Wish List

Items, clearly marked as Madison Area Jail Ministry, may be delivered to

Lake Edge Lutheran Church.

always needed

Reading glasses, especially lower magnification (unisex)

Sharpened pencils (no metal)--erasers with metal must be cut off

Pink erasers

Sharpened colored pencils (12 pack)

Loose drawing paper or drawing tablets (no spiral bindings)

Postage stamps


Pre-stamped envelopes

2018 Calendars (no spirals, staples removed)

Playing cards

Prayer cards

New children's books (to be given as gifts to children of incarcerated people)

Composition (marble-style) notebooks (no spirals)

Paperback Books including novels, devotionals, self-help books, etc.

Adult coloring books

Greeting cards for all occasions (including those featuring African American images)

Gift Cards to Amazon, bookstores, dollar stores, etc

chaplain's library books needed

food preparation needed

(Paperback English and Spanish language versions)

Sacred Texts:

  • Bibles (King James, NRSV, Good News, Inclusive)
  • Study Bibles
  • Q'rans
  • Old Testaments
  • Torahs


  • Dealing with grief
  • Spiritual practice
  • Inspiration
  • Stories of overcoming obstacles
  • Mindfulness
  • Managing anger
  • Alcoholism
  • Staying clean


  • Houses of Healing: a prisoner's guide to personal power and healing by Robin Casarjian
  • A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn
  • Books by Pema Chodron
  • Addiction recovery

Prayer Shawls needed

Each week women gather for worship in a cold chapel, dressed in worn blue scrubs and flip flops. One week in December the chapel was so frigid that we wrapped the women in the fabrics adorning our alter. Not only were the women warmer but, for the first time since their incarceration, they felt like ladies. It was wonderful! We’d like to make this unexpected beauty part of our weekly worship through the use of prayer shawls. As the Chaplain’s imagine it, each lady would have her own shawl for worship which she would be gifted upon release. In addition to the love that goes into making the shawl, the jail congregation would pray over the woman while wrapped in her shawl. Would you or your congregation like to prepare shawls for the jail? Would you like to organize this program?

Contact Chaplain Christa

Re-entry Support Groups

  • Men's Beginnings (Weds afternoon, 15-18 men)
  • Women's Beginnings (Tues afternoon, 6-8 women)

Each week the Chaplains host a women’s and a men’s support group which includes a meal. This group takes place at Bethel Lutheran Church Tuesdays (for women) and Wednesdays (for men) from 1 – 4 pm. With the exception of extreme weather conditions, we meet weekly. It is important to us and our ministry of hospitality that we offer our guests drinks and food when they arrive. Would you or your congregation be willing to provide a monthly or quarterly meal?


Nathan Houstin 608-370-9125

Michael Marshall 608-239-6799

Bread for Worship

Each week in worship the Chaplains offer Holy Communion, using delicious, decadent breads. While that might sound heretical, we believe Jesus would understand. The mix of holy and decadent makes for a truly spiritual experience. Are you a baker? Do you have a favorite recipe for banana bread or blueberry coffee cake? If so, we’d love for you to share with us.

Contact Chaplain Christa

Snacks for the Staff

The Chaplains are called to serve those who are experiencing incarceration as well as those who staff the jail. Food, the breaking of bread, is one way for the Chaplains to connect with the very busy staff. The Chaplains are very intentional about preparing snacks for the staff during the holidays (the Chaplains baked dozens and dozens of cookies over Christmas!) but also bring food in periodically just to say thank you and hello. Would you or your congregation be willing to prepare some treats for the staff? You could do this for a holiday or as the Spirit moves. Or, if you have leftovers from a church meal or meeting, we’d love to share those with the staff as well.

Contact Chaplain Christa to schedule a food date!