Report from the board meeting December 12th, 2018
• Pastor Ivani Ahlberg was invited to the meeting to inform on the background and current work in the newly launched Portugese/Spanish speaking worship group IG3. The group is aimed at all Portuguese/Spanish speaking residents in Stockholm and gathers about 15 people every Sunday for service. Beyond this service attending group, IG3 also gathers around 30 adults for Language Coffee hour and some other activities. The group follows the church year and relates to the Swedish speaking group of Immanuel church. The project is described as an integration and evangelisation project. Regular networking is also taking place with Portuguese and Spanish speaking residents in the Stockholm area. Pastor Ahlberg finished: ”You have taken us in - embrace us too!”
• The main point of the meeting was to make a decision on the budget for the budget year 2019. The proposed budget contains, amongst other things, the following: Proceeds in the form of offerings are expected to increase by 650 000 kr. Gifts from members’ last will and testament are not budgeted for this year - this form of gift appears to have become unlikely to expect in the future. On the costs side, as every year, the cost of staff is the largest post. Beyond that, there are a couple of posts that stand out: Developing and implementing the congregation’s new website, and also the renovation of Waldenströmmssalen. After discussions on the budget proposition and the fact that the upcoming year’s budget is underfunded by 666 000 kr, the board made the decision to adopt the proposition and emphasized the importance of next year’s budget, for 2020, to be balanced.
• On November 10th the congregation’s three councils met together with the board for a day of talks and deliberations, a continuation of the common work that we carry out through dialogue. Emma Darelid has put together the material from that day. She says: - This is not a process, but a resource for us all which we hope will influence the situation that the congregation is in. It came out that the different worship groups share experiences when it comes to trends, challenges and possibilities. The differences between the groups lie mostly in how the groups are organized. Some other similarities and differences between the worship groups were identified, as well as activities and priorities to fulfill the current Ministry action plan. Thoughts on the upcoming action plan that we are soon approaching was also on the agenda and it is of great importance that these thoughts are woven together with the actual work that’s being done on the upcoming plan.
• The board was given its half-time report from the group that is looking into the congregation’s relationship with Löjtnantsgatan/gården, the retirement home for ages 55+, the residential care home and the dorm rooms/student apartments. Three questions are being investigated in the continued work with the relationship between Löjtnantsgatan/gården and Immanuel church: 1. Should Löjtnantsgården be made into a profile residence; a residential care home for the congregation’s members? 2. The congregation’s commission to Probitas, a specification of demands, what should the care look like? 3. The future of the residential association.
The board decided that the overview of the practices at Löjtnantsgatan/gården should continue and that the group will return with a final report.
• From the congregation’s Equmenia association, EIS, chairman Tobias informed on that a board meeting was held on December 10th. At that meeting, the annual meeting was planned and this will be held on March 10th. Beyond that, a start-up meeting was discussed for scout leaders, to be able to start up scout activities during this coming spring. EIS is looking for a brigade chief and is grateful for suggestions.
• The economy report shows positive outcomes on both our missionary activity and the finances - as well as the care company.
The communication and collection council accounted for the two ventures of this spring regarding offerings, children, teenagers, young adults, family and - later during spring, automatic transactions to the congregation to make it easier for the giver and to secure the long-term and regular income of the congregation.
• The staff council reported on the ongoing process of hiring a strategic communicator and graphic designer. More on this will be reported to the congregation at the congregational meeting on January 13th.
• The Senior pastor reported on the retirement of Claes-Göran Ydrefors and how we thanked him for his service, as well as on the Christmas market - which attracted lots of people to the church this year as well as previous years.
A report from Probitas was received which summarized a good year with quite some exciting development work to look forward to in the following year.
The next congregational meeting takes place on January 13th. The annual meeting takes place on April 28th.
Report from the Board meeting on 22 November 2018
• As the Equmenia association’s representative was unable to attend the meeting, the Board had received a short film as a greeting and report. The film showed how the association’s Board met in “Lilla Sport”. On the agenda was scouting, a discussion about membership fees, the association’s Annual meeting on 10 March 2019, and plans to organize a ski camp in 2020.
• Draft budget 2019. A draft budget for 2019 was presented. The Board reaffirmed that the ministry action plan controls the budget. The main question is what we want to do as a church? In the priority work that a budget preparation means, it is vital to have control over fixed expenses.
The draft budget presented is above previously discussed figures. This depends on the current work with the church’s website as well as planned renovation work in Waldenströmssalen.
IT is currently a heavy ministry cost. But with the investments now made, the Board believes that the costs will eventually fall.
On the revenue side, we believe and work for increased offerings which, together with other measures, will bring the church to a balanced budget by 2010.
The Board’s appeal to the management team was – please do all you can to be restrictive in the present budget work until decisions are taken on the budget at the next Board meeting on 12 December.• The project ”Immanuel 2.0” is a proposed continuous and long-term work to revitalize Immanuel church, especially the Swedish part, which today experiences some stagnation and has a demographic structure where the so-called “middle generation” as well as children and young people are missing.
In the first phase of the project plan, Claes Jonsson described Immanuel 2.0 as an investment in the process that can make the church a growing congregation, both in number and content.
The project should start with a current situation analysis, both internally and externally. It should not be charged to the ordinary ministry, nor to operational funds.
A discussion followed Claes Jonsson’s introduction. Among other things, it was about the importance of a low average age in the project group, but also the importance of the elderly supporting and cheering.
It is also important to involve the congregation and to further reinforce this intention in the project description. The theological and spiritual dimension should also be clearly stated in the project plan, especially when it comes to the question “how do we build a congregation?” How will this matter be going on?
The Councils should be contacted and asked to give their comments. After this the project plan will be revised and the comments inserted. Then the Board will take decisions on budget and funding, and on the project group.
• The Board decided that a motion from the Annual meeting on the management of Probitas’ apartments has been addressed with the text that is now on the church website.
The Communication and Collection sub-committee: The autumn church fee campaign has been completed and we have registered about thirty new donors, plus those who signed up digitally. We will get the exact number of new donors from the Uniting Church at the end of January. As usual there was great activity in the International fellowship and we are glad to note that there are many new donors in the Portuguese/Spanish fellowship.
The Personnel sub-committee reported that there are currently 13 applications for the two communication positions. Some of these are applications that would like to combine the two positions. The sub-committee is also working on designing a profile for the position as lead pastor for the Swedish fellowship. As an interim solution already exists, the sub-committee wants to take the time needed to find the right way in this matter.
The discussion day with Board and Councils: A report will come soon!The next Board meeting will be on 12 December, 2018. In this meeting, the budget for 2019 will be decided.
Congregational meetings will be held on 13 January, 24 February and 7 April 2019.
Report from the Board meeting on 18 October 2018
• A report from the Digital Communication project was given by project leader Hanna Zuring Peterson. The work will, amongst other things, lead to a new website which will be launched in spring 2019. The project is moving forward and already in November the budget will be presented together with a general communication plan. A sketch of the new website will be presented in December.
• The Financial sub-committee reported that the ministry revenue (gifts and offerings) overall is well above budget. Operational income, on the other hand, is below budget, which may be adjusted in the latter part of the autumn. At the November Board meeting the budget is one of two major issues.
• The Communication and Collection sub-committee reported that the church fee campaign is on track and that from now on it is easy to join the church fee system via the website. The next collection focus is the church’s social welfare work starting Sunday, 11 November, when deaconry is the theme of the joint worship service.
• The Personnel sub-committee is in an intensive work period right now, not least in view of the recruitment of a new leader for the Swedish fellowship after Claes-Göran Ydrefors, who will retire.
Recruitment of a strategic communicator and a graphic designer will also begin. The Board discussed the scope of the positions and the Personnel sub-committee will return to this matter after its next meeting. From now on Ingrid Östlund will be included in the Personnel sub-committee.
• Ulla Marie Gunner reported that the Uniting Church (Equmeniakyrkan) has granted contribution for a half-time position for one year. This is intended for start-up work, focusing on integration, in the Portuguese/Spanish worship group. Pastor Ivani Ahlberg will continue to develop the plan for integration work with the Swedish worship group.
• A discussion day for the church’s Councils and Board will take place on 10 November. The purpose of the day is to meet and create opportunities for dialogue, to increase knowledge about the current situation in Immanuel Church’s various ministries and to draw up ideas, identify needs and plan with regard to development, opportunities and challenges, based on the ministry action plan.
• What shall Immanuel Church be? How shall the congregation function in order to be interesting and relevant in a modern big city? These questions are included in what has been called “Immanuel 2.0”. Claes Jonsson and Ulla Marie Gunner will provide a basis for the Board’s November meeting for further decision. The Board’s thoughts on structure, content and funding will be presented to the congregation at the congregational meeting on 13 January.
• How has the church’s involvement in Löjtnantsgården/huset developed? What were the visions when the house was built and what do we see now? Claes Jonsson and Ingrid Östlund are in the middle of a review – they are reading documents and interviewing people with insight into the matter. They will revert to the Board later on.
• Mats Engen reported that the work on balancing the music school’s finances is in progress. A prognosis of this year’s results will be available shortly.
• The Senior pastor reported from several activities, but especially mentioned the Panvel Run, a support event for our sister church in India. Until today SEK 83,000 have been received towards the building project of the Panvel church.
“Uppdrag Kongo (Mission Congo) – the story about an artwork” was recently launched at a well-attended meeting.
The work on the annual report has started.
On the website there is now a text that increases the clarity regarding the apartments owned by Probitas and how one can register for the different types of accommodation.
Ulla Marie Gunner also informed that she and Anna Berndes will share responsibility for the Swedish fellowship until there is a long-term solution for a lead pastor.
• The Board of the Equmenia association met last week after a longer break. They are positive towards “Immanuel 2.0” and have developed a new schedule for scouting, consisting of three to five gatherings in the spring, ending with a hike. Tobias expressed the need for a scout chief and welcomed proposals.
• From 153 an influx of new people in the worship service was reported.
• The Uniting Church (Equmeniakyrkan) asks its congregations for proposals for suitable new members for the Church Board. The proposals should be handed in by 31 December.
• The next congregational meeting in Immanuel Church will take place on 13 January.
Report from the Board meeting on 27 September 2018
• The Head of administration reported that revenue in general is in line with budget. Net financial income is in phase and the result is in order. The investment portfolio has increased, unrealised profit of SEK 3 million – however, this lacks value until it is realised. Altogether, in the different worship groups, gifts and collections are also around budget, even a little over. However, work needs to be done in the Swedish group, which, if isolated, is below budget, compared with the previous year.
There is currently a financial review of the church’s music school. It has previously been decided that it should be financially self-supporting, except for the two 25 percent positions (principal and administrator) which are funded by the congregation.
On the revenue side, an increase of approximately two hundred thousand SEK is estimated. The Board stressed that the solution to financial worries today is not in a bigger withdrawal from Probitas. A unanimous Board stated that “first we must decide what we want to be, then how to finance it.”
• The Communication and Collection sub-committee reported on the forthcoming church fee campaign, a meeting with the Digital Communication project and on deaconry as the focus area of collection in November.
Swish as a way of giving will be clearly noticed as the Swish number will be shown on display in connection with collections in the service.
The sub-committee will meet the church’s management group and pastors on 3 October.
• The personnel sub-committee is now engaged in recruiting a strategic communicator.
There are discussions with the Swedish Council regarding the recruitment of a head pastor.
The International fellowship is waiting for information when Melindi Pretorius, new music director, can be in place.
There was information that the overall wage increase this year is two percent.
• Claes Jonsson presented his thoughts on ”Immanuel 2.0”. His thoughts can be summarized in a long-term project to develop Immanuel to become relevant for the modern city population. This concerns mainly the Swedish fellowship, which has stagnated to some degree. Claes sees a future of flourishing worship, generations together, a keen city church with an important mission.
Ulla Marie Gunner reported from discussions with the Swedish Council. An inventory of the present situation is currently being done by the Council. Today we know that in ten years the Swedish 11.00 worship service has fallen by 25 percent and that the worship service at 16.00 has more than halved. This is worrying, but the good thing is that people have begun longing for something new. Discussions will be conducted throughout the Swedish group about vision and future.
The two previous items were discussed together and the Board decided to ask Claes Jonsson and Ulla Marie Gunner to jointly, for the next Board meeting, formulate how we can proceed on this urgent issue. How can an initial study be organised? How do we keep the balance between operational activities and projects? What will be the next step.
• Mats Engen announced that an analysis of the development of the music school in recent years is underway. It seems that the problem is currently in number of pupils versus staff costs – the music school does not have the maximum number of students. The analysis goes on and the goal is a balanced budget for the music school in 2019.
• In response to a letter from SIRA, the Swedish International Relief Association, Stephen James and Ulla Marie Gunner were asked to communicate that Immanuel Church will continue to contribute an annual SEK 50,000.
• Mats Engen presented Team Engine, a Board platform which has been purchased by Probitas and which the Immanuel Board can join for free. The platform collects all Board material and provides increased security compared to current mail handling.
The Board decided to accept this offer.
• The Senior pastor informed about ”Mission Congo”. There will be a book release in the church on 4 October.
A successful “Panvel Run”, support event for our Indian sister church, has taken place in Humlegården. The result is expected to be very good, but we do not yet know exactly how big the sponsored sum will be.
• Report from Probitas’ Board:
There is an idea discussion on security and return, and the prioritisation between these. There are also thoughts of possibly expanding beyond the inner city.
• Report from Equmenia:
The activities are progressing as they should. However, the Board work has been interrupted for a while due to illness. But within a couple of weeks it will be resumed and there is every reason to look forward to the continued work of the Equmenia association in Immanuel.
