As we are moving into a time of social distancing, where many of our meeting places are closing down, but also when we may be feeling anxious, confused, and scared, we still need meetings.

My Saturday morning meeting met this morning online and by phone using the BlueJeans service. This service has both video and phone capability. This morning, I started out on video, but when it became clear that the internet in my parents' house was not sufficient for video, it was quite easy to switch to phone and stay in the call.

That got me thinking that I should put together a list of online resources for meetings. Here are the ones that I know about. Please comment below or send email to feedback@therecovery.show if you have others.

See the comments below for some other links!

Online meeting lists

  • Al-Anon electronic and phone meetings
  • InTheRooms social networking site online Al-Anon meetings (choose “Others” in the drop down menu just below the heading “LIVE VIDEO MEETINGS CALENDAR”.
  • Another listener reminded me of phonemeetings.org, which lists many existing phone meetings.
  • A listener sent a link to a flyer for Al-Anon Without Borders, a series of Zoom speaker meetings hosted by members around the US on Saturday and Sunday March 28, 29 and April 4,5. This event is now over. Recordings of the speakers are available for download. Tom W (featured in episode 250 of The Recovery Show) spoke on Step 3, and Mary Pearl T (several episodes) also spoke. During the time of COVID, downloads are free, and there is an opportunity to make donations to support Al-Anon Without Borders.
  • Online Al-Anon Meetings in the Los Angeles area.
  • Some online recovery meetings in the Ann Arbor, MI area .
  • Colorado meetings: www.al-anon-co.org  Hover over members and then COVID 19 Pandemic and then click on Non Face to Face (Electronic Meetings) and then a document pops up to click on which lists electronic meetings for everyday of the week. 
  • Northern California has several zoom meetings going on. If you visit www.scv-afg.org they are listed.
  • Here is a list of virtual meetings in the San Francisco Bay area, mostly the East Bay, with additional links to meetings in San Francisco, Marin, Los Angeles, and Al-Anon World Service.
  • There is an online ACA workshop on May 8.
  • A member in Liverpool writes: we have online Al Anon meetings everyday over zoom. Most of our meetings are around 6-7pm in the evening UK time, but we also have some lunch meetings. If anyone would like the meeting details please email: fromsurvivaltorecoverylpool@gmail.com
  • A UK ACoA group (Adult Children of Alcoholics)  also has zoom meetings everyday at 7 pm UK time, and you can find out their meeting details by emailing acastrengthenmyrecovery@gmail.com

Resources for creating online meetings

  • BlueJeans is an online conferencing service. It offers a 14-day free trial and is $12.49/month after that, if you pay monthly or $9.99/month if you pay for a whole year. It supports up to 50 participants per call. You can join by video from the app or by phone.
  • Zoom is an online conferencing system. It has a free plan that allows up to 100 participants in a call but is limited to 40 minutes per call. It supports both video in the app and phone call-in. Recently, there's been a lot of attention given to the problem of “zoom bombing”. Here are some tips to reduce the likelihood of this happening to your meeting.
  • Discord is an online chat application used by gamers and others. It has recently expanded its GoLive video chat to support up to 50 people at a time. I have not used Discord.
  • A listener suggested www.freeconferencecall.com, writing “This is perfectly free and unlimited and crazy easy to use.”

During this time of crisis, I wish you serenity and health. Stay home, wash your hands a lot, get to meetings (online), and be well.

14 comments on “Online meetings

  1. C J says:

    Thank you Spencer!

    Yes these are ‘trying times”and even more than ever we need to keep in contact
    with our fellow recovery family. Thank you for the latest update in the age of CoVid-19.

    Can I also suggest maybe for iPhone and iPad users. ( I’m a Mac guy) that you can also set
    up a group share on FaceTime.Up to 31attendees at any one time – The link and details of which are here –
    https://www.imore.com/how-make-group-facetime-calls-iphone-ipad-and-mac

    Together we are stronger.
    Love, hope and recovery.

    C.J ( Ireland )

    1. Betty says:

      This may be the most important and loving podcast yet….blessings

      1. Diane says:

        I’m so sorry to hear about your father, Spencer. Thank you for posting all of these face-to-face meeting alternatives and for thinking of us in a time of personal sadness.
        Prayers for you and your family. Please take care of yourself.

        Diane M/Las Vegas

  2. Eric B says:

    http://phonemeetings.org/ Is also a good phone in meeting source.

  3. Leslie P says:

    Hi- we have created a 40 minute zoom meeting Saturday mornings at 9:30-10:10 eastern time. Zoom id 704 783 471. In this meeting, we keep the focus on ourselves, not the alcoholic. We ask if you are a member of other 12-step programs to please refrain from openly revealing such. Thanks!

  4. Kelly says:

    My firm uses a few other alternatives that may work for you and your team of virtual gatherings. Here you go……
    Microsoft Teams, https://products.office.com/en-US/microsoft-teams/group-chat-software . This one is a good option really if the group is all working with Office 365 online.
    GoToMeeting — https://www.gotomeeting.com/meeting/pricing.
    Skype by MS, https://www.skype.com/en/

    Hope that helps. -Kelly

  5. laura says:

    my heart, prayers & thoughts are with you.
    Thank you so much for all you do for our community!

  6. Carrie S. says:

    Hello Fellow Travlers.
    Thank you for all the great tools for staying in touch while physically distancing. Sadly, I was too late for Al-anon Without Borders, and it was closed after 1,000 joined. Any suggestions for getting in on the next one?

    ~Carrie S.

    1. The Recovery Show says:

      It appears that the limit for Zoom calls is 1000 participants. It is wonderful to see that so many found it, unfortunate that many more could not participate. I hope it was recorded so that we might be able to listen to it afterwards.

    2. Moira says:

      The numbers seem to have settled at about 500.
      It is on today, then:
      Join Al-Anon without Borders May 23 and 24

  7. Allyson says:

    Our Al-anon District has a paid subscription to Zoom and has at least one meeting per day. Please visit http://www.al-anonfredericksburg.org for the meeting schedule.

  8. Moira says:

    UK convention:
    https://www.dayofgratitude.co.uk/

    US convention:
    email—AlanonWithoutBorders@gmail.com

  9. Susan says:

    Wow, who knew there were meetings outside my County! Great information, thank you so much!
    An alanon friend just told me that Mary Pearl is doing a Monday night meeting currently, going through the steps in The Big Book. Mary Pearl doesnt’ care if its not Alanon approved literature lol. Does anyone know about the Zoom Meeting that’s happening right now?

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