Hi I'm Anylength, compulsive overeater.
I hope you are all getting as much out of this workshop as I am. Great joy fills my heart when I see members of OA taking an interested in the 12 Traditions.
Today we are discussing the 7th Tradition of "self-support."
Many newcomers mistakenly believe that there are paid leaders in OA whose "job" it is to make sure the doors are open and the meeting is on each week.
When they find out that we are all members and are giving service to an OA group as part of our recovery they often do not understand that this is not just us using one of the tools but it is a part of us living the 7th Tradition.
Yet, Tradition 7 is not all about putting some spare coins into the basket at the end of a meeting and bolting for the door.
The 7th Tradition reminds us to be fully self-supporting.This includes our meetings service positions. If a group can not fill the service positions needed to run it then as a group it is not self-supporting.
And to leave these positions all in the hand of the one person who is willing to hold the key, lead the meeting, photocopy the fliers and collect the money is not self-supporting either.
As a group member I uphold the 7th Tradition by doing my share of the service work. By taking on a service position and also by rotating out of it when the time is up so as to give someone else a chance to get recovery through doing service.
What service commitment at the group, IG, Region, or WSO level do I hold?
Am I able to do more?
Am I doing too much?
The other side of the 7th Tradition coin is that of the financial support of OA. If I sit in a meeting and divide the rent money the group pays by the number of people present and put that amount
in the basket I am not following the 7th Tradition.
For a group to be fully self-supporting financially it has to pay for a lot of things. Rent, tea and coffee supplies, public information fliers, photo copying of meetings lists etc. all cost money.
But again there is more. If a group wants to be truly self-supporting it has to assume some responsibility for the running costs of their Intergroup, their Region and the World Service Office of OA.
The Intergroups provide vital services a group can not afford on it's own. Maintaining a telephone line, updating meetings lists and hosting OA events takes a lot of funds.
Regions also take on projects the Intergroups are often too small to accomplish like bigger Public Information outreach.
The WSO publishes our literature and answers national and international inquiries as well as provides many services to the compulsive eater who still suffers. For the WSO to function effectively 13 staff are employed to do the work.
Their wages also have to be paid for.
Some members are only able to attend online meetings but are still able to contribute to OA by observing the 7th Tradition by making sending their contributions directly to OA WSO. Here the link:
If I am a meeting leader of a group or of an online meeting do I encourage the members to observe the 7th Tradition?
My personal financial commitment to OA has grown over the years. When I was a newcomer I wasn't able to give as much as I was financially still trying to get over the vast amounts of money I had spend on my disease.
Later I set myself an amount that reflected what
I was able to afford and give without being either stingy or becoming resentful.
As I noticed over the years that my income had increased and other things had become more expensive I also recognized that OA's expenses must have grown along side.
Now I review my donation on a regular basis and increase the amount I give when appropriate.
Am I contributing financially to OA?
Am I willing to make a contribution appropriate to my financial status and reflective of the wonderful recovery services I receive?
One last aspect of being self-supporting is that it excludes the support from outside sources.
As the second half of our 7th Tradition states:
"declining outside contributions."
This means when we copy our OA fliers or meetings lists we pay for our copying expenses and do not let our employers cover this cost.
(unless they are OA members and want to pay for it) We also pay the full rent that is asked for and do not accept free rent at a facility which then might then want to have input in how our meetings are run. f we pay our own way, we stay free from these outside influences and can keep our OA message clean and clear.
List some other examples of outside contributions.
Thank you for letting me share,
1. What service commitment at the group, IG, Region, or WSO level do I hold?
2. Am I able to do more?
3. Am I doing too much?
4. If I am a meeting leader of a group or of an online meeting do I encourage the members to observe the 7th Tradition?
5. Am I contributing financially to OA?
6. Am I willing to make a contribution appropriate to my financial status and reflective of the wonderful recovery services I receive?
7. List some other examples of outside contributions.
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