The Shared Experiences of Al-Anon and Alateen Members
BEGINNERSí MEETING (G-2)
Beginnersí Meetings are an important part of our Al-Anon Family Groups. Members introduce newcomers to the Al-Anon program as well as inform them about the disease of alcoholism. They give the newcomers the opportunity to discuss their feelings with long-time members, which is something they cannot always do at meetings with preplanned programs. Remember, when chairing a Beginnerís Meeting you are simply sharing the experience, strength, and hope that you found in the Al-Anon program of recovery. This Guideline simply offers suggestions to make your sharing easier.
The usual time for Beginnersí Meetings is from 30 to 45 minutes, just prior to Al-Anon meetings. Beginner Meetings are conducted by an Al-Anon/Alateen member who understands the Twelve Steps and Traditions. Patience, tolerance, the abilities to listen and to explain our program to families and friends of alcoholics are important qualities for those who conduct Beginnersí Meetings. Having two or three other Al-Anon members present to share their views on questions that may arise, is a good idea.
Urge the newcomers to read the Al-Anon books and pamphlets; point out the benefits of each. Encourage beginners to share the Al-Anon program of recovery with their children. A fine way of doing this is to display and discuss Al-Anon/Alateen literature. It is helpful to introduce the Conference-Approved Literature (CAL) associated with each of the suggested meetings. A personal explanation about the contents and value of each piece makes our written recovery information come alive.
It can be very helpful to offer newcomers a copy of The Forum magazine to read between meetings. The magazine is especially good for newcomers who might feel too afraid to make phone calls, yet. Since the magazine is a ďmeeting in your pocket,Ē the stories can keep newcomers in touch with Al-Anonís message of hope, based on the experience and strength of individual members. Groups can decide whether to loan the magazines or to give them away.
GENERAL SUGGESTIONS FOR A SIX-WEEK SERIES OF MEETINGS:
Describe the impact alcoholism has on those close to the alcoholic.
Briefly discuss Step Oneóemphasizing that we are not responsible for the alcoholicís behavior.
Talk about the 3Cís: We did not cause alcoholism. We cannot control it. We cannot cure it.
Suggested Conference Approved Literature for First Meeting
And their choice of pamphlets applicable to their circumstances
Continue to discuss Step One.
Delve into living one day at a time.
Suggested Conference Approved Literature for Second Meeting
Review Step One.
Discuss the slogans:
Suggested Conference Approved Literature for Third Meeting
Discuss Step Two
Introduce the Serenity Prayer and discuss its three parts: acceptance, change, wisdom.
Suggested conference Approved Literature for Fourth Meeting
Discuss Step Three.
Talk about understanding ourselves and letting go of fears, resentments and self-pity.
Suggested Conference Approved Literature for Fifth Meeting
Explain that each person is a vital part of an Al-Anon group.
Discuss sponsorship and the importance of selecting a sponsor as soon as possible.
Talk about choosing a home group and how a group is structured according to the Twelve Traditions.
Encourage attendance at as many Al-Anon meetings as possible.
Briefly tell how Al-Anon came to be.
Suggested Conference Approved Literature for Sixth Meeting
*Denotes smaller selection of literature for groups with limited financial resources.
Packets of pamphlets selected for newcomers to Al-Anon/Alateen are available as follows:
Reprinted with permission of Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc., Virginia Beach, VA.