KOINONIA GOOD NEWS: ELCA MIF LOAN RECEIVED. REPAIRS BEGUN
June 20, 2020
LOAN APPLICATION APPROVED! The Mission Investment Fund (mif.elca.org) has approved Koinonia for a loan of up to $300,000. (The Corporation meeting February 9, 2020, gave the Transition Board of Directors permission to borrow up to $500,000.) MIF is a ministry of our denomination, the Evangelical Lutheran in America. We are receiving this loan because our regional adjudicatory, the Metropolitan New York Synod (MNYS) via the Synod Council, agreed to guarantee the first two years of interest only payments. The 5-year adjustable rate is currently 4.375%. Amortization is scheduled over 25 years and will commence two years after closing. Koinonia will pay interest only on the amount of the loan that it draws down in the first 2 years. We give thanks to God, and to regional and national leaders!
ALL BUILDINGS CLEARED OF MOLD. Dennis Catalano, the NYS Mold assessor completed his clearance testing the second week of July and has sent certification papers that all the buildings are free of mold.
REPAIRS HAVE BEGUN. Professionals installed insulation. This third week of July a sheet rocker began work in the Conference Center (CC). In past weeks, sheet rock and other repairs were made at the Asdahl House. Volunteers are completing minor plumbing repairs at the CC.
MOLD PREVENTION IS UNDERWAY. Measures taken include the installation of commercial dehumidifiers, repairs to gutters and drainage systems, and the pricing of a new HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system for the CC. These and other preventive expenditures will protect our buildings and add comfort to guests.
INSURANCE. Koinonia has excellent liability and umbrella policies with Church Mutual. Of the three levels of coverage – basic, broad, special – Koinonia has “special.” Included is commercial auto, Directors and Officers Liability, and workers compensation. The annual cost is $26,983. Going down a lengthy list of questions with our agent, almost everything is covered – hikers, lake users, volunteers using power tools. Buildings not covered until repairs are made are the Two-Family, Caritas house and the maintenance building. Our insurance underwriter is furnishing a list of necessary repairs. A small building (the “Registration Center”) at the entrance to the campground needs to be demolished.
SAFETY ISSUES. Recently a Transition Board member surveyed fire, water and other safety issues around the Camp. We are working with the commercial fire company used by Koinonia and with a representative of the NYS Department of Health & the Building Department to assess what needs to be done.
A VISION FOR THE FUTURE IS IN PROCESS. Dr. Matt D. O’Rear, an administrative officer at Wartburg Seminary and a church-wide recognized leader, is guiding the Transition Board through a process of visioning the future of Koinonia. As a board we have looked at things that Koinonia does best and things that we individually imagine for the future. Our visioning is taking shape around four keys words: evangelical, diverse, collaborative and responsible.
FUNDRAISING RISES TO THE TOP. Fundraising is still in the “quiet phase.” The Transition Board approved a $500,000 campaign in May and is now considering proposals from three fundraising companies. Fundraising will begin in earnest as we articulate our vision
THANK YOU FOR YOUR GIFTS!!! While mission, vision and fundraising are taking shape, you have been so generous! You are remarkable. The Transition Board, the Management Team and so many others individually give thanks to God for your financial gifts. From January 1 to July 16 you have sent gifts and pledges that total $235,565. May God bless you richly for this outpouring of love! If you have not yet been able to participate in this support of Koinonia’s ministry, when you are ready, you may send your gift to Koinonia at 165 Lakeview Road, Highland Lake, NY, 12764. At the bottom of this newsletter you will also find a donation button. All such gifts are tax deductible.
KOINONIA IS NOT OPEN. Dear Friends, Koinonia is not officially open! We have many repairs yet to do and safety measures to put in place. We will need to hire staff before we can be fully open. The Transition Board has approved “trial” openings such as Worship in the Pines (streamed live each Sunday morning at 10 on FB). Under a special arrangement, the Asdahl House has been let out for a fee for a couple of months. For now, we are simply not officially open … yet. However, if you are interested in an overnight retreat during this trial period, continue to send your requests and we will decide them on an individual basis. Please bear in mind that not all facilities are fully functional during this trial period. We request and appreciate your sincere understanding.
KOINONIA HAS NO ROOM FOR HATE AND VIOLENCE. “As persons called to love one another as God has loved us, we therefore proclaim our commitment to speak with one voice against racism and white supremacy. We stand with those who are targets of racist ideologies and actions.”
Please read the ELCA/MNYS statement here.
The Transition Board and Management Team join all of you in praying for the safety and health of everyone near and far in the midst of the Covid pandemic.
Thank you, stay well, God Bless.
WORSHIP BEGINS - REMEDIATION ENDING!
June 14, 2020
1. WORSHIP BEGINS. Rev. Paul T. Johnsen will lead a Service of Holy Communion June 28 in the Chapel of the Pines at 10 AM. We will follow governmental and ecclesiastical guidelines. Social distancing will be in place. Please bring your own mask. “Come, let us worship the Lord” in the beauty of Koinonia!
2. MOLD REMEDIATION ENDING. Remediation began May 11. Mr. Steve Hurley, the contractor, says he will complete his work by June 26. Mr. Dennis Catalano, licensed by New York State, will then test and certify that the buildings are cleared.
3. CAPITAL CAMPAIGN CONTINUES. Every board member endorsed and together has committed $127,000 to Koinonia’s 5-year capital campaign goal of $500,000. Nearly $43,000 so far has been received and made it possible to do the remediation. Please contact Rev. Bob Wollenburg, Board chair directly if you would like to make a five-year commitment .
