Koinonia Good News


June 20, 2020

  1. 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!

  2. 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. 

  3. 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. 

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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 

  9. 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.

  10. 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.  

  11. 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.

While we do not have a date for opening, if you wish to make a future reservation,
please call Carol or Bob Bliefernich, our Management Team leaders.  
   • Carol Bliefernich: 845-699-1489
   • Bob Bliefernich:   845-701-9351
Missed the previous news? Catch up on the archived newsletters here.

165 Lakeview Drive Road

Highland Lake, NY 12743


We are currently closed for renovations. Please visit this site for frequent updates. 02/17/2020