Saturday, May 6, 2017

Settlement Reached in Cono Case



An out-of-court settlement was reached, returning all the land and buildings to the Iowa Presbytery. WE ARE THRILLED. The transition of the property and buildings will take place on September 1. The current occupants' organization gets to keep the financial assets (about $650,000) and will receive an additional $350,000 over the next five years. While this part may not seem optimal, it is great that this chapter is over. Pray for the Presbytery, as they ponder the next step! The day that we are all welcomed back on campus, when God continues to be beautifully glorified and children fill the buildings -- is coming. Thank you for your interest and support.

Please keep praying : Pray for a vibrant restored ministry at Cono soon!

Sticking with it... You can still give to the cause. Any extra will go to the renewed work.

Give to:
Iowa Presbytery - Cono
1130 Main Street
Ackley, IA 50601

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Dear Friends

Dear Friends of Cono,

Much has happened in recent months that adds to the drama and the importance of the future of Cono.

In recent days both sides have looked at ways to settle the matter out-of-court, something many would like to see. It would avoid some expense and also would reduce the spectacle of Christians who are grappling over what they think is the right thing to do. To date, no out-of-court settlement has been reached. A request for summary judgement by the other side is to be heard in late March, and the trial itself is set for April 17-29.

All of this reminds us to remain faithful in our support of the cause. This legal phase is nearly over (unless there would be an appeal). The future of Cono hangs in the balance. In particular, we have $32000 that will be matched if we donate. Please help claim this money that will help us end the legal season in a responsible fashion.

Send check (and make out) to:

Iowa Presbytery - Cono
c/o Kevin Schwab
1130 Main Street
Ackley, IA 50601

Please keep praying. Pray that the Iowa Presbytery will prevail, and that the Iowa Presbytery (PCA) can quickly move toward using the property --for God's glory-- in the near future. The PCA's Ridge Haven is the denomination's thriving camp and conference arm, and with input from historic Conoites, the Friends of Cono and the Presbytery, will decide how best to use Cono in the future.

signed,

Casey Reinkoester - caseyreinkoester@gmail.com
& Andrew Belz - abelz100@gmail.com


Friday, February 24, 2017

Mrs. Prue Dupee



Prue Warner Dupee
April 24, 1939 - February 21, 2017
With the Lord

Prue Dupee, wife of former headmaster David Dupee, has passed. Jamie Gienapp remembers:
Let me tell you about a special lady, Prue Dupee, who went to be with the Lord on 2/21/17.
In 1988, I moved to Iowa to attend a Christian boarding/day school, Cono Christian School, in the midst of cornfields. While there are many stories I could tell about many people that I would encounter at this school. One of the greatest and yet surprising sources of influence on my childhood came from a woman named Prue Dupee.
Prue Dupee was the wife of the school’s headmaster, Dave Dupee. I don’t remember exactly the first time I met or spoke to her but I do remember that my first impression was that this woman was someone with whom I should not trifle.
Prue was the “head chef” if you will, for the entire school. She was responsible for the feeding of around 100 people (depending on the day) for three meals a day, for most of the year. Anybody that knew Prue at Cono knew that the school kitchen was hers. Period. Don’t go in there, don’t touch anything, and most importantly, don’t you dare EAT anything. She was always in the kitchen. From the break of dawn until well after everyone had turned in for the night, Prue was either cleaning up from the last meal or prepping for the next one.
As was the Cono custom, all students were required to serve in some sort of working capacity, whether it was in campus maintenance or in the kitchen. I had, on several occasions, been tasked with washing dishes after the evening meal, but my duties did not involve working directly with Mrs. Dupee. It wasn’t until my senior year at Cono that they broke the news to me that I would be working with her in the kitchen. I had witnessed her barking orders in her kitchen and I was intimidated. She clearly had no tolerance for laziness, tomfoolery, or shenanigans. These were things in which I excelled and I was dreading what she would have in store for me.
I was a somewhat lazy teenager and the prospect of having to work hard and sweat in the kitchen did not appeal to me. I was not enthusiastic about the assignment. From the minute I walked into her kitchen, I knew I was being sized up. I had a sneaking suspicion that my reputation as a lazy teenager had preceded me. It was possible that Mrs. Dupee was just experienced and knew from a statistical standpoint that I was likely to be a lazy teenager.
Not wanting to get in trouble, I worked quickly and did as I was told. Mrs. Dupee was firm but fair with her expectations. As she got to know me better, she began to realize that I was not a completely lost cause. As I earned her respect through my hard work, our daily routine eventually transitioned from just giving orders to teaching. She began to give me tips about cooking and explain why she did certain things in the kitchen.
I began to see another side of Prue Dupee that most kids in that school never saw. She was so much more than just the cook and dietician. I saw her on good days and bad days. I witnessed the frustration that came with her duties and its demands. I saw both her temper and her generosity. I saw her be a mother to hundreds of students that walked through the halls of Cono. Not all of them appreciated her, but she was there faithfully every day.
Prue sacrificed blood, sweat, and tears for that school and so many people never noticed. I got to see it. I reached a point as a student that I would not tolerate listening to another student if they happened to criticize her. I would stop them and educate them on how much that woman really did for them. I knew what she was really like and I respected her.
In my own failure as a human being, I lost touch with Mrs. Dupee but I never forgot her. I wish I had been able to tell her that so much of what I learned from her example stayed with me into my adult years. Her legacy, in my opinion, is her example to everyone around her. I am honored and thankful to have worked beside her. I am blessed to have had her as an influence in my life. Thank you, Mrs. Dupee, for your years of service and the example you set for me as a person. May God bless your family and bring peace and comfort in this difficult time.






