March 2013

carry-the-messageFor a PDF version of the newsletter, please click here: March Newsletter
The purpose of our Intergroup is to more effectively reach the sex addict in the Orange County area who still suffers.  We meet the second Thursday of each month from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at the First Methodist Church of Costa Mesa, 420 W. 19th St., located at the end of the 55 Freeway across from Triangle Square.  From 6:00-6:45 p.m. we may work together on an outreach project as we share snacks and fellowship, followed by the business meeting.  If you can’t make it, meeting minutes are published on our website.  All SAA members are welcome.  We are still a young organization and want your ideas!

March 30:  Let’s Enjoy Breakfast Together – on the Beach!

Our Fun Through Fellowship event for this month is a serene breakfast on the beach, at the charming Beachcomber Cafe.  It’s located right on the sand, in a beautiful historic location where several films have been shot overlooking the ocean.  This activity is open to all SAA members.

We’ll meet on Saturday, March 30, at 9:00 a.m. for breakfast, then walk along the beach until about 11:00 a.m.  (Running is optional, but remember you’ve just eaten a big breakfast.)  Entrees run from $7-$14.

The restaurant is located close to Pacific Coast Highway between Newport Beach and Laguna Beach.  At the Los Trancos/Crystal Cove stoplight, turn away from the beach and park in the Crystal Cove State Park lot.  The cost is $15 without a yearly permit, but it’s refundable if you spend $15 or more at the restaurant.  So eat big!

At the back of the parking lot, next to the restrooms, there’s a walkway under PCH to the restaurant.  The walk takes about 10 minutes.  Or you can take the shuttle for $1 each way.  Look for the umbrella and picnic bench next to the restrooms to indicate the waiting area.  If memory serves, shuttles come about every 15 minutes.

Great food and surroundings, plus our fellowship, will make for a rewarding Outer Circle morning.  Please plan to join us.  Call 949-423-6654 if you plan to attend so we can get a head count.  More information about the restaurant can be found at its website:  http://www.thebeachcombercafe.com.  See you there!

My Share

Each month, we publish a personal but anonymous story of recovery.  Stories should be written in the first person (“I”); speak from your experience, strength, and hope; and be limited to approximately one typewritten page or less.  Please submit your story to saamikek@gmail.com.  We may edit submissions for reasons of space, clarity, and appropriate language.  On the next page is this month’s story:

Can Love Be My Higher Power?

Many SAA members struggle with the concept of a Higher Power.  For those who believe strongly in God, it’s not an issue.  But for the rest of us, it can be a real challenge to our recovery.  We must ponder this early in the program at Step 2, where we first acknowledge the presence of “a Power greater than ourselves.”  Half of the 12 Steps directly mention a Higher Power or God.  It is therefore critical that members develop their own concept of a Higher Power in order to work the steps successfully.  Note that I said their own concept.  This was the key for me to develop a relationship with my Higher Power.

When I was young, our family attended services at a very strict nondenominational Christian church four times a week.  The minister said you’d go to Hell if you went to a movie or a dance because they were worldly.  Tobacco and alcohol consumption were banned.  Women couldn’t wear makeup or jewelry, except a wedding ring.  I believed in God because all the grownups said there was one.  This God was the stereotypical white-robed guy with a long, flowing white beard who wielded a staff from which he would shoot lightning bolts to zap sinners on the spot if he chose.

My father became friends with a minister from another equally strict out-of-state church.  This minister had a considerably younger brother who at the age of 20 moved in with us, ostensibly to get a good start in a new town and save some money.  I was nine at the time.  My parents allowed him to sleep with me and my 12-year-old brother, and he molested us for over a year until he was found out.  Being good Christians, Dad and Mom prayed with our molester, who repented and got his salvation back.  He had to move out of the house, but they remained friends with him.  After all, he was a good Christian who had repented his sins; and he was the younger brother of one of my father’s best friends.  My parents asked my brother and me if we were OK.  We said we were, and that was the extent of our therapy.  I don’t remember the subject ever coming up again.

A year or two later, our family moved to the West Coast and allowed the molester, seeking better job opportunities, to caravan with us.  Incredibly, they allowed him to be alone with me again, and he molested me again – but this time I made him stop.  I was a few years older now.

