Downeast Fellowship of the Spirit - Introduction Welcome to the “Downeast Fellowship of the Spirit” Big Book Step Study meeting. Our primary purpose is to provide a way for interested people to study a 12 Step program. We welcome everyone and anyone can speak. Today we will be reading from _______________ (Big Book or A.A. 12-and-12). We have books available to borrow for this meeting. We are not affiliated with any organization such as A.A., Al-Anon, OA, NA or other 12-Step groups, but we conduct our meetings following their principles and tenets. Our focus is on those whose lives have been affected by alcohol or other addictive behaviors. Primary among our principles is the concept of anonymity. We ask that you do not repeat anything you see or hear at this meeting to anyone who was not present. The physical and emotional well-being of many participants depends on anonymity. Would all of you please join me in a moment of silence followed by the Third Step Prayer, found on page 63 of the Big Book, 2nd paragraph: God, I offer myself to Thee – to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of Life. May I do Thy will always! We will now go around the circle and introduce ourselves…. Hi, my name is ______________ Set Aside Prayer Would all those who care to, please join together in saying the “Set Aside” prayer by repeating after me: God, please help me to set aside everything I think I know, about 12 Step programs, my recovery, and the family disease of alcoholism for an open mind and a new experience. 12 Steps We will now read the 12 Steps with each person reading a Step when their turn comes. If you feel uncomfortable doing this, please say “Pass”. In the Big Book the Steps are printed on page 59 and 60. In the 12-and-12 the Steps are printed in the “Contents” section, page 5. Step 1 – We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable. Step 2- Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. Step 3- Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him. Step 4 – Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. Step 5 – Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs. Step 6- Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character. Step 7 – Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings. Step 8- Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all. Step 9 – Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others. Step 10 – Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it. Step 11 – Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out. Step 12 – Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs. Meeting Format We recognize there are many worthwhile ways to study the Steps and ask that if you have never considered doing the steps from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous and the A.A.12-and-12 that you give it a try and see if it appeals to you. May your practices of the Steps, in whatever method you choose, help you to achieve the serenity you desire. The format of the meeting is that we each read one paragraph from today’s reading in the Big Book or 12-and-12. If you do not wish to read, please say “pass.” After we have finished the reading for today, each person can share their experience, strength and hope about what we read, or discuss passages that were meaningful to them. We ask that during this sharing, individuals refrain from criticizing what someone else shares, using bullying or belligerent tones, or giving advice. Do not interrupt while someone else is sharing and speak only about your own experience, strength, and hope. If anyone feels the “safe sharing” format of our meeting has been compromised, we encourage them to raise their hand. Reading This week we will be reading from the __________ (Big Book or 12-and-12). The reading begins on page ________ and ends on page__________ After the reading the meeting will be open for discussion by anyone present. Who would like to begin this week’s reading? Closing There are no dues or fees to belong to our study group. We are self-supporting through our own contributions. There is a basket on the table for contributions. Phone List We have a phone list available. Please ask for that email, and/or to be included on it. Announcements Are there any announcements? Sponsorship Everyone is encouraged to study the Steps in more detail with an individual sponsor. If there is anyone who has completed the Steps, and is willing to sponsor others, please raise your hand. Concluding Prayer For all who care to join us, let’s stand and recite the Serenity prayer. God, Grant me the Serenity To Accept the things I cannot Change Courage to Change the things I can And the Wisdom to know the Difference Thy will, not mine, be done. Keep coming back … it works if we work it and we work it because we are worth it!