White Collar/Nonviolent Support Group
Meets Online on Monday Evenings
Dear Fellow Travelers,
Progressive Prison Ministries and St. Joseph’s Mission Church invite you to join our confidential online white-collar/nonviolent support group. We hold our group meetings on Monday evenings, 7 to 8:15 pm Eastern, 6 to 7:15 pm Central, 5 to 6:15 pm Mountain, 4 to 5:15 pm Pacific.
We are doing something truly groundbreaking! This is the first confidential white-collar/ nonviolent online support group in the United States. As this support group is run by ordained clergy as part of a program of pastoral care and confession, we expect and believe it falls under clergy privilege laws . Most participating will have been through their legal/prison issues in chief, and are out the other side.
This is a huge 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 other’s lives more manageable. This is an important thing we are doing!
We held a powerful meeting last week! Thus far, Fellow Travelers have participated online from New York, New Jersey, Texas, Connecticut, Virginia (DC), Oklahoma, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Florida, California, Georgia, Colorado, Massachusetts and Minnesota. All have 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 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 (if there is a new member)
4. Announcements & Resource Sharing
5. Guest Speaker and/or Lead on Topic
6. Member Sharing
Login Instructions and Link are sent out weekly. We have set up an account with Zoom for our group, and you can log in via video on a computer, tablet or smart phone that is equipped with a camera, or audio only via phone. Please use headphones if you can so that we can minimize feedback and background noise. Each meeting will have a different meeting number to best provide confidentiality.
For Newcomers, I (or the night’s leader) will be online fifteen minutes before the scheduled start of the meeting. GoToMeeting works wonderfully, however, it might take a little time to download, configure and get comfortable with on your end.
If you have suggestions for other fellow travelers to join this group, please call or email me to discuss. Our goal is to be inclusive.
IMPORTANT!: If you are currently on supervised release, probation or parole, it is important that you first discuss this with your P.O. To assist in this regard, information about our ministry is available on prisonist.org.
Please feel free to call or email me if you would like to join in our next meeting, or with any questions you might have regarding this group, its meetings, or anything else whatsoever.
Rev. Jeff Grant, JD, M Div
Co-Founder, Progressive Prison Ministries, Inc.
Greenwich CT & Nationwide
Mailing: P.O. Box 1, Woodbury, CT 06798
Article: White-Collar Online Support Group Celebrates 100th Meeting, April 16, 2018, link here.
Link to testimonials here.