The congregational meeting on 7 October will elect an Election committee. A joint Election committee will be chosen for the whole of the Swedish ministry.
The congregational meeting will also receive a financial report, and a seven-minute film about the Immanuel janitors will be shown.
Report from meeting August 30th 2018
• The finance sub-committee reported on the need for strategic decisions to be made during the autumn to help balance the church’s finances. Amongst other things, income from wills have not been realised in line with budget and the costs of the music school are higher than budget.
• The Communication- and Fundraising sub-committee is being formed to help stimulate greater fundraising in the church, in collaboration with a slew of other stakeholders. The importance of increased offering via Swish was discussed, as was the need for feedback to the different language fellowships concerning previous weeks’ offerings and collection.
• The personnel sub-committee is working with the calling of a lead pastor to the Swedish language fellowship. Discussions are ongoing with the Swedish fellowship council which will continue throughout the autumn. It is likely that there will be a vacancy period before the position is filled.
Work to map all the positions in Immanuel Church will now be started. The personnel group of Immanuel Church has remained stable since 2012. There are 27,4 FTEs in Immanuel Church, which are distributed across 41 people.
• The Head of Administration reported that income and expenses are largely in line with budget up to June this year. There is one exception, where shared operations costs have exceeded budget, due largely to the need for new media in the church, in particular a new telephone exchange and IT.
Over two hundred students attend Immanuel Church’s music school. The Music School does not however cover its costs as was previously decided. The Board therefore has tasked the Head of Administration and the rector of the music school along with a member of the Music School Committee with developing a plan for how the budget goals can be met, which are a self-sufficient music school aside from the 25% FTE costs for each of the rector and the administrative assistant.
The Board also requested the group to investigate the relationship between the Music School and the congregation as the question is not merely a budget question but is of strategic importance to the Church.
• A day of meeting, discussion and reflection is planned for November 10th, 2018, between the Board and each of the fellowship councils. The day will be designed to look at opportunities, challenges, transparency and ways to increase involvement in Immanuel Church.
• A working group has been formed within the Board to develop different scenarios for the further development of Löjtnantsgården. The task involves coming back to the Board with proposals for future strategies for Löjtnatnsgården from the point of view of the congregation.
• A motion concerning how Probitas distributes apartments was presented and discussed at the annual meeting of Immanuel Church this year. The annual meeting rejected the Board’s response to the motion and sent the motion back to the Board. It was decided not to change the way in which apartments are distributed. It was further decided to ask Probitas to come back to the Board addressing the question of the need for greater transparency in how apartments are allotted.
• At the March meeting of the Board, the need for more appropriate display and signage was raised. The Senior Pastor reported on the progress of the work addressing this issue, which is now ongoing. The lion’s share of the work (a sign on the balustrade towards Birget Jarlsgatan) will be a question for the 2019 budget.
The Senior Pastor reported from the 40th celebrations of the Korean fellowship, which was a large celebration. The Senior Pastor also reported from the Group for Greater Involvement and Democracy that work is ongoing to try to improve routines for the annual meeting and congregational meetings as well as how the meetings are executed. More frequent congregational meetings would go a long way towards bringing us closer together as a congregation with greater familiarity, leading to more lively and vital discussions.
• The Board was informed of the acquisition of the postal facility building on Odengatan by Probitas. Furthermore, the Board was informed that the planned building on Västmannagatan/Dalagatan has been tabled awaiting the result of the general election. In addition, the Board was informed that a threatened leasehold fee of 50 million crowns landed on 11 million crowns in the end.
• The election committee, which elects the nominating committee, will soon complete its work. A congregational meeting, where their work will be reported, will be held on October 7th.
The annual meeting for 2019 will take place on April 28th 2019.
• The coming meetings of the Board will be held on September 27th, October 18th, November 22nd and December 12th.
• One point of other business was raised. The Swedish fellowship is right now in a downward spiral in terms of the numbers of people who celebrate worship on Sundays. Middle-aged people are under-represented and this part of the nucleus of Immanuel Church may be dying out. The question was raised if we should simply administer this trend or if we shouldn’t now invest in a new phase of the life of Immanuel Church? If ”yes”, then a lot of work needs to be done to understand what it will take to be a church of relevance today. We need to look at our core values and understand the societal changes that we are in the midst of. The question was raised if we shouldn’t create a development project with the purpose to bring forwards ”Immanuel 2.0” – a renewed fellowship which energises people far beyond its own walls. Thus the discussion concerning the Swedish fellowship, which the Swedish council is already driving, was introduced to the Board. It was decided to take this up again at the next Board meeting.
Report from the Board meeting on 7 June 2018
• The meeting was opened with prayer.
• Pastor Claes-Göran Ydrefors gave a report on the Annual Meeting of the Uniting Church in Sweden that was held in Gävle from 10–12 May 2018. The conference hosted 600 delegates from 287 congregations. In total, around 800 persons attended the conference. Immanuel Church sent 10 delegates to Gävle. The conference operated according to the consensus method (see our website for more information). There was a lot of interaction on the “dialogue square” around the climate motion that our church made to the meeting. The motion was well received. It was decided i.a. that next year’s conference in Jönköping would be “climate-smart”. There was significant discussion around the church’s budget towards the international ministry. Also, the fact that the church’s communication department was moved to Gothenburg raised some questions. Seven deacons and eleven pastors were ordained to ministry.
• Hanna Peterson has been employed 20% during 2018 to lead a project about the church’s digital communication. The project group is seeking to address digital communication issues in a holistic way and develop a strategy. This includes choice of channels, message, redesign of the website, a possible app, social media etc. The work is based on existing documents such as the communication policy, the ministry action plan and the current situation analysis now made based on surveys etc. The group will also review how the church’s e-newsletter and magazine should be used in the future. And what the role of the new Head of Communications, who will be employed in February 2019 following the retirement of our current member of staff, should be. The group will work on the following two questions during the summer: How can the congregation reach all with the gospel and specify a redesign of the website. The work that Hanna Peterson and “her” group are doing now is being handed over to a new Head of Communications in February 2019.
• The Finance committee reported that the church’s finances are more or less balanced. From the month of June, we will have caught up.
• The result of the mission ministry is according to budget.
• The newly built Communications and Fundraising committee was “manned” with Peter Dobers, Hans-Olof Hagén and Gunilla Hjelmåker. The committee was also given the possibility to involve advisors who are non-Board members and to invite our staff member for communications.
• The Personnel committee reported that there will be more content to report on after the committee’s meeting next week.
• The Board of Probitas will meet next week and a report will follow.
• Ulla Marie Gunner received the support from the Board to apply for project funds with the Uniting Church in Sweden for the ministry among Portuguese speakers. This group currently consist of around 20 adults and 10 children.
• A conversation was held about the church’s annual report, its form and areas of use. It was decided that Head of Administration Mats Engen and Senior Pastor Ulla Marie Gunner will work on a simpler version of the report.
• During the autumn (date TBA), the Board and the Councils will meet to get to know one another, exchange information and do some planning.
• It was decided that the next congregational meeting will be held 19 August. The main agenda item will be information about a new Lead Pastor for the Swedish ministry. A letter to all members of the congregation will be sent out before the summer.
• The Chairman, the Senior Pastor and the Head of Administration all gave reports on their areas of responsibility.
• Another decision was made to complement the nomination committee with Patrick Amofah, Ann-Margret Bergman and Kristoffer Ristima. The task of this committee is to propose the election committee.
The next Board meeting will be held on 30 August.
Report from the Board meeting on 17 May 2018
• This Board meeting was the first meeting for the new Board. The Chair, Stephen James, welcomed everyone and expressed his expectation and hope for a good Board climate and fruitful cooperation for the forthcoming term of office.
• Senior Pastor Ulla Marie Gunner promised to come back with a report from the Church conference 2018 at the next meeting, on 7 June.
• The church’s new Head of Administration, Mats Engen, presented himself and his background as a business leader. He has worked in various capacities within finances, administration, HR and IT. He has a background in sports and sees it as an important role to be a coach for employees. The Board welcomed Mats Engen.
• The publication about the church’s missionary activities, ordered by the Board, is now being prepared by the editor Görel Byström Janarv. The texts are ready and the book will be published by Votum publishing house at the beginning of October 2018. The book gives various perspectives on mission and will be printed in 500 copies. The selling price is not yet fixed.
• Tobias Olsson reported that the goal of the Equmenia association is an overall responsibility for the congregation’s work among children and youth. The association is now one year old and the preliminary formal work has been completed. “Time to be practical and really contribute”. There are plans to start Scouting in the autumn of 2018.
• Report from the Finance sub-committee: The situation is ok, but the revenue side needs to be strengthened. The stock market did not go up, staff costs are close to the ceiling, collections in the Swedish worship group do not look as good as in the other groups.
• The Personnel sub-committee reported that a musician for the International fellowship has now been appointed. The new staff member is called Melindi Pretorius. Melindi is 27 years old and a music teacher from Durban, South Africa. Recruitment of a lead pastor for the Swedish fellowship is also in progress.
• There is a proposal to transform the Communication sub-committee into a Communication and Collection sub-committee. This is to highlight collection work, communicate needs and results and further motivate joint responsibility for joint decisions. Guidelines for staffing the sub-committee and how it will work will be presented and discussed at the next Board meeting.
• The Ministry and Organisation sub-committee was dissolved and it was decided that matters within this area should be dealt with by ad hoc groups.
• Evaluation of the Annual meeting: The Board noted that the new forms for the Annual meeting were good, but fine-tuning is needed. The Annual meeting was too long, despite “pre-meetings”. At the same time it was stressed that the Annual meeting is an open forum, not just an opportunity to hammer through already made decisions. The evaluation will continue in the Democracy and participation group.
• Discussion about Löjtnantsgården, proposed by Hans-Olof Hagén: What does the church want with the diaconal ministry at Löjtnantsgården? The conditions for the work have changed – we no longer have the same control over which people are admitted as residents. The discussion will continue at forthcoming meetings.
• GDPR Policy: The Board decided to approve the proposed documents that the church’s office has prepared for the protection and integrity of personal data, according to the EU legislation which will commence on 25 May. The new legislation applies to the handling of personal data for adults as well as for children (under the age of 15). The documents are available on the church’s website.
The next Board meeting will take place on 7 June.
Report from the Board of Immanuel church, 18 January 2018
The chairman was happy to discover the “table talk” concept in the international fellowship, arranged by the election committee directly after the service on 14 January. Those interested were invited to come to one of the coffee tables and receive information and/or become candidate for one of the many ministry tasks in the church, the election of which takes place at the Annual Meeting on 22 April. That same Sunday, it was announced that Marco Helles will not candidate for re-election as the Chairman of the congregation.
Senior Pastor Ulla Marie Gunner reported that the Portuguese/Spanish speaking fellowship will meet for worship in the chapel for the first time on Sunday 21 January. These worship services will be continued throughout the spring. She also discussed the development of skills and activities in a meeting with Trygghetsradet. Lastly, she reported that several applications were received, both for the position of Music Director in the International Fellowship as well as the position of Deacon.
The GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is a new EU regulation intended to strengthen and unify data protection for individuals. The congregation needs to adapt by adjusting the church’ digital tool “Aveny” and training the staff. This will require large resources. To facilitate the work, a GDPR group has been formed in the Probitas Concern and a lawyer will be consulted.
A small working group, consisting of Margoth Sonnebo and Hans-Olof Hagén, has continued to look further into the ministry at Löjtnantsgarden following up on an earlier report. The working group wants to prioritise younger (under 65 years old) candidates for rental apartments. The Board will discuss the question at the next gathering.
Equmenia Immanuel Stockholm reported that the Annual Meeting is now being prepared and that the election committee has started its work. The former SMU association will be formally laid down at the coming Annual Meeting and the Board decided that the funds belonging to the former SMU now are being made available to Equmenia Immanuel Stockholm. All communication will be in line with the congregation’s communication policy and strategy. However, the association will start its own Instagram account.
There is currently no interior design group, responsible for the main sanctuary and the church square. Such a group would need to have an integral approach and be able to co-operate with the church management. The responsibility befalls the church management until further decisions are being made.
The proceeds from the Christmas market are annually divided according to the following principle: two-thirds go to our sister churches and one-third goes to supporting the international work the Uniting Church in Sweden. A suggestion was made to also support Diakonia, but the Board decided against it.
The Communications Committee has assessed the signage found on the facades of the church as insufficient and believes that this makes the church building anonymous for passers-byers. The Board now instructed the management group to continue working on this, following proposals made in 2012, and report back to the Board in May.
The congregation’s Environment and Justice Group has sent a motion on climate to the Uniting Church in Sweden Church Conference 2018. The motives would like for the congregation to support the motion. The Board is generally positive about the spirit of the motion regarding the congregation’s policies and agrees that the congregation should consistently act in an environmental-friendly way. However, there are economic factors in the recommendations, which must be analysed, so that resources are not taken away from support to the church’ ministries. This feedback was given to the motives for further processing of the motion, which may be reviewed again at a preparatory meeting before the Conference.
The next board meeting will take place on February 15th.
Report from the Board of Immanuel church, 14 December 2017
The Senior pastor reported that a Portuguese and Spanish speaking worship group will meet in the church’s chapel. This will be “tested” in the spring, starting on 21 January, under the leadership of pastor Ivani Ahlberg.
Hans-Olof Hagén of the Financial committee stated that the church’s finances now require special attention on costs in 2018. A revised draft budget was presented, based on priority areas. This proposal presents costs reduced by 700,000 kr. At the same time proposals were mentioned for improvement of earnings. Among other things, a working group will be convened to find synergies between the congregation and Probitas in economy and administration, if possible. The Board decided to adopt the budget for 2018.
