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Designating a Position Within

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Twelfth Step Within Day is coming! What will you be doing on December 12? On the twelfth day of the twelfth month every year, OA members strengthen our Fellowship by reaching out to still-suffering members within the program: members in relapse, members who have fallen away, and members needing extra support. This December 12, consider arranging a special event or setting up opportunities for service. Does your group have a designated Twelfth Step Within service position?

Twelfth Step Within service can contribute to the well-being of the group as a whole as well as reclaim and retain existing OA members. When we talk statistics, do we forget the heart-wrenching fact that many people who walk away from OA lapse back into a very serious disease? Perhaps someone in relapse is reading this article right now. Even likelier, many readers are active, abstinent OA members, and we’re the ones who get to do something to help.

Some groups carry a “We Care” book to and from meetings to record attendance and member contact information. Anyone providing Twelfth Step Within service periodically monitors this book to become aware if people stop coming to meetings. The group then arranges to contact these people to let them know we care that we haven’t seen them. We ask how they’re doing and whether they found something else that works for them. We let them know we’d be happy to see them come again, and we ask if there’s any help we can give.

A Twelfth Step Within coordinator might help groups plan a special-topic meeting for returning members and “almost” newcomers. Any time a group or intergroup has a special event like this to bring to people’s attention, multiple members can provide Twelfth Step Within service by trying the “Call Five—Keep ’Em Alive” technique to get the word out. A Twelfth Step Within coordinator can make sure that specific “come back” calls are made, and also plan to add special hospitality for members who do come back as a result!

Twelfth Step Within work can be arranged through group conscience, and any regular group conscience or business meeting might include a follow-up report of Twelfth Step Within activities to compare notes and feedback. This practice might even lead to a Tenth Step “group inventory” and generate ideas about how to improve the overall effectiveness of the group. It could bring changes, from a new carpool system to saving someone’s life.

Your group will be sure to find its own way. Having an active Twelfth Step Within service position and working on projects such as these can reenergize your program and bring new life and vigor to your group. Remember, you are the person reading this. You are the one who can act.

— Betsy R.

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