Chris P. of CA in Toronto Explains How Their Large Following Uses Bible and Christianity for Recovery and Offers Help
© 2013 Anonymous. All rights reserved
No group has been more fervent in Toronto than the CA people Chris P. describes in this message. And they have maintained their integrity, stand for God—Jesus Christ—and the Bible—despite efforts to silence them. These folks assembled the evidence of the wide variety of agnostic and other groups in the 12 Step community. They overcame an almost unanimous vote in the area level that they couldn’t be listed in the directory because of their belief in and mention of God, Jesus Christ, and the Bible in their meetings – and more! When push finally came to shove, they were victorious and believed their example will be of great help to the hundreds of other groups who have had similar blockage and wonder what to do. Here is Chris P.’s letter: And Chris will be a speaker and participant in The First International Alcoholics Anonymous History Conference September 6-7, 2013 in Portland, Maine. He is also a participant in International Christian Recovery Coalition.
This is the current meeting and business format that we are currently using at our local C.A. meeting – Recovered With Life in Toronto. Supporting our introductory efforts ( to Christ ) at the meeting, we have a men’s and women’s bible study – so that those that are interested, can learn how to walk with Christ.
As you know, we currently won a decision at C.A. Area to keep our biblically based format meeting on the C.A. meeting list. The ramifications of this decision has spread across the world, and it has had a major impact on C.A. – and will have a ripple effect on all of the twelve step fellowships in the very near future.
We strongly believe that it is important to articulate and present our case to the Christian Recovery movement, so that others can do what we have done, if they desire to do so. We will be preparing more information around the particulars, and events at a later date.
The meeting has been progressing at a steady pace, and the threat from Area has dissipated – for now. This meeting format is now being used by other groups, and one of members that speaks at C.A.conventions globally has been instrumental in assisting these groups with the implementation of this format ( as an example there are now groups in the U. K. that are using this meeting format ). The group member that I referenced earlier, speaks regularly, and you can hear one of older talks on X.A. speakers, her name is Layla N. Layla N is one of the only, real……. biblically based Christian women that that exists in C.A. today ( in Canada ) that has been sober for many years, is a student of the big book, of the bible, that works with others ( and has done so for years ). She has had a lot of experience with and in, delivering the afflicted from many forms of evil – and she has personally been involved in many deliverance prayer sessions, were Christ has used her to lead the afflicted many forms of addiction and alcoholism, all forms of self indulgence and……..demon possession…….. to being, saved by God, through his son…..and then, leaning to obey and serve him – to honor, and glorify him.
Layla was instrumental in introducing Dick B’s work ( and this current format ) to C.A. in the U.K. , and as a result they are now well versed in the truth.
We are currently working on a website for Recovered With Life that should be ready by the fall. This website will have many helpful resourced listed for all to utilize.
It is important for Christian to know, that God will not be replaced, mocked, or “willed” out of our 12 step fellowships – and what I have listed above, supports that truth – it’s a beautiful thing.
Here is the Format the Toronto Group Uses
Recovered With Life
Founded January 12th 2007
Step Study / Speaker
1. Welcome to The Recovered With Life Group of Cocaine Anonymous.
The sole purpose of our group is to show other cocaine addicts and anyone else suffering from any manifestation of untreated addiction, precisely how we have recovered from a seemingly hopeless state of mind, body and spirit, through surrendering to God through Christ, by following God’s word and his teachings in the Bible and by practicing the 12 steps, as described in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. Our group does not speak for or represent CA as a whole, as no individual, group or committee has the authority to speak for or represent CA as a whole. There are many other CA meetings that do not use the Bible – that you are welcome to visit!
This is a 12 step study group, in which we will read a step out of the Serenity 12 step companion book and share on what has been read.
I’m a recovered addict and your chairperson, and my name is__________.
Are there any other addicts present? Welcome! A special welcome to guests and newcomers.
2. We open our meeting with a moment of silence followed by the Serenity prayer. May we take that moment now please.
2. b) To read the original version of the serenity prayer I have asked ________.
3. The Chairperson briefly qualifies.
4. Cocaine Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience and knowledge with each other, that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from addiction. We are not an organization in the conventional sense of the word. There are no fees or dues whatsoever. The only requirement for membership is an honest desire to stop using cocaine and all other mind altering substances.
5. How do we recover?
In our group we use the 12 steps within the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous and the Bible. The clear-cut directions that are given showing how we recovered are found in the Big book and in the Bible. We use this program of recovery because it results in developing a loving and direct relationship with God, required to recover and to be permanently delivered from addiction. To read the twelve steps I have asked _________.
