March 30, 2022
Koinonia Good News
Meet the 2023 Board of Directors
“I thank my God because of your partnership in the gospel” (St. Paul, Philippians 1:5)
St. Paul had partners. Jesus had partners. Koinonia has partners.
At the February 27 Annual Corporation Meeting, Corporation members elected the 2023 Board to serve as partners for the coming year.
· Ms. Kelly Kandler, member at Advent Lutheran, Manhattan, has her own marketing consulting business.
· Pastor Chris Mietlowski, parish pastor and now working in the Bishop’s office, Chris has years of experience in youth and outdoor ministry.
· Pastor Jim O’Hanlon serves St. Paul’s Lutheran in Rye, NY, and has a special interest in growing diverse communities and seeking justice for all.
Re-elected to the Board:
· Mr. JD Struckmann, a member of Hope Lutheran, Arcade, NY, is a high school teacher, skilled musician and worship leader, who loves to fish in Lake Koinonia.
· Ms. Patricia Rose, a member of the Lutheran Church of the Abiding Presence, Bronx, NY, is a certified nursing assistant, Synodical Deacon, and at Koinonia leads her church’s women retreats.
· Pastor Christoph Schulze serves St. Paul’s Lutheran in Canarsie and St. Matthew’s Lutheran in Brooklyn, and is dedicated Christian education and to serving his low income neighborhoods.
· Ms. Sherry Costello is a member of Trinity Lutheran, Sunset Park, Brooklyn, an original Koinonia member. Sherry’s extensive management and personal experience have given her emotional insights into individual needs.
· Ms. Shirley Erland, a member of Good Shepherd Lutheran, Plainview, LI, is a retired critical care nurse who regularly brings rosemalers to Koinonia for retreats and craft work.
· Mr. Mark Wilson, a member of Emanuel Lutheran, Pleasantville, NY, is a retired CEO, CFO, investor and community activist.
· Mr. Gerard Falco, also a member of Emanuel, is a trial lawyer, peacemaker and outdoor enthusiast.
· Mr. Jose Afanador, Jr., a member of St. Luke’s Lutheran, Times Square, NY, manages a large restaurant and volunteers in many nonprofits.
· Ms. Katie Cunningham, a member of St. JME Lutheran in Brooklyn, NY, is a non-profit professional with experience in human resource management, strategic planning and program development.
All members of the Koinonia Board of Directors are active members and leaders in their respective congregations. They all bring enthusiasm and insights to their work on the Board.
Following their election, the Board met to elect their officers, as stipulated by the Constitution. The officers are:
· Katie Cunningham, President
· Gerard Falco, Vice President
· Patricia Rose, Secretary; assisted by Sherry Costello
· Mark Wilson, Treasurer
The scheduled Board meetings for 2023 are:
· May 13-15 -Retreat at Koinonia
· September 16-18 – Retreat at Koinonia
· November 16 – Meeting (zoom)
· January 11- Meeting (zoom)
Partners share their lives; they support each other. As their partnership grows so do the benefits. Their partnership makes a difference. Because Jesus and St. Paul had partners, God’s love and the church’s ministry grew.
As outgoing president of the Board of Directors, I am happy to report that the Board and the Executive Director have a strong partnership. With thanks to God, Koinonia grew because the Board and Executive Director worked together. Progress and agreements were made through mutual conversations, discussions, planning and joint execution.
I was reminded of how important partnerships are when reading St. Paul. In Chapter 4 of his letter to Christians in Philippi he mentions two women who were disagreeing. “I entreat Euodia and Syntyche to agree in the Lord.” He says they “have labored side by side with me in the Gospel.” You can imagine these two women working in harmony with St. Paul but then having a disagreement. Whatever it was, it must have been minor because St. Paul does not fault either of them. Rather, he asks the church to “help these women” to come to agreement.
So also at Koinonia, the Board and the Executive Director, alongside staff members and volunteers, labor side by side and help each other to make Koinonia’s ministry centered in the Gospel, the Good News of Jesus Christ, and a place “where God transforms and prepares people in an outdoor environment to love and serve one another” (Koinonia’s mission statement).
If you are interest in future Board membership, please send a note to Kathleen.
-Rev. Bob Wollenburg