Maintains an inventory of Grapevine materials and provides these items for sale at the Area Assembly and other functions as requested by the Delegate. Familiarizes A.A. members with the A.A. Grapevine, Our Meeting in Print, and encourages A.A. members to subscribe and to contribute articles. Maintains contact with group Grapevine Representatives (GVRs) and La Vina Representatives.
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Official Web Site: AA Grapevine
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The AA Grapevine: Our Meeting in Print
The A.A Grapevine is A.A.’s “meeting in print,” a monthly collection of articles written by A.A. members from around the world. As an integral part of Alcoholics Anonymous for over 50 years, the Grapevine publishes articles that reflect the full diversity of experience and thought found within the A.A. Fellowship. No one viewpoint or philosophy dominates its pages, and in determining content, the editorial staff relies on the principles of the Twelve Traditions. Each issue carries a statement of purpose, which states a fundamental truth about the Grapevine, that it is “a lifeline linking one suffering alcoholic to another.”
A Mirror of the Fellowship
From its beginning, in June of 1944, the Grapevine’s history has run parallel to that of AA as a whole, and many of the critical events in the evolution of the Fellowship have been chronicled in the pages of the Grapevine. The Twelve Traditions were first presented to the Fellowship by Bill W. in an April 1946 article entitled “Twelve Suggested Points for AA Tradition.” The Preamble was written by one of the Grapevine’s first editors, based on the Foreword to the book Alcoholics Anonymous, and was published in the June 1947 Grapevine. Throughout the years many nonalcoholic friends of AA have shared their experience and insight with the Fellowship through the Grapevine – such friends as Sister Ignatia, Rev. Sam Shoemaker, Dr. William Silkworth, and others.
Today, the Grapevine reaches an AA population that’s dramatically different from the population of the early 1940’s. There are many more young people now; the number of women has increased considerably; more minority groups and language groups are represented throughout Alcoholics Anonymous. These changes all point to an ongoing need for increased communication between different segments of the AA community, and that’s just what readers find in the Grapevine.
The Grapevine and Conference Approval
A question often asked about the Grapevine is whether or not it is “Conference-approved.” General Service Conference approval is a lengthy review process, and Conference-approved literature represents the widest possible consensus of AA experience. The process can take years for longer projects, with several stages of committee evaluation along the way. Ultimately, the General Service Conference as a whole must approve the final product before it can be published with the “Conference-approved” statement.
Since the Grapevine comes out 12 times a year, and the Conference meets only once a year, the magazine would never come off the press if it had to go through the Conference review process. However, the Conference has always supported the concept of the Grapevine and, in 1986, a Conference Advisory Action specifically addressed the issue of Conference approval for the first time with the following statement: “Since each issue of the Grapevine cannot go through the Conference-approval process, the Conference recognizes the Grapevine as the international journal of Alcoholics Anonymous.” In addition, the Conference Charter guarantees the right of the Grapevine editor to accept or reject material for publication; there is a Conference Committee on the Grapevine, formed in 1954; and any Grapevine matter of importance to the Fellowship as a whole is brought to the Conference through that committee. Over the years a number of Conference Advisory Actions have encouraged use of the Grapevine and endorsed questions of corporate or editorial policy.
So, while each issue of the magazine cannot be individually approved, the concept of the Grapevine has been endorsed by the Conference as a whole and use of the Grapevine as a recovery tool has been encouraged throughout the Fellowship year after year.
Chair: Matthew P.