District 6 General Service Representatives (G.S.R.s)
The G.S.R. Preamble - We are the General Service Representatives. We are the link in the chain of communication for our groups with the General Service Conference and the world of A.A.
We realize the ultimate authority is a loving God as he may express Himself in our Group Conscience. As trusted servants, our job is to bring information to our groups in order that they can reach an informed group conscience. In passing along this group conscience, we are helping to maintain the unity and strength so vital to our fellowship.
Let us, therefore, have the patience and tolerance to listen while others share, the courage to speak up when we have something to share, and the wisdom to do what is right for our group and A.A. as a whole.
-Reprinted from Box 459, August/September 1989, pg. 7, with permission of A.A. World Services, Inc.
This page is intended to compliment G.S.R. orientation which is offered at our in-person meetings.
- New or experienced, this page includes valuable suggestions and links to resources for G.S.R.s
- If you are a new G.S.R. attending via Zoom, watch this brief orientation video and follow along in the sections below.
- It is important to complete the first section (Register) during your first meeting.
As G.S.R., you are
group contact in the original sense, too. Upon your election, your name and address are sent to the secretary of your area committee, or your district or area registrar and to G.S.O. In return, G.S.O. sends you the G.S.R. Kit and the quarterly bulletin Box 4-5-9.
-Reprinted from P-19 G.S.R. General Service Representative, page 3, with permission of A.A. World Services, Inc.
First Things First - Register
We are not anonymous with each other other in service.
- If you are attending your first meeting via Zoom, chat the following to the Registrar:
- Full Name
- Home Group and Position
- Mailing address (street address or P.O. Box)
- Email and phone number (cell preferred for texting)
- You could also email the information to Registrar@District6AA.org: or fill out our New GSR or Alternate GSR form.
- If you attend your first meeting in-person the Registrar will hand you a form to fill out.
The strength of our whole A.A. service structure starts with the group and with the general service representative (G.S.R.) the group elects. We cannot emphasize too strongly the G.S.R.’s importance. -Bill W.
-Reprinted from P-19 G.S.R. General Service Representative, page 6, with permission of A.A. World Services, Inc.
What is a General Service Representative?
The GSR is the link between the group and “A.A. as a whole.” This link becomes a channel through which news, information, opinions and ideas can flow back and forth. Importantly, this also gives the group a voice in the affairs of the Fellowship. The GSR is that voice.
-Reprinted from A.A. Service Manual (2021 to 2023), pg. 7, with permission of A.A. World Services, Inc.
A.A. groups usually elect their G.S.R. to a two-year term. Suggested guidelines for choosing a G.S.R. include:
- Has at least two years of continuous sobriety
- Considers the group their "home group" and regularly attend the group's meetings & business meetings
- Holds no other group service position
- Has time to attend District and Area business meetings
- Is open to considering all points of view
- Understands or is willing to learn our Twelve Traditions
For A.A. to run its own affairs, each A.A. group needs to make its voice heard on overall A.A. policies. This starts with a group’s general service representative (G.S.R.), who represents the voice of the group conscience and has the job of linking his or her group with A.A. as a whole.
-Reprinted from P-45 Circles of Love and Service, pg. 2, with permission of A.A. World Services, Inc.
What does a G.S.R. do?
It’s up to you to keep two-way communication going between your group and the Conference. Via your D.C.M. and your delegate, you can see to it that your group’s conscience...becomes a part of the consensus.
-Reprinted from P-19 G.S.R. General Service Representative, pg. 2, with permission of A.A. World Services, Inc.
The G.S.R. facilitates two-way communication by being present, participating, and voting. The basics include the following:
- The G.S.R. attends their group's business meeting, District 6 monthly business meetings, and Area 15 quarterly assemblies (click the links for when & where).
- G.S.R.s participate in G.S.R/D.C.M. sharing near the beginning of District 6 meetings and G.S.R. sharing Saturday afternoon at Area 15 assemblies. These are forums where G.S.R.s can ask questions or discuss problems and share common solutions.
- District 6 and Area 15 both have discussion prior to all votes on motions. You can participate by expressing your group's group conscience.
- All G.S.R.s can vote on all District 6 and Area 15 motions.
- G.S.R.s also vote on all District 6 elections of officers, District Committee Members (D.C.M.s) and Committee Chairpersons as well Area 15 elections of the Conference Delegate, Alternate Delegate, and officers.
- G.S.R.s can make motions at the District 6 business meeting.
An Informed A.A. Group Conscience...is achieved by the group members through the sharing of full information, individual points of view, and the practice of A.A. principles.
-Reprinted from P-16 The A.A. Group...Where It All Begins, pg. 28, with permission of A.A. World Services, Inc.
The G.S.R. Report
GSRs are asked to regularly make reports to their groups to keep them informed about what’s going on in A.A. as a whole. In some instances, the GSR may be asked to get the group’s feedback on certain topics.
Reprinted from A.A. Service Manual (2021 to 2023) pg. 10
Half of two-way communication is providing information to your group. Most G.S.R.s give a report at their group's business meeting. District 6 suggests including the following in your report:
- Announce local District 6 and Area 15 social events, workshops and presentations.
- Review motions on the District or Area Agenda which are likely to interest your group.
- Upon providing your contact information to the District 6 Registrar, the District 6 monthly agenda will be sent to you. You can access the agendas online in the District 6 Business Documents and Area 15 Agenda and Motions (request the passwords at your next District 6 business meeting).
