Category Archives: Information

Tees, Alberta

Tees, Alberta

Website: www.serenityranch.ca
For more information please call: 1-403-348-3464

The Serenity Ranch in Tees, Alberta starts a How It Works Group

The owner of Serenity Ranch is always looking for better treatment for his clients. He ended up in Palm Springs, California, after hearing about our group. He attended our meeting where we use a daily reading book containing 35 years of group conscience decisions and guidelines. He purchased some books and gave them to his clients at the Ranch. They not only set up but ran their own meeting. A visiting group member, 35 years sober, has never seen anything as hopeful and powerful as what he witnessed. Serenity Ranch’s clients are treating their alcoholism and will be able to carry their treatment program anywhere after they leave the facility.

Some Notes On The Relationship Between Alcoholics Anonymous (The Big Book) And The How It Works Daily Readings

To be of greatest service to the newcomer, the How It Works (HIW) group has chosen a format for twice a day meetings that focuses almost entirely on the material provided in Alcoholics Anonymous. Each regular meeting begins with a reading of the HIW Preamble, a reading from a portion of chapter 5, brief “announcements” and the reading of a brief selection from the Big Book, Alcoholics Anonymous, as found in the HIW Daily Readings. At Thursday evening meetings, however, reading of the Twelve Traditions and a Traditions chapter from Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions are substituted for the readings from Chapter 5 and from HIW Daily Readings.

This format has proven successful over many years. These notes clarify the relationship between Alcoholics Anonymous and the HIW Daily Readings for anyone who desires additional information about the relationship.

With the exceptions noted below, the format of the HIW Daily Readings may be explained as follows: Sentences, paragraphs, and in some cases entire sections from Alcoholics Anonymous were cut into manageable pieces and then rearranged somewhat randomly to provide two “readings” per day, one for the morning meeting, another for the evening meeting.
The HIW Daily Readings are taken verbatim from the following parts of the Big Book Alcoholics Anonymous and all are properly cited (references are to the Fourth edition):

Preface (pp. xi-xii)
Foreword to the First Edition (pp. xiii-xiv)
Foreword to the Second Edition (pp. xv-xxi)
Foreword to the Third Edition (p. xxii)
Foreword to the Fourth Edition (pp. xxiii-xxiv)
The Doctor’s Opinion (pp. xxv-xxxii)
Chapters 1-11 (pp. 1-164)
Part I – Pioneers of A.A. (Introductory Page, unnumbered, following p. 164)
Doctor Bob’s Nightmare (pp. 171-181)
Appendix II, Spiritual Experience (pp. 567-568)

Using the material from the sections cited above, there was enough material to provide two readings a day, every day, for the period January 1 through June 30 of each year. The readings were then repeated in the exact same order for the period July 1 through December 31. Note that because of the uneven number of days in a calendar year, it was necessary that December 29-31 be exceptions to the “repetition” rule. Note also that no specific reading is provided for February 29 (i.e., Leap Year). The HIW Daily Readings allow for virtually every word, sentence, paragraph, and/or page in the first part of Alcoholics Anonymous (i.e., pp. 1-164, plus front matter and Dr. Bob’s story) to be read and discussed twice each year. Most notably, the tendency to omit material from the chapters “To the Wives” and “The Family Afterward” has been avoided.

For a variety of reasons, however, there are some exceptions to that general rule. In some cases, specific material appears more than the customary two times per year. In other cases, specific material in pp. 1-164 and small parts of Dr. Bob’s Story in Alcoholics Anonymous has been omitted from the HIW Daily Readings. It is to these exceptions that we now turn. No specific judgment should be made nor is any specific interpretation intended as to why certain material is emphasized or omitted. This citation of exceptions to the “twice a year” format is made for reference purposes only.

EXCEPTIONS TO THE TWICE A YEAR FORMAT:

The Doctor’s Opinion, p. xxvi: The two paragraphs beginning with “The physician who…” and ending with “…we cannot otherwise account” appear 3 times in the HIW Daily Readings (January 24, July 24, and December 29).

Chapter 1, Bill’s Story, p. 1: The last paragraph beginning with “Twenty-two…” and ending with “…utmost assurance” is omitted and does not appear anywhere in the HIW Daily Readings.

Chapter 3, More About Alcoholism, p. 36: The first paragraph, beginning with the second sentence “We asked him…” and ending with “another glass of milk” does not appear anywhere in the HIW Daily Readings. The first sentence of that paragraph, however, appears as the last line in the April 10 and October 8 readings.

