Minutes from the Congregational meeting in Immanuel church 21 October 2015

Present: about 25 members

§ 1 Introduction

Ulla Marie Gunner opened the meeting with prayer.

§ 2 Election of chairman for the meeting

Göran Johansson was elected chairman of the meeting and thereafter the meeting was declared open.

§ 3 Election of minute reviewers

Anita Isaksson and Hans-Olof Hagén were elected to review the minutes.

§ 4 Approval of agenda

The proposed agenda was accepted.

§ 5 Ministry report

Ulla Marie Gunner reported on two fundraising events during the autumn for our sister churches in India and the Congo. The first digital newsletter has been sent out and the Facebook page that provides daily Scripture, photos and short updates on the activities of the church, has had an impact thanks to our work with the refugees. Ulla Marie Gunner urged all to sign up for the monthly newsletter and to ‘like’ the Facebook page of the church via the website.

Claes-Göran Ydrefors informed about the work with the refugees and other diaconal ministries where there are many possibilities to include the entire church, irrespective of the language group.

He indicated that the need for such assistance and outreach is increasing and underlined that it is important that we give of our own time and efforts, apart from the budgeted resources. As church members and individuals we are resources and we need to ask ourselves what will happen with the refugees after their first meeting with Immanuel church, after their arrival in Sweden.

Tobias Frelin provided an update on the confirmation process that was concluded in September with 16 young people being confirmed. They are now continuing with a second year for 20 participants, including a trip to Taize during the spring. He also indicated that there are more Equmenia congregations that are interested in the confirmation model used by Immanuel church. Discussions about cooperation in confirmation are in progress with the youth group of Immanuel International.

Tobias presented figures that indicate that the focus on the young members of Immanuel church is paying off. In 2013 the Swedish fellowship had 80 children and young people on average every week. In 2015 the figure has grown to 150.

Ulla Marie Gunner stressed the importance that all adults in the church should be approachable and supportive of the children in the church. The adults are an important part in supporting and affirming the younger generation.

Further Ulla Marie informed about some upcoming music events; that the Board considers leadership development to be an important focus area for the future; and reported on the joint activities for all language groups that are planned for 2016.

§ 6 Budget

Anette Engkvist indicated that the Board considers broadening the involvement of the congregation in the budget work for the coming year. A committee consisting of four people has been established to provide recommendations on how this could be achieved. Furthermore, the structure of the financial system will be changed to reflect the structure and ministry of the congregation as it is today. The new structure will be in place for the 2017 budget.

With the help of the financial figures for 2015, Anette Engkvist presented revenues and expenses in summary and also revenues and expenses of the different ministries of the church separately and how these relate to each other and to the entire result of the church.

Göran Johansson explained that the restructuring of the present operations is a slow process and could require re-education of staff or otherwise through a natural replacement of staff that resign. He also indicated that the current rental paid by the church to Probitas was set at the lowest allowable amount in order to meet the requirement of current tax laws and regulations.

Göran Johansson challenged the congregation to strongly consider regular giving since this is what will bear fruit. Claes-Göran Ydrefors reminded that the church fee is a very important source of income of the congregation.

Anette Engkvist presented a picture of gifts and offerings received for the nine month period ending 30 September 2015, split between the language groups and in total. Currently the church is approximately SEK 200 000 behind budget.

The matter was opened to the floor and one member asked what would happen if the budget was not reached. Göran Johansson responded that one would then need to use some of the reserves of the church. He also indicated that the profit / loss of the church that is based on investments in shares etc, is sensitive to movements in the market, which could affect the financial result positively or negatively.

§ 7 Meeting for discussion on 6 December 2015

The congregation is invited to a meeting on the 6th of December at 13.00 where the mural in the café will be discussed, based on the Board’s decision to remove this artwork.

§ 8 Next meeting

Next congregational meeting is scheduled for the 18th of November 2015 at 18.30.

§ 9 Any other business

There were no other questions.

§ 10 Conclusion

The chairman thanked all the members present and declared the meeting closed.

Secretary: Cathrin Sjöström

Minutes approved by: Göran Johansson, Anita Isaksson, Hans-Olof Hagén