FROM BILL J — On giving service to the new BDA Intergroup
(Posted to both Dontdebt@groups.io and email@example.com on August 7, 2020)
So, a week or so has now passed, since I was part of the process of leading our new BDA Intergroup into use of several of the DA and BDA Tools. The glow of starting something really new has settled in, and I wanted to share with you all, the real joy that new service beyond the group level can be !!! As of the June meeting of the new BDA Intergroup, I am the elected Treasurer through June 2022. Then in July we approved our new spending plan, which is really robust and can support some great service, benefitting both DA and BDA members and providing significant outreach to the debtor and business owner who still suffers. The spending plans and our July treasury report can be found on the BDA Intergroup website. We also added distribution of free conference-approved DA and BDA literature to the Treasurer's responsibilities in July.
A little background, if you don't know: I joined DA back in the late 80s, and aside from a short interval taking my will back, in a BIG way, I've been a member now for 30+ years. I've been solvent in DA since 2004, solvent in BDA since 2005 (the business had some issues initially). Now we are free of unsecured debt in our personal life and in our business — my wife and I are together in the business and in DA and BDA, with a couples PRG, and a financial management oversight review for the business every month. (Our business is fairly big, HP be blessed). I served as a DA General Service Board member from 2012 to 2016, and have comfortably re-settled into just being another bozo on the bus, once again. BUT, just as I was beginning to rest on my laurels, I worked with a friend to create and deliver the first cycle of "Bill and Bob Do BDA" with lots of details available at that website. As we were preparing the materials and performing outreach to BDA groups and members, we realized that it was much more difficult to reach our BDA fellows than we thought it should be.
A few of us translated that into a need to establish an Intergroup for BDA — first, because there are loner groups and members existing and living too far out to be served by the "regional/phone" DA Intergroup structure. We also have BDA groups that are internet, eMail, ChatRooms, Zoom/Skype/etc, and of course face-to-face, but those groups can be lost in larger DA meeting lists. Of course the DA General Service Office meeting list has many BDA meetings, but the General Service Office does *NOT* allow postings of group events, so we have ensured that service on our website. Our Newsletters, eBlasts, BDA meeting and event lists, and other ideas and visions in the works will serve the business owner and debtor who still suffers AND those of us who have found this miraculous recovery and want to keep it.
All that is simply sharing. To get to the point, service continues to keep me solvent and to expand my spiritual life. In each of these BDA Intergroup business meetings I encountered my character defects, and other things that bring up more Step work (dang sponsor really doesn't allow me to get away with much — PLUS there's always the mantra of "oh, I see that defect in action, I feel those feelings, and I am GRATEFUL to my Higher Power"). I also expressed myself clearly and honestly, always a plus. There was a lot of "thanks" and gratitude expressed. And that mostly makes me blush and say something like "aw shucks, and go on," but I've learned to take it in and let it SINK IN...
I'll keep coming back.
Debtor and Business Owner
NOTE: The advent of the BDA Intergroup, now reframed as the BDA Intergroup Startup Project, through December 2021, was obviously very important to Bill. If you would like to express your gratitude for Bill through a financial tribute, please feel encouraged to donate through the 7th Tradition buttons at bdaintergroup.org, with a note such as: "Bill J Memorial." We've received the first few memorial donations, and we'll begin tracking those donations on the BDA Intergroup Startup Project treasury reports as their own income line item for the rest of 2020. Thank you in advance for your support.
ABOUT BILL J — A shocking and overwhelming loss for DA and BDA
I am incredibly sad to report that my co-facilitator for the workshops and our elder statesman, Bill J, has passed. Bill and I shared a 3.5 year BDA program relationship.
In January 2019, Bill asked me to write a series of workshop materials for the benefit of our fellowship, and then we edited my writing together — one sentence, one idea, one recovery detail at a time. Through the course of that editing, with Bill's encouragement and feedback, I became a writer, a manifestation of a lifelong dream and an untapped talent. I thank both Bill and the Higher Power for this experience and this outcome.
Once we were about halfway through, Bill and I planned and scheduled the first cycle of workshops together, for which we successfully acted as partners in service with a huge vision. We wanted to affect change within our fellowship from the inside, rather than via the service structure. We wanted to expand our fellow members' — both DA and BDA — experience to include all 36 principles, 24 tools, and 12 promises available to us in this program.
We also wanted to build a bridge between DA and BDA that could be crossed by any debtor and DA member who needs to earn a living in the modern world, perhaps especially those who have visions of owning and successfully operating their own businesses, but not only them. We wanted the spiritual approach we had found in BDA and applied to our work and businesses to be available to anyone and everyone who wants it.
Lastly, without seeing what was immediately ahead of us in terms of economic difficulties for many in 2020, we wanted to financially support the service efforts of our General Service Board (GSB) and, later, our BDA Intergroup Startup Project, through active fundraising. Based on our first cycle surveys and our second cycle participation, we have been successful on all counts.
I will always remember Bill as the generous fellow I met by videoconference once a week for almost six months to edit and polish the "Let's Do BDA Together" workshop materials, and to laugh together in joy in our BDA recovery. Those weeks together were one of my favorite recovery experiences to date, and I've been having recovery experiences, consistently and regularly, since the early '90s. I think Bill shared the best of his recovering self with me during that time, and I will remain grateful for the rest of my life.
Below are all of our workshop recordings so far, April 2020 through August 2020. As we were developing the workshop plan together and began recording our shares and Q&A in the middle of the first cycle, I had promised Bill that I would create a legacy of his shares for him. That legacy, unfortunately, will not include the 5s and 6s, and there were a few substitute speakers last cycle, but the recordings below will still be a rich reflection of Bill's successes in his program, life, and business, plus countless other areas of his endeavors.
Please enjoy these recordings and consider joining us for a future cycle of "Let's Do BDA Together," based on workshop planning and materials originally titled "Bill and Bob Do BDA."
— Bob A; firstname.lastname@example.org; September 1, 2020
There was confusion about who had volunteered to keep time, so the shares during the first hour are a bit longer than agreed, since the sharers didn't know they were sharing without timekeeping.