Report from 2018 Region 7 Fall Assembly

Catherine W., CVIG representative

I.Attendance

There were 26 representatives from the 7 states (Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and the District of Columbia) plus 5 Board members and the Region 7 Trustee.

II.Highlights from Region Trustee, Officers, and Committee Reports

A.From Karen B, Region 7 Trustee—from her written report before Assembly and from her oral report at Assembly

On WSO finances:They have been in the red for the past 2 years.Income from literature has dropped 29% in 3 years, 10% in 2017 alone.Contributions increased 18% in the same period but they do not begin to make up the difference lost in literature sales.Members are asked to purchase OA literature ONLY from oa.org or only from Amazon itself; the money from used OA literature sales on Amazon does NOT come to OA.

On bariatric surgery:Each Region Trustee has been asked to remind our Assemblies of the policy statement that was adopted by the WSBC 2018: “In keeping with Tradition Ten, Overeaters Anonymous has no opinion on bariatric (weight-loss) surgery. In the spirit of Tradition Three, Overeaters Anonymous welcomes anyone with a desire to stop eating compulsively, including those who have had the surgery or are contemplating it.” This does not mean that, as an organization we feel that anyone should have this type of surgery. This is a personal, medical decision made by an individual with the support of their doctors and family. What this policy means is that we each have our own individual paths to walk towards recovery from compulsive overeating. No one should be made to feel lesser than, nor that OA holds a negative opinion towards bariatric surgery. Everyone who has the desire to stop eating compulsively is welcome in OA, no matter what their individual path is. There is no “wrong” door. That said, the Board has also decided to allow for the registration of special focus meetings with the topic of Bariatric Surgery.

On Facebook meetings:The board approved an expanded process for the registration of Facebook (and other non-real-time, social media-type) meetings. As many of you may know, there have been many concerns raised about anonymity in the virtual world in general, and very specifically in the social media arena. Facebook meetings will be required to be set to a ‘secret’ setting, which means that the membership of that group is only open to those who are members of that group. Each group will be asked to create a public-facing page stating what the focus of that OA meeting is, and inviting people to contact the administrator for an invitation to join the group. The public page will be listed in ‘Find a Meeting’ for that group. This new process will apply to existing meetings as well. Existing meetings will have to do the same actions by December 31, 2018 for their registration to remain active. This action was taken because of our tradition that says that personal anonymity isn’t an option; “we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of… other public media of communication.” Although you may believe that you can choose to break your anonymity on a personal level, the Board felt that it was incumbent upon the WSO to only register meetings where members’ anonymity within the meeting is protected.

On changes to the Board of Trustees:To facilitate decisionmaking and streamlining of management, the Board of Trustees is considering gradually reducing the number of Trustees from 17 to 12 over a 5-year period.A final proposal will be made to the WSBC in 2019.If approved, extensive bylaw changes will be proposed in 2020, and the reduction plan will begin in 2021.

The rest of Karen’s written report is available at http://oaregion7.org/pdfs/2018R7FallPreAssemblyPac...

B.From Ginny, Region 7 Chair

Do you subscribe to the Region 7 email Loop? It has Region 7 and OA events, announcements, and opportunities for service. To join, go to: http://oaregion7.org/forms/request-google-group-access/.

The Region 7 Convention will be held in Ocean City, MD Nov 2-4.Funding is available.For more information, go to http://oaregion7.org/events/2018-region-7-convention/

Service, Traditions, and Concepts workshops can be provided at no charge by Region 7 officers to any IG

If our IG holds a workshop on “12 Stepping a Problem” before April 5 (the next Region 7 Assembly), we will be eligible to receive a refund on all our Region 7 Assembly registration fees (it’s now $45 per rep)

The WSBC is May 6-11 2019 in Albuquerque New Mexico

Tidewater IG is holding its annual Beach Retreat April12-14 in Virginia Beach.For more info, go to http://oatidewater.org/beach-retreat-2019.html

C.From Region 7 Committees:

The Intergroup Renewal Committee’s Intergroup Repair Specialists (“the IRS”) will travel to any requesting intergroup to conduct an Intergroup inventory as a way to refresh and renew the Intergroup.Financial support for IRS travel is available.

