NOCCO: Anonymous Times Newsletter - November 2020 Issue

Newsletter Archive

Volume 20 | Issue 07          Web version


Anonymous Times

Published by North Orange County InterGroup Association of Alcoholics Anonymous Groups, Inc.

(714) 773-HELP

 1661 E. Chapman Avenue, Suite 1H

Fullerton, CA 92831 

November 2020 Issue


Step 11

"Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out."

Step 11 encourages people to reach out to God and to accept that He or She has a plan for their life. One of the underlying principles of the Alcoholics Anonymous program is that nothing happens by mistake. Members are encouraged to recognize their Higher Power, to listen to that Higher Power, and allow Him or Her to inspire them in their journey of recovery. This is achieved through prayer and meditation.

Tradition 11

"Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, and films."

Our relations with the general public should be characterized by personal anonymity.  We think A.A. ought to avoid sensational advertising.  Our names and pictures as A.A. members ought not be broadcast, filmed, or publicly printed.  Our public relations should be guided by the principle of attraction rather than promotion.  There is never need to praise ourselves.  We feel it better to let our friends recommend us.

Concept 11

While the Trustees hold final responsibility for A.A.'s world service administration, they should always have the assistance of the best possible standing committees, corporate service directors, executives, staffs and consultants.  Therefore the composition of these underlying committees and service boards, the personal qualifications of their members, the manner of their induction into service, the systems of their rotation, the way in which they are related to each other, the special rights and duties of our executives, staffs and consultants, together with a proper basis for the financial compensation of these special workers, will always be matters for serious care and concern.  


A Suggestion for Thanksgiving
An Essay by Bill W.
November 1949

The idea is in the air that AA might adopt Thanksgiving week as a time for meetings and meditation on the Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous.  The friend who hatched this notion tells you why he thinks the idea good.  I heartily agree with what he says and hope you will to.

Pre-AA, we alkies could sometimes achieve that dubious state called “sobriety, period.”  How bleak and empty this alleged virtue is, only God or a dried-up drunk can fully testify.  The reason?  Of course every AA knows it: nothing has taken the place of the victim’s grog: he’s still a man of conflict and disunity.  Come then the Twelve Steps of recovery, bringing to him a personality change.  The shattered prospect feels reassembled; he now says he seems all one piece.  We understand exactly what he means, for he describes the state of being at oneness; he is talking about personal unity.  We know he must work to maintain it and that he can’t stay alive without it.

Will not the same principle hold true for AA as a whole?  Isn’t it also a fact that the alcoholic is in no greater peril than when he takes sobriety for granted?  If vigilant practice of sound principle is a matter of life and death of him, why isn’t that equally so for the AA group, and for our far-flung Society itself?

Yet many of us still take the basic unity of Alcoholics Anonymous for granted.  We seem to forget that the whole of modern society is on a dangerous and contagious “dry bender.” ...

Read More


GIVING Tuesday - December 1, 2020

Giving Tuesday is a simple idea: a day that encourages people to do good. At NOCCO, this generosity movement unleashes the power of individual sobriety to transform our communities and help carry the message to those still suffering from active alcoholism.

Whether it’s talking to a newcomer, helping set up chairs for a meeting, showing up for a 12-step call, giving some of what we have to those who need our help, or making a financial pledge, every act of generosity counts and everyone has something to give.

Our hope is that we can build a more just and generous community by carrying the message to those who still suffer.  What is your gift? 

Join the Movement - GIVING Tuesday


Tips for Applying Step 11

If you have little to no experience with spiritual matters or it’s been a long time since you connected to your Higher Power, then this step may present a challenge for you.  Here are a few tips to assist you in applying the principle of Step 11 in your life.

