After careful thought, review, and discussion, the group conscience of the Region Four board is to disband Region Four and dissolve its nonprofit corporation by September 2024.
The decision to disband was based on a persistent and critical drop in service to intergroups and the region board. Since 2012, the region’s intergroup count has dropped from sixteen to thirteen, and many service positions, including chair positions for boards and committees throughout the region, have gone unfilled. In May 2023, the region board found itself without both a chair and vice chair as well as anyone qualified who was willing to volunteer.
(One positive note in Region Four is that four intergroups that were struggling successfully merged to become two intergroups that are strong and active today.)
Region Four was established in 1976 along with Regions One through Eight. Region Nine was created in 1982, Region Ten in 1994, and Virtual Region was established in 2018. Since this is the first time an OA region has decided to disband, the OA Board of Trustees and Region Four board is communicating clearly and openly about the decision and subsequent events:
- March 2023 The possibility of disbanding was discussed at the Region Four Spring Assembly. At that time, the vice chair had stepped up to become chair and the vice chair position was vacant. A decision was made to disband if the Region was left without a chair and a vice chair.
- May 2023 The Region Four chair stepped down for personal reasons, leaving both the chair and vice chair roles vacant.
- June 2023 Meg M., trustee liaison to Region Four, made a formal announcement to the OA Board of Trustees, OA region chairs, and the Region Four fellowship that Region Four would disband.
- July 2023 The Region Four board filled all board positions for the purpose of an orderly disbanding of the region: to discuss and enact all financial, legal, and administrative processes, and document all actions and decisions to provide a transparent report.
- July–September 2023 The Region Four board continued communicating with the Region Four fellowship via a monthly newsletter and monthly virtual chats. They have also reached out to all Region Four intergroups, attending intergroup meetings and answering questions.
- September 2023 At Region Four’s Fall Assembly, more information about the disbanding process, including timeline and expectations will be shared during the business meeting and there will be time for questions and answers. The chairs of Regions One, Three, Five, and Six will attend the assembly and give presentations to Region Four intergroups to help the intergroups make informed decisions about affiliating with a new region.
The following proposed events will be confirmed after the Fall Assembly:
- March 2024 Spring Assembly.
- May 2024 Region Four will send delegates to World Service Business Conference.
- Summer 2024 Final face-to-face Region Four convention.
- September 2024 Region Four disbanded. Intergroups affiliate with other regions.
- Fall 2024 A report of dissolution events will be published.
We feel sad this is happening. But we can also see this situation as Higher Power’s big, bright spotlight on our Seventh Tradition, “Every OA group ought to be self-supporting, declining outside contributions.” It is clear that the Region Four service structure is no longer be self-supporting. If you look around, however, it is also clear that other OA regions are thriving (and some have even grown too large to be manageable). So we can be encouraged to change with the times, and we know that more will be revealed.
We are excited for intergroups in Region Four to partner up with new regions, and we look forward to future developments that promise to reinvigorate our Fellowship as a whole.