The Mission of Heart t' Heart -- A Proposal From Keith H.

For open discussion of Heart t' Heart's mission and future.

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PhilH
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The Mission of Heart t' Heart -- A Proposal From Keith H.

Post by PhilH » Sat Oct 08, 2011 9:35 am

Although this is posted under my name, it is really a message from Keith H, who asked me to post it here in this newly created forum

**************************************

Dear Heart t' Heart members and friends;
Heart t' Heart began as an LDS addiction recovery group 20 years ago. In the past, it has taken 400 or more person-hours per year to administer HtH. Given the currently reduced size of our group, it is no longer feasible to sustain that level of administrative load. It is time to decide where HtH will go in the future–what its mission will be, and how to reduce the administrative load.

The HtH General Service Board (GSB) has created a Vision committee to make recommendations as to the future mission of HtH. It is our sincere desire to achieve a united group conscience about the future of HtH.

Two very similar proposals have been put forth, which are summarized as
follows:

HtH's current mission: HtH is an LDS 12-step addiction recovery group.

HtH's proposed mission statement: HtH is a community resource for recovering Latter-day Saints.

Expanded statement: HtH should
1) Provide an infrastructure for people who are interested in doing so to create their own independent LDS addiction recovery groups using the HtH 12 steps and 12 traditions (face to face, online and phone) and to let others know of them;
2) Protect and guard the HtH 12 steps and 12 traditions,
3) sponsor an annual LDS Recovery conference and
4) Find creative ways to reach out to a broader LDS population and let them know of the blessings of recovery through the HTH 12 steps.

Explanation:
1. By redefining ourselves as a community resource rather than a recovery group, our focus changes to that of providing broader, easily accessible resource information online and moves away from sponsoring and monitoring groups, thus streamlining the organization and requiring less administrative duties.

2. This change in mission statement allows us to focus on:
. the website, spotlighting the Twelve Steps, Twelve Traditions, and Tools of Heart t' Heart as the key aspects of the recovery program
. an annual Heart t' Heart LDS recovery conference
. developing additional support materials
. the forum
. converting to a completely online/automated resource

3. This change moves us away from providing Heart t' Heart sponsored, monitored and regulated groups in all formats, newsletters, perceived competition with ARP and other 12 Step programs, and phone and mail support. HtH could continue to provide a chat room for online meetings, but the online meeting groups would be considered independent of HtH, as would phone and face to face meetings.Open Discussion Period:
We invite discussion about this proposed change in HtH's mission. Please let us know your reactions, thoughts, feelings and desires in this area. We especially need to know if you are in agreement with becoming a community resource rather than a recovery group.

You may give input in the following ways:
1. Post your comments on the Forum (http://heart-t-heart2.org/phpBB2/index.php) under the topic "The Mission of Heart-t-Heart."
2. If you are on the Vision committee, post your comments in the discussion room entitled "What is your Vision for HtH's mission?" (http://www.oursharingplace.com/vision/L ... Items.aspx)
3. Email Keith H, the Vision Committee chair, at keith@heart-t-heart.org. Or, if you received this notice from Keith by email, simply reply to his email.

The open discussion period will end October 28, 2011. (But please, if you wish to comment, please do so early so you don't forget - we very much want your input!). After that, the Vision committee chair will consider all of the comments and prepare a final version of the proposed mission statement and will present it to the Vision committee for an approving vote. It will be considered approved if a majority of those voting vote in favor of it. If approved, it will be forwarded to the GSB as a recommendation, for consideration at the GSB meeting to be held November 19, 2011.

May God guide our fellowship, and may he bless each of you in your recovery efforts and in coming to know Him personally.

Sincerely,
Keith H
HtH Vision Committee chair

Celeste
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traditions

Post by Celeste » Mon Oct 10, 2011 9:35 am

I'm thinking we follow the HtH traditions. According to the traditions, all groups are autonomous so do not need monitoring or guidance except the steps and traditions. According to the traditions HtH accepts all who suffer addictions of whatever form. That infers non members as well as members. I think we need to stick to presenting our 12 steps and traditions as LDS based. If we are changing the meaning of the tradition 3 than we need to reword that. We are not in competition as tradition 11 covers: we attract not promote. I could go on, but I think you get the point. Let our traditions guide us. thanks
[/quote]
Celeste: Sometimes people get the mistaken notion that spirituality is a separate department of life, the penthouse of existence. But rightly understood, it is a vital awareness that pervades all realms of our being. -- Brother David Steindl-Rast

Celeste
Posts: 77
Joined: Thu Mar 16, 2006 8:15 pm
Location: North Charleston, SC
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new conference room for phone meetings

Post by Celeste » Tue Oct 25, 2011 9:34 am

with respect to groups, I created a conference room on my magicjack. It allows for 50 people and has no features. You just talk. We would have to use our phones mute features. You do not have to use a magicjack phone to dial into it. All you need is the number and pin which is 305-848-8888 and the pin is 2016475359. It was free for me to create.
Celeste: Sometimes people get the mistaken notion that spirituality is a separate department of life, the penthouse of existence. But rightly understood, it is a vital awareness that pervades all realms of our being. -- Brother David Steindl-Rast

Colleen H.
Site Admin
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Post by Colleen H. » Thu Oct 27, 2011 6:16 am

Celeste,

I just wanted to say thank you so much for your comments. It is such a joy to my heart to hear the perspective of someone with old-fashioned AA-based "upbringing" in the steps and traditions both.

