Phone Meetings: Being of Service

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COSA is possible because of the service and energy of its members and we invite any input and contribution. Service positions can be an opportunity to build confidence, responsibility, and commitment toward your recovery. For some, it can also be an opportunity to establish boundaries around saying “yes” to meaningful commitments rather than indiscriminately or compulsively saying “yes” to anyone and anything. We respect each individual’s decision toward service and make no judgments around these choices. Ultimately, it is up to you to negotiate and balance your needs in this group, along with the needs of the group.

Please note that the following are only suggested service positions. Because each meeting is autonomous, service position descriptions and requirements may vary from one meeting to the next. If you are starting a new meeting it may help to use the descriptions below as a template to bring to your meeting and then use group conscience to decide what will work for your specific meeting.

Telemeeting Service Opportunities:

The following are brief descriptions of service positions that support our calls. If you have questions about any of them, please talk with someone who has held that position for more information. Generally, individuals are encouraged to attend a few meetings before committing to a service position but you’ll need to ask for the sobriety requirements and length of service terms for the specific meeting you attend. Gentle suggestion: if you find you need to resign a service position for any reason, please let someone from your meeting know so the group can address the vacancy as soon as possible.

Meeting Secretary

Sobriety requirements and length of term vary by group conscience for each meeting – recommend 6-month term, having co-secretaries also works well.

 

  • Gets on the call a few minutes before the call begins to welcome COSAs as they come on the call and to find out who has the readings handy.
  • Helps ensure safety and trust with gentle reminders about confidentiality, time limits, and crosstalk.
  • May schedule speakers if there is no Speaker Seeker in place.
  • Chairs the monthly business meeting.
  • Updates the Weekly Email Announcements and forwards them to the Email Coordinator for distribution.
  • Writes up notes from the Business Meeting to send to the Email Coordinator to include in weekly announcements.
E-mail Coordinator

sobriety requirements and length of term vary by group conscience for each meeting – recommend 3 to 6-month term.

 

  • Checks the meeting’s email address and responds to emails a minimum of once a week.
  • Maintains the shared Contact List for the meeting (usually a Word or Excel document) and sends out updated lists.
  • Emails out weekly announcements (varies by meeting).
  • Emails out the Business Meeting Agenda each month to all members.
  • Emails out the Business Meeting Minutes each month to all members.
  • Promptly notifies the Meeting Secretary and the COSA Telemeetings Coordinator of any change in the mail account or password.
  • Respects the anonymity of all meeting members by not posting non-COSA announcements using the meeting email contact list and not using the group’s email list for personal use, announcements or messages.
Treasurer

Sobriety requirements and length of term vary by group conscience for each meeting – recommend 6-month term.

 

  • Collects financial contributions from the Seventh Tradition.
  • Keeps an updated record of expenses and resources.
  • Receives and disburses funds for Convention or Delegate Scholarships or fundraising efforts for ISO of COSA accordingly.
  • Presents treasurer’s report at the business meeting each month.

Note: While any group may handle their Seventh Tradition Donations however they choose, your meeting may also make donations directly to a Telemeeting Intergroup Account maintained for us by the ISO Office Coordinator. If your group decides to encourage members to make donations to this account, your meeting will not need a treasurer position as updates on the account can be obtained from your meeting’s Telemeeting Intergroup Rep. Decisions on the disbursement of these funds for either convention, retreat or delegate scholarships, or to ISO of COSA are made by the Telemeeting Intergroup.

Speaker Seeker

Sobriety requirements and length of term vary by group conscience for each meeting – recommend 3 to 6-month term.

 

  • Regularly attends the meeting.
  • Maintains a weekly schedule of upcoming Guest Speakers or Readers.
  • Makes announcements about upcoming First Steps.
  • Confirms that the First Step Speaker has a sponsor or cosponsor and has already shared his/her First Step with them prior to giving the Step on the call.
  • Sends a copy of the First Step Speaker Presentation Script to the First Step Speaker to relay to his/her sponsor or cosponsor (note: if the sponsor or cosponsor is unable to be on the call to read the script, the speaker may ask someone from the meeting to do this in their place).
  • Asks for volunteers to be of service as a speaker or reader during the “Announcements” portion close to the end of the meeting.
Intergroup Rep

Sobriety requirements and length of term vary by group conscience for each meeting – recommend 6-month term.