The Personnel committee has given the church’s leadership the task of reviewing all positions for a forthcoming re-organisation. The proposal will be presented in the spring.
The Communication committee will present the basis for a discussion to the Board at the January meeting, regarding 1) display and external visibility of the church, and 2) the role of the church in the social debate on matters affecting the local congregation. A panel discussion about communication will take place on 7 February.
Probitas reports a very good result for 2017. With a stable economy, Probitas will now be renovating and improving its properties. Among other things, Probitas will be renovating the church roof, sport halls and Congressen in 2018.
A National meeting for the Equmenia associations has taken place. Important decisions include:
• to have a plan for youth with “gaming” as a hobby within three years.
• that the National Association has now signed the appeal “Vi står inte ut”, which regards unaccompanied young refugees.
• to find new forms and new opportunities for engaging young people between the ages of 20 and 25 years.
The Equmenia Board is also working on finding new ways to raise funds. It is also important to highlight scouting, to simplify the work of the Board and to increase the interest in democracy. On 25 March, Equmenia Immanuel Stockholm will hold its Annual meeting. Then a new chairman and a new vice chairman will be elected.
The church has a vacant half time deacon position. The Board decided to employ a person permanently for this post.
In connection with an inquiry about Löjtnantsgatan, and comments received from a member of the congregation, the role of the church with regard to the activities at Löjtnantsgatan was discussed (for instance which decisions regarding Löjtnantsgatan should be taken by the Board, what is the church’s mission for Löjtnantsgatan and what does the church want to see as its role in the future?). A group was appointed to produce the decision-making points directly related to the Board.
The Chairman of the congregation announced that after three years as Chairman and after a total of 12 years as Board member, he will take a break and will not be standing in the election to the Board at the Annual meeting 2018.
The next Board meeting will be on 18 January 2018.
Report from the Board 16 November 2017
The Board discussed the first draft budget for 2018. Personnel costs will increase as an Associate Pastor for the International fellowship will be appointed in 2018. The Board emphasised that the improvement of 3 million kronor in five years, i.e. an average of 600 000 kr per year, should be reflected in the budget through increased income and reduced costs. At the December meeting the leadership will revert with plans on how this will be carried out and also show the consequences of the decisions. It was also discussed how we could get a “free” pot in the ministry to strengthen the work with our priority areas.
The Chairman reported that Görel Byström Janarv has started with interviews and writing of the book about mission and the mural that was taken down.
The Senior pastor reported that it is time to start reviewing the website. It is five years since this was last done. A new website is expected to be launched in 2019.
The Ministry and Organisation committee reported that the investigation about Löjtnantsgården will soon be ready. The report will be discussed in more detail at the Board’s December meeting.
The Chairman presented the representatives who have agreed to form a Democracy and Participation group:
• From the Swedish 11 fellowship: Greger Hjelm, Camilla Vidäng
• From fellowship 153: Malin Elala, Mirjam Olsson
• From the Korean fellowship: Kee Sok Julia Hahn
• From the International fellowship: Deborah Trapman and one more person to be elected later
• From the Equmenia association Tobias Olsson
Convenor is Ulla Marie Gunner.
A Decoration group probably needs to be selected next year. The issue will be discussed at the forthcoming Board meeting in December.
From 1 January 2018 the Employers’ Alliance has a liability insurance for Board members. It is a collective insurance that can replace personal liability for the Board and leading decision makers (as long as the decisions have been made in accordance with good accounting practice, the statutes of the Congregation and the Board’s mission).
Diakonia’s share of the funds collected by the church towards mission was discussed after a Board member raised the issue. The issue will be considered later in January.
The next Board meeting will be on 14 December 2017.
Report from the Board 19 October 2017
The chairman, Marco Helles, reported:
He and the Senior Pastor of the congregation, Ulla Marie Gunner, had a meeting with Probitas chairman, vice-chairman and CEO concerning exchange of information and dialogue about current issues.
• Reported about the assembly meeting that decided to call Peter Anderson as associate pastors for the international fellowship.
• A group celebrating worship in Portuguese, led by pastor Ivani Ahlberg, will meet in church a few sessions in the fall.
• The new concept of "Cohesive Sunday" with the role-play group, an activity for the slightly older children, is a success. On the other hand, we see a slightly smaller number of children in "Creative Sunday"
The members of the board reported:
The church tax campaign is in progress and it ends last Sunday in October.
Economy works according to plan with small exceptions. There are increased costs for the work with the sound system of the church.
What tasks are urgent in the future? Thoughts were raised about cooperation with other congregations, about use of social media, if the church building is too anonymous, and if the congregation should be more active in the field of opinion formation?
• Åsa Ekstrand is deputy administrative director under Anette Engqvist's sick leave, now at 80 percent and for four months.
• Berg Holmgren's service has been extended until January 31, when we hope and believe that Peter Anderson will be in place.
• Our deacon Camilla Mattebo has resigned and does not return after her parental leave. New recruitment to this position will begin as soon as possible.
• Claes-Göran Ydrefors retires on December 31, 2018. The process of creating a profile for this position has started.
• Finally, the salary agreement with the Employers Alliance is clear. This agreement is three years.
The Ministry and Organizational Committee:
The committee is working on evaluating Löjtnantsgatan/gården ministries. Report will be submitted to the board's November meeting.
Equmenia Immanuel Stockholm:
• Equmenia meets at regular intervals. Equmenia Immanuel's chairman, Maria Linder, reported that at a meeting the music was in focus.
• Furthermore, it has been decided to work out a communication strategy and they have had a meeting about the launching of a scouting ministry. This is scheduled for spring 2018.
An audit committee:
This committee will review that the Board complied with both business plan and budget during the current year.
Democracy and participation:
A group will be appointed which is responsible for increasing the democratic participation in our decision-making meetings, such as the Assembly Meetings and the Annual Meeting. This group will consist of two people from each worship-celebrating group and one from Equmenia Immanuel. The group will be presented at the board meeting in November.
Nomination committee for Probitas:
Dan Svanell, Peter Dobers and Birgitta Almhed were appointed to form a nomination committee for election to Probitas' board. They are free to add some more persons to assist in their work if they want to.
The Board decided on new, simplified guidelines for the Personell Committee's work.
The Board meets with the language group councils on November 12. Partly to link closer and partly to inform each other about what is happening in the various worship groups.
The next board meeting will take place on November 16th.
Report from the Board meeting on 15 June 2017
Board members present: Marco Helles, Stephen James, Kristina Gustafsson, Margoth Sonnebo, Hans-Olof Hagén, Berit Ghavidel Rostami, Vida Afua Attah, Joel Dutt, Rachel Norborg Jerkeby and Gunilla Hjelmåker
Representative from Equmenia Immanuel Stockholm: Maria Linder
Ex officio: Ulla Marie Gunner, Anette Engkvist, Cathrin Sjöström
• The chair reported i.a. that protest letters re: the plans for the Nebulosan housing block are still coming in. The Board repeats its position that decisions on issues related to real estate are made by the Board of Probitas, not the Church Board.
• The Senior Pastor reported that Åsa Steholt Vernerson has been elected as the new CEO for Berling Media AB. Steholt Vernerson is currently CEO for Gleerups, one of the companies in the Berling group, and will keep this role alongside her new responsibility as CEO of the whole group. A new CEO is now being recruited for the book publishing company Verbum. (Note from the translator: the Berling group is a publishing company that amongst others publishes Sändaren, a Christian magazine that covers news in Equmeniakyrkan.) Ulla Marie Gunner also gave a short report of the Annual Church Conference in Vårgårda. There was a good atmosphere among the delegation of 10 from our church as well as at the whole conference. The new method for decision making based on consensus worked well and was positively received.
• The Head of Administration reported that the result for our mission work for the period January - May is largely on budget. She also reported that the computer server used for the financial and salary pay systems is being replaced. Shortly, these systems will be running on the Hogia Cloud. Anette Engkvist was asked to ensure the security and privacy, first and foremost for the salary pay system.
• The Personnel Committee gave a report on the ongoing recruitment of an Associate Pastor with focus on Immanuel International. Many applications were sent in and a thorough selection process has been started.
• Equmenia Immanuel Stockholm. Chair, Maria Linder, gave a report on extensive upcoming changes in the work with the prioritised area “children, youth, young adults and families”. The plans will be further discussed at an extra Board meeting on 24 August when representatives from the Swedish Council, Immanuel Unga, Equmenia Immanuel Stockholm and its board will be present.
The ministry action plan was the topic for discussion when the different councils and the Board met on 8 June. The meeting was a step in the process of consolidating the plan, making it more concrete and dividing responsibilities. Some matters were discussed more in depth, such as the creation of a mentorship programme in the church. A new meeting around the ministry action plan (map) is planned on 12 November.
Our democratic structures, the Annual Meeting. Questions regarding the Annual Meeting as the way forward were discussed. How do we engage more people? Why do we present the annual report in the form of an extensive publication? How do we use it? Have the “stories” in the annual report every other year? Should we have the ministry report in the shape of new media at the annual meeting? Re-evaluate the way in which the annual meeting is conducted to save time! How do we strengthen democracy in the church? We decided to continue this discussion at the Board retreat in September. It was also decided that each Board member contributes with two names to a democracy group that shall be formed. The names shall be passed on to Ulla Marie Gunner before 15 August.
Guidelines for the work of the Finance Committee. We decided to accept the guidelines after two small corrections.
Ownership directives to Probitas AB for the year 2018. It was decided, in accordance with the proposal by the Finance committee, to determine an ownership directive for Probitas AB for the year 2018 of 20 MSEK.
Care company. The Board has received a letter from the company board for Immanuelskyrkans Vård AB. In it, the current state of affairs and future strategies for the care company are discussed. The Board decided that this matter shall be discussed in the next meeting.
Follow up of the music investigation. The music group invites to a continued conversation about music in the congregation on Sunday 3 September, at 1 p.m.
The Board meets the Council on 12 September
The next common Board meeting is on 14 September
The Board gathers for a retreat on 29-30 September
Report from the Board 16 March 2017
Board members present: Marco Helles, Stephen James, Margoth Sonnebo, Hans-Olof Hagén, Rachel Norborg Jerkeby, Gunilla Hjelmåker, Lina Mattebo, Peter Dobers, Mats Bernö, Vida Afua Attah, Patrick Amofah, Malin Emmoth.
Ex officio: Ulla Marie Gunner, Anette Engkvist and Cathrin Sjöström.
Annual report 2016 for the Immanuel Group
Anette Engkvist, Head of Administration, presented the Annual report for the Group, covering both the church and the companies that the church owns. This time the companies were in focus. The Annual report of the church was presented in detail at the Board meeting in February.
In summary, the net turnover increased by SEK 16 million between 2015 and 2016, with the hotel operations contributing SEK 13.5 million and rental income from investment properties contributing SEK 2 million. Two properties were divested during the year, resulting on a profit on the sales amounting to SEK 22 million.
Because of the increased turnover, operating expenses also increased, both in terms of commodities and supplies, and personnel costs. The Immanuel Group’s operating profit is just over SEK 72 million, which is better than last year’s strong outcome, mainly due to the gains from property sales. Earnings before interest and tax amounts to SEK 57.2 million and net profit after tax for the financial year amounts to SEK 44 million.
The lead auditor, Jonas Grahn from PwC attended the meeting and gave a report on the findings during the execution of the audit. In his professional judgment, based on the procedures performed, the accounting record appears to be in good order and that the Annual report gives a true and fair view of the financial result and financial status of both the church and the Group as a whole.
Motions to the Annual meeting
The Board reviewed the motions which were submitted to the Annual meeting for its consideration and the relevant responses and actions were taken to address them.
New proposal for Ministry action plan
The Board discussed the leadership group’s latest proposal for a Ministry action plan for the congregational meeting on 19 March. The primary desire for change was more specific objectives and evaluation points.
Policy for rental of Probitas’ apartments
The Board discussed the comments raised regarding the allocation of the apartments of the company and the current policies and practices in place relating to the allocation of the apartments. The policy has now been revised. The Board also appointed Malin Emmoth, Mats Bernö and Stephen James to review the policy issues for the future.
Election of Boards of Directors for Probitas AB and IFAB
For Board of Directors for Probitas AB the Board proposes re-election of Sven Mannervik (chairman), Claes Eriksson, Johannes Nilsson, Karin Sandström, Lennart Berglund and Bo Ingemarsson (new election). From the church’s Board the proposal is to re-elect Malin Emmoth, Vida Afua Attah and Hans-Olof Hagén.
For Board of Directors for IFAB the Board proposes re-election of Sven Mannervik (chairman), Göran Johansson, Johanna Fjellström, Anders Claesson and Mats Bernö (new election). The Board also proposes Kjell Walfridsson as lay auditor for Probitas AB and Marco Helles as representative of the owners for the Annual meeting of Probitas AB.
Upcoming Board meetings
The Board has an extra meeting on the 23rd of March regarding the Ministry action plan. Moreover in 2017: 23 April (statutory meeting following the Annual meeting), 18 May, 15 June, 14 September, 19 October, 16 November and 14 December. In 2018: 18 January, 15 February, 15 March, and Annual meeting 22 April. A weekend for the Board is planned during 29-30 September 2017.
Upcoming congregational meetings
In 2017: 24 September and 26 November. In 2018: 21 January and 18 March.
Welcome to the Annual meeting on 23 April and to the Annual meeting of the Companies on 18 April and an evening with information about the church’s ministry and finances on 19 April.
