Minutes from the congregational meeting in Immanuel Church on 24 September 2017

Present: about 50 members

§ 1 Welcome

Chairperson of the congregation Marco Helles welcomed everyone and prayed for the meeting.

§ 2 Opening of the meeting

The chairperson declared the meeting open.

§ 3 Election of verifiers

Anita Isaksson and Karin Sandström were elected to verify the minutes.

§ 4 Approval of the agenda

The agenda was approved.

§ 5 Information from the Board

The chairperson informed the meeting that the Board finds it important that participation and democracy in the congregation is improved. Certain groups, such as young people and otherwise, are underrepresented at the congregational meetings, which is where decisions are being made.

To improve participation and increase understanding of what is means to be a member in a democratic congregation, the Board will appoint a democracy group. The group will consist of members of the congregation that are not members of the Board. The group will be tasked with revising the way in which congregational meetings are conducted and seeing to that everyone feels involved and understands that their input matters.

The chairperson also informed the meeting that the Board has reached a decision on the communication plan and strategy for the congregation. The goal is that the congregation is perceived as one entity and one congregation. The plan and strategy concern all fellowship groups and apply both to external and internal communication.

Lastly, he informed the meeting that the Board has worked out a new steering document for the personnel committee that clarifies which decisions can be made by the committee and which ones need to be made on a Board level.

§ 6 Process for hiring an Associate pastor in the International Fellowship

Senior pastor Ulla Marie Gunner informed the meeting that the Call committee has received many applications from all over the world for the position of Associate pastor to the International Fellowship. Of those, there were 45 applications that were complete. Those on the committee responsible for screening the applications selected five candidates that were considered to be the most suited for the position. Interviews were being held during the summer and the top candidate has visited the congregation in order to be able to make a well informed decision.

The Board is planning on taking a decision during their Board weekend 29–30 September 2017 on the presentation of the candidate to the congregation. An extra congregational meeting will be held in the main sanctuary, directly after the joint service on 8 October. The aim is to give a more in-depth presentation of the candidate and offer an opportunity for questions before voting on the matter.

We hope to have the Associate pastor starting by February 2018. Current youth intern Berg Holmgren will stay on until the Associate pastor is in place.

The English title for the position will be “Associate pastor”. It is somewhat difficult to translate this title to Swedish. The expression “biträdande pastor” will be used for now. Ulla Marie Gunner is open to suggestions for a better Swedish title.

§ 7 Information from the nominating committee about the election committee

The work of the election committee is owned by the congregation and not by the Board. The three fellowship Councils proposed candidates for the nominating committee, which was then elected by the congregation at the last Annual meeting.

Also for this year, the election committee for the Annual meeting in 2018 will consist of an overall committee with two candidates from each fellowship group. The “local” fellowship election committees consist of 5–7 persons, two of which are part of the overall election committee.

Lois Hemgren, chairperson in the nominating committee, informed the congregation that the committee is still working to compose a list of candidates for the election committee. The goal is to have a list ready for the vote at the congregational meeting on 26 November 2017.

§ 8 Information about what is happening in the church this autumn

Ulla Marie Gunner and some of the other staff gave examples of the many events that are happening in the church this autumn. A marriage enrichment course to become better at listening to and communicating with your spouse, the children’s choir co-operating in a concert for Världens Barn and performing Mozart’s Requiem later this autumn, a parent forum that facilitates discussion on how to respond in different situations as a parent, the ways in which the “university church” reaches out to students, the diaconal group as a competent resource in the congregation, that the congregation is hosting an ecumenical international youth conference in November, the readiness of the congregation to help those in need, those living at the elderly home Löjtnantshuset being treated to Korean food, a retreat for the Korean Young Adults group with the sisters of the Bridgettine order in Djursholm, an Alpha course, book discussion groups, continued work with the confirmands, evening lectures and much more.

Ulla Marie also conveyed greetings from Anette Engkvist, who is planning on trying to work part-time in November. She also informed the meeting that Michael Taubert has been hired as Buildings and Service Manager.

She reminded the meeting that all are welcome to the events that Immanuel Senior organises, no matter your language. The gatherings are in Swedish and can form a unique opportunity to practice one’s Swedish.

Pray for all staff members of the church and all volunteers and the tasks that are entrusted to them. Ulla Marie ended by thanking the congregation for their trust and support.

§ 9 Any other business

There was no other business.

§ 10 Conclusion

Ulla Marie Gunner prayed a closing prayer and the chairperson declared the meeting closed.

Secretary: Cathrin Sjöström

Minutes approved by: Marco Helles (chairperson), Anita Isaksson and Karin Sandström