Intergroups are encouraged to request that their outreach events be posted on the Region 7 website.

The Finance Committee will send out periodic reminders that funds are available to help intergroups send representatives to Region 7 or delegates to the World Service Business Conference. (I am the member of the Region 7 Finance Committee who will be preparing and sending out these reminders.)

I have a copy of the 12th Step Within Committee’s Speakers List which includes individual speakers from Region 7, their special focus areas, and the distance each is willing to travel to speak.

The next World Service Convention will be in Orlando, FL at the Renaissance Hotel August 20-22, 2020.Save the date!

III.New Business Motions that were adopted (highlights)

The majority of motions that were adopted were revisions to ensure that a Region 7 Convention Chair is in place before the Fall Assembly.Requirements to be chair and other details were also approved.

IV.Elections

Region 7 Chair:Barb G. (our former Region 7 Trustee)

Treasurer:Kate

Recording Secretary:Arianna (re-elected)

V.In closing

I thank Central Virginia Intergroup for sponsoring me.

I am submitting my expenses separately.

I encourage everyone to consider becoming one of our Region 7 representative and our World Service Business Conference delegate.It is one of the best ways to maintain your abstinence, strengthen your program, serve our IG and OA as a whole, and meet dedicated, inspiring, recovering OA members from around the country and around the world!

Thank you again!Catherine W.



Below is the 2018 report from our World Service Delegate, Catherine W.


Report from 2018 World Service Business Convention
Catherine W., CVIG delegate

I.    Attendance
    There were    188 delegates from 17 countries including:
Australia, Austria, Costa Rica, UK, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, USA, Venezuela.

II.    Highlights from Officer, Region, and Committee Reports

    A.    From the Cyndy L., Chair of the Board of Trustees
· Income from literature has dropped 29% in 3 years, 10% in 2017 alone
· Contributions increased 18% in the same period but they do not begin to make up the difference lost in literature sales
· WSO finances have been in the red for the past 2 years
· In response, the BOT (Board of Trustees) has reduced the number of days they meet quarterly; 2 trustees attended a board meeting virtually; trustees depend on public transportation and hotel shuttles whenever possible; more BOT meetings may be held virtually; WSBC may be shortened by 2 days in 2020; Conference committees may be combined to reduce expenses;
· A board ad hoc committee has been formed to review income loss and look for additional ways to reduce spending and increase income
· “I continue to turn it over and trust that there is a solution to our financial situation. . . . I believe each of you is entitled to know about what has happened in the past, what is happening now, and where we may be headed in the future.  Ours is a WE program, and together we can do what we could never do alone.”

B.    From Bonnie L., Treasurer
· In 2015, OA, Inc. ended in the black, due strictly to sizable bequests
· In 2016, despite a financially strong World Service Convention, OA, Inc. ended in the red
· In 2017, we ended $36,508 in the red
· A balanced budget is projected for 2018; however, increased contributions and stronger literature sales will help make this a reality
· Ideas for increasing income:  A semi-annual appeal letter (see the first one—attached); promoting Automatic Recurring Contributions (ARC) at assemblies, conventions, and other OA events; specific instructions about making bequests to OA

