SA Twin Cities: Reflections on 2021, 2022 Vision

Reflections on 2021

2021 started with a hope of "returning to normal" after a year of pandemic lockdowns and upheavals in most of organized society. It turned out to be a continuation of 2020 through the year. Irrespective, the need for "the hand of SA always to be there" remained. (SA Responsibility Statement) Despite what happens in the external world, we crave sobriety every moment, as a balance to our cravings for the jolt of pleasure from the chaos of addiction. Our mission in SA Twin Cities Intergroup is to ensure the "hand of SA" is available to all those in our region who find themselves at the ropes end and are reaching for help.

In 2020 we acted as an Intergroup to further this mission and increase visibility of our services to those who still suffer. Some accomplishments of note:

  • Kept the lights on during year 2 of pandemic response
    -- We figured out how to normalize meeting services during ongoing pandemic measures. Many groups established permanent hybrid setups, connecting people in person and remotely. New dial in only meetings were established. We adapted and adjusted, even when it was frustrating and challenging with building access limited and remote tools subpar.
  • Virtual SA Twin Cities SA Marathon
    -- We held our 9th Annual SA Marathon, 2nd annual Virtual format. We had 2 speakers share their stories and instruct us on topics of Sponsorship and long term sobriety. Though limited in attendance, it was a powerful testimony of SA in action.
  • Increase in new comers
    -- We've seen attendance in meetings return to pre-pandemic levels in most groups and even exceed in many. We've adjusted to the pandemic response formats and are hosting people in person and accommodated remote access needs. It's not perfect, but newcomers are coming and finding help.
  • Relaunch of satwincities.org
    -- We formed a "website redesign" committee and gave satwincities.org a long overdue remodel. The new website has a simple clean aesthetic, boasts a functional meeting finder with dynamic mapping, and is based on Wordpress allowing robust customization capability and simpler administration. We thank an anonymous SA for his service in design, engineering and hosting of our new site.
    -- The new website also allows for inbound requests to come in through the site rather than only depending on phone call inquiries. As a result we've seen 220% increase of inquiries since launching the new site in Oct 2021. And fully 2/3 of new inquiries are coming through the website contact form and email vs phone messages. Strong indicators we're capturing more of those who may not have reached out before.
  • Respond to inbound requests within 24 hours
    -- We set a standard to respond to every inquiry within 24 hours regardless of how they reach out. Almost without exception we've achieve this goal. The process we launched in 2020 to "push notifications" to the New Member committee is working better than our previous "pull" method (members dialing into a voicemail box and retrieving messages). Now we get notified via email, the first available member responds and follows up with the group with the outcome. We are responding closer to the time of need, directing the person asking for help faster and more accurately, and better understanding what happened and how we can improve. We share resources such as this handy Newcomer Packet bit.ly/welcomesatc and the updated meeting finder.

Looking ahead to 2022

We will continue forward this year, one day at a time. We will hold Intergroup elections on Feb 5 2022 to establish new Intergroup officers. As my term as chair expires, I'll step down and make room for the next person to serve. I expect this new leadership will bring fresh perspectives, increased compassion and attentive service to the needs of those in the Twin Cities seeking for help and to serve. I will continue in SA service personally, in my home group, as a sponsor and a continued service member in whatever capacity makes sense in the newly formed Intergroup.

We can build on the momentum of 2021. We established a consistent operating model for Intergroup to rapidly & reliability respond to inquires, provide self service options to learn about SA and find meetings for support. We should endeavor to continue the upward trend of newcomers reaching out to us through more "attractive" means (Tradition 11), and responding quickly to their needs.

We strive for even better representation from our home groups in Intergroup, seeking a consistent GSR for each group represented at Intergroup in order to better fulfill our purposes of doing for the groups what they can’t do for themselves.

We can improve our ability to get the word out when needed. A push notification to our community through an opt-in email list or similar means would help us amplify the word when we have announcements important to our community.

We will host another SA Marathon in April 2022. We will leverage our learnings of hosting meetings while considering the state of pandemic response. We hope to be in person again, and will likely incorporate remote options to expand the reach of this valuable time. Reaching more people and spreading sobriety is the goal.

On a personal note, I wish to express gratitude for the time I've been able to serve in the capacity of Intergroup chair and am optimistic for our community moving into 2022. Indeed service is the backbone of recovery, and Intergroup is 100% powered by volunteer services of recovering addicts. The wisdom of Step 12 creates a perpetual motion of recovery energy > I recover, I serve, through service I stay sober, through service another recovers, and the process repeats for the next person in need. I'm amazed at how this model powers forward and maintains itself so well. I'm also grateful for the anonymous nature of the program. To serve in anonymity reduces the danger of ego building from public recognition of service. It allows me be a vessel of service, focusing less on my "personality" and more on the "principles." I'm not as big of a deal as my ego likes to think I am, and that realization makes all the difference.

Happy New Year! May it be a year of progress for each of us and our collective efforts, taking it easy, one day at a time.

