Holiday Meeting Closures

The holidays have arrived and we want to be able to communicate any temporary meeting closures that will be affected during this season.

If you know about any meeting closures, please contact us ASAP at aa@aasf.org.

This list of meetings is updated as we receive temporary closure information. Check it often!

Monday, December 24
  • 11:00am – Sober on the Outside [SF] – Women’s Resource Center, 930 Bryant St. / 7th St.
  • 5:45pm – 11th Step: Power, Power, Power [SF] – St. John’s Presbyterian Church, 25 Lake St. / Arguello Blvd.
  • 6:00pm – Monday Night Madness [Marin] – Red Hill Church, 921 Sir Francis Drake Blvd, / Sais Ave.
  • 7:00pm – O.A.D.W. [SF] – Church of the Advent, 261 Fell St. / Gough St.
  • 7:30pm – Serenity Seekers [SF] – St. John’s Presbyterian Church, 25 Lake St. / Arguello Blvd.
  • 8:00pm – High Sobriety [SF] – First Unitarian Universalist Center, 1187 Franklin St. / Geary Blvd
  • 8:00pm – Monday Night Stag Tiburon [Marin] – temporary move to Congregation Kol Shofar, 215 Blackfield Dr. / Via Los Altos
Tuesday, December 25
  • 10:00am – Firefighters & Friends [SF] – First Unitarian Universalist Center, 1187 Franklin St. / Geary Blvd
  • 12:05pm – We Care [SF] – Community Justice Center, 555 Polk St. / Turk St.
  • 12:10pm – Sober at State [SF] – SFSU, Cesar Chavez Student Union, 1650 Holloway Ave. / Arellano Ave.
  • 3:30pm – Closed Women’s Step Study [Marin] – Methodist Church, 1473 S. Novato Blvd / Yukon Way
  • 5:00pm – Anything is Possible [SF] – Congregation Sherith Israel, 2266 California St. / Webster St.
  • 5:10pm – Sober at State [SF] – SFSU, Cesar Chavez Student Union, 1650 Holloway Ave. / Arellano Ave.
  • 5:30pm – AA As You Like It [SF] – 1930 Market St. / Laguna St.
  • 6:00pm – Step It Up! [SF] – Gratitude Center, 1320 7th Ave. / Irving
  • 6:30pm – Women’s Kitchen Table Group [SF] – St. Philip’s Church, 725 Diamond St. / 24th St.
  • 7:00pm – Tuesday Downtown Beginners [SF] – War Memorial Veterans Bldg, 401 Van Ness Ave. / McAllister
  • 7:15pm – Girls Gone Mild [SF] – San Francisco LGBT Center, 1800 Market St. / Octavia St.
  • 8:00pm – Newcomers [SF] – First Unitarian Universalist Center, 1187 Franklin St. / Geary Blvd.
  • 8:00pm – Tuesday Downtown [SF] – War Memorial Veterans Bldg, 401 Van Ness Ave. / McAllister
  • 8:30pm – Tuesday Chip [Marin] – Community Center, 618 B St. / 1st St.
Wednesday, December 26
  • 12:00pm – Lunch with Bill [SF] – First Unitarian Universalist Center, 1187 Franklin St. / Geary Blvd
  • 12:10pm – Sober at State [SF] – SFSU, Cesar Chavez Student Union, 1650 Holloway Ave. / Arellano Ave.
  • 8:00pm – Raising the Bottom [SF] – First A.M.E. Church, 2159 Golden Gate Ave. / Masonic
Thursday, December 27
  • 12:00pm – Lunch with Bill [SF] – First Unitarian Universalist Center, 1187 Franklin St. / Geary Blvd
  • 12:10pm – Sober at State [SF] – SFSU, Cesar Chavez Student Union, 1650 Holloway Ave. / Arellano Ave.
  • 5:10pm – Sober at State [SF] – SFSU, Cesar Chavez Student Union, 1650 Holloway Ave. / Arellano Ave.
  •  
Friday, December 28
  • 12:00pm – Lunch with Bill [SF] – First Unitarian Universalist Center, 1187 Franklin St. / Geary Blvd
  • 12:10pm – Sober at State [SF] – SFSU, Cesar Chavez Student Union, 1650 Holloway Ave. / Arellano Ave.
Monday, December 31
  • 12:00pm – Lunch with Bill [SF] – First Unitarian Universalist Center, 1187 Franklin St. / Geary Blvd
  • 12:10pm – Sober at State [SF] – SFSU, Cesar Chavez Student Union, 1650 Holloway Ave. / Arellano Ave.
  • 8:00pm – High Sobriety [SF] – First Unitarian Universalist Center, 1187 Franklin St. / Geary Blvd
Tuesday, January 1
  • 10:00am – Firefighters & Friends [SF] – First Unitarian Universalist Center, 1187 Franklin St. / Geary Blvd
  • 12:00pm – Lunch with Bill [SF] – First Unitarian Universalist Center, 1187 Franklin St. / Geary Blvd
  • 12:10pm – Sober at State [SF] – SFSU, Cesar Chavez Student Union, 1650 Holloway Ave. / Arellano Ave.
  • 3:30pm – Closed Women’s Step Study [Marin] – Methodist Church, 1473 S. Novato Blvd / Yukon Way
  • 5:00pm – Anything is Possible [SF] – Congregation Sherith Israel, 2266 California St. / Webster St.
  • 5:10pm – Sober at State [SF] – SFSU, Cesar Chavez Student Union, 1650 Holloway Ave. / Arellano Ave.
  • 5:30pm – AA As You Like It [SF] – 1930 Market St. / Laguna St.
  • 7:15pm – Girls Gone Mild [SF] – San Francisco LGBT Center, 1800 Market St. / Octavia St.
  • 7:00pm – Tuesday Downtown Beginners [SF] – War Memorial Veterans Bldg, 401 Van Ness Ave. / McAllister
  • 8:00pm – Tuesday Downtown [SF] – War Memorial Veterans Bldg, 401 Van Ness Ave. / McAllister
  • 8:30pm – Tuesday Chip [Marin] – Community Center, 618 B St. / 1st St.
Wednesday, January 2
  • 8:00pm – Raising the Bottom [SF] – First A.M.E. Church, 2159 Golden Gate Ave. / Masonic

