Category Archives: Lay Leader Blog

Lay Leader Blog

Weekends are coming!

Greetings everyone!

Teams for the upcoming Weekends are set and ready to go!! Last weekend the Men’s team met for the first time, and the Women’s team will meet for the first time in just a few weeks!!  What an exciting time for the Community!!

Applications for the weekends are now being accepted, and in fact, the deadline is quickly approaching.  Applications for the Men’s weekend must be received by August 20th!!  That is just over a month from now!! Please, pray about whom God is placing on your heart to sponsor this fall.  We want to fill these weekends with plenty of “babe chicks”! The dates for the weekends are: K-137 September 17, 18, 19; K-138 October 15, 16, 17.

Another exciting upcoming event is our annual Summer Ultreya on Friday, August 13th.  This year’s Summer Ultreya will be held at Hidden Lake Metroparks in Leroy at 6:00PM.  Hot dogs, Smore’s, and an assortment of beverages will be provided this year.  During the evening, we will eat, sing, share in fellowship, hear from one of our own Koinonians, share communion together, and have a short business meeting.  There will also be time for individual activities on the trails, the pond, or the archery range. (Individuals will need to provide their own sporting equipment)

At the recent Men’s team meeting, I shared from one of my devotions the week earlier.  The devotion spoke to the need for continuous prayer, and related how our prayer life should be like the priest’s duties in maintaining the fire on the altar of the temple in Leviticus. 

 “Fire shall be kept burning on the altar continually; it shall not go out. Leviticus 6:13Keep the altar of private prayer burning. This is the very life of all piety.”

Here was what I was reminded of:  Prayer, a life of piety, takes work.  It’s not always easy.  But with “Action”, it’s rewards are a “Life in Grace”!  Any of this sound familiar?

Ironically, as I was driving to the Men’s meeting, I was reminded of how important it is to lean on our Father and His Holy Spirit in that task.  You might recall, it rained just a little on Saturday!!  I was driving through that rain when the Lord put on my heart Elijah’s fire, told to us in 1 Kings.  Not only did Elijah have confidence in our God to light that fire, he had such confidence in God, the one true God, that he had the fuel soaked in water!! Not as a test of God, but to give the glory to God, of what He is possible of!!

I share with you that word of encouragement that God shared with me:  Keep the fire burning through daily prayer, and know that when all seems impossible or improbable, all things are possible through God!!

I pray God blesses all of you.  If you have any questions, please feel free to call me at any time (440-346-7641). 


Dennis Anderson

Lay Leader

Lay Leader Blog #10 – Feb. 2021

Greetings brothers and sisters!  Once again I am writing you to update on details and events within our community.

First, during the elections of officers this past December, the Assistant Lay Leader position was not filled for 2021.  After much prayer and discussion with the Core Board, I have agreed to serve one additional year in the role as Lay Leader, and Jeff Hickman has agreed to serve an additional year as the Assistant Lay Leader. Both of these positions were voted on and approved by the Board.  Please be aware that an opening on the Core Board for the position of Historian remains.  If anyone is interested in filling this position, please call Jeff Hickman or myself.

Jeff has been in contact and discussion with the Sight Center and Highbrook Camp regarding weekends in 2021.  The Sight Center agreed to open camp to our group with some additional cleaning costs and requirements related to the pandemic.  After considerable discussion and debate, the Core Board has voted unanimously to postpone the spring weekends and move forward with the planning of weekends in the fall of this year.  The dates of the fall weekends will be September 17, 18, & 19th and October 15, 16, & 17.  Deadlines for applications for the men’s weekend will be August 20th, sooner than any of us realize!!  So please, start praying and seeking candidates NOW!!

Prior to the weekends, we will have committees actively involved in reviewing weekend details, looking for possible opportunities to adjust the weekend details to meet our new reality (i.e., regular cleaning throughout the weekend, food preparation, meal service, etc.)  We are also forming a committee to promote community events prior to the fall to rekindle interest in the community, not only for our current family, but potential candidates for the weekends as well.  Look for further dates and information in the very near future. 

