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Nonviolent Online Support Group
Dear Fellow Travelers:
If you have been convicted of a white-collar or nonviolent crime and have served your sentence, please consider joining our confidential online white-collar/nonviolent support group. We hold our weekly group meetings on Tuesdays, 8 pm Eastern, 7 pm Central, 6pm Mountain, 5 pm Pacific. Meetings last 75 minutes. On Tues., Aug. 23, 2016 we will hold our seventeenth weekly meeting. For more information and to discuss joining our group, please email Jeff Grant (contact information below).
We are doing something truly groundbreaking! This is the first confidential online white-collar nonviolent support group in the country. All participating are through their legal/prison issues in chief, and are out the other side.
As this support group is being run by clergy as part of a program of pastoral counseling, we consider it to be confidential and privileged.
This is a huge first step in forming a community of individuals and families with white-collar and nonviolent incarceration issues. Our experience shows us that many of us are suffering in silence with shame, remorse, and deep regret. Many of us have been stigmatized by our own families, friends and communities, and the business community. Our goal is to learn and evolve into a new spiritual way of life centered on hope, care, compassion, tolerance and empathy, and then to reach out to offer all those suffering from these issues. In so doing, we will share our experiences, feelings and resources to help make the quality of each others lives more manageable. This is an important thing we are doing!
We had a powerful meeting last Tuesday evening, our sixteenth! I have been intentionally keeping the invitee list small to so we can get comfortable with the technology and work out basics. We had a record eleven (11) Fellow Travelers participating on last Tuesday’s call. Thus far, we have had a total of twenty-three (23) Fellow Travelers participating from New York, New Jersey, Texas, Connecticut, Virginia (DC), Oklahoma, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Delaware. I am hoping to add a person or two for our next meeting. All agreed this has been a valuable, important experience in which everyone feels less alone, and gratified in the opportunity to talk about things in a safe space only we could understand. We have formed agreements as to confidentiality, anonymity and civility, and have decided to have a basic agenda for each meeting:
2. Serenity Prayer:
“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
3. Short Member Introductions, 1 min. each
4. Lead on Topic of the Week, 5 – 10 mins.
5. Member Sharing & Resource Sharing
6. Select Leader and Discuss Topic for Next Meeting
I have set up an account with gotomeeting.com for our group, and you can log in to our group via video on a computer or tablet that is equipped with a camera, or a smart phone, or audio only via phone. It seems like it works best, and has the least feedback, if you use headphones. Login instructions and link are below. Each meeting has a different meeting number and password to ensure confidentiality; login/password information is emailed to all members a few days before each meeting.
For newcomers, we will start the conference fifteen minutes early and already be online. The video meeting format works wonderfully, however, it may take a little time to download, configure and get used to on your end.
If you have suggestions for others to join this group, please call or email me to discuss. Our goal is to be inclusive.
If anyone is currently on probation, parole or supervised release, I encourage you to discuss this with your P.O. To assist in this regard, information about our ministry is available on prisonist.org.
Again, please feel free to email me if you would like information or to discuss joining our group, or anything else you require whatsoever.
Rev. Jeff Grant, JD, M Div
PS: We now have a White-Collar/Nonviolent Support Group Facebook group page, where we can share information, resources, news, articles, etc. It is a “secret Facebook group” to protect our anonymity, so you won’t be able to find it until I send you the link. If you would like to join this Facebook group, “friend” me on Facebook (jeffgrant.ct) and send me an email. – Jeff
COMMENTS FROM SOCIAL MEDIA:
Douglas Mairena I commend you for creating such a group! The stigma of incarceration in reality never leaves you. As a convicted white-collar criminal I’ve had to deal with these injustices from family, friends and former associates. The fact that I had a lapse in my moral character led me to commit fraud and thus landed me in a Federal Prison. That experience was the most degrading, humiliating and humbling. I have now been involved for over 4 years in Kairos Prison and it has allowed me to heal and in conjunction with my walk in Christ.
We are grateful for all donations this past year to our Ministries. These donations enable us to grow, reach out and serve this community for which there is far too little understanding, compassion, empathy and accurate information. Progressive Prison Ministries, Inc. is a CT Religious Corp. with 501c3 status –
all donations are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law. We hope you will consider making a donation to our appeal this year. Donations can be made by credit card/PayPal here, at the “Donate” button on on our site, prisonist.org or by sending your check payable to: “Progressive Prison Ministries, Inc.” P.O. Box 1232, Weston, Connecticut 06883. We have enclosed an addressed envelope for your use. Thank you.
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