C.    From Sarah Armstrong, Managing Director
· The Find A Meeting page on oa.org has been expanded to include a variety of digital meeting options, including meetings via email or bulletin loops, social media pages, bulletin boards or forums, and mobile applications.  
· OA calls these meetings “non-real-time” meetings because they do not meet in real time or may not have designated start and end times.
· Click the “Non-Real-Time Meeting” button at oa.org./find-a-meeting to view the options
· Alert:  Please be aware that members’ anonymity is NOT protected in a closed OA Facebook meeting; only those OA Facebook meetings that are secret are protected.  Anyone’s Facebook page and sharing can be accessed if you participate in a closed OA Facebook meeting; make sure your meeting is registered as secret.
· There is an OA Web/Technology website for tech ideas and assistance at webtechoa.org  
· The Professional Community Courier newsletter will now be online only, composed of “evergreen” articles
· OA literature has been translated or is being translated into more than 23 languages in 42 countries
· The Translation Assistance Fund was created in 2017 to assist in translations of OA literature into other languages. To contribute, go to oa.org/contribute and choose “Translation Assistance Fund” from the drop-down menu
· Coming soon:  The Twelve Step Workbook, 2d edition (see attachment)
· Some of the new literature available at bookstore.oa.org:
1. The 12 Steps and 12 Traditions of OA, 2d edition
2. Maintaining a Healthy Body Weight
3. 2017 Membership Survey Report
4. Guidelines for Addressing Disruptive Behavior Affecting OA Meetings (see attached)
5. Lifeline Writers’ Guidelines
6. Fundraising and Prudent Reserve Guidelines for Groups and Service Bodies
7. “Sponsorship Success” podcast series with Sponsorship Success Questionnaire
8. “Take a Walk Down the Traditions” video

    C.    From various Region Trustee Reports
· At least one region is holding all region board meetings virtually to save money
· Every region has at least one region convention each year.  The Region 7 Convention will be held in Ocean City, MD November 2-4, 2018
· Members of one region chartered a bus and rode 8 hours to their convention, holding meetings during the trip
· The next World Service Convention will be in Orlando, FL at the Renaissance Hotel August 20-22, 2020.  Save the date!
III.    New Business Motions that were adopted (highlights)
1. A revised “To the Family of the Compulsive Overeater”
2. A new ad hoc committee will research means and costs to improve, upgrade, and expand OA’s website and other electronic communications
3. A virtual region was created
4. A new policy statement:  “In keeping with Tradition Ten, Overeaters Anonymous has no opinion on bariatric (weight-loss) surgery.  In the spirit of Tradition Three, OA welcomes anyone with a desire to stop eating compulsively, including those who have had bariatric surgery or are contemplating it.”
5. A clarification:  a closed group includes newcomers
6.  Unity Day will now be held on the last Saturday in February in even years and the last Sunday in February in odd years at 11:30 AM local time
7. The third weekend of January is designated as the annual celebration of the January 19, 1960 founding of Overeaters Anonymous
8. Sponsorship day will now be held on the third weekend in August
9. International Day Experiencing Abstinence (IDEA) will now be held on the third weekend in November
IV.    Elections
· Region One:  Pat O.
· Region Three:  Neva S.
· Region Six:  none
· Region Nine:  none
· Virtual Services:  Dora P.
· General Service Trustees:  Bonnie L., Judy H.
V.    Committee Meetings, Forums, and Workshops
· I attended the Finance Committee where we discussed the wisdom of eliminating the committee and unanimously voted to recommend elimination because most of our mission was superseded by events each year.  It was subsequently eliminated by a delegate vote.  I will participate on virtual services work in the upcoming year
· I attended the Recovery Roadmap forum which was tremendously entertaining and illuminating (see attachment).  There were four questions in conjunction with the attached roadmap:  (1)  What locations are on my roadmap?  (2)  What’s blocking my recovery now?  (3)  What things would I like to add to my recovery journey?  (4)  Can I add them to my map and if so, how?
· I organized and led the 2d annual “Introverts in OA” meeting
· I attended the “Meet the Maker” workshop
· I mentored a new delegate
VI.    In closing
· I thank Central Virginia Intergroup for sponsoring me.  
· It was a tremendous privilege to again participate at WSBC and it is a wonderful boost to my program.  
· Thanks to the generosity of a friend I made at the World Service Convention in 2017, I stayed at her home for 3 nights instead of incurring 3 more nights of hotel expenses.
· I am submitting my expenses separately.
· I encourage everyone to consider attending a Region 7 Assembly and the World Service Business Conference – you are not alone in a room with 188 abstaining, dedicated compulsive overeaters who believe in Overeaters Anonymous and want it to continue for everyone now and in the future who want what we have.
· Thank you again!  Catherine W.

 

Below is the 2017 report from our World Service Delegate, Catherine W.

