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Volume 2, Issue 1
PO Box 9999, Van Nuys, CA 91409
June 1999


Summer?s here in California and the heat is on!  This was a very different meeting for us.  Due to the workgroup meetings that took place prior to our meeting, we met as a board for only two days, rather than our usual three days.  With just 120 days left to place the completed project in the 2000 CAR, we realize it?s not going to be a picnic!  However, we, your World Board and the members of each workgroup, feel confident that in spite of this short time line the Motion 21, the Two-Year Conference and the Process for Service Material projects will be finished.  We have more detailed reports about each workgroup later in this issue.  Because of the in-depth reporting that will be required to cover the workgroups, the next few issues of NAWS News will be longer than previous ones.  Different people  have written the reports from the workgroups so you may read several different voices and styles in this and the next several issues of NAWS News. 

We met as a board on 18 & 19 June and started our meeting with an action group session.  We reviewed our challenges of the past year as well as those for the upcoming year.  In addition, each of us expressed our hopes and dreams for the board during the next year.  A common thread that ran through all of our dreams is what an exciting time this is for our fellowship and our desire to stay unified as a board to serve that fellowship!  Our annual meeting requirements also took place at this meeting, which included elections (see results below), the adoption of the 1999-2000 corporate resolutions and the approval of the 1998 audit.  The report from the auditor will be mailed to conference participants and posted to the website in the near future.

In case you are not aware, one of our board members, Floyd B has been seriously ill.  We ask that you all keep him in your thoughts and prayers.


The 1999 World Service Meeting (WSM) is being held at the Clarion Hotel in Hollywood, Florida from September 24-26.  On Saturday, September 25th we will also celebrate World Unity Day.  A Unity Day flyer is enclosed.  You can check the Narcotics Anonymous website at for the information needed to register for the Unity Day telephone hook-up and/or the event itself.  As a reminder, please try to book your air travel arrangements sixty (60) days prior to departure.  You can receive a discount of up to 10% if you use Montrose Travel, who has contracted discount flights with American and Delta Airlines.  The number for booking these flights is (1-800) 301-9673.

We will meet as a board prior to the WSM on Thursday, September 23, 1999.  Included in the budget for the WSM is a pool for regional delegate funding.  We drew regional names and will fund approximately ten regions? attendance to the WSM.  We will keep you informed of which regions decline or accept as these decisions come in to us.

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Due to our shortened meeting time, we tried to focus our time on those items which had to occur at this meeting.  We reviewed the participant evaluations from WSC 1999 and held preliminary discussions about what did and did not work well at the conference.  One of the obviously uncomfortable moments for the board occurred around the issue of elections.  We want to assure you that the board is functioning well with eighteen members.  We will be sending out a letter to conference participants about the WSC elections.  We will also be addressing the motions that were committed to us from WSC 1999 later this year.  Committed motions require that we
 consider the idea contained in the motion and report our recommendations back to you.  We will also be considering all other recommendations for new products and other ideas received from the fellowship at a future meeting.  We will have more detailed discussions later in the year and, as always, invite and encourage your input.

We are pleased to report that we have approved the French personal stories that will be part of creating a ?new? French Basic Text.  The French speaking communities have already accepted this material before they forwarded it to the board to approve for production.  They are in the process of completing their look at the material and we expect the book to be available around October. 

Since this was the first time for this type of approval of new and original non-English stories for the Basic Text, we had a lengthy discussion about what the role of the board is in this circumstance. We focused on whether the material contained anything that was inconsistent with NA?s philosophy and tried very hard to stay away from personal preferences.  This is the first translated Basic Text with personal stories created in a language other than English. Under the existing translations policy each language community has the option to translate some or all of the English language stories or to develop entirely new ones in order to maximize the identification of addicts seeking recovery in that culture.  Our congratulations to the French speaking communities! 

Nominations were opened for the positions on the World Board Executive Committee (EC), and the members currently serving in positions on the EC were reelected to serve another year.  Michael McD is our chairperson, Jon T is our vice-chairperson, Susan C is our treasurer; and Mario T is our secretary.  Congratulations to the re-elected!  We are grateful for the willingness of these members to shoulder the additional responsibilities these leadership positions require.