“In Our Own Words,” 10th Anniversary Production

February 8 & 9; 15 & 16, 2019
Fridays @ 8:00pm | Saturdays @ 2:00pm & 8:00pm

“In Our Own Words,” an original play, made its debut at our Founders Day event in 2009 and then went on to a packed house at the 2010 International Conference in San Antonio.

The show brings to life the pages of the Big Book, the Twelve & Twelve, the A.A. Grapevine and recordings of the pioneers of Alcoholics Anonymous. With great humor and depth, In Our Own Words retells the stories of our founders in New York, Akron, Cleveland and Los Angeles – as well as the lesser-known struggles of early women, LGBTQ, people of color and young people in A.A.

All shows sold-out during the initial run, so get your tickets now! $15 in advance; $20 at the door. 

The Exit Theatre
156 Eddy Street in San Francisco

Alcothons, Events and Fellowship, oh my!

This is a list of alcothons and holiday events in Marin and San Francisco. We will post them on the aasf.org Events Calendar and list them in this post as we receive information. If you know of of an A.A. happening during the holidays, please let us know ASAP by emailing us at aa@aasf.org.

Hilldwellers Big Book Meeting & Holiday Potluck Party
Monday, December 17 – 7:00 pm to 9:00pm
Potrero Hill Neighborhood House, 953 DeHaro St., San Francisco
DETAILS

Gratitude Center Christmas Alcothon
Monday & Tuesday, December 24 & 25 – 6:00am to 11:00pm
Gratitude Center, 1320 7th Ave., San Francisco
DETAILS

Mission Fellowship Christmas Alcothon
Monday & Tuesday, December 24 & 25 – 6:00am to 11:00pm
Mission Fellowship, 2900 24th St., San Francisco
DETAILS

Novato 24-Hour Christmas Alcothon
Monday & Tuesday, December 24 & 25 – 7:00pm to 7:00pm (24 hours)
Druid Hall, 801 Grant St., Novato
DETAILS