Report from the Board 16 February 2017
Board members present: Marco Helles, Margoth Sonnebo, Lina Mattebo, Gunilla Hjelmåker, Patrick Amofah, Malin Emmoth, Mats Bernö, Vida Afua Attah, Hans-Olof Hagén, Kristina Gustafsson and Peter Dobers.
Ex officio: Ulla Marie Gunner, Anette Engkvist and Ingrid Jonsson, adjunct secretary at this meeting.
New Equmenia association
The Board meeting began with a visit by Maria Linder who has been involved in developing the new Equmenia association which will soon be founded in Immanuel church. She introduced herself and the proposed ministry plan and invited everyone to the Annual meeting on 5 March in Congressen. The Board welcomes this development and hopes that many people will attend the Annual meeting.
Budget tracking and Annual report for 2016
Anette Engkvist, Head of Administration, went through the budget tracking and the church’s annual report for 2016.
Gifts and offerings are over budget if a single gift of one million is included. The ministry revenues are on the plus compared with the budget. The total ministry costs are almost exactly on budget. The personnel costs are somewhat under budget, in spite of an unexpected cost for an old pension obligation. Depreciation costs exceed budget by 260,000 kronor, mainly due to purchase of new inventories for the church square in connection with the renovation, and because a different depreciation time has been chosen than what was planned in the budget. Financial income shows a positive net. At the end of the year the securities portfolio had a market value of 195.8 million kronor with an overvalue of 19.0 million kronor. The result on the last line is -431,000 kronor. The church’s budget for the year was in deficit with 0.7 million kronor and after a specific decision at the end of the year to sell a share which generated a capital loss of 0.7 million kronor, a deficit of -0.4 million kronor is reported for year 2016, in spite of the generous gift of a million kronor.
Inquiry of the activities at Löjtnantsgården and Löjtnantshuset
Following criticism from a member, the Board decided to launch an inquiry of the activities at Löjtnantsgården and Löjtnantshuset. The purpose is to connect the present activities with the intentions and visions that were there from the beginning and examine whether the present situation and reality match the original vision about
Löjtnantshuset. Furthermore, the inquiry will provide information on whether there are any issues around this and make suggestions on any new decisions. The inquiry will be led by the Ministry and Organisation committee.
The work on the Operational plan
The Board has summarised what came up at the congregational meeting on 22 January when members had the opportunity to give their suggestions to the Operational plan (the document can be downloaded from the website). The staff is now working on this and the leadership will give a proposal to the Board on 16 March. The Board will present the proposal at the congregational meeting on 19 March. Then there is an opportunity for the congregation to give input to the Board’s proposal before a decision is taken at the Annual meeting on 23 April. The Operational plan will be a three-year plan which will be reviewed every year.
Feedback on the music investigation
The Board has earlier decided on actions after the music investigation that took place last year. At the Annual meeting, Kristina Gustafsson, Chairman of the investigation, will give feedback to the congregation and tell them what has happened during the process.
The next Board meeting will be on 16 March, and after that an extra meeting about the Operational plan will take place on 23 March.
Warm greetings from the Board.
Report from the Board 21 January 2017
Board members present: Marco Helles, Stephen James, Margoth Sonnebo, Hans-Olof Hagén, Rachel Norborg Jerkeby, Gunilla Hjelmåker, Lina Mattebo, Peter Dobers, Kristina Gustafsson and Mats Bernö.
Ex officio: Cathrin Sjöström.
Board weekend about the operational plan
On 20–21 January the Board met for a weekend about the vision and ministry of Immanuel church. The focus was on preparing for the congregational meeting on Sunday 22 January, where a so called world café will take place as part of the forthcoming operational plan.
An ad is out for the post of manager for real estate and service. The Board has decided to propose to the congregation to employ Karin Fritzon as pastor at halftime for a year. The wage costs are financed by funds including some from the Uniting Church.
Competence to Probitas’ Board
It is the Board of Immanuel church that elects the Board of Probitas, and the Board of Probitas in turn appoints the Boards of the subsidiaries. Because we own professional companies it is important to have competent Boards. The Board has earlier decided to mandate Dan Svanell to propose candidates for Probitas’ Board and now includes Peter Dobers from the Board. Dan Svanell and Peter Dobers may also include others in this work if needed.
Question regarding groups and committees
The nominating committee has asked a question regarding groups and committees in the new organizational structure which was decided last autumn. To clarify, committees are common for the whole congregation and shall consist of members from all the three language groups, as far as possible. Groups are working with questions pursued by only one of the language groups. If a group wants to develop their activities to concern the whole congregation and involve all language groups, a committee can be formed. The Board wants to encourage such initiatives, for example within the music ministry and the diaconal work. There may also be project groups common for the congregation. There is a need to review the existing committees and groups and in what category the various ministries are part of.
The Board will meet next time on 16 February, then on 16 March and an extra meeting after the congregational meeting on 19 March regarding the operational plan.
Warm greetings from the Board
Report from the Board 15 December 2016
Board members present: Marco Helles, Stephen James, Margoth Sonnebo, Hans-Olof Hagén, Vida Afua Attah and Patrick Amofah. Rachel Norborg Jerkeby, Gunilla Hjelmåker, Lina Mattebo and Malin Emmoth participated in the decisions per capsulam, i.e. in this case, by e-mail.
Ex officio: Cathrin Sjöström, Ulla Marie Gunner and Anette Engkvist.
Final report on the sound installation at the ground floor
Claes Hollander reported that new sound systems have been installed in the main sanctuary, Waldenströmsalen, the café area and the chapel. The specifications are based on an assessment of the needs and preferences of those who work in each of the spaces. The resulting system is advanced, more similar to that of a theatre than of a “regular” church, and is expected to last for more than 10 years. A few acoustic problems in the chapel and Waldenströmsalen remain to be dealt with. The Board expressed their gratitude to Claes Hollander and Håkan Sjögren.
Local salary negotiations
This year’s local salary negotiations were completed last week. The new salaries will be backdated to 1 October.
Pastor Chris Peterson has surveyed the scope of the ministries of the International fellowship. The recruitment of a new youth pastor will now begin.
Income from gifts and offerings is approaching the budget figure. Financial revenues are slightly over budget.
Communication policy adopted
The Communication committee has drafted a communication policy for the church. The proposal was discussed during the autumn and the Board decided to adopt the policy.
The budget for 2017 was approved
Head of Administration Anette Engkvist presented the budget proposal for 2017, which the Board approved.
The process of developing an operational plan is progressing
Preparations for the operational plan to be developed at the beginning of next year are proceeding according to the timescale decided at the November meeting:
• There will be a congregational meeting on 22 January when everyone can participate in and influence the work that the Board and the Councils will by then have begun. Board and staff members will man small tables/stations ("World Café-style") for each of the church's priority areas and visions, and collect in proposals.
• The work will then continue in larger and smaller groups to gather feedback and ideas.
• The Board and Councils will summarise the material and present a first draft of the operational plan at the Congregational meeting on 19 March.
• A decision will be taken at the Annual meeting on 23 April.
Forthcoming congregational meetings and Board meetings
There will be a Board weekend 20–21 January. Other Board meetings will take place on 16 February, 16 March and there will be an extra meeting on 23 March (i.e. after the congregational meeting on 19 March).
Congregational meetings will take place on 22 January, 19 March.The Annual meeting will be on 23 April with Annual meetings of the Companies on 18 April and the church’s information meeting on 19 April.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Board!
Report from the Board 17 November 2016
Board members present: Marco Helles, Stephen James, Margoth Sonnebo, Lina Mattebo, Hans-Olof Hagén, Gunilla Hjelmåker, Mats Bernö, Rachel Norborg Jerkeby, Vida Afua Attah, Malin Emmoth and Patrick Amofah.
Ex officio: Cathrin Sjöström, Ulla Marie Gunner and Anette Engkvist.
Report on a day with the Board and Councils
On 12 November the Board had its first working day together with the Councils. The two main objectives were to get to know each other better and the work of the various Councils/Board, and to pick out areas of concern for the forthcoming operational plan, especially with regard to our priority areas. More than thirty people attended and it felt like a very important and meaningful day.
Berg Holmgren will arrive in Sweden on Friday 18 November and begin working with the youth of Immanuel International. HR responsible Karin Enberg will leave her employment at the end of the year.
New member of the Financial committee
In a by-election the Board elected Ana Gren as member of the Financial committee.
Administrative leader Anette Engkvist reported that the ministry revenues until the end of October respond well to the budget, that the ministry costs are good, but that gifts and offerings are below budget. Financial revenues and expenses are overall slightly better than budget.
Proposal for communication policy
The Communication committee has worked out a communication policy for the church.
The proposal is now being discussed and a decision will hopefully be taken at the December meeting.
Preliminary budget proposal for 2017
Administrative leader Anette Engkvist presented a preliminary budget proposal for 2017. A decision will be taken at the next Board meeting.
Sale of apartment
The Board decided to sell the church’s condominium apartment on Wargentinsgatan 5 and as usual to mandate Probitas to arrange the sale. The reason for the sale is that condominiums have over the years been donated to the church so that funds received from these can be used in the ministry of the church. Therefore the Board has previously decided to sell apartments when the opportunity arises.
Decision on a process plan for the operational plan
At the Annual meeting the congregation will for the first time adopt an operational plan. Therefore the Board took a decision on a plan for how this process should look like:
• Information at the Congregational meeting on 20 November.
• Congregational meeting on 22 January in which everyone can participate and influence, based on the work that the Board and the Councils have begun.
• The work will continue in larger and smaller groups in order to gather feedback and ideas.
• The Board and Councils will summarize and present the first draft of an operational plan at the Congregational meeting on 19 March.
• A decision will be taken at the Annual meeting on 23 April.
A new priority area
The Board has already discussed adding another priority area, namely leadership development and volunteering, and now a formal decision was taken.
Upcoming Congregational meetings and Board meetings
Please note the upcoming Congregational meetings: 22 January, 19 March and the Annual meeting on 23 April with Annual meetings of the companies on 18 April and the church’s information meeting on 19 April.
The Board has the following meetings scheduled: 15 December, a Board weekend 20-21 January, 16 February and 16 March.
Blessed Advent greetings from the Board
Report from the Board 6 October 2016
Board members present: Marco Helles, Stephen James, Margoth Sonnebo, Lina Mattebo, Hans-Olof Hagén, Gunilla Hjelmåker, Mats Bernö, Kristina Gustavsson, Rachel Norborg Jerkeby, Peter Dobers, Vida Afua Attah, Malin Emmoth and Patrick Amofah.
Ex officio: Cathrin Sjöström, Ulla Marie Gunner and Anette Engkvist.
Report on the diaconal work
Senior pastor Ulla Marie Gunner reported that the deacons find it necessary to continue to provide sleeping facilities for EU migrants now that the temperatures will soon fall below zero. This initiative is called Extra cold nights and Immanuel church will be involved in this together with several other churches and Ny Gemenskap. We have also discussed with the leadership of Filadelfia and Magnus Helmner of Ny Gemenskap how we can better develop our common work, especially with regard to the EU migrants. Ny Gemenskap and Filadelfia also support an application of Idea-based Public Partnership in relation to the city of Stockholm.
Financial report and a new bookkeeping structure
Administrative leader Anette Engkvist reported that by August we are in principle on budget level with regard to the ministry, but only because of the gift of a million kronor that the church received during the year. Financial revenues and costs are 600,000 kronor over budget. Anette Engkvist also presented the new bookkeeping structure which has been developed in order to better reflect the present ministry of the church, but which will also help to better follow up our prioritized areas – both for the staff, the Board and the congregation.
The budget work has started
The staff is now working on the budget for next year. The Councils also participate in the discussion together with the pastors. In November the Financial committee and the Board will look at a preliminary draft budget and in December the Board will make a decision on the budget.
Preparations for savings
Senior pastor Ulla Marie Gunner presented the leadership's work with regard to changes that need to be done between the years 2017 and 2021. As reported earlier, the Board has decided to improve the finances of the church with three million kronor during these five years. In order to reach this goal we need to both increase the revenues and reduce the costs. A concrete work on how this will be done is going on right now and will be presented in more detail in future.
Letter received from the residents of Nebulosan
The Board has received copy of a letter of protest addressed to the Board of Probitas from the residents of the house Nebulosan. The protest concerns Probitas' plans to build a house on the courtyard of Nebulosan. The decision in this matter will be taken by the Board of Probitas.
Regional church leader
The Board will nominate Jenny Dobers as regional church leader of the Stockholm region of the Uniting church for another four years.
The renovation of the church square is in principle ready
Finally, the Board is happy with the inauguration of the church square and wants to thank the two groups of both volunteers and staff who have worked with the renovation. Within a few weeks the entrance doors and the glass walls towards the church square will be changed. The remaining chairs will be delivered shortly.
Upcoming congregational meetings are on 16 October and on 20 November. Welcome!
The next Board meeting will be on 17 November, but before that there will be a day together with the Councils on 12 November.
Autumn greetings from the Board!
Report from the Board 25 August 2016
Board members present: Marco Helles, Lina Mattebo, Peter Dobers, Gunilla Hjelmåker, Rachel Norborg-Jerkeby, Patrick Amofah, Mats Bernö, Kristina Gustavsson, Hans-Olof Hagén.
Ex officio: Anette Engkvist, Ulla Marie Gunner, Cathrin Sjöström.
Several staff changes this autumn
Steve Armfield and Amanda Detchman have completed their temporary positions in the International fellowship and Chris Peterson has started his work as lead pastor. Berg Holmgren will work with the international youth this autumn, but is still waiting for his work permit from Migrationsverket. For the time being Neil Bhat is helping out with the youth work.
