developing and Inspiring Leaders, Staff, and Volunteers.”

Twelve Concepts e-Book
When I was a “Green Dot,” a rookie WSBC delegate, my first project with the Conference-approved Literature Committee was a pocket guide to the Twelve Concepts of OA Service. Fast-forward to today, and I can tell you that my service on the Board of Trustees has taught me just how vital the Concepts are to our Fellowship and to my own recovery. So naturally, I was gratified when the recently revised Twelve Concepts of OA Service pamphlet was approved as an e-book and made available through Amazon Kindle, Apple Books, and Barnes and Noble Nook.  OA receives a royalty share from purchases made from these vendors.

The Twelve Concepts of OA Service explains the foundations of OA service, such as unity, trust, delegation, dialogue, and more. The Concepts help OA members, groups, and service bodies apply the Steps and Traditions effectively in their service work. They help define and guide the practices of our OA service structures so they may conduct the business of OA.

The Concepts are certainly key elements of our service work. In fact, “Concepts of Service: The Heart of Fellowship” is the theme for the 2023 World Service Business Conference. I have personally found that service is a key element to my recovery, and as my recovery has deepened, the Concepts have become ever more relevant to all aspects of my life.