It is very late as I pen these words. I have been very busy as of late trying to be as present as I can for the communities I serve. Which means traveling from one end of the city to another, hitting meetings that I don’t usually hit, but I have added them nonetheless, on nights when I am usually dark for that evening.
It is good right now to be who I am and where I am. All those hours doing “The Work” are paying off in spades. Working with others is a true blessing. And there is nothing that I would do differently than what I am doing right now.
Sunday’s are full on High Throttle days as of late.
I had to go shopping on the way out for coffee, and didn’t realize until I hit the cash that the coffee I bought was NOT on sale ! FML … But we needed it and I had the cash. I cranked out set up and one of my guys met me to make coffee.
Tonight was a very special occasion. Today June 15th 1962, is the 52nd anniversary of our Sunday Nighter’s Group. We are amid Gratitude Week in the Fellowship. We are marking the meeting of Bill W. and Dr. Bob. And we thank the esteemed Henrietta Sieberling for the introduction.
As it was a special night, we read an excerpt from the story of the Who’s, What’s, Where’s and How’s of the first meeting of Bill and Dr. Bob.
Dr. Bob had a drinking problem and the Oxford group was trying to help him, and Henrietta made the initial introduction of Bill to Dr. Bob. From the outset it looked like Dr. Bob would be difficult when upon meeting he informed Bill that he could only give our man 5 minutes of his time.
The story goes that 6 hours later, they were still talking.
One alcoholic talking to another.
We then shared on the topic of gratitude and the reading.
Fresh on my slip, I knew the end was near, and when I got there I prayed. I did not go looking for a room, or people, I prayed that God would bring them to me.
And He did.
That young man who walked into my life at just the right moment, using just the right words “I did not drink today” was the line he fed me for over a month before I broke my anonymity with him and he took me to my second “First Meeting.”
The rest they say is history.
I had been living in Montreal from May 2002 onwards. I was going to Sunday Nighter’s regularly. Along with Tuesday Beginners and Foundations, a Sunday afternoon gathering that met in the St. Leon’s space. where Sunday Nighter’s is today.
Back then, 13 years ago, they were across town on the East side of Downtown at St. James United Church.
This is how the story goes.
It was nearing my anniversary, in December. I was 11 months and a couple weeks sober. And I passed a young bright man in the doorway of St. Leon’s Church. In that passing moment, I knew I was going to marry him. It was 2:30 on a Sunday afternoon.
That evening, it rained. And that young man I saw, ended up at St. James United that night, and we had our first conversation. We talked about angels and spiritual experiences. He had one. And I was amid one. We connected.
It was also the holiday season, and in those days Sunday Nighter’s used to host a fantabulous Holiday Dinner for the folks and the homeless there. it was THE event of the season to attend. We would eventually attend many of those dinners over the first few years.
I was 11 months and some weeks sober. He was sober just weeks. But Sunday Nighter’s and a few other meetings solidified our relationship. We did not look back, and we have been together since that first day we set eyes on each other.
Sunday Nighter’s has been a constant friend to me and to many over the past fifty two years. Few original members exist to this day. Many have died or moved away. But it has been a great run.
St. Leon’s church has been very good to us, to all the meetings that call that church basement home.
We are very grateful.
It was a great night. And tomorrow will be even better.
More to come, stay tuned …