Group Conscience

The next Common Peril monthly Group Conscience meeting is June 29 at 7 am

Group conscience meetings are held the last Saturday of each month at 7am. Submit topics/suggestions to: suggestions@commonperil.com. Topics should be submitted no later than one week before the meeting. If you do not attend the meeting, your topic will not be considered.

Results of May Group Conscience 

No topics were submitted.

Results of Group Conscience 4/27/24

Suggestions:

"Providing the technical means and support for the chair, at their discretion, to remind and enforce the Group Conscience rule that members end their shares after four minutes and not send group chats. 

Vote was 10 in favor, 2 opposed.

"Send a kind email to a person removed from the meeting for disruptive behavior." 

Remove "M" from meetings when he logs on, because of repeated threats of violence."

Voted was 10 in favor with 1 abstention.

Vote was 9 in favor. 

Topics for the April 27, 7am meeting:

Given Zoom bombers and the threats or threatening outbursts made at online meetings, I suggest discussing pathways for handling participants who make threats or respond with threatening behavior, especially when reminded of meeting practices agreed upon by the group conscience such as not sending everyone chats unrelated to the meeting script or the general functioning of the meeting.


Suggestion to discuss:

 

Possible pathways or questions about handling the threatening disruptions 


-----------------------


Hey! I have a few things to share that will be voted on at spring assembly in May. This group conscience is the last one before then. Is it possibly to add these notes so I can hear from the group and see if there are any objections or questions I can bring to the Area 51 meeting?


The Spring Assembly is coming up in Lake Junaluska and Danielle will bring CHC group conscience on approval of the following agenda items:

Results of Group Conscience November through March

No topics were submitted.

Results of Group Conscience 10/28/23

Suggestions:

Discussion:  

Followup:



Discussion:


Discussion:


Discussion:

Results of Group Conscience 7/29/23, 8/26/2023, and 9/30/2023

Due to limited participation, the group deferred all topics until the next meeting.

May - June 2023

No topics submitted.

Results of Group Conscience 4/29/23


Suggestions: Propose making the meeting an open meeting. If we elect to keep the meeting closed then we have procedures to deal with guests that do not declare themselves as Alcoholics: Do you have the desire to stop drinking? Are students interested in the program allowed? Are supporters, family members allowed? --Rick

 

Discussion: Our meeting script states that it’s a closed meeting and that anyone with a desire to stop drinking is welcome. We have had a couple of occasions where students showed up as visitors and they were politely asked to leave and find an open meeting. It would be helpful for chairs to have guidance about what to do if someone at the meeting identifies as a non-alcoholic visitor (e.g., student).

Motion: Change Common Peril meetings to open meetings. Motion fails; meetings will remain closed.

Consensus: Let's make sure that meeting listings (such as AA District 33 site) specify that our meetings are closed. Rick will take care of this.

Motion: Add language to the chair's script to be used if someone at the meeting self-identifies as a non-alcoholic visitor. Motion passes. Penny will draft language for the script and will get feedback.


Results of Group Conscience 3/25/23

Suggestion: Change from Closed meeting to Open meeting.  If we are not going to enforce any consequences of not being an alcoholic then we are effectively an open meeting already.  -- RickExplanation: This became a consideration at the Feb. group conscience when we decided to include introductions in the meeting format. At that GC, some members said they don’t want to take any action if someone introduces themselves without qualifying. If we don’t enforce the closed-meeting rules, we are a de facto open meeting and should state that.

 

Discussion: Two questions at issue here: (1) Do we want to change from a closed meeting to an open meeting? And (2) If we remain a closed meeting, how to we handle situations where an attendee doesn’t identify as an alcoholic in the introductions? Discussion of how this has been handled in in-person meetings, different feelings anticipated about open/closed at 6am vs. Noon meetings. Practical considerations: Stating on our website which meetings are closed; educating members about open vs. closed meetings; stating (in the script?) protocol if a nonalcoholic shows up at a closed meeting.

 

Consensus: Because of low attendance (6-7 members) and unclear expectations today, delay further discussion on this issue until the April group conscience. Rick will reword and resubmit his suggestion.

Results of Group Conscience 2/25/23

 


July 2022 - January 2023

No topics submitted.

Results of 6am Group Conscience, 12/10/22


Suggestion/motion: Add wording to the meeting script: “Please refrain from raising your hand until the chairperson is finished speaking.”

 

Discussion:  To clarify, this applies to when the chair is giving their lead. Having the hand raised is distracting to the chair; it’s something that wouldn’t be acceptable in an in-person meeting. We have too many rules in the script already, let’s not add more. Agree that seeing a hand raised can be distracting for the chair, but the chair can deal with it.

 

Result: Motion failed.


