December 29, 2022 -Good Newsletter

Greetings and Blessings to you all,

It’s really been an amazing year. The amount of people visiting Koinonia, giving to Koinonia, and volunteering their gifts to Koinonia have increased exponentially since Labor Day 2021, when the camp re-0pened. As we close out 2022 with a new church retreat group of 54 young adults & teens staying in the conference center and buildings from December 27-30th, we truly see that by trusting in God, working hard, and listening, all things are possible.

Read on for our December news and updates!
Pastor Meditation
This month's meditation is from Rev. James and Eleanor Sudbrock. The Sudbrocks have been strong supporters of Koinonia and are the Alumni Chairs for the Capital Campaign.

The meditation, titled "Turn toward the Light" is based on the sermon and children's sermon at Advent II's Sunday worship.

Board President Report

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Koinonia has been blessed with a busy fall and early winter filled with a variety of retreats and activities. Additional progress was made on our three strategic goals in December (see below) and we look forward to sharing final results next year. We have already set aside a weekend in late September for our next strategic planning session with Keith Johnson. Our board nominating committee, chaired by Barbara Meberg, is actively looking for candidates, and an email was sent to all member congregations asking for help in identifying potential board members with leadership experience. Koinonia has come far this year, thanks to your talents and treasures, and we have much to be grateful for.

Goal Committee Work
Goal 1 – Operating Revenue (Champion – Mark Wilson): We continue to conduct outreach to bring in both philanthropic dollars and rental revenue to ensure a balanced budget and, ideally, a surplus by the end of 2022. Deposits for winter rentals continue to come in. Bookings for our retreat buildings continue to progress and we have full Advent weekends in December. We are also continuing our Common Ground and Christmas Appeals. 
Goal 2 – Connections to member congregations (Champion – Kristi Jasberg-Robinson): The group continues to cultivate relationships with our member congregations following the initial outreach. The committee met most recently on November 28 to discuss the status of the outreach work and next steps. The social media subcommittee meets every month to plan Instagram and Facebook posts and is beginning to use analytics to gauge its reach and adapt its strategy.  
Goal 3 - Capital Campaign (Champion – Anthony Geraci): On November 7 we reached our base goal of $1M through gifts and pledges! This is an incredible milestone, and we are appreciative of the generosity of all our donors. We are now working toward raising another $500k to reach our challenge goal of $1.5M.  The Major Gifts Team continues to work on reaching everyone on their lists and met again on December 21 to evaluate progress. The Board Alumni Team had a dinner for prospective donors and are beginning make asks. The Congregational Team had a second orientation meeting on December 11th and will begin contacting congregations to meet with their church councils in January 2023. Capital Campaign funds have already contributed to several infrastructure projects, and more is underway including installing new carpeting and flooring in the office and staff house, installing a generator in the conference center, and hiring a local architect and engineer to work on the shower house design.  
Important Upcoming Dates
- Our next board meeting is on January 25 via Zoom. We will review our budget for 2023 and discuss performance reviews for staff.
- The annual meeting will be held on February 26 at 3pm. Board members are welcome to attend in person or can attend via Zoom. The meeting will be held at St. JME Lutheran Church at 283 Prospect Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215.

Thank you for your continued commitment to and support of Koinonia! If you haven’t done so already, please consider contributing to our Christmas Appeal. Wishing you and yours a very merry Christmas!
Fundraising/ Finance Update
As of December 14, we have raised over $140,000 this year (not including Capital Campaign funds)! Thank you! Our Christmas appeal letters have all been delivered, and our mailbox continues to bring us end of year gifts.

Our Capital Campaign Gifts and pledges as of Dec 14 were $1,071,049.40, total gifts (2020-present) were $575,012.77, and donations received in 2022 were $219,983.18. There is over $100,000 in our Capital Campaign checking account.
Property Updates

The office/staff house is finished and will be ready for the pilot Aftercare program beginning in 2023.

We replaced a water heater in the Asdal house, and the walk-in freezer was repaired. 

The roofer for the conference center roof was asked to come in to fix some issues, but he has not responded, so we are bringing in another roofer to get an estimate. 

The Rafters have electricity thanks to the Capital Campaign! Herman Wyss put up poles and wiring, and NYSEG will come in soon to inspect. 

Matt has been monitoring buildings to keep out mice and prevent freezing pipes. The plow was put on the truck and has been put to good use with the two snowstorms we had in December. 

The property team discussed the order of big projects to fund in 2023 and first on the list is the Manlove Memorial floating bridge. We are seriously considering a full-time maintenance hire in 2023
Facebook post reach was up +12.1% between July 3 – November 3rd, we added 11 more followers in the past month, and post engagements hover between 350 and 1,500. The last newsletter again had a 51% open rate. The Outreach/Marketing team did not meet this month. The Goal 2 social media outreach committee planned weekly posts until the end of January. A third Capital Campaign Newsletter to celebrate meeting the 1 million base goal was mailed out along with our Christmas Appeal the first week of December, and Christmas Cards including programming flyers were mailed to all our Member Congregations.

Kathleen attended the Lutheran Outdoor Ministry Eastern conference retreat at Camp Kirkenwald in Pennsylvania on December 5-7th. Along with Executive Directors and Program Directors, Kathleen took a tour of the camp and engaged in important conversations about the current status and future of outdoor ministry.
Worship and Programming

Lutheran Witness Along the Delaware Pastor Mary Button is going run programming for the Confirmation Retreat Jan 6-8. Kathleen attended the Lutheran Witness Along the Delaware open house at the parsonage on December 11th. Koinonia made its annual contribution to Pastor Mary Button’s 2022 salary this month, based on the times she preached on site.

In December we ran three more Advent weekends which were well received by all. Fliers were made for the Jan 6-8 Confirmation weekend and for a Winterfest weekend February 20-22. Jean Sandberg is working on details for the women’s retreat and quilting retreat. All programming will have a 60th anniversary theme. HERE.

Kathleen and Rebecca Morabito, the summer program director, finalized an application and sent out flyers to the local elementary school to advertise the Aftercare program. We will be able to start an aftercare for 6 children in January , then add more children once our license is finalized.
Waterfront 60
The Waterfront 60 volunteers, with guidance from Matt Baumhardt, continue to move forward. They have met with several excavators to get some bids on putting in a road to the beach and fixing the stairs. They are looking into fence options and are in conversation with a landscaping company. 
60th Anniversary Programming
Please participate in our Christmas Appeal
Thank You
Our Mission is reaching more people, and our vision to become "a flourishing outdoor community that cultivates transformation and ripples peace and reconciliation to the world" is leading us to the future. Thank you for reading this newsletter, for your prayers, your volunteering, your booking of buildings and rooms, and for your financial support. Together, we can build a ministry that will last for the next 60 years and beyond.

God Bless,

Katie Cunningham    
Board President                                            

Kathleen Ruen
Executive Director