SA Twin Cities: Reflections on 2020, 2021 Vision

SA Twin Cities Intergroup, Reflections from the Chair on 2020 and Vision for 2021

Jan 9, 2021

2020 was a unique and trying year for the world. But for an SA, it’s a different form of the same insanity we’re quite used to. And the antidote remains the same, acceptance, recognition of & surrender to a higher power, seeing my part, making amends and service to others. Throughout 2020, we put the steps into action in SA Twin Cities Intergroup, adapting to change in order to bring our message of strength and hope to the person who still suffers.

In 2020 we started the year with a newly formed Intergroup set of officers. #### took the chairman role in a reinvigorated Intergroup, with support from####,####,#### and several others. Meetings were held more regularly and planning for the annual SA Marathon was progressing. Then Covid19 pandemic came to Minnesota and a lockdown ensued in March 2020. We adapted in Intergroup by switching to video calls for our meetings and increasing frequency to monthly. First order of business was to reimagine the SA Marathon from its traditional in person to something compatible with Covid lockdown restrictions. IG newcomers#### and#### joined vets####,####, and#### to plan a “Virtual ½ Marathon” complete with online registrations, online video conference, virtual breakout rooms and a great program. We adapted and brought the message to the person still suffering.

During the summer of 2020, our chair decided to move from Minnesota and created a vacancy in the IG chairmanship. IG nominated new officers, with#### as the chair,#### as the vice chair,#### as Secretary and SA intergroup veteran#### continuing to serve as Treasurer.#### moved in from#### bringing years of SA leadership experience with him. He willingly joined IG, initially serving as Secretary then voluntarily creating a new role leading Prison outreach.

The first order of business for the new IG officers was to strengthen the systems that we rely on for service. We implemented an online system for storing and sharing documents (Google Drive). We collected, arranged and where missing created documents that organize Intergroup.

Then we set out to improve our ability to respond to newcomers by updating our voicemail service. We moved to a digital voicemail service (Google Voice) that allows for a richer menu system and “pushes” notifications to us through email. Now, we are responding faster to the person inquiring and are able to involve more people in the process. 

We ended the year forming 3 committees that will grow and develop in 2021:

  • Newcomer Welcoming Committee
  • 2021 SA Marathon Committee
  • SAtwincities.org Website Redesign Committee

Looking ahead to 2021, some thoughts about SA Twin Cities Intergroup and our role in it.

First, let us remember the purpose of Intergroup. We are “a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that [we] may solve [our] common problem and help others to recover.” “In general, the purpose of an Intergroup is to seek both the knowledge of God’s will for the fellowship and the power to carry it out. It’s one ultimate authority is a loving God as he may express himself in its group conscience (Tradition Two). An Intergroup may achieve goals that are too large or difficult for the individual group.” (SA Service Manual p10).

With that in mind, the need for “what we have” as a solution to “our common problem” could not be larger than it is now. I believe there are millions in our midst who suffer from the false promise of sexaholism and don’t know there is a problem, much less a solution. Yet active SAs in the Twin Cities number in the dozens to hundreds, not thousands to millions. Why are there not more with us? Pondering that question can lead to feelings of overwhelm...it’s too big of a problem, and we’re not having an impact, may as well give up. I for one am grateful that those who received me in my first SA meeting were not overwhelmed by the problem and didn’t give up. I stand as a recovered SA today as a result. My individual life was changed. One life. And I’ve helped others as I’ve journeyed on this path. Two lives. Many lives. The impact of our work cannot be measured by the number of men and women in our meetings. How can one measure the impact of sobriety on one life? Much less the cascading impact on those helped by the recovering SA and the influence on generations of people that follow them?

With the spirit of the serenity prayer in mind, controlling what I can and accepting what I can’t, let us put our focus on what we can do. Getting the Twin Cities sober would take a miracle, and unfortunately we are not miracle workers. However we work with one who is, so let’s leave the miracles in the capable hands of our higher power and put our energy into what we can control, ourselves. Let it start with “me.” 

“I am responsible. When anyone, anywhere reaches out for help, I want the hand of SA always to be there. And for that: I am responsible” -SA Responsibility Statement

The energy to power a miracle comes from each of us individually. When we each “solve our problem” we are ready to help the man or woman who still suffers.

A sober me strengthens my group. A strong group strengthens Intergroup. A strong Intergroup strengthens our community.

For those who are ready, I want SA in the Twin Cities to be ready to “help [them] to recover.” We have a solution, it works, and it can help most any who are ready to receive it. The question is how? How do we carry this message to more than we are reaching now? Let us have the “courage to change the things we can” and leave the rest to our higher power. What can we do, or more fitting, what can I do?

  • Sobriety - I can work my program, one day at a time. Seek recovery through sobriety.
  • Sponsorship - I can sponsor others. I can make Step 12 come alive in myself.
  • Fellowship - I can invest in a home group, add my experience to it, and engage the SAs who attend.
  • Newcomers - I can answer the call when the newcomer reaches out. “[...may the hand of SA always be there]...”
  • Intergroup - I can offer my time, talent and perspective to help the SA movement in the Twin Cities take another step forward, the next step.

As chair of the SA Twin Cities Intergroup, I regularly carry feelings of gratitude, overwhelm, responsibility, and compassion. Overall however, my feeling is one of hope. I reflect back to the room on Saturday, Oct 18, 2014 at Solomon’s Porch in Minneapolis. I walked in, scared, frustrated, broken, to a room of men who accepted me as one of their own. They shared their story of strength and hope, and set me on a path to recovery. The greatest change in my life ensued. I pray I may help another, the one who suffers as I have, to find the same hope and path to serenity.

####

Chair SA Twin Cities Intergroup