Come, Stay Awhile, and Serve Frequently Asked Questions
1. As a participant in this program, can I bring my pet to Koinonia?
Sorry. No pets unless you are coming with your own RV. Your pet would then have to remain in the RV or be outside on a leash only. The good news is there are animals here to love, but remember no matter how charming they are, no animals may go inside any building including the screened in porches.
2. I am politically conservative / radically progressive / a Biblical literalist / an atheist / LGBTQ+ / etc. How will I fit in at Koinonia?
We are a Christian community founded on the values of peacemaking/nonviolence, simple living (need, not greed or “radical sharing” as we prefer to call it), and the brotherhood/sisterhood among all people, regardless of age, ability, gender, religion, nationality, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc.
We are a place of hospitality and there are many visitors coming and going. People of all faiths and no faith are welcome. There is much diversity at Koinonia. If you cannot coexist with such diversity and the community’s values, you may have a hard time here.
3. Do you evangelize?
The community’s focus is living our values and the commitments we have made to God, to each other, and to God’s people. As St. Francis of Assisi famously said, “Preach the Gospel at all times. Use words if necessary.” We work to be a demonstration plot for the kingdom of God. We do not “put the pressure on” people to become Christian, or become “our” kind of Christian, or any certain kind of Christian. Hopefully, we “preach” through the demonstration plot. Open, respectful dialogue is good, but we request that participants refrain from “I am right and you are wrong” type of evangelizing and proselytizing.
4. Are participants expected to attend chapel and other religious services at Koinonia?
Participants are encouraged to attend not because we want to convert anyone, but rather experience has shown that it works better if they do. Participants learn more about the community they are coming to assist and the community learns more about them. The end of most services includes a time of announcements. More efficient communication is facilitated by people being present.
5. When are the communal meals and are participants expected to attend those meals?
Again, it is our experience that it works best if participants attend regularly. Of course, if you need down time or simply want to go to town to have a burger, that’s fine. We take a headcount as to how many will be at meals so you’ll need to let the Come, Stay Awhile & Serve coordinator know when you are going to be absent. A good rule of thumb is to aim to be present for meals (and other activities) more often than you are not present. We have lunch together Monday through Friday. From time to time, we may have a communal breakfast, lunch or dinner on a day/night other than the usual. These are announced in advanced.
6. When I arrive, should I bring some basic groceries – coffee, bread and peanut butter, that sort of thing?
Koinonia provides basic groceries throughout the duration of the term but if you have specialty items you would like to bring check with hospitality. Sometimes refrigerator space is at a premium. As you see above, we have some meals together, but not all. Participants are welcome to anything in the leftover fridge in the dining hall.
7. Do I get any time off during my term?
You choose the number of hours you would like to work during your term. The minimum requirement is 25 but you are welcome to indicate a willingness to work more. Please remember Koinonia is a working farm that offers hospitality and serves in ministries both on and off the farm so the work hours may not be within the typical 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 pm. work day. Depending on your work interests, you may be asked to help with chores during non-traditional work hours, including early in the morning, after dinner, and on weekends.
8. What’s the policy on alcohol, drugs and tobacco at Koinonia?
Koinonia is a smoke-free, tobacco-free campus. Community vehicles are smoke-free, too. Alcohol may be used discreetly and in moderation in your residence outside of work hours. No alcohol is allowed in open, public areas indoors or outdoors on the main campus. No level of drunkenness is acceptable. Intoxication, inappropriate use of prescribed drugs, use of illegal drugs will result in the immediate dismissal from the program and the immediate departure from Koinonia.
9. Can I bring my bicycle, car, TV, and my multitude of electronic devices and video games, a complete house full of furniture, etc.?
Participants may bring a bike and/or a vehicle if they wish, but nothing else listed above (well, a cell phone, tablet/laptop are okay). Please remember that we aim to live simply. When deciding what to bring, keep in mind that you won’t have a big space to put it. Bring the minimum of what you need for your stay. Lodging is fully furnished and all bedding, towels, and washcloths provided.
10. Will participants have opportunities to meet with members?
There are regular meetings and outings. Sometimes optional classes are offered, too. The program coordinator is a member and there will be regular check ins with this coordinator.
11. If I have any questions or concerns about my work assignment, to whom do I speak?
The go to person for participants is the program coordinator. If this coordinator is not available, feel free to arrange to meet with the administrative coordinator or with the director.
12. If I have a personal issue, an issue with someone here, a maintenance issue in my room, questions about Koinonia, who do I see?
The program coordinator should be able to answer your questions or get you to the person who can answer them. Of course, if for some reason your concern is about the program coordinator and you can’t get the issue resolved with a conversation with her/him then please see the administrative coordinator or director.
13. May I remain longer than three months?
A participant may apply for one additional term. The application will be given full consideration, but to allow for a healthy rotation of program participants, extensions are more often the exception rather than the rule.
14. May families volunteer?
We love this and will work with families and their particular situation to see what may be possible.
15. What can I read that will help me get oriented to Koinonia and my term in the program?
A Welcome Notebook is provided upon arrival. Make sure to read (and reread) the Frequently Asked Questions throughout your stay. The Cotton Patch Evidence by Dallas Lee gives a solid look at the early part of Koinonia’s history through the start of the Partnership Housing Movement that became Habitat for Humanity. It is for sale in the Welcome Center Store and in our online farm store here. Another book that gives you a glimpse of the through line of this community and its commitment to being a house of prayer is A Way of Prayer by Bren Dubay. This, too, you can purchase in the Welcome Center and in our online farm store.
More questions? Please do not hesitate to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 229 924-0391.