Transitioning Back to Face-to-Face Meetings

During this historical time, we are aware that there is no precedence for groups to safely transition back to face-to-face meetings. We’ve compiled a list of suggested resources and considerations as groups prepare how, if, or when to reopen in-person meetings. What works for one group may not work for another and each group is encouraged to rely on the spiritual principles found in the Traditions and Concepts of Service, and on appropriate health advisors to help guide conversations and make informed group decisions.

Read Conference Approved Literature and Service Literature

Utilize the S-Anon Service Structure and Group Sponsors

As members and groups navigate the study and application of the Traditions and Concepts of Service, and work through group issues, there are trusted servants available to share experience, strength, and hope along the way. Though each group is autonomous, connecting with other members and groups can prove to be a valuable resource during this time.

Groups and Intergroups may want to consider creating a Re-Opening Ad Hoc Committee tasked with developing suggested guidelines as a resource.

  • Contact your Area Delegate or Regional Trustee: Your Area Delegate or Regional Trustee may be available to meet with your group and offer insight on questions or concerns.
  • Ask the WSO for a Group Sponsor: If you are not represented by an Area Delegate or Regional Trustee, email the WSO at [email protected] to ask for a Group Sponsor.

Reopening Considerations

S-Anon groups meet in a variety of locations – libraries, hospitals, churches, etc. – across North America and in many countries. Transitioning back to regular in-person meetings may bring new challenges for one group that another may not need to address. As groups consider their options, here are some suggested questions to help prompt discussions:

  • What are the current local or state regulations for gatherings?
  • Is our meeting space allowing gatherings to take place? Are there any new regulations required by the meeting space?
  • For the safety of attendees, do we need to consider restructuring how we collect the 7th Tradition, share meeting readings, hold hands at the close of the meeting, arrange seats, etc.?
  • How will our group handle conflict if a member of the group is unwilling to adhere to the decisions of the Group Conscience?

 

The June 2020 Special Appeal: Supporting the WSO

If you’ve been attending S-Anon for some time now, you may have heard someone in your meeting mention the Special Appeal. The Special Appeal, a tri-annual request for financial contributions, plays an integral role in supporting the work of the S-Anon World Service Office. The financial boost from these donations goes directly to support the day-to-day operations of the WSO but considering many groups have changed the way they are able to collect 7th Tradition contributions, we are keenly aware how this may affect the WSO long term.

This new normal has challenged us all to adapt in many ways, and we hope that individuals, groups, and intergroups can find creative ways to practice the 7th Tradition during this time. We’re here with some suggestions to help spread the word about this appeal:

  • Copy/Paste this brief message to your group contact list via email or text message, or in the chat function of your virtual meeting space:

The S-Anon World Service Office Special Appeal has arrived! Read the letter at member.sanon.org/juneappeal and contribute via PayPal at paypal.me/sanonwso or on the S-Anon website sanon.org/donate. Thank you for your contribution!

  • Read the letter to your groups for three consecutive meetings and “pass the group’s virtual basket” or ask members to contribute directly to the WSO.
  • Is your group’s donation collection on hold for the time being? We’ve got you covered! Share the direct links for contributing directly to the WSO via paypal.me/sanonwso or sanon.org/donate.
  • Forward the Special Appeal email to your groups and ask your intergroup to help spread the message as well.

Thank you for going above and beyond to ensure the WSO continues to be financially supported by the fellowship and thank you for spreading the word about this Special Appeal.

Participating in S-Ateen

Summer plans cancelled? Fortunately for teens ages 12 to 19, there are still ways to connect. Weekly Zoom meetings via the S-Ateen Online Community as well as bi-weekly Skype meetings for S-Ateen Spanish speakers are available. Know someone who can benefit from the S-Ateen program? Email the WSO, [email protected], to get connected. S-Ateen members can join the S-Ateen Online Community at s-ateen.org.

June 2020 Special Appeal

The Special Appeal is a triannual request from the S-Anon World Service Office for 7th Tradition donations. Please share this appeal with your group and consider making a contribution today!

Dear S-Anon Members,

Just when I was sure my life was over, and I would never get through what lay before me, I found S-Anon. Many years ago, I walked into my first S-Anon meeting and thought something must be terribly wrong. The members were laughing and having fun! “Well,” I said to myself as I drove home in tears, “they just don’t understand the seriousness of the disease!” Today I know they did understand, and that they were laughing because they were recovering the feeling of joy. After that first meeting I kept coming back for two reasons: it was the safest place to be seen and heard, and I wanted to feel the joy they had.

