Congratulations on your appointment as the General and/or Intergroup Service Representative for your meeting! No doubt some aspects of the role and the responsibilities were explained to you when you were elected, but also no doubt you still have many questions. We attempt to anticipate and answer those questions here.
Note that some meetings are electing or appointing separate GSRs and ISRs, some meetings are combining both functions into a single role, and some groups are in areas without an established Intergroup. Most of the below assumes that you are in a combined role; the roles are similar in any case, the difference being which meetings you attend and vote at.
“What do I do?”
In essence, as service representatives, we are linking the group we represent to the greater whole of UA, coordinating the flow of information back and forth between our group and the UA fellowship at large. Transmitting ideas and opinions is just as important as relaying facts and requests.
The most essential part of what we do is attend the GSB and Intergroup meetings, making sure our home group’s interests are represented in discussions and votes on the topics that come up, and reporting back to the group on the major program news. GSRs are also obliged to attend the annual World Service Conference, in person or by phone (note: advance registration is generally required in order to be recognized for voting, or to receive any stipends for travel).
With the guidance of the Higher Power, UA is still sorting through what it means to be a program, how it should be organized, what form the support and service structures should take. This is a wonderful opportunity to be part of creating something that will benefit our fellow sufferers worldwide for decades to come. Beyond simply showing up on calls and at conferences, volunteer opportunities exist for all types of skills, and at all levels of expertise and commitment: the only thing common to our various service opportunities is the shortage of hands to carry them out!
“How much should I do?”
We are always looking for volunteers to help with service at the Intergroup, GSB and World Service levels, but…
Given the symptoms of Underearning—time indifference, compulsively giving away our time—it is important that before we make any more commitments here, we review our intended service activities with our sponsors, our action groups and/or our action partners, to confirm they are consistent and compatible with our vision and our action plans.
1. Anonymous Email Account
Anonymity has always been key to Twelve Step programs. In the Internet Age, nothing online ever really goes away, and we need to be very aware of that. We need to be able to maintain our anonymity but nevertheless participate in online forums and email conversations.
Our recommended approach is to use one of the free email services to create a separate, anonymous email account. Although we are giving ourselves the added burden of checking one more set of emails, this email address can then be given out freely to program contacts without fear of inadvertently compromising our anonymity when emails are circulated to larger groups of people or forwarded outside the program. In choosing an anonymous email address, we suggest starting with the First Name, Last Initial format, but almost any approach is acceptable provided that it does not hint at our full name, date or year of birth, and/or place of business.
And we need to be cautious in listing our personal or business phone numbers on public pages in connection with the program: reverse phone number lookups are just a click away from anyone looking at a web page.
This site allows private posts, visible only to logged in members. Even so, please be very careful to never refer to anyone’s full name, only First Name, Last Initial (Joe P., for example). If more specificity than that is required, then appending a city or town name is reasonable (Joe P., Peoria, for example).
2. Attend Meetings
Most General Service meetings are by telephone; most Intergroup meetings are in person. Depending on our role, we make every effort to attend these meetings, so that we can represent our group’s interests, and report back on the outcome of meetings.
GSRs should attend the monthly GSB calls, and the annual World Service Conference. ISRs should attend their area Intergroup meetings; if there is no regular Intergroup meeting for the area, then ISRs are invited to collaborate with other area ISRs to set one up.
Please consult the calendar for dates and times of meetings, and location or dial-in information.
3. NinthTradition.org Account
(Section under development.)
(Section under development.)