Thursday, February 16, 2017

The Latest Update



We are past students, educators, community members, and anyone who loves Cono Christian School. We have been influenced and our lives changed as a result from experiences and lessons learned at Cono. Together we are raising money for the Presbyterian Church in America for services needed to procure legal title to Cono once again. In the last few years the school's ownership became unclear. The church had always owned Cono. Now the church (the PCA) is reclaiming title to the property and ministry, and we support this effort.

The Latest Information
An Iowa judge is deliberating now on a couple of preliminary motions regarding Cono, with the main trial set for April, when that judge will decide if the Iowa Presbytery (PCA) can take its rightful ownership of this historic church-related ministry. Thank you for your help. We have so far attained more than $65,000 overall and $16,000 toward a new $50,000 of matching funds. This is progress!
You can send a check, and it will be matched, dollar for dollar, to Iowa Presbytery, c/o Kevin Schwab, 1130 Main Street, Ackley, IA 50601. You can also give online hereThank you for considering the cause, and for participating. We hope that methodical, steady support will win the day eventually.

Refreshed Ministry this Summer at Cono?
Pray that the Iowa Presbytery's legal effort will go quickly and smoothly. Assuming all goes well, the property will be overseen and used by the Presbyterian Church in America through its camp and conference center, Ridge Haven. Wallace Anderson, Director of Ridge Haven, says:
The more I consider the possibilities at Cono, the more excited I get! I would think if we knew something as late as May, we could still arrange for a few events this summer. We could host at least one "Yoke Week" much like in the early days of Covenant College when it moved to Lookout Mountain. It would be a combination of work and our popular Family Camp here in N.C. It would be a time where singles, couples and families would come to work half days to get Cono prepped for an onslaught of kids, and then we would spend the other half day playing and doing camp activities. Check out our Family Camp weeks at www.ridgehaven.com to get an idea of what this is like.
We would also want to start hosting summer camps as soon as possible. Even with just a couple of months’ notice, we could host one or two weeks of camps using some of our staff here to work in Iowa. That would be a great way to involve the Presbytery and the different churches in the area.
For the fall, we would want to have some retreat weekends. Eventually we are hoping to have an incredible corn maze, hay rides, create an obstacle course, and have something similar to a "Spartan Race" course. We would hope to host a Presbytery weekend. 
Our Winter Camp here in North Carolina is very popular, although the last three years have been a disappointment in that we have add such warm weather. Even though the kids have had a great time it hasn’t lived up to its name of “Winter” Camp. With an average winter temp of 32 degrees and an average snow fall of over 30" a year in Walker, Iowa we can't wait to have a "White" Winter Camp option...cross country skiing, winter camping, maybe even some outdoor ice skating a few weeks, and a bunch of snow ball fights.

—Wallace Anderson


Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Case for Cono

Cono changed many of us forever. The legal case to restore a more traditional Cono ministry is nearing its completion in April. Please follow this progress at the Friends of Cono Go Fund Me site and keep up-to-date.   

 The Latest Information An Iowa judge yesterday denied one motion in the Cono case, but upheld another. The judge denied a temporary injunction by Iowa Presbytery (supported by Friends of Cono) that would have frozen and preserved the school's assets until the main trial in April. At the same time he will allow bank records to be disclosed so that a full and fair trial can take place. At the April trial, the judge will decide if Iowa Presbytery (PCA) can take its rightful ownership of this historic church-related ministry. Thank you for your help. We have so far attained more than $16,500 toward $50,000 of matching funds. This is progress, but the effort continues. You can send a check, and it will be matched, dollar for dollar, to Iowa Presbytery, c/o Kevin Schwab, 1130 Main Street, Ackley, IA 50601. You can also give online HERE. Thank you for considering the cause, and for participating. Methodical, steady support will probably win the day eventually. Friends of Cono is authorized and tasked by the Iowa Presbytery of the PCA to assist with fundraising and legal input in the Presbytery's ongoing effort to restore Cono to church governance and control. Please keep praying Pray that the Iowa Presbytery's legal effort will go quickly and smoothly. Assuming all goes well, the property will be overseen and used primarily by the camp and conference center of the PCA, called Ridge Haven. 

