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~ My journey & joy through CAL & AFG adventures ~


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PODCAST – Item # B-23 / Various – Courage To Be Me / Various Alateen Literature

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.

alateen-lit-2The 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!

instagram**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!

 


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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!)

 


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PODCAST – Item #’s P-24/27 / B-16 – Service Manual / Courage To Change

Episode 3 of my “CAL Chat” podcast is now available to listen to!  Once again, I had such a great conversation – this time with my guest, Cindy, about how the Al-Anon/Alateen Service Manual 2014-2017 (item # P-24/27) has improved her life, that I didn’t want to edit anything out so I had to break it up into 4 parts.  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 4, we discuss the spiritual principle of anonymity (from pages 91-94), how the manual is not a rule book, that it’s always evolving (much like our own recovery), & what it has in common with a Sponsor.

In part 2 of 4, we explore pages 68-69 about moving forward, what progress realistically looks like, & how disagreement can actually be a good thing!  Pages 229 & 235 are also highlighted from the Concepts Amendments section & how it reminded me of a ring being passed down in a family.  Cindy shares about how this fellowship is an opportunity to belong to something bigger than ourselves & where newcomers & long timers can meet together on pages 26-27.

Part 3 of 4 moves into discussion about how childhood experiences can influence how we see perfection, the Warranties (especially nonresistance from page 224), & punitive actions.  She also relates how Concepts 6 & 7 (from pages 193-194) have applied to her relationship with her children.

Outreach literature is the focus of part 4 of 4 where Cindy describes how she has creatively used the daily reader Courage To Change (item # B-16, B-17 for large print, eB-16 for the electronic version, & eA-16 for the audiobook version).  We eventually move into talking about Alateen literature & how those pieces can flow into Al-Anon & vice-versa because it’s all one program.  Everything is available to be read by anybody!  Lastly, listen to find out what page is possibly read the least in each daily reader!

books

Hope you enjoy listening & happy reading!!  😉

 

 


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CAL – Item # P-24/27 – Al-Anon/Alateen Service Manual 2014-2017

P2427WHAT I LEARNED: 1. Originally, I only read the Al-Anon/Alateen Service Manual on an as-needed basis, but when my next podcast guest said that this  was her favorite book that she wanted to talk about on my “CAL Chat” show, I had to dust off my manual & put on my scuba reading mask to do a deep dive!  (FYI: The podcast episode about this book is now available to listen to.  You can visit the “CAL Chat” webpage at: www.calchat.libsyn.com or you can subscribe to it for free on iTunes & Google Play Music as well.)

 

2. First, let’s look a little bit at its history by talking about its item # P-24/27.  Even though this is a book, it has a “P-” designated pamphlet item number.  That’s because it was originally 4 separate pamphlets:

1) Manual for Al-Anon Family Groups was first published in 1960.  It was then re-titled in 1965 as Al-Anon Family Groups at Work (item # P-24).

–No image available for the original P-24–

2) Digest of Al-Anon & Alateen Policies (item # P-25) which came out in 1975.

3) Al-Anon’s Twelve Concepts of Service (item # P-26) came out in 1970.

4) The World Service Handbook for Al-Anon & Alateen Groups originally began as World Service Conference (WSC) manuals, but first appeared in pamphlet form in 1973 (item # P-27).

Back in the day, you could buy them individually for $1 each or all 4 pamphlets as a set for a reduced cost.  It wasn’t until 1992 that they were combined into one book – with a separate index.  (And from what I can tell, this 1992 book marks the last time in our Conference Approved Literature that the Concepts were written as Roman numerals – so for example, Concept 12 appeared as “Concept XII”.)

1992_Manual

When I went to District Meetings or Area Assemblies, I always felt that others knew some secret – but it’s not that way at all – it’s just usually in the Service Manual.  Listed below is more stuff I just found out about that I didn’t know:

A) There is a section about drugs, narcotics, & prescription medications!  “Occasional discussion of this topic is acceptable at an Al-Anon or Alateen meeting as it may be one of the results of living with alcoholism.” (Page 124)

B) It’s possible that an Alateen member may be elected Delegate!  (Page 141)

C) We have caucuses!??!  (Page 132)

D) Why panel numbers always skip by 3.  “The elections of the three panels are staggered so that a Conference always includes one panel of Delegates with two years’ experience.”  (Page 133)

E) The language stating the corporation’s purpose on Al-Anon’s Certificate of Incorporation is quite a bit different than Al-Anon’s purpose found in Tradition Five.  (Page 138)

F) Paid staff members at the World Service Office (WSO) don’t do Twelfth Step work – per Tradition Eight.  (Page 34)

G) An Information Service Representative (ISR) is different than an Al-Anon Information Service Liaison (AISL).  (Page 39)

H) Al-Anon offers an inmate correspondence service!  (Page 73)

I) A state may only divide once.  (Page 142)  In looking over previous WSC summaries, this decision was made so that one state (or a few states), would not gain more representation/votes than others.

