Hello North Carolina Region,
This report brings you several updates about what is happening in our Region, our Zone, and at World Services. We will begin with a summary, and follow it with the full report.
There was a Conference Participants Webinar on September 26, 2023. We received an update from NAWS, and then participated in small group discussions about NAWS Strategic Planning. Click for more.
We facilitated an Issue Discussion Topic Workshop in the Capital Area on the topics of “Gender-Neutral and Inclusive Language in NA Literature” and “Dealing with Disruptive and Predatory Behavior”. We would love to facilitate a workshop in your area. Click for more.
The NAWS Meeting Finder will link to area and region websites instead of listing meetings on na.org. Click for more.
The Interim World Service Conference will be held virtually February 28 – March 1, 2025. The World Service Conference will be held in-person May 3 – May 9, 2026. Click for more.
The theme for World Convention 2024 is “Power of Love”, and registration will open by the end of the year. Members are encouraged to suggest speakers for the event. Click for more.
Upcoming meetings of the Southeastern Zonal Forum are scheduled for December 2-3 in Mobile, AL, and March 17 at the Florida Service Symposium. Click for more.
Service Symposiums are valuable events for training and connecting with other trusted servants around the country. We are asking the region to consider funding attendance for our members. Click for more.
We have a proposal for funding delegate travel. Click for more.
Conference Participants Webinar
The Conference Participants Webinar (CP Webinar) is a meeting between the Regional Delegates, Alternate Delegates, Zonal Delegates, Zonal Alternate Delegates, the World Board, and NAWS. It meets roughly every other month.
The last CP Webinar met September 23, 2023. We received an update from Anthony at NAWS, and then had small group discussions around the new strategic planning process. Because information provided at CP Webinar overlaps with all of the other delegate happenings over the past quarter, we’ve decided to include the relevant information in the following sections rather than providing an exhaustive report here. So, please continue reading.
Issue Discussion Topics
At each World Service Conference, the Conference Participants prioritize Issue Discussion Topics (IDTs) based on small group discussions and input from that cycle’s CAR Survey. IDTs are highly structured discussions about “hot topics” in our fellowship. They are designed to gather data to send to NAWS to help us develop a worldwide fellowship conscience on these topics. Sometimes just having the discussions in our local fellowships is valuable, and other times the gathered data is used to inform current and upcoming projects at NAWS.
At WSC 2023, we prioritized four IDTs:
- Gender-Neutral and Inclusive Language in NA Literature
- Dealing with Disruptive and Predatory Behavior
- Reimagining and Revitalizing Service Committees
- DRT/MAT as it Relates to NA
At the July CP Webinar, we provided input to form workshop materials for the first two topics. These workshop materials are now fully-formed and available for use. We facilitated workshops for both of these for the Capital Area (Raleigh) in October. We had about 12 members in attendance from three areas. We provided lunch, had robust and productive discussions, took notes, and sent data to NAWS. This data will be used by the World Board to form project plans presented in the 2026 CAT. Thank you to all who attended.
You can find preliminary workshop materials for the latter two IDTs at na.org/idt, but they aren’t quite finished. The focus of the next CP Webinar (November 18) will be providing input to complete them.
Participating in these IDT workshops is one of the ways our local fellowships can contribute directly to projects at World Services. We are willing to travel to your areas to facilitate them. Please reach out so that we can get something scheduled.
NAWS Meeting Finder Changes
After years of struggling with keeping the meeting information for more than 70,000 weekly meetings updated at na.org, NAWS announced at WSC 2023 that they’ll be taking a different approach. Rather than listing meetings directly on na.org, they will instead send users to the area and region websites nearest them. Area and region websites typically have the most updated meeting information.
At the most recent CP Webinar, NAWS asked the conference participants if we’d like them to host a Webinar providing information about the new meeting finder. We said we thought this was a good idea, so the webinar has been scheduled for November 11 from 2pm – 3:30pm Eastern Time. You can find the link at na.org/webinar.
Areas and the region do not need to do anything differently. We just need to continue to keep our meeting information updated in the BMLT.
World Service Conference and Interim World Service Conference
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the WSC took place every other year, on even years. Here is the breakdown on the timing of the most recent WSCs:
- WSC 2018 took place as scheduled, in-person, in Woodland Hills, CA.
- A pandemic happened, WSC 2020 was canceled, and replaced with a partial Virtual WSC.
- Uncertainty around the pandemic continued, and WSC 2022 was replaced with the first Interim WSC.
- WSC 2023 met in-person. It was the first in-person meeting of the WSC since 2018.
Having a three year conference cycle with a virtual Interim Conference at the two year mark actually seemed to work well, so the World Board presented motions in the 2023 CAR to give it a try for two more cycles (through 2029). These motions passed nearly unanimously.
With that background, the dates for both the Interim WSC and the next in-person WSC have been announced.
Interim WSC 2025
- Held virtually from February 28 – March 1 2025.
- Each day will consist of two two-hour sessions held from 2pm – 4pm and 5pm – 7pm Eastern Time.
- We will vote on motions presented in the Interim CAR/CAT.
- The Interim CAR/CAT will be made available November 2024.
- We will workshop these motions around the region to help us carry your conscience to Interim WSC 2025.
- Held in-person from May 3 – May 9 2026 at the usual location in Woodland Hills, CA.
- The Conference Agenda Report will be made available October 2025.
