MEETING REOPENING GUIDELINES

 

Dear Friends in the Fellowship,

We know that many members are excited by the prospect of meeting in-person again. There is a temptation to rush to re-open meetings. Our Intergroup has put together suggestions and guidelines for your groups to consider when making an informed group conscience about how to re-open safely once our respective jurisdictions allow it.

These suggestions were compiled with conversations with and input from several other Intergroups and central offices across the country to determine best practices to protect A.A. members going forward.

  • Traditions - we must ensure our group decisions do not negatively impact our fellow members or A.A. as a whole, and that we as individuals act in ways that ensure our common welfare.  Tradition 1 tells us “Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon A.A. unity.”  Tradition 4 states “Each group is autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or A.A. as a whole.” We have to consider the health and well-being of other A.A. members, and we need to protect the positive reputation and goodwill of A.A. in the community.
  • Responsibility - Groups should continue to abide by local and government health organization guidelines for social distancing and safety (e.g., limiting the number of people into the space, facial coverings, etc.)  As an organization and as individuals, we are not exceptions to the law.  Our program of recovery has taught us to be responsible citizens both in A.A. and the world. While there are no ‘musts’ in the A.A. program, there are legal musts in the larger community.  Groups need to remain within the regulations and mandates of our state.
  • Community - Groups must have permission from landlords or host facilities to resume meeting on the premises—either inside or on the grounds or parking lot.
  • Format - Groups may consider combining in-person meetings with Zoom meetings to form a “hybrid” meeting.   

In addition to suggestions for groups to consider, there are also ‘musts’ that groups need to abide by to stay within the regulations and mandates of our state. While there are no ‘musts’ in the A.A. program, there are legal musts in the larger community. Fortunately, our programs of recovery has taught us how to be responsible citizens both in A.A. and the world.

Here are considerations for your groups to discuss:

To protect A.A., groups should be mindful of the Traditions.

Tradition 1 tells us “Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon A.A. unity.”

When making group decisions,we say, “Each group is autonomous.” However, the second part of Tradition 4 is just as important: “except in matters affecting other groups or A.A. as a whole.”

These traditions remind us that we must ensure that our group decisions do not negatively impact our fellow members or A.A. as a whole, and that we as individuals act in ways that ensure our common welfare.


Traditions 1 and 4 are important now more than ever. We have to consider the health and well-being of other A.A. members, and we need to protect the positive reputation and goodwill of A.A. in the community.