 Wallace Anderson, Director of Ridge Haven, says: The more I consider the possibilities at Cono, the more excited I get! I would think if we knew something as late as May, we could still arrange for a few events this summer. We could host at least one "Yoke Week" much like in the early days of Covenant College when it moved to Lookout Mountain. It would be a combination of work and our popular Family Camp here in NC. It would be a time where singles, couples and families would come to work half days to get Cono prepped for an onslaught of kids, and then we would spend the other half day playing and doing camp activities. Check out our Family Camp weeks at www.ridgehaven.com to get an idea of what this is like. We would also want to start hosting summer camps as soon as possible. Even with just a couple of months’ notice, we could host one or two weeks of camps using some of our staff here to work in Iowa. That would be a great way to involve the Presbytery and the different churches in the area. For the fall, we would want to have some retreat weekends. Eventually we are hoping to have an incredible corn maze, hay rides, create an obstacle course, and have something similar to a "Spartan Race" course. We would hope to host a Presbytery weekend. Our Winter Camp here in North Carolina is very popular, although the last three years have been a disappointment in that we have add such warm weather. Even though the kids have had a great time it hasn’t lived up to its name of “Winter” Camp. With an average winter temp of 32 degrees and an average snow fall of over 30" a year in Walker, Iowa we can't wait to have a "White" Winter Camp option...cross country skiing, winter camping, maybe even some outdoor ice skating a few weeks, and some great snow ball fights. —Wallace Anderson


Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Presbyterian History - Max Belz

Taken from This Day in Presbyterian History


December 2: Rev. Max Belz

excerpted from the Minutes of the 157th General Synod of the RPCES, page 172]:
belzmax03aWhen the Lord took the Rev. Max Belz home to heaven on December 2, 1978, the Midwestern Presbytery of the Reformed Presbyterian Church, Evangelical Synod, lost one of its most colorful and most beloved members. He had been a member of this presbytery continuously since his entrance into the denomination in 1948 at the time when he led his congregation at Cono Center near Walker, Iowa, to throw off the shackles of the compromising fellowship of the Presbyterian Church in the USA.
Although his was a rural church, it was always under his leadership a veritable beehive of activity. Max Belz was one of the first pastors in the denomination to recognize the significant importance of the preservation of the faith and nurture of the hearts and minds of children of the church in an age when the public school systems were becoming increasingly anti-Christian. With the support and encouragement of some of his faithful elders and friends he established Cono Christian School. The influence of this institution has been a blessing throughout the entire denomination. It has set an example of high quality Christian education which has been followed in a good many of our churches.
belzmax1948Max Belz was always deeply involved in the work of the church as a whole. He was a member of the founding board of Covenant College and Covenant Theological Seminary. He has also served on the board of Christian Training, Inc. It was through his initiative that the Bulletin News Supplement was begun, and for years he was responsible not only for its editing but also its printing-and he rejoiced in serving the church he loved so well.
His last extended journey away from his home was to the Grand Rapids meeting of the synod last June. Of this visit his son, Joel, wrote, “I think he sensed a foretaste of his welcome to heaven itself as he was embraced by so many with whom he has worked in the last 30 years.
Surely the greatest witness to the life and testimony of Max Belz and his dear wife, Jean, is the family that he left behind when he was taken to glory. Every one of his eight children is an active, dedicated Christian reflecting the godliness that their father and mother exhibited day after day in their home. Max and Jean Belz instilled in their children an appreciation for the value of hard work, but they also surrounded them with parental love and tender care even as they taught them of the love of God.
Although he lived in a rural area there are some respects in which Max Belz was ahead of his time. His founding of the Cono Educational Network is an example of this. Everyone who has been closely associated with him is grateful to God for this gifted servant of the Lord whose zealous commitment to his Saviour was an inspiration that remains even though Max Belz himself is with the Lord he loved so fervently.
On this day, December 2d, the following PCA churches were particularized:
1979 — Trinity Presbyterian Church, Harrisburg, PA (Mid-Atlantic Presbytery)
1990 — Presbyterian Church of Wellsville, Wellsville, NY (New York State Presbytery)
2001 — Crossroads Community Church, Fishers, IN (Central Indiana Presbytery)
2007 — Jordan Presbyterian Church, West Jordan, UT (Northern California Presbytery)

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

By Deaun Zasadny

My family lived on the Cono campus from late 2007 until 2009 while our daughters attended as day students. We were welcomed and included by so many there who became a blessing and encouragment in our lives: Mrs. Jean Belz, who opened her home to a women's Bible study with a warm fire, coffee and a solid love for the Lord and anyone He put into her life; Pastor Eric Duble and his lovely wife Deb; Eric reflected the Father's love toward the students; both Pastor and Mrs. would go to any length to reach a student; Andrew who acted as chancellor/cheerleader and the choir director who unabashedly saw potential in every one of his choir students;  Mary Anna Belz who taught with such love and commitment; The Underwood family who opened their home and hearts to so many students. Cono quickly became our little church and school family. Who’d of thought all this could happen at this tiny little campus in the wee town of Walker, Iowa?

Having participated as a member of the congregational meeting for Cono this past September I felt it was honoring to Mrs. Jean Belz and all those before her and alongside her who toiled for the Lord’s work. I am hopeful that Cono will get back on a greater mission to honor God and bless His children. The gathering left me wishing we could have all been together for a hearty hymn and dinner in the dining hall after the meeting.


Deaun Zasadny