Thanks again,
Colleen

KeithH
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Revised vision statement

Post by KeithH » Sat Oct 29, 2011 7:50 am

Here is a second draft of the vision statement, prepared after considering some of the input to the first draft. I don't know if it is best to call it a mission statement. It is really more of a "transition statement". It does not attempt to answer all the questions about how HtH should operate in the future, but rather to provide basic principles about where we want HtH to go. If we are in agreement on these basic principles, then we will have some "game rules" to follow in moving forward and shaping HtH as we want it to be. If we cannot agree on these principles, then we need to have further discussion until we find the principles we can all agree on.

Here it is:

THE PURPOSE OF HTH GROUPS
HtH is an LDS 12-step addiction recovery group. We believe that the Lord can turn our addictions and compulsions into blessings as we give our lives to Him. Our mission is to seek a closer relationship with our Father in Heaven and our Savior through the application of the HtH 12 steps and 12 traditions.

THE PURPOSE OF THE GENERAL SERVICE BOARD (GSB)
We have learned that the Lord's spirit can be felt and we can be encouraged in our recovery through many formats. We seek to enable and encourage greater human contact among members and friends of the LDS church seeking recovery, and to make the blessings of LDS 12-step recovery available to as many of our brothers and sisters as possible, while keeping the amount of administrative work required for the fellowship at a manageable level for the size of our fellowship.

The mission of the HtH GSB is to serve the HtH fellowship in the following ways:
1. Vote on proposed changes to the wording of the 12 steps and 12 traditions.
2. Vote on proposed changes to the GSB bylaws.
3. Provide a framework to allow those wishing to create and maintain HtH groups (in any format) to do so, and make those groups known to others.
4. Sponsor an annual conference open to HtH and friends of HtH.
5. Provide such other support as is possible and desired based on the size of the fellowship and those willing to serve on the GSB.

CONFERENCES
The HtH GSB sponsors an annual recovery conference open to all of the fellowship and any interested friends. HtH will endeavor to cover its costs for the conference, but if needed will use accumulated funds to make the conference as accessible to all interested persons as possible.

FELLOWSHIP GOVERNANCE
The HtH GSB invites participation by all HtH groups in the decision making process for the entire fellowship, but does not require it. All GSB meetings will be held in a manner that allows remote participation, and will be publicized on the website and by email notice to those groups who have maintained an active registration on the website. All HtH groups who have registered on the website are invited to send a representative to the GSB meetings, and each group will have one vote in any decisions made at GSB meetings that fall under the GSB mission #1 or 2.

The GSB will not make any rules or decisions nor adopt any policies or procedures concerning how individual HtH groups will function, beyond the requirement that they honor the HtH steps and traditions.

When decisions need to be made involving changes to the 12 steps, the 12 traditions, or the GSB bylaws, notice will be given at least 90 days in advance on the website of the meeting to make those decisions, and will be sent by email to those groups who have maintained an active registration on the HtH website. A majority vote by the members of the GSB present plus all group representatives attending that meeting (each group having one vote) will be considered sufficient to authorize the decision.

All other GSB decisions will be made by majority vote of those GSB members present at a meeting.

Celeste
Posts: 77
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Location: North Charleston, SC
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proposal acceptance

Post by Celeste » Sat Oct 29, 2011 8:32 am

I will support this statement and refer to it often. Thank you all for all the work you are doing for those suffering in addictions and bondage through HtH. The structure will work nicely yet not be "organized" ie ruling over the groups. A group stays together or falls apart according to how it follows those steps and traditions. Thanks again.
Celeste: Sometimes people get the mistaken notion that spirituality is a separate department of life, the penthouse of existence. But rightly understood, it is a vital awareness that pervades all realms of our being. -- Brother David Steindl-Rast

KeithH
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First draft of transition statement following Oct 29 mtg

Post by KeithH » Sat Oct 29, 2011 11:02 am

Transition Statement

This statement is being proposed as a document to guide the transition of HtH to an organization requiring less administrative work.

1. HtH groups are independent of the GSB. Any group meeting the requirements set out by the GSB may call themselves a HtH group.

