Friday Fellowship Item #5: The CoDA Messenger

From: "CoDA Announcements" <>
Subject: Friday Fellowship Item #5: The CoDA Messenger
Date: May 11th 2017

Friday Fellowship Item #5: The CoDA Messenger

Written by a CoDA member, CoDA content approved by Communications Committee

In 1997 CoDA volunteers put out the first issue of a newsletter titled The CoDA Messenger. Four pages, printed for distribution by mail and by hand, apparently, showing so much about the Fellowship of the time. For one thing, the meetings were bigger; 75 people attending at one time, for example. But this meeting then shrank to only 6, so they felt they had to take action and started experimenting with different formats.

The formats that were routinely used gives the impression that more structure was typically employed. Speaker meetings and focused topic meetings were on a rotating schedule, which, to reinvigorate themselves, this meeting expanded by adding Step and Tradition focused meetings.

Here is how they were described:

"During the Step format meetings, participants focus on how a particular Step has helped members change their lives and      what their struggles and successes with that Step have been. The Tradition format is similar: members share how a  Tradition has helped them with their individual recovery and to participate in the CoDA community."

"Other changes were to reduce the service time for officers to three months, and with this that meeting started to grow again, eventually to fifty members."

There may be stimulus here to thoughts for our own struggling meetings. But also how interesting to read this now, twenty years later, with meetings much smaller and most meetings devoted entirely to sharing less closely tied to a topic, in this author’s experience.

But perhaps not. Another contributor relates, referring to the present,: “ my home group we alternate topics every week like this:

week 1 - step

week 2 - tradition

week 3 - topic of choice (related to CoDA literature)

week 4 - patterns and characteristics of codependence (denial, low self esteem, control, compliance, avoidance) - we  alternate between all 5 of these patterns

week 5 - gratitude - for the months which have 5 weeks - this happens 4 times per year”

This all illustrates how, through the action of individual groups, our living CoDA changes over time, accommodating changing needs and developing awareness of ways to serve struggling codependents and of the depths of the program we are growing in.

If you have more copies of The CoDA Messenger, we would love to see them. Send them and any other comments to

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