  • Don’t get hung up on the term.  When people are presented with the term “God”, many immediately associate it with the deity of the dominant religion in their society.  In Northern America, this would be the Judeo-Christian god.  However, “God” is a neutral term, and it is best not to get caught up in how other people choose to define it.  Focus on connecting to what you understand to be God, whether that is Vishnu, Yahweh, Allah, the Great Spirit, or something else.
  • Prayer can take many forms.   It is generally accepted that prayer means getting on your knees and speaking to your Higher Power.  If that is what prayer means to you and you are comfortable with that, then pray in that manner.  Don’t feel bad, though, if it doesn’t.  The content of your prayers is more important than how you say them.  Speak to your Higher Power as though you were talking to another person. Tell Him or Her about what is troubling you, ask for guidance, and express gratitude for the assistance you have received in your life.
  • Meditation is listening.   If prayer is the act of talking to your Higher Power, then meditation is the act of listening to Him or Her.  It is a physical and mental discipline that requires you to be still and observe.  Many people are uncomfortable with silence, and they will do anything to avoid it.  If this describes you, then meditation may be challenging when you first begin.  Rest assured, though, it will get easier each time you do it.

Begin by sitting quietly for 5 to 10 minutes.  Thoughts will come to you, but try not to hold onto them.  Let them flow in and out of your mind.  As a way of letting go of conscious thought, it may be helpful to observe your breathing or to concentrate on a candle flame.  The goal is to connect to your Higher Power and listen for wisdom.  There are many books and websites about meditation.  It may be helpful to peruse them.

Step 11 represents a significant change in the way you see yourself and the world.  If you are having difficulty completing this step, then connect to your sponsor or peers for assistance.


NEW!  Virtual Newcomer Packet

From the NOCCO Outreach Committee, a new 'Virtual Newcomer Packet' is now available on our website.  A newcomer can answer the 12 important questions, read pamphlet materials, and access .pdf versions of the Big Book and 12x12 on our website.  

Click for Virtual Newcomer Packet


$23.00 plus tax

In Stock & Perfect Holiday Gift

Co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, Bill W. was AA Grapevine’s most prolific contributor, writing more than 150 articles that provide a living history of AA and of Bill’s emotional and spiritual growth. His writing has brought hope to suffering alcoholics everywhere.


InterGroup Meeting

Please join us at the next NOCCO InterGroup Meeting.  InterGroup Meetings are held the 2nd Wednesday of each month at 7:30 pm.  

Next Meeting:  November 11, 2020 via ZOOM

Meeting ID: 860-4109-6976 | Password: Serenity Dial-in Phone: (669) 900-9128

What is Happiness?

A son’s question on an autumn day reminds a sober dad just how far he’s come


This fall, I was raking the lawn and my 22-year-old son, Nico, was bagging leaves for me. At one point, he asked me, “Does raking make you happy?”

My initial thought was, Just stuff the leaves in the freaking bag. But knowing my son to be truly sincere, contemplative, and, at times, provocative, I also knew that he really wanted to know. Before I share how I answered him, I’d like to flashback to “what it was like.”

As a teen alcoholic, I was very lazy. I typically only did what I needed to do to get by. Often, I fell short of that, resulting in getting grounded, losing the use of the car and eventually going to outpatient and inpatient treatment. I was very resistant to doing anything that I had to do. I always sought the easy way out. My dad was a doctor, and I often wished that he were a medicine man and that, as my birthright I too would be a medicine man.

What I mistook for happiness was typically avoidance of discomfort or—better yet—pleasure. I thought pleasure was happiness. Any other state was unhappiness. This misconception, or myth if you will, carried well into adulthood.

My fall from what grace I had was gradual. While I was able to achieve financial independence, marry and start a family, alcohol and drugs did not always meet my demands for pleasure. One day, I came home to a tearful wife and a packed bag. I remember looking at myself in the bathroom mirror in my parents’ house and realizing why my behavior did not align with my morals. I realized that the best chance to save my family life—which I truly cherished—was to do without that which had served me so well for 25 years.

I found AA, asked for sponsorship from a man who had what I wanted, followed instructions and worked the Steps. I gradually increased my self- 

awareness, including defeat of another myth of mine: that “I am less than, because I am not a doctor.” A milestone like that is the result of a great deal of work. Much of this work is really about doing the little things, but they were things that did not come naturally to me. I learned to suit up and show up and be of service (for family, friends, sponsees and employers), to listen to others, to seek counsel, to pray and meditate a little, to do random acts of kindness, to express gratitude and love, to manage expectations and practice acceptance, to be honest and to find some humility and faith in a Higher Power. While at times it can be a grind, this fundamental “blocking and tackling” or “chopping wood and carrying water” is, for the most part, what I try to do on a daily basis.

