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.

 Newly elected: 
·      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
Greetings and Blessings to you all,
The Board President, Katie Cunningham, and Executive Director, Kathleen Ruen are so grateful for Rev. Robert Wollenburg’s leadership as Board President from 2020-2022. Going forward, the newsletter will be a joint endeavor, sharing information from both the Board and the Camp perspective. Spring is coming and we are truly gearing up for an exciting and transformative summer!
Board Member Orientation

On Wednesday, March 9 Keith Johnson led a Board Member Orientation. It was engaging and informative and we hope it provided a solid foundation for our new board members – Chris, Kelly, and Jim. All of the new board members will be joining the committee for Goal 2. It was great to connect with them during the training along with several veteran board members who were able to attend. A huge thanks to Keith Johnson for leading this training!

Update on Goal Committee Work for the Strategic Plan

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.

Goal 2 – Connections to member congregations (Champion – Kristi Jasberg-Robinson): This committee met on Saturday, March 12 and is continuing to make progress with outreach to congregations as well as expanded communication about Koinonia on social media.

Goal 3 - Capital Campaign (Champion – Anthony Geraci): The Capital Campaign continues to move forward with consultant Dave Brunkow (GSB) taking the lead. Dr. Geraci and Rev. Wollenburg are meeting to strategize regarding Major Gifts, the Prospectus is in the process of being put together, and last week Koinonia was given the go ahead to solicit all congregations in the Metro New York Synod! Hallelujah!
Fundraising Update
Lora Baumhardt was hired at the end of February as our Development Associate and she jumped right in. Lora took all of the returned envelopes and updated the general mailing list, taking off nearly 1,000 addresses. She is updating the constant contact email list, tracking donors, and also serving as the Capital Campaign administrator. Lora spearheaded the Easter Appeal and if you are on our mailing list it should be in your hands. We are hoping for a significant return. Please welcome her to the team!
Matt Baumhardt is taking on more and more leadership on the facilities/property team while keeping buildings safe throughout the winter and plowing when needed. At the last property meeting several work weekends in April/Early June were discussed as well as a more than expected cost to replace the floating bridge ($20,000 more than budgeted).
Community Outreach
Lutheran Witness Along the Delaware – Mary Button, who will be called to serve St. Peters in Port Jervis and St Luke’s in Greeley PA, met with representatives on March 6 at the conference center. Mary will hold a Maundy Thursday worship at Koinonia and a monthly worship on the property for the two churches and will also lead worship at Koinonia on April 24. The Day Camp in Port Jervis is going to happen again and three churches in Port Jervis are involved.
On site Day Camp – Kathleen has met with the Town of Highland and sent in a budget and Day Camp proposal for the town to review. This partnership will ensure that many of the children in the Town of Highland will be able to attend the Day Camp for free from 8:30-3:00pm.
Hiring – A call went out to hire counselors and summer staff the first week of March. In April we will also begin to look for part time hourly workers who live locally who can assist with housekeeping and in the kitchen. Please click here for our summer application.
Last but Not Least!.....
Visits and BookingsThe phone is ringing and Jean Sandberg is busy helping folks make reservations for the Spring, Summer, and Fall. Kathleen visited Hope Lutheran in Selden NY, the Church of the Resurrection in Mt. Kisco, Zion Lutheran in Dobbs Ferry, and Dobbs Ferry Lutheran Church in March. If you are thinking of booking a retreat, renting a cabin, or coming to one of our upcoming events (here), we urge you to contact us sooner than later. 
We are thrilled to announce that the
5K is returning to Koinonia this Memorial Day Weekend. Race registration includes the race, Koinonia camping mug, and post-race lunch. Sign up early - registration increases May 1st. Create your own fundraiser and/or join virtually! More information here.

Bonzli’s Beat

I am 9 months old! I am learning to play fetch! I passed my first obedience class and have started the Canine Good Citizen certification class. It is hard work. I got to meet the youth group at Hope Lutheran and I made them smile. Come visit me soon at Koinonia!
We are grateful for your participation, for the notes you send us about your memories of Koinonia, for reading this newsletter, and for your donations of time and treasure. Our Spring Appeal is already bringing in needed funds to prepare for summer. If you are able, a gift large or small will help us tremendously. Thank you!

God Bless,
Katie Cunningham                                                 Kathleen Ruen
Board President                                                      Executive Director