Please Note

This text was published first on 22 April, 2018. It can therefore contain information or views that is inaccurate. It is online for archival purposes.

Minutes, Immanuel Church Annual meeting, 22 April 2018 at 13.00

Encl mentioned in the notes are not at the website.

Present: about 170 members at the start of the meeting, 145 after lunch and about 105 at the end.

Simultaneous interpreters: Johan Ahlberg, Fredrik Kinell

§ 1 Introduction

Marco Helles, Chair of the congregation, welcomed everyone. He began with some personal words about his time on the Board and thanked the congregation for the trust they have shown him during all the years. He passed on three challenges to the congregation.


All the members have a responsibility to build bridges between the church’s different islands. Bridges to relationship, closeness, fellowship, participation, visibility, friendship, to a “we”. The Board and the Councils have a special responsibility to facilitate movements within the congregation and to create venues where we can meet.


The challenge to want more bridges than structures. To actively move over the bridges to another island of Immanuel church, to show an interest in others, to get over to the other side and care for each other. To let go of “we” and “they” and realise that we are all sisters and brothers.


We all have the task to build up and support other people, from childhood and throughout life in its various phases and challenges. Life experience can be used as mentorship, wisdom to handle difficulties, talents used for experiences. To be there for each other and support each other regardless of the person’s or family’s situation so that people are built up in their relationship with God and each other.

Then Marco called up the CEOs of the church’s companies: Probitas, Hotel Birger Jarl and Immanuel Care and thanked them for their efforts with a bouquet of flowers.

All the staff members of Immanuel church were called up and thanked for their valuable efforts with a flower. Leif Björk and Anette Engkvist who are now leaving their jobs after many years of employment, were especially thanked.

Then Marco Helles declared the Annual meeting open.

§ 2 Announcement of the meeting

It was confirmed that the meeting had been announced according to the statutes.

§ 3 Agenda

No other items were announced.

The Annual meeting decided to approve the agenda.

§ 4 Election of Chair and Vice chair of the Annual meeting

Karin Pettersson was elected Chair of the Annual meeting and Mark Tatlow Vice chair.

§ 5 Election of secretary, tellers and two reviewers, who will verify the minutes together with the Chair and Vice chair

The meeting decided to elect Cathrin Sjöström as secretary.

The meeting decided to elect the following persons to count the votes at the meeting: Ture Thorgren convenor, Anna-Karin Persson Stenbeck, Glyn Taylor, Gunilla Herlitz, Paulina Fröling, Peter Eriksson and Rachel Norborg Jerkeby.

The meeting decided to elect Agnetha Dalemark and Juhyung Kim to verify the minutes together with the Chair and Vice chair.

§ 6 Annual report, encl. 1

The Annual report had been sent out to the members of the congregation. Pastor Claes-Göran Ydrefors, vice Senior Pastor, stressed the fact that Immanuel church is privileged to exist in so many contexts. Through its openness and generosity the congregation is diversity in action and there are many stories to tell. He also mentioned that the church is cooperating with several other organisations and churches which make us reach farther. Two examples are the overnight stays that are organised in the church when the winter nights are too cold, and that the confirmation is a cooperation with a number of other Uniting church congregations. Please also see the Annual report of 2017, encl. 1, pp 5-19.

Claes-Göran directed a special word of thanks to all volunteers for their faithfulness, love and contribution in various ways – their work makes the congregation’s ministry possible. He concluded by mentioning with gratitude the members of the congregation who had died during the year and prayed a prayer.

The subject was opened to the floor. There were no further questions and the Annual report was accepted and gratefully submitted.

§ 7 The Ministry Evaluation Committee, encl. 2

Karin Sandström, convenor of the Ministry Evaluation Committee, reported from the committee’s first evaluation. She stated that it needs to take time, maybe several years, to find the way in which the ministry evaluation should be done.

The committee has followed up the Ministry action plan and estimates that the ambition for what would happen in 2017 has been somewhat too high. Furthermore, the committee encourages the Board and the Councils to talk more with each other, share more with each other and keep building together. The Board and the Councils were also encouraged to share their activities and decisions with the entire congregation.

§ 8 Administrative report and Profit-and-Loss balance sheet, encl. 1 and 3

Anette Engkvist, Head of Administration, reviewed Immanuel church’s financial outcome in 2017. The figures are presented in the printed publications of the 2017 Annual report, encl. 1, pp 26-55.

This was the first time the church’s finances could be presented based on the new accounting structure. The restructuring made for the 2017 fiscal year makes it possible to see the results for different ministry areas in an overall financial perspective.