6. How can Cocaine Anonymous stay whole and survive?
These questions are best answered by the 12 traditions of Cocaine Anonymous. To read the 12 traditions I have asked__________.
7. What is a sponsor?
To read the Big Book’s answer to that question, I have asked ________.
8. To give out clean time key tags, I’ve asked _________.
9. We will now hear from our Group Secretary.
10. Tonight is a step study in which we will be using the Serenity 12 step companion book. What did the early AA’s do to recover before the steps, before the Big Book was published, before there were formal meetings, during the times that they experienced close to a 90 percent success rate? They admitted defeat, they surrendered to God through Christ, they then turned their will and life over to God, they took inventory, they made amends and they helped others – they also prayed together and sought the wisdom and guidance necessary to live, from God’s word – The Bible.
There are copies of the Serenity 12 step companion book on or under your chairs so that you can follow along with us.
We use this book to help us stay focused on the 12 steps and on God’s word. As the chairperson for tonight I will read about the step we are on from the Big book as well as what the other contributors to the Big book said about the step in Our AA Legacy To The Faith Community: A 12-step Guide For Those Who Want To Believe. I will then ask the assigned readers to read the Bible readings that coincide with the step we are on. We will then open the floor for the sharing part of the meeting
If you get lost or confused, let me know and we’ll help you get back on track!
NOTE to CHAIRPERSON: it is your responsibility to recap where we are in the step study, spend no more than a few minutes talking about what we covered last week, and where we are, so that everyone, especially newcomers, understands where we are at.
11. We are now at the sharing part of the meeting. If you are taking the steps and developing a relationship with God, please take a moment now and share with us your EXPERIENCE with the steps and how your life is being changed by working this spiritual program of action. No matter how little experience you have in the solution, if you are IN the solution, please share that with us. If you’re new or confused and have any questions about the material we covered tonight, please wait until after the meeting to ask those questions.
Please remember and respect that this is not a discussion meeting or group therapy, if you have a problem, or are struggling, wait until after the meeting for an opportunity to share with us and visit with us, but this is not the time to do that. If you do, as the Chair person I will kindly stop you.
12. Our time is up. It is our group’s custom to read an excerpt from the chapter “A Vision For You” beginning on page 151 in the Big book –To read that tonight I have asked___________.
13. That concludes the formal portion of our meeting. Please remember to visit our Librarian’s table for free copies of the meeting list of CA that will direct you to other meetings that use different literature, if that is what you are looking for. Please stick around for fellowship and to have any questions answered. We are here to help.
Please stand so that we may close our meeting with a moment of silence followed by the Lord’s Prayer.
CHAIRPERSON, YOU ARE REQUIRED TO SUPERVISE THE COMPLETE BREAKDOWN OF THE ROOM AND THE STORAGE of SUPPLIES. Do not leave until this is completed!!!!
My name is _________ I’m a recovered addict and I am this group’s secretary.
Welcome to the Recovered with Life meeting of Cocaine Anonymous. We meet here every Friday night at 7:30p.m. This is a twelve step study group, where we use the Big book and the Bible to watch the original recovery process come alive 3 Fridays of the month. The last Friday of every month is a speaker meeting.
While the announcements are being read I’ll ask you to please remain quietly seated and we’ll practice the 7th tradition. The 7th tradition states: “Every C.A group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions” Your contribution is completely voluntary. The money collected pays for this meeting space and coffee.
NEWCOMERS ARE NOT OBLIGATED TO CONTRIBUTE.
Are there any out of town guests who would like to tell us their name and where they’re from?
If you would like to join our group, please see me after the meeting and I will take your first name and your telephone number for our group list. Our Group Conscience meeting is held three times a year on the last Friday of January, May and September at 8:30 pm in this room. Group members are asked to attend.
Not to embarrass you, but so that we may get to know you better, would those of you in your first 30 days clean, please raise your hand…welcome!
Welcome to new members: ___________.
If you or someone you know is celebrating a medallion this month in C.A, please come and let me know after the meeting, so that I can add it to my announcements next week.
If you have information that is related to any committee or event within C.A, or are interested in getting involved in that type of service, you may see me after the meeting or visit the Librarian’s table.
Our C.A. library table includes meeting lists and pamphlets which are free, conference approved literature and copies of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous which are sold to you at cost.
We also have our group member’s library table which includes copies of the Serenity 12 step companion book as well as additional literature and devotionals that may be of interest to you. If you need a Bible or devotional but can’t afford one right now, please see me after the meeting and I will give one to you.
Also, the church asks that bicycles are to be locked up outside and not to be brought inside the building. The coffee and tea are free and are located in the kitchen just outside this room.
