A.C.A. ACoA Meeting Template (Regular Discussion Meeting)
Meeting TemplateREGULAR MEETING see Note 1
[Opening the Meeting]
GOOD EVENING and WELCOME to the regular [insert the day and time here (ours is "Monday night")] discussion meeting of the [insert your group's name here (ours is "Courage to Change")] group of Adult Children Anonymous. My name is [here you introduce yourself] . I qualify as an Adult Child and I am your chairperson for tonight.
We meet to share the experience we had as children growing up in an alcoholic and/or dysfunctional home - the way it affected us then and the way it affects us now. By practicing the 12 Steps, focusing on the Solution and accepting a Higher Power of our own understanding, we find freedom from the effects of alcoholism and family dysfunction. We identify with the Problem and learn to live by the Solution, one day at a time. We wish at last to find our true selves. Would you please join me in a moment of silence followed by the Serenity Prayer. [ as required: "May we have that moment now "]
I have asked
has volunteered"] to read the
There are no dues or fees as the group is self supporting through our own contributions. [Pass the hat or baskets for the 7th Tradition; then, as appropriate: "Contributions from this group go towards "]
If you are attending Adult Children Anonymous for the first time, WELCOME. [Here the chairperson asks ] Are there any Newcomers here tonight? [If there are none, you can skip down to the Introductions.]
[Introductions - members qualify]
To begin with, we ask you to introduce yourself by your first name only as we go around the room. You will hear most members also say " and I am an adult child", "I qualify" or "I belong. " see Note 2 To "qualify" simply means that one identifies with the characteristics of the adult child, the same way an alcoholic identifies with the disease of alcoholism. We do this when we introduce ourselves lest we mysteriously forget that we are still adult children.
My name is [here you introduce yourself again] and I qualify.
[Now allow everyone in the meeting to introduce themselves]
[Set-Up for Discussion Groups]
In the small groups we avoid cross-talk. By cross-talk we mean any reply to an individual while he or she is contributing. We do this because as children we were most likely not allowed our voice and also because an interruption could interfere with an individuals recollection of memories or experiencing of emotions.
Please note that no member has to read or to share if they do not feel like doing so. They may indicate this by saying "I Pass".
The topics for this evening are:
[Divide the group up into smaller discussion groups by asking who would like to be in the Step discussion group. Then do the same for the Characteristic discussion group (if there are more than a comfortable number (usually 6-7 max) of members going to either of the discussions, ask those interested to "number off" and break them into several groups).]see Note 4
There will be a five-minute break before the discussion groups go to the meeting rooms. We will meet back here at [insert the time for your group's closing here (ours is 8:50 p.m.)] for the closing.
[Discussion Groups][The individual discussion groups then take place under the leadership of the individual group chairpersons]
[Closing 1. Announcements]
Are there any ACA or other Anonymous Group announcements?
There are meeting lists, phone lists, [where applicable, an A.C.A. Newsletter] and other information on the front table to which you may help yourself. We have also a register where you may, if you wish, record your first name only, your phone number and the date you joined us. [where applicable, In one year's time, you may then choose to celebrate your progress by receiving a Teddy Bear. see Note 5 If there are Newcomers present, briefly explain what a "Teddy Bear night" is.]
We also have a library for the loan of recovery books. [as/where applicable, We ask that a 10 dollar deposit be left with the librarian until the loaned book is returned]; the librarian for tonight is [introduce the librarian].
[If your group gets together for fellowship after the meeting, this is a good point to announce that and, if necessary, to see whether anyone needs a ride to get there.].
[Closing 2. Closing Affirmation]
In closing , I remind you that the opinions expressed here belong strictly to those who gave them. Take what you want and leave the rest. We ask that you treat the things you've heard and seen here tonight, with confidentiality. Keep them within these walls and the confines of your mind.
Whatever your problems, concerns, or issues, there are others here who have had them too. If you allow yourself to listen to both yourself and others, you may find the help you are looking for. You will come to realize that there is no situation too difficult to be improved upon and no unhappiness too great to be lessened.
We aren't perfect. The welcome we give you may not show the warmth we have in our hearts for you. After a while, you'll discover that though you may not like all of us, you'll love and accept us in a very special way - the same way we already love and accept you. Let the understanding, love, and serenity of the program grow in you one day at a time.
(as used by Ottawa's Monday Night "Courage to
|Note 1: Please that this template covers a "regular" meeting. Variations are of course required for other events, such as business meetings, Teddy Bear nights or other presentations and speakers meetings. Time permitting, other templates will be added to cover these in the months to come.|
|Note 2: If there are newcomers at the meeting, you may wish to explain that it's acceptable for them simply to state their name, without qualifying, as they may well not yet be ready (or have enough information), to take that step.|
|Note 3: Before everyone heads off for their break, ensure that the chairpersons have with them the Step or Characteristic readings for their groups. Some groups also have a sheet for the discussion group chairpersons reminding them of the basic procedure and rules of order (such as the "no cross-talk" rule). [We'll try to add a sample one of these to the site in future months.]|
|Note 4: It is usually a good idea to have one of the groups (typically the newcomers' orientation) meet in the main room. This provides basic security for the group's materials and ensures that someone will be present if other newcomers, or group members, arrive late looking for a meeting.|
|Note 5: Not all groups use teddy bears to mark progress in recovery. if your group uses chips or medallions, use this point in the night to explain your own traditions.|
|Note 6: If newcomers are present, it's important to explain here that after the closing, it is traditional for members (who so wish) to ask others if they would like to give them a hug - and that it's quite acceptable to simply shake hands or to say "No, but thanks." Point out that respect for personal boundaries is an important element throughout all A.C.A. activities.|