Financial Support

Because St. Dysmas 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 buy their own toiletries, postage, phone calls out (collect), etc.  Though some St. Dysmas members are able to contribute through vouchers which debit their inmate accounts, these offerings are unable cover the costs for maintaining the ministry.

Since its beginning, St. Dysmas has relied upon grant support from Synod and National Church for approximately 20% of its needs, 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.


At present it is estimated that St. Dysmas needs approximately $100,000 annually to fund a full time pastor.  Over the years St. Dysmas has sought to encourage commitments from congregations and individuals of $25/month ($300/year) in order to achieve the 80% of budget not covered by grants.

One congregation has found a unique way to raise funds for St. Dysmas.  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 pastor for St. Dysmas 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.

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

All contributions either from individuals or congregations are gratefully received c/o Salem Lutheran Church, 905 Frederick Rd., Baltimore, MD 21228.