Chapter 3, More About Alcoholism, p. 39: The last sentence of the first full paragraph “Let us take another illustration” is omitted and does not appear anywhere in the HIW Daily Readings.

Chapter 4, We Agnostics, p. 48: In the next to last line, the phrase “To illustrate:” is omitted and does not appear anywhere in the HIW Daily Readings.

Chapter 6, Into Action, p. 76: The second paragraph beginning with “When ready…” and ending with “Step Seven” appears in HIW Daily Readings on February 12 and August 12. The same material (commonly known as the Seventh Step Prayer) is repeated and stands alone at the beginning of the HIW Daily Readings (no pagination), but the opening and closing sentences of the paragraph are omitted.

Chapter 6, Into Action, pp. 76-77: The last paragraph on p. 77 beginning with “Probably there are still…” and ending on p. 78 with “… spiritual discoveries” appear only once, December 30, thereby proving an exception to the twice a year convention in the rest of the HIW Daily Readings.

Chapter 6, Into Action, p. 84: The middle paragraph beginning with “This though brings us…” and ending with “… is our code” appear only once, December 30, thereby proving an exception to the twice a year convention in the rest of the HIW Daily Readings.

Chapter 6, Into Action, pp. 86-88: Beginning with “When we retire at night…” and ending with “… entirely devoted to Step Twelve” appears as front matter entitled Daily Meditation, in addition to appearing normally in accordance with the twice a year convention in the rest of the HIW Daily Readings.

Chapter 7, To Wives, pp. 104-105: The last paragraph beginning with “We have traveled…” and ending with “… be themselves once more” appears only once, December 31, thereby proving an exception to the twice a year convention in the rest of the HIW Daily Readings.

Chapter 8, To Wives, p. 110: The last paragraph beginning with “Let’s now go back…” and ending with “…when reasonably used” is omitted and does not appear in the HIW Daily Readings.

Chapter 8, To Wives, p. 111-113: The last sentence on p. 111 beginning with “When a discussion…” and ending with “…powerful recoveries” on p. 113 is omitted and does not appear in the HIW Daily Readings.

Chapter 9, The Family Afterward, p. 123: The paragraph beginning with “Suppose we tell you…” and ending with “…family may be unhappy” appears 4 times in the HIW Daily Readings (January 10, June 30, July 10, and December 28).

Chapter 10, To Employers, in its entirety (with the exception of five paragraphs) is omitted and does not appear in the HIW Daily Readings. The exceptions are noted here (i.e., they are included and they follow the twice a year convention): p. 139, the paragraph beginning “If you desire …” and ending with “… this feeling rising” ; p. 141, the paragraph beginning “This is not to say …” and ending with “… a well man” ; pp. 147-148, the three paragraphs beginning “After reading …” and ending with “…exceptions are few.”

Chapter 11, A Vision for You, p. 152: The short paragraph beginning with “How is that to come about…” and ending with “… find these people” appears only once, December 31, thereby proving an exception to the twice a year convention in the rest of the HIW Daily Readings.

Chapter 11, A Vision for You, pp. 152-153: The paragraph beginning with “You are going to meet…” and ending with “…Love they neighbor as thyself” appears 3 times in the HIW Daily Readings (January 24, July 29, and December 31).

Chapter 11, A Vision for You, pp. 154-155: The paragraphs beginning with “One dismal afternoon…” and ending with “…meant to be an alcoholic” appear on June 10 and December 9. A large portion of that reading, beginning with “One dismal afternoon…” but ending one paragraph sooner with “…lifted the receiver” appears two more times on February 24 and August 24. The paragraph not included in the latter (beginning with “His call …” and ending with “… to be alcoholic” is, however, included again on March 2 and August 30.

Chapter 11, A Vision for You, pp. 162-163: The paragraph beginning “Thus we grow…” and ending “… need to begin” appears 4 times in the HIW Daily Readings (January 15, May 30, July 15, and November 27).

Doctor Bob’s Nightmare, p. 171: The paragraph beginning “I was born …” and ending with “… early educational activities” is omitted and does not appear in the HIW Daily Readings.

Doctor Bob’s Nightmare, pp. 172-174: Beginning with “The next three years…” and ending with “… into any trouble” the material is omitted and does not appear in the HIW Daily Readings.

Doctor Bob’s Nightmare, p. 175: The two paragraphs beginning with “Finally my father…” and ending with “… so disastrously before” are omitted and do not appear in the HIW Daily Readings.