Tobias Frelin is on leave of absence and Charlotte Höglund is back full time after half time leave of absence for a year. She will now be the main responsible for Creative Sunday. Fredrik Fidde Jonsson will be the main responsible for Swedish confirmation and work among teens, assisted by both Jacob Molander, who also will continue in Immanuel 153, and the new pastor Ulf Bergsviker.
Campaign for the church fee system
In order to encourage more members to give their church fee to Immanuel the members will receive information about the church fee in September and practical help in October. At present Immanuel church has about 375 church fee donors but about 1500 members. The group that is planning the campaign hopes that the number of donors will double during the campaign period.
Offerings are still too low
Administrative leader Anette Engkvist reported that we are half a million below budget with regard to gifts and offerings. The chairman of the Financial committee Hans-Olof Hagén has compared the disposable income in the Stockholm area with the development of the offerings in Immanuel church over a period of 10 years. The conclusion is that the disposable income has increased, but not the offerings. The Board and leadership are continuing to try to increase the offerings.
Gift to be used for current activities
At the beginning of the year Immanuel church received a gift of a million kronor. There were no conditions attached to the gift and at their latest meeting the Board asked the Financial committee to draft a proposal on how the gift should be handled in order to be of best use for the ministry of the church. The proposal is that the gift shall be used in the current activities of the church and contribute to cover the costs for new furnishings on the renovated church square. The Board agreed to the proposal of the Financial Committee.
Owner's directive to Probitas AB in 2017
Like last year, the Board decided on an owner's directive for a dividend of 20 million kronor from Probitas AB for the year 2017.
Changes in the guidelines for administration of the financial instruments of Immanuel church
The guidelines for the administration of the financial instruments of Immanuel church at present allow investments in shares of maximum 60 percent of the total value of the portfolio. But having in mind today's situation with minus interest the Financial committee proposes a change in the guidelines which implies that the percentage be raised to 80 percent. There are still clear directives not to take risks in the administration. The Board accepted the proposal.
New directives regarding the music investigation
The chairman of the music investigation Kristina Gustavsson presented the final report of the group. The Board decided, on the basis of the music investigation's conclusions, to ask the management to appoint a group that will investigate the following:
1. Draft proposals for savings in the concert activities corresponding to 100,000 kronor in the budget for 2017.
2. Give concrete proposals how the music in worship services and other contexts can be broadened with regard to genres.
3. Develop proposals where music resources in the form of finances, staff and volunteers are geared towards further prioritizing children, young people and families.
4. Review how we can make use of musical skills of members and friends that have so far not been developed.
5. Draft an overall presentation of the supply.
Decision about the purpose of dissolved Frescati foundation
The fundraising foundation Kyrka i Frescati was formed in 1994 with the aim to build a chapel on the campus of Stockholm's university. This foundation will now be dissolved since it is no longer possible to fulfill the aim of the foundation. At the dissolution the assets, about 300,000 kronor per founder, shall be used for church activities among students and staff of Stockholm's university and colleges. The Board decided to mandate the chairman and vice chairman of the Board and the leadership to formulate purposes for which Immanuel church can use the money.
Board weekend postponed
The Board weekend which was planned in September will be postponed to the spring, while a day together with Board and Councils is planned for Saturday 12 November.
The next Board meeting will be on 6 October. Do not miss the inauguration of the renovated church square on Sunday 2 October!
Report from the Board 2 June 2016
Board members present: Marco Helles, Malin Emmoth, Gunilla Hjelmåker, Vida Afua Attah, Rachel Nordborg Jerkeby, Margoth Sonnebo, Hans-Olof Hagén, Mats Bernö, Lina Mattebo, Stephen James.
Ex officio: Anette Engkvist, Ulla Marie Gunner, Cathrin Sjöström.
The communication of the church is being reviewed
Administrative leader Anette Engkvist reported that there has been a review of the church's communication costs and work is now in progress to decide what is needed and not needed, what should be communicated digitally and on paper, how coordination should occur and which templates should be developed.
Change management in progress
Senior pastor Ulla Marie Gunner reported that the leadership continues to work on the changes that are needed in order to implement the Board's decision to save three million kronor in five years, starting in 2017.
The work of the Committees has started
The Committees have had their first meetings after the new Board was appointed. In the latest report it was announced that Stephen James is the convenor of the Personnel committee, Gunilla Hjelmåker of the Communication committee and Hans-Olof Hagén of the Financial committee. Now it was decided that Margoth Sonnebo is the convenor of the Ministry and Organization committee.
Discussion about the music investigation
The Board had a long discussion about the progress report of the Music investigation group. It is a solid and good work, but there is still much to work on and the group needs clearer directives in order to take the investigation to the next step. The Board will decide about the directives at the next Board meeting.
Campaign for more members to join the church fee system
A group with Gunilla Hjelmåker as representative of the Board will encourage more members in Immanuel church to join the church fee system. The campaign will run for three Sundays in September and October.
New technology in Congressen
The technology in Congressen needs to be upgraded, mainly light and image, after complaints from the hotel's conference guests. But for the church better sound is also needed. A consulting firm is now conducting a review of needs and current equipment. The Financial committee has the task to prepare a decision after more information has been received, and to prepare the question how to use the gift of one million kronor, donated to the church, which we have reported on earlier.
Prayer for peace in the Middle East
After the decision at the Church conference to postpone the question to pray for peace in Israel/Palestine, there is a proposal from the Board that Immanuel church should pray for peace in the Middle East in the worship services from the autumn and also encourage other churches to do so. The Communication and Ministry committee got the task to prepare the question so that the Board will be able to take a decision at the next meeting.
The next Board meeting will be on 25 August. The Board wishes everyone a happy summer!
Report from the Board 12 May 2016
Board members present: Marco Helles, Stephen James, Lina Mattebo, Vida Afua Attah, Peter Dobers, Mats Bernö, Malin Emmoth, Margoth Sonneby, Gunilla Hjelmåker, Hans Olof Hagén, Kristina Gustafsson, Rachel Norborg Jerkeby.
Ex officio: Anette Engkvist, Ulla Marie Gunner, Cathrin Sjöström.
New Board and new committees
This was the first regular Board meeting after the Annual meeting. Therefore all the Board members introduced themselves and the new members were especially welcomed. Stephen James was elected vice chairman and the members were divided into four committees, of which the Communication committee is new for this year. The members were divided as follows:
Hans-Olof Hagén (convenor), Patrick Amofah, Mats Bernö and Carin Ladufjäll (not a Board member).
Stephen James (convenor), Kristina Gustafsson and Malin Emmoth.
Ministry and organization committee:
Vida Afua Attah, Margoth Sonneby and Rachel Norborg Jerkeby.
Gunilla Hjelmåker (convenor), Peter Dobers and Lina Mattebo.
Visit to Kongo-Kinshasa
Senior pastor Ulla Marie Gunner shared about her visit to N'djili, the sister church of Immanuel in Kongo-Kinshasa, together with Kjell Walfridsson, chairman of the Mission and Aid committee, and Gun Eriksson, former missionary to Kongo and translator. Göran Gunner also took part in the journey. The purpose of the journey was mainly to strengthen the relationship between the churches and to look at possible ways of cooperation, besides the nutrition project which Immanuel church has supported for many years.
Administrative leader Anette Engkvist stated in her financial report that we follow the budget in general with regard to the missionary activities, but that gifts and offerings are under budget. With regard to financial revenues we are over budget.
Progress report on the music investigation
Kristina Gustafsson, convenor of the ongoing music investigation, gave a progress report from the group. The aim of the investigation is "to investigate the role of the music in the church in order to find out how the music is included in different contexts and how it can benefit everyone today and in the future", but in order to move forward the group needs clearer directions. This will be one of the key issues at the next Board meeting.
Publication on Södergren's painting
On 31 January the congregation decided that the mural by Sigfrid Södergren which used to hang in the café shall be documented and be the topic of a publication, and that interviews with the church's missionaries shall be made. The painting was carefully documented before it was taken down. The Board is now preparing to appoint an editorial committee that will work on the publication and the interviews.
Update of policy documents
The Board decided to give the Communication committee the task to go through and revise the alcohol policy of the church. The Board members who are also part of the Board of Probitas shall address the issue of updating the policy of supplying the flats of Probitas and ask the management to produce a list on what overall policies exist for the church in order to see whether other policies need to be updated or revised.
Very welcome to the congregational meeting on Sunday, 29 May.
The next Board meeting is on 2 June.
Spring greetings from the Board.
Report from the Board 17 March 2016
Board members present: Marco Helles, Karin Petersson, Lina Mattebo, Johan Sahlén, Patrick Amofah, Göran Johansson, Vida Afua Attah, Stephen James, Peter Dobers.
Ex officio: Anette Engkvist, Ulla Marie Gunner, Cathrin Sjöström.
Annual Accounts 2015 for the Immanuel group (the Company group including the church)
The main point of the Board meeting was the Annual Accounts of the Immanuel group. As the Board has reported earlier, the financial statement of the church shows a surplus of 3.1 million. This is mainly due to a legacy given to the church and the return on the securities portfolio. But also the Company group shows a very good result after net financial items with a surplus of 53.3 million kronor. This is 29.9 million kronor better than last year and depends on the low interest rate and on good results in all the companies.
For instance, Hotel Birger Jarl AB shows a surplus of 10.0 million kronor and Probitas AB a surplus of 38.3 million kronor. Jonas Grahn, main auditor of the church and the Company group, was present at the meeting and went through the audit. He reported that there is good order in the whole Company group, including the church, with very well-managed and good finances, and he had only a few minor comments.
Appointment of members of the Board of Directors of Probitas
The Board of Immanuel church has the responsibility to appoint the Board of Probitas and decided to elect the following members:
Sven Mannervik, chairman
Vida Afua Attah
The Board also decided to give the task to the new nominating committee to work strategically to find suitable candidates for the Board of Probitas, seeking both competence and diversity in the future.
Staff changes – new pastor needed
Pastor Tobias Frelin will be on leave for two years. Therefore Immanuel church is now looking for a substitute pastor with focus on children, youth and families. The advertisement has been posted on the church's website.
Motion to the Annual Meeting
A motion regarding the mural in the cafe has been received for the church's Annual Meeting.
The Fundraising Trust Church in Frescati should be phased out
In 1994 the Fundraising Trust Church in Frescati was founded by Immanuel church, the Catholic See and Stockholm's diocese in order to build and manage a church in the university area of Frescati. Since the conditions have changed and it does not seem possible any longer to build a church in the area, the Board decided that the trust should be phased out.
The next regular Board meeting will be on 12 May. But first there will be the Annual Meeting on 17 April, to which the Board welcomes all members and other interested persons!
Report from the Board, 18 February 2016
Board members present: Marco Helles (Chair), Karin Petterson, Stephen James, Johan Sahlén, Göran Johansson, Kristina Gustafsson, Lina Mattebo, Malin Emmoth, Patrick Amofah, Peter Dobers and Vida Attah.
Ex officio members: Ulla Marie Gunner, Anette Engkvist, Cathrin Sjöström, Claes Göran Ydrefors and Steve Armfield.
Visit by the Councils
The Board had invited the chairpersons of the three Councils, together with the lead pastors from the different language groups, to the Board meeting (Pastor Cho was abroad at the time). During the first part of the meeting, the chairs and the pastors shared their thoughts, concerns and hopes for the congregation, both at present and for the future. The Board will bring these important contributions to the upcoming strategy meeting. The chairs of the Councils will be invited to the Board at least once a year in the future.
Nominating committee is being formed
Dan Svanell has agreed to chair and build up the nominating committee that will work strategically to find suitable candidates for the Board of Probitas (the election of which is the responsibility of the Board of Immanuel Church). Without being formally responsible, the nominating committee will also give suggestions to the Boards of the subsidiary companies.
Budget follow-up and financial statement for 2015
At the meeting, head of administration Anette Engkvist went through the financial statement of the church, which shows a surplus of 3.1 million compared with the projected results. This is mainly due to a large legacy given to the church and a higher return than expected on the securities portfolio. The results of gifts and offerings are still a problem as they are 380,000 lower than budget and also 150,000 lower than what the church collected to its own ministry in 2014. Senior Pastor Ulla Marie Gunner and the other pastors have developed a plan for collections for special purposes in 2016 in order to give more people the opportunity to contribute and reverse this trend.
Approval of the final proposal for a new constitution
The Board approved the proposal for a new constitution which was accepted by the congregational meeting on 31 January, following some minor amendments. After the congregational meeting, members were able to submit their proposals for amendments and the Board accepted some of these. The first decision on a new constitution will be taken at the congregational meeting on 13 March (the decision must be taken by at least 2/3 majority vote). The proposal for a new constitution will be submitted to the congregation for the last time at the Annual meeting.
Report on the renovation of the church square
The preparation work is in progress. The renovation itself will start on 2 May and continue in May, June, July, August and probably well into September.
Upcoming congregational meetings
During the spring, congregational meetings are planned on 13 March and 29 May. The Annual meeting will be on 17 April.
The next Board meeting will be on 25 February, when the Board will meet for a strategy meeting. The next regular meeting will be on 17 March.
With the hope of spring!
Report from the Board, 28 January 2016
Board members present: Marco Helles, Stephen James, Vida Afua Attah, Patrick Amofah, Malin Emmoth, Kristina Gustavsson, Lina Mattebo and Sungha Wendin.
Ex officio: Ulla Marie Gunner, Anette Engkvist and Cathrin Sjöström.
Continued work on a new budget process and ministry plan
The group appointed by the Board to develop a new budget process has begun its work. The aim is for the congregation to be more involved in the process, and for the ministry plan, which will be adopted at the Annual Meeting, to inform the distribution of resources.