By doing the right thing, I gain self-esteem and a comfort with myself that results in serenity and happiness. This self-esteem is also a result of exercising discipline by not doing things that I’ve determined I should not be doing. I try to refrain from acting selfishly, judging myself and others, being impatient and angry and stroking my ego with any number of inappropriate behaviors. I believe that I’ve always had a strong sense of right and wrong. I know I’ve grown because I can no longer deceive myself about the difference.

The work that I try to do today is possible by an active program of faith, family, fellowship, awareness, acceptance and action. A guy who passed through my meeting one Saturday said, “Willingness without action is fantasy.” I love that quote. I’m certainly not perfect in my execution, but this is my practice.

So, back to the fall day with my son and the answer to his question: “Does raking make you happy?”

I told Nico that I considered raking a chore—something that had to be done. I also told him that I enjoyed spending time with him, working with my hands and being outdoors. Furthermore that as a result of this work, the lawn would be healthy in the spring, look good in the summer and be a source of pride for his mom and me. While raking did not provide any immediate gratification, there were certainly some long-term benefits.

I told him that my initial thought was to tell him, “Just stuff the leaves in the freaking bag.” Instead, I said, “Yeah, grab another bag.”




Group Contributions - October 2020

To help support local essential services, the General Service Conference suggests that individual groups, through an informed group conscience, adopt a specific contribution plan.  Click below to see all of the Group Contributions from last month.

Click for Group Contribution Detail


Statement of Income & Expense - October 2020

Each month, NOCCO provides accounting detail of income and expenses to indicate net profit or loss over the last month.  This information is available to any group or member.  Click below to see the financial detail from last month.

Click for P&L Detail


October 2020 -

  • Total Views - 5,606
  • Visitors - 2,158
  • Online Meeting Directory - 1,682
  • Home - 1,051
  • Re-Opening Meeting Guidelines - 426
  • Virtual Newcomer Packet - 320
  • Virtual Bingo Party - 243
  • We Take For Granted our Continued Unity Essay - 68
  • A-B-C's of Meeting Topics - 46
  • AA Anonymous Times - 45

Online Meeting Directory

In-Person Meeting Directory

NOCCO Appreciates Your Support

Even though meetings, 12-step services and operations have shifted to a virtual environment, expenses continue to accumulate during this crisis, which underscores the importance of practicing the Seventh Tradition. We still stock literature, handle 12-step calls around the clock, and assist those with a desire to stop drinking. Your generous support is critical and appreciated.

PayPal or Credit Card
Venmo: @nocco-aa

I am Responsible. 

When anyone, anywhere, reaches out for help, I want the hand of AA always to be there. 

For that, I am responsible.

GSO Vacancy Announcement

October 30, 2020

Dear Friends,

The General Service Board has begun the search for a new General Manager as our current General Manager, Greg T., is expected to leave us effective February 1, 2021.  Consequently, it is time to look forward to who will navigate the General Service Office through our next chapter, in order to ensure and effective transfer of responsibility.

Following are the qualifications for the position:

  • Ten years minimum sobriety.
  • Proven leadership ability and demonstrated track record of building interpersonal relationships to advance and inspire organizational culture.
  • Demonstrated executive and strategic level experience to drive the organization's mission, including leveraging technology to accomplish those aims; experience in managing organizations of comparable size and kind.
  • A.A. service experience; knowledge of General Service structure and AA history.
  • Effective communicator, both verbal and written, to work with the appropriate boards, the General Service Conference and the Fellowship at large; command of organizational details and the ability to respond effectively to multiple constituencies.
  • Demonstrated understanding of the unique nature of A.A., the structure and balances of authority in A.A. services, and the ability to work with and resolve conflicting viewpoints.

Click below for the resume form which should be completed by the candidate and sent along with his/her business or professional resume to to  The deadline for the submission of resumes is December 15, 2020.

Click Here for Resume Form

Thanks to all contributors who support NOCCO.  

© Copyright, 2020, North Orange County InterGroup Association of Alcoholics Anonymous Groups, Inc. • 1661 E. Chapman Avenue - Suite 1H, Fullerton CA 92831

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