What is a Sponsor?
A sponsor is a recovered addict who is best described on page 18 of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous as quote:
“But the ex-problem drinker who has found this solution, who is properly armed with facts about himself, can generally win the entire confidence of another alcoholic in a few hours. Until such an understanding is reached, little or nothing can be accomplished.
That the man who is making the approach has had the same difficulty, that he obviously knows what he is talking about, that his whole deportment shouts at the new prospect that he is a man with a real answer, that he has no attitude of Holier Than Thou, nothing whatever except the sincere desire to be helpful; that there are no fees to pay, no axes to grind, no people to please, no lectures to be endured–these are the conditions we have found most effective. After such an approach many take up their beds and walk again.” end of quote
We the members of The Recovered With Life Group suggest that you get a sponsor now.
Cocaine Anonymous gives out key tags, for the purpose of showing newcomers The Truth, that permanent recovery is possible, if we precisely follow our 12 step recovery program. The key tags symbolize number of days, months or years, free from cocaine and all other mind altering substances, today or in the last week.
Will those of you with 30 days, please come up and get a key tag……
Will those of you with 60 days, please come up and get a key tag……
Will those of you with 90 days, please come up and get a key tag……
Will those of you with 6 months, please come up and get a key tag…..
Will those of you with 9 months, please come up and get a key tag…..
Will those of you with one year, please come up and get a key tag……
Will those of you with 18 months, please come up and get a key tag…..
Will those of you with multiple years, please come up and get a key tag….
From the Chapter “there is a Solution” and I quote:
“The tremendous fact for every one of us is that we have discovered a common solution. We have a way out on which we can absolutely agree, and upon which we can join in brotherly and harmonious action.”
End of quote. If you’re new, or just coming back, and would like to learn about the common solution which many of us have found, please come up and get a newcomer key tag.
I would now like to ask, that all those who have recovered as a result of taking all 12 steps and are developing a relationship with God, please raise your hand, so that those who are new and without a real solution, will know who to approach. Thank you.
Recovered With Life
1) Any motion that proposes to alter the meeting format in any way will be automatically tabled for three consecutive group conscience meetings, before any discussion takes place.
2) Any motion that proposes to change the group conscience in any way will be tabled for three consecutive group conscience meetings, before any discussion takes place.
3) Only group members who have attended three consecutive group conscience meetings can make motions and vote at the group conscience meetings.
4) All joining group members are strongly urged to participate in the group’s Bible study groups.
5) The speakers chosen are to be recovered addicts, alcoholics, or those that have overcome other addictions, that have been saved by God’s Grace, though his Son; chosen with consideration of our primary purpose, and that our format be fully understood and adhered to by the Chairperson.
6) All Chosen Chairpersons and group leaders must be chosen by a unanimous group vote
7) Any motion that proposes to alter the group conscience or group format must be passed with a unanimous group vote.
(Known as the Business meeting)
Recovered With Life Group
GROUP CONSCIENCE MEETING FORMAT
Welcome to the Recovered With Life Group Conscience Meeting, held the last Friday
Of every January, May and September.
May we open this meeting with a moment of silence followed by the serenity prayer.
Before beginning the official meeting spend 20 minutes in prayer and Bible reading as a group (The Book of James/psalms/Jesus’ Sermon on the mount/ etc.)
The 12 Traditions are our pathway to unity and will be read by: _________________.
Pass the dated attendance sheet around the table….
The purpose of this meeting is to develop and determine the collective informed conscience of the group membership, always mindful of our “primary purpose”, stated in tradition 5 and “our ultimate authority being a loving God”, stated in tradition 2.
Our group is a spiritual entity separate as much as possible from the material and thus we NEVER conduct commerce in our open meeting and strive to keep discussions of money and property in our group conscience meetings to a minimum as directed in tradition 6.
Tradition 7, “fully self-supporting” phrase is defined as “the costs of our group services and other expenses of services of our area organization are to be totally liquidated by our group contributions.” The Recovered With Life Group’s monies, in surplus to our needs, will be contributed to our area organization to achieve this objective.
We further affirm the following:
The term “informed group conscience” implies that pertinent information has been studied and all views have been heard before the group votes.
Unanimity on an issue should be achieved before action is taken.
Tradition 12, placing principles before personalities, implies that our group be wary of dominant personalities and strive for a well-informed group before arriving at decisions.
Group conscience rests on more than a “yes” or “no” count—precisely because it is the spiritual expression of the group conscience. Our group works slowly on sensitive issues, discouraging formal motions until a clear sense of our collective view emerges.
The group secretary will now read the previous Group Conscience meeting’s minutes.
