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Minutes of May 15, 2004 SLAA Business Meeting

Members present are: Circe=Susan,Gina, Jane, Joel, Lynn, Marabel, PeterS, Phoenix182,TimF=Tim, Donatella=Toni, Ket, Steve, VJ=Vicki

Vicki opens the meeting at 10:02 pm EST with the Serenity Prayer.

Vicki then asks Marabel, "Marabel, would you give us the site where the meeting minutes are posted? We can then all read the minutes and get them approved."

Marabel answers, "http:.//slaaonline.org/minutes/040415.html ... just click on the address, that will take you right to them."

Vicki gives everyone three minutes to read the minutes, then asks, "Are there any objections or corrections to the minutes as posted?"

Marabel moves to accept the minutes as posted, with no objections and corrections.

Steve interrupts with a small correction. "Darren shares, 'Just want to echo what was said above...I'm finding (increasingly) when I show up for noon/4 pm meetings...' should read 4:30, methinks."

Vicki says, "That is correct, thanks Steve." Marabel says, "Kewl, thanks Steve."

Vicki asks if there are any other corrections, and there are none.

Vicki makes a motion to accept the minutes with the correction to the 4:30 time, as stated by Steve, and asks for a second. Marabel seconds the minutes.

TimF notes that the minutes are now corrected on the website.

Vicki now opens the floor for the first item of the agenda.

Vicki shares, "I have reviewed the meeting minutes from last month's meeting and find that the old business is such:

OLD BUSINESS: There is a motion to address the use of the 'long form' of the Serenity Prayer during any meeting closings continued from April 15, 2004 meeting.

NEW BUSINESS: Nominations."

"I like simplicity." Then Vicki introduces the Old Business in further detail.

"OLD BUSINESS: There is a motion to address the use of the 'long form of the Serenity Prayer during any meeting closings continued from April 15, 2004 meeting. Here is the wording on the long form -

God grant me the SERENITY to

accept the things I cannot change;

COURAGE to change the things I can;

and WISDOM to know the difference.

...

Living one day at a time;

enjoying one moment at a time;

accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;

...

Taking, as He did, this sinful world

as it is, not as I would have it:

Trusting that He will make all things

right if I surrender to His Will;

that I may be reasonably happy in this life

and supremely happy with Him forever in the next. Amen

...

Before we open this up for discussion, I would like to suggest that we change this to the shortened form of the Serenity Prayer which reads -

...

God Grant me the Serenity to Accept the things we cannot change, Courage to change the things we can and Wisdom to know the difference. Thy will not mine be done. Amen

...

Is there any discussion on using the shortened form of the Serenity Prayer over using the long form? The floor is now open for discussion."

TimF and JoelR both raise their hands. Vicki gives Joel the floor first.

Joel shares, "Just a thought, and I'm not trying to step on any toes. Rather, am looking at the spirit of the Traditions, and let me say I do not object to the long form. However, it says, "taking, as He did," and presupposes, I believe, "He" being Christ, and some people have a different view of HP than the Christianity view. Just a thought."

TimF takes the floor. "The scripts are written to use the short version of the Serenity Prayer by default. The scripts are written to use the short version of the Serenity Prayer by default...

Although the scripts do play the 3rd Step Prayer on Monday and Wednesday evenings in March...

Although the scripts do play the 7rd Step Prayer on Monday and Wednesday evenings in July...

Although the scripts do play the 11th Step Prayer on Monday and Wednesday evenings in November...

but ONLY play the LONG VERSION of the Serenity Prayer if the Trusted Servant *specifically* queues this up. I fully support that we discontinue its use, and that simply means that Trusted Servants cease using it (since it never happens by default)."

Ket shares, "Well, I just wanted to say most meetings everywhere use the short version because the fellowship is inclusive, not exclusive to any religion."

Marabel then shares, " I also support eliminating the long form, since it is rarely used, and I also support an alternative, of changing "He" and "His" to "HP" and "Higher Power", and eliminating "sinful" and "supremely happy in the next life", if of course, there is any support in keeping it (the long form). I believe the prayer has no less power if those changes are made, and it makes the prayer more inclusive of other visions, or perceptions, or manifestations of what "HP" is. Those are my thoughts, take what works."