THE PURPOSE OF THE GENERAL SERVICE BOARD (GSB)
We have learned that the Lord's spirit can be felt and we can be encouraged in our recovery through many formats. We seek to enable and encourage greater human contact among members and friends of the LDS church seeking recovery, and to make the blessings of LDS 12-step recovery available to as many of our brothers and sisters as possible, while keeping the amount of administrative work required for the fellowship at a manageable level for the size of our fellowship.

The mission of the HtH GSB is to serve the HtH fellowship in the following ways:
1. Vote on proposed changes to the wording of the 12 steps and 12 traditions.
2. Vote on proposed changes to the GSB bylaws.
3. Publish requirements for those wishing to create and maintain HtH groups (in any format), and provide a way for those groups to make themselves known to others.
4. Sponsor an annual conference open to HtH and friends of HtH.
5. Provide such other support as is possible and desired based on the size of the fellowship and those willing to serve on the GSB.

CONFERENCES
The HtH GSB sponsors an annual recovery conference open to all of the fellowship and any interested friends. HtH will endeavor to cover its costs for the conference, but if needed will use accumulated funds to make the conference as accessible to all interested persons as possible.

FELLOWSHIP VOICE IN GSB GOVERNANCE
The GSB invites participation by all HtH groups in the decision making process for the entire fellowship, but does not require it. All GSB meetings will be held in a manner that allows remote participation, and will be publicized on the website and by email notice to those groups who have maintained an active registration on the website. All HtH groups who have registered on the website are invited to send a representative to the GSB meetings, and each group will have one vote in any decisions made at GSB meetings that fall under the GSB mission #1 or 2, or that affect the groups generally.

The GSB will not make any rules or decisions nor adopt any policies or procedures concerning how individual HtH groups will function, beyond the following requirements:
1. Groups must use the HtH steps and traditions.
2. Groups must only use GSB-approved literature.
3. Group meetings must follow a GSB-approved format. [Note: Keith does not agree with this. It is being included because it has been suggested as a requirement for a group to call itself a HtH group]

When decisions need to be made involving changes to the 12 steps, the 12 traditions, or the GSB bylaws, notice will be given at least 60 days in advance on the website of the meeting to make those decisions, and will be sent by email to those groups who have maintained an active registration on the HtH website. A majority vote by the members of the GSB present plus all group representatives attending that meeting (each group having one vote) will be considered sufficient to authorize the decision.

All other GSB decisions will be made by majority vote of those GSB members present at a meeting.

KeithH
Posts: 62
Joined: Wed Apr 01, 2009 7:54 am
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Email sent by Keith on Oct 30 to GSB and Vision cttee

Post by KeithH » Sun Oct 30, 2011 9:24 pm

You are receiving this email because you are either a member of the General Service Board of Heart-t-Heart, or volunteered to serve on the Vision Committee, or have shown an interest in the future of Heart-t-Heart.

The Vision Committee has been working since August 2011 to define a path forward for HtH that will not require as much administration as in the past, so that Phil and Colleen can get a much deserved rest from the service they have given for 20 years.

A meeting of the Vision Committee was held yesterday, October 29th, to discuss a possible Transition Statement to recommend to the GSB in time for them to consider it at their next meeting on Nov 19th. We did not reach a consensus.

I have posted a proposed statement on the Forum and distributed it to many of you via email for additional comments.

Upon reflecting on what was discussed yesterday, a number of observations have come to my mind that bear on the decisions we need to make. I will set them out in this email and invite all to respond as they see fit. Hopefully, we can find a way to move forward that is time-effective and honors our common desire to see HtH continue as an LDS recovery fellowship.

1. HtH is really 3 things –
a. a loose collection of individual recovery groups that have chosen to use the HtH 12 steps and 12 traditions in seeking recovery (I will call this the “Fellowship”)
b. A legally organized entity that provides guidance and support to the Fellowship, and that guards the 12 steps and 12 traditions (the General Service Board, or GSB)
c. An organization or a meeting called the Official Business Assembly (OBA) that follows certain written procedures to allow the individual recovery groups to have a voice in decisions made by the GSB, particularly where they affect the individual groups.

2. Of those who attended the 2011 HtH Conference in August, all expressed a desire to see HtH meetings continue. Many (about 14) volunteered to help with the transition and agreed to be members of the Vision Committee formed at the conference. However, only a handful have consistently attended Vision Committee meetings and provided input.

I think over the past 2 ½ months I have overlooked the fact that the fellowship is different from the GSB. The GSB is only a service body, not a governing body. Many wish to see HtH groups continue: fewer have the time and energy needed to serve on the GSB. That is not a judgment, but simply the way things are, and it is perfectly fine.

