Open & Closed Meetings
In District 15 you will find several different kinds of A.A. meetings The two main types are “open meetings” and “closed meetings”. At open meetings anyone may attend as the name suggests they are open to family, friends, relatives or anyone that may be interested in Alcoholics Anonymous. Sometimes you will find students from local colleges at open meetings as part of their class work.
Closed meetings are restricted to Alcoholics only, so if you need help with personal problems this may be a better setting then an open meeting. Usually a member can tell you how they solved a similar problem using the Twelve Steps.
Other Meeting Types
Most of the time you will find that meetings are made up of two “Types”, the first part being either “Open” or “Closed” and then a second part stating the format. An example would be a “Closed - Step Study” the first part “Closed” means alcoholics only, the second part says that it’s a “Step Study” meeting which is pretty self-explanatory. Below is a list of meeting topics with explanations that you will find in the meeting list.
- Discussion - Usually the chairperson or a member of the group will pick a topic for the meeting then the chairperson will open the meeting for discussion on the topic. The meeting can be conducted in one of several ways, the chairperson may call on people that have raised their hand or may just pick someone and than go around the room. Sometimes the chairperson will just open the meeting to anyone that wants to speak. This is not all the ways that a discussion meeting is conducted, but it seams to be the most popular.
- Lead or Speaker - A member, usually chosen in advance, will stand and tell their “story”. They will tell what is was like when they were drinking, what happened to get them into A.A. and what life is like now. The speaker will usually talk for 45 minutes to an hour and if there is time at the end the chairperson will ask for comments.
- As Bills Sees It - The chairperson or a member will pick a topic from the index of the book “As Bill Sees It” then the chairperson will note the pages that correspond to that topic. Then the members take turns reading those pages until they finish or 20 minutes have passed. The chairperson will then open the meeting for discussion.
- Big Book Study -This type of meeting is devoted to the study of the the book “Alcoholics Anonymous” or as we like to call it, The Big Book. The amount that is read can vary greatly, the study can be a sentence, a paragraph or a whole chapter depending on the time allowed. Then there’s a discussion on what was read.
- Step Study - As the name implies, this is a study of the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. Usually a group will take one step a week read about that step, either from the Big Book or the book “The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions”. Followed with a discussion about that step. Sometimes a group will have a step study once a month, 1st month 1st step, etc.
- Traditions Study - This type of meeting is very similar to the “Step Study” meeting only its focus is on the 12 Traditions. The readings for these are from the book “The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions”.
This is not a complete list of every type of meeting that you will find in A.A. It is a list of the meetings you will find in District 15.