Encouragement for Inmates

As Christians we believe that Christ died on Good Friday, rose on Easter and ascended into heaven. We also believe that on Pentecost his spirit descended on his early followers and is still with us today, a source of inspiration, direction and energy for Christians.

In an effort to recognize and advance the mission put before those early Christians, we are going to be writing letters to inmates at the Delaware County Jail.  The goal of these letters is to provide a small source of hope for a group of people who are currently experiencing a level of loneliness and isolation that few of us can imagine.

A list of all current inmates at the jail can be found HERE. We are inviting you to pray over this list and identify a handful of names to which you feel Holy Spirt has led you.

We have worked closely with staff at the jail and have come up with a few guidelines.

The Process:

  • Select the inmate(s) you want to write to, using the list found HERE. Put your name in the blank so we know that person is covered.
  • Write or type the letter on Zion letterhead, provided to you. Sam and Pastor Beth will be delivering letterhead and envelopes once we see that you have signed up.
  • Sign only your first name and last initial on the letter.
  • Do not include your home address. Zion’s address will be printed on the letterhead and envelopes and if the inmate wants to write to you, they can send the letter care of the church and we will make sure it gets to you.
  • Use the envelopes provided. Address each letter this way:
    First Name Last Name
    844 U.S. 42 North
    Delaware OH 43015
  • Stamp and mail your letters as soon as possible. Inmates are taken in and released daily and it’s not possible for us to keep a perfect list. The more quickly we send the letters, the more likely they will reach their recipients.

The Content:

  • Letters will be strictly focused on words of encouragement and support. Jail is a lonely place at the best of times, and is completely locked down during this pandemic. Acknowledge how hard it must be to be separated from loved ones. We are all afraid of the virus.
  • Avoid any form of judgment or condemnation.
  • Feel free to share experience you think may be relevant, but exclude personal details.
  • Do not include any staples or paperclips with the letters.
  • Feel free to invite the inmate to write you back and direct them to send letters to Zion. This return address info will be included on the provided envelopes.
  • Do not offer or agree to do anything other than reading any response they send and perhaps writing additional letters.

If you would like additional information about individual inmates, the Delaware County Sheriff’s office has a CURRENT LIST OF INMATES that includes a photo, arrest details and information on charges.

Some Bible Verses to Consider:

Psalm 23:4—Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

Isaiah 41:10—So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

John 16:33—I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

2 Corinthians 4:8-9—We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.

1 Corinthians 10:13–No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

Galatians 5:1For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.