The date for the 2nd Biennial WAAFT-IAAC is drawing nigh!While November 11, 2016 may seem a long time from now, from a planning perspective it is practically tomorrow.The speakers committee has come up with some names of potential main stage speakers for the convention.
However, we are certain that many of you will know of dynamic speakers who will not only add to our excitement and edification but will also inspire more people to attend our gathering.We are looking to book three speakers, two keynote speakers and a main speaker.
Because this is a fellowship owned event we want to hear who you like to see. Members of the speakers committee feel that we should reach out to speakers who are atheists, agnostics or freethinkers. While we prefer to have AA members as speakers we are not averse to inviting well known supporters of the Recovery Community who may have a message that will resonate with our members.
We feel that having three big speakers are will be valuable in order to help draw in as many WAAFTs as possible to reflect the diversity of opinion within our fellowship.We are looking for people who will not only be entertaining speakers but will also motivate everyone to carry wAAftyism across the world and will also potentially may help us to gain greater media exposure to spread the message of WAAFT AA farther and wider.
Once we get recommendations from you, we will be using a polling website for people can and who they like and people can vote on them. So, lets get started and make WAAFT IAAC 2016 an even BIGGER success!
Remember you can buy tickets and give tax deductible donations.
The Arizona WAAFT groups are holding an AZ WAAFT One Day Conference on November 7, 2015. You can learn more here, waaft-az.org. You will need to buy tickets in advance because there is a cap of 75 people who can attend. David H. who is on the AZ organizing Committee wrote why he thinks it is important that our WAAFT movement continues to grow.
After the meeting yesterday a friend of mine asked me if I ever found myself beset with fears that this new flourishing of secular AA groups might be a will-o’-the-wisp—something to arise for a while and then be beaten down or suffer from declining interest after a once promising start.
He asked me if I had these same fears and I told him that I did sometimes, but that I also felt surges of hope that perhaps we are on the cusp of a revolution which will bring AA into the present century with a new openness to people of any faith whatsoever or no faith at all—a ‘big tent’ AA.
I told him that my ‘job’, as I see it, is just to make one less empty chair at as many agnostic meetings as I can get to, and to be ever mindful not to criticize or malign sober AA’s who happen to have a faith that they feel is crucial to their sobriety. As many of us feel that we often ‘don’t fit’ in the more faith-based AA meetings, I don’t want persons of faith to feel uncomfortable in meetings—that, I feel, would defeat our purpose.
WAAFT-IAAC Now A Non-Profit
If you can’t make it to the Arizona Conference you can still show your support by buying tickets and donating to the We Agnostics, Atheists, Freethinkers, International AA Convention at waaftiaac.org WAAFT- IAAC has been approved for 501 (c) 3 status making donations tax deductible. The second WAAFT-IAAC will be held in Austin Texas, November 11-13, 2016 and now more than ever we need your financial support to make it the amazing success we all know it can be!
The last few days have been a series of “lasts”: the last state border (before home), the last new city, the last dinner with friends on this trip, the last night sleeping in a foreign bed; and this morning will be the last 7 hour drive to get somewhere.
I don’t know why I’m awake at 4am writing this, either my internal clock is still skewing from the gradual time shift into the future or I’m excited to get started or both. This whole trip is more than I can put into words at the moment and once I get back to Reno I’ve got jobs that I have to dive right into so I don’t know how quickly the magnitude will sink in; but in thinking of the some 5,000 miles that we’ve driven over 17 days so far it’s humbling. The number of people that we met and the number of people that I *liked* along the way is astonishing. The flyers are physically in the hands of people that might not have seen them otherwise and that is a success for me.
We did it under budget and will get to donate a few hundred extra dollars back into the convention fund (budget report available soon), thankfully gas was $2.50 per gallon for the entire trip (until today!) and I budgeted for $3.50 a gallon with a 10% overage. That extra savings though, also let us detour to Charlotte, NC and attend one of the rowdiest and most intelligent young groups I’ve ever been to called the Zero Hour, and I’m looking forward to seeing them and all of my new friends at the convention in 2016.
Ultimately, I think we succeeded in the mission that you all sent us on and I’m tickled silly that it came to fruition and yellow apples were represented at the largest gathering of alcoholics that certainly I’ve ever been to. I wonder off the top of my head how the city of Atlanta feels that we were as a group; we were all exceedingly polite and orderly as far as I could tell, and everyone that I saw had a smile on their face. It’s just been an incredible experience and I guess these are the words that I can put it into at the moment. Now I just have to wait for everyone else to wake up so that we can get back home.
“We will be spreading the word about the 2016 WAAFT-IAAC at the 2015 International AA Convention in Atlanta, Georgia.” by Jesse S.
Dorothy H. and myself (Jesse S.) are on the board of WAAFT-IAAC and a few months ago we were speaking about ways to outreach the convention to the general AA population and she mentioned that the International AA Convention was happening this year in Atlanta, GA. Not seeing any better way to inform our fellow AAs than to travel to the largest gathering of AA members from the worldwide community, which happens to meet only once every 5 years, we agreed that we would travel there this summer and give flyers to everyone that we meet and maybe pick a few cities to stop in to hang posters at Central Offices and Alano clubs that we come across. Maybe even meet with some of our friends that we wouldn’t get to see again otherwise until Austin.
The plans have expanded beyond the original idea of just getting there with a few stops along the way however, as we now will be stopping in each state that we go through that has a WAAFT meeting that we know of to meet with everyone that we can; officially to give out fliers, but really to make friends and to foster the community that we all crave by connecting members of the groups with each other and letting those that haven‘t heard of what is happening know that they aren’t alone.
I personally hope to find people that were as discouraged as I was before I knew that there were others like me; on the road, in the meetings or that will just hopefully see our fliers in the clubs; to let them know that they aren’t weird or beyond hope and that they don‘t ever need to feel excluded from a group that purports to have the solution to the alcohol problem that is available to all. We are a minority within a minority as secular people seeking recovery, but none of us should be denied the chance at sobriety simply because we don’t subscribe to another person’s set of beliefs. Our program’s methods help us learn to live without fear, and no one should fear coming to a group or starting their own because of the opinions of others.
We have funded our gas, lodging and food with 7th tradition donations from AA members and are looking to collect the last round of donations for the posters and fliers that we will be distributing. We will be using generic stock for the fliers in an effort to get as many out as possible and will make some tasteful and nice looking card stock posters to hang in the Central Offices and clubs. We will be taking a different way back than the way that we will go to Atlanta so that we can put up as many fliers as possible and make as many contacts as we can.
If you would like to donate to the creation of the fliers, it can be done through PayPal by sending a payment to firstname.lastname@example.org (click send at the top of the page and use that email) or by mail if you’d like to: WAFT IAAC INC., P.O. Box 284, Hollywood, CA 90078. We will be keeping a running blog of our journey here on this website, please also write to us on this page or through email at email@example.com so that we know that you all are out there, and please let us know if you would like to meet with us while we’re on the road. We will give you fliers to spread to your local area and we will be incredibly happy to meet with our people as we traverse the country.