Speakers

ILLINOIS AL-ANON STATE CONFERENCE

October 2022

SPEAKER STATEMENTS

FRIDAY NIGHT AL-ANON SPEAKER

Rick K. from Pewaukee, WI 

Home group:   Pewaukee Serenity AFG – Sunday Evenings

Hello fellow Al-Anon Members,

My son’s alcoholism and addiction are the reasons I originally came to Al-Anon in 2008. I heard that if one family member came to Al-Anon my son’s chance of recovery increases 3- fold! Prior to coming to Al-Anon I had my own slogans; two that come to mind are “if it is going to be it is up to me” and “God helps those who help themselves”. All of you taught me a better way. 

Our group hosts a new-comers meeting each week. This is what brought me to this group originally. 

I have an awesome sponsor and I sponsor other Al-Anon men. Both my sponsor and sponsees are special gifts in my life. It is great to share these relationships with other men.  

Service has always been an important part of my life and I strive to provide service at Al-Anon. I ask and expect that my sponsees will always have a service position. I especially enjoy serving via sponsorship and by taking a turn to lead our newcomer’s meetings. Newcomers are a special gift to our groups. 

I have spoken at several meetings / conferences and find it to be eye-opening and beneficial to my recovery program. Every open meeting and conference has been a learning opportunity!  There is always a reason not to attend so I encourage both those who are new to the program and veteran members to take advantage of these opportunities.

FRIDAY NIGHT AA SPEAKER

Rabbi Arthur Stern

Rabbi Arthur Stern is the rabbi and spiritual leader of Temple Israel. He earned an MBA and a master’s degree in Spiritual Psychology, a Doctorate in Psychology, as well as a master’s degree in Rabbinic Studies. As a lifelong learner, he has a passion to help others and be of service to God.

Rabbi Stern answered a calling to become an ordained rabbi. In May 2020 he reached his goal as he was ordained by the Academy for Jewish Religion in California. His interests include bringing our intergenerational community closer together, allowing people to explore new ways to practice Judaism, and supporting others as they grow in their spiritual and religious beliefs.

He has a genuine concern for the joys and pains of all people and a commitment to viewing the Torah as a foundation for human wisdom and a way of life.

Rabbi Stern has over thirty-one years of sobriety and is a faithful member of Alcoholics Anonymous. He worked in an executive position for The Hazelden Foundation. He pioneered the treatment center Hazelden has in Chicago and also served for a period of time as The National Sales Director of Hazelden Publishing.

Rabbi Stern has pioneered a number of treatment facilities nationally and owned a sober house in California for over eight years.

Rabbi Stern is currently the Head Rabbi of Temple Israel here in Springfield.

SATURDAY AFTERNOON AA SPEAKER

Jen S.

Jen S. is a grateful member of Alcoholics Anonymous. Her sobriety date is May 27, 2014, ODAT. Although she was born and raised in New Jersey and continues to reside there, Springfield is where Jen got sober following many years of regular relapses and half measures.

Jen credits AA not only with saving her life but with giving her a life worth living, done solely and simply according to the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. If you ask her why she loves AA she will tell you it is because of the feeling of being useful, that feeling of ease and comfort, and the ability to live peacefully.

Jen does not practice a perfect program but strives to do all of the things she did on day 1 and most importantly remain teachable. She has a sponsor, who has a sponsor, and is an active member of her home group, and takes other women through the twelve steps. The only proof she needs of a higher power is that she once spread nothing but terror and misery and now has the willingness to help others achieve what has been so freely given.

SATURDAY EVENING AL-ANON SPEAKER

Joe C – Jefferson, WI

Home group:   Pewaukee Serenity AFG – Sunday Evenings

I have been in Al-Anon for over 14 years and continue to work the program for a better life.   After over a decade, I work the program by attending meetings, conferences, having a sponsor and sponsoring other men.  Participation in the program and Service brings me closer to serenity in my own life.

I enjoy attending meetings while traveling – it is eye-opening to see how far AFG reaches, and the warm welcome and love received at every location.  I have attended and spoken at Al-Anon fundraisers, conferences, and meetings over the years.  I have also had the privilege of being of service and speaking at an AA and NA conference.  

I believe the greatest tragedy in life is not the sins we commit, but the life we fail to live.  Being of service and participating in Al-Anon has brought me closer to my Higher Power and to the life I want to live.  Participating and being of service at conferences such as this is vital to a strong individual program.

I hope to see you at the conference.

SUNDAY MORNING AL-ANON SPEAKER

Angie R-M from Brookfield, WI    

Home Group:  Monday Night Comfort

So glad to be able to attend a conference in person again! Looking forward to feeling the energy of the weekend – being surrounded by and immersed in recovery for a weekend is such a gift. I hope you will join us!!