Tim corrects himself by sharing, "I believe I am mistaken that the LONG VERSION *never* happens by default. I must look deeper into the scripts and make that correction - and then update Trusted Servants' scripts."

Ket briefly shares, "I would like to add my support for the way the prayer stands in short form."

Steve takes the floor. "A few thoughts. First, a correction. The only way I've seen the long form of the Serenity Prayer here is as, "...taking, as God did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it;" So, we've already changed the prayer's meaning in our scripts. That has disturbed me a bit, personally, as it seems a bit arrogant."

Steve continues, "While the history of the prayer is unclear, most believe it was authored several centuries ago by Reynhold Neibold (The correct name is Reinhold Niebuhr). I believe we ought not amend the prayer, especially with regard to removing 'God' in favor of 'HP'. 'God' is in our steps, but agree that the long form has several references which might offend some members, so we ought to discontinue its use, even though I personally love the simplistic beauty of this prayer."

Joel then shares, "When I came into this room (and I had been to AA before), I was shaking like a leaf, afraid and lost. In my opinion, the first four lines of the Serenity Prayer are some of the most powerful and perfectly placed words in our language. The fifth line I believe is also an add on. One further thought on 'He' and 'His'; if it does not refer to Jesus it could be interpreted as giving gender to God. Isn't that politically incorrect these days?"

Vicki now says, "Ok, I sort of hear a trend in the shares, so that I think there is probably a majority. Here is what I think is the Serenity Prayer, shortened version: "God grant me the SERENITY to accept the things I cannot change; COURAGE to change the things I can; and WISDOM to know the difference. Thy will not mine be done." Sometimes the 'thy will not mine be done' is omitted, so I would like us to concentrate on this form of the Serenity Prayer for further discussion unless someone objects."

Ket says, "Yes I accept that form as is." PeterS agrees.

Vicki asks, "Is there any more discussion?"

Vicki then states a motion: "I would like to make a motion that in SLAA we use the shortened form of the Serenity Prayer during meetings." TimF seconds her motion.

Vicki then says, "We have a motion on the floor that now needs a vote."

Ket then asks, "Is that how you vote? Just wanting to vote."

Vicki responds, "Not yet, almost though."

"All in favor of using the shortened form of the Serenity prayer at meetings, vote +, against vote -, abstain vote 0", says Vicki.

The vote passes with a majority. Of the eleven present, ten vote for the shortened form, and one person abstained.

"It passes with over 2/3 vote, thanks for voting." replies Vicki.

Vicki then asks, "When will the scripts be changed, Steve and TimF? What happens with all the scripts that current operators are using? Do we all need to be updated now?"

TimF replies, "I will work on that in coming few days (then need to update scripts on other TS's computers)."

PeterS begins to ask, "Seemed to be a question about including 'Thy will, not mine, be done' or not..."

Ket replies, "It's already passed."

Vicki asks, "Is anyone opposed to using 'Thy will not mine be done' in the shortened version that just passed?"

PeterS finishes his question. "...With or without that line in it? I am opposed."

Vicki says, "Understood" to PeterS. "Let's take another quick vote then. I understand. Now we can vote on what shortened version we want. Wait a sec."

Peter asks, "Can I say why?"

Vicki says, "Here is one. If you please. Go ahead Peter."

"Thanks. Including that line, I think, poses problems for especially newcomers, whom we need to provide as many tools with as possible: anyone who hasn't done Step 3," Peter finishes.

Vicki asks if there is any more discussion on including or not including "Thy will not mine be done."

Steve shares, "The SLAA Basic Text, pg. 77 includes the line, 'Thy will, not mine, be done' I think its inclusion in our fellowship's basic text makes it not only okay, but preferable, for our use."

Vicki again asks, "Is there any more discussion on the inclusiveness of 'Thy will not mine be done' on the end of the Serenity Prayer in the form used at meetings?"

TimF shares, "Before SLAA Online, I started with many AA and NA and S-fellowship f2f meetings. I've heard this line used at some and not others. Especially at NA, they use the 'We version' for the Serenity Prayer, where all the 'I' and 'me' become 'We' and 'us'.