Results of 6am Group Conscience, 7/16/22


Suggestion/Motion: If there is not an official name for our 6am meetings, I propose  “Serenity at Six”. --Tom E.

Discussion: Idea inspired by Don C's name of "Serenity at Seven" for the 7am BPW meeting; some see this background as a strength, others a problem. "Serenity at Six" is an inviting counterbalance to the more foreboding "Common Peril" name. It's nice to have a name that reflects our identity as a meeting. Most AA meetings (even at shared locations) do have names. "To me, 'Common Peril' is the website and isn't the meetings." Having a separate name, script, etc. for one CP meeting is confusing and complicated. 

Result: Motion passed. The script and meeting listings will be updated.


Results of Group Conscience 6/25/22

Suggestion: I would like the group to allow chairs the option to use readings from the AA Grapevine in our meetings. While each issue can't be conference-approved, it is the official journal of AA (Grapevine Fact Sheet) and, unlike most of our literature, has content written this century. --Penny W.

Discussion/result: No objections.  Motion passed. Also, a link to the Grapevine site and subscription info will be added to the website. 


April and May 2022

No topics submitted.

Results of Group Conscience 3/26/22

Suggestion: To protect members' anonymity, ensure that when all emails go out, all addresses are blind-copied. --Ron. Result: Submitter was not present; no action was taken.

Suggestion: Given the recent challenges of finding hosts and/or chairs, should we look at other options to make it simpler or easier for attendees to assume either role? For example, not having to share documents onscreen, or flexible scheduling options for signups, as possible solutions. Thank you. --Barbara E.

Discussion: If no host is present, it is possible for members to read the readings without having them shared on screen. People can read from their own books or use the documents we have available on the website.  Make the website readings easier to find by putting them together in one box on the home page. Add to the script a reminder of what page the readings are on (e.g., "How It Works" is on page 58 of the Big Book). Also, people are welcome to continue to divide up hosting/chairing signups--e.g., two people agreeing to alternate chairing on Mondays next month. 

Result: Revise CP website to make meeting readings easier to access. Update the chair's script to include page numbers for readings.


Results of Group Conscience 2/26/22

Suggestion: I'd like to suggest we return to a modified form of the monthly speaker meeting we had at the 7:00 AM pre-covid meeting. Instead of 1 we could have 2 speakers a month (or 1 if only 1 person signs up). I would also suggest that the sign up sheet be  available for all to see. Come to the group conscience meeting to hear reasons to support this suggestion. Or to disagree.  --Shabari C.

Discussion: Sobriety Celebration Saturday (SCS) is a nice opportunity to hear from people who don't want to share at length. But members miss the opportunity to hear in-depth, longer shares, and would also like the flexibility of signing up during non-anniversary months and possibly inviting outside speakers. Opinion is divided about having one speaker sign up per meeting (with the speaker having the option to share less than the full time), having two people sign up, or giving individuals the option of signing up to speak half or whole meeting. Consensus that members would like the speaker sign-up sheets to be viewable and available months in advance. (Also a request to do the same for chair/host sign-ups.)

Mark K. will talk with Carol Ann about logistics for creating sign-up sheets.


12/25/21, 1/29/22

No topics submitted.

Results of Group Conscience 11/27/21

Suggestion: In accordance with the group conscience vote taken at the October Group Conscience, I would like to bring the following script addition for consideration and approval: “The Common Peril group supports inclusivity, and all who have a desire to stop drinking are welcome. We recognize that the original AA literature read in meetings was not written using inclusive terminology, and we sincerely hope that it does not unintentionally cause anyone to feel unwelcome.” --Tom H

Discussion/Motion: Reword the statement slightly, to read: "The Common Peril group supports inclusivity, and all who have a desire to stop drinking are welcome. While we recognize that the original AA literature read in meetings was not written using inclusive terminology, we sincerely hope that it does not unintentionally cause anyone to feel unwelcome.” Motion passes. The statement will be added to the meeting script.

 Results of Group Conscience of the 6AM meeting, 11/13/21

Discussion: In a previous group conscience this summer we agreed to go to As Bill Sees It after Came to Believe. Readings feel longer in Zoom meetings than they did in-person. Chair should lead on something they're passionate about; other view is that letting the chair decide week to week makes the meeting too much like any other meeting . Some people prefer the continuity of reading from one text over multiple weeks. How does chair know where the group stopped reading last Wednesday? 


Results of Group Conscience 10/30/21

Suggestion: I’d like to discuss the issue of taking license with the language/words in the script and in the readings.  Primarily this is done for the purpose of making them more inclusive.  While this is a noble gesture, I have concerns we are opening Pandora’s Box if we are free to change the language of the most fundamental writings from our literature as each individual sees fit.  I believe a message of inclusivity can be incorporated into our script that makes it clear that we believe in inclusiveness, while still staying true to the words as written by Bill and Bob (and other pioneers). --Tom H.

