Koinonia Good News

Koinonia Good News:


October 30, 2020

From the Transition Board President, Rev. Robert Wollenburg, on behalf of the entire Board.


Dear Friends,


Let me begin by thanking you - for your prayers, your financial gifts, your work, your encouragement. You are all marvelous people and for you we give thanks to God.


It has been six weeks since I wrote to you. During that time, we have continued to make progress toward reopening.


1.    A VISION FOR KOINONIA. Three Board members are working on this. They are Rev. Eric Olsen, Dr. Matthew O’Rear and Mrs. Barbara Meberg. The Board will soon meet again to review their draft vision statement, which will be critical to the Capital Campaign (see below).


2.    A MIF $300,000 LOAN. It is now in place! With work especially by our Treasurer, Carol Safchinsky, and our Vice President, Mark Wilson, the paper work was completed. Carol, Mark, Kathleen Ruen (our Board secretary who helped with notarizing documents) and I met at the offices of Upstate Abstract of New York, Inc., in Monticello October 21 for the closing. MIF is the Mission Investment Fund of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America of which Koinonia is a part. Also, a big thank you to the MNYS which provided credit support in obtaining this loan.


3.    MOLD REMEDIATORS IN FULL. With the loan in place, the outstanding total amount of $42,000 owed to Tristate Mold Solutions (Dennis Catalano) and Clean Air Care (Steve Hurley). Both did outstanding work at a fair cost. The pay-off will free up $5,000+ a month in cash flow that can now be used to continue with the repairs and upgrades to our lovely property.


4.    OTHER CONTRACTORS PAID IN FULL. Additionally, the loan funds were used to complete the payment to a local contractor for the removal of the small cabin at the campground entrance and replacement of insulation at Two Family, work required by our insurance company.  This contractor generously agreed to wait for full payment until the loan funding was in place. We also paid a local contractor $3,500 to remove dangerous trees in and near the Chapel in the Pines. 


5.    BUILDING A HEALTHY FINANCIAL STRUCTURE. Many of you have contributed to keep Koinonia safe and operating, and we are grateful for the sacrifices you make. Your gifts average the approximate monthly costs for such things as insurance, electricity, copier lease, phone service, and propane. In addition, we recently received two unrestricted gifts of $70,700 and $30,000.



6.    PLANS BEING MADE FOR THE NEXT PHASE OF REPAIRS. Bob Bliefernich is especially working on a list of what needs to be done, getting estimates and prioritizing what we can do. Included on the list are things such as cleaning and painting in the Conference Center, repair and upgrade of the HVAC system in the Conference Center, painting the interior and exterior of Caritas as well as replacing carpets and kitchen cabinets and appliances there, cleaning and inspecting chimneys (there are eight woodburning stoves at Koinonia), replacing the shower house in the campground, electrical upgrades, and more. At the moment, the total estimated cost is some $500,000. 


7.    A CAPITAL CAMPAIGN. A part of Koinonia’s recovery requires an energetic and solid capital campaign. In the spring the Board approved a goal of $500,000. Board members and others made five-year commitments toward that goal for a total of $128,625. With immediate payments on those commitments we were able to get the mold remediation started. Subsequently, Koinonia received the two unrestricted gifts mentioned above in #5 and these were added to the capital campaign total. In the past week, the Board approved a contract with Mr. David Brunkow of GSB, a Lutheran fundraising consulting firm in South Dakota. David has worked over the years not only with many Lutheran Outdoor Ministries, but also several times with Koinonia. He knows Koinonia and gave us a reduced fee of $25,800 spread over a twelve-month period. We will sign the contract when we are ready to go with a case statement to launch the Campaign.


8.    WATER TESTING. I have been working on water testing for a month and it is not a simple task. It requires a trip to Sullivan County Labs, 35 minutes from Koinonia, to pick up sterile bottles to test bacteria and nitrates. Then it is back to Koinonia to take samples, and finally back to the Labs to drop off the samples for testing. Then there is the daily testing that needs to be done. Finally, because Koinonia has been closed, the NYS Department of Health requires that we file a “Revised Seasonal System Start-Up Procedure Certification Form.” This form was a recent “discovery.”  And, did you know that Koinonia has five water systems?!


9.    OPENING?! We’d like to think that we will be open by Christmas. But a lot depends on being able to get a Permit to Operate from the NYS DOH.


10. NOMINATIONS! We are actively seeking potential members to the new board that will be elected in February. So much has been accomplished this year and Koinonia needs dedicated people to step up and keep this ministry moving forward!! Please email Barbara Meberg (bpmeberg@gmail.com) with the names and contact information of potential candidates. 


From 2 Corinthians 5:14,15 – "The love of Christ URGES US ON, because we are convinced that one has died for all, therefore all have died. And he died for all, so that those who live might live NO LONGER FOR THEMSELVES, but for him who died and was raised for them.”


With peace in Christ,




Rev. Robert G. Wollenburg

While we do not have a date for opening, if you wish to make a future reservation,
please call Bob Bliefernich, our Management Team leader at 845-701-9351. 
Questions and comments can be sent to the Transition Board President, Rev. Robert Wollenburg at “board@koinoniany.org.”  
Missed the previous news? Catch up on the archived newsletters here.