• Fred Grossenbach

Madison Area Jail Ministry - Addressing the Stress of Uncertainty

Since 2014 the Madison Christian Giving Fund has raised and distributed over $800,000 to 40 Christian organizations. Each one has an amazing story of impact on the people they serve and on the community. This is one of them.

The Madison Area Jail Ministry is a “Ministry of Presence” according to Michael Marshall, volunteer Executive Director. The ministry was founded by 3 Lutheran pastors who recognized that no one was paying attention to the spiritual needs of thousands of people in the Dane County jail. Many of the people in the jail are filled with uncertainty waiting for their trial or sentencing, stressed about their children, family and future. While there are community programs designed to assist people coming out of the state prison system, there are few programs available to those released from the Dane County jail, according to Mr. Marshall. That’s where the MAJM comes in. Volunteers (before covid), and a part time Chaplain visit the jail frequently to meet with residents, pray with them and for their families, and offer assistance on their release to those who want it. During most of 2020, when covid was raging, the Chaplain was the only person allowed in the jail (in full hazmat gear!) To meet with the residents, no family, friends, or volunteers, but only the part time Chaplain.

Here is an update from Chaplain Todd from their most recent newsletter...

"Prison Prayer Books were donated by a couple of local congregations to the jail ministry. I handed one out to a woman who wanted guidance on how to pray for her accuser. About a week later another woman from her cellblock requested one. When I delivered it I found out that a few of the women in the block were reciting the prayers several times a day. One said, "It seems like every time she opens that book the Holy Spirit knows just what we need because the prayer she randomly picked was exactly what we needed." She added, "Never in my life have I talked about God so openly. It is strange and yet feels natural at the same time. I hope I can do that when I get out." Amen!

The Madison Christian Giving Fund is proud to support Pastor Todd’s salary and the important work of the Madison Area Jail Ministry.