~ My journey & joy through CAL & AFG adventures ~

Leave a comment

CAL – Item # P-24 – Al-Anon & Alateen Groups at Work 2014-2017

p-24WHAT I LEARNED: 1. Recently on this blog, I did an in-depth review of the Al-Anon/Alateen Service Manual 2014-2017 (item # P-24/27).  If you read that review, then this entry will seem pretty similar for Al-Anon & Alateen Groups at Work 2014-2017 (item # P-24).  I used to think this item was a digest (or summary) of each of the 4 sections in the Service Manual, but that’s not the case.  This entire short booklet is word-for-word, exactly the same as only the first section (pages 7 thru 74) in the larger Service Manual.  At the current cost of $1.00, it’s a very inexpensive way to get the most crucial info out to each group or Group Representative plus it’s lighter to carry around than the Service Manual (which is pushing 300 pages)!

2. This booklet originally started out as a pamphlet in 1960 entitled Manual for Al-Anon Family Groups.  It was then re-titled in 1965 as Al-Anon Family Groups at Work.  It went through many revisions & kept being expanded but what I find most interesting (after researching the World Service Conference summaries) is that even though Alateen was started in 1957 (before the first Manual pamphlet was even published), the word “Alateen” does not appear in the pamphlet’s title until 1973!

3. What is covered in this booklet are primarily the basics that deal with the group level, i.e. how to start a group, what type of groups there are, what service positions are available within a group, etc  It doesn’t get into higher level District, Area, or World Service stuff until the last ten pages.  That’s why this is a perfect tool for everyone to have!  Plus, it has a meeting format outline in it, so whenever I have to chair a meeting & don’t have access to any of the group’s literature or meeting binder, this booklet has everything I need to open & close the meeting it makes me sound like I know what I’m doing!  Ha ha!  😛

4. I have 4 favorite lines from this book:

From page 7: “our benefits are measured by our willingness to share them with others.  For we know we can never give as much as we receive.”

From page 23: “In Al-Anon we find a Power greater than ourselves which can direct our lives into quiet, useful channels.”

From page 24: “Our program is based on suggestion, interchange of experience, & rotation of leadership.”

happy-friends-smiley-emoticonFrom page 69: “Each member puts forth his or her ideas, willing to sacrifice them, believing that the best outcome will come from the discussion.”

**BONUS: This is one of the few pieces of literature that mentions the “Three Obstacles To Success in Al-Anon.”  Which pamphlet also mentions them?  (Hint: see item # P-4!)



CAL – Item # B-9C – Forum Favorites, Vol. 3

Vol 3 B-9CWHAT I LEARNED: 1. After I became the North Florida Area Literature Coordinator in 2015, I was “bequeathed” a lot of CAL & some were discontinued pieces.  Whoo-hoo!  So I’m slowly making my way through them & decided to start by reading the entire Forum Favorites series from most recent to oldest.  (See my previous entry for Volume 4.)  This Volume 3 (item # B-9C) came out in 1991 & includes editorials (or “inspirational articles” as Lois Wilson called them) published between 1974 & 1984.

2. Because all the articles were selected by 3 past editors of The Forum magazine during that time, it reads quite a bit more formal than Volume 4 – which featured submissions by individual members of their all-time favorites.  Plus, Volume 3 doesn’t have any cute hand-drawn pictures in it which I just assumed it would since Volume 4 did, but I digress…  If you are able to borrow a copy of this discontinued book through your local District LDC or Archives chairperson, it is worth seeking out.  Even though the dates of the articles are becoming older every year, they do not feel dated.  It seems the editors had the foresight to know what would be timeless & that alone was worthy of being considered a “favorite.”

3. I had many favorite quotes from this book, but these are my top 4:

From page 42: “The constant practice of Al-Anon principles enables us to hear brilliant insights in the words of the uneducated, to find love in criticism, to be helped by those we’re helping & taught by those we’re teaching.  We can learn to see beauty in the most dismal surroundings, in the wrinkles on an aged face, in the mold on an old brick.  A positive attitude is a great blessing.”

extreme6From pages 82-83: “A Tibetan writer, Djwhal Kahul, has said that everything is spiritual which tends toward understanding, toward kindness, toward that which is productive of beauty & leads man on to a fuller expression of his divine potential.  Each advance we make in personal insight & awareness of others is spiritual growth.  We can leave the thickets of distrust & discouragement & climb up where we have new worlds at our feet & far horizons before us.”

From page 106: “Detachment is not the absence of love, but the absence of anxiety in love.”

From page 140: “I must stop pushing the river & just let it flow.”

Leave a comment

CAL – Item # G-39 – Electronic Al-Anon Meeting Guideline

G-39WHAT I LEARNED: 1. According to this Guideline, there are 3 types of on-line Al-Anon meetings that the World Service Office (WSO) will register: chat, e-mail, or message board.  (I guess Skype meetings haven’t caught on yet?)