Appendix II, Spiritual Experience, pp. 56-568: The paragraphs beginning with “In the first few chapters…” and ending “… greater than themselves” appear 4 times in the HIW Daily Readings (March 13, May 11, September 10, and November 8).

Appendix II, Spiritual Experience, p. 568: The paragraphs beginning with “Most of us think…” and ending “… But these are indispensable” appear 6 times in the HIW Daily Readings (February 23, March 7, June 20, August 23, September 4, and December 18).

Appendix II, Spiritual Experience, pp. 568: The last paragraph beginning with “There is a principle…” and ending “… Herbert Spencer” appears 4 times in the HIW Daily Readings (April 26, June 11, October 24, and December 9).

Appendix II: How It Works group Committee Member & Duty List

Chairperson
One year sobriety recommended. Six month position.

Position requires calling to order and mediating rotating committee business meeting. The chairperson reminds rotating committee members to attend the business meeting. The business committee meeting is held on the Tuesday prior to the group conscience meeting. The task of the business meeting is to review topics that have been posted for consideration and to insure that the proposals are not against either A.A. Traditions or decisions taken at prior HIW group conscience meetings. As chairperson of group conscience meetings the chairperson insures that meetings are run smoothly and in a fair and orderly manner. In neither meeting does the chairperson have a vote, nor is the chairperson to attempt to sway or influence the group by making facial expressions, gestures, or comments. In addition, it is the responsibility of the chairperson to insure that the duties of rotating committee members are being properly carried out and to suggest changes when assignments are not being fulfilled.

Treasurer
One year sobriety recommended. Two year position.

Responsible for collection of daily contributions envelopes, logging into book, making deposits (less any expenses for petty cash type reimbursements), paying utility and other regular expenses, reimbursing expenses in exchange for receipts from house supply person, house maintenance person, literature representative, cake night representative, and other persons authorized to make expenditures on behalf of the group. The treasurer posts a monthly report of all income and expenses. It is the responsibility of the treasurer to pick a person, with at least one year sobriety, to serve as a back-up and to serve as a second signature on both the regular and prudent-reserve checking accounts.

Intergroup/GSR Rep.
One year sobriety recommended. One year position

Attends all monthly Intergroup and GSR meetings; makes information available to the group; posts appropriate informational reports on bulletin board.

Web Keeper
One year sobriety recommended. One year position.

Position requires that the How It Works website be kept up to date and that majour changes be approved by the group conscience. Responsible for renewal of the domain name registration and the website hosting service and answering the e-mail.

Secretary
Six Months sobriety recommended. Six month position.

Responsible for keeping items on the Bulletin Board (e.g., business committee meeting minutes, group conscience meeting minutes, cake night and special events information) up-to-date. Responsible for taking minutes at group conscience meetings and posting a report. Posts list of current rotating committee members and their duties. Posts rotating committee sign-up sheets on the Bulleting Board at least one month in advance of election. Keeps Birthday Box current and posts birthdays on an index card for all to view in advance of each month’s cake night. Supplies all step sheets and phone lists and insures that both are kept current.

Cake Night Rep.
Six Month Sobriety recommended. Six month position.

Responsible for organizing cake night each month (arranges for speaker; sets up and cleans up room; purchases cup cakes, cakes and refreshments). Responsible for ordering 1-year medallions. Keeps track of date cards in birthday box in conjunction with Secretary.

A.M. Rep.
Six Month Sobriety recommended. Six month position.

Responsible for opening clubroom and setting up meeting (i.e., making coffee, putting out cream, keeping sugar supply baskets stocked, inviting newcomer to serve as daily chairperson, and general clean-up (including vacuuming, cleaning tables, cleaning bathroom, hauling out trash, etc.). Responsible for setting up tapes and books for “Big Book Study” meetings. Responsible for locking clubroom after meetings.

P.M. Rep.
Six Month Sobriety recommended. Six month position.

Responsible for opening clubroom and setting up meeting (i.e., making coffee, putting out cream, keeping sugar supply baskets stocked, inviting newcomer to serve as daily chairperson, and general clean-up (including vacuuming, cleaning tables, cleaning bathroom, hauling out trash, etc.). Responsible for setting up tapes and books for “Traditions” meetings. Responsible for locking clubroom after meetings.

Supply Person
Six Month Sobriety recommended. Six month position.

Responsible for keeping the inventory and purchasing clubroom supplies (coffee, cream, sugar, cleaning supplies, towels, toilet tissue, soap, etc.) Oversees general and major once-a-month clean up as needed.

House Maintenance Person
Six Month Sobriety recommended. Six month position.

