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Strong Service Bodies

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“What on earth do service bodies and OA’s service structure have to do with me?” you might ask. “I just go to meetings. That other stuff is for older people in the program.”

OA’s service structure has a lot to do with you, if you’re an OA member and you value your program, your recovery, your meetings, and your life. That’s because your group gets essential support from your intergroup, national or language service board, region, and the Board of Trustees, which oversees the World Service Office and World Service Business Conference. Any OA member who is curious about the work being done on any of these levels of service is welcome to attend and observe.

What can you do to help build strong service bodies? It all starts with strong meetings, so just do what is needed to keep your individual meetings functioning and healthy. Start by attending meetings, working the Twelve Steps, understanding the Twelve Traditions, getting and maintaining abstinence, and becoming a sponsor! When our meetings are strong examples of recovery, then newcomers will keep coming back and sponsees will grow to become sponsors for others. Next, you will also help our service bodies by doing the small jobs necessary to keep your meeting alive.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Set up chairs
  • Make an outreach call
  • Put out literature
  • Maintain the phone list
  • Share positively
  • Contribute financially
  • Become the group treasurer
  • Be a contact person
  • Focus on the promises
  • Attend workshops
  • Lead a meeting
  • Welcome a newcomer
  • Stay abstinent

See if you can think of additional ways to fill up your own list. Remember, you don’t have to be a “service junkie.” Just choose one or two jobs and follow through.

If an OA meeting closes because of poor attendance, part of our organization dies. But when meetings are strong, members will step up to become intergroup representatives and go on to represent their regions and contribute at the world service level.

My recovery has been a gift from Overeaters Anonymous. I have lived twenty years longer because of this program, the Twelve Steps, and the love of people in the Fellowship. Please offer your help to make sure your OA meetings stay strong. If we don’t do it, who will?

— Edited and reprinted from The Butterflyer newsletter, Chicago Western Intergroup, July 2018

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