2. There’s still a 7th Tradition basket!  Donations are sent directly to WSO, rather than a District or Area.

3. An electronic meeting can be “open” or “closed”, but it seems to me that it would be difficult to enforce a “closed” meeting.  Anyone can be “catfished” on-line – even Al-Anon.

**BONUS: An electronic version of this guideline can now be downloaded directly from the District 6 website by clicking this link: District 6 Website


N. FL Fall Assembly 2014 – Day 3 of 3

WHAT I LEARNED: My Higher Power’s top 3 answers: 1) Yes;  2) Not yet; or 3) I have something better in mind.   Apparently answer #3 applied just recently at the Assembly because I was selected to be the North Florida Area Literature Coordinator serving 13 Districts!  Looks like I’ll have to really finish up all my reading on this blog & start up a new & improved one under my new position beginning next year.  Stay tuned more will be revealedComputer


Leave a comment

CAL – Item # G-36 – Group Records Coordinator

G-36WHAT I LEARNED: 1. This job seems to be a lot of checking & double-checking on the status of groups (more so than I ever thought)!  And much like any of the other Coordinator positions, they’re a link between WSO & the Districts in the Area.  What I found really interesting though is that this Guideline mentions that some Areas have different criteria for registering groups than World Service.  I would have thought the process would be exactly the same, but there are several reasons listed why it’s not!

2. My favorite quote from this Guideline is: “As with any other service position in Al-Anon, the greatest skill a member can offer is his or her willingness.”

**BONUS: An electronic version of this guideline can now be downloaded directly from the District 6 website by clicking this link: District 6 Website


CAL – Item # P-86 – A Guide to Alateen Sponsorship–An Unforgettable Adventure

P-86WHAT I LEARNED: 1. Here’s another instance of me sitting down to read a piece of literature & thinking “I won’t relate to anything in it” & then finding it so interesting!  Topics are covered that I never even considered, such as: how to handle members with ADD, intrusive parents, reporting abuse, kids liking the group sponsor more than their own parent, how an Alateen group can still be self-supporting if the school won’t accept donated money, kids attending Alateen in secret, having an Alateen institutions group, kids afraid of becoming an alcoholic themselves because it’s in their family, & most mind-blowing of all parents removing a kid from Alateen as a way to punish or “ground” them!

2. The overall theme of the booklet is that even though Alateen has its own unique characteristics it is still fundamentally Al-Anon, & that being an Alateen sponsor is Twelfth Step work because the message is being carried forward!

3. In 1993, when this piece was given conceptual approval, it was simply called the Alateen Sponsorship “How To” booklet.  But it turned out to be so comprehensive that when it was published in 1996, three other pieces were discontinued: “Operation Alateen” (item # P-30), “Alateen, Sponsor to Sponsor” (# P-51), & the Guideline “What’s Expected of an Alateen Sponsor” (# G-17).  Alateen e-ManualEventually this booklet met its own demise in 2005 (in fact, I’ll be returning this to our District archives chairperson so she can add it back to her lending library for others to check-out).  It was replaced by a service tool, which I’m thinking is the new “Alateen Service e-Manual” (but I haven’t read that yet to compare & contrast).  😉

4. I have 2 favorite quotes from this book:

From pages 127128: “Examples of things we are powerless over:
1. Alcohol
2. The weather
3. Other people
4. The color of our hair, eyes, and skin
5. When we get sick, or the time of death
6. To whom we are born
7. Our dreams
8. Ocean waves
9. How much we grow
10. Which way the clouds go
11. Loose teeth”

And from page 41: “The problems shared are more likely to be related to school than to home.  It’s amazing how few problems there are in the summer!”

choir**BONUS: When this booklet was originally introduced to the delegates at the World Service Conference, the Alateen Committee serenaded them with their own version of the song “Unforgettable!”

Leave a comment

CAL – Item # G-31 – Ordering Literature

G-31WHAT I LEARNED: 1. One might think that since I’m an LDC (Literature Distribution Center), that this would be my favorite Guideline of all, but that’s not the case.  It focuses more on how to order literature directly through the World Service Office & only mentions in passing that ordering from your local LDC supports local services.  (So this Guideline is not all about me, like I thought ha ha 🙂 )  So what are local services exactly?  Money from buying a book could go toward helping pay for: rent at a District meeting location, the telephone hotline bill, a District website’s hosting fees, meat at a Gratitude Dinner, a donation to an Area Convention, or even on a larger scale a donation to World Service so they can continue to print more books for us to buy.  It’s the circle of literature!  (And Tradition 7 in action!)

2. I wasn’t aware of the “printing codes” on each item’s copyright page until I read this Guideline.  These are different than the catalog item numbers & have a completely different use.  I’ll have to look for them next time now that I know how to decode them

**BONUS: An electronic version of this guideline can now be downloaded directly from the District 6 website by clicking this link: District 6 Website