Staff survey shows good results
The Personnel committee reported that the survey carried out among the Church staff shows very good results, above average in all areas. The strongest results are in the areas of well-being, loyalty and motivation, while there are weaker results in the areas of stress, communication, goals and vision. The leadership team will now go ahead with further improvements to the work environment.
The recruitment of a new lead pastor continues
The search committee for a new lead pastor for the International fellowship hopes to submit its proposal to the Board this spring, so that the new pastor can be installed in the autumn. They are happy that a number of good candidates applied; two are now under final consideration.
The music investigation has started
The group appointed by the Board to investigate music in the church has had three meetings. It is now making an inventory of the music represented in the church, its aim and what resources are needed. On 12 March church members who are interested will be invited to a discussion morning. The group expects to be able to present its report at the Annual meeting.
Decision about the proposed new constitution
During the autumn a group appointed by the Board revised the church's constitution, mainly because – as previously reported – congregations that were previously members of the Covenant Church are now members of the Uniting Church – Equmeniakyrkan. The Board decided to submit the group's final proposal to the congregational meeting on 31 January. The plan is then to take a first vote on the new constitution at the congregational meeting on 13 March, and a second vote at the Annual meeting on 17 April. Church members will be able to present additional items for consideration by the Board until 14 February.
Two proposals regarding the mural in the café
Members submitted two different proposals to the congregational meeting on 31 January regarding the Board's decision to remove Sigfrid Södergren's mural in the café. The Board considers that one of the proposals should be studied further, namely to produce a publication about our missionary heritage based on the mural. A committee will therefore be appointed to suggest the contents and costs of such a publication.
Nominating committee should suggest long term solutions
The Board of Immanuel church elects members to the Board of Probitas. In order to develop this process the church Board decided to appoint a nominating committee to work for long-term solutions through the proposal of suitable candidates for the Probitas Board.
The Board decided to confirm the 75% employment of the church housekeeper Daniel Nilsson until further notice.
Changed dates for Board meetings in 2016
After the Annual meeting the Board will meet as follows:
14 June (meeting with pastors and deacons)
30 September-1 October (Board weekend)
The next Board meeting will be on 18 February.
All the best from the Board!
Report from the Board Meeting of 14 January 2016
Board members present: Marco Helles (Chairman), Karin Petterson, Stephen James, Johan Sahlén, Göran Johansson, Kristina Gustafsson, Lina Mattebo, Patrick Amofah, Peter Dobers and Vida Attah.
Ex officio: Anette Engkvist, Cathrin Sjöström and Claes-Göran Ydrefors.
The Board convened an extra meeting as a result of reactions to its decision to take down Sigfrid Södergren's mural in the café.
It has been pointed out to the Board that in 2011 the City Museum of Stockholm assessed Immanuel church to be a building of high cultural-historical value. However in the classification of their decision, Sigfrid Södergren's mural is not specifically mentioned, and according Probitas, the owner of the property, the wall with the mural is not under any preservation order.
In addition to this, some members of Immanuel church have contacted the City Museum for an opinion on the decision to take down the mural. Antiquarian Klara Johansson states: "The museum's advice is to keep Södergren's mural visible on the wall. If, on the other hand, the mural is to be covered up, it is important that it is not damaged, and that it would be possible to reveal it in the future, when desirable."
There is therefore nothing in these documents which would prevent the mural from being taken down. This week the Board has however asked Conservator Anna Brandi, who has worked at Riksantikvarieämbetet, and who was recommended by the City Museum, for information about how the mural should be taken down and the best way of looking after it. Anna Brandi will also be present when the mural is taken down.
A few members have requested the Board to allow the congregation to decide about the mural at a congregational meeting. However, this request has neither been put forward at any congregational meeting, nor at the Annual meeting in 2015, when the Board communicated its decision to take down the mural. The Board decided not to take up the matter with the congregation for reassessment.
The Board stands by its decision to take down the mural. As soon as possible it will therefore be covered by a curtain while awaiting the start of the renovation of the church square, in accordance with the Board's earlier decision. When the rebuilding begins the mural will be taken down and be preserved safely and correctly, according to the instructions given by the conservator.
With kind regards / The Board
Report from the Board 10 December 2015
Board members present: Marco Helles (chairman), Karin Petterson, Johan Sahlén, Patrick Amofah, Göran Johansson, Stephen James, Kristina Gustafsson, Malin Emmoth and Vida Attah.
Report from the senior pastor Ulla Marie Gunner
• At present work is in progress to clarify the plan for the ministry of the church and how the organisation should work in order to achieve the goals that have been set out.
• Pastors and priests who work in Norrmalm have met in order to get to know each other and thus improve the conditions for ecumenical work.
• It is exciting to note that as many as 65 people have become members of Immanuel Church this year!
Report from the head of administration, Anette Engkvist
• By adjusting the pledges of the securities portfolio, the flexibility of the church's investments has increased. This is important if we are to reach the necessary level of financial return.
• The profit from the Advent market was about 200 000 SEK, which will be used for the church's mission and international aid projects.
• The financial prognosis shows a surplus of about 4 million SEK in the 2015 budget, mainly due to capital gains in the securities portfolio and a legacy.
Report from the chairman of the personnel committee, Stephen James
• The process of recruiting a new pastor for the International fellowship is in progress. In-depth interviews will be held before Christmas.
• The strong growth over recent years in the work among young people creates an increased demand for leaders to take care of all the children and young people in the best way, not least within the Swedish fellowship. The Board is keeping a careful watch on this, since it is strategically important and part of the central goals that have been set out.
Budget for 2016
The Board agreed the budget for 2016 which shows a deficit of (-)675 000 SEK.
The mural in the cafe
The Board's decision to remove the mural in the cafe is unchanged. The office staff have been asked to find a place in the church where it can be stored.
The proposal for a new constitution was discussed. The members of the congregation were invited to an information evening on 16 December.
The next Board meeting will be on 28 January 2016.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Board!
Report from the Board 19 November 2015
Board members present: Marco Helles, Stephen James, Johan Sahlén, Sungha Wendin, Göran Johansson and Patrick Amofah.
Visit by the environmental group
The environmental group presented their thoughts on how the church could decrease its impact on the environment by working with these questions actively and strategically. The main proposal is to embrace one of the existing standards, for instance the model the Swedish church is working with. The environmental policy of the church was also emphasized and the Board considered that it might be time to go over it in order to make sure that we are working according to this policy, or whether it needs to be revised according to today's ministry.
Budget proposal for 2016
Anette Engkvist, administrative leader of the church, presented the budget proposal, which has also been processed by the Financial Committee. A decision regarding the budget will be made at the Board meeting on 10 December. It was noted that gifts and offerings need to increase considerably in the coming years if we want to keep the existing ministries.
Presentation of the proposal of a revised constitution
The group that has been working on a revision of the constitution presented their proposal. There were mainly adjustments due to the fact that the congregations which used to belong to the Covenant church are now part of the Uniting Church in Sweden. The Board found that the group had fulfilled their task. A decision regarding the revised document will be taken by the congregation during the winter of 2016, according to the following schedule:
10 December: The proposal will be discussed in detail by the Board.
15 December: The pastors will discuss the church order and the theological foundation.
16 December: Meeting with interested members of the congregation. In order to participate in the meeting a notification in advance is needed. Each participant is expected to have ordered a copy of the proposal and read it through.
19 January: The Constitution group will submit their final proposal to the Board.
28 January: The Board will make a decision about the proposal for a new constitution and submit it to the congregation on 31 January.
13 March: Congregational meeting, first decision
17 April: Annual meeting, second decision.
Decision regarding dividends from the Company group
The Board decided that the dividends from the financial result of 2015 will be 20 million kronor.
Need for increased support of Immanuel Unga
The positive development within the ministry among young people in the Swedish fellowship will be difficult to continue without further support. The financial situation does not allow an increase in staff, so we need to find another solution. The Board asked Anette Engkvist to discuss the needs in detail with Immanuel Unga as well as what potential alternatives there may be to support the area.
Decision regarding the new organization
The Board decided to adopt the new organization based on one Board for the whole congregation, Councils for each language group, Committees and Groups. The proposal will be sent to the different Councils before a decision is taken at a future congregational meeting.
The next Board meeting will be on 10 December 2015.
Report from the Board 22 October 2015
Present Board members: Marco Helles, Stephen James, Vida Afua Attah, Peter Dobers, Malin Emmoth, Kristina Gustavsson, Tove Janarv, Göran Johansson and Lina Mattebo.
The church's involvement in the refugee crisis
Pastor Claes-Göran Ydrefors visited the Board in order to inform about the church's involvement in the refugee crisis by providing overnight stay to transit refugees, but also how the church can be involved in a more long-lasting integration in the future. Another opportunity to open up the church for refugees is planned in November, and probably also a couple of times in the spring. The Board supports the overnight stays, which are completely in line with one of the priority areas of the church, namely to help people in vulnerable life situations.
Anette Engkvist, administrative leader, informed about the finances of the church. In general we are keeping up with the budget, but are under budget by 200,000 in gifts and offerings.
A group to investigate the music ministry has been set up
The congregational meeting on 3 May asked the Board to investigate the structure and resources for the music ministry. The Board has therefore appointed a group with the task to investigate the role of music in the church in order to review how music is included in various contexts to the benefit of everyone, today and in the future. The study will be ready in the spring.
The following persons are members of the group:
Kristina Gustafsson, convenor
Jack (Philip) Jansson
+ vacancy from the Korean fellowship
The group will also consult other people in this matter.
New steps in the work on the church square
The work on the new church square is now in a phase of implementation. New groups that will work with these questions will soon be appointed. Marco Helles, Peter Dobers Malin Emmoth and Karin Pettersson from the Board will act as a steering group.
Proposal to appoint a vice senior pastor
At present the church does not have a vice senior pastor. Therefore the Board proposes the congregation to appoint Claes-Göran Ydrefors as vice senior pastor.
Board meetings in 2016
The Board will have its meetings on the following dates next year:
17 April (Annual meeting of the church)
A meeting with the Board and the pastors (or other members) is planned in May and a weekend for the Board in September.
Proposals for candidates to the Equmenia church Board
Our denomination, the Equmenia church, wants proposals for candidates to the church Board. The Board will be grateful to receive proposals from the congregation.
Next Board meeting is on 19 November.
Warm greetings from the Board!
Report from the Board meeting, September 17, 2015
Members present: Marco Helles, Karin Pettersson, Stephen James, Vida Afua Attah, Patrick Amofah, Malin Emmoth, Kristina Gustavsson, Tove Janarv, Göran Johansson, Lina Mattebo and Johan Sahlén.
Work with the new church square continues
Sophia Hober, who has been the chairperson of the Church Square Group, visited the board meeting, and presented the finalized basic proposal for the new Church Square. The Board endorses the proposal. A policy decision will be taken at the next congregational meeting on October 4th. A rough budget will also be presented at the meeting.
There have been several changes in staff during the summer: Camilla Mattebo works 50 percent as a deacon, Amanda Detchman 100 percent as interim Intern Youth Pastor, Karin Enberg 50 percent as HR manager, Daniel Nilsson 75 percent as "husmor" – mistress, Anders Eriksson 50 percent as economic assistant and Jacob Molander 50 percent as pastor, when Charlotte Höglund is on a leave correspondingly at 50 percent, Martin Åsander is on leave at 60 percent and is replaced among colleagues and with the deputy teenage choir leaders Erik Hammarberg and Paulina Fröling. Anita Tatlow received ordinary employment as a musician at 40 percent and Ben Tatlow at 35 percent.
Additionally, the Board decided, in accordance with a proposal from the Uniting Church in Sweden, to host a half time student pastor ministry in Stockholm. The board argues that this ministry fits in well with our priorities, especially towards children and young people (as many students are young) and with our diaconal ministry where student pastors have a clear role in dialogue and counseling. Immanuel Church will be the employer of this student pastor. This ministry is currently funded through a grant from Uniting Church in Sweden. Anna Berndes will be the student pastor, and the 50 percent she leaves in Immanuel church will be replaced among colleagues during the period.
Several major investigations and work is underway
The Board is starting up the assignment from the congregational meeting of May 3rd, 2015, concerning the Constitution, to continue to develop our organizational structure and to make an assessment concerning the music ministry.
• Revision of the Constitution
The board appointed a working group to revise the Immanuel Church's constitution and adapt it to the Uniting Church in Sweden. It includes revision of the statutes and church order. Stefan Nilszén was appointed to lead the work.
• Organization and Structure
Operational and organizational committee works ahead, as mandated by the annual and congregational meetings, with structural issues and intends to present its proposal to the congregation in December.
• Music Assessment
Following the directive from the congregational meeting a music assessment will be conducted in 2015 and 2016. A group of employees and volunteers from all worship groups will be appointed. Kristina Gustavsson will lead the assessment.
• Operational plan
In addition, an operational plan will be developed that will be used in connection with the budget work and a proposal will be presented how the whole congregation can be involved in the future budgetary processes.
Board Weekend and congregational meeting
The Board meets the weekend of September 25-26, in Stockholm, where the Board, among other things, will meet the staff.
Sunday October 4th, 2015 the congregational meeting will be held at 1.30 pm, with these issues:
a) Convening of deacon Camilla Mattebo
b) Information about the Student Pastor ministry
c) Election of the Election Committee after the proposal from the Nomination Committee
d) A strategic decision concerning the church square
Autumn greetings from the board!
Report from the Board meeting 21 May 2015
Members present: Marco Helles, Karin Petterson, Stephen James, Vida Afua Attah, Patrick Amofah, Peter Dobers, Kristina Gustavsson, Göran Johansson, Johan Sahlén, Sungha Wendin.
