Two of our community’s finest musicians, Barbara English and Laura Caviani, shared their songs and their hearts Sunday, August 5, as more than 100 people helped Koinonia Retreat Center celebrate its 50th Anniversary. Both Barbara and Laura were Koinonia counselors in their youth.
Barbara composed and performed a hymn, Koinonia Graces Me, with the third verse to become a new singing grace for Hennepin’s retreat center on Lake Sylvia.
“I’ve always loved the word, ‘grace,’” Barbara said. “The inspiration for this song is partly by way of Tom Sopoci’s poem in the fall Koinonia meditation book (with the beautiful photo cover of the pond/bridge). In his last line he wrote: ‘I never knew for sure the dream for Koinonia the place. But long ago in family camp is when I first felt grace.’ Well, this last line stayed in my memory. Then Jeff Smith forwarded me an outline of several words that describe what Koinonia offers. The big bold word ‘grace’ jumped out at me! I started to write a singing grace as requested, and a Koinonia song (feels like a hymn to me!) bubbled to the surface. Now Koinonia has a grace and a theme song!”
Laura assembled a jazz trio that had everybody tapping their toes to Every Time I Feel the Spirit and Let There be Peace on Earth. Steve Blons, Koinonia’s executive director for nine years, up to 1993, did the transcriptions and created song sheets for everyone’s use.
The event also featured a video on why Koinonia is vital in the life of the church today. Rev. Glenn Martin, Hennepin’s Minister of Education in 1962, offered remarks to put Koinonia’s 50 year history in the context of the community building that the church was focused on then, and is focused on now. Rev. Bruce Robbins announced some major progress toward the goal of raising funds to restore the Koinonia Program Director’s position. Click here for more details on our Friends of Koinonia campaign.