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A Celebration of Freedom

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I have had the good fortune of attending two World Service Conventions since I became a member of Overeaters Anonymous in 1980.

My first was in New York City in 1997, and the venue was an iconic hotel. Although I lived in New Jersey, I’d never had the opportunity to stay at such a landmark in the heart the city that never sleeps. It was a memorable weekend filled with fellowship, speakers from around the world, and many diverse workshops and recovery activities. A group of us even got to go to a big-name show, and while standing in line and still wearing our OA badges, we did some Twelve Stepping right then and there.

It was Fourth of July weekend, and that evening ended with a group of us boarding a ship to the Hudson River to see fireworks over the Statue of Liberty. While the US was celebrating its freedom, I was celebrating my personal freedom from the disease of compulsive overeating.

In 2007, I had the privilege of attending my second Convention in Philadelphia. The theme was “Ring in Recovery,” and the pin they had for sale, which I still have, had a beautiful image of the Liberty Bell, another symbol of freedom. At that Convention, I met a woman with whom I still stay in contact, and year after year, we continue to share our experience, strength, and hope.

Conventions are a great place to strengthen recovery, find a sponsor, make new friends, nurture existing OA relationships, and allow ourselves to have some fun. World Service Convention has not been in Florida since 1980, but the momentum for this one is already well underway. From the sites of past Conventions: Los Angeles to New York, New Orleans to Boston, Dallas to Cleveland and from every country in the world, let’s all join together in Orlando to celebrate.

Here are my top ten reasons to attend World Service Convention in 2020:

10. Convention only occurs once every five years.
9. Orlando has lots to offer—bring the whole family for sightseeing!
8. It’s an opportunity to meet up with a sponsor or fellow member that you may only know virtually.
7. This is a great way to support your own recovery and OA as a whole. Showing up is doing service.
6. Attending means, “I put my hand in yours and together we can do what we cannot do alone
5. “No longer is there a sense of hopelessness,
4. “No longer must we each depend on our own unsteady willpower.
3. “We are all together now,
2. “Reaching out our hands for power and strength greater than ours,
1. “And as we join hands, we find love and understanding beyond our wildest dreams.“

— Barbara T., Palm Beach County Intergroup

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