A brief look back into beginnings of this group - from whence we came and the events that have led to where are today.
A LOOK BACK
AT OUR HISTORY
AA International Convention - 1960
The history of the Sunday Morning Live Group of Alcoholics Anonymous is inextricably fixed to the history of the Alano Group of Alcoholics Anonymous. The Alano Group of AA was started in 1974 by former patients of Center Hospital, a treatment center in East Dallas. In the early days, 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. The group closed partly because of a graying membership and partly because of 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 11:00 Sunday morning speaker meeting needed to continue. The first need: find a location.
A handful of folks scouted a variety of sites to hold the meeting. The group found 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!
This wonderful location became the first home of Sunday Morning Live Group of Alcoholics Anonymous. The group is not sure about its start date. We think it was June 1994, but the date the group checking account was opened is now taken as the start date of the group: November 19, 1994. Alano’s cigarette smoke-stained steps were hung on the wall, and the original Alano speaker’s lectern was used. 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 were quickly established. Another ongoing tradition of the group is to offer service opportunities before the close of each meeting: taking down and putting away the steps, literature, bulletin boards, cleaning the coffee pot, and taking out the trash.
The idea of a Sunday morning speaker meeting hosted by a warm community of recovering friends met with great success. The first Sunday Morning Live meetings drew 20 members, many members of the former Alano Group. Soon, an assortment of folks with connections to Lambda, Preston, No Hassle, Town North, and Clean Air North, began making the Sunday meeting a part of their weekly schedule. Now SML has between 40 and 50 folks at the weekly Sunday meeting.
In 2008, St. Thomas needed to renovate, and SML had to find a new home. Central Christian Church on Westside Drive, Dallas’ oldest congregation and minutes away from St. Thomas, welcomed the group. The Central Christian Church basement is still the home of Sunday Morning Live, and the group continues to have active participation in Dallas Intergroup activities. In addition to steady group representation at DIA, the group won first place at the 2011 DIA Chili Cook Off!
In 2012, the founders of the group (finally!) rotated out of active week to week management of the group’s leadership and affairs. A decision was made for the group 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 inclusive nature, the group’s structure now provides more opportunities for more members to be of service, including monthly chairs responsible for selecting weekly speakers, weekly chairpersons, and weekly greeters.
Twenty-five years later, Sunday Morning Live thrives. Each Sunday morning at 11:30 AM, the group’s church basement location is full of happy, active alcoholics. We are 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.
On November 10, 2013, Sunday Morning Live had its first (19TH) anniversary celebration. Ilene W. from Los Angeles was the speaker; the group had a bar-be-que lunch and fellowship afterwards. The history of the group was read at this meeting. 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 a straight person, another old or young person, a woman or a man, another Frenchman, Mexican, Jew, Muslem, 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."
God grant that it may always be so at Sunday Morning Live.