Chair SA Twin Cities Intergroup
Jan 8, 2022

 

 

Election Notice Feb 5, 2022

Notice

SA Twin Cities Intergroup has announced a meeting for electing new positions for 2022 to be held Saturday Feb 5, 2022 at 9:30AM at Day by Day Cafe in St Paul, MN. Pending pandemic prevention conditions the meeting may be changed to a remote format.

Guidelines for assembling and operating SA Intergroup are found in the SA Service Manual. Robert’s Rules of Order (RONR) will be followed during the meeting.

Downloadable version of this notice

Positions open for election

Term

All elected positions are for a yearly term

Candidate requirements

  • Candidates should support and believe in the SA sobriety definition
  • Candidates should have 6 months of SA sobriety

Procedure

Candidates will be nominated “From the Floor” as per RONR.

Elections will be conducted by ballot during the in person Feb 5, 2022 meeting.

Terms will begin effectively immediately following the election meeting.

Twelve Step work is important. We recognize that half-measures avail us nothing. We need the ensure Fellowship of recovering sexaholics with a collection of diverse talents, to serve. Balance is our objective. Long-term sobriety for our leaders is a primary prerequisite. We are also looking for those with peace of mind, demonstrated humility, and intuition. Recovery is about progressive victory over lust. We seek those whose “dedication, stability, vision and special skills” will willingly undertake every service assignment (“Vital Need,” A.A.S.M. 39).

SA Service Manual p.3

Appendix

Questions

What is Intergroup?

“In SA, the Intergroup is comprised of representatives – Group Service Representatives (GSR) – from all the meetings in a local area.” Intergroup:

• Facilitates communication among member groups.

• Assists in starting new meetings.

• Monitors and funds the local telephone hotline and website referral system.

• Purchases and distributes SA literature to the member groups.

• Sends financial contributions to the Regional Assembly and SAICO.

• Oversees the maintenance and distribution of the local meeting list or directory.

• Sponsors conferences, marathon meetings, Step workshops, and retreats.

• Provides a forum for meetings to share ideas for strengthening recovery.

Why Should We Go to the Trouble of Nominations and Elections? 

After all, this kind of work requires oversight and considerable expense. When governing structures are established, do they not further the ego and self-centeredness that brought us to the point of despair? In fact the opposite can be true. Leadership that trusts “a loving God as he expresses himself in our group conscience” (Tradition Two) can plan, communicate, discuss, and even have heated debate. Such leadership can provide opportunities for the collective expression of the fellowship. It can also help deflate the ego and teach humility. Tradition One asserts that we must hear the collective wisdom of the membership; then we need to elect leaders to act on our behalf (“Leadership in A.A.: Ever a Vital Need,” The A.A. Service Manual [A.A.S.M.] 38-43).

SA Sobriety Definition

In defining sobriety, we do not speak for those outside Sexaholics Anonymous. We can only speak for ourselves. Thus, for the married sexaholic, sexual sobriety means having no form of sex with self or with persons other than the spouse. In SA’s sobriety definition, the term “spouse” refers to one’s partner in a marriage between a man and a woman. For the unmarried sexaholic, sexual sobriety means freedom from sex of any kind. And for all of us, single and married alike, sexual sobriety also includes progressive victory over lust (Sexaholics Anonymous, 191-192). 

Position Responsibilities

Chair

  • Sets the agenda, using the input of the GSRs.
  • Facilitates the meeting.
  • Develops a working knowledge of Roberts Rules of Order; knowledge of Robert’s Rules is not a requirement for eligibility, however.
  • When a vote is required, calls for motion and second, allows time for discussion, then calls the vote.
  • Shares information and announces events to members via Intergroup Online E-mail Group, or by other appropriate means.

Recording Secretary

  • Takes notes during the meeting and records any motions and votes taken.
  • Presents written minutes at the start of every meeting for approval by the group.
  • Keeps an archive of minutes, group conscience decisions, and action items and has them available for reference.
  • Maintains a contact list of current GSRs and their service positions. This list, made available to all the groups, contains contact information so that all Trusted Servants are directly accessible to the groups. 

Treasurer

  • Receives and makes record of donations from groups.
  • Pays rent and other bills, including website expenses, phone bills, and printing costs for directories and flyers announcing Intergroup events.
  • Makes donations to Regional Assembly and SAICO.
  • Maintains a record of all transactions and accounts for all monies in a written monthly report.

9th Annual Twin Cities SA Virtual “1/2” Marathon Sat Apr 24, 2021

Adapting for Covid-19 considerations, this year's Marathon has been converted once again to a virtual speaker event (no SAnon meeting this year). Instead of our traditional all-day event, this will be a free (suggested donation) online 2-hour event, hence the 1/2 marathon! We will be joined by two speakers (1 each hour), who will be sharing their stories of strength and hope. This is a closed meeting to fellow SA members only. Recordings are not being made.

