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Secular AA Open Meetings in the Portland Area

All are welcome regardless of belief or lack thereof

Beyond Belief:

Sundays @ 10:00 am, Portland Alano Club

909 NW 24th St., Portland

Wednesdays @ 6:00 pm, Lutheran Good Shepherd Church

3405 SW Alice St., Portland

Secular Sobriety:

Mondays @ 6:30 pm, Tabor Space

5441 SE Belmont St.

Thursdays @ 6:30 pm, Tabor Space

5441 SE Belmont St., Portland

Fridays @ 6:30 pm

5441 SE Belmont St., Portland

Secular ACA Meeting

Tuesdays @ 8:00 pm, Alano Club Annex Room Upstairs

909 NW 24th Street, Portland

She Agnostics

Saturdays @ 10:00 am, Alano Club in Study upstairs

909 NW 24th Street, Portland

Third Tradition:

Mondays @ 6:05 pm, First Baptist Church

125 SE Cowls St, McMinnville

Fridays @ 6:05 pm, Redwood Commons Rec Room

2161 NE Lafayette, McMinnville

Love & Tolerance:

Mondays @ 7:30 pm, Little Yellow House

715 3rd Ave, Seaside

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A QUOTE FROM BILL W.

” . . . this was the great contribution of our atheists and agnostics. They had widened our gateway so that all who suffer may pass through, regardless of their belief or lack of belief.”        AA Comes of Age, page 167

    RESPONSIBILITY DECLARATION
I am responsible when anyone anywhere reaches out for help, I want the hand of AA always to be there, and for that I am responsible!

_______________________________________________________

JOIN US IN AUSTIN, TX

November 11 – 13, 2016

for our second biennial convention

Check out www.waaftiaac.org

or email info@waaftiaac.org

_______________________________________________________

Yet One More Secular AA Meeting . . .

This past Monday, September 7th, the first open meeting of the Love & Tolerance group met at 7:30 pm in the Little Yellow House on Third Avenue in Seaside, Oregon. In strict adherence to AA’s Third Tradition, the Love & Tolerance group is for all alcoholics of any belief or no belief at all.

We had a rousing start with 13 persons from Seaside and nearby towns in attendance, who shared their experience, strength and hope about staying sober a day at a time. Two visitors from Asheville, NC were so impressed with the the format and quality of discussion regarding AA’s primary purpose, they were enthusiastic about checking out AA Agnostica and starting a similar group in western North Carolina.

Thus do we grow and expand — one meeting, one town, one geographical area at a time . . .

New Beyond Belief Meeting

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.

Time Passes, New Growth Evolves . . .

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 . . .

Thomas B.

 

Syd M. Shares Our Experience, Strength and Hope !~!~!

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.

Syd M.

We Agnostics Shine in Atlanta

Joe C., author of Beyond Belief: Agnostic Musings for 12 Step Life, which we use for topics of our meetings, posted on Rebellion Dogs a report about the 2015 International Convention recently held in Atlanta, celebrating A.A.’s 80th anniversary.

With the theme “Happy, Joyous and Free,” the report includes an mp3 recording of the “We Agnostics” panel, whose three speakers certainly exuded mucho happiness, joy & freedom about being agnostics in A.A. with longtime sobriety. The first speaker, Diggins, mentioned how grateful he was to see posters spread throughout the convention announcing the 2nd International Conference of We Agnostics, Atheists and Freethinkers November 11-13, 2016 in Austin, Texas. For me, an added bonus was hearing Mike, whom I went to meetings with on Long Island in the 90s, share his bountiful spirit again.

An extra bonus was the link that Joe C. put up to the talk of the last speaker on the last panel of the last day — John K. from New York spoke on the topic from page 164 of the Big Book, “We Know But A Little.” The talk includes a segment of Bill Wilson’s remarks at the Toronto International A.A. convention 50 years ago in 1965 on the dangers of too much dogma in A.A. Our Responsibility Declaration was the theme of the Toronto convention

Thomas B.

Many Paths to Recovery . . .