Report to Central Virginia Intergroup

World Service Business Conference 2017

by Catherine W., Delegate 1

I attended the 56 Annual World Service Business Conference (hereafter WSBC) of Overeaters Anonymous held in Albuquerque, NM from May 2– 7, 2017. This year’s theme was Growing OA Unity Worldwide .


Background Information

The WSBC is an annual gathering of delegates and board members of Overeaters Anonymous representing intergroups, regions, and service bodies including virtual groups/intergroups/regions/service bodies from all over the world. The purpose is to conduct the business of Overeaters Anonymous as required by law. There were 186 delegates from 20 countries which included Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Columbia, Costa Rica, England (UK), France, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Mexico, New Zealand, Poland, Scotland (UK), South Africa, Spain, Sweden, and the US.


During the week, there are workshops and forums related to the theme, committee meetings, and 5 business sessions at which annual board reports, region reports, trustee reports, and committee reports are discussed. In addition, new trustees are elected and new business/bylaws motions are presented and voted upon after consideration in accordance with Robert’s Rules of Order . To help delegates with questions about the hotel, restaurants, transportation, etc. and to facilitate the business meetings, there are 10-20 OA members of the delegate support committee who volunteer each day to help out with housekeeping details and providing other services for delegates. Some of these volunteers are from the Albuquerque area but some travel great distances just to be a part of WSBC. Most of the WSO staff also attend the business meetings each day, providing valuable background information and logistical support.


Each delegate received a voluminous binder with the conference information and schedule; all annual board reports, region reports, trustee reports, and committee reports; all policy manuals, all proposed new business motions and bylaw amendments, committee agendas, trustee applications, and the OA bylaws, subparts A and B. Delegates are expected to read all binder contents, some of which was distributed before the conference.


Highlights


WSBC approved a revised version of The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous . An online version may be available by the end of 2017; a print version should be available by 2018. (The existing 12 & 12 is still approved for sale and use.) Also approved was a revised and renamed pamphlet called Maintaining a Healthy Body Weight . The third Saturday in August is now designated as “Sponsorship Day.” “Mindfulness” was not adopted as a new tool.  OA members who wish to help get OA materials translated into other languages can now donate to a special translation fund through the Automatic Recurring Contributions page on the OA website under Donations.


Tuesday, May 2, 2017

For the first two days, I stayed with an OA member whom I had met at the World Service Convention in Boston on Memorial Day Weekend. There were three afternoon workshops entitled Carrying the Message Worldwide: The Twelve Concepts of OA Service, Working in Harmony Worldwide: The OA Twelve Traditions, and Worldwide Unity Through OA Literature. Most delegates stay at the Conference hotel and used the afternoon to take shuttle buses to nearby grocery stores; all hotel rooms have a refrigerator and microwave.


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

A morning forum entitled Amazing Recovery: Passport to Unity consisted of 10 delegates sharing about their specific path of recovery or challenges in OA, such as OA HOW, being a man in OA, being bulimic/anorexic, and having a 100+ pound weight loss. Each member shared their story for five minutes, delegates from the table were able to ask the speaker questions for five minutes, and five minutes were for discussing how we could relate to each of the speakers.


Committee Meetings were held from 10:15 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. with a break for lunch. Each delegate is assigned to a committee which will conduct OA business during the following year. In the Twelfth Step Within (TSW) Committee, to which I had been assigned, and as a member of the TSW subcommittee on TSW resources and mentoring, I will be working throughout the year with other committee members through conference calls and email exchanges to gather ways that intergroups can share specific information on presenting TSW workshops.  The intent is to share what works thereby making it easier for IGs to present a TSW workshop if they’ve never done one before. 


During the literature question & answer session that evening, the literature being considered for the OA Conference Seal of Approval were the revision of the renamed pamphlet Maintaining a Healthy Body Weight, a new piece of literature entitled Twelve Concepts of OA Service Pocket Guide , and the revised manuscript for The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous .


