Episode 10 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, iHeartRADIO, & now the apps: Stitcher as well as TuneIn — you’ll be notified every time a new episode is posted).
Wendy shares, in part 1 of 4, about using the slogans from Chapter 9 of “How Al-Anon Works” (item # B-22 for hardcover, B-32 for softcover) as stepping stones to serenity & how serenity can eventually become a guiding force in our lives for making decisions. We also look closer at “Let it Begin With Me” as not just something that we say at the end of an Al-Anon meeting or having to do with outreach.
In part 2 of 4, we focus on “Let Go & Let God” (especially the importance of faith in the 2nd half) & how a specific physical token can be used as a reminder to put this slogan into action! I give recommendations on other CAL pieces to reference for a deeper dive into the slogans & lastly, find out why I consider slogans are similar to prismatic jewels.
The bookmark, “Just For Today” (M-12), is Wendy’s favorite piece of outreach literature in part 3 of 4. We talk about the current conversation at Al-Anon’s headquarters, the World Service Office (WSO), regarding the recommendation to remove the PRAYER FOR TODAY section. Using pages 57 – 60 of the “2016 World Service Conference Summary” (P-46), we explore the CAL process to remove, edit, or replace the prayer. Wendy shares about the interaction between the Literature Committee & the World Service Conference (WSC) & how it’s important to not be afraid to have uncomfortable discussions that affect literature decisions.
In the last part (#4), Wendy shares what she is hoping for with a new change for the upcoming “2017 World Service Conference Summary” (P-46) due in August & what sets this item apart from the rest of the literature in the CAL Catalog (S-15). She also reveals a unique location to leave the “Just For Today” bookmark that is too high of a risky spot for me. Discover what is on the second “Just For Today” bookmark (M-13) & what one word on the wallet card version (M-11) is hidden in our literature!
**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!
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: “Just for today I will adjust myself to what is, & not try to adjust everything to my own desires. …Just for today I will be unafraid. Especially I will not be afraid to enjoy what is beautiful & to believe that as I give to the world, so the world will give to me.” – from the bookmark: Just For Today (item # M-12).
WHAT I LEARNED: This is the ninth item in the general Newcomer Packet & I must admit, I have a favorite side of this bookmark – it’s the one with the St Francis prayer on it. So it’s been a long time since I actually turned it over to read the other side & I was surprised to find a quote from Abraham Lincoln on it!
**BONUS: Of the 5 total bookmarks available in the CAL Catalog, there’s talk at WSO about adding a second bookmark to the Newcomer Packet – can you guess which one? (Hint: see M-78!)