- We will workshop these motions around the region to help us carry your conscience to WSC 2026.
NAWS Strategic Planning
We reported in our WSC 2023 Report that NAWS is kicking off what we hope will be their most inclusive strategic planning process ever.
At WSC 2023, we began this process by participating in an exercise to identify internal and external forces that influence our ability to function and effectively carry the message. Delegates from every region in the world participated, so the list produced truly does represent the worldwide fellowship.
Each delegate team has now been asked to take a survey to further prioritize these issues in preparation for the next step of the new planning process. To help us gather your thoughts on this prioritization, we posted a survey on the Delegate Blog. We will be submitting our feedback to NAWS by November 15, and as of this writing we have received 16 responses from members in the region.
Between January and April 2024, the NAWS Strategic Planning process will continue with more focused discussions at the Zonal Forums. Will will keep you apprised.
The theme for the upcoming World Convention (WCNA), to be held August 29 – September 1 2024 in DC, has been identified. The theme is “Power of Love”.
Registration for WCNA should go on sale by the end of the calendar year. When registration goes on sale, the room blocks for the hotels surrounding the convention center should also go on sale. The room blocks offer significantly reduced rates negotiated with hotels by NAWS. We encourage you to wait until the room block has been opened to book your hotel rooms. This should happen sometime in December.
NAWS is also asking members to suggest speakers for WCNA. The clean time requirements are 5 years for workshop speakers, and 10 years for main speakers. You can also join a focus group to help evaluate suggested speakers. For more information, visit na.org/wcna.
Southeastern Zonal Forum
The next meeting of the Southeastern Zonal Forum (SEZF) is December 2 – 3 in Mobile, AL. Jacob is planning to attend in-person, and Jonathan is planning to attend remotely.
The following meeting of the SEZF will take place at the Florida Service Symposium. The Florida Service Symposium takes place March 14 – March 17, with the zonal meeting on March 17.
Service Symposiums are large service training events. Trusted servants from all over gather at Service Symposiums to participate at workshops to share ideas and learn about how to better carry the message in service. There are several service symposiums in the United States that take place throughout a given conference cycle.
These are the big ones:
- Florida Service Symposium
- Multi-Zonal Service Symposium
- Northeastern States Service Symposium
- Western States Learning Days
Jonathan (AD) attended his first symposium in Florida in 2009. He credits his attendance at that first symposium for his continued involvement in service at various levels over the last 15 years. Most recently, Jonathan attended (self-funded) the Multi-Zonal Service Symposium in Detroit and facilitated a workshop on the BMLT.
A few other members of the North Carolina Region also traveled to Detroit (all self-funded) to attend the Multi-Zonal Service Symposium. They found the event to be energizing, and found the information and training offered to be very useful.
The North Carolina Delegate Team typically attends the Florida Service Symposium, because the SEZF is hosted there.
We are suggesting that the region consider providing funding for attending service symposiums for both the delegate team and for other members of the North Carolina Region. Investing in our members in this way enables them to become force multipliers in their local fellowships. Of course, we are not suggesting that we should attend all of the symposiums every cycle, but having some funding available to attend a couple would be beneficial.
Delegate Travel Funding Proposal
The italicized portions provide rationale for each part of the proposal.
Here is the proposal:
Flights: Airfare should only be purchased for out of state travel. Funding will be provided for one member of the delegate team. The delegate team will determine who is attending the event.
Explanation: Current practice by the delegate team is to only ask for funding to send one member of the team to long distance events, such as SEZF. This would continue that practice. If the other team member intends to attend, they may pay their own transportation expenses.
Hotels: Hotel reimbursement will be provided as needed. Delegate team should limit hotel rooms to one room when possible.
Explanation: As much as possible, delegate team members should stick to one hotel room, but this may not always be possible due to issues like gender etc. Best judgment will be used by the delegate team while keeping the prudent use of funds in mind.
Mileage: Up to 100 miles of travel will be reimbursed at the current IRS rate (currently 65.5 cents per mile). If travel exceeds 100 miles, all mileage will be reimbursed at ½ of the current IRS rate.
Explanation: This provides reimbursement for both gas and wear and tear on the vehicle, and basing it on the IRS rate rather than a specific amount will ensure that this policy stays current moving forward. As noted in previous reimbursements, longer distances can result in larger than expected reimbursements. Reducing the rate for long distance travel helps to address this. Similar policies have been implemented elsewhere, such as the University of North Carolina.
Per diem: As addressed by previous motion
Explanation: We have previously addressed this issue in a prior policy motion. As best I am able to tell, the current IRS per diem rate for tax purposes is $69/day within the continental US, and $74 outside the continental US. Not now necessary, but it may also be useful in the future to link amounts for per diem and other reimbursements to something like the IRS rate to prevent the need for future adjustments due to inflation etc.
Policy for the World Service Conference will remain as is.
Explanation: For those not familiar, this practice is that since World Services pays the expenses for the Regional Delegate, comparable expenses and reimbursements will be covered by the RSC for the alternate delegate. This policy will continue until changed by the RSC. It may be worth considering in the future if the RSC can afford to provide funding for both members of the delegate team rather than relying on World Services, but this does not necessarily need to be done at this time.
As always, thank you for allowing us the opportunity to serve. Please reach out to us for anything at all at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In Loving Service,
Jacob S (RD) and Jonathan B (AD)