Open Invitation from the Area Chair

Several months ago the GSR’s of this area courageously voted to field test the GSU concept of the Service System Proposal.  Any member of the fellowship is welcome to participate – just show up at 154 Christopher St, Suite 1A, at 1:00pm on Sunday March 17rd , take a seat as directed, and enjoy one hour of discussion, mental and spiritual stimulation, and donuts.  (If feeling extra adventurous, you can even stay for the Area Service business meeting that follows from 2:30-4:00 or so.)

HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA WHAT THIS ALL MEANS?  Read on… It’s pretty interesting stuff!

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Some essential background information:

  • THE GROUPS:  The groups are the heartbeat of Narcotics Anonymous.  They are the place where we go to hear and share the lifesaving message of recovery, and the place where most of us do our service.
  • THE NYC AREA SERVICE COMMITTEE:  The Area Service Committee (ASC) exists to support the groups, primarily by providing local services (such as H&I meetings, Events and Activities, Public Information, and our local Helpline) so that the groups can focus on carrying the message to the addict who still suffers.  The ASC is also intended to provide a forum for group representatives (GSR’s) to address group issues and concerns – but this role is often trampled by report-reading, motion-making, and funds disbursement.  All of these activities are essential to the business functions of NA, but rarely address vital recovery and group-related issues.
  • THE SERVICE SYSTEM PROJECT:  Five years ago, at the behest of World Services, a workgroup was formed to examine why problems such as lack of communication and apathy towards service have become entrenched in NA.  Never heard of the Service System Project?  That would be because of the poor communication and lack of service in our fellowship!  In fact, two waves of straw poles and resolutions have been sent back from the workgroup for all groups – worldwide – to vote on.  Despite this, many members of Narcotics Anonymous have yet to hear a peep about it.
  • THE SERVICE SYSTEM PROPOSAL:  The Service System workgroup has been working on a proposal for changes to our service structure; it will be finalized at the end of this year and returned for all groups to vote on next year.  Everything a person could ever want to know at the workgroup, the project, and the proposal can be found here: http://na.org/?ID=servsys

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THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN NYC AREA GROUPS, THE NYC AREA SERVICE COMMITTEE, AND THE SERVICE SYSYTEM PROPOSAL:  The Service System Proposal suggests (among other things) that Narcotics Anonymous groups might be better served if an Area Service Committee could be reformed into two parts to serve it’s two separate functions:  1) a main service body to provide local services, and 2) smaller forums of neighboring groups to discuss group and recovery-related issues.  These kinds of groups have been temporarily labeled “LSU’s” (Local Service Units) and “GSU’s” (Group Service Units).  The NYC Area is currently testing out the GSU portion of the proposal, and the response has been enthusiastically favorable.

WHAT TO EXPECT AT A GSU:

  • To start – what NOT to expect.  No report-reading.  No motion-making.  No formal voting.  No need to be a GSR.
  • What TO expect:  A small group of recovering addicts from your general neighborhood, talking together about things that tend to mean a lot to folks.  Some random topics that have come up so far are; welcoming the newcomer; concepts of service; medication in recovery; practicing principles…and anything else you might want to bring up.  Other things to expect: a spirited atmosphere, someone taking notes, and – of course – donuts.

If you have questions, you can email me at areachair@nycna.org – or just show up at the meeting and ask in person!

In loving Service,

– Mari F.

NYC Area Chair