One of the top priorities at the WSO is to replace the database presently in use.  The existing database is not Y2K compliant, lacks flexibility, and is very limited in what it can be used for.  The conference approved this project and the board was able to approve the recommendation that was presented to us by the staff.  This new database will not only replace the member, group, and trusted servant database, but will also replace the convention registration database, the marketing database, a portion of the accounting functions, and allow for a direct interface with our existing accounting software.  The potential benefits from this project are light years ahead of our original expectations and resulted in more than doubling the expenditure originally planned for this project.  Once the database is installed and in place we will be adding functions to our website that include on line registrations and address updates, registration for events and the ability to purchase our products.  This is a major undertaking and expense for us but we believe that it will serve the fellowship well into the new millennium. 

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Members of the World Board and WSO staff met with the Host Committee for WCNA 28 for the first time during the first week of June in Cartagena, Colombia.  The Host Committee held discussions about all aspects of the convention. 

We are attempting to finalize arrangements with airlines and hotels in order to complete the travel package and registration flyer before the end of the year.  We will be reporting on this event more in depth after our August meeting. 

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Projects for the 2000 Conference Agenda Report

This is the beginning of a series of reports on the work from our three projects which are scheduled to be included in the 2000 Conference Agenda Report and discussed at the September World Service Meeting. These projects include Motion 21, the Two-Year Conference Cycle and The Process for Service Material.  All three workgroups, made up of World Board members, World Pool members and WSO staff, met for two days prior to our meeting. These projects, and others, were approved at the 1999 World Service Conference as part of the new Unified Budget process.

This was our first experience with workgroups of this type and the feedback from all members involved was positive and enthusiastic.  The groups all began with an action group session that focused on the strengths, talents and challenges for each member individually and for the workgroup as a whole.  It was gratifying for the board to see that the values and processes that we have been trying to create over the past year can be applied to new groups with varied backgrounds and experience.  Each group was able to get quickly to work thanks to the preparation from the Executive Committee and, in large part, from the WSO staff.  We acknowledge the daunting obstacles that the workgroups have to surmount?both in the scope of their work and the timeline involved?but are pleased to report that with your input and support we expect them all to be successful.

The schedule for these three workgroups is to have their second meeting preceding the August board meeting on 11 and 12 August.  A detailed report on each of these projects, as well as the Communications Task Force and the World Board Internal Process and Procedures projects, will be sent to you in the August NAWS News.  We will be discussing all of this work at the WSM in September and reporting back to you again.  The final meeting for the workgroups to prepare for the 2000 Conference Agenda Report will be 10 and 11 November. Please send in any thoughts, questions, or ideas you may have regarding any of the projects to us at the WSO or to  ?Together we can,? and with everyone?s input, we know that together we will!  Thank you.

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The 1999 World Service Conference (WSC) approved a project plan to deal with all the literature issues and motions committed from 1998 and 1999.  The ?Motion 21? project plan gave direction and a timeframe for the World Board to develop and present a comprehensive report for the creation and revision of Fellowship-approved literature for the next 5-10 years in the 2000 Conference Agenda Report.   This report will include a detailed proposal for possible revisions to the Basic Text and Little White Book, including options, budgets and timelines, in order to fulfill Motion 21 as adopted at the 1998 WSC. 

Part of Fellowship input we are gathering to prepare this comprehensive report will come from the March 1999 literature survey.  We thank all of you who have filled out and returned the literature surveys so far (the deadline is July 15, 1999, and forms are still available online at  As of June 15th we had received over 1,800 surveys, and we hope to receive many more before the deadline.  We will send the results of the survey in early August to everyone on the NAWS News mailing list, plus all Area and Regional Literature Committees and Local Translation Committees.  Each subsequent issue of NAWS News this year will also go to this same group and contain updates about this project.  We will also seek input at the September World Service Meeting (WSM) from conference participants and the Fellowship.

