CoDA Service Conference 2016 Summary Report
This CoDA Service Conference (CSC) report is a merging of 10 separate reports from 9 CSC Delegates. We greatly appreciate the service of those delegates in sharing their reports with the fellowship! The 10 documents were revised & edited into one document by Geff R, the CoDA Email List Coordinator, & fact checked and further edited by Lou L. of the CoDA Finance Committee & small parts were checked by several other CoDA Committees. It was approved by Mary I., the chair of the CoDA Board Of Trustees
Please send any questions to the CoDA Board Of Trustees: email@example.com
The 2016 CoDA Service Conference (CSC) was held in Carefree, AZ, just outside Phoenix, from October 18 through October 21.
Each Voting Entity (VE) (usually a USA or Canada state or an individual country) can send one or two voting delegates to participate and vote on motions and issues that are presented during the conference. A few of the larger USA states may apply to have 1 state split into more than 1 VE. Approximately 76 members attended the CSC in Carefree, Arizona. There were 27 delegates representing 21 VEs, many USA states, the UK, Colombia, Australia and Canada. Board members, committee chairs, alternates, and observers made up the rest.
Approximately 325 people attended the International CoDA Convention, which immediately followed the conclusion of CSC (Fri-Sun).
The CSC sessions revolve around "motions" and "issues" that are submitted in advance by Voting Entities and CoDA committees. At the conference, the Voting Delegates conduct a group conscience and vote to accept each motion as it is presented, or to make changes to it, and then to either accept, reject or withdraw the motion. There were 47 pages of motions that were voted on.
At the conference each Country and their Voting Entities also have the opportunity to give a Voting Entity report to the conference. You can also provide your report via video conference if you are unable to physically attend.
Approximately 20 Voting Entities shared reports on their individual accomplishments, including three via teleconference; one from Israel, one from Canada regarding CoDA activities in Iran, and one from Guatemala.
CoDA Israel has had established for 15 years, currently has 20 active groups and has a national convention every two years. Iran has 60 active meetings.
The conference was an experience that represented a solid example of group conscious in process. This was a special conference because we also celebrated the 30th year anniversary of CoDa, in the location where CoDA was founded.
As a first time delegate, I had a lot to learn. There is a process to follow for changes to be made to how our CoDA program operates around the world, so that wherever you travel, you can attend a CoDA meeting that follows the same meeting protocols as your home group.
Committees are an excellent way to get involved. Please see the CoDa website for a list of all committees and ongoing activities.
The international CoDA -Fellowship, a.k.a. CoDA Inc, has two main sources of income: royalties from literature sales and 7th Tradition donations. Donations have risen about 2% over last year, but royalty income is down 13% or $14,000. Much income comes from the royalties of literature sales.
CoDA, Inc. is discontinuing its use of PayPal, and introducing a new way of donating on-line. The new on-line donation method has several advantages including: a way of noting whether the donation is from an individual, meeting, intergroup, voting entity, even a donation from a will
Donations can be designated, for example, as a Hospitals and Institutions donation, the Recovery Celebration Plan, or Gratitude Month.
; There will be a way to make recurring donations; an app so you can donate via smart-phones as well as track your own donations. This will be available in both English and Spanish.
We passed a 2017 budget of approximately $200K in income and expenses. Rising expenses and smaller coffers have contributed to the need of redefining our prudent reserve. The new prudent reserve will be $250K or the average of the previous two years' expenses, whichever is greater.
If CoDA, Inc were to shut down, it was voted that funds would go to remaining affiliated International CoDA corporations.
Hospitals and institutions donations can be used for shipping. CoDa will continue to pay 50% of the cost to provide literature to hospitals and institutions.
Coda.org Website Improvements
The CoDA Board revamped the CoDA website and search engine this past year. Some 10,000 meeting records have been updated. A zip-code database subscription has been purchased to keep meeting searches current. There is still more work needed to improve international meeting searches. The website helps 4000 visitors per day.
The CoDA website includes the Co-NNections newsletter which is being expanded in scope. The Co-NNections committee accepts submissions that can be writings about a recovery experience, & more.
CoRe is a separate entity from CoDA, Inc. that publishes all of CoDA, Inc.’s literature. When anything is taken out of print, it will remain on the CoDA website.
The board was directed to work with the website developer to make a Spanish version of several aspects of the website related to the meeting locator, registration, and update functions.
Several committees had status updates regarding literature. Here is a summary, organized by time-line: Available now: 1) The “Using the Twelve Traditions” pamphlet is back in print. 2) The Spanish translation of the Blue Book, “Libro Azul”, is now available in electronic format (Kindle and iBook).