Having stayed in program, I too have experienced the promised spiritual awakening, and am privileged to witness the “S-Anon face lift” when members cross over from living in pain to discovering and living in the joy and freedom that S-Anon offers.

Working my S-Anon program reminds me that I can face whatever life offers if I remain teachable. With the wisdom of the 12 Steps, 12 Traditions and 12 Concepts I have tools to remain teachable, strong and resilient, able to navigate whatever circumstances or crisis I find myself in. These Gifts of the S-Anon Program give me opportunities to discover untapped strength and adaptability that I never realized I had.

Learning how to recover from the effects upon me of another person’s sexaholism serves every area of my life and has been a tremendous help especially in these unprecedented times. Without it I would be lost.

The world is changing before our eyes and our fellowship is adapting to meet the changing needs of its members. Most meetings have chosen to use a virtual format, which makes taking a 7th Tradition or Special Appeal extremely difficult. Some meetings have decided to wait until meeting in person before they send contributions to the World Service Office. However, that has the potential to place an unusual burden on the World Service Office if face to face meetings are postponed for an extended period. If ever there was a time to send donations directly to the WSO, this is it. Please prayerfully consider making a financial gift and/or a regular contribution either by mail or online at www.sanon.org so that we may keep our fellowship alive and its World Service Office fully functioning and able to serve those seeking recovery.

Thank you and God bless,

Pam S.
Midwest Regional Trustee

Public Information and Outreach Guide

Is your local group looking for a way to increase membership and create a greater awareness of S-Anon in your community? A piece of service literature, the Public Information and Outreach Guide, is now available to help you with this!

Step Twelve asks us to carry the message of the gifts of recovery, offering help and hope to families and friends of sexaholics, and Tradition Eleven emphasizes attraction rather than promotion, while maintaining personal anonymity. The Outreach Guide offers projects, suggestions, and ideas that adhere to both of these principles.

The Public Information and Outreach Guide can be a resource to grow local membership and to increase community awareness of our fellowship. The Guide offers suggestions and ideas for creating a local PI&O committee, along with ways to use the resources presently available on the S-Anon website. Other subjects in the Guide cover over 30 potential projects, including outreach to the general public, the media, helping professionals, and local correction institutions. Supplemental templates, forms, and resources are available for download in the Public Outreach section on the member area of sanon.org.

Consider adding this guide to your local group resources so you can help reach out, increase awareness of S-Anon in your community, and hopefully attract new members.

The Outreach Guide is available in both printed and digital formats through the S-Anon literature store.

2020 World Service Conference Postponed

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Service Conference that was to be held on Friday, July 24, 2020, in Toronto will not go forward as scheduled. With the cancelation of the Toronto International Convention, the possible health risks involved in meeting face-to-face, and the uncertainty surrounding the ability to reschedule this event in the near future, the WSC voted to convene in person next in July 2021 in Salt Lake City, UT. This date will be subject to change depending upon the circumstances that exist in Spring 2021.

From the Treasurer’s Desk

As you review the 2019 Profit & Loss Report and the Balance Sheet, I want to highlight important items to help explain the year-end results.

  • We ended our 2019 fiscal year with a Total Net Income of $17,966.32.
  • Because we use the cash basis of accounting, these results include some income and expenses from our second ever standalone S-Anon International Convention (Nashville Host Committee supported by WSO) in January 2020.
  • Our first ever WSO standalone S-Anon International Convention in January 2019 was a success and very well attended. S-Anon recorded our Nashville Convention speakers and the recordings are available for purchase via the S-Anon literature store under audio products. These recordings are available for an introductory price of $20 for the set.
  • We finished upgrading our e-commerce store and the S-Anon website. This has resulted in increased literature revenue most likely due to increased website traffic and new products.
  • We reprinted “Exploring the Wonders of Recovery” in a spiral bound version in July 2019. It is available for purchase via the S-Anon literature store for $15 plus shipping and handling.
  • We had a higher than budgeted revenue from International Convention proceeds and donations. I want to thank all the Convention Host Committee members who generously did service work which produced financially successful conventions.
  • Thank you to all the groups who made 7th Tradition donations to the WSO in 2019. Because of your generosity, these were higher than the historical averages that we used for our 2019 budget.
  • Our Cost of Goods Sold is not something we budget for, year to year. This reflects the cost of the inventory that was sold via our literature store during 2019.
  • Our accounting and legal fees are higher than budgeted due to two projects for which we needed to utilize attorneys, beginning in 2019, and continuing in 2020. They are 1) updating the Copyright Translation Agreements used with International S-Anon groups wishing to translate, print, and distribute S-Anon literature locally and 2) addressing a copyright infringement issue by another entity. This is ongoing as we work to protect the S-Anon copyright on our literature.
  • Our telecommunications expenses are higher than budgeted. Due to S-Anon being in a good financial position for 2019, the BOT made the decision to purchase audio and visual equipment to be used at the World Service Conference and to record breakouts and speakers at International Conventions. The remaining audio equipment purchased was originally planned for 2020 but advantageous year-end sales resulted in acquiring this expense in 2019.
  • Our Prudent Reserve is fully funded, and we ended 2019 with $40K in our Retained Earnings.