At one rehab, someone insisted on using the end line, 'My will and Thy will be one.' I think that reading these prayers on the screen is just like our ability to SAY them out loud to ourself, and *we* can choose how to say them. Whether we include that final line or not is a personal choice, but I agree with Steve that the SLAA Basic Text is what we should us as our guide."

Vicki restates, "Here is what we are considering; 'God grant me the SERENITY to accept the things I cannot change; COURAGE to change the things I can; and WISDOM to know the difference. Thy will not mine be done.' Does anyone else have any further discussion before we call on a vote? All in favor of using the shortened form of the Serenity Prayer as such: 'God grant me the SERENITY to accept the things I cannot change; COURAGE to change the things I can; and WISDOM to know the difference. Thy will not mine be done' at meetings vote +, against vote -, abstain vote 0."

Eight vote for the prayer as stated by Vicki, one votes against, and two members abstain. The new shortened form passes by a two thirds majority.

Vicki states, "I'm not sure how to please the whole of the members except to change the wording from the last sentence so as far as I can tell the Serenity Prayer Online SLAA will include, 'Thy Will not mine be done.' Thanks for your patience and attention. I'm glad you spoke up Peter."

Circe remarks, "Thanks VJ for your service to the meeting, thanks Peter for voicing your concerns and thanks to everyone who voted."

Vicki continues, "Now, I'm not sure of the regulations on new business being brought up. I assume it might be too late for any new business. I’ve never been very good at looking at the clock and figuring that out, but there needs to be nominations and elections coming up soon as far as I know…"

Tim reminds Vicki, "We can introduce new business within the first 75 minutes (until quarter after the hour).

Vicki continues, "Thanks, Tim. There haven’t been a whole lot of people nominated. I hope that more will be nominated. Other than that, the floor is open for any new business that people have come into the room with tonight."

TimF reminds the group, "In past years, we have often had many of the officers that were nominated unopposed, but this year, we actually do have a number of nominations. Happening throughout May, we are accepting nominations for our six #SLAA Online Group officer positions. Throughout June, we are accepting votes for our six officers. Please review our Nominating/Voting page (http://slaaonline.org/officers.html) for all the details.

If you are using mIRC, you can just click on the webpage reference to go right there, and since this procedure has long been in place, there is new voting on procedure needed - just an announcement, but I do have an item of new business for us to consider."

TimF continues, "One of the largest changes between the original website and the newer one (available since June, 2003) is the wording of our behavior guidelines. The affected pages are at original behavior guidelines and new behavior guidelines.

The website committee respectfully asks group conscience approves the new behavior guidelines webpage and allows new adjustments to the slaaonline.org website be incorporated as reviewed by the website committee without further need for group conscience -- knowing that the site and committee will respect the S.L.A.A. Traditions.

These two pages are available at: http://slaaonline.org/etiguide.html and http://slaaonline.org/guidelines.html respectively. If you are using mIRC, you can just click on the webpage reference to go right there."

Vicki asks, "Is the same thing on both pages?"

Tim replies, "No, the first page is the OLD version (very confusing and not completely up to date per business meetings in last couple years)."

"So we need to look and read over which one for consideration?" Vicki asks.

Tim continues, "The second page is the NEW version - and IMHO is very clear. The second one (http://slaaonline.org/guidelines.html) is what we are asking group conscience to approve."

Vicki asks, "The new version is at http://slaaonline.org/guidelines.html?"

"Yes," Tim responds.

"Are you asking us to look over the version on http://slaaonline.org/guidelines.html for group conscience approval now?" Vicki asks.

Tim replies, "Either now or for next business meeting, along with: "The website committee respectfully asks group conscience approves the new behavior guidelines webpage and allows new adjustments to the slaaonline.org website be incorporated as reviewed by the website committee without further need for group conscience -- knowing that the site and committee will respect the S.L.A.A. Traditions."

PeterS raises his hand to share, and Tim continues, "...although we could break those two items into separate motions."

Vicki remarks, "Will call on Peter when I know Tim is finished."

Tim is finished, and both PeterS and Tim say "Sorry."

