New definitions of Abstinence and Recovery passed at OA World Service Business Conferenche

OA World Service Business Conference occurred May 9-11th, 2019 in New Mexico. You can read the wrap-up report here.

Of note, a change in the definition of Abstinence and Recovery was passed at the conference. See the new definitions below:

  1. Abstinence: The act of refraining from compulsive eating and compulsive food behaviours while working towards or maintaining a healthy body weight.

  2. Recovery: removal of the need to engage in compulsive eating behaviours. Spiritual, emotional, and physical recovery is achieved through working and living the Overeaters Anonymous Twelve-step program.

Also, the new book Body Image, Relationships, and Sexuality: Personal Journeys to Recovery in Overeaters Anonymous was granted the Conference Seal of Approval.

Intergroup needs a new home - please help!

Intergroup is losing its current home (which is also where the literature room is) at the end of August.

Do you know of a place that might host us? Here are some of the requirements:

  • Rental of a storage room for literature

  • Affordable

  • Room rental once a month for Intergroup meetings (ideally on a Saturday or Sunday

Other criteria we are interested in:

  • Close to the subway

  • Accessible

Please contact the Chair of intergroup Eva at chair@oaontario.org if you have a lead on a location

Is your group adhering to Traditions? Review the Traditions Tune-Up Here

Traditions Tune Up April 2019

Written by the Region 6 Trustee

A trustee is specifically given the role of being the custodian of the OA 12 Steps, 12 Traditions, and 12 Concepts of OA service. In my first 8 months as a trustee, I’ve received dozens of inquiries from members, many of them about actions in OA meetings and how they align with traditions and concepts. As a trustee, I answer the questions as well as I can, always running my answers by at least one other trustee to make sure I’m on the right track. Usually when someone breaks a tradition, it’s because of lack of knowledge, understanding, or experience with it. But it’s not only trustees who are the custodian’s of OA’s legacies – as Tradition 2 states on page 102 of our new OA 12& 12, ”All OA members share a responsibility for the operation of OA.” And in Tradition 9 on page 147 it says, “When Traditions are not honored, individuals have a responsibility to speak up – lovingly and clearly…. By speaking up when a Tradition is not honored, we help other OA members learn about these spiritual principles.”

As registered OA groups we have an obligation to adhere to all guidelines, traditions, and OA policies and by-laws. We agree to it when we register our meetings. These guidelines, policies and by-laws are determined at the World Service Business Conference which is the group conscience of OA as a whole, according to Concept 2. We, as members and groups, make the decisions. You’ve all seen the upside-down pyramid that represents OA’s service structure – the members in groups are at the top – they’re in charge. Intergroups and service boards serve the groups through group reps, regions serve the intergroups through their representatives at the 11 Region Assemblies, and World Service serves the Regions through the Board of Trustees, with the World Service Office serving all of us as paid employees.

These are the points that define an Overeaters Anonymous group:

  1. As a group, they meet to practice the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, guided by the 12 Concepts of Service to OA.

  2. All who have the desire to stop eating compulsively are welcome in the group.

  3. No member is required to practice any actions in order to remain a member or to have a voice (which means to share at a meeting).

  4. As a group they have no affiliation other than OA.

  5. It has affiliated as an OA group by registering with the World Service Office.

The definition of an OA group clearly states that all members should have a voice in meetings, and Tradition 3 reinforces that by reminding us that the only requirement for membership is a desire to stop eating compulsively. Yes, groups are autonomous as long as their actions do not affect OA as a whole. Restricting someone from sharing is not in harmony with the definition of a group or Tradition 3. Newcomers or members in relapse may feel unwelcome, or may feel that they are not part of a meeting, if they’re asked not to share. They may leave OA. A group conscience can decide to have a suggested requirement for sharing, but it can only be a suggestion, and they should consider the effect of that decision on newcomers and others, even if the intent is to share the strongest recovery message possible.

Another question that’s come up a number of times is how old you have to be to be in an OA meeting. This is interesting, since Tradition 3 tells us that anyone with the desire to stop eating compulsively is welcome at an OA meeting. But because of liability issues, OA suggests that any person under 18 years old be accompanied by an adult, though not necessarily in the meeting room. In fact, OA now considers Young Persons to be between the ages of 18 and 30. The other thing we emphasize, since this question frequently comes from a parent, is that if someone younger than 18 comes to an OA meeting, they will need to decide for themselves that they have a desire to stop eating compulsively.

