As sent to us in an e-mail:
Q: We are an AA fellowship with 21 meetings a week. As a fellowship we are autonomous but is each meeting autonomous? In our guidelines we state if any meeting wants to change their format for them to take a group conscious 3 weeks in a row and if positive for 3 weeks then come to the business meeting and present the changes. We then vote on it as a fellowship and we can hear dissenting opinions. [Our] guidelines also say that all meetings are autonomous. We have a conflict and either way to be in unity we have to remove one of them…[and we are] looking for [any other] way to [possibly] stop the conflict.
A: First, it is virtually impossible for an A.A. fellowship group to have that many meetings per week since there is little chance of “Any two or three alcoholics…(calling) themselves an A.A. group” (Tradition Three) being able to actually do that. So what you have there is more like some type of steering committee that would actually be an inter-group “Central Committee” calling itself an A.A. group and then “ruling over” other groups.
Is each meeting autonomous? Not if any other entity has any say in the handling of the meeting/group’s affairs. For example:
>> In our [committee’s] guidelines we state [how the meeting/group should conduct its affairs]…then [later] vote on it…
>> We have a conflict and either way to be in unity we have to remove one of them.
Exactly, and no Steering Committee should ever presume to tell any A.A. group how it must conduct its affairs.
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