Meeting of the new Board
This was the first regular Board meeting after the Annual meeting with Marco Helles as chairman. The new members were welcomed and introduced themselves. The Board chose Stephen James and Karin Petterson as vice chairmen. Each Board member was assigned a place on one of the committees as follows:
Göran Johansson, chairman
Ministry and organization committee (former "Special committee")
Marco Helles, chairman
Matters at stake
Senior pastor Ulla Marie Gunner reported several things both inside and outside the church which impact our ministry. Kammarkollegium requests the need to master the Swedish language well in order to officially preside at a marriage. Pastors can do this by supporting the juridical part of a marriage.
The planning of our new church square is underway, further details will be presented at the next congregational meeting in May. Refurbishment is presently planned for spring/summer 2016.
Administrator Anette Engkvist reported that Probitas will work on the ventilation and the new lighting equipment of the main sanctuary this summer. Final inspection of the new sound equipment is carried out in June.
How do we increase gifts and offerings?
Finances are somewhat behind budget, especially with regard to gifts and offerings. The Board discussed how this could be changed and the Senior pastor was asked to discuss the theological basis for our giving with the leadership group. An upcoming concern is that too few members have moved their church fee to the Equmenia church; they still pay in to the Swedish Covenant church. Sooner or later the Tax authorities will not accept these payments any longer, since the Swedish Covenant church is no longer an active organization. Unless members change this the church will lose hundreds of thousands of kronor.
Recruitment of two pastors
The effort to find a new pastor for the International fellowship is in progress. A questionnaire will be sent out to the members of Immanuel International . Recruitment of a new youth pastor for the International fellowship is also underway, we hope this process will not take too long.
Follow up on the Annual meeting and Congregational meeting
The Board took up questions raised at the Annual meeting and the latest Congregational meeting. The revision of the Statutes and Constitution will begin and importance is given for feedback from the congregation. Non Board members will sometimes be invited to share their opinions. An analysis of the music ministry is planned. The organization of the new church structure will also be worked through in detail.
The Board is looking forward to a meeting with the pastors of the church at the beginning of June and wishes all an excellent beginning of summer.
Report from the Board 12 March 2015
Present at the Board meeting:
Dan Svanell, Patrick Amofah, Ingegerd Berg, Kristina Gustafsson, Marco Helles, Johan Sahlén, Stephen James, Göran Johansson, Lina Mattebo and Johannes Nilsson.
Administrative Report, Annual Accounts, and Consolidated Accounts for 2014
In conclusion, the Immanuel group reports a profit of 8.5 msek for 2014, despite the congregation having a loss of -4.9 msek, due to lost interest revenues from Probitas during the fourth quarter. All subsidiaries show profit, and gifts and offerings have increased by 200 ksek, compared to the previous year. The Board of Directors' Report, which describes significant events during the year as well as more details about the financials, is attached at the end.
Document on the structure of the church is ready
A large work for the Board during the autumn, and especially for its Special Sub-committee, has been to clarify the structure of the organization of the church. There is now a proposal, revised after suggestions made by the different language groups, which will be presented at the Annual Meeting. The document describes the overall structure and nomenclature of the church, the work of the Councils, Committees and Groups and the organization of the staff and their responsibility towards the Councils and Committees.
A new Company shall manage the Portfolio of Securities of the Congregation
The Board has decided to propose to the congregation that the subsidiary Stensnäs Konferens AB is changed to Immanuelkyrkans Förvaltnings AB with the sole purpose to manage the congregation's portfolio of securities in a satisfactory manner. The board of this company, unlike the other subsidiaries, will be appointed by the Board of the Congregation, and two of these Board members will always be selected from the Board of the Congregation's financial committee.
Members of the Board of directors of Probitas
The Board assigned the following persons to be members of the Board of Probitas: Sven Mannervik, (chairman), Claes Eriksson, Karin Sandström, Lennart Berglund, Johannes Nilsson, Johan Sahlén, Göran Johansson and Karin Pettersson. Göran, Johan and Karin are also members of the Board of the congregation.
Policy for written communication from the Board
In order to make it possible for the congregation to follow the work of the Board between the Annual Meetings, the Board member responsible for communication (at present Lina Mattebo) will write a report after every Board meeting. This report will be published both in Swedish and in English on the website of the church. The person responsible for communication will also make sure that minutes from Congregational Meetings and Annual Meetings will be published on the website, and that the information from the Board is updated. In order to clarify its written external communication, the Board has during the autumn been working on a communication policy, which is now ready.
This was the last Board meeting before the Annual Meeting on 12 April. We hope to see you there!
The Board is hereby submitting its management report for the year 2014. The report has its basis in the Board's responsibility for the ministry of the church, its staff, finances and overall responsibility for the company group of the church.
General information on the ministry
Immanuel church is a Christian fellowship for people from the whole world. The church invites people to worship in many forms and traditions, values diversity and wants to be marked by cordiality, love and respect. The mission of the church is to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all.
Every Sunday four worship services in three different languages are held: English, Korean and Swedish. On average 700-800 people gather every Sunday for worship in the premises of the church. During the year there have been joint worship services on three occasions, but also other common activities.
In 2014 the prioritized ministries of the church have been in focus: children and youth, people in vulnerable life situations in our city, and increased fellowship between the worship groups. These were the ministries that were focused on some years ago when the Board and the members of the congregation together discussed what ministries should be prioritized in the coming years.
The church owns a company group with activities within real estate, hotel, senior flats and nursing home.
Important events during the year
Work among children and youth
The work among children and youth continues to play an important role. A renewed work with confirmation has given very positive results, as a group of 16 young people have now begun their confirmation studies.
Work among people in vulnerable life situations
During the year the church has focused more on EU-citizens in Stockholm, and especially the large group which has come to our country from Romania. The church square gives them a place to rest and once a week it is possible for a group of women to take a shower and change clothes in the premises of the church. They are also offered a simple meal. This work is carried out by volunteers who are there every week to help these people who would otherwise have great difficulties to cope with their personal hygiene. Our work among the homeless, mainly in cooperation with Ny Gemenskap and other churches on Norrmalm, has continued as before. Immanuel church is responsible for the homeless lunch one Saturday a month, when many volunteers from the different ministry groups of the church are there to serve food for about 300 persons every time.
Our church also supports Café ministry in Korskyrkan every weekday morning together with Korskyrkan and Ny gemenskap. During the year similar activities have also developed on Mariatorget in southern Stockholm, and on Östermalm.
Increased fellowship between the worship groups
The third area of focus is to increase the fellowship between our worship groups. There have been some activities, like a picnic in Humlegården, but there is still a lot to be done within this area. To strengthen the fellowship between the three language groups will be an important task for the Board in 2015 and 2016.
Immanuel church with its four different worship groups and members from about 50 nations is unparalleled in Swedish Christianity. Integration and xenophobia are high on the agenda in our society right now. In this situation we as church and congregation have a great responsibility to show what the Christian message of love really means. A Christian church can never sit still and be silent when human dignity is questioned. The diversity of our church is evident every Sunday and must be even more visible in the years to come.
In March 2014 there was a celebration of pastor Choong-Il Cho, who has been a pastor in the church for 20 years, responsible for the Korean worship group. We are glad to see how young people continue to come to this fellowship.
Jodi and Doug Fondell concluded their service as pastors in the International fellowship at the end of 2014. The Fondells have done an impressive work in our church for 17 years. Under their leadership the International worship group has grown and today 350-400 people gather for worship every Sunday. The recruitment of new pastors for the International fellowship began at the end of 2014. Until there is a permanent solution, pastor Steven Armfield will serve as pastor.
Statement of Income and Financial Status
The congregation reports a loss of -4.9 msek for 2014, which primarily is a consequence of lost interest income from Probitas during the fourth quarter.
The most significant financial event during the year is that the congregation's real estate company's debt of 219.3 msek to the congegation has been fully settled. During the past years, the congregation has received 19.7 msek in interest income every year from Probitas, which corresponds to approximately 2/3 of the congregation's total revenues. This income stopped as of September 30, 2014. The reason for this is a change in the tax legislation which does not make these interest costs deductible for Probitas any longer. The congregation has invested 100 msek as a shareholder's contribution in the fully owned company, and the rest has been invested in the congregation's financial assets.
The congregation has received 3.9 msek in gifts and offering for its own activities, and this corresponds to an increase of 0.2% compared to the previous year. Furthermore, the congregation has received a property through a testament which has been registered at its tax assessment value of 2.4 msek. This property will be sold during 2015. The costs for mission activities increased by 3 msek to 36 msek. The staff costs account for 2.7 msek of this increase, and the rest consists of increased depreciation costs, which have to do with the investment in new sound equipment. The staff costs have thus increased by 2 percentage points and now represent 54% of the total cost for mission activities.
Interests and dividends from the company group are equivalent to 16.3 msek, which is 4.9 msek less than the previous year. The dividends from the portfolio of stocks amount to 2.4 msek, which is slightly lower than the previous year. The difference between the book value and the market value of the portfolio of stocks is equivalent to 15.8 msek, which corresponds to an increase of 5.6 msek.
The Company Group
Since the renovation of Provisorn 4 and Hotel Birger Jarl to the amount of 457 msek was concluded in December 2013, it has been possible to run the business without any constraints due to repairs this year. The different companies report the following earnings before income taxes (EBT): Hotel Birger Jarl AB 6.1 msek (1.3 msek), Hotel Tegnérlunden AB 3.0 msek (3.8 msek), Immanuelskyrkans Vård AB 1.5 msek (1.1 msek), and Probitas – Immanuelskyrkans Förvaltnings AB 14.7 msek (14.5 msek).
A real estate property, consisting of 25, primarily smaller, rental apartments was acquired .
When the debt to the congregation was settled, the debt to the capital market increased by 135.0 msek, and was 958.4 msek at the end of the year. Due to new accounting regulations regarding fixed assets and their depreciation, Probitas - Immanuelskyrkans Förvaltnings AB has been able to do additional depreciations which temporarily reduces the company's income tax. As a consequence of this, the parent company reports a fiscal loss of -13.3 msek (4.6 msek).
More information regarding the company group can be found in a separate, detailed annual report.
Thus, the whole group, with the congregation as the parent association, reports a net income after taxes which amounts to a profit of 8.5 msek (17.2 msek).
The work of the Board
During the year the Board has had ten regular meetings and one themed weekend. The Board also had one meeting with all the pastors. The Board has three committees, the Financial committee, the Personnel committee and the Special committee. The committees prepare items for the Board together with the Senior pastor and the administrative leader and make decisions on delegated matters within their respective areas of responsibility.
The Board gives directives to the company group and nominates Board members of the parent company. However, the parent company nominates the Boards of the three wholly owned subsidiaries.
Important events after the business year
Renewal of the church square
The work to renew the church square has begun. A special committee consisting of members and staff has been appointed. The committee has presented a first draft of ideas to the congregation.
A church is in constant change. Important in the coming years is among other things the renewal of the church square so that it will in a better way meet our needs to be able to welcome all those who come to our church. The Board hopes for a decision regarding this in 2015.
The work among children and youth, and the diaconal work with focus on people in vulnerable life situations will continue to be in focus. Both these areas are crucial for the future and credibility of our church. The diversity of people in our different worship groups continues to be our most important resource. There the Board sees a great potential for development. A clearer work procedure through the three Councils and a review of the organization will strengthen participation and transparency. Every member of Immanuel church shall have the possibility to contribute to the ministry of the church and take part of care and fellowship.
Finally, the Board would like to thank all staff members and volunteers who have made the work possible in 2014 and wish everyone God's richest blessing.
Report from the Board 19 February 2015
There were no items for decision on this meeting's agenda, but several interesting items for information.
Visit to the Covenant Church
Senior pastor Ulla Marie Gunner reported on her trip to the USA and the visit to the winter conference of the Covenant Church, where she met, amongst others, representatives of the denomination in order to discuss the post of pastor for the International fellowship.
More information on the church fee is needed
Anette Engkvist, administrative leader, reported on the development of the church fee over the years. Many members give to the church through this fee, which is good. However, there is a concern that members give to the Swedish Covenant Church for historical reasons, and not to the Equmenia church. Since there must be an active choice by each person in order to change beneficiary, the Board finds it important to increase the information about this so that members can change their giving in favour of the Equmenia church.
Positive round of consultations regarding the structure of the church
The Board has recently been working on clarifying the structure of the organization of the church and has presented a proposal to the congregation. The proposal has now been under consideration by the language groups. In general the response from all the groups has been very positive towards the proposed structure.
Report from the Board meeting 22 January 2015
Not many decisions were taken at the meeting, but there are two important matters to report:
The securities portfolio of the church
After the decision to terminate the promissory note last autumn, the church now has a much larger securities portfolio. As reported earlier, the Board has therefore discussed in a couple of meetings how to manage the church's portfolio. The Financial Committee has now prepared a proposal to which the Board has agreed. The proposal will be presented to the congregation at the congregational meeting on 15 March, when a decision will be made.
Relaunch of Equmenia organization
Julia Carlsson and Tobias Olsson, who are engaged in the work for children and youth in Immanuel Church, have initiated efforts to relaunch an Equmenia organization (earlier SMU) in Immanuel church. The Board welcomes and appreciates the initiative!
Winter greetings from the Board!
Report from the Board meeting 22 May, 2014
The Board started work on planning the church's overall ministry for 2015. This process will continue within the Board, the various ministry councils, and among the staff and church members before a final decision can be taken.
The process of finding a replacement for pastor Chris Peterson has started. In the meantime Ben and Anita Tatlow have taken over his commitments.