Saturday April 24, 2021
10AM to 12PM CST Virtual conference via Google Meet.
Log-in Information: https://meet.google.com/fnx-hbow-fds

Schedule: (CST)
9:50am   Marathon Admittance
10:00am John E. (Topic: Sponsorship), with Q&A
10:50am Break & Fellowship
11:00am Ron L. (Topic: TBD), with Q&A
12:00pm Parking Lot Fellowship
12:30pm Google Meet Line Closes

Register: It’s free to attend, however if you’re able, we suggest a $5 donation* which help fund business items, such as the new telephone line, website hosting, and the future website revamp (starting later this year). To see the latest news,  improvements, and learn of ways to get involved, visit: bit.ly/satcnews.

Donations can be made at https://givebutter.com/HiU4mL or send a check to the Intergroup mailing address: Admin Dept, SA Twin Cities, PO Box 40322 St. Paul, MN 55104-0322. Questions? Contact our treasurer at Vronj@yahoo.com.

We are looking forward to connecting, and coming together as a community. See you there!

Questions/comments: info@satwincities.org or write to
SA Marathon, SA Twin Cities, PO Box 40322 St. Paul, MN 55104.

*SA Tradition 7: There are no dues or fees, but we are self-supporting through our own contributions. www.satwincities.org    Phone: (952) 985-1016    Email: info@satwincities.org

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

Intergroup is meeting on the first Saturday of each month virtually

While distancing restrictions are in place Intergroup has been meeting virtually. We are meeting on at 9:30AM on the first Saturday of each month. All groups are encouraged to send a representative and the meeting is open to any members of SA groups in the Twin Cities. To get on the invite list and get the Google Meet link, call the main phone line 952-985-1016 or email us at info@satwincities.org

8th Annual Twin Cities SA Virtual “1/2” Marathon Sat Apr 25, 2020

You're Invited!
8th Annual Twin Cities SA Virtual "1/2" Marathon.
Saturday April 25, 2020
10AM to 12PM CST

Adapting to Covid-19 restrictions, this year's Marathon is converted to a closed-meeting virtual event via Zoom online web conferencing (no SAnon meeting this year). Instead of our traditional all-day event, this will be a FREE online 2-hour event, hence the 1/2 marathon! Because this is a closed meeting, you must register through Eventbrite to get the Zoom login password for the event. You will have the option to join the Zoom conference call anonymously online in listen-only mode or call in with your cell phone. We are looking forward to connecting, and coming together as a community. See you there!

Event Flyer click here.

Registration on Eventbrite click here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/101985110210

Questions/comments: info@satwincities.org

 

The next Intergroup meeting is this Saturday, November 18th!

The next SA Twin Cities Intergroup will be this Saturday, November 18th. We meet at the Day by Day Cafe in St. Paul at 9AM.

We will probably be in the back room with the large tables But we could be put elsewhere by the staff so please take your time to find us. Also be aware that because of road construction and traffic, some of us may be delayed in arriving. Much like some meetings be patient and wait until we will get there.

It has been my privilege to serve as chair for three of the last four years and know it is time for me and the other inter-group officers to step aside for others to further their program through service. I want to make you aware of the chance that we might share a retreat with SAA in southern MN the end of February. It would mean a commitment of at least 20 to 30 of us to show up for a weekend and also share food. We could try a smaller venue but I would like a response from members to see if this is worth pursuing and I will need feedback soon.

It is also possible that we could Skype the January SA conference Saturday session, more on this soon. I would like to thank Ron W and Jeff H for their service and help the past two years. It is my belief and hope that we will find new volunteers to keep our fellowship meet the challenges of recovery and help our members as we find a healthy emotional and sober life.

Come for the meeting, come for the fellowship, but most importantly, come as you are and enjoy the company of friends.  All are welcome, we hope to see you :)

Your friend in recovery, Mark P

Day By Day Cafe
477 7th St W
Saint Paul, MN  55102
651-227-0654

Directions: Click here

The next Intergroup meeting is Saturday August 26th

The next SA Twin Cities Intergroup will be Saturday August 26th. We meet at the Day by Day Cafe in St. Paul at 9AM.

Come for the meeting, come for the fellowship, but most importantly, come as you are and enjoy the company of friends. All are welcome, we hope to see you there on July 16th :)

SA August Step Workshop

There will be a second four week 12 step workshop based on AA's Back to Basics program.

This workshop will start on August 7th and run for 4 weeks on successive Mondays. Please bring your copy of AA's Big Book and your enthusiasm.

We will start each Monday at 7pm and run about an hour and a half. Even if you have worked your steps this is way to refresh and renew.

This workshop will take place at Calvary Lutheran in St. Paul where we have meetings on Thursday at noon and also hold our Marathon in the spring.

The church is located at 341 Hamline Ave S in St. Paul.

Please ring the bell at the front door if you come late. You are welcome at all or any of the sessions. We hope to see you there!

Sincerely,

Mark P

SA June Step Workshop

There will be an accelerated step workshop bases on a similar AA program this. This program starts June 5th at 7PM and goes for four successive Monday nights. The workshop will be held at Calvary Evangelical Lutheran Church (same location at the Marathon) located at 341 Hamline Ave S, St Paul.

Please ring the bell at the front door if you come late. You are welcome at all or any of the sessions. We hope to see you there!

Sincerely,

Mark P