The result of the church for 2017 is a surplus of 400,000, due to the fact that the securities portfolio yielded a return above budget.

The church’s largest costs are personnel costs, ministry costs and costs for premises. Anette showed a picture with bars from the Annual report, page 22, showing a comparison of revenue and expenses. She once again stated that the costs of the church cannot continue to increase in the same way as before. The congregation needs to work on reducing costs considerably and increasing offerings greatly. It is desirable that offerings increase by 250,000 already in 2018.

As this was Anette’s last Annual meeting as Head of Administration, she especially wanted to encourage the congregation to focus on Jesus, even in terms of finances.

The subject was opened to the floor. There were no questions about the report.

The Annual meeting decided to accept and gratefully submit the Administrative report, the Profit-and-Loss account and the Balance sheet.

§ 9 Audit report, encl. 1

Jonas Grahn, certified accountant, referred to the Annual report, pp 56-58. He also directed a special word of thanks to Anette Engkvist for her efforts over the years and their good cooperation.

For 2017 the auditors have no specific information or remarks. Jonas read the two statements in the audit report and recommended the congregation to approve the income statement and balance sheet for 2017. The auditors have also examined the Board’s management and recommended the congregation to grant discharge to the Board.

The report was accepted and gratefully submitted.

§ 10 Profit-and-Loss Account for 2017 and Balance sheet as per 31 December 2017

The Annual meeting confirmed the Profit-and-Loss Account of the church and the company for 2017 and the Balance sheet of the church and the company as per 31 December 2017.

§ 11 Discharge from liability for the Board for 2017

The Annual meeting granted the Board discharge from liability for the financial year 2017, according to the recommendations of the auditors.

The Chair gave the word to Stephen James, Vice chair of the Board, who thanked the resigning Board members with flowers, and especially resigning Chair Marco Helles for his faithful efforts in the Board for many years, of which the last three years as Chair of the congregation.

§ 12 Information about Immanuel Senior, encl 1

Rachel Norborg Jerkeby, Chair of Immanuel Senior, informed about Immanuel Senior, an active ministry within the church, but with separate finances. See the Annual report, encl. 1, pp 14, 59-60.

Immanuel Senior’s meetings take place on 40 Tuesdays per year with a very wide program. About 100 persons attend each time. Cultural walks are also organized, as well as shorter and longer journeys. Immanuel Senior has about 300 members, of which 40% are church members, so the association is reaching out.

Rachel especially conveyed to all the members of the congregation who have not yet reached the right age that they have something to look forward to. They are welcome to join later in life.

§ 13 Information about Equmenia Immanuel Stockholm (EIS)

Tobias Olsson, Chair of the youth association Equmenia Immanuel Stockholm (EIS) began with a few words about Immanuel church’s large ministry among children and youth and especially mentioned that this could not function without all the leaders.

Tobias informed about the association’s new Board and their vision “Where children and youth grow in fellowship with each other and Jesus”. He also mentioned their guidelines for 2018. All ministry among children and youth in the church will be part of EIS, which then also becomes part of Equmenia (the Uniting church’s association for children and youth).

§ 14 Approval of the dissolution of the SMU association

Tobias Olsson explained why the church’s SMU association, SMU in Immanuel church, Stockholm, needs to be closed down.

The Annual meeting decided to approve the dissolution of the association SMU in Immanuel church, Stockholm.

§ 15 Election of Chair of the congregation for a period of 1 year, encl. 4

Kjell Walfridsson, Chair of the Nominating committee, presented the joint and local Nominating committees and thanked them for their work. He then presented the committee’s proposal to elect Stephen James as the new Chair of the congregation.

The subject was opened to the floor. There were no other proposals.

The Annual meeting decided to elect Stephen James as Chair of the congregation for a period of one year.

§ 16 Election of Board members, encl. 4

Kjell Walfridsson, Chair of the Nominating committee, presented the committee’s proposal for Board candidates.

The subject was opened to the floor.

Criticism was expressed that the Nominating committee also this year presents a straight list as proposal. In a true democratic spirit a list of excess names should be presented, and that it is part of democratic elections that someone will lose.

Kjell replied that the democratic aspect was met this year by the Nominating committee presenting its proposal already at a church coffee on Sunday 8 April. This gave members the opportunity to present alternative proposals and collect support for them. The Nominating committee’s proposal for the Board are the candidates that the Nominating committee considers to be the best team who can fulfill the Board’s overall responsibilities in the best way. It would be difficult in such a situation if the Nominating committee would present alternative proposals which they think would be less good.