The Board was happy to note that the congregation's giving has increased in comparison with the same period in 2013. However there is still some way to go before we reach the amount budgeted.
Immanuel church has been offered a copper bust of PP Waldenström, the founder of the Covenant church. The bust was previously sited at Lidingö Missionsskola. The Board expressed their gratefulness, and accepted the offer.
Members of the sub-committees of the Board 2014–2015
Göran Johansson (chairman)
Anette Engkvist (ex officio)
Bernadette Ebenholtz (ex officio)
Samuel Borg (ex officio)
Ingegerd Berg (chairman)
Ulla Marie Gunner (ex officio)
Anette Engkvist (ex officio)
Marco Helles (convener)
Lina Mattebo (responsible for communication)
Underway at present:
• On September 21 Immanuel Church will host a day "In the Spirit of Mandela" with a choir workshop, seminars and a concluding concert. The event is being planned in collaboration with Bilda and Diakonia.
• Confirmation preparation in the Swedish language group, under the title "Express yourself", will begin in January 2015. A information folder is now available and has been distributed to about 60 young people in our network. You are welcome to distribute it to those you think might be interested!
Report from the Board meeting 24 April, 2014
New Board members
The meeting began with a short presentation of each board member, since Tove Janarv and Johan Sahlén, were newly elected at the Annual meeting.
The Board took no decisions at the meeting, but many exciting and important matters are at present underway:
• As most of us have noticed a group of EU citizens often gather on the Church Square. There is no evidence that the number of needy people coming to our city will decrease. Churches and interested organizations have therefore held a meeting to define the main needs of this group. A further meeting will shortly take place at which the various organizations can discuss their possible contributions. More information will be given at the congregational meeting on May 14.
• The final stage of the the major project to replace the sound system in the main sanctuary, the Waldenström hall and the Church Square is approaching. At the end of May a number of companies will be invited to submit tenders and it is hoped that at the beginning of June the Board will be able to decide which company will be asked to carry out the work. It will naturally take some time before the new equipment is in place and has been installed.
• Some of you may have noticed that the chandeliers in the main sanctuary are no longer working. The reason for this is a major electricity failure. Over the summer the electrical systems in both the main sanctuary and the Waldenström Hall will undergo renovation. Preparations will start in July and the work will be carried out in August. While a room is being renovated it will be closed on weekdays but open at weekends, so that services can take place as usual.
• The toilets on the level of the church square will also be renovated over the summer. Work will start after Midsummer, but will not take place during the weekends.
In addition to these points of information the Board stated that an important matter this year will be to carry out a broad review of which councils and committees we need and what their tasks should be. It was also noted that during the first quarter of the year gifts and collections have unfortunately lagged behind budget by about 50,000 SEK.
Next congregational meeting will be on May 14
Welcome to the congregational meeting on May 14 at 19.30. Among other things there will be discussion of the annual denominational Conference and of the work among EU citizens.
Spring greetings from the Board!
Report from the board March 6th, 2014
After the last board meeting before the annual meeting, we can report that:
• The Immanuel group reports a profit of 18.9 million kronor for 2013. This can be compared with last year´s result of a 11.6 million kronor loss.
• The congregation´s balance has a positive result.
This is inspiring – and we should also note that all subsidiary companies made a profit. For more information, we attach the annual statement, which highlights important events during the year 2013.
Husmor Ulla-Britt Henriksson will retire this summer. Therefore, there have been conversations about a successor and about the focus of this job.
At the meeting, the board decided to hire Camilla Mattebo on a temporary contract of one year.
Camilla has studied to be a deacon and previously worked as an economist and controller of the company NCC. She is also a member of the congregational board, which she will resign from at the annual meeting in 2014.
Proposal regarding the homeless
Member of the congregation Torbjörn Sundblad has written a proposal to the annual meeting. The board has discussed this proposal and includes a reply with the documents for the annual meeting.
Members of the board of directors for Probitas
The board has appointed the following persons to be members of the board of directors for Probitas:
• Sven Mannervik, (chairman), Birgitta Almhed, Claes Eriksson, Lars Fränne, Göran Johansson, Johannes Nilsson, Karin Pettersson.
Göran, Johannes and Karin are also members of the church board.
Proposal for laymen-auditors:
• Karin Sandström and Kjell Walfridsson (substitute)
Working group for the future church square
The process for the future church square has been started. A group of 9-11 people will be put together. Their task will primarily be to discuss in which way the congregations would like to use the church square – not to give proposals on the (interior) design. Ulla Marie Gunner and Dan Svanell will explain more about the group and its task at the annual meeting.
Faith, baptism and fellowship
The congregation has discussed the remittance from our denomination Equmeniakyrkan on faith, baptism and fellowship. A discussion evening was organized and the reply from the board can be found below.
Annual meeting coming up!
Spring is here and that means that the congregational annual meeting is coming up. This year the date for the annual meeting will be April 6th. We welcome all of you to attend and participate!
Warm greetings from the board
Answer to the remittance on faith, baptism and fellowship
The congregation of Immanuel Church invited people to a discussion evening on the remittance. We were a smaller group of engaged members that had a discussion on the different parts of the document. We appreciate that these questions are now addressed and believe that the discussion needs to be continued. The board has summarized this answer.
Our answer to the remittance in brief is that we wish to see a broader membership.
By broader membership, we mean that baptism, the Lord´s supper and membership should get a clearer theological interpretation and a given place in regular teaching and practice. The most important thing is not the order in which these three things are practiced, but that it is done in fellowship with the congregation. We believe that it is important to continue to accept the personal position of an individual, or of parents, with different church rituals when it comes to younger children. It is also necessary that membership in a church must be valid for all other churches within Equmeniakyrkan.
What needs to be clarified is how this works with a denomination that is a democratic and lay-led. We believe that it is hard to be Equmeniakyrkan without that.
In our discussion, we made a distinction between theological insights and daily practice, for example this thing with democracy and a lay-led movement. We do not mean to say that these are two entirely different things, but by knowing when we are discussing theology and when we are discussing practice, we believe it would be easier to progress in these questions.
The concept of fellowship in the congregation is central, but we do not understand in which way it replaces the current membership.
Apart from these questions, we discussed the issue of engagement and participation. How do we invite people to the life of the congregation? How do we invite people to a membership that means that you can make a difference in our day and age?
Immanuel Church´ congregation
The congregational board hereby presents its annual report for 2013. The report departs from the board´s responsibility for the ministry of the congregation, its finance and the overall responsibility for the congregation´s company group.
Important events during the year
Every Sunday, four to five worship services are celebrated in three different languages with around 750 visitors. During the year, all worship groups have gathered for joint services on three occasions as well as for an evening of fellowship with a potluck meal.
At the 2013 annual meeting, the board presented a vision document that contained the congregation´s vision, mission and approach. The work of implementing this in the multifaceted ministry of the congregation has begun. The communication and information has been strengthened by further development of the website that nowadays also has a blog. The website also strengthens the image of Immanuel Church as one church that has ministry in multiple languages.
The organization of the congregation needs to become clearer. It was therefore decided at the annual meeting to create a ministry board for the Swedish ministry. A similar board already exists for the Korean and the International ministry. The role of the congregational board and the senior pastor with an overall responsibility for all language groups was made clearer with this organizational change.
At the annual meeting of the denomination Equmeniakyrkan, pastor Jenny Dobers was called to be the new regional church leader for the Stockholm region, which led her to resign from her position in Immanuel Church in August. The congregation has thereafter called pastor Claes-Göran Ydrefors to be the successor of Jenny Dobers with responsibility for the Swedish ministry. He will begin this position in March 2014.
One of the three prioritized areas for the board is the ministry among children, youth and families. This ministry has – especially for the Swedish group – been somewhat of a challenge with a non-active local youth organization (SMU) for several years. To strengthen this ministry, the congregation has called pastor Tobias Frelin. Moreover, Martin Åsander has taken a partly new position as a congregational musician with a special focus on children, youth and families.
During the year, Björn Gäfvert has been hired as the new permanent organist, which ensures that Immanuel Church can continue to offer a broad musical repertoire.
As part of its diaconal work, the congregation continues to support Ny Gemenskap and cooperates with them and other churches and organizations to facilitate the "Christmas in fellowship" and "Lunch in fellowship" programs. A new challenge is the ministry among new EU-citizens, primarily romani, that have come to our city and our church. Our diaconal work engages both our staff as well as volunteers from all language groups.
Results and status
The congregation reports a surplus of 11.3 MSEK, which is the result of three financial events of a (partly) one-time nature. A condo has been sold, which resulted in a 4.4 MSEK capital gain. At the end of the year, securities were sold to materialize some of the profit that had come about due to the 20% growth in value of the congregation´s stock portfolio during the year, which resulted in a 4.4 MSEK capital gain. Finally, the congregation graciously received bequests in total of 3.4 MSEK.
The amount from gifts and offerings to the church´ ministry of 3.7 MSEK is unchanged compared with the year before. The cost of the ministry diminished by 0.7 MSEK to 32.0 MSEK, which is mostly due to lower cost for IT and web. Personnel costs have increased by 2.8% and comprise 52% of the total ministry cost.
The sum of interest and dividends from our own company group was 21.2 MSEK, which is unchanged compared with the year before. Dividends from our stock portfolio are 2.7 MSEK and are also similar to last year´s. The difference between the book value and the market value of our stock portfolio went up – despite the cashing in of 4.4 MSEK – to 10.2 MSEK.
Operations of the company group have for the past few years been dominated by the complete renovation of the office part of the property Provisorn 4 along with the renovation and new building of the part rented to the subsidiary company Hotel Birger Jarl. The work was started in 2011 and was concluded in December 2013. During the year, 39 MSEK has been invested. The total investment for this project since the start was 457 MSEK.
Hotel Birger Jarl has during the year partly been closed due to replacement of the ventilator and installation of air conditioning. They can now offer several air conditioned rooms. The different companies report the following profit before taxes: Hotel Birger Jarl AB 1.3 MSEK (-0.7 MSEK), Hotel Tegnérlunden AB 3.8 MSEK (3.5 MSEK), Immanuelskyrkans Vård AB 1.1 MSEK (0.4 MSEK) and Probitas – Immanuelskyrkans Förvaltnings AB 16.7 MSEK (-11.4 MSEK). The debts towards the church as well as the capital market are unchanged and the liquidity has been somewhat improved. Summarised, the Immanuel company group reports a profit before taxes of 17.4 MSEK (-11.1 MSEK).
The Immanuel company group (under Immanuel Church) reports this year a surplus of 18.9 MSEK after taxes compared with last year´s deficit of -11.6 MSEK.
The work of the board
The board has during 2013 had nine official, minuted meetings. Additionally, the board has had an overnight meeting as well as a meeting with all pastors in the church. The board has three committees: the finance committee, the personnel committee and the special issues committee. These committees prepare issues for the board together with the senior pastor and the administrative director as well as take decisions on delegated matters within their respective areas of responsibility. The board gives directives to the Immanuel companies group and appoints members of the board of directors for Probitas.
The board continues to work with the vision and prioritized areas decided at last year´s annual meeting: increased fellowship between the different worship groups, strengthened children´s, youth and family ministry and better efforts to help people in vulnerable life situations. This change process will be continued during 2014.
An important task during the coming years is the renewal of the church square to meet existing needs so that the congregation can welcome all people that come to our church.
Immanuel Church also has an important and central role to fill in the denomination Equmeniakyrkan. We hope that the newly formed region will lead to a closer cooperation with other congregations in Stockholm.
Lastly, the board would like to thank all staff and volunteers that have been engaged in our ministry during 2013 and wish all of you God´s rich blessings.
Report from the Board, February 20th, 2014
During the Congregational meeting on January 24th, it was decided that the Board should appoint a working group to continue work on the question of how the church square should be developed. The group's task will be to define what needs the congregation wants the church square to meet, and what type of activity should be conducted there. During the meeting the Board felt that it was important that the group participants represent different parts of and different age groups in the congregation. Senior Pastor Ulla Marie Gunner is responsible for putting the group together.
The church´ "husmor" (kitchen manager) Ulla-Britt Henriksson will retire in May. The Personnel Committee has reflected on the continuation of the position, not least because of the conversations about a revision of the church square and new activities there. In view of the church square project being in its infancy, it will be a temporary position during a year. Dialogues are being held with some interested people and a decision regarding the position will be made shortly.
Much of the meeting was devoted to budget issues and the congregational Annual Report for 2013. At the Board's next meeting, the Annual Report for the Immanuel group will be processed.
Looking ahead, some renovations are underway in the church premises. The bathrooms on the ground floor will be renovated during spring. Also the electricity in the main sanctuary and Waldenström room (a system connected together) is to be renovated. It will be during the summer, when there is the least number of people moving about in the church. Work on a new sound system in the main sanctuary and Waldenström room is continued, but there is still no exact date for its conclusion. A workgroup that includes Claes Hollander, Håkan Sjögren and Martin Åsander are working on this.
The Board has put together a response to the our denomination Equmenia, taking into account the viewpoints that where brought up during the discussion meeting on February 12th, following the communique "Faith- Baptism-Fellowship" by Equmenia´s theological committee. The main point is that we support creating a broader membership. However, not exactly as defined in the document but with an emphasis on the personal standpoint.
During the meeting Ulla Marie Gunner presented a clearer annual plan for the board´s work. The idea of the annual plan is to facilitate our job with overall goals and future issues. We have also set a date for this year's meetings: March 6th, April 24th, May 22nd, September 18th, October 16th, November 20th and December 11th.
Remember to book the congregational Annual Meeting on April 6th into your agenda!
Best regards from the board