The World Service Office (WSO) recognizes the emergence of COVID‑19 variants of concern, particularly the Delta variant, has led some groups to begin reevaluating their meeting approach if they have been meeting in‑person or in a hybrid format. As a clearinghouse of information for the Al‑Anon Family Groups, the WSO has no informed guidance to offer on health matters. As in every challenging situation though, our experience, strength, and hope encourage us to rely on the principles found in the Twelve Traditions and Twelve Concepts of Service as guides. In this situation particularly, we recognize the wisdom expressed in Tradition Two which urges the WSO, Areas, Districts, and groups to rely upon “one authority—a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience.”
In making informed decisions, we suggest groups, Districts, and Areas access reliable national and local health authorities to gain the knowledge necessary to talk to each other and reason things out. Al‑Anon’s Twelve Traditions offer guidance. Tradition One reminds groups that our common welfare should come first in these conversations. Tradition Four invites groups to be flexible in considering alternatives that limit personal contact, while Tradition Three reminds each group in part that “the only requirement for membership is that there be a problem of alcoholism in a relative or friend.” Of utmost importance is providing an environment which allows Al‑Anon newcomers and members the opportunity to feel safe and maintains the unity of the group.
If your group is meeting electronically or in a hybrid format, or decides to return to one of these formats, we encourage you to notify your local service arms and to update your group record with temporary contact or electronic meeting details using the Temporary Al‑Anon Electronic Meeting Change Form.
To ensure our Staff safety and wellbeing at the WSO, we monitor current information from the Governor of Virginia, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the World Health Organization (WHO). As a result, the WSO remains open—shipping Conference Approved Literature to members, answering member calls, and processing member contributions to support our fellowship worldwide. We are continuing our implementation of proactive measures recommended to minimize the spread of COVID‑19.
In May 2021, the WSO invited the Thursday evening Al‑Anon and Alateen groups to return to the building to meet, provided they adhered to specific protocols. At that time, we also began planning to reopen the building for scheduled tours and WSO Volunteer visits. Unfortunately, the emergence of the Delta variant has postponed these plans for the time being. We look forward to future updates when we will once again be able to welcome our members and Volunteers at the WSO.
Thank you for allowing us to continue to be of service to our Al‑Anon Family Groups.