Thursday, May 4, 2017

The first business session from 8:30 AM to 11:30 was dedicated to welcoming the delegates, introduction of the OA Board of Trustees, and approving the Standing Rules for WSBC. Reports were presented by the Chair of the Board, the OA Treasurer, the OA Managing Director, each of the 10 Regional Trustees, Board of Trustees (hereafter BOT) Committees, and WSBC Committees.


The Virtual Services Trustee reported that those who attend virtual meetings overall contribute less than $2/year to OA. OA contributions have been going down, resulting in budget cuts for services that benefit all of OA. The OA website offers a way to make regular contributions through its Automatic Recurring Contributions (ARC) feature so that those who attend virtual meetings can make their 7 Tradition contribution using the ARC.


The afternoon session from 1:00 to 5:00 PM continued with those reports not completed in the morning session and Region/General Service Trustee Nominee’s Speeches and Question and Answer period. There were speeches from 1 nominee for Region 4 Trustee and 1 nominee for Region 7 Trustee, each for a 3-year term. There were 4 speeches for General Service Trustee nominees. There were 3 General Service Trustee positions to be filled, one for a 2-year unexpired term, and two for a full 3- year term. There were no nominees for Region 1 Trustee and the Virtual Services Trustee which were to be filled at the 2017 WSBC.


Consideration of proposed new business motions and bylaw amendments began with a proposed revised pamphlet Maintaining a Healthy Body Weight. After much discussion, the pamphlet received 2/3 of the votes needed to receive the Conference Seal of Approval. The revised pamphlet will be available in the first quarter of 2018.


After moving into the hotel that afternoon, I attended an evening workshop on Strategic Planning: Keeping OA Strong Worldwide at which we discussed the challenges and opportunities for OA in the world. For example, the spread of bariatric surgery can be viewed as both a threat to OA but also as an opportunity. The intent of the workshop was for each intergroup to determine the best opportunities in our areas to carry the OA message and focus our limited resources wisely.


Friday, May 5, 2017

The business sessions were again from 8:30 to 11:30 and from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM. Elections were held for Region/General Service Trustee positions and the results were as follows:


Region 4 Trustee: Cyndy L. from St. Louis

Region 7 Trustee: Karen B. from Ellicott City, MD


General Service Trustees:


Lawrie C. from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada – 2 year term

Joanne M. from Colorado Springs, CO-- 3 year term

Ron P. from St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada– 3 year term


Discussion had started on the Twelve Concepts of OA Service Pocket Guide on Thursday but was not completed; after the elections the WSBC voted not to grant the Conference Seal of Approval to the Twelve Concepts of OA Service Pocket Guide . The piece of literature was sent back to committee for revision.


The revised manuscript of The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous received 2/3 of the votes necessary to receive the Conference Seal of Approval with the proviso to add the spiritual principle to each step or tradition at the beginning of the step or tradition. The printed revised edition will be available for sale the first quarter of 2018; the online version may be available by the end of 2017.


Saturday, May 6, 2017

The last business meeting began at 8:30 AM and ended at noon. The remaining new business motions and bylaw amendments were addressed in order with the results as follows:


Proposal Item A to rescind WSBC Policy 2014a regarding courtesy listing of email loops was adopted. As of 2016, an email loop can register as a meeting.


Proposal Item B to establish a Statement on Copyright and Ownership of Creative Works which would constitute a clear policy on OA’s ownership of materials and work contributed by OA members failed to be adopted.


Proposal Item C to add Mindfulness as a tool failed to be adopted.


Proposal Item D to amend WSBC Policy 1991a regarding Conference and board committee restructuring was approved by the consent agenda.


Proposal Item E to amend WSBC Policy 2009b regarding Twelfth Step Within Day was approved by the consent agenda.


Proposed Item F to amend WSBC Policy 2010a regarding Statement on Approved Literature was withdrawn for consideration by the maker of the motion.


Proposed Item G to WSBC Policy 1985 regarding the granting of the Conference Seal of Approval was adopted by the consent agenda.


Proposed Item H to WSBC Policy 1992a regarding an addition to the Unity with Diversity Policy failed to be adopted.


