Oh no, another Conference article. What has it got to do with me?
Well, this is about Pre-Conference. Which is where the members of AA put their points across to the Delegates to take to Conference.
This year there were four of us heading to Exeter to pass our group’s response on to the Delegates. We had a range of experience and sobriety (and enthusiasm) between us. I can only speak for myself but I doubt if I was the only one thinking: why am I doing this? I could be still at home in bed. But I know the answer. Because it has to be done and if I don’t do it, then maybe, one day no-one will do it.
Of course, the next question is: does it have to be done at all? We could just email our answers. Or just give them to one of the Delegates to pass on. The answer to this one is – you guessed it – yes, it has to be done. Simply because it is our Conference. They are our Delegates carrying our ideas for us, so it is essential that they fully understand what we are trying to get across.
This can really only be done by direct access, face-to-face with the people who are going to Conference on our behalf. The ordinary AA member going to meetings and trying to help the new man is separated from Conference by the layers of Intergroup and Region. Pre-Conference gives everyone the chance to meet their Delegates and discover that they are just ordinary AA members going to meetings and trying to help the new man as well. Hopefully with a good knowledge and experience of what works in AA.
So my experience was that we were able to talk to our Region Delegates and ensure that our points were understood. It may not sound much but the sense of fellowship was very satisfying when you could see that they got it. Also good was the discovery that others were saying the same thing or that other good ideas were going forward. Hearing newer members saying that they got a lot from it was also reassuring for the future.
This year coming home there were four in a car comfortable that the job had been done for this year and the Delegates had been given some good ideas, allowing Conference to come up with something to keep our message growing into the future.
Chris S., Road to Recovery Group, Plymouth