Although things have been changing rapidly the past couple of weeks, this is currently how we are dealing with 12 step groups.
We’ve posted a notice on the door where they meet and we contacted the groups. [Use the "download file" link below to get a copy of the door notice.]
But the gist of it is… Some of the groups met in small rooms, another in a large room with tables (the parish hall).
We’ve removed the tables in the large room. We’ve set the chairs in a big circle with space between the chairs.
No coffee to be brewed and served at the meetings, although they can bring their own from home, Starbucks, etc.
No food is to be served (one group had a monthly potluck)
Practice social distancing – which I think is the most difficult for them cause they’re such huggers!
This could all change in the blink of an eye.
Speaking as a person in long term recovery: There are many groups around the world closing.
We are fortunate that many were already familiar with virtual meetings, but many aren’t. Just like the Episcopal Church is scrambling to do virtual worship, formation, & fellowship, the recovery groups are also scrambling. It’s a stressful time for all.
I read this on March 17 from a Narcotics Anonymous World Board member… “Of at least 70,000 NA meetings around the world, more than half can no longer meet, and that number is rising daily.” I bet it’s closer to 75% closed now in just 3 days.
I know in our city and surrounding areas, of the 57 scheduled meetings each week, 24 have closed meeting locations OR are also offering zoom meetings for those who can’t get out.
The problem with all facilities closing and moving to virtual meetings is for the person yet to find us, and the newcomers.
Many don’t have smart phones, internet/wifi, laptops, or money to buy all those things. What’s going to happen to them?
Many will die without finding a new way to live without drugs and alcohol.