How the ?Motion 21? Project Came About
At the 1998 WSC the Board of Trustees proposed Motion 21 to deal with motions relating to the Basic Text and Little White Book.  These motions came about after the 10-year moratorium on the Basic Text ended in 1998.  Motion 21 directed the World Board to come up with a process, timeline and budget for revising the Basic Text and the White Book, and for this information to go in the 2000 CAR.  The 1998 WSC also then committed three additional motions to the ?Motion 21? process during the 1998 WSC.  The first motion (#24) was to commit the World Literature Committee?s (WSCLC) ?A? priority list.  This list proposed adding to the Basic Text ?a chapter on sponsorship, a chapter on service and the addition/substitution of personal stories from our worldwide fellowship?.  The second motion was a regional proposal for a new pamphlet called ?Am I Too Young To Be An Addict??  And third, the WSC committed a motion ?to continue with the development of a sponsorship booklet as a new piece of literature.  Said booklet should be given to the World Board Publications Committee with a final draft included in the CAR 2000.? 

At the 1999 WSC the conference revised the scope of the Motion 21 project by accepting the World Board?s proposal that these motions be dealt with by presenting a comprehensive report in the 2000 CAR.  This report would address not only the above motions but also result in a plan for the creation and revision of Fellowship literature over the next five to ten years.  The scope and funding were adopted as part of the approval of the first Unified Budget. 

The 1999 conference also committed three more literature motions to the World Board.  These were:  1) a proposal ?to direct the World Board to develop a project plan for a guide book for working our Twelve Traditions?; 2) Motion 5 from the 1999 CAR (To change in the Narcotics Anonymous White Booklet under the section ?What is the NA Program?? on page 2, second to last sentence, the language ?and are under no surveillance at any time? to ?and participate in no surveillance at any time?); and 3) a motion, ?To provide direction to the World Board for the Motion 21 Project Plan as follows:  To include, under the description of the 11th Tradition in the Basic Text and It Works?How and Why, language regarding the application of this tradition to television and the Internet.? 

Our First Meeting?June 16-17
At our first meeting June 16-17, 1999 we realized how big our task is and how little time we have to accomplish this work.  This project includes two (2) major tasks.  First, we have to deal with all of the specific literature motions committed to the ?Motion 21? process from the 1998 and 1999 World Service Conferences.  Second, we have to come up with a ?Ten Year Plan? which will allow the Fellowship to set the initial priorities for the creation and revision of Fellowship-approved literature from 2000 through 2010.  The plan also has to take into account the new two-year conference cycle and how the various literature projects could be impacted.  Before 1998, the Fellowship set priorities annually by approving the WSCLC?s ?A? Work List.  So one of our goals is to create a new long-term planning mechanism for literature development.  The objective is to allow the entire Fellowship to express an informed group conscience and reach the best possible consensus about literature priorities.  We are confronted with the task of having to balance today?s reality with the fact that we are in a transition period.  The World Board?s Publication Committee has not yet been formed to replace all the functions of the old World Literature Committee.  This means balancing the need to build elements of a new literature process while at the same time meeting any desires of the Fellowship to revise existing recovery literature and to create new literature.

Our group reviewed a large amount of background information and input at our first meeting.  We reviewed a history of the WSCLC?s A-B-C-D priority work list process from 1988-1998, so that we could understand what process we were trying to replace with the new Ten Year Plan.  We reviewed the preliminary results from the March 1999 literature survey.  We reviewed summaries of all the input on file suggesting revisions to existing recovery literature and the revision/development history of this material.  We studied a similar report describing all the new recovery literature proposals received from the Fellowship over the years.  We looked at a list of all of the 1998 and 1999 WSC motions committed to the World Board and considered other conference policies relevant to this project including those in the Temporary Working Guide to our World Service Structure (TWGWSS) and the Literature Handbook. 

After reviewing all of this information and coming to grips with the two-part nature of our task, we began to discuss in conceptual terms the shape of the Ten Year Plan and the process involved. 

Overview of the (Strategic) Ten Year Plan
We talked about the plan being flexible and modular (having multiple options presented for a given project or choice between projects), including costs and timelines depending on the scope option selected.

