Alcoholics Anonymous History In Your Area
The History of Greater Minneapolis Intergroup
2007 History – 24th Gratitude Night – April 14, 2007 — Presented by Jon H. 2007 Board Co-Chair
History of Greater Minneapolis Intergroup
Due to this growth, the AA members of Greater Minneapolis realized there was a need for further-reaching 12 step services. They had the vision of an Intergroup Service Office that would provide vital 12 step services, such as phone answering 24 hours a day by sober members of AA, lists of AA members willing to do 12 step calls and a published AA meeting directory. Your Service Office is one of 500 Intergroup/Central Offices in the United States and Canada. The first Intergroup Office in Minnesota was opened in St. Paul in 1966.
The Minneapolis Intergroup Office that you know today was opened in September 1968 at 24 East Franklin Avenue. Since then, the office has moved several times. Many our members recall visiting the office at 6300 Walker Avenue in St. Louis Park, which was our home for 15 years. The office moved to its current location, 7204 West 27th Street in St Louis Park August 1, 2000 over 6 years ago.
Regardless of the location, the core focus of Minneapolis Intergroup has always been to provide AA 12 Step Services. I want to review some of those vital services that have been developed over the years:
These services only scratch the surface of how Intergroup provides 12 Step opportunities in the Greater Minneapolis area, so you can just imagine the busy place the office has become! Currently there are over 500 AA members actively contributing their time to these efforts. In addition to the services mentioned previously, volunteers go on 12 step calls and help newcomers find sponsors. Without this level of commitment from you, the heart of Minneapolis Intergroup would cease to beat.
In addition to individuals contributing their time, the office also has paid special workers. This includes an Office Manager and Staff Assistants, all active members of our Fellowship with over 79 years of combined AA experience. Due to their commitment, you can always be sure the office doors will be open at 9 am Monday through Saturday, and they will welcome you on your next visit.
A special thanks to our Intergroup staff, Chuck, Steve, Ginny and Claudia.
In addition to Intergroup Representatives, Minneapolis Intergroup is governed by 12 members elected to the Board of Directors with 4 rotating each year. There is presently 186 years of combined AA experience serving on your IG Board. Early in our history, this Board included members of Al-Anon. In the 1980’s it was decided our fellowships would be better served if AA and Al-Anon had separate Offices. We have been fortunate over the years to be located in the same building with Al-Anon Information Services of Minneapolis. This has facilitated a spirit of cooperation between our two fellowships, for which we are very grateful.
The same spirit of cooperation has also developed over the years with the General Service Structure. Your Minneapolis Intergroup actively participates with the 11 metro Districts, Southern Minnesota Area and your General Service Office. We have been pleased to house the Temporary Contact Desk for the Southern Minnesota Area 36 Treatment Committee over the past 14 years and the Intergroup Service Office is the main contact point for the Area 36 Corrections Committee and their Correctional Facilities Contact Program. Two years ago we added a toll free number so incarcerated inmates can have immediate meeting information before their release. If you would like to be involved with the many 12 Step opportunities that carry the AA message, please visit our 12 Step Service Tables during the evening.
In whatever capacity you are helping Intergroup carry the message; your service work is priceless. In addition to the time you contribute, 7th Tradition Contributions from AA groups and individual AA members, along with literature sales, ensures your Intergroup Service Office can continue to provide vital services. Every time you purchase a Big Book at Intergroup you are buying it from yourself, the office is operated by the members for the members. In this manner Intergroup is self-supporting. Consistent with this principle, Intergroup does not accept contributions from outside the AA Fellowship.
The Service Office is a busy place these days. Most visitors are from the local AA community, although the office has hosted AA Members and Professionals from around the world. We have been visited by healthcare workers from Japan, Peru, Brazil, and Vietnam. The Serenity Prayer in Japanese is now hanging in the office. The non-alcoholic (Class A) Trustee chairperson for the General Service Office in Brazil made a visit a couple of years ago. We now have a beautiful color poster celebrating the 60th Anniversary of AA in Brazil.
Please stop by and see us soon, have a cup of coffee. You’ll find all the bustling activities I have described, and the opportunity to learn more about our AA history on the history wall.
In closing, since 1968, Greater Minneapolis Intergroup has been providing these “Vital Services” envisioned by the founding board 39 years ago. Our vital services are in greater demand than ever. The early board members could not have predicted we would be playing such a strong role in our community; we respond to requests for information about AA from schools, religious groups, medical groups, and businesses. We are also responding to the 12 Step needs of teens and pre-teens with special 12 Step services. I’m sure you can see the original vision lives on stronger than ever, one day at a time, day after day. It’s the spirit of participation that makes this possible. In that spirit, let us not forget that at this very moment a sober member of Alcoholics Anonymous is either standing by to answer our phone or is now speaking to a member of the community who may have a drinking problem. It’s Our 12th Step Responsibility – and We Are Going to Any Length.
Thank you and enjoy the evening.
Copyright © 2007 Alcoholics Anonymous Greater Minneapolis Intergroup