Report from a meeting in . . .

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Report from a meeting in . . .

Postby ann2 » Fri Aug 19, 2005 11:33 am

Hi all,

Still suffering from jet lag and wanted to talk about the meeting I attended in the small town in Michigan close to where I stayed during my 2 weeks' visit to USA, as we call it here.

I finally extricated myself from the insanity of the household alcoholism and mother-henning my 4 year old to make it to a meeting.

I was told it was a "Speakers Meeting" but what it really was was a "Speaker's Meeting" -- one speaker, for the entire meeting, which lasted an hour and a half and included lots of readings and announcements in the beginning.

Apparently it's somewhat common in Michigan to have only one speaker, at least that's what I conclude from my survey of one person living in Michigan who happens to be chatting right now :)

She told me she thought it was normal to have one speaker because the meetings she attends are small. I answered, maybe the meetings are small because there's only one speaker!! ;)

I of course go by the prejudice of MY home group, which was a __speakers'__ meeting and lots of fun, 3-6 or maybe more speakers during our hour and a half, and a very convivial coffee break also. :roll: and thanked the speaker afterward for letting me in on a part of A.A. I have so little experience with.

But you know he appeared quite nervous through the whole talk, despite his 16 years and his service credentials, so of course I decided I could improve this format and suggest that a whole meeting is a lot for one person to carry!!! Are you listening Michigan??? :roflmao:

Does anyone have any suggestions for improvements in meetings they've attended lately? Geographical info needed!!

Hugs and grins from Finland,

Ann (ann2)

<small>[ 05-30-2006, 08:18 AM: Message edited by: ann2 ]</small>
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Re: Report from a meeting in . . .

Postby Veronique » Sat Aug 20, 2005 12:35 am

Well I can tell all of you how we organise our meetings here in Flanders (Belgium).

Usualy a group only gathers once a week, mostly in the evening from eight till ten. A meeting lasts for 2 hours. The first hour is used to ask everyone how there week has been. Then there is a coffee break and afterwards there is a topic discussion. The topic is usually one or other step. The chairman puts his questions to the group and everyone can reply.

If there could be improvements made ???? Why not, everything can be improved. But it works for me as it is.

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Re: Report from a meeting in . . .

Postby stephbridget » Sat Aug 20, 2005 4:46 pm

I take what I can and leave the rest. I think if meetings had to have a format for all places, AA would be more of a social sharing. I do not want that..GOD runs it the way HE feels is what I have to trust. Sure most meetings to me lately have become the same sorrow etc, but I try to focus more on my life sober with GOD..that seems to be the basis of my sobriety and daily sponsor and friend contact..not just meetings :)
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Re: Report from a meeting in . . .

Postby Jake B » Sat Apr 29, 2006 12:15 am

I richmond, Va if it is a speaker meeting then usually 1 speaker shares there experience strenth and hope for about 40-45 minutes, so everthing fits in the hour. Works well.
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Re: Report from a meeting in . . .

Postby mynameis JOEW » Mon May 29, 2006 12:56 pm

HI AA this is my first reply on any chatroom It seems fitting that it should be to the fellowship of people that gave me the support i needed to think straight and move on with my life .The meetings here in the UK start with the preamble a 10 minute reading from the big book and then the chairperson shares for 10 minutes after that the meeting is open for anyone who needs or wants to share ,meeting have about 15 to 30 people, if there is a newcommer people are asked to share there experince strength and hope. Im privilidged to be a part of AA and my prayes are with the little home we call Earth god bless us all .
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Re: Report from a meeting in . . .

Postby Richard C » Mon May 29, 2006 11:53 pm

When I was going to meetings in Vancouver, some of the groups would have a room for the newbies to share in before the regular meeting. Usually, the newbie room would start an hour before the regular meeting, which was one hour. The regular meeting might have a couple of speakers sharing for maybe 20 minutes apiece, and then some general open speaking and chips, prayers, etc.

Those were the big meetings. Other meetings were men only step meetings with no "speaker" unless you spoke up. Some meetings were simply "open" and anything shared was whatever the speaker wanted.

I've never sat through anyone talking for 45 minutes or more. Maybe I didn't stick around long enough that time.

I understand there's a big regional meeting in the phillipines coming soon. I hope to make it to that and see what the "big" meetings are all about.

My meetings here in Taiwan are fairly informal, one hour in length, and we always go for coffee afterwards. I've met some good people and hope to develop ongoing friendships with all of them.

I like that about the little home group we call earth. Keeps my head out of the clouds and my feet where they belong. Yes it is a privelidge to be here. Don't matter what kind of meeting, as long as the doors are open.
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Re: Report from a meeting in . . .