We identified four major components relevant to the future creation and revision of Fellowship-approved literature.  These four components are: 1) Identification; 2) Fellowship Involvement; 3) Communication-Reporting; and 4) Approval.  We brainstormed each of these components, and a brief description of our initial ideas follows:

1)  Identification:
We talked about a variety of options and methods that the fellowship could use to identify its needs.  We looked at ways in which we could separate ?needs? versus ?wants? when it comes to literature development for the whole worldwide Fellowship.  We talked about the use of surveys, focus groups, etc., and how to create open dialogue.  We see surveys (much improved in design from the March 1999 survey) as an important part of the needs assessment/identification process.  The surveys would allow better demographic analysis (including geography to more particularly determine the needs/wants of specific language/cultural parts of the Fellowship, as well as clean time and other relevant factors).  We talked about surveys with open-ended questions, not just yes/no questions, in order to achieve Fellowship consensus at the start of the process.  We talked about general surveys to set priorities (like the March 1999 survey) with specific follow-up surveys which would focus on the form or content of a given piece, the scope of a revision, the length and type of material desired about a given topic, etc. 

By using the above tools, priority recommendations could be formulated.  To come up with these recommendations for priorities, we brainstormed about some specific criteria.  These include:  Fellowship input; estimated costs (financial and human resources); length of piece; stage of development; source material; local need (language/culture); number of literature projects pending; length of time since last revision, etc.

2)  Fellowship Involvement:
We talked about how Fellowship involvement is an integral part of all processes. The Fellowship involvement would come through all of the needs assessment tools described above, and by review and input methods.  Although we saw the continued English language bias potential in this part of the process, we would expect our review and input methods to be better planned and organized, more ?user-friendly? and more intelligent. We also discussed how Fellowship involvement is part of all communication and reporting, and how this finally culminates in the ultimate Fellowship decision to approve (or disapprove) material.

3)  Communication/Reporting:
We noted this happening via NAWS News, the CAR, the NA Way, special reports, the WSO website and regional/zonal events (workshops, learning days, and the proposed interactive workshop system).

4)  Approval:
The only discussion we had about approval (so far) was the impact of the 1999 WSC motion which lengthened the period for publication of the CAR to 180 days including required translations.  This would lengthen the approval form review period from its current minimum of 90 days in the CAR to 180 days in the CAR (including translations). 

A Dilemma ? Where Do We Go From Here?
We discussed at length fthat, up to now, the creation and revision of NA literature has been generated predominately by the United States regions.  This historical reality has resulted in an unintentional ?bias? toward American English language literature development.  There is a gap between those addicts who have access to literature in their own language and culture and those who do not.   How do we best bridge that gap?  Given the impact on translations, do we stop or slow down English language literature development?  Do we continue on the path we have been on up to now? Or is there some new middle ground?  That is the dilemma we discussed and are struggling with.  Our Fellowship?s ever increasing growth has brought us  to this reality, and we are confronted with a growing awareness of the complex needs of a truly worldwide fellowship.   We talked about different ways to best balance the needs of NA as a whole, but we did not reach consensus about these difficult and complex problems in one meeting.  We considered the ways in which the literature process might need to change to meet ?non-universal? or particular needs of certain NA communities.  We talked quite a bit about new ways of determining fellowship ?needs? versus ?wants? when it comes to future literature development.  At this stage of our work, about all we can say is that we are aware of the inequities which have existed in our literature development processes and are weighing these factors along with all others as we go forward in trying to craft a Ten Year Plan.  We want to make the literature development process more equitable for the entire worldwide Fellowship. We hope to develop a plan that contains specific recommendations for specific projects in ways to fulfill our World Services Vision Statement that ? . . . one day:  Every addict in the world has the chance to experience our message in his or her own language and culture and find the opportunity for a new way of life.? 

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After discussing the scope for this project, the group resolved to produce a process that is ?less cumbersome than the process for recovery material,? ?efficient,? and will inspire trust from the fellowship.  The workgroup agreed that the resulting process should rely heavily on World Board and World Pool involvement.