 

  • Joins the COSA Telemeetings Intergroup Yahoo Group.
  • Attends the monthly Telemeeting Intergroup Conference Call.
  • Makes announcements at your meeting from Intergroup as needed (e.g. a First Step being held on another telemeeting, a new telemeeting, etc.).
  • Brings questions or concerns about the health and well-being of your telemeeting to Intergroup.
  • Shares experience, strength, and hope about telemeetings with those who are interested in starting or have just started a new telemeeting.
Telemeeting Intergroup Secretary

Sobriety Requirements: 1 year in COSA, regularly attend at least one telemeeting, currently working with a COSA sponsor or cosponsor, worked the Twelve Steps in COSA or, at a minimum, completed the Fourth Step. This service position takes approximately 2-4 hours a month.

 

  • Chairs the monthly Telemeeting Intergroup Teleconference.
  • Prepares and emails the meeting Agenda prior to the Teleconference.
  • Forwards the Telemeeting Usage report from the Telemeeting Coordinator to the Members, just prior to the monthly Teleconference, and agrees to guard the confidentiality of this report.
  • Forwards the summary of the Teleconference meeting notes from the Note Taker to the Members.
  • Forwards ISO of COSA announcements to the Telemeeting Intergroup Members for distribution at their individual meetings.
  • Serves as the point of contact for all Intergroup Members and responds to questions relating to Intergroup.
  • Serves as the point of contact for new Intergroup Reps joining the group: sends out the invitation to join the Telemeeting Yahoo group and answers any questions Reps may have as they become familiar with their service position.
  • Updates, maintains, and shares the list of past Telemeeting Secretaries who are willing to be contacted to cover a meeting when a Secretary needs a substitute.
  • Provides support to the Voicemail Coordinator, Treasurer, Note Taker, and any other on-going service positions that might be created by Intergroup.
  • Maintains the confidentiality of the Intergroup Contact list.
Meeting Delegate

Sobriety requirements and length of term vary by group conscience for each meeting – recommend 6-month term.

 

  • Reviews Delegate Packet prior to attending the Annual Delegate Meeting.
  • Gets input from your meeting’s members (at a business meeting or in fellowship) to bring to the Annual Delegate Meeting.
  • Encourages your meeting’s members to review the Literature In Review materials
  • Completes and mails in a Delegate Registration Form.
  • Attends a Delegate Orientation Teleconference (usually offered in March and April).
  • Attends the Annual Delegate Meeting (tries to arrive on Thursday before the convention begins to attend the Thursday evening meeting with ISO of COSA Board members and other Delegates and then the all-day Friday meetings).
  • Considers being of service on an ISO of COSA working committee.
  • Reports back to your meeting’s members (at a business meeting or as a speaker share at your meeting) about what happened at the Annual Delegate Meeting.

How to Start a COSA Telemeeting

Introduction

This document briefly describes the process for starting up a COSA telemeeting. If you have questions or want additional support in starting a COSA telemeeting you can:

  1. Contact the COSA Telemeetings Coordinator at COSATelemeetingCoordinator@gmail.com or by calling the COSA Telemeeting Intergroup voicemail at 641-715-3900 ext. 743942#.
  2. Attend a Telemeeting Intergroup Meeting (part of Intergroup’s mission is to support exiting and new COSA Telemeetings). For details about the Telemeeting Intergroup contact the COSA Telemeetings Coordinator.

Telemeeting Purpose

Telemeetings were established to provide an opportunity for COSAs to attend a meeting when:

  • no face-to-face meetings were available,
  • people were traveling and could not attend their home meeting, and
  • as an adjunct to face-to-face meetings.

