Prisonist.org: Edited by Jeff Grant, JD, M Div, Executive Director of Family ReEntry, serving the CT Criminal Justice Community & Co-Founder of Progressive Prison Ministries, the First Ministry in the U.S. Created to Support Individuals, Families & Organizations with White-Collar and Other Nonviolent Incarceration Issues.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

The New Prison Ministry at The First Baptist Church of Bridgeport


The New Prison Ministry at
The First Baptist Church of Bridgeport  
126 Washington Avenue 
Bridgeport, Connecticut 06604 


1.              We ask for your assistance.  Important new Prison Ministry initiatives are under way and are being planned at The First Baptist Church of Bridgeport  - all open to the entire Greater Bridgeport community, and reentry and recovery communities.  This is just a start - we request assistance in considering and shaping even better concepts and programs.

 

2.              Central Location, Near Downtown. 126 Washington Avenue, Bridgeport, CT 06604 in The Hollow, on the corner of Washington and West Avenues.  Two blocks from Downtown, close to Metro North, one block from Park and Fairfield Avenues.



3.              The Center for Spirituality and Wellness.  The Center for Spirituality and Wellness at The First Baptist Church of Bridgeport has been founded to provide a welcome and hospitable interfaith, ecumenical, multi-cultural and community-based permanent home where the entire community, including and especially the reentry and recovery communities, can come to seek and find care, comfort and health regardless of religious affiliation (or non-affiliation).  We seek affiliations with alternative forms of religion, spirituality, art, wellness, counseling, spiritualities, artists, yoga, meditation groups, seminars, lectures, counseling, therapies, and the like.



4.              Congregational Hospitality.  We recognize that a plan to welcome and offer a home to the reentry and recovery communities might be difficult to imagine in some churches.  Not in ours!  This plan has fully approved by both the Senior Pastor and the Congregation of The First Baptist Church of Bridgeport.  Expect open arms and a kind word for all in need! 



5.              Sunday Worship.  Sunday worship services at 10 am in English and French, new gospel music program twice a month to start in May. The Sunday service is often dedicated to issues relating to prisoner reentry and recovery.  The text of a sermon about Seeing Doubting Thomas as an Ex-offender in Reentry Difficulties and Solutions can be found online at: http://progressiveprisonproject.blogspot.com/2013/04/unseen-4713-sermon-seeing-doubting.html



6.              Partnering with Reentry/ Recovery Agencies. One huge benefit of our new Prison Ministry and the CSW is the opportunity to have formal and informal relationships with reentry and recovery agencies and faith-based organizations - we can provide spirituality and religious services that will assist in lowering recidivism rates, and provide programming to help lower operational costs.



A.             High Noon.  Starting in May, we will sponsor a time of spiritual prayer, meditation, reflection and 12-step meetings called High Noon.  Noon, Mon – Thurs, specific schedule to follow.  We invite all reentry and recovery community clients (and staff) to participate.



B.              Bridgeport Pardons Assistance Project.  We are in the process of opening the first regularly staffed drop-in pardons assistance office to cover all of Fairfield County (www.bpapct.org).  We have been trained at the State of Connecticut Board of Pardons & Paroles.  We will have fully trained volunteer and paid staff with experience in pardons assistance.  Our goal is to work with all current local pardons assistance initiatives to help make a better experience for the users.  Any thoughts or input would be appreciated.



C.              Bridgeport ATR III Faith-Based Center.  We have partnered with Pivot Ministries of Bridgeport to submit to a RFP proposal to open a Faith-Based ATR III location at the First Baptist Church of Bridgeport.  There has been no Faith-Based ATR in Bridgeport Region 1 for quite some time; all coverage in this region has been referred to New Haven or Middletown. We are very grateful to Pivot Ministries and view this as a tremendous opportunity for the reentry and recovery communities.  We appreciate your thoughts on this, as well – and referrals if the proposal is accepted.



7.              The Council of Churches of Greater Bridgeport Award.   The First Baptist Church of Bridgeport has been selected to receive the 2013 Council of Churches of Greater Bridgeport Faith and Community Award.  The award will be bestowed at the downtown Cabaret Theater on April 26th at 6 pm.  Tickets are available on the CCGB website.



8.              Other Exciting News.  Watch for additional events being planned and exciting news happening at the First Baptist Church of Bridgeport and The Center for Spirituality and Wellness.



For Information Please Contact:



Jeff Grant, JD, M Div


Assoc. Minister / Director of Prison Ministries
The First Baptist Church of Bridgeport

126 Washington Avenue

Bridgeport, Connecticut 06604  


203.339.5887

No comments:

Post a Comment