by Jennifer R.
How did you hear about the position and what made you decide to take it?
The role of Intergroup Representative (IGR) was sort of heaped upon me, a bit like the concept of service first was. My first go at it was on my two-year sober birthday and I was volunteered for the role by my home group in San Francisco.
What are the responsibilities of the position?
An IGR serves as a liaison between their group and the EBI community. They attend the monthly Intergroup meetings, bring news and upcoming issues to be voted on to their meeting, and vote according to group conscience at the Intergroup meeting.
What do you like most about it?
I’ve heard it in about every meeting since my very first, “Service keeps you sober.” For a long time, it was just one of those slogans that I heard so often that it just passed through my ears. I never thought it was optional, because my sponsor told me (“recommended”) to get three commitments at three meetings a week.
But, as I’ve grown in my sobriety, the role that service has played has grown too. It has changed from being something I accepted as a requirement, without embracing its benefit, to something that I really yearn for if it is missing from my life.
Have there been any surprises?
I had no idea there was any sort of organizational or decision-making structure to A.A. groups.
More than a decade later, I willingly volunteered myself for the role again, for a new home group in Oakland. In the time of Covid, all of our Intergroup meetings are online. We vote on group conscience by raising our hands virtually. The authors of the A.A. Big Book wouldn’t have imagined that sort of meeting.
Have there been any opportunities for growth?
As an IGR, I learned how the Twelve Traditions of A.A. guide decisions from meeting schedules to events to public information requests. The traditions guide anything that impacts A.A. groups, rather than the A.A. individual. I discovered a whole new arena in which to apply the adage, “principles not personalities,” as decision-making by a committee of alcoholics can be a difficult endeavor.
When I was first an Intergroup rep, I’m not sure I could have imagined getting through a business meeting without getting a resentment. But here we are. A.A. still stands and I can hear an argument for another side of an issue without taking it personally.
Jennifer’s home group is Tuesday Night A.A., Oakland, currently meeting on Zoom at 6:30 PM.
It is recommended that each group elect an Intergroup Rep who will attend the monthly meeting held the 3rd Wednesday of the month. Zoom ID: 826 4219 5246 PC: 065121. The meeting is open to all; only elected IGRs may vote.