- Indicate how to access information from the Area 15 delegate, particularly the conference agenda background (before the general service conference) and the delegate's report (after the conference).
- Many members are interested in "consider" items regarding conference approved literature.
- Include updates about services where your group participates (such as treatment or corrections).
- Get feedback about the District 6 annual budget.
- Also review motions involving unbudgeted funds, which always appear on the agenda so G.S.R.s can solicit a group conscience.
- Check out Box 459, A.A.'s quarterly newsletter, and A.A.org's What's New page for news from the GSO.
Some groups prefer if you keep your report brief. You can keep your report concise by offering to relay more information to anyone who is interested or providing a flyer or website with details.
A service sponsor can make the difference between struggling in your service position and feeling a sense of purpose and accomplishment (and having some fun along the way!).
-Reprinted from The A.A. Service Manual (2021 to 2023), pg. 9, with permission of A.A. World Services, Inc.
You Are Not Alone...in Service
District 6 strongly suggests making the following connections to enhance your service and make it more rewarding.
Get a Service Sponsor
Sponsorship in A.A. is basically the same, whether helping another individual’s recovery or service to a group. It can be defined as one alcoholic who has made some progress in recovery and/or performance in service, sharing this experience with another alcoholic who is just starting the journey.
-Reprinted from P-15 Questions and Answers on Sponsorship, pg. 25, with permission of A.A. World Services, Inc.
A Service sponsor has experience in service, can answer your questions, explain the 12 Traditions and 12 Concepts of World Service, and help guide you through your experience as you continue in service. An ideal service sponsor:
- Has experience in general service
- Can guide you through the Traditions, Concepts and Warrenties like a
Sobriety Sponserwould guide you through the Steps
- Is knowledgeable about A.A. history
- Understands the Service Manual and the service structure
Get to know your D.C.M.
While the GSR is the voice of a group, the DCM is the voice of a district. The GSRs will look to the DCM for guidance on being GSRs and serving their groups.
-Reprinted from The A.A. Service Manual (2021 to 2023), pg. 13, with permission of A.A. World Services, Inc.
A District Committee Member (D.C.M.) represents the District at the Area assembly. In District 6 there are multiple D.C.M.s in each county. Each D.C.M serves and represents the collective group conscience of several groups. Reasons to know your D.C.M. include:
- Each D.C.M. has at least one year of experience as a G.S.R. and can help answer your questions.
- They are interested in your group's group conscience but may not be as closely connected as you.
- D.C.M.s can make motions at the Area 15 assembly, while G.S.R.s cannot.
Encourage another group member to serve as the Alternate G.S.R.
The alternate GSR is elected by a group to serve on those occasions when the GSR is not available and is usually elected to the same two-year term as the GSR. This is especially important should the GSR, who has a vote, be unable to attend a district meeting or area assembly. The alternate might also be asked to step in to give reports to the group.
-Reprinted from The A.A. Service Manual (2021 to 2023), pg. 11, with permission of A.A. World Services, Inc.
Reasons to have and Alternate G.S.R. include:
- They carry the group conscience to meetings the G.S.R. cannot attend.
- It prepares them to possibly take the G.S.R. position after your term.
- It's always nice to have another friend at district or area meetings.
Attend the District 6 Business Meeting In-person Whenever You Can
- It is very difficult for you to get to know us when you attend virtually.
- We would also like to get to know you.
- New G.S.R.s are given a District 6 GSR Orientation Booklet and an A.A. Service Manual at the in-person meeting.
Join a District 6 Service Committee
District 6 asks all G.S.R.s to join one of our service committees. At their first District meeting G.S.R.s are asked to consider what committees you would be interested in joining. Resources to help you choose include:
- Listen to committee reports at the business meeting. Committee reports also appear in the meeting minutes sent out two weeks after the meeting.
- Visit our committee pages on this website (in the menu at the top of this page, under DISTRICT 6 select Committees ).
- AA.org also has a Service Committees page with general descriptions and links to resources for some committees.
Joining a committee is not required but it can be rewarding for you...and none of us wants to be alone in our service 😉 Thank you in advance for your service!
Nothing matters more to A.A.’s future welfare than the manner in which we use the colossus of modern communication. Used unselfishly and well, it can produce results surpassing our present imagination.
-Reprinted from As Bill Sees It, pg. 255, with permission of A.A. World Services, Inc.
More Digital Resources for the G.S.R.s
The orientation booklet includes the information on this page with more detail. It also includes the following:
- the upside-down triangle structure of District 6 service
- a sample agenda of a District 6 Business meeting
- a sample schedule of an Area 15 Quarterly Assembly
- our Third Legacy (election) Procedure, also shown on our District 6 Current Practices page.
- a map of Area 15, and more
The Service Manual includes a detailed description of all levels of service in the structure of the conference.
- An overview of the "upside-down triangle" is also shown on the District 6 Service Structure of Alcoholics Anonymous page.
- Appendices of the Service Manual include:
- the Spirit of Rotation
- our Third Legacy Procedure
- Bylaws of the General Service Board
- Bylaws of A.A. World Services
- ...and much more
- Twelve Concepts For World Service is much like the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions book is for Steps and Traditions.
- The G.S.R. Kit List indludes many links to G.S.R. resources.
- AA.org also has a Information for New Trusted Servants page.
(Some of) The above graphics are used with permission of A.A. World Services, Inc.