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 Staying sober with the God of my understanding in CGAA 
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Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2016 5:21 pm
Posts: 147
State/Province/Country: NC, USA
There is no mention of the word "God" in any of the official language of this fellowship (e.g. Steps, Traditions, meeting format) and I know of one person who has left the fellowship because of what they perceived as hostility towards God among "leadership"* in the fellowship. I myself feel very strongly that this fellowship is devoid of God, at a spiritual level, because of the absolute avoidance of the word "God" in our Steps, etc, and that is making it very difficult for me to trust the fellowship the way I do Al-anon and did AA. I've been struggling a bit with what to do with this while staying within the principles of the steps and traditions. Within that struggle, I have been guided back to working the program as my solution.

Within my practice of my program, I have to acknowledge a few things. First, I don't know. I don't know how much of a problem it actually is that we have removed the word "God" from all of our official language. I don't know how often folks show up here and then leave- quickly or slowly- because we do not appear to have God in our fellowship. Second, I am powerless. I am powerless over the language of the Steps and Traditions of this fellowship and I am powerless over the other members of the fellowship. Third, folks have a right to be wrong, including myself and the founding members of the fellowship. That's a part of the learning process that is recovery in a 12-step fellowship. Four, what I do have power over is myself and my own attitudes and actions.

In item four, there are two actions I can take. First, instead of complaining about the steps in CGAA and trying to control them, which is my first inclination, I can work them and trust God. Second, I can let folks know that I am here and that, if you are struggling with the appearance of the absence of God in this fellowship, you are not alone.

It seems divisive to invite the creation of a subgroup or "fellowship within the fellowship," but I also want folks to know that they don't have to leave CGAA to get their spiritual needs met when those spiritual needs depend on developing and maintaining a relationship with a God of their own understanding.

So this is what I have to offer: If you are struggling with a need for a God of your own understanding in a fellowship that appears to be atheistic:

1) You are welcome here!
2) You are not alone
3) You can talk about God in meetings, if that is your Path to Recovery
4) You can contact me and others who have posted in this thread to hear our experience strength and hope around our relationship with a higher power that we choose to call God
5) You can post in this thread to let me and others know that you are here and you are looking to stay sober with the aid of a God of your own understanding

*We have no leaders, only trusted servants

Tue Feb 21, 2017 1:21 pm

Joined: Sat May 17, 2014 4:04 pm
Posts: 324
Location: Detroit, MI
Working the Steps has been quite an interesting experience for me. I come from a rather traditional Christian background, and in the course of working the Steps I've encountered Jesus at basically every turn. This has been a truly wonderful experience for me, and the fact that my sponsor is an atheist is just one of the many things that cracks me up about how the whole thing has worked out.

Yes, the word "God" was deliberately and intentionally excluded from both the Steps and the Traditions when we reformulated them for use in our fellowship, but not one of us intended or desired to exclude theists (unless somebody was hiding it REALLY well). The fact that it's been experienced that way is probably a really good argument in favor of making sure our basic text (whenever it comes out) explicitly addresses this point, because having a theist leave over feeling unwelcome is every bit as much of a tragedy as having an atheist leave a group with the traditionally worded Steps over feeling unwelcome.

Anyway...all that to say that yes, theists are also welcome here. Said theists do not need to be Christians, are welcome to talk about God in meetings, and will hopefully feel every bit as welcome here as they actually are, which is to say, very welcome.

Fri Mar 10, 2017 10:58 pm

Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2017 11:07 pm
Posts: 28
Location: Chicago
State/Province/Country: Chicago, IL
This fellowship is really cool, but needs to be a little more accepting about the "spiritual God." When I am in meetings and share more about my spiritual experiences with the Lord, then I feel that there are not a lot of people commenting or saying stuff, but when I talk about non spiritual topics then I get more comments in the meetings.

I know that everyone is cool with me talking about my spiritual experiences, but I think I should get a little more support, but I am not the only one here. There are also a few other active Christian members in CGAA that might be experiencing the same things. They get the support, but not when to them talking about there spiritual encounters. I know that we are not affiliated with any religion, but that doesn't mean we can't support other people more if they are religious.

BTW, my sponsor is awesome and he supports me in my religious beliefs even though he might not have the same beliefs that I do, and I am OK with that.

Sat Mar 11, 2017 10:24 pm
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