Minutes from the Congregational meeting 18 November 2015

Present: about 30 members

Marco Helles, chairman of the Board, welcomed everyone and prayed for the meeting. Senior Pastor Ulla Marie Gunner gave a short report on the church’s involvement in providing overnight stay to transit refugees. She mentioned the visit on 17 November by the Social Mission and their information on how they are preparing to meet the present situation in Stockholm and the society at large. Finally she mentioned that the recruitment of a new lead pastor for the International fellowship has been reduced from 22 applicants to five persons who have been interviewed. The search committee is now moving forward with three of these.

§ 1 Agenda

The Chairman went through the agenda and as there were no other questions the agenda was approved and the meeting was declared open.

§ 2 Election of verifiers

Barbro Malmer and Arne Berg were elected to verify the minutes.

§ 3 Vice Senior Pastor

Ulla Marie Gunner explained why the Board suggests the congregation to appoint a Vice Senior Pastor. Firstly, it is important to clarify who is Ulla Marie’s deputy when she is away or if anything happens to her, and secondly there have traditionally been Vice Senior Pastors in Immanuel church. The Board’s proposal to the congregation was to appoint Claes-Göran Ydrefors as Vice Senior Pastor.

The meeting decided according to the proposal.

§ 4 Budget work – report

Anette Engkvist informed about the budget work for 2016. The Financial Committee now has a detailed proposal which will be presented to the Board on 19 November. The budget proposal shows a deficit of 675,000 kronor. The Financial Committee expects a surplus in 2015 which can balance the forecasted deficit in 2016.

§ 5 By-elections for Immanuel 153

Ingvar Kvernes presented the Election committee’s proposal of members from Immanuel 153 for the Nominating committee. The following members were suggested

Common Nominating committee

Tobias Olsson

Göran Kollberg

Immanuel 153

Tobias Olsson, convenor

Göran Kollberg

Helena Sjönnemo

Daniel Lundblad

Adam Westman

The meeting decided according to the proposal.

§ 6 Revision of the constitution of the church

The church’s constitution of 2002 is in need of revision. For this work the Board has appointed a group consisting of Stefan Nilszén (convenor), Göran Johansson, Johnny Jonsson, Christopher Dalid and Mirjam Olsson. The task of the group was to adjust the constitution to the Uniting church – Equmeniakyrkan, but they were also free to suggest other changes. Stefan Nilszén presented the group’s proposal.

The group suggests that the constitution will continue to have three parts: core principles, church order and statutes, in spite of the fact that the Uniting church – Equmeniakyrkan has deleted core principles in their recommendations.

Core principles:

The proposed new text is a selection from the document “Theological basis for the Uniting church – Equmeniakyrkan”, stressing the parts on church vision and congregational vision.

Church order:

Here the group suggests only minor changes, namely:

Clarification on what it means to be a member of the church.

“Membership is an expression of a desire to belong to Jesus Christ and share the responsibility in the church”.

A new point in the description of the pastors’ responsibility:

“The pastor shall stimulate and develop individuals and groups to take on different leadership roles in the church and in the worship service”.

“SMU i Immanuelskyrkan” will be replaced with “Equmeniaföreningen i Immanuelskyrkan” as the former name is not valid any more.

The church’s work among children and youth shall be “in cooperation with” Equmeniaföreningen i Immanuelskyrkan instead of “entrusted to”. This reflects better the actual work that is being done.


Several of the changes proposed by the group suggest the Annual meeting to become more of a stepping stone for what needs to be done in the new year. So far it was mainly an evaluation of the past year.

Below are the changes suggested by the group:

To define also Auditors and Nominating committee as bodies of the church (§1D).

Instead of through “daily newspaper”, members shall be invited to the Annual meeting through the “media” where the church is regularly communicating (§3F).

To add a new point to the Annual meeting agenda, namely “Establishing a ministry plan” (§3G:8). The plan shall be valid for the coming year or years.

To add a new point to the Annual meeting agenda: “Election of a ministry-assessment committee”, consisting of three persons (§3G:11).

To add a new point to define the task of the ministry-assessment committee (§7C).

A clarification that neither an employee of the church nor a senior worker of the church’s Company can be a member of the Board (§4B).

To delete the sentence saying that staff shall be employed by the Board (§4D).

To add a new sentence that the Board, if appropriate, shall defend confidentiality regarding agreements (§4D).

Schedule for the revision:

The chairman presented the schedule for the revision:

19 Nov The Board will receive the proposal of the group.

10 Dec The proposal will be discussed by the Board.

15 Dec The pastors will discuss the church order and the theological foundation.

16 Dec 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 through it.

19 Jan The Constitution group will submit their final proposal to the Board.

28 Jan The Board will make a decision about the proposal for a new constitution and submit it to the congregation on 31 January.

13 Mar Congregational meeting, first decision.

17 Apr Annual meeting, second decision.

The group suggests that the church’s budget also in future shall be decided by the Board. With the new proposal of a ministry plan the congregation will have a better insight into the ministry and also have possibilities to influence the trend of the budget.

All members are welcome to request their own copy of the proposal for a new constitution. Please contact Stefan Nilszén or the church’s secretary.

§ 7 The organization of the church

The chairman repeated the nomenclature which the church has agreed upon: one Board, three Councils, joint Committees that work across the whole congregation, and Groups.

For all of these, except the Groups, only church members are eligible.

The chairman informed about the review that the Board has done, on behalf of the Annual meeting, of its earlier proposal for a new structure. The document now clarifies how members of the Councils are to be elected and the democratic principle that is the basis for this. There are also suggestions how long a mandate should be and how by-elections and re-elections should take place. It has also been clarified that it is the members who elect the candidates to the Councils and that the Councils themselves cannot appoint Council members. The objective is that one third of the Council members shall be elected every year.

§ 8 Any other business

There were no other questions

§ 9 Conclusion

The chairman reminded the members that there will be an information meeting about the mural in the café after the service on Sunday, 6 December. There will be a workshop on missions on Sunday, 14 February, and later an open workshop on African images.

Ulla Marie Gunner prayed and the chairman thanked those present for their interest and declared the meeting closed.

Secretary Cathrin Sjöström

Minutes approved by: Marco Helles, Barbro Malmer, Arne Berg