Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A.A. James Clubs Growing in Southern California

In the early years of our research, we read time and time again that Dr. Bob spoke frequently about the fact that the Book of James, Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, and 1 Corinthians 13 were considered "absolutely essential" to the original A.A. Christian Fellowship. They heard and studied these with great frequency. James became their favorite.

And Bill Wilson wrote in Conference-approved literature that the Book of James was the favorite--so much so that the Akron people wanted to call the A.A. Society and the proposed new Big Book
"The James Club." Dr. Bob assured them this would happen. But by the time the Big Book was finished, the time came for a title. And they considered many names. But not the Book of James.

However, I realized that if the Book of James was the favorite, if it was considered "absolutely essential," and if phrases from James were actually quoted in the Big Book (e.g.: Faith without works is dead, Love thy neighbor as thyself, and others at least paraphrased, and if the "Works" idea became so much a part of A.A. legend, it was time to obtain thorough familarity with the Book of James and how its contents could be traced into A.A. in and after the Big Book. And they certainly could.

Meanwhile, many people were reading my Alcoholics Anonymous History books, along with A.A. General Services Conference-approved literature, and the Bible and some Christian books. These people wanted to form study groups. They wanted to study the Big Book and the Twelve Steps, the Big Book and the Bible, and the A.A. path that involved basic ideas. And they repeatedly asked how to form such study groups, what they should study, and what they could call their group.

The name "James Club" was suggested. Many adopted that name, and they are still using it. Some of these are listed as participants in International Christian Recovery Coalition. And most are still going strong.

Then it became important to publish a book which would detail the relationships of the Book of James, Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, and 1 Corinthians 13 to A.A. history, literature, and language.
We published Dick B., The James Club and the Original A.A. Program's Absolute Essentials. This is referenced below.

But not too long ago, a man who founded a James Club in Norco, California, asked me to speak to the James Club, and I did. I found that he had written a guide manual for use of the members. And we have it on display in our Salvation Army Christian Recovery Resource Center in Maui.

Surprise. Surprise. This Christian leader is coming to Maui to visit us in July. He is also going to be attending our Stick with the Winners Conference and Workshop at His Place Church in Westminster, California on Friday, May 18 and Saturday, May 19.

Further surprise. Tonight he phoned me to tell that the original James Club in Norco, California had grown to three. Part of the meeting involves Bible teaching, and part involves Big Book study. And now there are three. One is held on Tuesday. One on Thursday. And one on Sunday. The demand and growth have increased to the point that there will soon be two more James Club meetings in Norco. And this is consistent with our present effort to encourage leaders to establish a meeting, to cooperate with similar meetings, encourage attendance at A.A. meetings, and encourage church and Bible study.

God Bless the effort.

Dick B., dickb@dickb.com; www.ChristianRecoveryCoalition.com; 808 874 4876, Kihei, Maui, HI

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