Business arising from the previous minutes.
Coffee person nomination for the month.
Medallion’s for this month. Ask if it will be a celebration or just receiving.
Medallion’s for next month. Ask if it will be a celebration or just receiving.
Chair dates: Before electing any chair person, for the speaker meeting every last Friday of the month, or to be the Study leader, our group conscience will be read: This group conscience states that the speakers chosen are to be recovered addicts, alcoholics, or those that have overcome other addictions, that have been saved by God’s Grace, though his Son; chosen with consideration of our primary purpose, and that our format be fully understood and adhered to by the Chairperson. The Chairperson is also required to be at the church by 7:00 pm, and stay until 9:00pm, being responsible for the set up and breakdown of the meeting.
The chairperson to lead the Study will be responsible for the entire duration of the study from step 1-12. It will be their responsibility to get another trusted member to cover for them, if they are unable to attend.
All Chairpersons must be voted in with substantial unanimity by the group.
Before new Business is to be discussed, our group conscience will be read regarding New Business: Any motion that proposes to alter the meeting format in any way will be automatically tabled for 3 consecutive group conscience meetings (1 year), before any discussion takes place, during which time there should be a lot of thoughtful consideration and prayer before bringing forth any motion.
Any motion that proposes to change the group conscience in any way will be tabled for 3 consecutive group conscience meetings (1 year), before any discussion takes place, during which time there should be a lot of thoughtful consideration and prayer before bringing forth any motion.
Only group members who have attended 3 consecutive group conscience meetings can make motions and vote at the group conscience meetings.
Any motion made that proposes to alter the group conscience or group format must be passed with a unanimous group vote, or no go!
Business to be held over.
Motion to close meeting.
Close with the Lord’s prayer.
Chapter 11 (Page 151-153)
A VISION FOR YOU
FOR MOST normal folks, drinking means conviviality, com-panionship and colorful imagination. It means release from care, boredom and worry. It is joyous intimacy with friends and a feeling that life is good. But not so with us in those last days of heavy drinking. The old pleasures were gone. They were but memories. Never could we recapture the great moments of the past. There was an insistent yearning to enjoy life as we once did and a heartbreaking obsession that some new miracle of control would enable us to do it. There was always one more attempt-and one more failure.
The less people tolerated us, the more we withdrew from society, from life itself. As we became subjects of King Alcohol, shivering denizens of his mad realm, the chilling vapor that is loneliness settled down. It thickened, ever becoming blacker. Some of us sought out sordid places, hoping to find understanding companionship and approval. Momentarily we did-then would come oblivion and the awful awakening to face the hideous Four Horsemen – Terror, Bewilderment, Frustration, Despair. Unhappy drinkers who read this page will understand!
Now and then a serious drinker, being dry at the moment says, “I don’t miss it at all. Feel better. Work better. Having a better time.” As ex-problem drinkers, we smile at such a sally. We know our friend is like a boy whistling in the dark to keep up his spirits. He fools himself. Inwardly he would give anything to take half a dozen drinks and get away with them. He will presently try the old game again, for he isn’t happy about his sobriety. He cannot picture life without alcohol. Some day he will be unable to imagine life either with alcohol or without it. Then he will know loneliness such as few do. He will be at the jumping-off place. He will wish for the end.
We have shown how we got out from under. You say, “Yes, I’m willing. But am I to be consigned to a life where I shall be stupid, boring and glum, like some righteous people I see? I know I must get along without liquor, but how can I? Have you a sufficient substitute?”
Yes, there is a substitute and it is vastly more than that. It is a fellowship in Alcoholics Anonymous. There you will find release from care, boredom and worry. Your imagination will be fired. Life will mean something at last. The most satisfactory years of your existence lie ahead. Thus we find the fellowship, and so will you.
“How is that to come about?” you ask. “Where am I to find these people?”
You are going to meet these new friends in your own commu-nity. Near you, alcoholics are dying helplessly like people in a sinking ship. If you live in a large place, there are hundreds. High and low, rich and poor, these are future fellows of Alcoholics Anonymous. Among them you will make lifelong friends. You will be bound to them with new and wonderful ties, for you will escape disaster together and you will commence shoulder to shoulder your common journey. Then you will know what it means to give of yourself that others may survive and rediscover life. You will learn the full meaning of “Love thy neighbor as thyself.”
Come to The First International Alcoholics Anonymous History Conference September 6-7, 2013 in Portland, Maine. Learn the freedom you have to help those who still suffer, do so in Twelve Step Fellowships, and believe what you wish to believe about the role that God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Bible played in old school Akron A.A.’s Christian Fellowship and its astonishing successes. And can play today.