Gratitude Center New Year’s Alcothon
Monday & Tuesday, December 31 & January 1 – 6:00am to 11:00pm
Gratitude Center, 1320 7th Ave., San Francisco
DETAILS

Mission Fellowship New Year’s Alcothon
Monday & Tuesday, December 31 & January 1 – 6:00am to 11:00pm
Mission Fellowship, 2900 24th St., San Francisco
DETAILS

Novato 24-Hour New Year’s Alcothon
Monday & Tuesday, December 31 & January 1 – 7:00pm to 7:00pm (24 hours)
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 1180 Lynwood Dr., Novato
DETAILS

Living Sober NYE Party
Monday, December 31 – 8:00p  to 12:30am
Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy, 4235 19th St., San Francisco
DETAILS

Young People in AA New Year’s Eve
Monday, December 31, 8:00pm to 1:00am
Alano Club West
1555 South 7th St., San Jose
DETAILS

New Pamphlets Hot Off the Press!

Hot Off the Press

Two new conference-approved pamphlets from A.A.W.S. have just arrived in our bookstore. The God Word is Experience, Strength and Hope from agnostic and atheist members in A.A. and A.A. for Alcoholics with Mental Health Issues – and Their Sponsors – includes stories from twelve members who are coping with serious mental health issues in sobriety.

These two new pamphlets are an example of Bill W’s. declaration that we “… always try to be inclusive rather than exclusive; let us remember that each alcoholic among us is a member of A.A., so long as he or she declares.”

ONE BIG TENT: Grapevine publishes book of secular stories of recovery

One Big Tent is a collection of stories, originally published in Grapevine, which represent the shared experience of secular AA members who have struggled with alcoholism, yet ultimately found a common solution in AA.

Atheists, agnostics, nonbelievers and secular alcoholics have been members of the AA Fellowship since its earliest days, making significant contributions to the development of the program, helping to swing the doors of AA ever-wider.

But finding their path has not always been easy.

In One Big Tent, these members share how they found their place in AA, work the program, do service and sponsor others.

Available at Central Office!

My First Unity Day

by Luke H

I had heard about something called Unity Day that takes place each year here in the City. Some of my friends even said it was something I might like, something that would introduce me to service organizations worth learning about. I find it funny to think the first Unity Day I would attend would be the one I helped plan as Events Co-Chair for the District.

I realized that I wanted to skip it

How I came to be in that position was by making myself available a year ago. When no one else volunteered, the role was given to me. I didn’t really want it, but had learned from my service sponsor that being available was all there was to being of service at the District level. 

Seeing as I’d never been to a Unity Day, I had to ask a lot of people how it had been done in years past and really take a look at the pass-it-on from the prior Co-Chair.

Working together with various service organizations (H&I, Intergroup and General Service), continuous discussions were essential in the months prior to the event. Someone volunteered a good printing spot for the flyers. Others suggested the design of the flyer and helped with the layout itself. 

When it came down to the final planning stages, I took heed of the suggestions given to me and handed over the food planning to a little group of volunteers. 

All of a sudden, the event that had seemed so far-off was only a few days away. We began planning the food run: one person had a car, the next person had the list of what was needed, and the final person had the sought-after Costco card. It was funny how it all came together like that.

On the morning of the event, I realized that I wanted to skip it. I was afraid all of these moving parts I thought I was in control of would crumble.

When I arrived, I realized something: I had made suggestions and handed out  flyers, but the Fellowship had carried out the real work. 

A couple of days before Unity Day, Central Office emailed me that a fellow A.A. member from Los Angeles was in town. His original plans had fallen through right before arriving and so he asked if there was some way he could be of service while he was in the City. He made himself available and pitched in all day during the event.

More than enough sugar
to smooth it over

One of the volunteers had access to a commercial kitchen and so volunteered to bake some desserts from scratch for our event. He stayed up well past midnight the night before baking over 150 cookies and over 150
cupcakes for Unity Day. Even if something went awry the day of, I figured that there would be more than enough sugar to smooth it over. 

With equal parts laughter and joy, Unity Day commenced. Members were putting out the chairs and making sure the sound system was running and greeting.