Visit our Koinonia of Lake County website and you will read in the “welcome”,

Lake County Koinonia is a group of people who love Christ and want to see others strengthen their relationship with Christ through three key components:

One of those three components is the Koinonia weekend, and as excited as we are about the regular weekends resuming, we need to remember that the weekends are just one of the components of Koinonia.  Outside of our individual Church homes, which should be our first priority in our faith walk and discipleship, we as Koinonians are called to be devoted to our group reunions and participation in the community’s Ultreyas.  Do you recall these talks from your weekend?

 Are you involved in a small group?  If not, please call me and I will see you are connected with our Group Reunion Chair or someone else who can help you hook up with a group. When was the last time your spiritual battery was recharged by attending one of our community gatherings? Would you like to experience that again?  Watch for the upcoming events.  We are very excited about gathering once again and doing just that!

Once again, I encourage anyone who has interest in serving or has suggestions for this time of preparation, please contact Jeff or myself.  Until we do gather, I pray God Bless you and yours!


In Christ’s Service

Dennis Anderson

Lay Leader

Lay Leader Blog #9 – Update on Christmas Ultreya and Board Positions

Greetings brothers and sisters!  This note is to update the community regarding our scheduled Christmas Ultreya and the current slate of new Core Board Officers for the year 2021 that will be presented for a vote at the Ultreya.

First, the board has decided at this time to continue forward with the Christmas Ultreya scheduled on December 5th.  Efforts are being made to provide the opportunity for those uncomfortable with in person attendance to join us via a Facebook Live Stream.  The Core Board did vote that, should Lake County reach a Level 4 on the State’s COVID Alert System, the Ultreya will be held in a virtual format only.  We will provide updates and notifications as fast as we can under these crazy times. 

The nominating committee has been in prayer and hard at work in filling the open Core Board positions for 2021.  As of this time, the nominations to be presented for a vote at the Ultreya are as follows:

  • Asst. Lay Leader under prayer at this time.
  • Spiritual Director under prayer at this time
  • Member at Large- Paul Lagania
  • Kitchen Coordinator- Mike Adam
  • Ultreya Chair- Tracy Montgomery
  • Weekend Chair- Brian Johnson
  • Palanca Chair- Katie Niemczura
  • Newsletter Coordinator- Justin Guarnerra
  • E-mail Coordinator (filling the unexpired term through 2021)- Kim Aikey

Please be aware that nominations will be accepted up until the business meeting at the Ultreya.  If anyone intends to nominate a person for a position on Core Board they must have that person’s permission prior to the nomination.

I pray everyone may have a blessed Thanksgiving, and would remind all of us of 1 Thessalonians 5:18.  These are very trying and difficult times, but we are called to “give thanks in everything, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”. 

God is good…..all the time: All the time….God is good!  Amen


In Christ’s Service

Dennis Anderson

Lay Leader

Lay Leader Blog #8 – November 2020

Good day brothers and sisters!  I wanted to update our community regarding some end of year events that were discussed at our latest Core Board meeting earlier this week.

First, the board has decided to continue the planning of a Christmas Ultreya, though it will be very different in format than in years past.  The format, though not set in stone yet, will include a Community meeting to elect Core Board members for the 2021 positions; a time of worship and communion; and a time of fellowship for those comfortable with that.  We will endeavor to keep the gathering COVID safe with standard suggestions of masks, distancing, etc.  That is why the regular auction will not be conducted this year.  The board felt the priority for this Ultreya should be the fellowship with one another and staying connected as a community.  The date for the Ultreya is December 5, 2020, 7:00 PM, at Harvest Church in Willoughby Hills.  Look for more information in the coming weeks!

I also would like to make the community aware that a nominating committee has been formed, has met, and will be begin the process of filling the above mentioned board positions for 2021.  If you are interested in serving on Core board, please be sure to reach out to me as soon as possible.

