Foremost in recent discussions about the structure of worldwide service in ACA have been questions that ask, “The Annual Business Conference (ABC), in all its facets, (something that traditionally has been an activity/event/obligation of the World Service Organization and the Board of Trustees), would that be better under the guidance and direction of the Delegates?”
Indeed, other Twelve Step organizations have structured their worlds with Regions, Areas and other service bodies, so that Delegates have a larger role in producing various aspects of their annual business gatherings. Their ‘Conference Charters’ outline the relationships and processes around their Conference (Delegation) and their administrative, World Service-type arm of their organizations. Our own Delegation has approved the study and development of an ACA Conference Charter. This has begun in the ABC Study Group (https://acawso.org/abc-awc-study/).
ACA may use the Charters of other Twelve Step organizations as models, but we will not likely copy them outright. Here’s why:
- Delegates to our Conference would then only come from Intergroups and Regions. Since ACA meetings are not required to affiliate with an Intergroup or Region, only about 55% of groups would have representation. Perhaps even less, as a lot of Intergroups are inactive.
- The current Proposal process would be scrapped. Proposals would only be submitted through Intergroups and Regions. Again, this would leave about half of the Fellowship without a means of participation.
When wondering about Delegate-driven planning and production of the ABC, the biggest challenge is that we actually don’t have a Delegation. Not yet. We do not have a ‘Conference-As-Service-Body’. We do have a ‘Conference-As-Individual-Delegates’, some of whom have aligned and converse with each other, but the sense of a unified ‘body’ has not developed.
With time, and with the efforts and involvement of Delegates and volunteers, the necessary structures will be formed - internal communications, elected servants, email addresses, and all the other attendant features. Until then, we are in transition.
So, where does that leave us today? In particular, with regard to Proposals, Ballots, and Motions?
Given that the only entity for overseeing the process is the Ballot Prep Committee, we will continue to shepherd the procedure. To see our message from last year, which will guide us, go to: https://adultchildren.org/comline/fellowship-news/the-call-for-proposals/
(Please Note: We have not planned to offer Proposal Workshops this year.)
We will follow the general outline of what’s been done until the Conference makes official changes to the process. Moving forward, here are some questions to ponder:
- What are the attendant Delegate/Group responsibilities related to changes that are proposed and adopted?
- Should a registered group that submits a Proposal be required to have a registered Delegate, responsible for guiding the Proposal through the Annual Business Conference, and beyond if a motion is passed?
- How will the Quarterly Delegate Meetings support the Ballot process?
Yes, lots of reasonable questions. Expect changes over time.