Starting or revitalizing a meeting is an excellent opportunity for service that provides joy from knowing you have given a very real gift to OA members.
Starting a meeting? Overeaters Anonymous is a collective of individual groups. Each group (or meeting) is self-supporting when fully established, but the Utah Soaring Intergroup will help you get the meeting set up and started. Contact any member of the service board (Chair, Secretary, Treasurer,), found on our contacts page.
For a new meeting, you can literally start a meeting any place you wish; however, an OA group cannot be affiliated with, sponsored or endorsed, by any outside interest. The meeting can take place in a church, synagogue, mosque, or other religious building, public library, school, or any other community building so long as the meeting is independent of the organization.
If you have a meeting that is decreasing in attendance, you might contact some folks to come to join you to bring some ideas for re-energizing the meeting. OA has several files in the Document Library that can help you strengthen your meeting. Set the search filter to “Meeting Resources.”
If you need additional help, talk to somebody in a group who has the energy you want to see in your meeting and ask them for help. Attend an Intergroup meeting and ask for help there. We are a fellowship. The fellowship can’t help unless you ask.
One characteristic of strong meetings is that they are extroverted and directed outward toward the community and fellow OA’s, while weak meetings are often directed inward to a clique of a few “regulars.” Focus the meeting toward attracting and supporting newcomers from the community and serving the fellowship.
As soon as possible, a meeting should start filling these suggested meeting positions listed below:
The Secretary ensures that things run smoothly. This person may not lead a meeting, but they are in charge of communicating with the group to ensure that readers read and leaders lead. The Secretary will be listed at WSO and will receive mail and email from the national organization about important events, issues, and news.
The Contact Person will be listed on the Utah Soaring and WSO meeting lists to receive calls (texts, emails) from the public about the meeting. This person must be available and responsive because they are the voice of your meeting to the public.
The Intergroup Rep will attend the monthly intergroup meetings and bring information back to the group about local happenings and issues. There is more information about being a Group Rep on the for Group Reps page and even a manual, “Utah Soaring Group Rep Guide” in recovery materials.
Meeting Setup Person
This will be the person with the key to the door if needed. They show up a bit early, open up, and set up the chairs and any materials needed for the meeting. Often groups will rotate this job on a meeting-by-meeting or monthly basis, giving everyone an opportunity for a service job.
The Designated Downloader is the Internet connection for the group. Announcements and valuable information often come via email or the Internet. Having somebody willing to receive the email or download the new information for the meeting and share it (either verbally or in print) can really keep a meeting connected.
If the group develops a library of OA literature for loan or sale, the Literature Person is in charge of keeping the literature stocked, managing loans and sales. Usually, if the group celebrates member “birthdays” by giving out chips, the Literature Person will make sure the chips are stocked.
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