I had a couple of questions about mentioning outside literature in OA meetings. In a Feb. 8, 2019, letter describing OA’s trademark, under the signature of the Board of Trustees, the following was stated:

“LITERATURE In order to maintain unity and honor our Traditions, it is suggested that only OA- approved literature be read at OA meetings. (See OA’s Statement on Approved Literature, Business Conference Policy Manual, 2010a [Amended 2012].) OA’s members and groups may speak of outside literature in nonspecific terms, but it is recommended that neither the title nor the author be named.”

Based on this, if I were to reference a short quote when sharing in a meeting or in a shared writing, I would paraphrase it rather than repeat it word for word, and I might say that it helped me immensely, but I would not mention where I read it or the program or philosophy it espouses. Anything other than OA would be an outside issue. We learn from the world around us, but we need to ensure that we're sharing our OA recovery in OA meetings.

I was recently asked about saying the Lord’s Prayer as the closing prayer for a meeting. In this specific instance, two old-timers felt passionately that the meeting should continue using the Lord’s Prayer. It is, of course, group autonomy that decides what a meeting’s closing prayer will be. However, the 1993 WSBC, which is the group conscience of OA as a whole, voted as follows:

We, the 1993 Business Conference of Overeaters Anonymous, suggest that OA meetings and events be closed with one of the following: the Serenity Prayer, the Seventh-Step Prayer, the Third-Step Prayer, or the OA Promise I Put My Hand in Yours.

So the Lord’s Prayer is not one of the closings suggested by the World Service Business Conference. The person that called me said that some people in the meeting, and some newcomers, were uncomfortable with the Lord’s Prayer. Then she mentioned that someone had given her an article from the AA monthly magazine that explained that the Lord’s Prayer wasn’t really a Christian prayer but had originally come from Judaism, so she wanted to bring that article to the business meeting because AA literature is approved in OA, right? Actually, no, not all AA literature is OA approved.

2010a Amended 2012. The following policy statement was adopted:

Statement on Approved Literature

In accordance with our Traditions, we suggest that OA groups maintain unity and honor our Traditions by using, selling, and displaying only approved books and pamphlets at their meetings. This includes OA Conference- and board-approved literature; AA Conference- approved books, booklets, and all future editions thereof, with original edition copyright 2010 or earlier; and locally produced OA literature.

So the AA literature must be conference approved and with an original copyright earlier than 2010 – so that excludes this Grapevine article. Besides, Tradition 10 reminds us that OA has no opinion on outside issues – and both Christianity and Judaism are outside issues, as is non-conference approved AA literature!

This one wonderful phone call added another traditions tidbit. One of the old-timers that pushed for the Lord’s Prayer had actually moved away and no longer attended the meeting in question – but she came back to add her voice and vote when the Lord’s Prayer issue came up again. Obviously, Tradition 2 comes to mind: “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.” And what about Tradition 3, “The only requirement for OA membership is a desire to stop eating compulsively.” Should this person who no longer attends the group be part of the group conscience? Concept Four tells us that “The right of participation ensures equality of opportunity for all in the decision-making process.” The concept goes on to explain that each member has a voice on all issues, and every member has the right and responsibility to participate in the decision-making process, the group conscience, at business meetings. But it goes on to say “the extent of participation may be limited by established guidelines for a particular meeting. Every OA member can attend any OA business meeting as a visitor, but that does not automatically give them the right to vote. Voting may be limited by ground rules or bylaws to members who regularly attend the meeting.

Big Book Study - June 15/16, Newmarket

OVEREATERS ANONYMOUS

BIG BOOK STEP STUDY

  • Date: Saturday and Sunday, June 15 & 16. 2019, 9:00am – 5:00pm

  • Cost: $15 per day, $25 for both days

  • Location: Saturday – St. Andrew’s Presbyterian, 484 Water St, Newmarket, ON L3Y 1M5, and Sunday – Magna Centre, 800 Mulock Dr., Newmarket, ON L3Y 3Y9

  • Please register ahead to make sure you have a space: Email: p.guillet@sympatico.ca, Phone: 416-654-5219

The format is to read from the big book together, then write on the step, then share in small groups about the step.  We will take the actions in the steps.  For example, we will be doing a mini fourth step and some sample amends letters and scripts.  

Day One:  Steps 1 – 5. 

Day 2:  Steps 6 – 9.  Great for Newcomers and Old-Timers alike!

You may sign up for one day or for both days.

All proceeds will go to Central Ontario Intergroup.

You can download and share the poster for the event by clicking here

All your questions about the Region 6 Convention (Oct 18-20) answered here!

Do you have burning questions about the OA Region 6 convention happening October 18 - 20, 2018 in White Plains, New York?

