CoDA

CoDA Service Conference 2016

 

Before the event

Hi my name is Su and I'm co-dependent. I'm going to be representing CoDA at the 2016 CSC - this year is also the 30th anniversary of the founding of CoDA, so it should be a great celebration of CoDA recovery.

I'm really nervous but also excited and plan to make the most of my trip to carry the news of what we have been doing here in CoDA UK as well as to bring back experience, strength and hope from the CoDA fellowship in the USA and other countries.

I plan to keep you all updated with the events at the CSC. Not quite sure how that will go as I have never been to the service conference before - or even to the US! But provided that jet lag and technology do not floor me I will add info here for you as I go along so please call back and check it out

If you want more information about the service conference there are also lots of documents on the US website which you can access here

In fellowship

Su

18/10/16 - arrival day plus one

Well - I've arrived. It was pretty much 24 hours travel and I got into Phoenix last night at 8pm - that's 4am in the UK.Even in the dark it was beautiful! Stars across the desert and the silhouette of huge cactus plants! My plan was to sleep and then write to you all this morning - but I've just found that there is a 'breakfast business meeting' (not something I've ever had before!) so I have to run - so good morning UK and I wish you a day of moderate emotions and strong recovery from Carefree Phoenix!!

18/10/16 - business conference day one

There are representatives here from all over the US also from Canada, Australia, Colombia and me from UK. We have 31 voting members here plus about 20 more without a vote.

Today the finance committee reported - apparently donations are down about 1% on last year. CoDA World's biggest expenses are the outside contracts they have to run their website and services such as helpline etc  - they only have a board of 5 at present so it was reported that without outside contractors CoDA would fold. Next highest cost is cost is travel. The plan is to to reduce the prudent reserve in CoDA's account - to release more funds for the fellowship to use. Also the way of donating throught the website is to start allowing people to specify what areas they would like to receive their tradition 7 donation.

The board reported that they are very much in need of more and new members.(Sounds familiar!!) The CoDA.org website has only 2 workers and gets 4,000 visitors a day. They explained how much updating of the website and manuals is done across the service and what their next years plans are. There are 2 people running for election as full board members and 2 as alternates (I need to find out what the aternates will actually do! - There's lot's I'm not quite sure about, but it is amazing to actually see what work is going on that we never hear about)

There were lots of changes to byelaws to allow certain processes to change or to update them to reflect current practice - you can check those out for yourselves when they are pulblished it that's your thing!

The Events Committee reported. Their main role is to put on the CoDA Service Conference and the International CoDA Convention - which is what I'm attending now. They have been surveying the fellowship to try and find out what people want in terms of dates and venues to allow the most possible to attend. Again they had motions ot be voted on. It sounds like the next 2 will be in Minnesota and San Diego. 2 years ago it was voted that the events could be held outside the US so I suppose it could conceivably be in the UK one year!

CoRe - that's the company that publishes the US literature - reported. I hadn't realised that they have nothing to do with developing new literature or the legal side of it - such as the UK literature contract. They simply publish and sell the CoDA approved literature. They publish in English and Spanish. They reported how expenisve it is to post abroad now - making it very hard for many people in other countries to afford literature.

It sounds like our UK service came just at the right time as apparently postal costs have rocketed in the last 2 years! Also some literature in both Spanish and English sells very slowly which means they have to store lots of stock once it is printed. They are looking to reduce costs of this in various ways. One of their motions passed by the delegates was to finally get some literature onto the website for free download - this will allow people across the world to download items for their own use without paying the huge postal fees.

I also learnt that the CoDA Book ('the Big Book') and the daily meditation book are available as ebooks in English and Spanish. I have asked what sites we should use in order to make sure royalties get to CoDA and apparently I've opened a can of worms so there will be more about that once that is resolved.

