Wednesday, September 9, 2009
A lot of gratitude
It was a great weekend in so many ways. I took off from work on Friday and Tuesday which really made for a long weekend with Monday being a holiday.
I made a quick trip out of state, came back and went on the sail boat for a couple of days. The weather couldn't have been better. The breezy conditions kept the temperatures pleasant and the biting insects away.
Unfortunately, I didn't make it back in time last night to chair the Beginners' Meeting at my usual Tuesday night meeting. I like to do that meeting because I believe that Beginners are so important to the program.
Unfortunately, there seems to be little interest by others to volunteer to work with Beginners. If I don't show up, the Beginners get incorporated into the Step Study meeting.
Al-Anon has a great suggested format for doing a Beginners Meeting. I've found it to be particularly useful in introducing them to the Al-Anon program and informing them about the disease of alcoholism. It is also good to let the newcomers discuss their experience and motivation for coming to Al-Anon, something that doesn't always happen in formatted meetings.
I am grateful that I had the opportunity when I first came to Al-Anon to be part of a group that thought the newcomer was important. I found patience, compassion and explanation of how the program worked. I think that it's important to encourage newcomers to come back and to be willing to listen to them. It's a great opportunity to share experience, strength and hope with those who are new to the program.
I'm hoping that others will decide to step up and chair the half-hour Beginners Meeting. So far the interest hasn't been enthusiastic. I am grateful for each newcomer who has the courage to walk through the door. And I hope to be there as much as possible to greet them and make them feel welcome.