All that has been happening at Cono in recent months and years may have left you wondering where things stand. This is written to inform and encourage you, and to lay a foundation for your prayers, involvement and support.
On Sept. 28, 2015, the Bible Presbyterian Church congregation voted 21-0 to bring Cono and all of its land and financial assets back under the authority of the church. The congregation’s membership that voted was made up of those who were officially on the church roll in January 2012.
The land and assets had slid away from church control into the hands of three people who are the current administrators. Under their leadership the school has shrunk to a shadow of its former self and become a new entity that is separate from the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), which Cono has historically been part of. But the Iowa Presbytery, the regional authority of the PCA, determined that Cono’s current leadership did not have the authority to make this transfer, and the recent congregational vote re-directed Cono and its assets back to the larger Presbytery.
What's going to happen now? It will probably take a court to assure that the Presbytery has clear title to the school. The independent, closely held four-member corporation that took it away had transferred everything into their corporation’s name, and they likely will dispute the validity of the recent congregational vote. Therefore the Presbytery must seek “clear title”. It might be a lengthy legal battle, costing the Presbytery significant expense. Our job as Friends of Cono is to raise money for these legal costs, thereby putting Cono back in the hands of the church for future camp and/or school work, again where many children can be touched with the power of the Gospel—openly, transparently and clearly.
Sharpening the vision for Cono’s future will take time. The first priority is to help the Presbytery gain clear title.
How you can help. There are many who will join this effort. There will be immediate legal and travel costs to begin this process. We would like to raise $100,000 of this as soon as possible. This will cover basic legal costs to gain clear title for the Presbytery to all of Cono's assets. Gifts for this purpose are tax-deductible and can be sent to:
Cono Legal Defense Fund
c/o Kevin Schwab
1130 Main St.
Ackley, IA 50601
Supporters can also give online at this GO FUND ME LINK to help the Presbytery stay ahead of legal bills. Friends of Cono is a non-profit with 501(c)(3) status and your gifts are tax-deductible. Call me if you have questions.
President, Friends of Cono