Twelve Service Concepts of Co-Dependents Anonymous
- The members of the Fellowship of Co-Dependents
Anonymous, in carrying out the will of a loving Higher Power, advance
their individual recoveries, work to insure the continuance of their
groups and their program, and carry the message to codependents who
still suffer. They may also collectively authorize and establish service
boards or committees and empower trusted servants to perform service
- The Fellowship of CoDA has the responsibility of
determining, through its group conscience, the service work to be
performed, and the best manner to perform such work. This authority
is expressed through our group conscience. Authority carries responsibility;
thus, CoDA groups conscientiously provide adequate funding and support
for the service work they authorize.
- Decisions about service work in the Fellowship
and all CoDA affairs are made through the group conscience decision
making process. For this spiritual democratic process to work, every
member of the group is encouraged to participate, consider all the
facts and options concerning the issue, listen respectfully to all
opinions expressed, then reflect and meditate to find a loving Higher
Power's will. Finally, we deliberate honestly and respectfully to
determine the proper course of action. Unanimity in the group is the
desired outcome; a majority vote is a group conscience.
- All those who volunteer to do service work for
CoDA by serving on committees, boards, or corporations are trusted
servants, not authority figures. Ideally, trusted servants volunteer
out of a desire to follow their Higher Power's will, out of gratitude
for the gifts they have received from CoDA, out of a desire to grow
in their ability to create and keep healthy relationships, and to
contribute what they can of themselves to CoDA. The Fellowship recognizes
the need to select the most qualified people willing to serve as trusted
servants. At times, trusted servants may hire individuals outside
of the Fellowship for commercial services.
- Trusted servants are directly responsible to those
they serve and are bound to honor the group conscience decision making
process and uphold those decisions concerning their service work.
The Fellowship also recognizes the need and right for members to honor
their own experience, strength, and hope and their Higher Power's
will as expressed to them. When the group conscience violates an individual's
own truth and makes participation impossible, the individual may relinquish
the service position.
- The Fellowship guarantees trusted servants the
right and authority to freely make decisions commensurate with their
responsibilities and the right to participate in group conscience
decisions affecting their responsibilities. Each CoDA member is also
guaranteed the right to respectfully dissent during the group conscience
decision making process. A member may freely and safely express any
personal grievances as long as no particular person or group is unexpectedly
singled out as the subject of the grievance. Members are encouraged
to honor their own integrity as well as the integrity of others.
- Trusted servants do practice the Twelve Steps and
Twelve Traditions in their service work and in all of their affairs.
Trusted servants do not seek power, prestige, wealth, status, or acclaim;
do not govern, coerce, or attempt to control others; and do not push
a personal agenda, promote controversy, or advance outside issues
at CoDA's expense. Since issues over authority, will, money, property,
and prestige can and do arise in service work, trusted servants need
to practice emotional sobriety, including anonymity, humility, tolerance,
gratitude, making amends, and forgiveness.
- The CoDA Service Conference (Conference), through
its group conscience decision making process, guides the Fellowship
in making policy decisions and in following the Twelve Steps and Twelve
Traditions. The Conference, though providing guidelines, holds no
authority over the decision making process of individual groups. The
group conscience process is our decision making process. Failure to
honor this process may violate Traditions One and Four and a sanction
may be imposed. The harshest sanction Conference can impose on an
individual or group is to no longer recognize it as belonging to CoDA;
this sanction may only be imposed on those who consistently violate
the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, as determined by guidelines
accepted by Conference.
- By tradition, the CoDA Service Conference gives
responsibilities to working committees composed of Conference Delegates
and other CoDA volunteers or to separate service boards or corporations.
All are directly responsible to the Conference. The scope of the work
a committee does is determined by the Conference group conscience.
The chairperson of each committee assumes the responsibility to ensure
the work assigned to the committee is completed in a timely manner.
- When the CoDA Service Conference is in session,
the CoDA Board of Trustees is directly responsible to the Conference.
When not in session, the Conference assigns its decision-making authority
on material matters to the Trustees. The Board of Trustees is authorized
to monitor the work of Conference-appointed service committees and
may provide assistance or guidelines when necessary. The Trustees
serve as the board of directors of CoDA, Inc., the non-profit corporation,
are assigned custodial control of all money and property held in trust
for the Fellowship, and are responsible for prudent management of
- The powers of the CoDA Service Conference derive
from the pre-eminent authority of the group conscience decision-making
process. Arizona State law gives the Board of Trustees legal rights
and responsibilities to act for the Fellowship in certain situations.
CoDA, Inc.'s Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws are legal documents
enumerating these Board rights and responsibilities.
- The Fellowship strives to practice and encourage
spiritual principles in all its material, financial, and business
affairs, including fairness, equality, and respect for individual
rights. Every member within CoDA has a voice and is encouraged to
use it. Every member has the right to know what is happening within
our organization. To honor this right, and in the spirit of CoDA unity,
our CoDA, Inc. organization publishes and distributes group conscience
decisions, such as minutes of our service boards and motions from
our CoDA Service Conferences, in the most inclusive and timely manner
The Twelve Service
Concepts may not be reprinted or
republished without the express written consent of
Co-Dependents Anonymous, Inc. This document may be
reprinted from the website
www.coda.org (CoDA) for use by members of the CoDA
Copyright © 2010 Co-Dependents Anonymous, Inc. and its
licensors -All Rights Reserved.