Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous (S.L.A.A.)

Fellowship-Wide Services (F.W.S.)

Conference Steps, Traditions, and Concepts Committee: Questions from the Fellowship

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The comments below were given by various members of the Conference Steps, Traditions, and Concepts Committee and do not represent a group conscience of the entire committee. The opinions expressed here are solely that of the person giving them. Take what you like and leave the rest.

The Question

The CSTCC welcomes Questions from the Fellowship concerning the Twelve Steps, Twelve Traditions and Twelve .  Our responses are individual, and neither binding nor authoritative.   We do not speak for the whole of S.L.A.A.

Question from the Fellowship (Committee Reference #2023-2):

When a fellow creates a motion to be added to the agenda of a conference committee meeting, does the committee have the right to decide on their own to not present it at a meeting?   Does taking that authority truly honor Tradition 2?   “Tradition 2: For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority — a loving God as this Power may be expressed through our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.”

Response #1:

and provide some guidance for this situation.

Per Concept Ten, each is matched by equal service authority, with the scope defined by tradition (lower case “t”), resolution, job description, etc…   By tradition, a committee chair has responsibility for developing the meeting agenda.  So, they would seem to have the authority to determine what does or does not go on it.

Concept Twelve, Warranties “d” and “f” can also provide some input.  Per Warranty “d”, all important decisions should be reached by , vote, and whenever possible, by substantial unanimity.    Per Warranty “f”, all aspects of the Conference (including committee's) should be democratic in thought and action.  If an item is not allowed to be placed on the agenda, then it cannot be discussed and voted upon. Having discussion and voting would be the most democratic method of addressing an issue.  The item could be an important one, so not bringing it to the committee could be out of alignment with both of these Warranties.

As indicated in the Question, Tradition Two provides further clarify.  There is one ultimate authority, a loving Higher Power.  Our leaders do not govern.  Not allowing an item to be placed on a conference committee agenda could be seen as governing, especially when that decision is held up to the standards set by the Warranties in Concept Twelve.

Response #2:

In order to answer this question, I would need to know what authority was previously assigned to this chairperson, through group conscience, by the committee. Since we take group conscience on service positions and sometimes their job descriptions, it may be that this authority was voted on by the group in a previous meeting and Tradition Four says every group is autonomous. I can't speak to this without more information.

Response #3:

In most cases I would agree that a motion should be presented before committee and the committee would then see if there is a second and proceed through their process and vote on the motion.

 I can also see circumstances where a committee chair might not.   It depends on the rules of the committee, and the motion.

Examples would be:

  • Making a motion outside the scope of the committee (A motion to the committee on a budget issue)
  • Making a motion that has been turned down in the recent past (If the vote didn't go the way the person wanted, bringing a few more allies to the subsequent meeting and try to vote again)
  • Making a motion undoing a previous recent motion (If a committee votes and approves A in one month there should be time to have A in place before trying to repeal that motion).
  • Not presenting the motion in a timely manner. (2-3 days before a meeting might not be sufficient time to make it to the agenda – the motion might need to wait until a later meeting)
  • Agenda is too full – most committee are one to one and a half hours long if there are already many items on the agenda a new motion might need to slip to a later meeting.
  • The motion is unclear or confusing, the chair might ask for the motion to be cleaned up prior to presenting it to the committee.

Response #4:

A thorough reading of all the Concepts will help with the response to this question. Certainly, Tradition Two — and all the Traditions — is helpful as well.  I am moved by Concept Nine in specifically.

The first sentence of Concept Nine seems particularly relevant: “Good service leaders, together with sound and appropriate methods of choosing them, are at all levels indispensable for our future functioning and .”   Our committee leaders are trusted servants who guide our activities, not govern, not direct our activities. We expect our leaders to think through their decisions and actions, not leaders who mindlessly follow the directions of others. Our committee leaders need to be able to function by steering the committee toward accomplishment of its mission.

If the committee chair was forced to submit every motion submitted by a fellow to the committee, the committee could be strangled by extraneous discussion. The committee could be prevented from achieving its mission. On the other hand, if the chair prevents appropriate motions from reaching the committee, it is the responsibility of the committee membership to elect a new leader.

The Concepts are a brilliant guide to our service behavior. I hope they will receive greater attention as we move forward.

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The CSTCC is a group of volunteers, some of whom were ABM delegates, and others who volunteered out of interest. We do not represent a group conscience of S.L.A.A., but are committed to bringing thoughtful discussion and study of 12 Step Fellowship literature and experience to the questions that are brought to us. We offer this summary as the results of our discussions. We present the major points of concern in the hopes that wider discussion in the Fellowship will help us evolve our customs and practice of the S.L.A.A. program of recovery to better represent the loving guidance of a Higher Power. Always, we affirm the autonomy of each group and the need for each individual to follow her/his own conscience. No decision of this group, or any other, is ever forced upon another, even when we believe a practice is clearly in conflict with the Steps, Traditions, or Concepts.