Welcome to the world of service in our small but mighty fellowship of GreySheeters Anonymous. As a group service representative (GSR), you are charged with the responsibility of listening to the members of your group, bringing them news from the intergroup your group may belong to and from the World Service Conference, and being the group’s voice in the structure of the GSA community.
As is the case with other twelve step recovery communities, GSA is an upside-down organization. Rather than a hierarchical structure where the people at the top are ones who make the decisions and have the most authority, the top of our structure is the collection of GSA groups. As a spokesperson of your group, you occupy the second highest tier in our organization and are a voting member at the World Service Conference.
Most compulsive overeaters in recovery, especially in the beginning, are aware of only those parts of the community with which they are in contact: meetings, sponsors, and possibly a round-up or retreat gathering. They may have a vague understanding that people had work to do in order to make sure a meeting place is open at the right time, or the phone meeting has a moderator and someone must book speakers and handle the treasury, but in the fuzzy haze of early recovery, little time or attention is spent on how meetings come to exist or how they remain open to help a fellow compulsive overeater.
As a group service representative, you may be the person who is in most contact with other parts of our structure. Newcomers may look to you for information, a way to access our web site and its resources. Your enthusiasm about extending the hand and heart of GSA to those who are still suffering may inspire fellow group members to become involved in committee work. As issues arise in groups, you may be asked to communicate those issues whenever they need the attention of the larger structure, or even become an agenda item at the next World Service Conference.
But for now, just know that the members of your group have confidence in your ability to represent them. Enjoy this time and the people you will meet in your regional intergroup, the things you will learn about service at the conference in two years, and all the ways your gifts may contribute to the world-wide community of Greysheeters Anonymous.
And trust that we need your gifts, talents, time and attention to whatever you commit to doing as a GSR. We look forward to working with you and getting to know you better.
What is a General Service Representative (GSR)?
GSRs are an important link in maintaining and contributing to the growth and unity of GreySheeters Anonymous (GSA) around the world.
- A GSR is a member of GSA who has at least one year of back-to-back GreySheet abstinence and who wishes to practice the Twelfth Step – “carry this message to the compulsive eater who still suffers.”
- If a registered GSA group has no member with one year of back to back GreySheet abstinence who is willing to serve as a its GSR, the group may elect a person who has less than one year.
- GSRs with less than one year will not be able to vote on matters before the Intergroup. Only GSRs who have one year of back-to-back abstinence at the time of the World Service Conference can register as delegates.
- The Board of Trustees strongly encourages the members of such groups who achieve one year of back to back GreySheet abstinence to become the GSR as soon as possible so that the group may be fully represented at the Conference.
- A GSR is elected for a two-year term of office by a registered group of GSA at its business meeting.
- A GSR represents only one group of GSA. Small groups whose members overlap may elect to pool their funds to send a single delegate who can report on the conference, but each delegate only has one vote.
- A GSR attends GSA meetings regularly, is familiar with the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), and has a determination to practice the Twelfth Tradition - to put principles before personalities.
What Does a GSR Do?
- A GSR represents their Group by attending Area Intergroup meetings to address issues concerning their group and other groups in the Intergroup Area and to elect an Intergroup Service Representative (ISR) to attend the GSA World Service Conference.
- A GSR receives information from the Board of Trustees of GSA World Service and the Area Intergroup and shares that information with their group.
- A GSR subscribes to the Service Matters Newsletter, reads each issue, and conveys the information to his/her group to apprise them of what is happening in GSA World Service.
- Group funds permitting, a GSR represents the Group as a delegate to the World Service Conference. As a
- A GSR joins at least one World Service Conference Committee and supports the work of that committee.
- A GSR attends monthly Committees Connecting meetings on Zoom.
- Before serving as a World Service Conference delegate the first time, a GSR attends monthly Traditions and Concepts meetings. Each meeting is 30 minutes long and provides the opportunity for delegates to learn about the Twelve Traditions and Twelve Concepts for World Service of GSA.
- Prior to the World Service Conference, all conference delegates attend two one-hour Delegate Training Meetings. One takes place 5-6 months before the conference and the other close to the conference dates.