WHAT I LEARNED: 1. My next podcast guest said that “Al-Anon Faces Alcoholism 2017” was her favorite outreach piece that she wanted to talk about on my “CAL Chat” show, so it was time to read it all the way through! I had read entire versions of previous ones so I was struck by several “firsts” that this 2017 magazine has & have listed them below:
A) Ever since this magazine debuted in 2006 (for the 2007 edition), the first page inside always featured a “Dear Reader” welcome letter from Al-Anon’s Executive Director, Ric B. However, now that Ric B. has moved on (as of April 2016), there is no letter in the 2017 edition. It has been replaced with 12 questions to help someone identify if Al-Anon is right for them. We’ll have to see if next year’s edition goes back to having a letter because I have to admit, I kinda miss it. It seemed to make the magazine more personable, but maybe that’s because I enjoyed the 2 times I was able to talk to Ric himself. He was instrumental & supportive when I mentioned to him that I wanted to start this blog about CAL literature & it was his suggestion to start every entry with “WHAT I LEARNED.” Thanks Ric! I’m still learning!!!
B) This magazine also now has the toll-free number & website listed on the right side of every single page. I think this is very helpful! Especially if someone only has enough time to read one article, then that info is right there & they don’t have to hunt for it.
C) On page 18, you’ll find the first time that there’s a page dedicated to just finding Al-Anon on Facebook & it includes 4 QR (Quick Response) codes people can scan with their phones. Why 4 of them?? 1 each for English, Spanish, French, & Alateen! Whoo-hoo – go Alateen!
D) Last but certainly not least, the best thing about this 2017 edition, in my opinion, is that the cover prominently features a black mother & son (& the mom has a tattoo no less)! Per page 29 of the 2016 World Service Conference (WSC) Summary, this is part of their effort to include more people from diverse backgrounds. I love seeing this & it ties in well with the most recent version of the outreach bookmark (item # M-76). In fact, when I leave these outreach magazines various places, I think I’ll put a bookmark in each. That way, if someone doesn’t want to take the magazine, maybe they’ll at least take the bookmark!
2. My favorite line comes from page 24: “My first Al-Anon meeting was the one I didn’t attend.” …Intrigued?? Since this is an outreach piece available to all, I’ve posted the entire magazine here at this permanent link so you can read the rest of the story by clicking here to download it: Outreach Magazine 2017-English.
3. Pasted below are screenshots of this magazine throughout the years that you can also find at my Instagram account that celebrates all things CAL: www.instagram.com/calchatfan1. Al-Anon, you’ve come a long way baby! 😉
WHAT I LEARNED: 1. Faith & staying in “I don’t know” are two things to combat worry.
2. “Everything has its wonders, even darkness and silence, and I learn, whatever state I may be in, therein to be content.” – Helen Keller quote from Courage to Change (item # B-16), page 45
Episode 8 of my “CAL Chat” podcast is now available to listen to! To hear it, please visit the show’s webpage at: www.calchat.libsyn.com (or you can subscribe to it for free on iTunes & Google Play Music as well & you’ll be notified every time a new episode is posted).
In part 1 of 3 of this very special Episode 8, four Alateen members share what they like best about Alateen literature – specifically the “Alateen Talk” newsletter (no item #), “Courage To Be Me” (B-23), page 26 (January 26th) from the daily reader “Alateen – A Day At A Time” (B-10), & pages 25-26 from the “Al-Anon/Alateen Service Manual” (P-24/27). They talk about a favorite Step, what Tradition One means, & some powerful characteristics that can define someone affected by alcoholism.
The conversation continues in part 2 of 3 with three more Alateen members talking about their favorite parts from “Courage To Be Me”, page 8 from the booklet “Alateen Talks Back On: Detachment” (P-73), & pages 268-269 (September 24th & 25th) from the daily reader “Living Today In Alateen” (B-26). They highlight a letter written to a parent, how they struggle with expectations of love, & how a member can eventually resemble the image on page 269 from “Living Today In Alateen”. Also find out what message is repeated several times in “Courage To Be Me” & how it’s like a warm reminder!
In part 3 of 3, Alateen members share what they would like to say to Al-Anon members, & they directly address the teenager that is living with alcoholism that hasn’t been to an Alateen meeting yet. They explain how Alateen is like a family environment & that they don’t bite! The show wraps up with a unique “Last Words” section from a couple of Alateen group sponsors, where they cover the importance of hearing from Alateen members, how the Seventh Tradition is practiced from an Alateen perspective, the unexpected benefits of doing Alateen service, & how participating in this podcast is similar to doing a gratitude list!
**BONUS: If you’d like to follow the “CAL Chat” show on Instagram, visit: www.instagram.com/calchatfan1 or you can search by the username: CALChatFan1. It’s a different way to enjoy Conference Approved Literature. So, as always, I hope you enjoy & happy reading!
Episode 7 of my “CAL Chat” podcast is now available to listen to! To hear it, please visit the show’s webpage at: www.calchat.libsyn.com (or you can subscribe to it for free on iTunes & Google Play Music as well & you’ll be notified every time a new episode is posted).
In part 1 of 5 of Episode 7, Mark shares how he used the workbook “Reaching For Personal Freedom” (item # P-92) in studying the Steps, Traditions, & Concepts horizontally. He also highlights how a section on page 12 led to a spiritual awakening for him.
Freedom is specifically discussed in part 2 of 5. He compares this book to other Al-Anon workbooks, explains how it differs, & I reveal a surprise… I’ve created an index for this book! (It can be downloaded here: Reaching-For-Personal-Freedom_Index-Only.) Also, find out what patterns I learned about the Legacies from creating an index by downloading this document: Reaching_Index-Words-Repeated.
In part 3 of 5 find out what two words I discovered are inter-related after creating an index for the book. Mark talks about how he used to be before he came in the program & explores what I call a “big ticket item!”
His favorite piece of literature to use for outreach purposes is the service tool “Best of Public Outreach” (item # P-90) in part 4 of 5. He shares how public outreach is what first got him into service in Al-Anon & calls out a “Getting Started” part on page 7, as well as pages 12-19 for several lists of outreach ideas. He also explains how the workbook helped with a big outreach project he was involved with that was done in honor of Al-Anon’s founder, Lois Wilson, & how projects don’t need to be big to be effective. Lastly, we discuss what it’s like to talk to people that are not familiar with the Al-Anon program.
In part 5 of 5, the conversation continues about Alateen outreach to Alcoholics Anonymous & how service has helped his program. He shares what moved him emotionally at his first Area Assembly meeting & how it was similar to a Newcomer meeting! Click this link to find this outreach book online: www.al-anon.org/members/pdf/bestofpublicoutreach.pdf & you can view Al-Anon’s two TV public service announcements here: www.al-anon.org/media-files. Before wrapping up, Mark explains how being powerless & being hopeless are not the same thing!
**BONUS: If you’d like to follow the “CAL Chat” show on Instagram, visit: www.instagram.com/calchatfan1 or you can search by the username CALChatFan1. It’s a different way to enjoy Conference Approved Literature. So, as always, I hope you enjoy & happy reading!