Those who attended finally learned what PI/CPC stood for (Public Information/Cooperation with the Professional Community). They learned why it’s important that Teleservice carries on. They saw what it means to continue the work started by H&I through joining Bridging the Gap. 

Thank you to everyone who came out and made this year’s event fun, lively and joy-filled. I am grateful to the Fellowship and the volunteers who worked to make this day the success it was. 

For service committee opportunities, visit aasf.org and go to the “Service & Sponsorship” dropdown or email Central Office at aa@aasf.org.

From the Editor: God of the Air

Ancient Maya considered the resplendent quetzal divine (aka “god of the air”) and a symbol of light. The Point is now moving from a print to a light medium and will soon reside in the cloud forest, too. Since December is our last print issue, your editor is getting up to speed with WordPress. Our primary purpose is carrying the message by any means necessary, as Kathleen C. reminds us on Page 10. Please let us know your thoughts via thepoint@aasf.org.

Quetzal Illustration by Navarre

In this issue Bree L. tells John C.’s story, including Boy Scouts and Mickey’s half pints. Anonymity helped John W. through the worst of times, then buoyed him into the best of times (with a nod to Charles Dickens). Luke H. puts all the pieces together for Unity Day. Daniel F. keeps mind and heart open with inventory questions on Page 8. In the beginning A.A. borrowed concepts from several belief systems and Bill W. credited three non-alcoholics for principles behind the Steps.

Claire A. finds out how wide-ranging the definition of normal really is. Ken J. hears the language of the heart after 28 years of deafening silence from his dad in “Those Three Words.” And Rick R. finds joy in the season with a new attitude. He practices radical concepts such as “not being the center of attention” and “preserving the dignity of the other person.” Like Lennon and McCartney sang: In the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.

—MICHELLE G.

INTERGROUP COMMITTEE CONTACTS

Following are names and emails for Intergroup Officers and Committees. Email if you are interested in service or would like more information.

BOARD OFFICERS | COMMITTEE CHAIRS

CHAIR
John R. | chair@aasf.org
VICE CHAIR
Pete F. | vicechair@aasf.org
TREASURER
Alix F. | treasurer@aasf.org
RECORDING SECRETARY
James O’C. | secretary@aasf.org

ARCHIVES COMMITTEE
Kim S. | archives@aasf.org
FELLOWSHIP COMMITTEE
Michael P. | fellowship@aasf.org
ORIENTATION COMMITTEE
Greg M. | orientation@aasf.org
SF PI/CPC COMMITTEE 
picpc@aasf.org
SF TELESERVICE COMMITTEE
Layne Z. | sfteleservice@aasf.org
SUNSHINE CLUB COMMITTEE
Ann M. & Scotie S. | sunshine@aasf.org
TECHNOLOGY COMMITTEE
Taran R. | tech@aasf.org

THE BUZZ COMMITTEE
Anne Marie C. | thebuzz@aasf.org
THE POINT COMMITTEE
John B. | thepoint@aasf.org

How to Become “Normal”

by Claire A.

Illustration by Navarre

I have heard many people share in AA meetings that they felt like they were absent the day “they” handed out the booklet about how to deal with life. I shared that feeling. It seemed like everyone else knew the rules, and no matter how I tried, I couldn’t fit in. I was extremely uncomfortable in social situations. I would either clam up or blurt things that embarrassed me. So when I had a beer for the first time, it didn’t matter that I hated the taste: I loved the feeling. I could talk easily, I no longer felt fear. Social situations became manageable.

The relief I felt with alcohol didn’t last long. Drinking situations quickly became embarrassing. My inhibitions were gone, and with them any self-control. I was often scared by my own behavior, and would wake up in the morning ashamed of myself. I was back to feeling like I didn’t fit in, even with alcohol, and my consequences were worse than ever. I remember looking around at people my age and just wishing I knew how they did it. I was certain they knew I was not normal.

Not the only freak around here

I started isolating early in life. I have, since I can remember, never wanted to get out and meet people. I never wanted to go meet people with my family. I was shy in school. Without fail, I am still surprised when I get together with friends and actually have a good time. So, our program that encourages us to reach out and connect with others was a revelation to me.

