Freethinkers who began to identify one another at regular Alcoholics Anonymous meetings held in Delray Beach in the 1980’s gradually discovered a mutual concern. Longtime sobriety was not evident among those who attended many of the local AA meetings. They also shared their feelings about being uncomfortable in the increasingly “higher power” centered meetings with heavy emphasis on sponsorship. These issues generated enough angst for members to seek a change, and the inspired alcoholics went into action.
One of these, (AH) an outspoken free-thinker snowbird from New York, introduced the idea of an Agnostics meeting. She and others gathered those who were interested in creating a Freethinkers Meeting in the area. Support for application to create a new meeting came from a long time sober alcoholic (AS) of Fort Lauderdale who was encouraged by the success of meetings in New York and other areas of the Northeast. A We Agnostics meeting began in 1983, held at Crossroads, a large AA meeting hall in Delray Beach, in a small nonsmoking room across from the main room where traditional AA met.
By 1988 members of our We Agnostics group started meeting at the Unitarian Fellowship in Boca Raton at 8:30PM Friday nights.
The Boca Raton group went light on sponsorship and heavy on socialization. Open discussion was and continues to be the format. All are welcome and the topic is not limited to alcohol issues. The hour begins with the opportunity for anyone who has a burning desire to relate an urgent issue for themselves about staying sober or dealing with something such as a lifestyle change which might affect their sobriety.
The focus is on the sense of self identity and non religious openness to positive change – which some refer to as spiritual growth -connecting with others to share strengths and weaknesses. Alternative 12 Steps and living sober literature are read and are available today. It is common for the chair to read from ‘Language of the Heart’, a piece which describes the practice of allowing all who enter to partake regardless of their religious affiliations or lack thereof.
This alternative group is fiercely dedicated to keeping a non-didactic meeting open to provide a respite for those who would not attend traditional meetings…
We Agnostics strive not only to remain sober but to enjoy the journey.