The January 2020 International Convention in Nashville, TN, was a collaboration of members of the Nashville S-Anon community, with the WSO providing the small business support for our second S-Anon Only Convention. This was well attended, and we utilized S-Anon’s newly acquired audio equipment to record the main speakers and a breakout room. These recordings are available for purchase on the online store. They are available as bundles or individual breakout meeting topics.

Thank you for all your financial support by making 7th Tradition donations, purchasing items from our literature store, attending conventions and being a member of S-Anon.

Dawnielle A.
Treasurer, Board of Trustees

Board of Trustees Statement – COVID-19

March 16, 2020

Dear S-Anon Fellowship,

The S-Anon World Service Office has seen a recent spike in group correspondence with questions concerning appropriate actions S-Anon groups need to take considering the current situation with the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Whether it’s through a group conscience to postpone meetings for a period of time, taking precautionary measures at face-to-face meetings, temporarily relocating meetings to phone or virtual platforms, or being faced with meeting locations closing the doors to social gatherings, many S-Anon groups are making decisions on how to care for members of the group and newcomers as we all continue to provide support for each other.

In response, we have compiled some recommendations to consider as groups continue to meet or begin creatively brainstorming how to adjust to this current reality. As autonomous entities, it’s up to each S-Anon group to decide what the next right steps are and considering the uniqueness of each S-Anon meeting such as city and number of members, what may be best for one group may not be necessary for another.

Face to Face Meeting Safety

Most large social gatherings scheduled over the next several months for over 100 people are being cancelled or postponed but due to the smaller attendance of S-Anon meetings and the varying locations of each group, some groups may not see the need to postpone meetings. In the event a group decides to continue meeting face-to-face, we recommend that all members practice standard precautionary measures to avoid the spread of any illness such as good hand washing habits, avoiding handshakes/holding hands, and staying home if feeling ill.

Groups may wish to make changes to the Suggested Meeting Format as is reflective of a group conscience to prioritize the safety of all attendees, and group members may want to consider providing hand sanitizer and using disinfecting wipes for all meeting material passed around. We do not encourage meetings be relocated to personal homes.

The decision to continue attending face-to-face meetings is a personal one and all members are encouraged to use their best judgement as they decide what levels of social distancing is right for them. Above all, we advise that every member and group stay up-to-date with local advisories as circumstances may change day to day.

Phone and Virtual Meetings

In the event a meeting location closes to social gatherings or a decision is made to postpone meetings for an extended period, a group may wish to meet via a call conferencing or virtual meeting room platform. If an Intergroup is developed within the area, creating one account with a company that provides these services may be beneficial to help organize meetings locally.

There are no additional guidelines for phone or virtual meetings beyond what S-Anon groups already have for face-to-face meetings, but the group may see a need to adapt the Suggested Meeting Format to accommodate the unique meeting arrangement (i.e., please mute when not speaking or “pass the basket” using a money transfer app).

For any groups choosing to simply postpone meetings and not relocate to phone or virtual meeting space, members can still participate in already established phone and virtual meetings. Please email [email protected] for the phone and virtual meeting schedule.

Communicating with the World Service Office

For groups who have lost their meeting space availability, choose to postpone meetings, or temporarily relocate to a call conferencing or virtual meeting space, please contact the WSO immediately with updated information and include a 1-2 sentence statement that can be published under the meeting’s profile on the Find a Meeting page to inform inquirers about when to check back in on the meeting status or instructions for connecting with members of the group. The WSO typically has a 2-business day turn-around for publishing updated meeting information on www.sanon.org though we will now be prioritizing these updates as they are submitted.

A statement will be posted this week on www.sanon.org which will inform inquirers of potential interruption in regularly scheduled meetings due to the current circumstance.