There was a question why Claes Jonsson, who has been a member of the Nominating committee, is now proposed as a Board member.

Kjell replied that he himself had proposed Claes and that Claes was absent when the voting took place in the Nominating committee. Thus the committee considers the proposal to be in order.

No other candidates were proposed.

The Annual meeting elected the following persons as Board members:

Board members two years.

Ingrid Östlund, new election

Roelof Hansman, new election

Gunilla Hjelmåker, re-election

Hans-Olof Hagén, re-election

Malin Emmoth, re-election

Mats Bernö, re-election

Board members one year:

Emma Darelid, by-election

Claes Jonsson, by-election

Until the Annual meeting 2019 the following persons remain as Board members: Kristina Gustafsson, Peter Dobers, Vida Afua Attah and Joel Dutt. 

§ 17 Election of two permanent auditors and two auditor substitutes, and a Ministry assessment committee, encl. 5

Jonas Grahn and Christina Gotting were elected permanent auditors for one year and Susanne Westman and Tobias Andersson were elected auditor substitutes for one year.

As members of a Ministry assessment committee the following persons were elected:

Johan Sahlén, convenor, Jacques Lombard and Kim Skoglund, and as substitute Karin Sandström.

§ 18 Election of members for other functions, encl. 5

Kjell Walfridsson, Chair of the Nominating committee informed about the proposals for Council members. Some are elected for two years while others are elected for one year. This is to reach the order stated in the church’s organisational document, that half of the Council members shall be elected every year for a period of two years.

The Nominating committee wishes, with its proposed composition of the Councils, that their role and place in the worship groups will become more visible and clearer, based on the description of the Councils’ task contained in the organisational document.

The Annual meeting decided to elect the names and periods proposed for the three Councils according to the enclosure.

The Annual meeting decided to elect the names proposed for ministry committees as well as for ministry support committees according to the enclosure.

Regarding the church’s groups, there was a question how Equmenia Immanuel Stockholm relates to the various groups of the congregation. Tobias Olsson, Chair of EIS, replied that EIS still does not have any ministry of their own but is working towards having a holistic perspective over all the work among children and youth. Together with the leaders of the different ministries EIS wants to find the means to support in the best way.

Daniel Nilsson should be added to the Environment and Justice group.

The Annual meeting decided, with the above mentioned addition, to elect the groups and members that were proposed according to the enclosure.

§ 19 Election group for Nominating committee for next Annual meeting, 2019

Marco Helles informed that it is not the Board’s task to propose an Election group for the coming year. He has therefore given this task to the Councils. Unfortunately the Councils have not been able to submit a complete proposal for the Annual meeting. Marco therefore suggested that the Annual meeting elect the proposed names and that the remaining ones (one representative each from the Swedish 11.00 worship group, Immanuel 153 and the International worship group) be elected in by-elections at the next congregational meeting.

The Annual meeting decided, as a first part of the decision, to elect Ingegerd Berg, Lois Hemgren, Mi-Hye Cho and Sunwoo Moon to the Election group with the task to propose candidates for the Nominating committee 2019.

The Annual meeting decided to have a by-election of three persons for the Election group at the next congregational meeting.

§ 20 Report on the ongoing work with the Ministry action plan towards 2020, encl. 6

Claes-Göran Ydrefors, Pastor and Vice Senior pastor, referred to the report on the church’s four focus areas and to the Democracy and Participation group.

Like the Ministry Evaluation Committee, Claes-Göran noted that the Ministry action plan was somewhat ambitious and that what we have decided takes longer to implement than planned. As a congregation we need to allow ourselves to try out new forms and evaluate them.

He stressed the importance of the Councils’ role and commitment in realising the Ministry action plan in the church’s groups.

The subject was opened to the floor.

There was a comment that the theological discussion is missing in the report. This discussion is needed both within the respective language groups and between the language groups.

§ 21 Motions from members, encl. 7

Three motions to the Annual meeting have been received.

Motion A

Training in diversity and recruitment

The members Lina Mattebo and Mirjam Olsson presented their motion and Marco Helles presented the Board’s answer.

The movers replied that the Board’s response is general and that they mean that the subject is large and that there is a point in being more specific. They considered it important that the starting point is that the persons concerned should be trained in these issues and that it is not voluntary.

The subject was opened to the floor.

There was a comment that the theological perspective is lacking. There is a good biblical basis to address diversity so that the context will be from a congregational perspective.

Further comments were made on the importance of the Nominating committee being trained on these issues.

