A brief look back into beginnings of this group - from whence we came and the events that have led to where are today.
AA International Convention - 1960
A LOOK BACK
AT OUR HISTORY
In 2012, the founders of the group (finally!) rotated out of active week to week management of the group’s leadership and affairs. The group decided to become self-governing through elected trusted servants and a steering committee. The first group of trusted servants, each serving six-month terms, was elected in December 2012 and began overseeing the group’s week to week activities in January 2013. In addition to the group’s ever-present inclusivity, the group’s structure now provides opportunities for more members to be of service, including monthly chairs responsible for selecting weekly speakers, weekly chairpersons, and weekly greeters. Twenty-nine years later, Sunday Morning Live thrives. Each Sunday morning at 11:30 AM, the group is full of happy alcoholics in recovery.
In early 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic rocked the world, requiring AA to pivot and begin hosting meetings exclusively online in Zoom worldwide. Due to local restrictions on meeting in public, SML began meeting on Zoom in March of 2020. The 26th anniversary meeting was even hosted on Zoom! Online SML meetings continued through early 2021, when the group decided to begin hosting hybrid meetings, both in person, and broadcasting to those online through Zoom.
During this time, Central Commons put the church building up for sale. This put SML’s longtime meeting space in jeopardy. SML voted to establish a search committee for a new location, and the search began. In the interim, SML met in the Fellowship Hall of the church, until it was rented by another group. Luckily for SML, Central Commons purchased the church building with a commitment to keep SML on campus. Though the search committee found alternate locations, none were the right fit for the group, and we remained at Central Commons until August of 2022.
In July of 2022, SML voted to move to Center 12 (formerly Lambda Center) at 8204 Elmbrook Drive. Our first meeting at Center 12 was held on August 7, 2023.
On November 10, 2013, Sunday Morning Live had its first anniversary celebration for its 19th anniversary. Ilene W. from Los Angeles was the speaker; the group had a barbeque lunch and fellowship afterwards. The history of the group was read at this meeting for the first time. At the end of the history, a portion (with additions) of the AA pamphlet “A Member’s Eye View of Alcoholics Anonymous” was read:
"It occurred to me not long ago that whenever I am sitting in an A.A. meeting, I am never aware that I am sitting next to another white man, another Catholic, another American, another gay or straight person, another old or young person, a woman or a man, another Frenchman, Mexican, Jew, Moslem, or Hindu, black man or brown. I am aware only that I am sitting next to another alcoholic. And it seemed deeply significant to me that this feeling of common humanity had been purchased by us all at the cost of considerable pain and suffering. ‘I can tell you only what I have heard and seen: It seems the blind do see, the lame do walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead rise, and over and over again, in the middle of the longest day or the darkest night the poor in spirit have the good news told to them."
SML is an accepting, inclusive, diverse group of drunks. Speakers at the meetings often remark that when they share at SML, they are greeted with waves of supporting love.
God grant that it may always be so at Sunday Morning Live.
The history of the Sunday Morning Live Group of Alcoholics Anonymous is inextricably fixed to the history of the Alano Group of Alcoholics Anonymous. Former patients of Center Hospital, a treatment center in East Dallas, founded the Alano Group of AA in 1974. Early on, Alano and Lambda alternated nights in a meeting space above The Orchid Shop—a store for “women with men in mind.” Alano Group was a strong presence in the Dallas AA community for 19 years. In 1992, the group closed its doors, partly because of a graying membership and partly due to personality issues.
When Alano closed, a small group of members attempted to keep the group alive by renting a space on the second floor of a strip center at Maple Avenue and Inwood Road in Dallas. The “new” Alano Group met at this space for quite some time, but was unable to sustain itself, and Alano closed for good. However, the group decided that the Sunday morning speaker meeting needed to continue. The first requirement was a location.
A handful of members scouted a variety of sites to hold the meeting. The group first made a home at St. Thomas the Apostle Church at Inwood Road and Mockingbird Lane in the church’s parlor. When names for the group were discussed, one that was floated and quickly dismissed was “Parlor Squalor!” We decided the official birth date of the group would be the date SML opened its first checking account— November 19, 1994, although some members remember meetings beginning as early as June of that year. Alano’s cigarette smoke-stained steps were hung on the wall, and the original Alano speaker’s lectern was also still in use until the groups later move to Center 12.
The group established new group traditions, including celebrating sobriety anniversaries each Sunday with a birthday cake, having a service commitment of ‘Cake Lady’, and singing “Happy Birthday” for each celebrant. Another ongoing tradition of the group is to offer multiple service opportunities before the close of each meeting, including moving chairs, cleaning the coffee pot, and taking out the trash.
A Sunday morning speaker meeting, hosted by a warm community of recovering friends, was met with great success by the larger AA community. The first Sunday Morning Live meetings drew about 20 members, many members of the former Alano Group. Soon, an assortment of AA members with connections to Lambda, Preston, No Hassle, Town North, and Clean Air North began making the Sunday meeting a part of their weekly schedule. Before the Covid-19 pandemic, SML had between 85 and 125 members at the weekly Sunday meeting.
In 2008, St. Thomas needed to renovate, and SML had to find a new home. Central Christian Church (now Central Commons) on Westside Drive, at the time, Dallas’ oldest congregation and minutes away from St. Thomas, welcomed the group. The group continues to have active participation in Dallas Intergroup activities. In addition to steady group representation at Dallas Intergroup Association or DIA, SML won first place at the 2011 DIA Chili Cook Off.