Who Or What Is Intergroup?
Intergroup is a meeting of the meetings in your area. Intergroup meets for a variety of reasons which promote SCA unity, however, it is very important to understand that Intergroup does not “govern” any meeting. Tradition Four states, “Each group should be autonomous, except in matters affecting other groups or SCA as a whole.” If a matter arises in a meeting that needs attention, then the people in that meeting make the deciding vote – not Intergroup.
Most of the larger cities have an Intergroup. Most of the smaller cities and towns run business meetings which act as their Intergroup. A business meeting usually irons out any kinks in the meeting(s) and creates an environment for change. Intergroup generally meets once a month and follows a consensus of all of the members of SCA in your area and is designed to establish a mode of communication, to form SCA unity and to increase SCA’s -outreach services. Like Intergroups in larger cities, as the number of meetings in your area grows, you may want to combine your efforts with members of other meetings to organize an event (e.g., a conference, a retreat, a holiday party or picnic).
Very similar to your home meeting, most Intergroups hold elections for one-year terms for the following positions: Chair, Treasurer, Secretary (who records the minutes of each meeting), Literature Chair, and ISO Representatives). Some terms and offices may vary from city to city. Any member of SCA can go to an Intergroup meeting. Some cities require that only designated Intergroup Representatives from home meetings may vote at Intergroup meetings.
The following is a possible agenda for an Intergroup meeting (but not all Intergroup meetings):
- Statement of Purpose – Introductions
- Approval of Minutes of last meeting
- Treasurer’s Report
- Committee Reports
- Old Business
- New Business
- Serenity Prayer
Who Holds The Offices Of The Meeting?
You’re the Chair of the meeting right from the start. This is important for two reasons: (1) you know best how meetings are typically organized and how they function, and (2) the people who are allowing you to use the space will feel more comfortable if they see your face every week – at least until the meeting has been going awhile.
Not all cities hold the same offices for their meetings; however, here are some of the other offices which you may decide to establish: Treasurer, Literature Person and Intergroup Representative. You may start out being all of these, but don’t worry. Once the meeting takes off, you’ll find people interested in doing service and filling in those positions. When you do know the names of the people holding office in the meeting, register their names with the Intergroup Secretary.
Then, after the meeting is well on its way, it is customary to hold elections every 3-6 months, to relieve the people currently holding office of their duties. This is known as “doing service.” Service is one of the tools that help us get better – it’s “a way of helping ourselves by helping others.” So don’t be afraid to ask for help. You may have started the meeting, but that doesn’t mean that you have to carry the meeting for the rest of your life.
What Are The Duties Of The Chair Or Secretary?
You run the meeting from start to finish. The Treasurer will announce when the Treasurer’s Break is, but other than that, you follow the format that’s been established. If it’s a qualification meeting, you are responsible for finding speakers. You are responsible for seeing that the meeting starts and ends on time, and that all furniture, lights, etc., are returned in the manner in which you found them.
What Are The Duties Of The Treasurer?
If you’re the Treasurer you are responsible for the money that is collected. This money is distributed in three ways: (1) paying rent, (2) making a suggested monthly donation of $5 or 10% (whichever is larger) to Intergroup, and (3) being held as a prudent reserve for future purchases of literature or for other purposes relevant to the meeting, It is a good idea to keep a ledger for the meeting to keep accurate accounts of the meeting’s money. An example of how to keep your ledger follows.
Sample Ledger Beginner’s Meeting
Date of Meeting.
No. of People at Meeting.
Type of Expense
A check or money order should be made out regularly to SCA and mailed to the Intergroup Treasurer in your area. Don’t forget to indicate the location and time of the meeting. If your area has not yet developed an Intergroup, a Portion may be sent directly to the ISO Treasurer at the following address:
P.O. Box 1585
New York, NY 10011
What Are The Duties Of The Literature Person?
As literature person, you are responsible for seeing that your meeting has four-folds and lists of all meetings in your area. If the meeting has purchased additional literature, such as books or telephone lists, you are responsible for that as well. During the Treasurer’s Break you will have your chance to announce that you have literature if anyone is interested. You may obtain literature through your Intergroup, or if your area does not have one, you may get it directly from ISO:
P.O. Box 1585
New York, NY 10011
What Are The Duties Of The Intergroup Representative?
If you are voted Intergroup Representative by the members of the meeting it is your responsibility to go to the regularly scheduled Intergroup meetings. Intergroup Reps have the privilege to vote on pressing issues relating to SCA in your area. Upon attending the Intergroup meeting, it is your responsibility to report back to the members of your weekly SCA meeting with any pertinent information relating to SCA, as well as any minutes from the last meeting.
Whom Do I Tell About The Meeting?
Once you have established a day, time and location for the meeting, register it and its officers with SCA Intergroup (or ISO). Please include a name for the meeting. Pick a name that best describes the overall context of the meeting.
What If Nobody Comes To The Meeting?
Be patient. Meetings can take anywhere from a few weeks to a couple of months before they start to catch on, sometimes even longer. Don’t be discouraged. However, to speed up the process, you may wish to have the meeting announced at other SCA meetings, or hang flyers at appropriate locations. An example of an inappropriate place for a flyer is a telephone pole or shopping center. In smaller communities, contact therapists, hospitals, clinics; or possibly post information at other 12-Step fellowship meetings such as AA, AL-ANON, OA, NA, etc. Some publications have lists of community activities including 12-Step meetings. Since confidentiality is part of the backbone of our program please be careful and considerate in letting others know about the new meeting.
The Twelve Traditions of SCA form the framework for all SCA meetings and our community. Our First Tradition states, “Personal recovery depends upon SCA unity.” You are weaving a very important part of that unity by starting a meeting in your community. You are encouraged to read the Twelve Traditions as a means of laying the roots of a meeting and your recovery in healthy soil.
You are taking a very helpful and encouraging step toward your recovery, as well as strengthening the well-being of our program and its outreach services. So, when someone calls us and asks, “Do you have a meeting in my area?” We can proudly say, “YES!” – all because of your efforts. Thank you!
(Extract from “SCA – A Program of Recovery” © SCA-ISO)