Frequently Asked Questions
Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other, that they may solve their common problem and help others recover from alcoholism. The only requirement is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees of AA membership. We are self supporting through our own contributions. AA is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics or institution, does not wish to engage in any controversy, neither endorses nor opposes any causes. Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help others recover from alcoholism.
Is this an atheist meeting?
No. Our meeting is geared toward anyone who has an unconventional concept of a power greater than themselves. For some of us, that power is not supernatural. It is something we can see and use such as other people or the law or physics. For others, our greater power is something we can not explain. Still others don't define or name the power they rely on. If your quest for truth has brought you this far you are probably going to like it here.
Will I be asked to pray?
No. Unlike traditional AA meetings, we do not open or close the meeting in prayer. We open with various readings, such as the AA Preamble and close with AA's Statement of Responsibility.
The Statement of Responsibility says:
"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."
Origin of AA’s Statement of Responsibility Info can be read:
Are the steps the same?
Yes. We have found that the suggested steps of Alcoholics Anonymous work - and they work well. Some of us have worked out ways to make them more relevant to our beliefs (or non-beliefs) but as a group we remain faithful to the original wording. It is us that needed to change, not the steps.
What do you talk about?
We are a topic discussion meeting. Our topics relate to our recovery from alcoholism and are chosen by the person chairing the meeting. If any member has a pressing problem that puts his or her sobriety in jeopardy we discuss that as well. Every meeting is a bit different.
24 Hour Plan vs. One Day at a Time
Work-arounds for 6 of the 12
Recovered or Recovering?
Will there be anyone there trying to convert me to agnosticism, or "save" me?
Not likely. We are an OPEN meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous, meaning anyone may attend regardless if they have a desire to stop drinking or not. We are responsible for keeping the hand of AA out for anyone that reaches out for help. Our group does not tolerate bashing religions nor do we tolerate proselytism. We do not engage in any controversy, we only provide a safe environment to recover.
Is there a lot of "God" talk?
Sometimes. We welcome those with questions about their higher powers as well as those with firm beliefs. We talk about "God" because he's referred to in six of the twelve steps. We are NOT here to debate the existence of God or gods, nor are we here to bash religions. We are here to stay sober and to be of maximum service to our fellows. We, like any other AA meeting, discuss issues that affect our sobriety.
How is the meeting run?
How can I help or get involved?
As with most A.A. meetings, there are many ways to get involved. We have many service positions available for people with no sobriety at all to those with years of it. The best way to be of service of course, is simply by showing up to a meeting. There truly is power in one member helping another. Our group conscience meetings are held monthly and are the perfect place to start. Check out our NEWS page for upcoming service opportunities or contact us to volunteer.
What if I'm a drug addict or qualify for another fellowship?
We are an OPEN meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous for three reasons: First, we want to show you how a group of drunks like us manage to stay sober using the 12-Step fellowship. Second, many of us qualify for other 12-Step fellowships and we want a place where we feel comfortable speaking openly and honestly. Third, we want the general public to see that there are many paths to recovery - that we have a solution we all emphatically agree on.
What if I have a conventional concept of a power greater than myself?
As long as you don't mind sitting next to a heathen or two, come pull up a chair!
As the book says, we are people who normally would not mix. But there exists among us a fellowship, a friendliness, and an understanding which is indescribably wonderful. See you at the Meetings...
If you have additional questions not answered here, feel free to contact us.
(c) The A.A. Grapevine. Used with permission.