After 44 years of tending toward isolation, I started calling other women in the program and realizing that I’m not the only freak around here. In fact, I’m not really even interesting enough to be called a freak. I’m just a garden variety, fearful, procrastinating, isolating alcoholic. Importantly, AA has shown me “normal” has a pretty wide-ranging definition. And AA has shown me that I can live in this normal world by doing what normal people do. There’s no handbook (to my knowledge, anyway. If you find one, please let me know!), but there are norms. A lot of them are listed in the Just for Today prayer card: Dress becomingly, act courteously, don’t criticize, make an effort, do something useful, get some exercise, get some rest, reflect on your life for a short amount of time, be happy. Others I’ve learned: show up on time, make amends for mistakes, call people and ask how their day is going, put your hand out and introduce yourself. Eat your veggies, get enough sleep, and treat your family kindly. Listen. Enjoy what’s beautiful. The list goes on and on. It’s not complicated and I think, honestly? I knew all this all along. I don’t think I really believed it could be that simple. But the secret is that it really is that simple for me. Each little action brings me a little bit of peace. Many of them put together make me a ridiculously happy camper.

I knew this all along

It’s funny, I say I’ve learned all this, but I forget it overnight. I need other people in AA to remind me not to listen to the committee in my head, which tells me that I don’t have enough, poor me, I’m miserable, nothing will ever be right again, I’ve been given a bum hand. Going to meetings, working with others, reading literature reminds me: if I want to feel “normal” I can—I just have to act that way. It really does work!

Those Three Words

My parents  loved me — I just didn’t realize it



by Ken J.

Shortly after my second A.A. anniversary I was faced with making an amends I dreaded. To my father. Due to the circumstances I had to do it over the phone. The call began as superficial as always. We talked about the crops, the weather and Nebraska football. With him being the epitome of a banker, the conversation was pretty much one-sided, with me doing the talking. I knew that my father was sitting there listening, stoically staring into space.

The conversation was pretty one-sided

Running out of things to say, I got down to business. I did a thorough 4th, 5th and 9th Steps. I don’t think my father said a word. It felt like I talked forever. Finally I was finished. And then I did something I had never done. I said, “I love you dad.” There was this deafening silence on the phone. And then my father said, “I love you son.” And hung up. And one month later my father died. I never saw him or spoke with him again.

The last words I heard my father say were the three words I had waited to hear my entire life. Those three words. A year after my father had died, my sponsor asked me to explain something. He said that before my father had died I had usually spoken about him negatively. I had often talked about his shortcomings, his failures as a father, his rigidity and his coldness. But in the time since he passed, I tended to talk about him in a much more endearing way. Iadmiringly referred to his strengths, acts of charity and support. He told me that rewriting the past is not the same as reconciling it.

Tomorrow, November 6, 2018, is my 33rd A.A. anniversary. My father has been gone 31 years. I was 28 when he died. I have replayed that phone call hundreds of times, hearing his voice crack on those words. It was somewhat surreal because he just wasn’t someone who showed or expressed his emotions.

My father did not say a word

I have often wondered how we would have interacted in person after he said “the words.” Would it have changed how he acted around me? Would I have been more understanding and patient with him? Would we perhaps even have hugged? I will never know. And I get very frustrated by the insane “what if…” game. It’s one of those mental exercises in futility, usually playing out in unrealistically happy or disastrous scenarios. That game has no place in my toy box. For me the events of the past are static. I can work to understand and accept them and their implications. But I cannot rewrite them and make them something they are not.

A long time ago I accepted the reality that my perception of the relationship with my father will change daily. I have learned to accept the good and the bad. I know today that my parents never sat at the foot of the bed in the morning and planned how to make my life miserable. They did the best they were capable of doing. My father showed he cared for me in the only ways he was comfortable with. I resented him for not showing me he cared for me in the ways I wanted it shown.

So, those three words. I have put so much time and energy into them that I never fully understood and appreciated the concept behind them. I have probably said them recklessly and desperately thousands of times in my life, trying to compensate for not hearing them as much as I wanted. I have discounted or ignored love and acceptance so many times because it wasn’t expressed on my terms. Words definitely do matter. But in A.A. I have found the language of the heart is much louder.

serving San Francisco and Marin Counties