The Region 6 Convention flyer has 3 quick tips--reminders of what folks in your area need to do to get to the upcoming R6 Convention in White Plains, NY:

  • How and when to register for the convention...and for how much

  • Details for hotel reservations

  • Perhaps most important...the meal plan options! This year we have 3 options for meals:

    • 5 meal plan - this includes meals on Saturday and Sunday   - $180.00 (includes the Saturday banquet)

    • 4 meal plan - this one is new this year for those that cannot stay for lunch on Sunday as they have to head home - $150.00  (includes the Saturday banquet)

    • Banquet Only-  a plated, sit down meal (no buffet...new this year) - $55.00

Please download this flyer and distribute to your meetings and your OA friends. You can also find out more about the convention by clicking here.


Get on the waiting list for the March 29-31 Intergroup Spring Retreat

The Central Ontario Intergroup Spring Retreat from March 29-31st, 2019 has sold out.

However, you can still be put on the waiting list and people often drop off last-minute. Sign up to be on the waiting list by emailing Marlene D at mkdcisme@gmail.com

Join other OA members and boost you program with recovery and fellowship. Download and share the poster for the event by clicking here.

When:

  • 7pm, Friday March 29-noon, Sunday March 31

Where:

  • Queen of the Apostles Renewal Centre

  • 1617 Blythe Rd, Mississauga, ON L5H 2C3

Cost: $245. Includes:

  • your own room

  • 3 meals on Saturday

  • 2 meals on Sunday

To register, contact Marlene D at mkdcisme@gmail.com

May 17-19, 2019: Western New York Spring OA Retreat

Western New York Spring OA Retreat

May 17-19, 2019

Follow the Yellow Brick Road to Abstinence!

CHRIST THE KING SEMINARY, 711 Knox Road East Aurora, NY 14052

Friday, May 17th 4 pm through Sunday, May 19th 1:30 pm

Check-in Friday: 4:00 pm - 6:45 pm, Program Begins at 7:00 pm

COST: $175 Includes single room, 3 meals on Saturday and 2 meals on Sunday

(meals will not be included on Friday)

Click on and complete this REGISTRATION FORM and make checks/money orders payable to:

OAWNY

Payment must be made in US funds; Canadian guests: US Money order or cash.

Remit payment to:

Liz Owens

21 Alberta Drive Buffalo, NY 14226

Phone: 716-832-0962 Email: elowens924@gmail.com

A limited number of half scholarships are available, on a first come first served basis.

NOTE: one per calendar year per person. To request a scholarship contact Liz Owens

Registration Late Fee: $20 if postmarked after April 28, 2019.

Big Book Study: Step into Recovery - May 3-5th, 2019

Join us and a recovered OA member from Scottsdale, Arizona, who has maintained a 500 pound weight lost and has been abstinent for over 20 years. He will share his experience, strength and hope while leading a Big Book Study workshop. Download and print this poster with details or see below:

  • When: Friday May 3rd (Registration at 6pm, workshop 7-9pm), Saturday May 4th (9am-4pm) and Sunday May 5th (9am-11:30am)

  • Where: Glenpark Public School, 101 Englemount Avenue, North York, (Wheelchair accessible and parking available onsite)

  • Cost: $15 in advance, $20 at the door

  • Contacts: Lynn (647-338-6877), Esther (esther2448@gmail.com), Neseh (416-5626072)

OA Spring Retreat - London, Ontario, May 3-5, 2019

The London Ontario Monday and Thursday OA meetings are sponsoring a weekend retreat,

OA Spring Renewal Retreat

  • Date: May 3, 6:30pm to May 5, noon, 2019

  • Location: Michaelite House Retreat Centre 

  • Melrose Ontario,  10 minutes west of London

  • Cost: Before March 31, 2019

    • Double Room: $170

    • Single Room: $185

  • After April 1, 2019

    • Double Room: $195

    • Single Room: $210

More details can be found in this poster. Please print and share.

Unity Day - Sunday February 24th

Unity Day

When: Sunday Feb 24. 11:30

What: This day recognizes the strength of the Fellowship worldwide. OA members worldwide pause to reaffirm the strength inherent in OA’s unity.  Diversity enriches us and helps OA reach more suffering compulsive eaters. In OA all are welcome. Let’s promote acceptance and inclusivity.  

Groups that meet on that day may want to take a moment or the entire meeting to dedicate it to the topic of Unity. 

Groups that don’t meet on that day may encourage their members to set a reminder to pause at that moment and show gratitude for the continued existence of Overeaters Anonymous. 

Lifeline Magazine update - get your subscription ASAP

Lifeline Magazine, produced by Overeaters Anonymous World Service is no longer financially sustainable. World Service is now looking for feedback from members for ideas on the operation and future of Lifeline. If you would like to provide feedback, please email: info@oa.org

You are still able to get a one-year subscription to Lifeline. If you and/or your OA group would like to subscribe to Lifeline (10 issues/year), either digitally or in paper format, you can do so by clicking here.

