Attending World Service Business Conference as a delegate, I discovered how much responsibility is involved in shaping and maintaining the OA recovery framework from which we all benefit.

Every policy and piece of literature goes through an extensive process that includes several layers of review and revision. Ordinary OA members participate in that development process, so our program’s resources are the products of people who stepped up and helped develop and sustain them.

When I walk into an OA meeting and commit to recovery, I am indebted to people who took responsibility—they started a meeting, publicized it, listed it with the WSO, and purchased the necessary literature. Meetings happen because all sorts of people take responsibility to make them available to members and newcomers and keep them going.

When I read Voices of RecoveryFor TodayLifeline, or other OA literature, I am indebted to OA members who devoted time and talent to creating these materials. When I visit oa.org, I appreciate podcasts and pamphlets and posters. I appreciate OA members who take responsibility every day when they reach into purses and billfolds to put two or three dollars in the basket. When I contact my sponsor by text, email, or face-to-face, I am indebted to that person’s willingness to offer experience, strength, and hope—and also to the people who took responsibility to sponsor them in their OA journey, and their sponsors, and so on.

Early founders of Twelve Step recovery programs took responsibility both to maintain their own sobriety and abstinence and to share that gift wherever, however, and whenever they could, going to any length to “carry the message” so others could be brought to healing and transformation. Now, I’m called to take responsibility for making sure there’s a healthy OA group in my community. I’m called to be on the lookout for any ways I can contribute to OA:

  • Showing up at meetings, locally or when I’m out of town; even daring to go beyond my comfort zone to attend phone and online meetings.
  • Reaching out to new people and helping them feel welcome, telling them how recovery has taken hold in my life and how I work my own program.
  • Being there for current OA members struggling with relapse, offering encouragement and support.
  • Putting money in the basket and making online donations—to support the work of translations, website development, and all the other costs involved in keeping our framework healthy and current.
  • Sending texts and emails, communicating on social media, and lifting that heavy telephone to stay connected with others and help plant seeds of recovery in someone else’s day.
  • Being willing to serve in my local group, or at the intergroup, region, or world service level, to get out of self and join hands with others who commit to doing everything we can to extend the hand and heart of OA.

— Kevin C., Fargo, North Dakota USA

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