As mentioned before, if any individual or family within the community has special needs during these difficult times, please contact me.  We have had a number of brothers and sisters offer assistance wherever needed. 

Finally, I wish to share a scripture shared with me this past week and a few thoughts that occurred to me:

Psalm 34:1-8

I will extol the Lord at all times;
    his praise will always be on my lips.
I will glory in the Lord;
    let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
Glorify the Lord with me;
    let us exalt his name together.

I sought the Lord, and he answered me;
    he delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant;
    their faces are never covered with shame.
This poor man called, and the Lord heard him;
    he saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him,
    and he delivers them.

Taste and see that the Lord is good;
    blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.

  • I love to worship with my Koinonia brothers and sisters.  “Let us exalt his name together”! Please plan to join us December 5th, if you are able, as we worship our Lord together.
  • When we seek Him, when we look to Him, and when we, as poor in spirit, call out to Him, He is faithful!  Amen!!  Sometimes, in the darkest of night, that is difficult to remember.  Still, remember!!
  • “Taste and see that the Lord is good” May He bless you and your families.

De Colores!

In Christ’s Service

Dennis Anderson

Lay Leader

Lay Leader Blog #7 – July 2020

Greetings everyone!

It is with great sadness that I report to you the fact that the Core Board voted at this past core board meeting to cancel the fall weekends as well as the Summer Ultreya. 

After discussions with staff and administration from Highbrook Lodge, they informed us they had made the decision to keep the camp closed for the remainder of the year 2020.  Due to that fact, the board voted to postpone the weekends K-137 and K-138 until next spring.  The dates of those weekends are April 16, 17, and 18, and May 14, 15, and 16 of 2021.  We have begun discussions and negotiation with Highbrook Lodge for the use of the camp for those dates, as well as the fall dates in 2021. The Rectors and teams of the planned weekends, as well as the candidates that had been approved for this fall, will remain for the spring weekends next year. Someone from the board will be contacting the sponsors of any candidates to work out arrangements regarding applications, deposits, etc.   

I also regret to inform the community that the board decided to cancel the summer Ultreya.  Due to concerns related to the pandemic as well as restrictions imposed by the Lake Metro parks regarding the use of the pavilion at Hidden Lakes, it was deemed best that we consider another venue at another time to come together.  A committee will be meeting to plan a worship gathering sometime in the fall, quite possibly on the “holy night” dates and times we would have been gathering during the actual fall weekends.  Once arrangements are finalized a notice will be sent out on the e-mail tree, Facebook post, and website.  The board has decided to table a decision regarding the Christmas Ultreya.  We will evaluate and discuss the possibility of continuing with that gathering at our Core Board meeting in September.

During the remainder of the year, members of the board will be working on various projects.  Some of these include updating the directory, formatting a new kitchen manual, organizing the nominating committee for the 2021 elections, and filing open positions in the community including vacant board positions and the “bag lady” position.  (To clarify that last one, Diane Yowell has felt led to step aside from the roll she has been filling for  30 years now in preparing the Palanca bags, table name banners, and name cards for the tables and bunk areas)  If you have any interest in filling any of these positions or working on any of these projects, please reach out to either Jeff Hickman, our Asst. Lay Leader, or myself.  

Please remember about the prayer and needs program established earlier this spring.  It serves as an opportunity for members of our community to share any specific prayer requests or needs in a confidential manner.  Members of the community may contact Deanna McNutt ( or me ( with such requests.

I also want to continue to encourage you to get involved in a small group if you are not already.  At these times regular grouping is even more important.  As I understand it, many of the community are still not meeting for regular worship.  These weekly groups help to serve each of us in sharing our joys and our struggles with other Christians, as well as provide support to our brothers and sisters.   If you are not in a group, please call our Group Reunion Chair, Sara Lewis, or myself, and we will get you connected.