In order to transition successfully, we need to think separately about the Fellowship and the GSB. Today I reviewed the Heart-t-Heart Policies and Procedures and some of the materials on the HtH website to determine what the requirements are to form a HtH group. Those requirements do not appear in the version of the Policies and Procedures I have, nor do they appear on the website in a formal way. The process set out on the website is that someone wishing to form a HtH group request a packet from the GSO (General Service Office – the day to day functioning office of the GSB), then fill out and return some forms. The GSO then adds information about that group’s meetings to the website so others can find it.

However, the official list of groups that comprise the fellowship is kept by the GSO, and the GSO is responsible for sending notices of upcoming GSB meetings to GSB members by mail, and notices of agenda items for consideration by the individual groups to the groups about 4 ½ months before the annual OBA meeting held in conjunction with the HtH annual conference.

The GSB and OBA governance procedures were written before email and the internet became commonplace, and at a time when long distance telephone calls were much more expensive than they are today. They were written when HtH was young and hopeful of becoming a large organization similar to AA or OA. HtH grew for several years, but shrank in size considerably when the ARP program was started by LDS Family Services.

The catch-22 we now face is that we need to make the GSB nimble and easy to run, but we must make those changes by following the current GSB rules.

I think the easiest change to make (but perhaps not the quickest) would be to agree on what the requirements are for a group to call itself a HtH group. I have posted a set of proposed requirements online at http://www.oursharingplace.com/HtHMtgs/ ... Items.aspx.

Simply stated, any group that agrees to use the HtH 12 steps, 12 traditions, and approved literature, and keep a current email address registered on a website provided by HtH, would be allowed to call itself a HtH group. The sample site I have set up contains a list where groups could register themselves, and which would not require anyone to maintain a separate list. The registrations would drop off automatically after 6 months, and groups would have to register again. This way, no one ever has to check on whether a group is still active.

If we can gain a consensus on these requirements or some version thereof, we could then hold an OBA meeting in August 2012 to have these changes agreed to by the currently existing registered HtH groups. It is unclear to me whether the groups must approve such a change – one view is that the GSB, as guardian of the 12 steps and 12 traditions, can clarify the requirements for group registration without asking permission of the groups. However, the copy of the Policies and Procedures I have is somewhat incomplete and therefore I do not want to make that assumption.

Since the OBA rules currently call for one meeting a year, if this change requires OBA approval, we cannot change this aspect of HtH any quicker than that.

The GSB controls its own procedures, provided that nothing it does violates the current procedures affecting individual groups. So, any change to the OBA procedures must first be approved by the OBA. So even those changes will require almost a year to implement fully.

However, the GSB could vote to change its internal policies and procedures effective immediately, and to change the OBA procedures upon approval of the groups next August.

I would suggest that prior to the Nov 19 GSB meeting, we all give our input on the requirements I have suggested for forming groups. If we can agree on the requirements for forming groups, then I suggest we disband the Vision Committee, and replace it with a smaller Transition committee that will work to amend the OBA rules and the GSB governing rules. After that is done, we would be in a position to work on other changes that have been proposed and/or discussed that would reduce the amount of work it takes to run the GSB.

I made a suggestion at yesterday’s meeting that instead of having an annual OBA meeting, the individual groups be invited (but not required) to participate remotely in GSB meetings, and that they be given notice (30 days? 60 days? 90 days? ) of any upcoming GSB decisions that would affect them, and they would be able to have a vote in those decisions. Others on the call suggested that we stay with an annual OBA meeting.

My view is that sticking with an annual OBA meeting might mean that it will take us 4 or 5 years to transition the GSB to something leaner, since each change we want to make that affects the groups must go before the OBA with 134 days notice (that’s the current requirement). Some changes we might want to make require a response from at least 55% of registered groups – without such a response, no change can be made at all (the way I read the P&P). So, to meet our current requirements, a written notice must be mailed by March 30, 2012 (assuming conference is held August 10 and 11). If we do not succeed in coming up with a proposal to change the OBA process by then, and go through the entire notice process required by the current GSB bylaws, we must wait another year to change the OBA process. This might have some bearing on whether we want to stick with an annual OBA meeting, or substitute a process that requires less time for changes to be made. (Strictly speaking, the President of the GSB is required to cause the notice to be sent by the stated deadline. Since we currently do not have a President, we need to allow additional lead time for a President to be elected according to the GSB bylaws. )

Ultimately, under its current bylaws, the GSB can change its own processes by a 2/3 vote of the members of the GSB, provided that it does nothing that affects the individual groups without first getting group approval through the OBA process.

Perhaps the only proposal the Vision Committee needs to transmit to the GSB prior to Nov 19 is this: “We propose that the GSB take steps to simplify GSB administration, clarify the requirements for the formation and registration of a HtH group, and the process of getting group approval.”
Keith Hudson

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