If you’re thinking of starting a new meeting and need secular script inspiration, several meetings have generously shared their scripts and practices. Secular meetings do not necessarily follow the suggested Overeaters Anonymous (OA) meeting formats (jump to scripts); luckily, OA Tradition Four allows each meeting to decide its own format. OA is very clear, however, that you may not use alternative Steps or change the language of the Steps if you wish to be listed on their meeting calendars. So, many secular meetings do not read any Steps at all.
We offer no-cost Zoom rooms (2 hours/meeting) that new secular meetings can use as an online gathering location. If you’re interested, please apply here: Zoom rooms.
Once you’re ready to start your new meeting, let us know so we can add it to the secular meeting list (contact us). We will also list unregistered OA meetings, such as secular OA Alternative Step Study groups.
This script is shared by two meetings, currently gathering on Zoom. The meeting follows a traditional format for 45 minutes and then closes and invites interested fellows to stay for 15 minutes to read secular Twelve-Step literature.
Script (Word doc download, 6 pages)
Since March 2016, the Monday/Wednesday Emeryville Freethinkers (California, USA) have been the longest standing face-to-face (F2F) meeting listed on the Atheist/Agnostic OA meeting list search. During the pandemic they are meeting by Zoom, and hope to form a F2F/Zoom/Phone hybrid meeting in the future.
The script focuses on OA’s Tools of Recovery and spirituality/group conscience and is shared for both nights. On Mondays, the topic rotates: Ask-It Basket; Slogans; Speaker on Steps Two, Three, and Eleven; and secular OA-approved readings. Wednesdays are always writing. Until November 2019, they read a Freethinker version of the 12-Steps (pdf), modeled after the San Francisco AA Freethinkers version. Their Intergroup was instructed by OA Region 2 to delist the meeting unless they desisted in the reading of non-OA approved Steps. Now the group does not read any steps.
This is our oldest meeting that is especially welcoming of atheists and agnostics, and this phone meeting has been going strong since 2010!
Script (Word doc download, 8 pages)
Started in 2020, during the pandemic, this is a “non-approved” OA meeting which uses outside literature and alternative Steps. The group has rotating topics focusing on the Steps, Tools, member-suggested topics, and literature. In addition they allow supportive cross-talk.
Script (Word doc download, 4 pages)