Discussion: People have been changing the pronouns when reading How It Works and the Traditions. Some find that jarring. Some are concerned that if they read the texts as written, people will think they personally are against inclusiveness. We know the literature is of its time and doesn’t necessarily reflect how it would be written today. Many members are used to making allowances for sexist/Christian-specific language, but newcomers may be put off and feel excluded. Script is too long already; adding instructions (even doing the readings) takes away time for members to share. We don’t want to create too many rules or dictate how people should do the readings. Changing the pronouns doesn't change the meaning.

Motion: Add language to the chair's script saying that the Common Peril group supports inclusivity and recognizes that some of our readings, written in a past era, don’t necessary reflect that inclusivity. Tom will draft the statement and bring it to a future group conscience for a vote. Motion passes.

Results of Group Conscience 9/25/21

Suggestion: I would like to reinsert in the 6:00AM script that people can only share one time.  (Since all the meetings share the same script I guess this should be discussed at a Common Peril group conscience and not just a 6AM group conscience.)--Shabari

Discussion: This was part of the structure of the 7am in-person meetings at BPW; newcomers may not be aware of the guideline so it would be good to have it spelled out in the script. At the noon and 7pm meetings, where there may be only a few people attending, everyone is free to share more than once. Motion: Insert in the chair's script:  "At the 6am meeting, we only share one time." Motion passes. 

Results of Group Conscience 8/28/21

Suggestion/Topic: Can we discuss a couple of scenarios:

1. What do we want to do if there's a situation where a member invites  a friend  to drop into attend the zoom by video, in the midst of a meeting that's in progress, without any introduction of that person (not sure if they are a member of AA), nor any prior notice to chair or host?  One time when this situation arose recently it was very distracting and also questionable re: anonymity and m the two individuals were visibly engaged in an ongoing conversation, and the unannounced guest was waving at the screen.  At that meeting there were two newcomers attending the meeting. In the interest of anonymity and in keeping with the spirit of the protocol of closed meetings, that attendee was dropped from that meeting.  But it would be helpful for chairs to have a group conscience consensus on this.

2. What do we want to do when someone comes onto the meeting without an identifiable name ( eg zoom tile says "iPhone " or its a call in from the meeting) and when invited to introduce themselves  they do not? Are we wanting to drop them from the meet or do we want to allow them to remain in the meeting.  --Ayesha

Result: Submitter not present; no action taken.

Results of 6AM Meeting Group Conscience 8/7/21

Suggestion:  Convert one discussion meeting to meditation meeting. Exactly like present meeting but also reading from Big Book page 86 “On awakening” concluding with: “It works-it really does” page 88. Ring bell. Silence for 15 minutes. Ring bell. Discussion meeting. Have up banner that says “Silent Meditation In Progress-15 minutes”. So many members have a rich meditation practice we would all benefit.  --Tom E.  Discussion: We can learn to be comfortable with silence in the silences we already have. Love the idea and welcome innovation. Would newcomers be put off by long meditation? Don't like cutting into discussion time. Modifications to original suggestion: Start with a meditation period of 7 minutes. Try this out for two months. Instead of invoking "God" use "Higher Power." Chair can choose 11th Step readings. If a newcomer is attending the meeting and/or someone has an urge to drink, drop the meditation segment for that meeting.  Vote/decision: Motion (with modifications) did not pass. 

Results of Group Conscience 7/31/21

Topic: Common Peril becoming an independent group (Mike K.). He senses that the people attending only in-person meetings don't want Common Peril members to be involved. Right now may not be the time to break away, especially with COVID resurging, but he'd like us to be discussing it. Discussion: Calm people's fears about Common Peril going away: C.P.  will continue to hold meetings for the foreseeable future. It meets a need for people whose health, work, or other personal circumstances prevent them from being able to attend in-person meetings. Common Peril and its members are part of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Group, not a rival faction. Many CP attendees still consider BPW "home" and are now attending some meetings there or hope to return someday. Others say their loyalty is to the people in the group, not the geographical entity. CP donations are currently keeping the building running.  Overwhelming frustration with the animosity exhibited by some individuals attending at BPW; these few have created such a hostile atmosphere that steering committee members have given up attending committee meetings, group members avoid going to group consciences, and some members don't feel safe going to in-person meetings. Differing opinions on whether this rift can be healed or whether a split is inevitable. Agreement that we all support our primary purpose, to stay sober and help other alcoholics achieve sobriety. No action taken.

