Strength, Support, Serenity

​​2017 Northwest DA Conference Planning Committee Meeting Agenda Template

Serenity prayer

12 Traditions (with follow-up paragraph from the DAMS)

Brief personal check-ins (if desired and there’s no urgent business)

Election of new members and brainstorming ways and people to fill open positions

Urgent business:

Officer reports:

Chair (Bob) — Meeting kick-off, brief state of the union

Vice Chair (Beth) — Report on activities since previous meeting

Secretary (Phil) — Review and approve minutes from previous meeting

Treasurer (Lisa) — Review and approve treasurer’s report

Subcommittee reports:

Facilities (Karla) —

Fellowship (open position) —

Onsite Registration (open position) —

Pre-Conference Registration (Christine) —

Program (Carollyne) —

Publicity (open position) —

Spirituality (Suzanne) —  

Volunteer Coordinator (open position) —

Long-Distance Liaisons (Carol from Oregon, Christine from Alaska) — 

Old business:

New business:


Is there anything else that needs to be addressed today?

Confirm date, time, and location for next meeting

Close with the serenity prayer


The planning committee for the Northwest DA Conference is made up of four officer positions and eight subcommittees, each led by a Chair or Co-Chairs.

See Planning Committee Structure for position descriptions.

See Opportunities to Help for open positions and other ways to be of service.

2017 Northwest DA Conference Theme:

Gifts of Recovery — Strength, Support, Serenity

For information on any of the planning committee positions listed above,
​please send an email to

​​Decision-Making Protocol (adapted from Robert's Rules of Order)

In making decisions, we use a combination of general consent and formal voting procedure. General consent allows the meeting leader to call for objections, if there are no objections we can move on to the next order of business. (This is ultimately a unanimous vote.) If there are one or more objections, then the matter must be brought to a formal vote. To put the matter to a formal vote, this procedure must be followed:

1. Raise your hand to be recognized.

2. Make your motion.

3. Wait for someone to second the motion.

4. Chair repeats the motion and asks for discussion, maintaining a positive atmosphere even during difficult topics.

5. Chair calls the question, which may be a second call for objections or a request for a show of hands for those “for” or “against” or “abstaining.”

6. Chair takes a count of the votes “for” and “against” and “abstentions.” Secretary records these votes in the minutes.

We have a shared desire for meetings that function smoothly, welcome our Higher Power into our discussions, and guide us toward group conscience decisions, which are not always the same as majority rule.

These suggestions are usually helpful:

  • Agendas are ideally distributed by email 5-7 days before each meeting, with a request for input; final agendas usually get distributed three days out.

  • Meetings may be fairly informal, but the attention of the entire meeting should be on one subject at a time, without the disruptive influence of private conversations.

  • Each service rotation makes its own rules for functioning and decision making. If members want to make a change in the rules, it should be done before a decision is made or before a position is filled.

  • Keep the issues clear. If a motion is offered, be sure it is stated clearly and distinctly so that all know what they are voting for or against.

  • On all matters, substantial unanimity (or better) must be reached in order to consider a group conscience reached. If there is substantial unanimity, yet there is also obvious remaining opposition to the decision just made, ask for someone who voted against the motion to provide a minority opinion. Once heard, ask if anyone who voted with the majority has changed her or his mind as a result of the minority opinion. If no, the decision stands. If yes, the vote is taken a second time.

  • On sensitive issues, the group works slowly — discouraging formal motions until a clear sense of its collective view emerges.

  • The term “informed group conscience” implies that pertinent information has been studied and all views have been heard before the group votes. Some initiatives take several months to conclude. 

​​The following ground rules have been developed for the 2016-2017 service year:

  • We remember that Higher Power is in charge of our efforts and our interactions.

  • When our discussion grows heated, committee members are encouraged to ask for a “Serenity Moment” when we will stop the discussion and say the Serenity Prayer together before continuing.

  • Our subcommittees make recommendations and the Planning Committee makes decisions. 

  • We are the group conscience for the 2017 Northwest DA Conference; we uphold the decisions we make together as Higher Power’s will for us.

  • New information provides opportunity for new group conscience. The opposite is also true: if there is no new information, there would be no new group conscience.

  • Our meetings are to discuss and decide about the work we’re doing individually and in subcommittees; the Planning Committee meetings are not usually where the work happens.

  • We follow through on our commitments and constantly strive to do our best.

  • We reason things out together, offering support and encouragement.

  • We practice principles before personalities.

  • We have fun together!

​​Ideal qualifications for planning committee members:

  • Active membership and regular attendance at a DA or BDA home group.

  • Active engagement with a DA sponsor and in the process of living the twelve steps.

  • Freedom from incurring new unsecured debt for at least six months.

  • Ability to work in harmony with others, even amid controversy.

  • Willingness to learn the difference between majority rule and group conscience and willingness to work within the group conscience.

  • Ability to maintain a flexible attitude while working with others

The Twelve Traditions of DA

1. Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon DA unity. 

2. For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority — a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.

3. The only requirement for DA membership is a desire to stop incurring unsecured debt.

4. Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or DA as a whole.

5. Each group has but one primary purpose — to carry its message to the debtor who still suffers.

6. A DA group ought never endorse, finance, or lend the DA name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property, and prestige divert us from our primary purpose.

7. Every DA group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.

8. Debtors Anonymous should remain forever non-professional, but our service centers may employ special workers.

9. DA, as such, ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.

10. Debtors Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the DA name ought never be drawn into public controversy.

11. Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, and films.

12. Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities. 

The Twelve Traditions begin with the idea of DA Unity, and it is this principle which is one of the surest guides to a proper attitude in Service. The Traditions help us to put into practice the principles we have learned from the Steps, and enable us to live in harmony with our fellows.

2017 Vision for Our Work Together: We are a peaceful, collaborative, high-functioning service team, energizing each other and fueling each others' recovery and participation. We are focused on the still-suffering debtor, both inside and outside our DA rooms, and are enjoying great diversity, including ages, genders, cultures, and nationalities. We rock!

More About the Planning Committee