Financial Support

Because CSD is a ministry within prisons its members have limited resources for supporting the congregation.  Inmates who earn the right to have jobs in the prison receive as little as one dollar a day from which they are expected to pay for their own toiletries, postage, phone calls out, etc.  Though some CSD members are able to contribute through vouchers which debit their inmate accounts, these offerings are unable cover the costs for maintaining the ministry. At present it is estimated that CSD needs approximately $100,000 annually to fund a pastor.

Since its beginning, CSD has received grant support from the ELCA and the Delaware-Maryland Synod, but the balance of support comes from congregations of the DE-MD and Metro DC Synods and individuals committed to the idea of providing a ministry to persons in prison. Over the years we have sought to encourage commitments from congregations and individuals of $25/month ($300/year) in order to achieve the large part of the budget not covered by grants. 

One congregation has found a unique way to raise funds for CSD.  Trinity Lutheran Church in Deer Park (Westminster) holds an annual chili cook off.  Members vote on their favorite chili with money which becomes an offering for St. Dysmas.

When the CSD pastor visits a congregation, some receive a special offering and should there be an honorarium it is received as a gift in support of the ministry.

CSD is also a Thrivent Choice ministry able to receive designated gifts from Thrivent Financial members.

Another way to support is through Gifts of Hope, a ministry of the Metro DC Synod. CSD has been added as one of their beneficiary organizations. Gifts may be made online or by check.

You can also support CSD on AmazonSmile. On your first visit to AmazonSmile (, you are prompted to select a charitable organization from the list of eligible organizations. We are listed as "Community of St. Dysmas" in Catonsville. You can change your selection at any time. To change your charitable organization:

    1. Sign in to on your desktop or mobile phone browser.
    2. From your desktop, go to Your Account from the navigation at the top of any page then Your AmazonSmile (about halfway down the list), and then select the option to Change your Charity. Or, from your mobile browser, select Change your Charity from the options at the bottom of the page.
    3. Select a new charitable organization to support.

All contributions either from individuals or congregations are gratefully received by mail in care of Salem Lutheran Church, 905 Frederick Rd., Baltimore, MD 21228 or through online donation.