Voted on at CSC and to be available shortly:
1) This service conference ratified a new piece of CoDA literature: “Working the Steps in a Group” is a document about working the steps in a step study group.
2) Many pamphlets will soon be made available for free individual use download, per CoDA's “Fair Use” policy*. These include: – English – What is CoDA – Welcome to CoDA – Am I Codependent – Attending Meetings – Sponsorship in CoDA – Communication in Recovery – Using the 12 Traditions – Establishing Boundaries In Recovery – Spanish – Bienvenidos a CoDA – ¿Soy Codependiente? – Comunicación y Recuperación – Establiciendo Límites en la Recuperación
* The “Fair Use” policy means a single copy of each literature piece may be downloaded for individual use, and making copies for others is not allowed.
3) Some discontinued literature will be kept available via free individual-use download, per CoDA's “Fair Use policy.
Looking to the future
1) The Spanish Outreach committee is working on proofing a translation of “In This Moment” and several pamphlets.
2) The Literature Committee will begin work on a new pieces of literature: “Traditionally Speaking,” a document about how to use the Traditions.
3) Work is in progress to publish the 12X12 workbook in English and Spanish electronically.
4) CoRe is working on a plan to provide a new meeting starter literature kit which would include CoDA Meeting Handbook and selected pieces of literature. This would be for both English and Spanish meetings.
General meeting help
A full set of meeting documents, including meeting handbooks in English, Spanish, Chinese and Japanese, are available by clicking the “Meeting Materials” link at the top of the CoDA.org website, and then clicking the “Meeting Handbook” header.
Members may also email firstname.lastname@example.org for all general questions.
Spanish meeting help
Spanish meeting help is available by emailing email@example.com or by calling 1-888-444-2379.
On-line meetings are now available
On-line meetings (via chat and message-board forum) are available. Sign up at onlinecoda.net. There are also telephone meetings.
Resources via email
CoDA currently has four public email lists.
CoDA Announcements: for sharing announcements, issues and CoDA business relevant to all CoDA members
Quarterly Service Report: where all committees report their quarterly activities.
Weekly Readings Reminder: Weekly email with member-created recovery readings. It provides thoughts for reflection during the week. (This list has a subscriber list of 8400 members.)
Hospital and Institution Information Contact List: List for CoDA members who are H&I contacts for their region or group. This list sends info regarding service opportunities and resources.
Anyone can sign-up to join these lists.
Click the “email sign-up” button at the top of the CoDA.org home page, or go to http://www.codependents.org/ to sign up
New Outreach Resource Guide (ORG)
The ORG is a new resource available at outreach.coda.org for carrying the message to the codependent who still suffers.
Check out the connecting-members section which has subsections on sponsorship and starting a new meeting.
Re-organized Fellowship Service Manual (FSM)
This CSC ratified a revised and reorganized Fellowship Service Manual (FSM). The FSM is the reference document for how to conduct recovery meetings and committee meetings, and how the service structure operates. The new FSM is easier to use, with different sections relevant to different kinds of users. For example, a person requiring help with their recovery meeting will be able to find what they are looking for more easily. The FSM may be downloaded from the CoDA website. The revised version is not posted yet.
Motion to Use English to Transact Internal Business
A motion was made and passed that “English is the official language for transacting corporate business and legal actions only.” In this final form, the motion clarifies that it applies only to how internal business is transacted, not that any language is given preference when catering to the fellowship or the codependent who still suffers. This applies, for example, when a contract is needed: all parties would communicate in English to ratify it, in order to prevent it from having to be translated into other languages and then, if changed, translated back into English. CoDA, Inc will continue to reach out and serve the fellowship around the world with literature and services in the many languages required of the fellowship.
Summary Of Decisions Made
Here are the decisions made on the motions at the 2016 CSC.
The following Motions were Passed:
The Secretary of the Board of Trustees or designated officer shall insure that the date and location of the next Conference will be announced two years in advance at the CSC.
If CoDA, Inc were to fold, funds would go to remaining affiliated International CoDA corporations.
Change “fire employees” to “terminate contractors” in the Bylaws, since CoDA does not employ and therefore does not fire people.
English is the official language of CoDA, Inc. for legal and corporate purposes only.
If a member leaves the CoRe Board, an alternate will step in until the next CSC to be voted in.
Thirteen English and Spanish pamphlets shall be made available for free download, since shipping costs especially outside the U.S. are high.
Returned the responsibility of recruiting and vetting board nominees to the respective Boards (from Events which is not a nominating committee).
There are 2 new Board members and 2 Alternate Board members elected this year. Last year there were only five members. New Board members were elected this year including Madeline R & Jennifer L and alternates elected were Addie M & Anita F. Returning board members include Mary I (board chair), Lorraine O, Gerry B, and Denny H.
