Going through my personal photo archive recently, I discovered a snapshot from the 2018 International Convention in Baltimore. In the photo, I am surrounded by my closest Al‑Anon friends. There are more than 30 beautiful, smiling faces—a family portrait of sorts of people connected in their journey of recovery. Looking more closely at the photo, it becomes a game, a “seek and find” of service.
At that time, I was an Al-Anon Information Service Newsletter Editor. Working at the World Service Office (WSO) was the furthest thing from my mind. The woman at my right, with whom I had driven from Philadelphia, was a Group Representative and continues to serve the fellowship at that level. During my years of service, she and I logged many miles driving to Assemblies together. The woman at my left was the Area Alternate Delegate. Today, she is the Area Delegate. The gentleman behind me, the Delegate then, is now in his first term with the Executive Committee. I see a Public Outreach Coordinator, a Convention Chair, and quite a few Al‑Anon Members Involved in Alateen Service. I even spot one of my current colleagues at the WSO who was serving as Group Records Coordinator then!
I’m looking forward to seeing everyone again next year at the 2023 Al‑Anon International Convention June 30–July 2 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The theme—“New Hopes, New Friends, Renewed Recovery”—is inspiring, and I’m particularly excited about the Day of Connecting. Traditionally held the day before Convention starts, Day of Connecting is a celebration of service that brings together members, the Board of Trustees, and WSO Staff. A separate registration from the Convention, Day of Connecting includes lunch and consists of presentations, workshops, panels, leadership talks, and roundtable discussions.
Consider joining me, and a thousand of your closest Al‑Anon friends, at Day of Connecting on Thursday, June 29, 2023. Get fired up and better informed about serving the fellowship. There will even be an opportunity to hear from Al-Anon-friendly professionals. Make new friends, get connected with others in service, and discover that Board and Staff members are Al‑Anon members just like you!
The 2023 Day of Connecting and International Convention registrations will be posted simultaneously. Stay tuned to the Al‑Anon website and subscribe to In The Loop at al-anon.org/emailme for all the latest information.
By Heather S., Associate Director–Community Relations
The Forum, July 2022
Feel free to reprint this article on your service arm website or newsletter, along with this credit line: Reprinted with permission of The Forum, Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc., Virginia Beach, VA.