It’s been a most exciting time for me the last couple of weeks. Jill and I took an exciting and fun trip to Tucson, AZ with visits in Flagstaff, The Grand Canyon, the White Mountains and Sedona before we ended up in Tucson. I know, who  the F . . . visits Arizona in the summer when temps range from 105 – 115 degrees? Well, we had a special reason to go. Our son, Tommy, also aka Thomas B., celebrated his 10th year of being clean & sober in NA. His mother, Sara, her husband, Michael, and Tommy’s wife, Mica, celebrated with us.

Tommy hit his first rehab at Hazelden when he was 14, but spent the next ten years in and out of rehabs, psyche wards, long-term residential programs, jails, living in a crack house, robbing drug dealers in East Harlem, wearing an ankle bracelet, etc. Primarily addicted to Special K in the Rave scene of  ’90s, it took him many relapses with beer to get it that, yes though primarily addicted to Special K, he was also a drunk, just like his Daddy. I moved him to live with me out in Tucson in 2002, and eventually after another experience with the law while drunk, he got clean and sober again in 2005. When I returned from a two-year stint as an ex-pat in Sri Lanka, working as an unarmed peace keeper between the Sinhala Buddhist Army and the Tamil Tigers, I gave him his 90 day coin in August of 2005.

Married, with budding careers both in business and as a DJ, Tommy’s recovery today is focused on a weekly NA men’s meeting, weekly yoga sessions and weekly Buddhist meditation with a group in Tucson who follow the dharma of Noah Levine.

It was truly one of the most specially gifted days of my longterm sobriety in AA, to give son, Tommy, his ten year clean & sober medallion at the Monday night NA meeting in Tucson on June 29th !~!~!

Thomas B.

We Carry the Message of AA Recovery . . .

When I visited the Beyond Belief Meeting in Toronto last summer I was most impressed that they took a meeting into a dual-diagnosis detox  for alcohol addicts with other mental health issues at one of Toronto’s hospitals. Now I’m most happy to report that likewise do the secular AA recovery groups in Portland.

Under the excellent coordination of Rob B., we now have two H & I assignments arranged through the Portland Intergroup Office hospital desk:

  • On the first Wednesday of each month we take a men’s meeting into the Hazelden Rehab in Newberg
  • On the first and third Thursday of each month, we take a meeting with a woman and a man speaker into the dual-diagnosis unit of St. Vincent Hospital

Men with a minimum of one year sober can coordinate with Rob to share at the Hazelden Rehab. Women and men with a minimum of 90 days sober can coordinate with Rob to take a meeting into the dual-diagnosis detox for women and men at St. Vincent Hospital.

These meetings are listed in a sub-menu under the Meetings Tab at the top of the website homepage.

Thomas B.

21st Century Recovery

rewired-book-cover

This week Joe C., author of Beyond Belief — the name of our meeting and the book we use as the suggested topic for our meetings — put up on his website, Rebellion Dogs Publishing, a podcast of an interview he did with Erica Spiegelman, author of the book pictured above. Rewired updates recovery from addiction into the 21st century, as it’s subtitle proclaims, “A Bold New Approach to Addiction and Recovery.” I was fascinated by her interview, which follows Joe speaking about AA’s inverted triangle of organizational structure. Ms. Spiegleman makes imminent good sense, discussing how recovery occurs by finding not only physical recovery, but also mental, emotional and spiritual recovery within oneself, rather than by seeking it from above, as is intimated in the Big Book.

Thomas B.

New Attendance Records

An earlier post described the accelerating numbers of groups in North America for atheists, agnostics, freethinkers and those with different beliefs from the predominant Christian belief in the majority of AA meetings throughout North America. Well, the growth of Portland’s  secular AA meetings is also accelerating !~!~!

This week Jill and I attended both the Secular Sobriety Friday night meeting and the Beyond Belief Sunday meeting. Both meetings broke new attendance records: 28 for Secular Sobriety and 41 for Beyond Belief.

I was also most impressed that some 15 or 16 members of Secular Sobriety stayed for the Business Meeting afterwards. That’s a much higher percentage of group members at a Biz Meeting than most groups I’ve belonged to. The informed group conscience  of Secular Sobriety determined to start a new meeting at Tabor Space on Monday nights commencing July 6th. YEAH !~!~!

Thomas B.