Telemeeting History

The first COSA telemeeting was held in January, 2006, and we are grateful to SAA for generously sharing information and tools from their telemeetings.

Step 1 – Secure a Teleconference Number for Your Meeting

Contact the COSA Telemeetings Coordinator to receive a Conference Call Phone Number and Access Code for your new meeting. Advantages of teleconferencing:

  • No cost to set up an account or to create meetings.
  • Only cost to attendees is their usual long-distance rate.
  • Service is reliable.
  • Audio quality is good.

Disadvantages of teleconferencing:

  • In rare occasions, the ‘usual’ call-in number may change unexpectedly.

Step 2 – Create an Email account for your meeting

Each COSA Telemeeting is autonomous and has its own email account. Contact the Telemeetings Coordinator when you have set up an email address for your new meeting. Typical emails include:

  • Questions about joining a telemeeting.
  • Requests for help when people are struggling.
  • Announcements made on your telemeeting.

[Note: at least two COSAs should have the password into this email account to ensure continued access to the email account. It is wise to give the password to the COSA Telemeetings Coordinator as well.]

Step 3 – Register Your Meeting with ISO of COSA

Complete the Meeting Registration Form at www.cosa-recovery.org which will get your new meeting posted on the International Service Organization of COSA website (a critical way to spread the word about your meeting’s existence to COSAs worldwide).

Step 4 – Get your Telemeeting added to the Telemeetings Schedule on the cosa-recovery.org website

Once you have registered your meeting with ISO of COSA, your meeting will be added to the Telemeeting Schedule posted on the cosa-recovery.org website. Website Content includes:

  • Telemeetings Schedule.
  • COSA-approved Meeting Readings.
  • Frequently Asked Questions.
  • How to Make a Seventh Tradition Donation.
  • Being of Service (on the telemeetings at the ISO level).
  • Telemeeting Tools Templates (materials for Meeting Secretary, Email Coordinator and/or Speaker Seeker).

Step 5 – Identify a Meeting Secretary

The role of the secretary is a bit different than in a face-to-face meeting. Because participants cannot see each other, it takes a while to learn how to manage a telemeeting. Each meeting is free to set the term length for Secretary service and in keeping with our Traditions we encourage an individual’s term not to exceed six months so the meeting can grow in strength and sobriety. We also recommend having Sobriety Requirements for the meeting Secretary. Some meetings use the following:

  • Actively working the steps in COSA.
  • Currently working with a sponsor, cosponsor, or temporary sponsor.
  • Have attended six or more telemeetings.

Encouraging member participation during a meeting can be a challenge. The following are some suggestions:

  • We still have XX minutes available for sharing.
  • We have time for a second share.
  • Pick up on a topic that has come up in shares — not by a person’s individual share because that would be crosstalk — but, something like this. “I’ve heard several people mention ____ (recovery topic) tonight…is someone willing to share your experience, strength, and hope regarding that topic?”

Step 6. Set Up Email Contact List & Find an Email Coordinator for your meeting

We encourage COSAs to find at least one other person committed to regularly attend the meeting for the first six months. If you have been a Telemeeting Secretary for an existing meeting it may be manageable to have the Secretary serve as the Email Coordinator in the beginning, but we recommend dividing the service work as soon as possible. The Meeting Secretary and the Meeting Email Coordinator are the most critical positions to fill to get the meeting started. As more people attend the meeting you will have the ability to add other service positions. Note: a meeting’s email list is typically used to announce:

  • Business Meeting Notes.
  • New meetings.
  • Special events at a meeting (e.g., guest speaker, someone sharing a First Step).
  • Changes in access code or phone number, etc.

General Information

Since meetings may be added at any time we encourage you to regularly check the schedule posted at cosacall.com to see if there are other meetings that conflict with the day and time you would like to add a meeting.

For more information on how you can do service for the larger COSA Fellowship,
check out the ISO’s Volunteer page.

For more information on how you can do service for the annual COSA Convention,
check out the ISO’s Convention page.

Telemeeting Voicemail: 641-715-3900, ext. 743942#