By John S.
AA Beyond Belief
Since 1945, the International AA Convention has been held every five years, and the next convention will be held in Detroit, Michigan from July 2nd through July 5th, 2020. AA members from around the world will gather in great numbers to celebrate the 85th anniversary of Alcoholics Anonymous. The 2015 Convention in Atlanta Georgia was attended by approximately 57,000 people – including agnostics, atheists and freethinkers. In fact, ever since 1990, agnostics and atheists have held a We Agnostics panel at the International Convention.
You can listen to recordings of those panels on the AA Beyond Belief audio page.
We secularists in AA have come a long way since the Fellowship’s founding in 1935, and we have made our voices heard as never before. Since the first AA meeting for atheists and agnostics in 1975, we have held two international secular AA conferences, and there have been five regional secular AA conferences, two in Washington State, two in Arizona and one in Toronto.
There is also tremendous interest in AA meetings with a secular format as evidenced by the growing number of secular AA meetings. There were just 99 secular AA meetings in 2012, and according to the Secular AA website there are 440 meetings today. (“A Growing Secular Movement”, AA Agnostica, Dec. 2017)
Through our active involvement in general service, we have forged friendships and partnerships within the Fellowship that have produced real and tangible results. In 2015, the AA Grapevine published an issue dedicated to the experiences of agnostics and atheists, and in 2016 the General Service Conference requested the AA Grapevine to publish a book of stories from agnostics and atheists. Then at this year’s Conference The God Word pamphlet originally published by the General Service Office of Great Britain was approved for use in North America.
The International AA Convention in Detroit presents an opportunity for secular AA members from around the world to gather together to celebrate our place in AA and our role with helping to build our Fellowship.
With this in mind, AA Agnostica and AA Beyond Belief are polling their readers to gauge the level of interest in participating at the International Convention. Are you going? What would pique your interest and make it more likely for you to attend? Please complete this survey to let us know your thoughts, and we will pass this information on to the Board of Directors for the International Conference of Secular AA. Your contact information is purely optional and will be provided to the Board of Secular AA.
Please answer the questions in this survey and provide as much detail as you care in the text box at the bottom and in comments section of this post.