Report from the board. November 19th, 2020

1. Opening

The chairman welcomed us to the meeting and started out with prayer. 

2. The agenda was set with a further point on the changing of the date for the meeting. 

The previous meeting protocol was adjusted with a clarification regarding a comment made about Instagram and a dangling modifier. After that, the protocol was set and filed. 

4. Ulla Marie reported the current state due to the pandemic:

We’ve had to readjust once again, now we may gather no more than eight people, but there are also other recommendations. Everything and anything that can be done digitally should be done digitally. The carpentry and the loom are open still. However, the region has now posted new information tonight and the advice is sharp. This stage means we need to meet in new ways with digital fika and service among the staff. We will open up for candle lighting. Things to keep in our prayers are coming in through our different channels. 

It is trying to make plans in this stage, opening up… shutting down again. I have spoken to colleagues in other congregations. Many other pastors find it depressing with these fluctuations. We are not in such a state, thankfully. We have informed the staff about the situation continuously. I’m hoping that will help us stay above the surface. 

The social welfare work: we can’t do Lunch i gemenskap or Jul i gemenskap with these restrictions. The last lunch will be held this saturday. We need to think small scale instead. Ny gemenskap are making christmas grocery bags and handing them out throughout the city. Immanuel can be a delivery point for that. The board is positive to this and want to support it. 

5. Reports

  1. Ulla Marie: Reminder that we are doing an alternative christmas market. Info on the website. One can pick out christmas gifts – remember to tip your friends off about this – that it’s an opportunity to do good! On the day of the christmas market there will be a mini concert. The Portuguese group is disappointed of course – they will continue to meet in their homes. Many of them travel. Interviewing new staff is taking a lot of time right now.
  2. Mats Engen accounted for the economy. The result of the offerings is a current deficit of 55 thousand SEK this year. In this pace we will end up close to the budget. October this year had four sundays, last year there were five. Can mean something with regards to the differences. 70 thousand SEK is expected from the christmas market, but if we need to we can use some means from the christmas market budget. 
  3. Hans-Olof: The economy committee discussed the budget at the the last meeting. We are increasing staff by half a person. Increased takings from IFAB and Probitas results in a balanced budget with a small profit. We have been informed that there is some worry about the expectation that the offerings will increase by 200 thousand SEK. However, we think this is a reasonable estimation given that we are hoping to be able to open up more next year.  
  4. Gunilla reported from the communication and collection committee. Questions regarding how we should continue to communicate externally as well as internally. How to handle budget issues. Practical activities that we can carry out. Gunilla and Ulla-Marie have met to discuss. We have taken a closer look at the situation with our news letter. 501 subscribers – 338 Swedish, 62 non-members, 67 translated to English (18 of those for non-members). The international newsletter goes out to 125 people. The news letters can spread the word on what our church can do, for example in terms of music.  
  5. Cathrin is investigating how a digital vote can be done. There is an instrument called TellusTalk which we already own and which costs a fraction of other systems, according to Isak. How can we go forward with this? Suggestions are welcome. When can we launch this model for voting? We need email adresses, after that we can try it out with temporary codes. The congregation needs to be informed as soon as possible. Everyone needs to be mindful with their code and make sure it is not accessible to anyone else. The board decided on participating in the testing of the system. The costs look good, 0:50 SEK per email; 1:50 SEK with the code solution. 
  6. Barbro reported from the staff council. Several recruitments are being handled. An application for a deacon position is out. 
  7. The chairman reported on him and Ulla Marie having met with Sven and Samuel who represent the corporation. They have spoken, amongst other things, about the share of the profits. They are onboard regarding our desicions, but we need to pay attention to the state of the community and the overall market. The sustainability guidelines were also discussed and how they may affect our investments in IFAB. An alternation of the articles of association is coming along, so is an adjustment regarding rules in place and modernization of the language. The suggestion is having an authorised auditor instead of two, that Probitas’ board will handle the other ’packaged’ corporations like Resedan 3 AB. The new articles of association will be laid forward for the congregation to decide on at a congregational meeting. Stephen has met with the pastors and representatives of the councils. There are many ideas of how we can work in new ways within the congregation. He also met with the staff yesterday to discuss how to work with the new operational plan – a bottom-up process where inputs need to come to the leading parts to make sure the operational process is moving forward. Also talk around different approaches. Many good discussions. What is diversity? What are the clallenges that come with it? 
  8. Hans-Olof reported from the corporations. Probitas has not met togehter since last time. The current situation of course has the hotels in an even tighter grip; so the small profit will likely be smaller. IFAB’s portfolio looks negative per October, but as of today positive again. Stephen will report on the situation at the congregational meeting this Sunday. 

6. Budget

Mats E recited a ”balanced budget” for 2021. All groups have done their own budgets and plans for the coming year. The activities are more or less the same compared to previous years. The budget is made with the asssumption of a normal year. We are still looking at some supplier agreements, if we can redo, better, and limit running expenses. The budget allows us to follow through on our ambitions. Decisions will be made at the coming December meeting. The rest of us raise questions around a couple of things: We see the prioritized areas; first and foremost children, youth and vulnerable communities. Development for our leaders and volunteers. The activities committees should get to give their points of view on this, they haven’t this year. They are working on an operational plan for several years to come, which is expected to be brought up at the annual meeting. That will also be an opportunity to discuss increased involvement and how that can happen. Gifts and collection is increasing with 200 thousand SEK to cover new things, the podcast for instance. We have reached a very good pace of increase in the offering. We want to do more, reach more people, we want to grow. Important that the offerings continue to increase.

7. Incoming officcial letter

We have recieved a letter from the Swedish activities committee around different processes and communication that we discussed.

8. Digital congregational info meeting on November 22nd. 

The points of information will be the budget, the Equmenia association, the nomination committee, and remaining points. For instance the coming congregational meeting and the calling of a new pastor to the Swedish group. Also the situation with the Portuguese group, the coming articles of association, the christmas market and other things. 

9. The nomination committee

We have recieved an official letter from the nomination committee, and we stand behind their proposals. We need simpler ways for the nomination committee to operate – huge workload to keep in contact with all the hundreds of people we elect every year. The committee needs to have a reasonable workload. Let us appeal to our groups that one perseveres in ones group until the annual meeting in 2022. That way the nomination committee can focus on the seven points they have proposed, and also take care of all committees – but not the groups. 

10 .Meeting dates

Checked off the coming meeting dates. 

11. Conclusion

Ulla Marie finished the meeting off with prayer.