Dr. Kathleen Kristin Ruen, executive director
We Are Resilient TOGETHER
Koinonia suffered many losses five years ago. In the spring of 2018, a newly renovated Trail Building burned to the ground, and in August the camp closed due to pervasive mold in all the buildings. Local volunteers did what they could to keep the camp running. Few people had hope or faith in Koinonia’s future, and many turned their eyes away. But some lifted up their eyes to the hills and cried, “From where will our help come?”
Where there is God, there is always hope, and help. In 2020, an interim Board was elected, and while the pandemic raged, the camp remediated the mold, repaired and painted buildings, and installed split air and heating systems. WiFi was brought to the conference center, one of our retreat buildings passed electrical and fire inspections, a residential home was renovated for the Operations Director and his family, a new roof was installed on the Conference Center, and the campground was opened. The camp followed a new path, led by God, and had faith in the promise that Koinonia could rise again.
And you, New York Metro Synod, are a part of this story. You helped Koinonia secure a $300,000 MIF loan that helped Koinonia get a foothold from where it could recover and then grow. I thank you for your faith, and your ongoing commitment to the camp.
And, with all our blessings, our faith, our love, our help, Koinonia can now minister to visiting congregations and the local community. And we just keep moving our love out into wider and wider ripples. We have brought back the summer day camp, just opened an onsite after-school program, and have reached the one-million-dollar base goal for our campaign. We are now moving toward the $500,000 challenge goal, and are preparing for an amazing year celebrating our 60th anniversary. We are blessed, we are humble, we are proud, and we thank God for this miracle of new life.
Koinonia has become a symbol of the transformational power of God during these difficult times, and the Board and I hope it will be a place of renewal, reflection, and justice for many as we move forward. It is also a place to be cared for by God, and to learn how to minister to one another and to the larger world.
We Are Hopeful TOGETHER
Koinonia is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year! Called "The NEXT 60," it is a moment in our existence to remember our history and legacy, to give thanks for the present, and to envision together what our next 60 years can be. During the summer, we will have four celebratory events, including a Dedication Day 2.0, attended by three of our member congregation bishops, current and alumni board members, and representatives from all our member congregations and Metro New York Synod congregations. Former campers and counselors/leaders will also be joining us, in this reunion celebration. At this event, a new camp song will be composed by ELCA musician Dr. Abe Caceres, a beautiful worship service will be held outdoors, and we will come together during a celebratory feast.
Throughout the summer, we will be asking visitors to fill out a short survey that will assist us in a strategic planning weekend at the end of September. Many visions for Koinonia, together, will help us map out a plan for a vibrant and transformative future for the camp, and the churches that connect to us, and that we connect to.
We are excited for this summer, and for our shared future Ministry!
We Are Church Together — Living Like Christ in Our Communities!
All the congregations in the Metro New York Synod are our community. There are so many ways to get involved and we pray that your involvement will bring the spirit of life and joy into your congregation and ministry.
- Pastor Retreats and Conference Retreats - Rostered pastors can come to Koinonia free of charge and stay 1-2 nights in our Conference Center rooms, and if meals are being served, can dine for a modest fee. Your entire conference can come up and retreat, plan worship seasons, and be cared for in body and spirit by the staff.
- Council Retreats & Strategic Planning Retreats - Get your congregants out of the church setting, to make major decisions and plan for your church's future. Koinonia can provide a quiet and beautiful setting for these important gatherings.
- Congregational Retreats - Get your congregation together and come to camp, and by doing so, strengthen relationships and bonds. It's a great place to laugh and have fun and heal together.
- Leadership - Koinonia is always looking for volunteers to join its teams in Worship/Program, Property, and Outreach Marketing. Koinonia's board members, Task Force Members, and Committee members come from its congregations. Koinonia is led collaboratively, which means your gifts and talents are welcomed.
- Join our Capital Campaign - We are now in our $500,000 stretch goal, and the more congregations that join Koinonia NEXT, the stronger we will all be in moving toward the NEXT 60.
- Pray for Koinonia - This is last on the list because it is the most important. Praying for each of our communities brings us closer to God and to each other.