There were 3 new members and an alternate elected to the CoRe Board, Marcy V, Salle H, Liliana R, and David L as alternate.
Lowered the Prudent Reserve to $250,000 or equal to half of the total actual operational expenses for the previous two calendar years, whichever is greater.
7th Tradition Donations to H&I (Hospitals and Institutions) shall be used for shipping (which is often almost equal to the price of the books) and other expenses as well as for the books.
The text “Working the Steps as a Group” was approved as a service document and is available as a download on coda.org. Note: decided on “working” rather than “studying”.
Update the Affirmations web page including changing the wording on the first one to take out the word, "deserves”.
Any piece of CoDA literature that has been approved by Conference for publication by CoRe may only be taken out of print by passing a motion at the CSC. This literature must continue to be available to the membership via the coda.org web site for download.
The Fellowship Service Manual (FSM) will have separate PDF files with hyper-links when referencing other parts, instead of being one large document including all 5 categories:
Part 1 - CoDA Structure and General Information,
Part 2 - CoDA Meeting Handbook,
Part 3 - CoDA Guidelines for Service Levels Between Meetings and CoDA, Inc.,
Part 4 - CoDA Service Conference (CSC) Procedures,
Part 5 - CoDA, Inc. Level Services Entities Details (Board, Committees, Working Groups).
Direct the Board to work with the website developer to make a Spanish version, as well as English version of the meeting search, meeting registration form, and meeting update form. The Board will confer with a representative of the CoDA E-mail Team, one from Spanish Outreach and the contract employee who works with the database.
Authorized CoRe to print the Sponsorship pamphlet in Spanish, which has already been translated.
To register a meeting there is a form in the Meeting Handbook. It describes that “No member shall be turned away from even a closed or restricted meeting, such as a Women’s meeting, if there is no other meeting available to this person.”
The 2017 Budget of $204,820 income and $212,735.21 expenses, as presented by Chair of Finance Committee, was approved.
Clerical changes include:
Change redundant wording regarding vacancies.
Clarify Expense Reimbursement Policy and raise the "if less than" from $10 to $30 U.S.D. or equivalent, needed for receipts.
8 changes to the Expense Reimbursement Policy.
Minor grammatical & format changes were made to the Expense Reimbursement Approval Procedure, including reflecting the use of the online Expense Reimbursement Request forms.
In Part 3 of the FSM, "The Intergroup (Community Service Group)" will be changed to " Intergroup/Community Service Group (CSG) ".
In the interest of time, we are not listing the Motions from the Committees which were defeated, tabled or withdrawn.
The following Voting Entity (VE) Issues (VEI) were not approved:
To go back to keeping Roman Numerals on Coins 30+ instead of switching to Arabic.
To add “and/or other” between the words “family” and “systems” in the Welcome where is says “sometimes moderately, sometimes extremely dysfunctional family systems” was defeated.
Voting Entity Issues which were assigned to a committee or the Board:
To change the chips by adding “Service” and moving “Self” to the same side with “Respect” becoming “Self Respect” was assigned to Legal by the Board.
For the No Crosstalk/No Feedback “guidelines” to be read at all meetings was assigned to the Service Structure Committee by the Board.
That CoDA, Inc. pursues the possibility of obtaining a group exemption letter from the IRS (Form 1023) which would allow Intergroups and Voting Entities to receive automatic IRS recognition as a non-profit entity was assigned to the Board.
To adopt the Colorado Prayer was tabled until next year for approval by Colorado of changing God to HP.
There were motions from several VE’s regarding when to have the CSC and Convention. Some met with each other to work it out. Some wanted the CSC to be held in the Summer when teachers and others who cannot get time off during the Fall could attend. The Events Committee brought forth a motion that it would be their committee that would set the date for the CSC and Convention. They sent out a survey to find out what date most people would prefer to have the CSC. The graph showed that most preferred to have the Conference and Convention in October. Thy also indicated that most would be willing to have it at a less costly venue. That was passed with provision that the date be set in consultation with the Board. Hosts for the CSC and the Convention will be made two years in advance. The host city will also be given training on how to host their own conference.
The host of the 2017 Conference and Convention will be held in the Tri-cities in Minnesota, probably the week of October 22.
The 2018 CoDA Service Conference will likely be in San Diego, CA.
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We will be sending out regular emails with CoDA events, announcements, issues & CoDA business of interest to both specific regions & to the entire CoDA fellowship.
Per the 2nd tradition, For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority, a loving higher power as expressed to our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern. Developing a group conscience requires an informed fellowship, & to be effective trusted servants those you've elected must know the group conscience of the fellowship.
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