July 29, 2022 -Good Newsletter

Greetings and Blessings to you all,

Children's voices are in the woods, fish are being caught and released, families are kayaking and canoeing, retreat buildings are practically full, and blueberries are on the bushes. We are in the heat of summer and are grateful for signs of abundance.

Read on for our July news and updates!
Camp Stories
Nature Camp, a six-session day camp at Koinonia, finished its 5th week. 50 kids aged 5-12 are dropped off by their families at the Chapel in the Pines, and spend the day swimming, hiking, playing, singing, and making art. Bible study is offered every day, and families have a choice to send their children to it. If you would like to read more........

Board President Update

Happy Summer! Things continue to progress at Koinonia, and we are seeing the results of all of our work. We had a zoom Board Meeting on July 20th to hear reports and make decisions. Please find below an update on our goal committee work and work toward embodying our values through planning a DEI workshop in the fall.

Goal Committee Work

Goal 1 – Operating Revenue (Champion – Mark Wilson): We are continuing to conduct outreach to bring in both philanthropic dollars and rental revenue in order to ensure a balanced budget and, ideally, a surplus by the end of 2022. Deposits for summer and fall rentals, Day Camp tuitions, and donations continue to come in. At the moment we are on track for our goal to raise $285,000, and are doing well on booking retreat buildings. The Conference Center did not pull in retreats and youth groups as hoped, and we are hopeful that we will make up some of that deficit in the fall and for the Advent weekend.

Goal 2 – Connections to member congregations (Champion – Kristi Jasberg-Robinson): The group continues to cultivate relationships with our member congregations following the initial outreach. Several pastors and lay leaders from congregations in Brooklyn, Long Island, and Staten Island have visited in the past month. The social media subcommittee planned Instagram and Facebook Posts for July and August, and overall engagement is increasing. 

Goal 3 - Capital Campaign (Champion – Anthony Geraci): Our total current total amount of gifts and pledges is now over $546,000. The Major Gifts Team has made a commitment of $165,000 and are beginning to grow the campaign with solicitations to some of our biggest donors. Pastor Richard O. Hill is building up the Congregational Team, and the Alumni Board Team is setting a followup meeting in early September.

At the July 20th Meeting the Board discussed its intention of becoming a more inclusive and diverse community. The board decided to have a three hour zoom workshop led by Linda Manson and her son in the fall.

I want to thank all of our summer and year-round staff, volunteers, board and committee and team members, and donors for all of your support. It is wonderful to have children at the camp again, to have the retreat buildings full for the summer, and to have strong bookings in the conference center in September, October, and December.
Fundraising/ Finance Update
In July donations slowed but we began bringing in tuition for Nature Camp, retreat payments, and deposits for the summer. We also brought on many summer staff and cooked for lunch for 60+ a day which increased our expenses. We are in the process of billing the Town of Highland for subsidizing local children for the past six weeks. Since so much work was done on the buildings repair costs have been low. We have raised more than $95,000 this year (not including Capital Campaign funds)! Thank you! We welcome your donations all year round.
Property- A work in process!

July was very dry, and over time the lake lost so much water that the shore retreated about 18 feet from usual levels. There was not as much mowing work. The replacement pieces for the floating bridge arrived (donated by the Manlove Family-thank you!) but due to low water levels we need to postpone installation. As soon as the water levels rise the bridge is going in.

Kathleen and Gary Koran are funding the replacement of the meditation garden wall at the conference center (Thank you!). Art, Danny and Tom delivered the materials, put in posts and cut down some trees that were preventing growth (Thank you!). It will look so good when it is done.

This week Matt was able to run four sessions of work projects with our young adult counselors. They cleared trees and made a burn pile at the BBQ Meadow and also cut and stacked firewood for winter. Matt cleared trees that have been blocking the view of the conference center, and the result is stunning.
Facebook post reach was up 149.8% between April 15th and July 13th, we added 34 more followers, and post engagements hover between 400 and 1,800. In the past 30 days 2022 newsletters have had a consistent 44% open rate, up from the previous 41-43%. Lora Baumhardt continues to edit our mailing lists and email list. The Goal 2 social media outreach committee's weekly posting strategy continues and appears to be having an effect. Posters were distributed throughout the local community for the Day Camps and Community Day. The first Capital Campaign Newsletter was sent to donors, member congregations, and congregations in the Metro NY Synod. Our website will soon have its own Captial Campaign page to view.
Worship and Programming

Family Camp

Koinonia is opening up Family Camp to the local community. For only $10 a day a whole family can enjoy boating, fishing, arts & crafts, bible study and a hot lunch. it is not too late to reserve a room in the conference center between August 8th-12th and experience Koinonia in the peak of summer!

Lutheran Witness Along the Delaware

Pastor Mary Button invited Koinonia staff over for a picnic with members from St Lukes and St Peters in June. St Lukes brought over food from its pantry to help feed children at Nature Camp. Koinonia is honored to participate in the instillation of Pastor Mary Button at St. Peter's Lutheran Church in Port Jervis on July 31st at 3pm.
Please visit the website for community events and worship schedules.

Community Day

On Sunday August 14th we will hold our second annual community day at Koinonia. Pastor Mary Button will preach, Nature Camp kids will perform songs, and area churches and communities will participate. The event is free to all residents of Pike, Orange and Sullivan Counties, and of course, the Koinonia community. We ask that you please rsvp on eventbrite by August 10th so we are prepared for the BBQ.

Look for our email in 2 weeks for Fall & Winter Programming!
60th Anniversary Reunion Weekend
August 11-13

Bishop Paul Egensteiner will preside at the Sunday Chapel in the Pines Service on August 13th, 2023. We have opened up reservations for the Conference Center and the Campground for the Reunion Weekend. Please keep spreading the word!
Summer Sustainers
Koinonia operates year-round, and monthly donations help us have a consistent income which helps us prepare for busy summers like this one. It's easy to become a summer sustainer, and you will get a cool t-shirt as a thank you gift.
A donation now of $10, $21, $50 or even $100 a month can make a huge difference for our ministry.

We of course welcome any form of gift at all times of the year, so do not hesitate to make a one-time gift or send in a check today. God Bless You!
Honor Stones
The Walk of Honor is filling up!

We now have 8 honor stones - 4 completed and 4 in production - that will be placed in a path to the Icthus in time for Memorial Day Weekend 2023. In celebration of 60 years of ministry, each honor stone will cost $600 - $300 of which will be a direct donation to operating costs. Send in a check (or make an online donation) with the correct spelling of the loved one you would like to honor, and we will do the rest.
A Message from Pastor Richard Hill
Pastor Richard Hill is the Capital Campaign Congregational Chair:

" We are looking to build a presenter team to visit Congregational Councils to ask if they will support the Campaign"

If you feel called to support the mission and ministry of Koinonia in this way, please email Pastor Hill at: rohill@optonline.net                         
It's amazing to see how far we have come in a year, thanks to your prayers, work, and donations. We wish you a restful and healing summertime, and hope that you will consider spending some of it at Koinonia!

God Bless,

Katie Cunningham    
Board President 

Kathleen Ruen
Executive Director