Serving the Newcomer and Group Members

During this unique time, we would like all groups to carefully consider how they can still extend a welcoming hand to those in need. Updating the WSO with any meeting changes is a great start! If the group has or intends to create a group email, inquirers can be met with a kind, personal message, updated meeting details, a list of group members available for phone support, and even literature or recorded meeting recommendations from the online store.

If your group hasn’t already, this may also be a good time to create a phone list of all attending members. Whether it’s a group text for shares, reading recommendations, or to just check-in to see how everyone is holding up, this phone list could come in handy to help maintain connection with each other.

World Service Office Response Plan

At this time, we do not foresee the need to close the WSO and entirely move work remotely but understand that if our circumstances change, i.e., if a staff member or family member becomes ill or childcare arrangements change, we may also face new challenges in responding to inquirers, members, and groups in a timely manner while we transition work outside the office. In this event, our response time may be strained so we would like to ask groups to consider creating a generic group email to be published on the meeting’s profile so that newcomers can reach out directly to the group, reducing the length of time it may take a newcomer to connect with the local group.

Currently, we have only one staff member who will begin working remotely but because the WSO is in a small office building away from populated areas, the remaining staff will be able to come and go without interacting with others. The Executive Committee will continue working closely with the WSO to ensure all staff members are adequately cared and provided for during this time which means our response plan may need to adapt to changing conditions as they occur.

The BOT is aware of the fiscal impact the WSO may experience if S-Anon meetings cease to gather face-to-face for an extended period. Because 7th Tradition contributions account for 25% of the WSO’s revenue stream, we would like to ask all groups and members consider ways in which we can continue to support the WSO. For example, individual members can make direct contributions to the WSO at www.sanon.org, groups who relocate to phone or virtual meetings can still collect 7th Tradition through money transfer apps, or members can purchase the recorded meetings from the most recent International Convention.

You are not alone.

This statement has certainly been taken to a different level as of recently but truly, we are all in this together.

Please reach out to your Area Delegate or Regional Trustee with any questions on how to connect with other local groups. If your area is not represented by an Area Delegate or Regional Trustee, you are always free to reach out directly to the WSO at [email protected].

Celebrating a Successful International Convention!

Over the course of three days in January, 183 S-Anon & S-Ateen members gathered together in Nashville, TN, for a weekend filled with sounds of healing! During the convention, members participated in a community gratitude list which was compiled together by the S-Ateens to create a beautiful mosaic sunset picture titled One Day at a Time. 

If you weren’t able to make the convention, you may be interested in purchasing the speaker and meeting recordings. The message of hope in the S-Anon program can travel with you! Wherever you go, you’re only a play button away from connecting with members worldwide.

Purchase Convention Recordings

Welcoming the Newcomer

Did you know that a Newcomer’s first interaction with a local S-Anon group typically starts on the S-Anon World Service Office website? There are many ways S-Anon groups can ensure a welcoming hand is extended to a Newcomer, and especially with the many recent updates to the S-Anon website and Meeting Posting Policy, S-Anon groups have more options now than ever before on how meeting information is presented to inquirers.

The WSO publishes the following information provided by S-Anon groups on www.sanon.org:

  • Meeting Name
  • Meeting City and State
  • Meeting Day and Time
  • Meeting Email Address, Information Line, and Website
  • Meeting AddressMeeting Additional Information

To find out what the Newcomer is seeing for your group, look at the Meeting Map and the Find a Meeting page on the S-Anon website. When considering the Newcomer’s journey to an S-Anon meeting, here are some suggested questions for the group to review:

  • Can you list off the steps a Newcomer must take before being able to show up at your specific meeting?
  • Is there anything your group could do to help streamline the process for a Newcomer wanting to attend your meeting?
  • Does your group annually update the WSO with accurate meeting information?
  • If your group wants to publish the meeting location, has permission been provided to the WSO to do so?
  • If your group has a generic email address or information line, does the member monitoring these accounts respond in a timely manner?
  • Is the Contact for Inquirer listed at the WSO still attending the meeting and responding to inquirers in a timely manner?

Since the WSO now publishes meeting locations, we ask all groups to consider allowing the WSO to distribute the meeting address on www.sanon.org. The intention of publishing meeting locations was to help create a straighter path to an S-Anon meeting for the Newcomer, but we understand that groups have different preferences and needs so what may work for one group may not for another. Has your group held a group conscience in deciding whether to publish the meeting location?

The WSO greatly appreciates when groups stay up-to-date with meeting information. Providing accurate information to a newcomer is just one way the WSO can do its part in carrying the message of hope and recovery. For more experience, strength, and hope on welcoming a Newcomer, feel free to reach out to your Area Delegate or Regional Trustee for support.