Minutes from the Congregational meeting in Immanuel church on 18 March 2018

Encl. mentioned in the notes are not at the website.

Present: about 70 members

§ 1 Welcome

The congregation’s Chair, Marco Helles, welcomed everyone and prayed a prayer.

§ 2 Opening of the meeting

The Chair declared the meeting open.

§ 3 Election of verifiers

Arne Berg and Nancy Bono were elected to verify the minutes.

§ 4 Agenda

The agenda was approved

§ 5 Motion about climate change from the Environment and Justice group to the Church conference of the Uniting church. Tabled matter from 18 February. Encl. 1.

The group, represented by Sten Stenbeck, presented the motion. The group has come to the conclusion that the environmental and climate priority needs to be rooted in the Uniting church as a whole. It is time to show our young people that the congregation is with them in the quest for sustainability and the future. The group thinks that it is time for the Uniting church to do what the Church of Sweden has already done. Sten gave reasons for the four points of the motion.

The Chair informed that the Board is generally positive to the motion but has questions, including what the group means by resources. Should a new position be set up, and what should be prioritized? Then the Chair opened the subject to the floor.

The congregation discussed the motion. Opinions were given and questions were asked about relating climate to ordinary people and giving firm guidance to everyday life, and referring the environment questions to theological thinking. It was also informed that already at the Uniting church’s Church conference in 2017 it was decided on securities management, that the Uniting church has employed a sustainability officer, and that Immanuel church adopted an environmental policy already in 2008.

Sten Stenbek replied that the environmental work is a combination of signals from the management and individual ordinary members who need to be engaged in sorting our waste, energy consumption, water consumption, reducing paper consumption and ways of transportation. Furthermore, it is good that a policy is in place, but that the group calls for an action plan with concrete goals and annual review. He also said that the Uniting church has already developed good material around the theological connection.

The congregation decided to support the motion of the Environment and Justice group to the Uniting church’s Church conference.

§ 6 Information about the Annual meeting process and timetable

Senior Pastor Ulla Marie Gunner informed again about the new structure for the Annual meeting. The hope is that, as a result, it will give greater participation and a shorter Annual meeting.

Annual meeting documents for members will be available at church 8–15 April. Please pick up documents for neighbours and friends so that as few envelopes as possible need to be sent by post. 

On 8 April the Election committee will present the candidates to the Board and the Councils – therefore this presentation will not take place at the Annual meeting, but will be available in printed form. On this Sunday there will be opportunity to ask questions and talk with the candidates.

On 15 April there will be ‘stations’ for various issues of the Annual meeting, such as the annual report and ministry action plan, where members can ask questions to experts and Board members so that less time is spent on this at the Annual meeting.

On Thursday 19 April the companies will present their results and future plans. After this a buffet will be served.

Lasse Svensson will take part in the joint worship service prior to the Annual meeting on 22 April. At the Annual meeting there will first be a short presentation of last year’s activities and finances in Congressen. After this lunch will be served in Paus, where decisions about the Election committee’s proposals will be made, and then back to Congressen, where the motions will be discussed.

§ 7 Staff changes

Senior Pastor Ulla Marie Gunner reported that janitor Leif Björk has retired. Interviews for a new Head of Administration are in progress. Leif Björk and Anette Engkvist will be thanked for their services at the Annual meeting on 22 April. Interviews for the music position of the International fellowship are also in progress.

Elin Morén is employed as diaconal assistant in the vacant deacon position. Jacob Molander, today deputy pastor in the congregation, will after his parental leave work as diaconal assistant 50%. We are looking for a solution for the deaconry during the autumn.

Pastor Claes-Göran Ydrefors, responsible for the Swedish fellowship, will retire at the end of the year. An advertisement for a new head pastor for the Swedish fellowship will be published in week 12.

Pete Anderson, our new pastor in the International fellowship, has arrived at last and begun his work in the church. He will be especially welcomed in the joint worship service on 22 April.

§ 8 Any other business

There were no other questions.

§ 9 Conclusion

Pastor Claes-Göran Ydrefors prayed a prayer and the Chair declared the meeting closed.

Secretary: Cathrin SjöströmMinutes approved by Marco Helles (Chair), Arne Berg, Nancy Bono