Wednesday night, the new Beyond Belief Wednesday meeting occurred at 6:00 pm at the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church at 3405 SW Alice Street in the Fellowship Hall with an entrance off the lower parking lot.
Fellowship Hall is a large room with plenty of space to expand and has a kitchen attached. Greg volunteered to donate a 20-cup coffee maker to the group. Tom H. will initially open up and make additional keys with security code for others as needed.
Thirteen folks were in attendance. This augurs well, since the initial meeting of the Sunday Beyond Belief group had 5 folks and the first meeting of the Secular Sobriety group had 9 people attending. We continue to grow and expand.
The first half of the meeting was spent discussing organizational matters. We decided that the meeting would be another open meeting of the Beyond Belief Group and that our initial meetings will be as follows:
- The first Wednesday of each month will be a Step Discussion meeting of the step that corresponds to the number of the month. Therefore, next Wednesday, September 2nd we’ll share experience, strength and hope on Step 9.
- The last Wednesday of the month will be a city-wide celebration of secular A.A. birthdays. Folks who have achieved milestones of 1, 3, 6, 9 months of sobriety, a year and multiple years will get a chance to briefly qualify. We’ll purchase a cake and other goodies for a celebration during and after the meeting before another group comes in for a 7:30 pm meeting.
- The Wednesdays, two or three depending on the vagaries of the Gregorian calendar in between, will be regular discussion meetings using Joe C.s daily musing as the suggested topic.
Generally we’ll follow the same format on Wednesday that we use on Sundays. 7th tradition monies will be given to Kendall, the current group treasurer.
The rest of the meeting was spend with an open discussion around the topic of inclusivity, suggested by Tom H.
It was another auspicious beginning, another milestone for the evolving community of Portland secular members of AA.
Been awhile since I’ve posted on our little PDX Secular AA website. Been involved in lots of activity though and here are some of the things that are happening:
- Wednesday night, August 26th a new meeting will take place in SW Portland at 6:00 pm. It’s in Good Shepherd Lutheran Church at 3405 SW Alice, Portland, OR 97219. The first meeting will be an organizational meeting to determine initial format, whether it is another meeting of Beyond Belief or a separate group, etc.
- A couple of weeks later starting Thursday, September 10th, there will be a new meeting of the Secular Sobriety group at Tabor Space, the same room in basement and the same time as the Monday and Friday meetings.
This means that now there is a Secular AA meeting five days of the week, Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday — can Tuesdays and Saturdays be far behind?
PLUS !~!~! Jill and Thomas with several other folks will be meeting with the Little Yellow House Board in Seaside on September 1st to explore starting a secular AA meeting on Thursday nights at 7:00 pm on the breezy, coolish coast.
In addition, Jill and I fulfilled our H & I commitment at Providence/St. Vincent Mental Health Unit. We had an AA meeting with seven of the residents, which was mutually beneficial for all in attendance.
Onwards and Upwards . . .
I experience great value from our agnostic/secular meetings. After attending Beyond Belief at the Portland Alano Club on Sunday, I felt energized and decided to go to another AA meeting, a very loving meeting on NE Broadway. After the meeting, I noticed that there were two young ladies who hadn’t joined in the closing prayer.
One of the young ladies came up to me, saying she remembered me as one of her customers where she had been a barista. She and her partner are new to AA.
With tears in her eyes, she asked me, “Are there ANY AA meetings that are non-religious?!?!”
I, of course, replied, “You bet there are!” And with great enthusiasm showed them where our Beyond Belief and Secular AA meetings are happening here in Portland.
I think we may have saved some lives, my dear friends. A special thanks to all who brought this whole shebang to us on the west coast; not a moment too soon.