The General Service Representative (GSR) is the group’s link to the General Service Office in New York through district and area meetings.
1 At district meetings, you join with G.S.R.s from other groups. Perhaps you’ve already worked with an intergroup or central office, where groups band together to help alcoholics just in your locality. But your general service district is the second link in an entirely different chain, which extends much farther. Your district is one part of a general service area. With your fellow G.S.R.s, you elect a district committee member, and all the D.C.M.s make up the area committee. Now, do you just sit back and let your D.C.M. take it from there? No! G.S.R.s stay very much in action in each of the 93 areas in the U.S. and Canada.
2 You attend area assemblies annually. At the electoral assembly (held every two years), along with the other G.S.R.s and the D.C.M.s from the whole area, you elect committee officers—and your area’s Conference delegate.
3 Just as you rely on your group for help in your personal recovery, so the A.A. groups of Canada and the U.S. rely on the General Service Conference in maintaining the unity and strength of our Fellowship—our obligation to all the alcoholics of today and tomorrow. It’s up to you to keep two-way communication going between your group and the Conference. Via your D.C.M. and your delegate, you can see to it that your group’s conscience on matters of importance to all A.A. becomes a part of the consensus when these matters are discussed at the annual Conference meeting in April. In return, you can enable your group to benefit from the meeting’s sharing of experience among area delegates and the other Conference members. Your D.C.M. may want to present your delegate’s report at a special group meeting. The D.C.M. receives a copy of the Final Conference Report, a full account of proceedings. Copies of the Report are available to groups upon request. Group services
4 As G.S.R., you are “group contact” in the original sense, too. Upon your election, your name and address are sent (by you or your group secretary) to the secretary of your area committee, or your district or area registrar and to G.S.O. (Be sure to include, as well, the name of the G.S.R. you are replacing, so the records won’t be confused.) You will be listed as contact for your group in the next printing of the appropriate A.A. Directory.
5 In return, G.S.O. sends you the G.S.R. Kit (see the section below, or check G.S.O.’s website, www.aa.org, for some of its contents), and the quarterly bulletin Box 4-5-9. You use these—and share them with the other members of your group. Are some pamphlets marked “new” on the Literature Order Form? You check the literature rack to make sure your group is offering all the sobriety tools available. Does Box 4-5-9 carry news of a future International Convention? You spread the happy word.
6 Because you’ve made a special point of studying the information listed below, you can help when your group faces a problem involving one of the Traditions. You don’t have to know all the answers —no one member possibly could— but you learn where to look for good suggestions, drawn from broad A.A. experience.
7 Thinking of Tradition Seven particularly, you work with the group treasurer to remind your group of its part in keeping all of A.A. selfsupporting. You explain the importance of financial support of your intergroup/central office, G.S.O., district and area committee, and the Birthday Plan for individual contributions.
8 Since you’re in touch with A.A. throughout your area, you can bring to your group the news of upcoming local conventions. As G.S.R., you share with your fellow members the joy of widening A.A. horizons.
Information you’ll need
9 On the general service structure:
The A.A. Service Manual/Twelve Concepts for World Service,
“Inside A.A.,” “Circles of Love and Service”—all in the G.S.R. Kit;
the Final Conference Report,
the video “Your A.A. General Service Office, the Grapevine,
and the General Service Structure” (DV-07).
10 On the Traditions: “A.A. Tradition—How It Developed” (kit); also
Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions,
A.A. Comes of Age, and
“The Twelve Traditions Illustrated.”
11 On group affairs:
“The A.A. Group” and “Self-Support: Where Money and Spirituality Mix” (both in the kit);
the A.A. Guidelines (listing of titles and prices in the Literature Catalog), which suggest ways your group can work with other groups and with agencies outside A.A.
12 Financial Support: Current experience indicates that many groups provide financial support for their general service representatives to attend the annual Area Asembly