19/10/16 business conference day two

The Service Structure committees reported. They currently review the Fellowship Service Manual (FSM) and other manuals but were originally set up to review all the service structure of CoDA. They would like to expand their role back to work on this. They reported on work carried out over the year including reviewing some issues brought by Voting Entities (UK NSC is one voting entity - basically means any area of CoDA which is entitled to vote on issues. Several Motions were passed regarding the wording and structure of the FSM.

Then we heard from CoNNections about their role. They send out weekly recovery stories via email lists and also have a page on the CoDA.org website with previous stories available to read and a new 'Meeting in Print' that you can find on the same page. They would love to hear from you with your stories - the details of how to do that are onthe same webpage - connections.coda.org.

Spanish Outreach Committee reported on their role supporting the Spanish speaking CoDA community all over the world. They also are eager to get the Spanish website working better and improve the provision of Spanish literature and put forward various motions to support this. They work with all the other committees to carry all aspects of the message in Spanish.

Issues Medation committee then explained their role. They work at any level of CoDA to help resolve issues that cannot be dealt with satisfactorily through the Group Conscience process. If they are approached they encourage wortk to be carried out at the group, Intergroup/Region and Voting Entity levels. If needed they then meet either in person or electronically to offer mediation. They also get involved in the process of awarding travel grants to delegates wanting to come to the CSC from areas which don't yet have a Voting Entity service board.

The Communication Committee reported about how they are working to improve communication throughout the fellowship. They pointed out the importance of up to date and correct information at all levels to allow communication within the fellowship and to allow people seeking meetings to find the support they need easily. There is an online meeting and message forum - onlinecoda.net - which has some meetings geared to UK time zones - (this is listed on our meetings page too).

A delegate from Pennsylvania brought a motion to adapt the Welcome of CoDA. The desire was to add some words to the Welcome but this was not voted in - you can check the actual details on the CSC documents page.

The World Connections committee reported. UK has one member active on this committee. WCC works to bring all the voting entities across the world together to share experience strength and hope. I have been attending their morning 'breakfast meetings' each day (breakfast isn't included I discovered! It just means a 7am meeting!!). The topics so far have been encouraging service and communication and they have been a great place to share ideas and achievements. WCC also have teleconferencing topic meetings where up to 200 people can attend, listen and share in English and Spanish. At the CSC they are also co-ordinating times for each voting entity to report on their year before or after the business meeting each day - I gave one for UK this afternoon. It's been great to hear other areas' thoughts and  plans.

The Email List coordinator reported. There are 4 main list we can subscribe to to receive information by email. They are:

1. General CoDA Announcements

2. Co-NNections Weekly Reading

3. Hospital & Institutions

4. Quarterly Service Report (QSR)

the sign up is on the front page of CoDA.org website. Maybe each group could have a member to offer this as a service role - to bring the information to their group?

The new Board members were voted in - we now have 2 more full members and 2 alternate members (an alternate member attends the board meetings and discusses the issues raised but they do not have a vote unless one of the full members is not present)

Then various motions that had been 'tabled' (temporarily withdrawn for a bit more work) were brought back up and voted on before the end of the day's business.

 

I have to say it's a real honour to be here. But it's really tiring too! Meetings run from 7am to after 5pm and I'm very aware that I have been funded by CoDA UK so I'm making sure I attend, listen and give our vote on everything. I've only missed one vote (urgent loo break!) and also abstained on one that I just couldn't understand - some of it's the jet lag but also some American law is quite hard to get my head around.

It would be great if we do manage to send a delegate next year if the groups and intergroups could look at the motions when they are published on the US website and pass up thoughts and opinions. As a Voting Entity UK can also bring motions to CSC - all this information is passed throught the email lists.

20/10/16 business conference day three

We started the day by approving all the last 2 days motions were correctly worded. Then Finance committee had a little more business - mainly to do with reimbursement forms and timely requests for repayment.

Translations Management committee reported on their role. CoRe publishes literature in ENglish and Spanish but there are SO many other languages across CoDA. TMC deals with all requests by other countries or groups to translate their own literature into other languages.