As I reached my early 20’s, I began slipping away from church doctrine, and I became an agnostic for many years.  I believe this was due to the unreasonably strict church (was God really going to send all but a few to Hell?  After all, he created them and knew what was going to happen), the harm done to me by a good Christian brother-of-a-minister molester, and my good Christian parents’ head-in-the-sand negligence.  I also became a sex addict.

After many years in the wilderness, I began my recovery.  I decided it was slightly more likely that God existed than not – sort of like the preponderance of evidence in a civil case.  Not exactly the ideal for a dependable Higher Power in whom I could put my trust, but I acted “as if” while I searched for a stronger one.

It eventually worked.  One day a famous Bible verse popped into my head:  “God is love.”  I asked myself if I believed in love.  The answer was absolutely yes – I had experienced love.  So if I believed in love, then according to the Bible, I believed in God too.  Suddenly, I had my Higher Power:  love, or God, interchangeably.  My new God is no longer the fearsome old white-robed guy.  It is love, which is amorphous but doubtlessly real.  Maybe it’s just a facet of what the real God is, or maybe it’s God’s whole essence from which everything else flows, or maybe it’s just love, period.  I don’t know, but it doesn’t matter to me.  Love is enough.

I see love in every part of our recovery program:  love for others, and love for ourselves.  Everyone must find their own concept of a Higher Power, and I’ve found mine.  Love conquers all, even addiction.

Announcements  

 Intergroup Representatives Still Needed

If your meeting lacks an Intergroup rep, please tell your secretary that you need one.  For more information, contact us at ocisaa.inreach@yahoo.com.  We highly recommend you find someone to fill this service position.

A Note to Event Promoters and Organizers:  For those requesting announcements to run in our newsletter, please use the following format – and order – as much as possible:

Who:  Are you a committee (of the Intergroup, for example), or an individual SAA meeting group, or another type of organization or individual?

What:  Is this a workshop, breakfast, retreat, or another type of event?

Title:  What is the name of your event?

When:  Give the date and starting and ending times of your event.

Cost:  What is the suggested contribution, or is it a set fee, or is no one turned away for lack of funds?

Description:  In a sentence, or several sentences, say what is unique or especially appealing about your event.

Where:  Event address, along with any cross-street info or parking tips you think are important.

More Info:  Who to call for more information?  List a telephone number, email address, and/or website.

Please give us as much lead time as possible, and note that submissions are subject to editing for clarity and space.

SAA Meeting News

New Meetings:

Sunday, 5:00-6:30 p.m.

Closed, mixed

United Methodist Church, Room 2

13000 San Antonio Dr., Norwalk, CA 90650

Contact Eli R. (714) 650-0132 or Gary H. (562) 882-0729, email eliminatorfundeck24@gmail.com

Monday, 7:00-8:00 p.m.

Women’s SAA Book Study Meeting:  reading & sharing on the SAA Green Book; general open sharing

Open to women only

Costa Mesa Alano Club, 2040 Placentia Ave., Costa Mesa

For more information call Lori, 949-444-1554

Monday, 7:00-8:30 p.m.

AA Big Book Study – bring your AA “Big Book” for this SAA meeting

Open – Mixed – Newcomers (newcomers RSVP 6:45)

Valley Alano Club, Room 107, 10980 Arrow Route, Rancho Cucamonga 91730

Across White Oak from Post Office

For more information call Dexter, 909-218-0502

Changes:

Two meetings have suspended operations until a new location is found:

Monday and Wednesday, 12:00-1:00 p.m., Men Only/Open/ Book Study

Formerly held at 23151 Moulton Parkway, Laguna Woods

Call Scott, 949-547-3412 for updates

Orange County Intergroup Officers and Committee Chairs

Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern. — Tradition 2

Chair:  Thomas P.

Vice Chair:  Ron R.

Digital Communications:  Neal B.

Inreach:  Greg R., ocisaa.inreach@yahoo.com

Outreach:  Gary H., ocisaa.outreach@yahoo.com

Literature:  Ron C.

Treasurer:  Phil G. (2nd signer on checks:  Brian A.)

Secretary:  Jacque J.

Parliamentarian:  Doug C.

Website

 If you have any ideas or suggestions for the website, please contact our Webmaster, Neal B., at admin@ocisaa.org.

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