The 25th Annual National Bridging the Gap Workshop

The 25th Annual National Bridging the Gap Workshop

Located in: Park City, Utah September 11th, 12th, 13th

As the Big Book says “This is an experience you should not miss”.  That phrase is from the Chapter ‘Working with Others’ and it speaks of watching our Fellowship grow around you.  It is about helping your Fellows drag themselves out of the depths of their alcoholism and into a life worth living.

I can think of no better description of the Bridging the Gap program.  The thought of having a couple of sober members of Alcoholics Anonymous meet you at a meeting and help pave the way for you to become ‘a part of’ is a dream that many prospective members dare not dream of for fear that ‘No One Cares’.  Accustomed to being forgotten and ignored, it is oftentimes easier for these ‘broken souls’ to go back to the same life and familiar faces – the certainty of apathy.

If only they could ‘Get It’!  If they could just muster the courage to give it a try – like we did!!  Some do find the courage and some realize this just might be the chance to change.  Some are just plain desperate enough.  All are skeptical.

When those few do try, I can assure you there is no higher high than being that sober alcoholic that takes the responsibility to reach out.  There is no better feeling than to give back.

Giving back – Paying it Forward.  That is what we do in Bridging the Gap.  The Area, many Districts, some Groups and some Intergroup/ Central Offices have some sort of formal BTG program.  Ask around and you will quickly find someone involved in this vital work.  Plan on attending the National Bridge the Gap Workshop in Park City.

This September 11-13 Bridging the Gap servants from all over the US and Canada will meet in Park City, Utah.  This annual, roving rendezvous has been taking place for 25 years.  Instead of New York, Chicago, California or some other unreachable place, this event is going to be 35 miles or so from Fellowship Hall and the Alano Club.  It is so close that you can taste it for yourselves.

For three days Bridging the Gap servants congregate to learn and to share.  This event is attended by servants from other Areas and there are a surprising number of Districts large enough to send attendees.  Another large block of servants are sent by Intergroup or Central Offices, generally from large metropolitan areas such as Minneapolis or Las Angeles.  Area 69 encourages anyone involved in Treatment, Corrections or Bridging the Gap to attend.

A GSO staff member, either the Treatment or Corrections chair, attends and updates the attendees on how GSO supports the BTG program and suggests new ideas to be taken back for action by the attendees.  There are discussion panels involving members of AA or corrections and treatment professionals sharing their experience with BTG.  This year will be extra special for our Utah members as much of the participation will be from local servants.

Most of all, there is Fellowshipping among members near and far.  Imagine discussing Bridging the Gap experiences and ideas with members from all over.  It has been my experience that members from large cities with thousands of members are just as fascinated about how we do it in Utah with meeting places separated by long stretches and few alcoholics to fill the gap.  This is Twelfth Step work at its finest!  The energy is always high where spirited people practice a spiritual program.

The National Bridging the Gap event is self-funded.  There are no funds from GSO for this event They do provide a GSO staff member, either the Corrections chair or the Treatment Facilities chair  – paid for from the National Bridging the Gap workshop.  Area 69 does not contribute to this event but many Utah Districts, Groups and individual members provide contributions for this vital event.

You are invited to participate in the 25th annual National Bridging the Gap Workshop.  Your groups are invited to participate also.  We have plenty of room available for groups that would like to contribute and members who want to be of service – greeters, registration or hospitality.  Knock the dust off your sobriety by making a difference in someone else’s life – and your own.

“..nothing will much insure immunity from drinking as intensive work with other alcoholics”.  Join us in Park City on September 11-13 for this event, truly something you should not miss.  For information regarding participation in this event, contact the following servants.

Frank B.  Host Committee Chair 435-232-2403  Area69Grapevine@utahaa.org

Pete G.  Host Committee Co-Chair 435-590-9126  Area69Assembly@utahaa.org

Kristen D.  Host Committee Secretary 801-529-6136  Area69Registrar@utahaa.org

Matt D. Hospitality Chair  801-231-4986  Area69Chair@utahaa.org

Andy B.  Registration  801-891-5388  adallasb@comcast.net

 

 

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