The movers replied that it is an excellent suggestion to have the training on a theological basis.

The Annual meeting decided to approve the Board’s answer to the motion, with the addition that the training should be on a theological basis.

Motion B

The Climate issue

The movers, the Environment and Justice group, were represented by Anders Berndes, who presented the four points of the motion. Board member Malin Emmoth presented the Board’s answer.

Anders Berndes replied with regard to point four in the motion that the Church Board of the Uniting church has already decided that the Uniting church should join the network KlimatSverige. Furthermore, the group would like to look at the church’s environmental policy, which is from 2008. The group also offered to work on identifying the resources needed for environmental certification and reviewing the policy for the church’s securities and investments.

The subject was opened to the floor.

There were comments that 2008 is a very long time ago in several ways. It is obvious today that the environmental issue is important. It is no special interest but affects us all now, as well as our children and grandchildren. The environmental issue needs to be broadened and the speaker proposed that this issue be incorporated into the statutes of the church.

The Annual meeting decided to adopt the Environment and Justice group’s offer to investigate the points of the motion and, with this addition, the motion was considered to have been addressed.

Motion C

Clarify the mediation of Probitas’ apartments to members

The movers, Lina Mattebo and Mirjam Olsson, presented their motion with the help of pictures with statistics, and Board member Mats Bernö summarised the Board’s response, where he for instance referred to Probitas reviewing their housing policy in 2017.

The movers replied that their proposal about the pastor’s reference is not meant to be a ranking but to confirm the applicant’s voluntary commitment and that the applicant is a member of the congregation. They also said that diversity is lacking among the residents of the student home Tegnérgården.

The subject was opened to the floor.

There were comments that one needs to understand the movers’ conviction and that Probitas should show a clearer congregational interest with the existing apartments. Furthermore, it was considered remarkable that the Board does not take it more seriously that the whole congregation should have the opportunity to take part of the apartments. Based on the fact that we are a church and with the values that the congregation has, this should be reflected. It was also found that it is perceived as anonymous and difficult to know where to look for information and how to queue for apartments.

Samuel Borg, CEO of Probitas, replied that about 12 apartments are being mediated per year. Of these, two go to housing of church staff, one goes to Bostadsförmedlingen, five apartments according to applications to Löjtnantsgatan (which are primarily members) and two to others in other properties. Approximately one apartment per year is rented to the church for diaconal needs. Each year, approximately eight internal and two external exchanges are made.

All assignments of apartments are made by Probitas’ Board, except for student apartments which have their own queue system.

The movers replied that it is not the number of apartments that is important but the process of mediation and appointment.

Tobias Andersson, former manager of Tegnérgården, answered the criticism of insufficient information to the congregation and said that he had been around to all the language groups and informed about the student home and the possibility of booking a place there. He also emphasised that it is easy to find Tegnergården on the internet and that the website is also available in English. Current manager Henrik Göhlin confirmed this.

There was also a comment regarding the movers’ proposal of an auditor for this specific issue. The speaker emphasised that the church already has auditors reviewing the ministry and that it is not possible to appoint auditors for separate issues.

The Chair of the meeting summed up the discussion as follows: that there is a desire for greater transparency regarding the way in which apartments are being mediated, that appointments are desired in the interest of the congregation and that clarity of information that will reach all members is requested.

The Chair asked the meeting whether they would say yes to the Board’s response to the motion of if they would say yes to re-submit the motion to the Board with the three addendums in her summary. Since it was not possible to decide which option received the most yes votes, the question went to ballot voting.

Board member Joel Dutt asked the congregation what would be expected by the Board if the motion was re-submitted.

Board member Mats Bernö opposed the fact that the Annual meeting now voted for another proposal than what the motion describes and which the

Board has already answered. He felt that the movers should instead write another motion to the next Annual meeting based on the facts and thoughts that have emerged in the debate.

The decision on this motion went to ballot which gave the following result:

37 votes to the Board’s reply to reject the motion

55 votes to re-submit the motion to the Board.

The Annual meeting decided to re-submit the motion to the Board.

§ 22 Any other business

There were no other items.

§ 23 Conclusion

Vice Senior Pastor Claes-Göran Ydrefors thanked the presidium and prayed, after which the Chair of the meeting, Karin Pettersson, declared the Annual meeting 2018 closed.

Secretary:Cathrin Sjöström

Minutes approved by: Karin Pettersson, Chair, Mark Tatlow, Vice Chair

Agneta Dalemark and Juhyung Kim, reviewer