The meeting I attended took place at 8 pm Sunday night at Holy Name Church in Pompton Plains. It was an open meeting and held in the basement of the church. Upon entering I was introduced, greeted warmly and was offered coffee and cake. To my surprise, I ran into two members that I knew in the past. There were 16 attendees excluding me and another student. Among the attendees there were fourteen males and only two females with their ages being approximately forty to sixty five.
Before the meeting began the main speaker offered me more cake and coffee. He did so as more a way to segway into explaining the night’s theme as being a celebration. The meeting was of celebration of members anniversaries for not only being AA members but that of being sober. The speaker then offered a prayer to begin the meeting. He then introduced himself, the secretary and the treasurer with each announcing that “I am an alcoholic” after their name. He read the twelve steps that are the guiding principals of the program, and followed with the accompanying twelve traditions. Although the twelve step program is the guideline by which each A.A. group follows, the speaker said the primary purpose is to stay sober and to help each other stay sober threw their fellowship. Essentially there are no fees associated with joining the group, it is self supporting through mostly member donations and fund raisers. Although they claim they are not affiliated with any sect, denomination, political party or any institution, they prayed and all but one thanked God for their strength and guidance in helping them through the process.
The speaker then asked the celebrating members which were four in total, to come up and speak about their trials and tribulations of alcoholism. They were to be given a commemorative coin embossed with their years of sobriety as a reminder. Interestingly enough, three of the four celebrants asked a fellow...