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Koinonia Good News: Moving Forward Together


The Management Team and Board continue to work toward reopening, while following the NYS guidelines regarding the Covid 19 pandemic.  Many Koinonia congregations and supporters have been affected by the pandemic, from losing loved ones to difficulties coping with changes in daily routine with or without family members.  The Management Team and the Transition Board would like Koinonia to be ready to receive guests and congregations and use our Lutheran Outdoor Ministry to help heal you when the stay at home measures are lifted and the mold remediation is complete. 

The Transition Board of Directors and Management Team met April 3rd via Zoom.  Our Board member, Dr. Anthony Geraci gave a compelling update on the status of the Covid-19 virus in Staten Island and his opinion on the crisis.  We are fortunate to have his guidance during this time.  Please stay home.  

Each of the board members gave a report during the meeting.  The Mission and Vision Team, led by Rev. Dr. Eric Olsen and Mrs. Barbara Meberg spoke of communications with Bishop Egensteiner and Pinecrest, developing a healing curriculum with the help of board member Rev. Matt O’Rear, and creating a list of bullet points to clearly define Koinonia’s mission.  The Communications team, led by Dr. Kathleen Ruen, reported on outreach to other ELCA Synods, the Missouri Synod, and the NYC Episcopal Dioses, as well as an effort to coordinate and streamline communications on all platforms.  The Core Financial team, led by Treasurer Mrs. Carol Safchinsky, reported stable operating expenses and the status of our loan application to Jeff Bank and our progress in requesting Mission Investment Funds (MIF) from the ELCA. 

The Transition Board made a resolution that would give Mrs. Carol Safchinsky the ability to negotiate the terms of the Jeff Bank Loan, but to not commit to the loan without the approval of the full board.  There are many moving parts to securing a loan for the camp, as well as receiving assistance from MIF.  We ask for your prayers in guiding the Transition Board to secure funding that will best serve Koinonia’s future.

Once a loan is procured, the remediators are ready to begin their work on all the buildings except the Two Family (which did not have mold).  The whole camp could be remediated in 6-8 weeks.  The Transition Board made a resolution to select Steve Hurley as our vendor for remediation.

Board Chair Rev. Robert Wollenburg asked the Management Team and the Transition Board members to each make a 5-year commitment to the camp. As of this newsletter, the Management Team and the Transition Board have so far made a combined 5-year commitment of $123,000, which is inspiring. 

On site, phone and internet service have been installed in the Office/Staff House building.  We will share the phone number once we have a receptionist. Koinonia is now fully insured. The Lakeside bathrooms are complete.  Gravel has been delivered to level out the roads.  Carol Bliefernich reported on conversations she has had with the DEC and the Nature Conservancy about possibilities for conservation rights.  At this time the DEC is only interested in purchase, not easement rights.  No further discussion has taken place.  The Koinonia Wildlife Management Association (KWMA), a local hunting club, continues to provide volunteer labor.  We are grateful to all the volunteers who are keeping the camp maintained, especially Tom Vorstadt, Art Kolbjornsen and Bob Bliefernich.  We will let you know when Koinonia is ready to receive guests.

Please keep Koinonia in your prayers.  We are all moving forward together to re-open Koinonia with strong vision, finances, and outreach.  Your support, in whatever form that takes, is essential and welcomed.  Thank you, stay well, God Bless.

IMPORTANT CONTACT INFORMATION.   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.  Their cell numbers are 845-699-1489 (Carol) and 845-701-9351 (Bob).  You can also visit the website, which is up and running


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