Postby KEVIN-S » Tue May 30, 2006 7:10 am

Hi from Madison Wi.
We have two basic types of meetings here. We have speaker's where someone will share for 30-45 mins explaining "what it was like, what happened, and what it is like now" with a lot of room for variation.
Our regular meetings are a round robin. Unless set up before hand,ie step, topic, beginners, The chair will ask if anyone has a topic they would like to hear about, all most anything about staying sober.Then it goes around the room for people to share or not.
Rarely goes over 1 hour. If the group gets to big +25, we'll will take a show of hands to split the meeting.
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Re: Report from a meeting in . . .

Postby jdcm65 » Sat Jun 17, 2006 9:56 pm

Great to be here on the forum, and thanks to the moderators for the kind welcome.
I just came home from the Greek Convention and had a wonderful and illuminating time. I always come back from those gatherings with a great sense of unity, regardles of the meeting formats. Those may differ slightly, but I am always buoyed by the hope and love I receive from those in the rooms.
I'll be in Ireland for a week in July (15-22) and am looking forward to meetings in Dublin and Galway.
Anyone out there from those parts?
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Re: Report from a meeting in . . .

Postby Jim 725 » Sun Jun 18, 2006 12:52 pm

"what it was like, what happened, and what it is like now"
Can someone explain this to me? I hear most speakers say that the Big Book says they're supposed to share this, but I haven't been able to find this particular sentence in mine.
Jim S.
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Re: Report from a meeting in . . .

Postby pabscat » Sun Jun 18, 2006 2:40 pm

chapter 5 jim , in my area we generally start with a we;come and moments silence then read the preamble, read part of chapter 5 and the 12 traditions then the speaker shares in a general way "what used to be like , what happened, and what its like today. we have a coffee break, then the meeting is thrown open to sharing for the last 30 mins. = 1hour and 30 mins total.
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Re: Report from a meeting in . . .

Postby Jim 725 » Tue Jun 20, 2006 8:21 am

Pablito, I'm guessing, when you say it comes from Chapter Five, that you are referring to "Our stories disclose in a general way what we used to be like, what happened, and what we are like now." I no longer have my Second Edition, but my Third and Fourth both say the same thing, what I have quoted. There is a world of difference in "What WE were like" and "What IT was like." Those who tell what IT used to be like almost invariably spend the first 25% of their talk telling us in detail what their families used to be like.Father was an alcoholic, Mother was an alcoholic, Uncle Billie was an alcoholic, Grandpa traded bulldogs with an alcoholic, etc. etc. etc. As my Big Book says, ad infinitum. The whole gist of the story is that the speaker wouldn't be an alcoholic if it weren't for "Them."
Jim S.
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Re: Report from a meeting in . . .

Postby SteveC » Tue Jun 20, 2006 11:35 am

You'll find the same passage in each edition as the only changes between editions are in the stories in the back. When I speak of "what IT was like, etc" I'm talking about my life with alcohol.

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Re: Report from a meeting in . . .

Postby mechdue » Wed Jul 19, 2006 7:20 pm

Here in Conncticut, USA, a tiny state near New York City, all our meetings end when they say they will, whether it's a Speaker, Beginner, Topic, Step, Big Book, As Bill Sees It, 24 Hours A Day, Traditions, Daily Reflections, 11th Step Meditation meeting or what have you. As you can tell this area has a LOT of meetings. But we're all very time conscious here too and few go out regularly afterward for coffee or get to them early! I don't know if I could get used to some of the other types of meetings (or their length) mentioned here. I guess that's why my HP put me right where I am!
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Re: Report from a meeting in . . .

Postby Paul N » Thu Jul 20, 2006 5:20 am

Where I attend my meetings:

Open with the Serenity Prayer, Preamble, How it Works, 24 Hours a Day and lastly, the 12 Traditions. Next ask if there are any annocements , ask if anyone is celebrating an AA birthday and finally ask if anyone is attending their first meeting (if so we'll have a first step meeting), if not the chair discusses a topic of their choice that's related to alcohol then passes on to the next person to share.

Before closing the meeting, the current chair asks for a volunteer to chair the following week. We then close with the Lord's Prayer.

We do all this one hour. Attendance averages 15-20 people. Rarely do we exceed an hour. If we do, we remind folks of the time and mention that they/re welcome to stay and continue or may leave if they wish. It helps folks stay focused and specific to the topic at hand. If someone get's a little windy, the chair reminds the person speaking that there are other folks who haven't shared yet. Don't usually have to do this though.

It's not uncommon for a number of the folks to head to the local coffee shop and continue the meeting or just spend some time together in fellowship after the actual meeting is over.
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