Responsible for general repairs as needed. Authorized to make expenditures for small repairs (i.e., under $100 per month) but must obtain estimates for larger repair jobs and present such planned expenditures to the rotating committee business meeting for discussion and consideration at the group conscience meeting. Schedules and oversees major repairs (e.g., heater, air conditioner, etc.) upon approval.

Literature Rep.
Six Month Sobriety recommended. Six month position.

Responsible for purchasing and providing literature (as approved by the group conscience) to clubroom, and all chips.


*You may delegate your responsibilities to another as long as they meet the above recommendations. However, you are personally responsible for your positions.

**When positions rotate, it is YOUR responsibility to show and go over the position with the newly appointed person. You should sit down with the new person and go over the responsibilities and expectations of the assignment. You should make yourself available for as long as necessary to insure that the new person understands and fulfills the duties of the position.


 

Information on Elections and Other Matters Relating to Rotating Committee Service Positions

The How It Works group is aided by members of the rotating committee. Trusted servants including the Chairperson, Treasurer, Secretary, Intergroup/GSR Representative, Cake Night Representative, morning and evening representatives, as well as the supply person, the house-maintenance person, and the literature representatives. In keeping with the ninth tradition, these service positions are elected twice annually as part of the regularly scheduled group conscience meeting. If a position is vacated, supplemental elections may be held, but such elections should always be conducted as part of a group conscience meeting.

As more fully explained in the Committee Member and Duty List, it is recommended that the rotating committee members have a minimum of six months of continuous sobriety. The exceptions are the Chairperson, Treasurer, and Intergroup/GSR Representative who are to have one year of sobriety. Each rotating committee member or committee representative serves a six-month term with the exception of the GSR Representative who serves for one year and the Treasurer who serves for two years.

Collectively, committee members are responsible to make sure the group’s day-to-day operations are done in accordance with group practices and expectations. Each committee member or representative is personally responsible for his or her position. If an individual committee member may not be able to fulfill his or her responsibilities, they will need to follow up on insuring that another member of the group is capable of fulfilling the necessary tasks. Training the new person in the group to follow through with the committee tasks would be the most beneficial to keep the group healthy.

When new members are elected, it is the outgoing person’s responsibility to explain the exact nature (i.e., the responsibilities and expectations) of the assignment. The former member or representative should be available for as long as necessary to help the new person understand what is expected and to insure that he or she fulfills the duties of the position.

How It Works Meeting and Special Events Schedule

Regular Morning Meetings are held at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday – Friday and 8:00 a.m. on Saturday.

Regular Evening Meetings are held at 5:30 p.m. daily (i.e., 7 days a week).

Traditions Meetings are held at 5:30 p.m. on all but the last Thursday in each month in place of Regular Evening Meeting

Rotating Committee Business Meetings are held on the last Tuesday of each month and are held immediately following the end of the Regular Meeting.

Group Conscience Meetings are held on last Thursday in each month. In the event that a designated holiday falls on the normal group conscience day, then the group conscience meeting is held in place of the regular meeting on the Wednesday before the holiday.

Holiday Meetings are held at 9:30 a.m. and are held in place of Regular Morning meetings. The Regular Evening Meetings are unaffected by the holiday schedule. Designated holidays were voted in at the February 26, 1993 Group Conscience meeting. The designated holidays are:

New Year’s Day
Presidents’ Day (USA groups only)
Good Friday (Canada group only)
Memorial Day
Canada Day (July 1, Canada group only)
Independence Day (July 4, USA groups only)
Labor Day (USA groups only)
Thanksgiving Day (and the immediately following Friday for USA groups only)
Remembrance Day (Canada group only)
Christmas Day

Because many people are not routinely given days off work for such “other holidays” as Columbus Day, Veteran’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, etc., they are not included in the HIW holiday schedule. It is the intention of the HIW group to avoid having the holiday meeting list change and to avoid engaging in debate about including or excluding these and other similar holidays.

Special Meetings:
Cake Night is held at 8:00 p.m. on the last Saturday of each month. In the event that a designated holiday falls on the regularly scheduled Cake Night the group may alter the schedule (e.g., move Cake Night up one week) in a vote taken at a group conscience meeting in the prior month. (In Canada, the December Cake Night Party is held on New Year’s Eve at 8:00 p.m.)

Annual Anniversary Gala on date chosen each year at group conscience meeting Christmas Eve Candlelight Meeting December 24 at 9:00 p.m for the Palm Springs group, 8:00 pm for the Ladner group.