All available service materials from NA World Services were listed and placed in three categories:  Service Support Materials, Information Resource Materials, and Non-Recovery/Non-Service Materials.  There was some confusion regarding terminology used in describing service material.  We received clarification on the use of several terms: adaptable and non-adaptable service material; ?Conference-approved? service material; and ?Fellowship-approved? recovery material.  The following elements, deemed crucial to the initial process model, describe a process that should be:

  • Easy, not too complex
  • Flexible enough to address current and future fellowship needs
  • Capable of accommodating time-sensitive items
  • Utilizing experienced members of the fellowship via the World Pool for aspects of service material development
  • Respected and embraced by the fellowship

  • The workgroup agreed that all service material would not need to go through the CAR process or be sent to NA home groups as part of the approval process.  The important elements of grass roots involvement were recognized and the group felt fellowship involvement could be maintained by involving World Pool members and/or service committees with relevant experience in the development, input and review of the material as needed.  The overall process will acknowledge that conference approval is always an available option and can be mandated for any item by the WSC.  Also, that any existing Service Support Material can always be sent back through this process by conference action.

    A diagram outlining the process was presented to the World Board along with a written status report.  After much discussion and direction from the WB, the diagram and process will be adjusted and the improvements will be made in the next draft.  At the World Service Meeting, the workgroup plans to solicit input on the proposal of a process that only requires conference approval for some service material items and relies on WB approval for most items.  The goals for the next meeting include compiling a rationale, reviewing the WB input, and preparing a detailed report and presentation for the World Service Meeting.

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    The primary focus for our first meeting was to develop a frame for the scope and timetable of this project.  We will be working on developing our ideas further and will be releasing a more complete report after our August meeting in time for input and review at the September World Service meeting.

    The Transition Group (TG) presented the idea for a two-year conference cycle after discussions with the conference about Resolution A resulted in no clear direction.  The items identified in their report on the two-year cycle included the work cycle, the review time for the Conference Agenda Report, a world-wide workshop system, cost equalization or full funding for conference participants, and an assumption that there would be a reduction of overall expenses and activities. 

    In 1998 the two-year conference cycle was adopted by the conference.  Since what was intended by the adoption of this motion was never clearly defined or discussed, conference participants have been left with very different interpretations of what the adoption of this motion actually means.  As a result, the motion and straw polls taken at WSC'99 that affect this work differ from the discussions that occurred in 1998.

    Our first challenge was to accept the fact that in five months and three or four meetings, we will not be able to address all of the issues that we and other conference participants would like to see changed about the conference.  Our goal is to create a framework to allow the transition to a two-year cycle.  The issues that remain will have to be taken up after this project is completed.  Based on this, we have divided our work for this project into five main categories:

    1. The Goals and Purpose of the Two- -year Conference Cycle
    The discussions which have occurred over the last year indicate that there is no common understanding of what the two-year conference cycle is intended to address, resolve, or accomplish. We support the purpose of the World Service Conference as currently stated in the WSC Mission Statement but acknowledge that the problem seems to be with its application.  The WSC should contribute to our collective spirit of unity and create the cooperation necessary to carry our message worldwide.  We had a very productive brain storming session on our ideas of what it would take for the conference to more effectively reach its own mission statement.  This vision will be the foundation for the components of the new conference cycle that we will propose.  We began to identify the potential losses in changing from our current one-year cycle in order to incorporate solutions into our final proposal that would address these issues. 

    2. The World Service Conference
    The group has established several areas that will need to be addressed as it relates to the conference itself.  These include:  defining consensus-based decision making, coming up with ideas to improve the interaction with zones and the World Service Conference, and the issues about seating at the conference that were discussed at WSC 1999.  Those issues include:  limiting the number of delegates seated on the floor from each region, considering the creation of criteria for recognition as a seated conference participant, and studying whether the conference could benefit from some sort of admissions panel or process.  Finally, we will address the agenda for the conference week. 

    3. The Conference Work Cycle and the Conference Agenda Report
    The focus of our work in this area will center on the conference cycle itself.  We will examine how the two-year cycle impacts communications between conferences and identify the work schedule for projects.  We are looking into the effect of the motion passed at WSC'99 that requires the Conference Agenda Report to be released a minimum of 180 days before the conference in six languages (which would include the translation in advance of any recovery literature or service material published for approval).  We will be identifying all of the necessary steps to complete work, the timing of projects, the review period and translations for the Conference Agenda Report, and the process for consideration of regional motions. 

    4. The Fellowship-wide Interactive Workshop System
    We will be defining the purpose and goals of these workshops, identifying the target audience for these workshops, and develop a plan for implementing this new system.  Our work will consider three types of communication and interaction:  those that involve fellowship issues, world service issues, and CAR and delegate issues. 

