For the past 37 years, Kansas City’s Paseo group hosts an alcathon during the Christmas Holiday. Groups from around the city fill one-hour slots for ’round the clock AA meetings. I always look forward to participating, and this year it was especially nice to be joined by Gregg O. and Julie K. from my home group, We Agnostics.
The Paseo group has a rich history dating back to 1947 when black and white people met for the first time at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting in Kansas City. The group was known as the Interracial Group of Alcoholics Anonymous and Kansas City Interracial. In 1951, the group changed its name to the Paseo Group, named after the street where the group was then located. The Paseo Group is well respected in the Kansas City AA community with many of its members participating in service at all levels.
Julie, Gregg and I enjoyed the experience of speaking at the Alcathon. I was horribly unprepared and ended up acting as sort of an MC to introduce Julie and Gregg. Julie will be celebrating 30 years of sobriety in January, an anniversary that is met with some sadness. Her brother is suffering from stage four liver failure brought on by his own alcoholism.
Gregg read an article from the Washington Post entitled, “The Death of a Young Montgomery County Man is a wake-up call.” The article describes the tragedy of a young man’s tragic and unnecessary death from a night of drinking. Gregg talked about the article as a reminder that we need to look out after others and help where we can.
Although the Paseo Group typically closes its meeting with the Lord’s Prayer. Out of respect for our feelings about the prayer, they volunteered to close with the Responsibility Statement.
This is our final podcast for 2017, and I look forward to many more podcasts in the coming year. In 2018, we plan on more podcasts with Benn B., more interviews with authors, discussion of books, movies and of course, the shared experience of recovering alcoholics from secular AA groups around the world.
From all of us at AA Beyond Belief, we wish you a very happy holiday, and we thank you for your support and for giving us this experience. Here’s to 2018!