District 23 Groups Currently Meeting Online
Setting up an Online AA Meeting with Zoom
These are online guides to set up Zoom for online meetings from Windows, Mac, Android or iPhone. At the beginning of the articles you will see a “Prerequisites” section with a link to download the Zoom program. You will need to download this client to use Zoom.
From an Android mobile phone: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/200942759-Getting-Started-with-Android
More help topics can be found at: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/categories/200101697
To host a meeting (as a home group or as an individual), you will need a paid subscription. The Pro plan costs $14.99 per month and will allow one account to host meetings. We suggest creating a group account if planning to host meetings, as the password to this account will be shared with anyone who is chairing/moderating the online meeting.
Suggestions for groups hosting an online meeting:
- Meetings can be scheduled, meaning they can have a recurring time they happen every day or once a week.
- The chairperson can act as the meeting moderator. One successful model for a discussion meeting is to mute everyone in attendance, then have members unmute themselves to share or use the “Raise your hand” feature found at the bottom of the chat window.
- There is a share screen function that allows you to display something on the host’s screen on every member’s computer. This can be especially helpful when reading tools in the beginning of the meeting. More info on screen sharing can be found at https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362153-Sharing-your-screen.
- The chat function can be used to facilitate the sharing of member’s phone numbers. With the temporary loss of in-person meetings, it will become more difficult for newer members to hang out after the meeting to meet with people and get phone numbers. In the chat function you can send a message that everyone can view, or send messages to one specific person. It may prove to be helpful to ask if anyone wants phone numbers, and have members send a private message to the member wanting the numbers using the chat function. It may be wise to encourage against posting any public info about a member to “everyone” in the chat, as this could lead to safety concerns.
- Going along with the above point, there will be people seeking to spend time with fellow alcoholics before and after the meeting. It may be wise to start meetings 10 or 15 minutes early to allow people to say hello and get initial trouble shooting with the online format out of the way, and to leave the meeting open for a while after the meeting’s conclusion. There is an option for the host to close their session but not close the meeting for everyone.
- The 7th Tradition will look very different during this growth of online format meetings. Zoom has a monthly cost that is very similar to paying rent and groups may decide to offer a way for members to contribute to a 7th Tradition “basket.” There is a write-up by an AA member about using Cash App for collecting contributions to a group that can be found at https://bit.ly/digital-7th. Here you can find info on what it means to collect 7th Tradition money digitally and how to set that up. A link to your cash app donation page can be shared from inside the online meeting by the host.
- A group can choose to publish their Zoom meeting ID on NC23.org or to not publish. Publishing will allow anyone who comes to our district’s website to find your meeting. A group can also set up a password that needs to be used to access their meeting, and this information should be published alongside the Meeting ID and the date and time for the meeting if listed on the website. To publish your group’s online meeting on NC23.org, please visit https://nc23.org/submit-content/ and submit the meeting name, Meeting ID (along with password if applicable), phone number for dial-in participants, as well as date and times for the meeting. If this is an existing home group changing from SUSPENDED status to ONLINE/CALL-IN, please let us know that as well.
Safety should remain something that groups are mindful of, even in online formats.
Sample Safety Statement: Our group endeavors to provide a secure and welcoming virtual environment in which our meetings can take place. To help us make everyone feel comfortable in our meeting, we ask that group members and others refrain from contact with people they do not know during or after the meeting unless it is regarding recovery. We hope that we can work together to provide a safe meeting place for all attendees. This is accordance with the first tradition, which states that “Each member of Alcoholics Anonymous is but a small part of a great whole. AA must continue to live or most of us will surely die. Hence, our common welfare comes first. But individual welfare follows close afterward.”
Also, please take the precautions you feel are necessary to ensure your own personal comfort. For example, please let the chairperson know if someone is sending inappropriate private messages during or after the meeting.
If you would like more info or if you require assistance with setting up zoom meetings as a member or as a group hosting a meeting, please reach out to Jazzy (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Mariah (email@example.com).
Other Online Meeting Options, Help, Resources and Solutions
D23 offers the following resources other AA entities have shared. They are not endorsed by D23.