Episode 44: Love and Service

For the second year in a row, I had the opportunity to speak at the Paseo Group’s annual holiday Alkathon, which is a time during the Holiday’s when the group hosts AA meetings around the clock. They invite people from groups all over the city to participate, and this week’s podcast is a recording of the talk I gave on Christmas morning. 

The Paseo Group has played a significant role in AA history here locally, but also in the Fellowship as a whole. The group started in 1947 at a time when black people were not allowed to attend meetings at Kansas City’s Group Number One. The group when founded, welcomed everyone with a desire to stop drinking and they took the name, “The Kansas City Interracial Group.”

In this podcast, I talk about how I have experienced the 12th Step, the importance of love and service to my recovery, and the issue of underrepresented populations in AA. 

Read about the history of the Paseo Group

Podcast Transcript

You can read the podcast transcript below or download the pdf file

Love-and-Service
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  1. Kit G March 3, 2017 at 7:56 pm - Reply

    This is fantastic, John!

    It has inspired or awakened in me a desire, willingness, and confidence to avail myself to be of more service in all of my affairs.

    I too found the music most pleasant.

  2. Bob K. December 28, 2016 at 6:07 pm - Reply

    The inimitable Ernest Kurtz wrote:

    Story and storytelling lie at the very heart of Alcoholics Anonymous…The history of AA is a story about stories and the healing power of mutual storytelling. Anyone wishing to truly understand AA must look first, not to ideas, techniques, or to studies, but to stories.”

    John S., you told us some interesting stories, and you did so articulately. Several important messages came through loud and clear. Nice job. I thought the podcast was delightful.

     

  3. Thomas B. December 28, 2016 at 8:48 am - Reply

    Congratulations, John, for a wonderful talk sharing the reality of your experience strength and hope in the Fellowship of AA to other members. Our way may be different from believers, but we all in essence practice the same program of action that results in a transformative change within each member of AA, whether one believes in the intervention of a deity or not.

    Thanks so much for sharing with us this talk. I believe it is so important for those of us who believe differently from mainstream AA members to join with them in the spirit of our legacies of recovery, unity and service, so that anyone who desires to get sober may do so within AA regardless of belief or lack thereof.

    And, thank you for that wonderful version of Auld Lang Sang to end the podcast — it provided for me a wonderful couple of minutes to just simply be, listening to it and looking out my office window . . .

    • John S December 28, 2016 at 12:50 pm Reply

      Thanks for listening Thomas. It was nice to think back on some of my earlier days in the program and the people who helped me and taught me. Billy A was a big influence on me and I miss him. He died several years ago in his early sixties. A life-long smoker, it finally caught up with him. He took me under his wings early on as we went on 12 step calls together. He was also very kind. He used to tell me that he would buy a drunk a meal, but never give him money. He did that with me once. In my early days, there were times when I didn’t have enough money to eat, and on one of those days, he somehow knew and showed up at a meeting with a loaf of bread and cold cuts. It was a feast for me. What a great guy.

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