Finally, I want to share from our Vacation Bible School at Coleridge Day Care this week.  This whole week we have been sharing with the children how “Amazing” our God is.  On one day we shared how Jesus calmed the storm from the boat on the Sea of Galilee.  One of the preschoolers, in a tone of amazement, asked “How did He do that?”  The responses I heard from some of the others:  “He’s God!” and “He’s Amazing!”  Out of the mouths of babes!! 

And I encourage you to read our bible story from today about the blind beggar.  The story can be found in Luke 18:35-43 (also found in Matt 20:29 & Mark 10:46).  As Jesus was walking along the road a crowd was present, and apparently very loud.  A blind beggar in the back called out for Jesus, and even “shouted” when he was told to be quiet by the crowd.  Jesus heard him, called for the man to be brought to him, and asked “What do you want me to do for you?”  In the end, the blind beggar’s eyesight was restored! 

Take home lessons?  Even in the din of this crazy world, cry out to Jesus!  He will hear you!  He calls out to you!  He is asking “What do you want me to do for you?”  And He is able and willing to provide!  He is AMAZING!! 


Dennis Anderson

Lay Leader

Lay Leader Blog #6 – May 2020

Good day everyone!

As Lay Leader, I wanted to send a message of greeting and encouragement to our community.  Your Core Board met last Monday (virtually that is!) and we wanted to share a brief overview of our discussions.  We missed seeing everyone over the weekend of April 17th at what would have been the Men’s Weekend, and will miss all of you on the weekend of May 15th which would have been the Women’s weekend.  As many of you would already have been praying through the prayer wheel sign-up, I encourage you to take an hour that weekend and spend it in prayer for the teams and candidates that would have been on these weekends, and who will prayerfully make our fall weekend dates.   

The board is continuing to plan for the remainder of our schedule this year, praying that we are able to host these various events and weekends.  Upcoming dates for our Koinonia Community include:

August 7th: Summer Ultreya.  Note.  This is a FRIDAY evening.  The Ultreya Chairs have looked at a new format and location to the typical event.  We are very excited for this event!!  Look for more information as the date approaches.

September 18,19,20 and October 16,17,18: These dates have been reserved for the K-137 and K-138 weekends respectively.  Our Rectors, Rick Ringenbach and Beth Johnson, along with their teams, are excited, and planning their team meetings for those weekends.

November 6th: The Fourth Day Update following the weekends is scheduled for this date.

December 5th: Finally, our Christmas Ultreya is planned for this date.

During this difficult time, the Core Board has begun two very special programs.  The first is a prayer and needs program that serves as an opportunity for members of our community to share any specific prayer requests or needs in a confidential manner.  Members of the community may contact Deanna McNutt ( or myself ( .

The second is a weekly community prayer time via the Zoom platform that will be led by one of our Spiritual Directors.  You may join this event by following the link below or calling in by phone at 301-715-8592 and entering the meeting ID number 835 6367 5921.  


We encourage you to get involved in a small group if you are not already.  There are some of the groups that are meeting via Zoom and other video meeting formats.  It’s really pretty simple, and a lot of fun.  If you are not in a group, please call our Group Reunion Chair, Sara Lewis, or myself, and we will get you connected.

I want to close with a quick thought that I had from a devotional I found in my office.  The devotional talked about the process of tuning a guitar, or stretching the strings, and how we are stretched in our lives. 

I’m sure many of you have seen the troubadours tuning together before a gathering.  Beyond the “stretching”, or tensioning of the strings, I think the start of the process is equally important.  The process usually starts with the lower “E” string, obtaining that note by using a tuner, internet, piano, etc.  It’s the truth we start with, and then tune the remaining strings from that “truth”.  Once all the strings are stretched to just the right tension, the music that can be created is beautiful.  If there is more than one troubadour, we share that “E”, and that way all of the guitars are as one.

Any ideas how this can translate to a lesson for all of us?  Start with the “truth”, God’s word.  Make that your anchor as the strings are stretched or tensioned just right in our lives, and the result will be a beautiful sound to those around us, and to our God, during such troubling times as we seem to be facing right now!  “We have this hope as an anchor…”. (Heb 6:19).  What, or Who is your anchor?