Proposed Item I to WSBC Policy 2014a regarding email loops was withdrawn by the maker of the motion.


Proposed Item J to WSBC Policy 2005c regarding the procedures for the submission of new business motions, policy motions, and bylaw amendments was adopted. Such proposals now require that the submission include an explanation of how the motion will help carry the message of recovery to those who still suffer.


Proposed Item K to request the Board of Trustees to investigate and develop proposals to conduct WSBC business in a manner other than by Robert’s Rules of Order failed to be adopted.


Proposed Item L to establish a special translation fund for OA literature, forms, correspondence, website, and other materials to languages other than English was adopted.


Proposed Item M to establish an ad hoc committee to consider the implementation/registration of a Spanish language service board (SLSB) was amended and then adopted.


Proposed Item N to create a Sponsorship Day to be held annually on the third Saturday of August was adopted.


Proposal Item 1 to amend OA, Inc. Bylaws, Subpart B – Article IX – Board of Trustees, Section 6 stating no trustee candidate may run for more than one position was adopted.


Proposed Item 2 to amend OA, Inc. Bylaws, Subpart B – Article V – Overeaters Anonymous Groups, Section 1 regarding the use of an OA format which includes the OA Preamble, 12 Steps and 12 Traditions was not considered due to the fact it received 4 amendments and would have to be sent to the Reference Subcommittee. This item was not sent to the Reference Subcommittee due to the fact the last business meeting of the WSBC ended at 12 noon on May 6, 2017.


Proposed Item 3 to amend OA, Inc. Bylaws, Subpart B – Article X – Dissolution regarding the donation of money following the dissolution of OA, Inc. by striking the word “religious” failed to be adopted.


Proposed Item 4 to amend OA, Inc. Bylaws Subpart B – Article IX – Board of Trustees, Section 4 – Qualifications allowing a trustee nominee to meet trustee qualifications at the time of election instead of at the time of application failed to be adopted.


Proposed Items 5 through 8 were not considered as the 2017 WSBC ended at 12 noon. These items can be submitted for consideration at the 2018 WSBC if the makers of those particular items wish to resubmit them for next year’s agenda.


That afternoon, I led an OA meeting for introverts and later helped to escort several international delegates on a visit to the Albuquerque Botanical Gardens. I skipped the delegate dinner but attended the part of the dinner where the outgoing WSBC Chair shared her story of recovery and then stayed for part of the dance.


Sunday, May 7, 2017 through Tuesday May 9, 2016

I traveled after the conference to Denver to visit my mother and sister, catching a ride with a delegate from Region 3, who invited me to attend the Central Colorado Intergroup (CCI) meeting on Tuesday. Circumstances permitted me to attend. CCI officers welcomed me and the meeting was both enjoyable and informative. Their WSBC delegates gave their reports and Mike K. was kind enough to share his report with me, some of which I have copied in this report. I encouraged all who attended CCI to be sure to visit our meetings if they should ever be in Richmond or Charlottesville.


In Closing

It was an honor and a tremendous pleasure to represent Central Virginia Intergroup as a WSBC Delegate. Not only is it wonderful to be in the same room with over 200 OA members from around the world, it is the commitment of all participants to carrying the message of OA around the world to those still suffering that is inspiring and humbling. I hope each and every OA member can become a delegate to Region 7 and to the World Service Business Conference. OA members can also volunteer at their own expense to be part of the delegate support group at the hotel during WSBC. Either way, not only is participating at WSBC doing service for OA, but it is a fabulous boost to one’s own program. Thank you CVIG for giving me this opportunity to serve our Intergroup and OA as a whole.


With much appreciation and thanks,


Catherine W.

1 Some of this report is copied from the delegate report of Mike K. Region 3 delegate and former trustee, with his permission. I attended the Central Colorado Intergroup meeting at which Mike gave his report and he graciously invited me to use whatever portions of his report I liked.

 

Making Contact

For questions about OA, you may text or call the CVIG OA infoline: (804) 362-9400


Visit the world service web site at: OA.org


Direct Written Correspondence To: P.O. Box 70611
Henrico, VA 23255-0611