    5. Funding Attendance to the World Service Conference 
    The original Transition Group (TG) report identified cost equalization and full funding for all conference participants as two possibilities under the two-year conference cycle.  After this year?s conference, we have also added the development of criteria for what is now called Development Forum funding and other possible options to fund the costs associated with delegate participation at the conference. 

    We welcome any input that you might have on the scope of this project or any of the areas that we have identified.  The areas that we have identified are not new and have been discussed for many years.  We know that there are great ideas out there! 

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    Established milestones for this project are the World Service Meeting in September and the required March distribution to conference participants.  It is our desire to present as much information as possible about this work at the World Service Meeting in order for conference participants to give input on the direction of the guidelines.

    We identified specific areas where policies and procedures are needed, we also identified significant issues that require more discussion before they are developed.

    Some of the core definitions for these guidelines will come out of the experience of the World Board and their working relationship with the current project workgroups.  For example, we will find out first hand the practical application of delegating responsibility and authority to sub-groups of the board, giving us a good indication of what may work and what may not in the future. 

    The committee description narratives in the External Guidelines will be used as a base for the committee section of the internal guidelines.  All items that are clearly board policy, developed over the last year, will be moved from the boards? policy log and used as input to this work. 

    The board committees when established will need to create their own internal processes and procedures for operating.  The work done now on committee guidelines will be the guidelines that will apply to all committees.  Due to the workload of the Executive Committee, they will hold additional meetings away from board meetings to complete this project.

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    Our groups and service committees have all struggled at one time or another to find enough money to provide the services we know we need to carry NA?s message.  As we reported in our annual report there does seem, however, a significant momentum building.  More groups than ever before are contributing their excess funds to the service structure.  But it does not just stop there.  This trend is also reflected by donations from members, ASCs and RSCs.

    Last year all four groups of contributors pushed world services? income from direct donations over the half-million dollar ($500,000US) mark for the first time in our history.  A significant milestone and a greater than 10% increase over the previous year.  What can we attribute this to?  Well, we know that NA is still growing but our history does not lead us to believe that is the only factor.  Are we communicating better about our needs?  Are the groups more supportive of our efforts?  We don?t really have any definitive answers at this point, but it feels good anyhow, and we want to thank all of our members, groups, areas, and regions for their confidence.

    Looking ahead, we know we can ill afford to sit back and rest on past laurels.  We have a lot of work to do and many more addicts to reach.  One of the goals identified in our Fellowship 
    Development Plan calls for an increase of one million dollars ($1,000,000 U.S.) in donations by the year 2000.  That might seem unrealistic in mid-1999 but not quite as far away as some of us thought when it was created three  years ago.  If we try though, there is every indication we can get a quarter of the way there by pushing ourselves over the $600,000 mark by June 30, 2000.  It would be a great way to start the new millennium.

    We have taken on an ambitious schedule for this year.  As we reported at the conference, we believe that the projects that we have undertaken are an important part of the foundation needed for this new world service system.  We would like to thank all of the workgroup members again for participating in our projects.  We will be issuing our reports as quickly as possible after each meeting in order to keep your informed about our work and its direction and to seek your input.  We have very high hopes for this year and with your input and support, we know we will succeed. 

    In fellowship,
    Your World Board



              • 11-14 August 1999
              • 23 September 1999
              • 10-13 November 1999
              • 20-22 January 2000
              • 9-11 March 2000

    WSC 2000
    30 April ? 6 May 2000

    Deadline for the
    November Conference Report
    15 October 1999

    Deadline for Regional Motions for the
    2000 Conference Agenda Report
    1 November 1999

    Deadline for Issue Discussion Papers on 
    selected topics at WSC 99
    1 December 1999

    Deadline for Issue Discussion items for prioritization and fellowship-wide discussion during the 2000-2001 Conference Year
    1 December 1999

    Deadline for the
    March Conference Report 
    (Includes Regional Reports & Letters of Intent from Regions seeking seating)
    15 February 2000

    We try to consider all requests for travel on a quarterly basis.  Please let us know as far ahead of time as possible.  There is a new form to be used when making these requests that will assist us in our planning.

    In fellowship,
    Your World Board

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