From the C.A. World Service Manual
DEFINITION OF A COCAINE ANONYMOUS “GROUP”
A meeting is when two or more people gather together to share their experience, strength and hope with each other.
A meeting may call itself a C.A. Group when:
1. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop using cocaine and all other mind-altering
2. It is fully self-supporting.
3. Its primary purpose is to help addicts recover through the Twelve Steps of C.A.
4. It has no outside affiliations.
5. It has no opinion on outside issues.
6. Its public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion.
THE C.A. GROUP
The basic unit in C.A. is the local Group, which is autonomous except in matters affecting other Groups or C.A. as a whole. The Group has but one primary purpose, which is to help others to recover through the Twelve suggested Steps. Each Group is self-supporting through its own contributions. As the Twelve Steps are our guide to recovery, the Twelve Traditions are our guide to Group unity, growth and discipline. Its members maintain their personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, television and films.
The importance of the Group, what it constitutes and its functions cannot be stressed enough. Maintenance of our recovery depends on the sharing of our experiences, strength and hope with each other, thus helping us to identify and understand the nature of our disease.
Most addicts in C.A. achieve and sustain their recovery as a result of their participation in the activities of the Group. The Group is the heart of Cocaine Anonymous and it is vital to the new member. It is equally important to those who have achieved recovery as a result of the program. They may continue to participate and receive assistance from the Group. The Group’s total responsibility is perhaps best expressed by the First Tradition:
“Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon C.A. unity.”
Most meetings follow a more or less set format, although distinctive variations have developed. It is our experience that many meetings begin or end with some form of prayer. While each C.A. group is autonomous, and adopts its own format, C.A. as such never endorses, opposes or affiliates, expressed or implied, with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution. A leader describes the C.A. program briefly for the benefit of the newcomers, and then turns the meeting over to a speaker or to participation.
Some time during the meeting, there is usually a period for C.A. related announcements of interest to the meeting. A collection is taken to cover rent, literature and chips, refreshments, contributions to the District, Area and World Service Office as per the 7th Tradition. Many groups hold a business meeting monthly or at other intervals to discuss such items as: group finances, distribution of 7th Tradition, meeting format, election of trusted servants, etc. It is suggested that records be kept of group business meeting decisions. Each group is autonomous, and the group conscience decides how business meetings may be conducted.
Those attending meetings are reminded that any opinions or interpretations they may hear are solely those of the speaker or participant involved. All members are free to interpret the recovery program in their own terms, but none can speak for the local Group or C.A. as a whole.
THE C.A. HOME GROUP
A Home Group may be defined as a meeting a member regularly attends. The Home Group provides an opportunity to begin to be of service. Experience shows a Home Group is one of the vital components to continuous sobriety. In a Home Group members can participate in the business meeting and are able to cast their vote as a part of the group conscience.
OPEN: Attended by C.A. members, their families, friends and other interested people.
CLOSED: Attendance is limited to C.A. members only.
STEP STUDY: Participants study and discuss the Twelve Steps with the Group.
BOOK STUDY: Participants study and discuss with the Group any of these books: Hope, Faith & Courage Stories from the Fellowship of Cocaine Anonymous (the “C.A. Storybook”); Hope, Faith & Courage Volume II Stories and Literature from the Fellowship of Cocaine Anonymous; Alcoholics Anonymous (the “Big Book”), Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions (the “12 and 12″),; and The A.A. Service Manual, combined with the 12 Concepts For World Service”.
PARTICIPATION: Participants discuss their experience, strength and hope with the meeting/group one member at a time.
SPEAKER: One or more C.A. members share their personal experience, strength and hope with the meeting/group at length.
H&I MEETINGS: H&I meetings are often restricted to patients or residents only, and not open to the community as a whole. These meetings are brought into facilities by local C.A. members through the H&I committee. H&I meetings are basically beginners meetings; with the chairperson of each meeting providing the speakers. They are not usually listed in the area or world directory; and they do not observe the 7th Tradition. Certain facilities may require H&I participants to be subject to sobriety requirements, dress and conduct codes.
“For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority — a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern. ”OUR SECOND TRADITION
C.A. groups may create such service positions, as they deem necessary to carry on the group functions with such job duties and sobriety requirements, as they feel appropriate. Such positions by way of illustration might include: Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, Literature, Coffeemaker/Hospitality, Greeter, etc. The suggested business positions of groups are:
GROUP SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE (GSR)
Suggested sobriety time: One year Term: One year
The GSR position is a very important service position for which a member can be elected. Great care should be taken with this choice; the quality of the District/Area Services and ultimately World Services can only be as good as those choices the individual Groups make. As with the Secretaries, GSR candidates should only accept positions for those Groups that they regularly attend. Regular attendance is to be defined by the groups. They are the ones who will carry the information back to the Group as to what is going on in our Fellowship on a District/ Area level as well as the World level.
It should be understood that a GSR does not require Group approval to vote on matters affecting the Group or C.A. as a whole, although it is the GSR responsibility to vote mindful of the group conscience. (See Concept 3). A good GSR is familiar with the C.A. World Service Manual and the Twelve Concepts of World Services. If the GSR cannot attend, an Alternate should attend. The person elected GSR should be trusted with the Group vote. Before accepting a nomination for GSR, the nominee must consider the level of commitment as well as the sacrifice of time involved.
Duties and Responsibilities:
- 1. Sees that the Traditions are followed within the Group
- 2. Attends all appropriate business meetings.
- 3. Conducts communication between the Group, District and Area.
- 4. Reads/reviews communications from the District, Area and World Service.
The purpose and responsibility of the Alternate GSR is to assist the GSR and to assume the responsibilities of the GSR when necessary.
Suggested requirements and qualifications are the same as those for GSR.
Suggested sobriety time: Six Months Term: One year
The Secretary is a trusted servant whose responsibility is to provide the Group with the leadership best suited to assist the recovery of the members through utilization of the C.A. Program.
Duties and Responsibilities:
- 1. See that the Traditions are being followed within the Group.
- 2. Follow the format in accordance with the group conscience.
- 3. See that the responsibilities of the other Group servants are met.
- 4. See that Seventh Tradition contributions of the members are collected and that a record is kept of the Group’s income and expenses.
- 5. See that the Group is represented at the District or Area Service Meeting.
- 6. See that rent for the meeting space is paid and that the Group’s monthly contribution is forwarded to the District, Area and/or World Service Office.
- 7. Keep an accurate, up-to-date record of changes of the group conscience.
- 8. Keep a record of each officer’s election date.
- 9. Display C.A. literature and schedules.
GROUP TREASURER QUALIFICATIONS
Suggested sobriety time: One Year Suggested prior service time: Six Months Term: One Year
Gainfully employed and/or financially solvent.
Duties and Responsibilities:
- 1. Keeps an accurate bookkeeping system.(See the “Group Treasurer’s Record” form)
- 2. When applicable, maintains Group bank account(s) with checks requiring two signatures.
- 3. Gives financial reports to the Group regularly.
- 4. Pays all Group expenses.
- 5. Passes on contributions to the District/Area and/or the World Service Office.
- 6. Collects and documents 7th Tradition money.
- 7. Collects and documents the H&I money (if H&I cans are passed at that meeting), and passes the H&I money onto the District or Area Treasurer, distinguished as H&I money.