4. FINANCIAL CONTRIBUTIONS. If you would like to fund a special project, please email Rev. Bob Wollenburg. We have Conference Center laundry to do, gutters to hang, sump pumps to install, dehumidifiers to purchase, roofing and sheet rock costs, and more.
5. VOLUNTEER WORK. Everything, except the remediation, to keep Koinonia’s buildings and grounds functional, is done by volunteers at this time. Everything. For this newsletter we would like to recognize Jackie Lund, former board president and camp photographer for her current work on maintaining the Koinonia Website. Thank you to Jackie and to all our volunteers!
6. KOINONIA HAS NO ROOM FOR HATE. We are grieved to hear the news of another black man killed by police Friday night in Atlanta. We hold Rayshard Brooks’ family in our prayers. “As persons called to love one another as God has loved us, we therefore proclaim our commitment to speak with one voice against racism and white supremacy. We stand with those who are targets of racist ideologies and actions.” Read the message from the ELCA here.
The next meeting of the Transitional Board of Directors is July 3. Please send us your prayers as we discuss the mission and ministry of Koinonia, finances, and consider when Koinonia may be ready for overnight guests. Thank you, stay well, God Bless.
June 1, 2020
We are in a "waiting" period, but we are not idle. Think of St. Paul, who spent some 15 years between his Damascus road awakening and the beginning of his missionary journey. We will keep working until we see where God is leading us. Below are some updates and a call for prayers and support:
The Conference Center remediation is complete. It looks great!
Bob Bliefernich is working with Straight Line, a roofer, to make roof repairs.
The remediation is bringing us to a solid baseline on which we can build.
We are waiting to hear back from the ELCA Mission Investment Fund and the Metro NY Synod on the status of our loan application.
Our treasurer (Carol Safchinsky) is keeping our options open at Jeff Bank.
Art Kolbornsen and Tom Vorstadt, local volunteers, have worked on the roads and they look good!
Once minor remediation is done the Lakeside building will be available (when Covid allows).
The remediators are now focused on the Asdahl House (director's). We decided to do that next because there is a vetted young couple and their dog who want to rent it from June to August. The couple will pay $1200 per month, providing the camp with needed income.
Dr. Kathleen Ruen, our secretary, is working with Rev. Kathleen Koran, retired and former Koinonia Executive Director, to keep communications going on our website and Facebook.
Bob Bliefernich estimates that it will cost up to $20,000 to get plumbing, sheetrock, and roof repairs complete in all the buildings. Once these repairs are finished volunteers will be invited to the camp, when Covid allows, to help prepare for guests and re-opening. Currently the camp has $10,000 to make this happen. As we wait for responses from lenders, your contributions can help us accomplish this work by July 1rst.
As we begin our $500,000 Capital Campaign, we are grateful for the continued regular contributions of our donor base. If you are able to increase your contribution, or would like to begin making regular donations or a one-time donation as a part of our campaign, CLICK HERE. If you are unable to donate at this time, please continue to keep Koinonia in your prayers.
Thank you, stay well, God Bless.
May 12, 2020
KOINONIA GOOD NEWS: REMEDIATION AND A CAPITAL CAMPAIGN BEGIN!
At the May 1st meeting, the Transition Board of Directors and the Management Team made a resolution to immediately begin remediation and repair of buildings. In order to support this work, the Board and the Management Team launched a five-year $500,000 Capital Campaign, and have already raised $123,000.
Please consider a monthly financial commitment to Koinonia over the next few years. Give prayerful consideration to this request. If you would like to begin right now, go to our website (koinoniany.org). No contribution is too small!
Mold remediation began at the Conference Center on Monday, May 11. The New York State certified remediation contractor, Mr. Steve Hurley of Clean Air Care, says he will complete remediation of all the buildings in seven weeks.
Once remediation is complete, Mr. Dennis Catalano, a New York State licensed mold assessor will test the buildings and issue a “clearance” certification. Clearance testing will assure that Koinonia’s facilities are safe and free of mold.
The contractors agreed to begin work with a payment plan requested and endorsed by the Transition Board and Management Team at its May 1 meeting. They received 50% down, approximately $75,350, and will receive the balance in twelve monthly installments.
Funds for remediation are coming in part from the $123,000 committed by Board and Management members over five years as a kick-off to Koinonia’s five-year Capital Campaign. Additional remediation kickstart funding is from Koinonia’s Seedtime Endowment. We are proceeding down two paths for obtaining multi-year financing for the remediation, repairs and rehabilitation of the property: (i) Jefferson Bank which has indicated that it will require a mortgage on the property, as well as, personal guarantees of the full loan amount; and (ii) the ELCA Mission Investment Fund which had earlier requested (and has recently received from us) additional financial and business plan information prior to making a lending decision. A loan is necessary to give Koinonia cash flow while our fundraising, which stretches over 5 years, is completed.
After the contractor and assessor finish their work, the buildings will need repairs. Some of this work includes roof repairs, drainage improvement, and replacing sheetrock, appliances and cabinets. Please know that volunteers will be able to make many of the repairs – in fact, we estimate the value of these precious time and material donations at $60,000!
When the time comes and it is safe, the Board and Management Team will invite friends and families to ‘come home’ and help celebrate Koinonia’s re-opening. We are looking ahead to welcoming you to Koinonia when the Covid crisis has passed. Please keep Koinonia in your prayers. Your support, in whatever form that takes, is essential and welcomed. Thank you, stay well, God Bless.