Central Ontario Intergroup Spring Retreat March 29-31, 2019

Join us at the Central Ontario Intergroup Spring Retreat from March 29-31st, 2019. Join other OA members and boost you program with recovery and fellowship. Download and share the poster for the event by clicking here.

When:

  • 7pm, Friday March 29-noon, Sunday March 31

Where:

  • Queen of the Apostles Renewal Centre

  • 1617 Blythe Rd, Mississauga, ON L5H 2C3

Cost: $245. Includes:

  • your own room

  • 3 meals on Saturday

  • 2 meals on Sunday

To register, contact Marlene D at mkdcisme@gmail.com

LIST OF HOLIDAY MEETING CLOSURES

(Updated December 23, 2018). Below is a list of meetings that have been reported to Intergroup to have closures or different start times during the holiday period. Please note: meetings may not have sent notice of closure to Intergroup so be sure to phone the meeting contact first if you want to make sure your meeting is happening. You can also visit the oa.org website for lists of online or telephone meetings.

2018 HOLIDAY MEETING CLOSURES

CLOSED MEETINGS OVER THE HOLIDAYS

DECEMBER 24, 2018

  • 6:00 PM 519 Church St., Toronto

  • 6:00 PM Royal View Deaf Church, 218 Clark St., London

  • 6:30 PM St. Paul United Church, 200 McIntosh St., Scarborough

  • 7:00 PM Garnet A. Williams Community Centre, 501 Clark Ave, Rm 2, Thornhill

  • 7:30 PM St. Frances of Assisi, 49 Blueridge Ave., Kitchener

  • 7:30 PM St. Marks United Church, 1 Lynndale Ave., Dundas

DECEMBER 25, 2018

  • 10:30AM Bethel Christian Reformed, 616 Dundas St., Waterdown

  • 1:00 PM Salvation Army Church, 769 Julianna Dr., Woodstock

  • 6:15 PM St. Andrews United Church, 117 Bloor St. E., Toronto

  • 7:00 PM Activity Haven, 180 Barnardo Ave. Room 3, Peterborough

  • 7:00 PM Saint Mathews Church, 331 Fifth Ave., Timmins

  • 7:00 PM Riverdale Presbyterian Church, 662 Pape St. Upstairs, Toronto

  • 7:00 PM Emmanuel United Church, Bridgeport & Albert St.- Purple Room, Waterloo, On.

  • 7:30 PM St. John’s United Church, East 38 th St., Hamilton

  • 7:30 PM St. Andrews Presbyterian, 20858 Dalton Rd., Sutton West

DECEMBER 26, 2018

  • 12:00 PM Trinity St. Paul’s Church, 427 Bloor Street West (W of Spadina), Toronto

  • 7:00 PM Emmanuel United Church, Bridgeport & Albert St.- Purple Room, Waterloo, On.

DECEMBER 27, 2018

  • 12:15 PM Christ Church Deer Park, 150 Yonge St., Heath Room 2, Toronto

DECEMBER 31, 2018

  • 6:00 PM 519 Church St., Toronto

  • 6:00 PM Royal View Deaf Church, 218 Clark St., London

  • 6:30 PM St-Paul United Church, 200 McIntosh St, Scarborough

  • 7:00 PM Garnet A. Williams Community Centre, 501 Clark Ave, Rm 2, Thornhill

  • 7:30 PM St. Marks United Church, 1 Lynndale Ave., Dundas

  • 7:30 PM St. Frances of Assisi, 49 Blueridge Ave., Kitchener

JANUARY 1, 2019

  • 10:30AM Bethel Christian Reformed, 616 Dundas St., Waterdown

  • 1:00 PM Salvation Army Church, 769 Julianna Dr., Woodstock

  • 6:15 PM St. Andrews United Church, 117 Bloor St. E., Toronto

  • 7:00 PM Activity Haven, 180 Barnardo Ave. Room 3, Peterborough

  • 7:00 PM Saint Mathews Church, 331 Fifth Ave., Timmins

  • 7:00 PM Emmanuel United Church, Bridgeport & Albert St.- Purple Room, Waterloo, On.

  • 7:30 PM St. John’s United Church, East 38 th St., Hamilton

  • 7:30 PM St. Andrews Presbyterian, 20858 Dalton Rd., Sutton West

MEETING TIME CHANGE FOR THE HOLIDAYS

DECEMBER 27, 2018 – 7PM

  • Beth Tikvah Synagogue, 3080 Bayview Ave.

JANUARY 3, 2019 – 7PM

  • Beth Tikvah Synagogue, 3080 Bayview Ave.