Getting to Know

Woman helps families of incarcerated youths and adults

2014-01-15T00:00:00Z Woman helps families of incarcerated youths and adultsKimberly Cheek-Stanley Times Correspondent
January 15, 2014 12:00 am  • 

Nancy Walter, of Schererville, was recently elected  secretary to the Indiana State Advisory Council of  Kairos Prison Ministry International, a mentoring program for incarcerated youths and adults.

“KPMI is the umbrella organization for Kairos Inside, Kairos Outside and Kairos Torch,” Walter said.

“The state chapter serves all Kairos ministries in the state of Indiana. We currently have Kairos Inside ministries in 12 adult prisons and three juvenile institutions, in addition to the three Kairos Outside programs.”

Walter has been involved with Kairos Outside of Northern Indiana since 2006, and previously served as an organizational and spiritual leader for events.

“We share God’s love and grace by providing spiritual support to women impacted by the incarceration of a family member or friend who currently is or has been incarcerated,” she said.

“We hold two retreat weekends per year, which give women the opportunity to meet others in their situation. They form table families and listen to talks together on topics such as anger, isolation and communication with God.”

“Our hope is that after the weekend, they will remain in contact with one another, forming a support network,” she added.

Walter worked in the federal courts system for 30 years, and saw many instances of women impacted by incarceration.

“I believe women who have attended a KONI weekend experience spiritual growth, which has a ripple effect in their role as mothers, employees, supporters of other women impacted by incarceration and, in supporting their incarcerated one,” she said.

“It has grown me in my own faith and in compassion for others. I have formed wonderful relationships with other women and men dedicated to this ministry,” Walter said.

The wife of Jack Walter, Nancy is employed as a part-time staff deaconess at Holy Shepherd Lutheran Church in St. John.

In her free time, she serves as a volunteer at Dayspring Center and Open Arms Overnight Shelter. Both serve homeless women in the Valparaiso area.

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