Results of Group Conscience  6/26/21

Suggestion/Topic: Status of Zoom meetings ongoingly, regardless of the status of in-person meetings at BPW (Mike Smith). Result: Submitter not present; no action taken. Informal discussion reiterated recent discussions that there are no plans at present to eliminate Zoom meetings at Common Peril. As long as demand continues, so will the meetings.

Suggestion: Propose modifying the chairperson script to eliminate the following: "A reminder of online etiquette: Please respect this meeting as you would an in-person meeting, and avoid chatting to Everyone or holding side conversations. The facilitator may mute your sound or video during the meeting to avoid distractions. Feel free to unmute yourself to recite prayers, or to greet and thank participants." Just seems unnecessary after more than a year of Zoom meetings. (Peter J.).  Discussion: We do occasionally have people attending for the first time who need to hear the guidelines. People hosting feel better supported if their permission to mute people is stated. Some confusion about what "sidebar conversations" are. Reading the sentences in question takes 19.5 seconds. Motion: Leave the language in the script for now. Motion passes.

Other items discussed (not official group conscience business): 

Results of Group Conscience 5/29/21

Suggestion: Make the 6am zoom meeting permanent in the post COVID environment (Peter J.) . Result: Submitter not present; topic not discussed.

Suggestion: With some online meetings returning to face to face and mask restrictions being reduced, how does Common Peril want to handle decisions about possibly reducing the number of meeting times? The question isn't with regard to one specific meeting or about reducing the meetings at this moment; the question is how this issue will be addressed if/when demand diminishes (Carol Ann L.).  Discussion: Want to make sure there's a process in place to allow for informed decision-making about any potential changes to online meeting schedules.  There is strong to support to continue online meetings, for a variety of reasons. A few individual days/times have very low attendance and may need to be dropped. We continue to have unmet needs for chairs and facilitators; sometimes no one is there to start the meeting, so the meeting doesn't take place. (Can we post a list of contacts and phone numbers for such cases?) With the splintering of meetings between in-person and online, we have lost a feeling of unity; can we find a way to foster our group unity? 

Consensus that if a group makes changes to their meeting schedule, the meeting rep (or other person from the meeting) needs to make sure the schedule change gets posted on both the Common Peril and NC District 33 websites.

---------------------------------------

There were no topics submitted for March, and the topic submitted for April was withdrawn. 

Topic for 4/24/21 (withdrawn by submitter)

I'd like to suggest that we allow people to sign up for more than one meeting chair position for the common peril meetings. Maybe if all positions are not filled about 3 days before the month begins, we could open up the chair seat to those who have already signed up for one day. The sign ups aren't all filling up and I am worried about the possibility of canceling meetings rather than having one with a repeated chair person. --Danielle R.

Results of Group Conscience 2/27/21

Group Conscience 12/26/20 and 1/30/21

No topics/suggestions were submitted for these months.

Results of Group Conscience  11/28/20

Results of Group Conscience 10/31/20


Group Conscience 9/26/20

No suggestions were submitted in September; therefore, that month's meeting was cancelled.

Results of Group Conscience 8/29/20

Results of Group Conscience 7/25/20

Results of Group Conscience 6/27/20

Results of Group Conscience 5/30/2020


Results of Group Conscience 4/25/2020



Results of Group Conscience Held 3/28/2020

Results of 6am Meeting Group Conscience 5/20/23

 

Suggestion: Reduce the number of 6am meetings each week due to the difficulty of finding chairs and hosts.  –Shabari.  Explanation: The last few months we haven’t filled all the slots for chairs and hosts. It’s not healthy for the group or for individuals when we have just a few people doing all the service. We can do without a host (except for the Wednesday literature meeting) but someone has to chair.

 

Discussion: Members value having the meeting available 7 days a week; most don’t want to eliminate any days. Are there things we can do to make it easier for people to lead? Possibilities include having a 30-day signup calendar so people can choose individual dates to chair; resuming seminars to teach people how to host; simplifying the script; creating links to readings.

 

Sentiment that as a group we can relax our expectations of having everything organized, with all slots filled; meetings will be fine even when someone steps in to chair on the spot. Individuals who used to sign up frequently say they’ve found it positive for their own growth to loosen the reins and step back from leadership, allowing other members a chance to fill the gaps.

 

Motion: Form a committee to come up with ideas to resolve the issue of the burden on leads and hosts, with the goal of keeping the meeting seven days a week. Motion passes. Volunteers for the committee are Jon R., Jules, Carol Ann, Rick, Alison, Shabari, Tom, Julia C. Rick will chair the committee.

Results of Group Conscience 7/29/23, 8/26/2023, and 9/30/2023

Due to limited participation, the group deferred all topics until the next meeting.