J) Major revisions are coming to the manual!!  “*The entire WSC committee structure is under review.  Text will be updated in the next printing.”  (Page 136)

3. If I had to pick a theme for this book, it would be evolution.  It’s replete with sidebar markings in the margins (that reflect the new revisions added), copious footnotes, & amendments galore.  In fact, this is one book that even though it’s printed only periodically (mine covers 2014-2017), revisions still come in from WSO on the Members’ website (www.al-anon.org/members-site) that are to be printed & inserted into my manual.  It’s a book that I have a responsibility to keep up-to-date because it’s ever changing.  I can’t say that about any other item in our catalog!

4. I was surprised to find that my favorite part is the Concepts Amendments section which begins on page 229.  It shows how the original text used to be in 1969.  They included it in case we ever lose our way & need to find it again.  🙂  Some of the original language is emotionally charged & on page 235, the first 3 paragraphs mention how the old timers were once fearful, but eventually felt more secure about the future of the fellowship.

To me, it’s like a grandmother, let’s call her Lois W., passing down her wedding ring to me & saying “I want you to have this.  It’s very special.  It carries with it all my good intentions.”

And she’s a little fearful of what might happen to it so to make sure I know it’s special, she tells me the history behind it & now it’s not just any ring, because it’s imbued with all this meaning & importance.

This Service Manual is about finding out about this ring!  This fellowship that has been passed onto me & entrusted to me.  And why it’s special & what I can do to look after it for the small amount of time that I have it before I pass it on too.

I found I was personally very moved by this Service Manual on an emotional level more than I thought I would be.

5. I have several 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 89: “’Teaching’ is not compatible with the Al-Anon principle of sharing.”

From page 230: “Change does not necessarily spell progress.”

From page 235: “we found that our fears had been largely groundless.”

From page 238: “Our entire Al-Anon program rests squarely on the principle of mutual trust.  We trust God, we trust Al-Anon, & we trust one another.”

From page 261: “Penny-pinching could affect our services & deprive us of the confidence of our groups.  Such false & unimaginative economy could prove very costly—in spirit, in service, & in money.  Real prudence is neither hoarding nor recklessness.  We may occasionally be compelled to risk temporary deficits

From page 276: “Article 12 of the Conference Charter might be called ‘The Service Bill of Rights,’ because these Warranties, & especially this one, express deep & loving respect for the spiritual liberties of our fellows.  May God grant that we shall never be so unwise as to desire anything less.”

From page 279: “Al-Anon is prepared to give away its knowledge & experience—all except the Al-Anon name itself.”

From page 281: “There is no authority that has to be supported; no prestige, power, or pride that has to be satisfied.  And we have no property or money that is worth quarreling about.”

8_14_10From page 282: “Our freedom to serve is truly the freedom by which we live & have our being.”

From page 289: “no one wished to see a spiritual way of life incorporated.”

**BONUS: Besides this manual, only 2 other pieces of conference approved literature are spiral-bound.  What are they?  (Hint: see item #’s P-91 & P-92!)


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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!”


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CAL – Item # S-41 – The Forum Order Form

S-41Ok, ok, you’re probably wondering why I’m reading an order form of all things.  It’s because I wanted to read the entire general Newcomer Packet & this is the eighth item in it.

WHAT I LEARNED: 1. This form mentions that The Forum is the voice of the fellowship today.  …So really this qualifies this magazine as the only hard copy CAL item that can continuously reflect the current times.

2. Even though it’s considered CAL (per page 102 of the Service Manual (P-24/27)), this will be my only entry regarding The Forum.  (I think I would need a separate blog altogether to do justice to all the gems that are in each monthly edition!)

**BONUS: An electronic version of this order form can be printed out from the District 6 website: www.district-6.org