PeterS has the floor. "Thanks Vicki, suggest voting at next meeting to give enough time for reading, thinking, etc."

Steve then shares. "I agree with Tim. This page has been reviewed by our website review committee, and I believe they have made a sincere effort to have the page echo our group's conscience. The old page is obsolete.."

Tim nods.

Steve continues, "If errors are found on the new page, they can be corrected easily."

Ket interrupts, "Ok, I can go with that."

Vicki asks, "Are you done, Steve?"

Steve finishes, "If members find reason to disagree with the procedures, we'd have to go through the discussion/voting process, so I believe we oughta post the new page, which has been available for viewing for 6 months at our earliest convenience."

Circe shares, "I looked at the page and there are sections that are under construction. I think if it is going to be up for a vote by the groups, we should wait until it is completed, because it is subject to change."

Marabel then shares, "I think the page should be used, even with the sections under construction as the main information on the page is helpful to those who need to know those other parts." Donatella nods in agreement.

Marabel continues, "The parts under construction can be explained by ops if there is a situation that arises that one needs to see the guidelines and also needs to know those commands such as /ignore, /whois, etc, and usually it will take an op explaining the use of those commands anyway. Just my thoughts."

Joel moves, "I'd like to make a motion that we take the time between now and the next meeting to read this and that we vote to approve it at the next meeting. In the form of a motion I move... "

Ket interrupts, "I second."

Joel continues, " 'I move that the new guidelines shall be read by members between now and the next meeting and that it be brought up for approval at the next meeting.'"

Ket again interrupts, "Second."

"Thanks JoelR. There is now a motion on the floor and a second," says Vicki. Tim raises his hand, and Vicki responds, "Please share Tim, I guess there is discussion time now."

"In the way of background," Tim shares, "the page 'old behavior guidelines' at http://slaaonline.org/etiguide.html was a part of the "original website" that was written in 1998 (or before) when we bought the domain name slaaonline.org. We placed BOTH the original webspace (intact) and a new webspace. The new stuff is 5 times more than originally existed, and the biggest change was the wording of our 'behavior guidelines' to make them more accurate and clear to members. I support the idea of us taking another month to review this closely. While Steve, Marabel and I know that this page is accurate, I prefer EVERYONE to be fully informed.

So, the motion I suggested above, I would like to see as a motion for our next business meeting: 'The website committee respectfully asks group conscience approves the new behavior guidelines webpage (http://slaaonline.org/guidelines.html) and allows new adjustments to the slaaonline.org website be incorporated as reviewed by the website committee without further need for group conscience -- knowing that the site and committee will respect the S.L.A.A. Traditions,' and Joel's motion is helpful in getting us toward that end goal."

Vicki answers, "Thanks Tim." Circe says, "Kewl!"

Vicki now reiterates, "We have a motion and a second on the floor. Further discussion?"

There is no further discussion. Vicki then says, "Let's vote then. The motion is, 'I move that the new guidelines shall be read by members between now and the next meeting and that it be brought up for approval at the next meeting. All in favor say aye, opposed nay."

Seven members say "aye", and two members abstain. "Ok, that's 2/3," says Vicki. "This will be put on old business at next month's meeting. It's time to end the meeting now. Let's close with our favorite prayer."

TimF has one announcement. Vicki says, "Ok, go ahead."

TimF shares, "We recently added six new meetings to our schedule (bringing us to 28 meetings every week). Five are Eleventh Step Meetings. Two are at midnight ET on Saturdays and Sundays. Three are at 10 pm Sydney, Australia time on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays). The sixth meeting is an Abuse Survivors Meeting on Thursdays at 11 pm ET in the #SLAA2 room. Did that all appear, or was it truncated?"

Ket replies, "Yeah."

JoelR answers, "I saw it all."

Ket says, "Great."

Circe says, "Ok."

Vicki closes with the Serenity Prayer at 11:28 PM EST.

Thanks all for allowing me to serve. It has been a pleasure to serve as your Secretary. These are my last minutes. Congratulations and best wishes in the coming year for Cudbme, our incoming Secretary!

Respectfully submitted,
Marabel, Outgoing #SLAA Online Group Secretary