Stony Brook Freethinkers holds two meetings per week:  A Step meeting on Wednesday evenings at 7:30 pm (Tradition meeting 2nd Wednesday), and an Open Discussion on Friday evenings at 7:30 pm (Open/Anniversary last Friday).  While our group is intended to be accommodating to atheists, agnostics and secularists of all stripes, any AA non-believer or believer is welcome!  We are currently the only known openly agnostic AA group in Suffolk county.  Both meetings are held at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship at Stony Brook – click here for directions and a map.

At Stony Brook Freethinkers we do not recite prayers at the beginning or ending of our meetings, nor do we suggest that a belief in a God is required to get sober and maintain sobriety.  We begin our meetings with a reading of the AA Preamble, and close them with the Responsibility Statement.  We also incorporate a reading of the Spiritual Experience at the beginning of the weekly Step meeting; we find this reading helps those of us who have not had a “white light” type of spiritual experience.

At our meetings, in addition to AA’s original suggested 12 steps, we display the following secular version which many of our members have found useful in their program of recovery:

The Agnostic AA 12 Steps

1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.
2. Came to believe and to accept that we needed strengths beyond our awareness and resources to restore us to sanity.
3. Made a decision to entrust our will and our lives to the care of the collective wisdom and resources of those who have searched before us.
4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
5. Admitted to ourselves without reservation, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
6. Were ready to accept help in letting go of all our defects of character.
7. With humility and openness sought to eliminate our shortcomings.
8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
11. Sought through meditation to improve our spiritual awareness and our understanding of the AA way of life and to discover the power to carry out that way of life.
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.