Dennis Anderson

Lay Leader Blog #5 – March 2020

As you might be aware, the Core Board of the Community met to discuss the scheduled weekends in light of the current pandemic.  Due to many circumstances surrounding the Corona Virus pandemic, some out of our control, the Core Board has voted to cancel the upcoming spring weekends.  The Rectors and teams of K-137 & K-138 have been directed to plan for the fall weekends, Sept 18, 19, 20 and October 16, 17, 18.  Applications that have been received for the spring weekends will be held for the fall dates.  Someone from Core Board will be contacting sponsors of these individuals very soon to discuss the details.   The regularly scheduled Core Board meeting on March 30th has also been cancelled.  If you have any questions regarding this matter, please feel free to contact either myself or your Assistant Lay Leader, Jeff Hickman.  May God bless all of you and your families during these difficult times. 

In Christ’s Service

Dennis Anderson

Lay Leader

Lay Leader Blog #4 – March 2020

Greetings Lake County Koinonia!

It is my pleasure to be able to update you on our progress as a community regarding a few items.  The  Rectors and team for the K-137 and K-138 weekends are hard at work as those dates QUICKLY approach.  Please continue to lift them in prayer as Beth Johnson completes the process of filling all team positions for K-138 and the Men of K-137 prepare their talks.

As mentioned numerous times, as a community, our goal is to fill the conference room with candidates on each of these weekends.  I hope you have been in prayer about whom you may want to sponsor.  NOW is the time to ask and get them to fill out an application. As they often do, the weekends are sneaking up on us quickly.  The deadline for the Men’s weekend is just 4 weeks away!    Remember, if the candidate is married, we ask that both applications be turned in together.  The weekend dates are April 17-19 for the men and May 15-17 for the women.  Applications are available in the “files” folder on the Facebook page or on our website (anyone remember the password? Think about it!).  We will also attach the application to the e-mail version of this update.

We are still in need of volunteers to serve on or assist the Core Board.  Openings still exist on the board for the positions of E-mail coordinator and Historian.  Please call Jeff Hickman or myself if you have an interest or question regarding these positions.  We are also seeking volunteers to assist our Ultreya Chairs in planning, organizing, and hosting our two main Ultreyas, the Summer Ultreya, and the Christmas auction.  Some new, exciting ideas were discussed at the last Core Board meeting, but help is needed to make it all happen.  Please call Jeff Hickman, Annette Dodd, Deanna McNutt, or myself if you have an interest helping in this way.

As I close, I’m thinking about recent studies and devotions focusing on the gift of the Holy Spirit.  The red letters say in John 14:16, “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby), that He may remain with you forever—“.   I share this from a Truth for Life devotion:  “Those who yield to His influences become good; those who obey His impulses do good; those who live under His power receive good. Let us then act toward Him according to the dictates of gratitude. Let us revere His person and adore Him as God over all, blessed forever; let us own His power and our need of Him by waiting upon Him in all our holy enterprises; let us hourly seek His help and never grieve Him; and let us speak His praise whenever occasion occurs. 

I pray the Holy Spirit would lead, help, empower, and bless all of you and our community!



Lay Leader Blog #3 – January 2020

Happy New Year everyone! Looking forward to an exciting year in Koinonia during 2020! I wanted to once again share the dates of the weekends for this year with as many as possible. Start praying about who God may be leading you to sponsor for an upcoming weekend. If you have any questions about sponsorship, please do not hesitate to reach out to me. I’d love to talk with you.

2020 dates are as follows:

Men’s K-137 April 17, 18 & 19 – Application Deadline: March 27

Women’s K-138 May 15, 16 & 17 – Application Deadline: April 24

Men’s K-139 Sept. 18, 19 & 20

Women’s K-140 Oct. 16, 17 & 18

Thanks again! Be blessed,