Present in the Broadcast:
Stephen James, Chair of the meeting
Ulla Marie Gunner, Senior Pastor
Cathrin Sjöström, Congregational Secretary
Roelof Hansman, incoming messages
Peter Dobers, incoming messages
Isak Wang, AV Technician
Michael Taubert, Camera and Videographer
Kristoffer Byström, Sound Technician
Håkan Hagerius, Deputy Church Leader (present during §1-2)
Simultaneous interpreter: Hanna Zuring Peterson
Registered members: 88
§ 1 Introduction
The Chair of the Congregation, Stephen James, welcomed everyone present, both physically and digitally connected to the meeting and said a prayer for the meeting. He then informed on how to register with each person’s unique code to be able to participate in the voting. The Chair then let senior Pastor Ulla Marie Gunner continue the meeting.
§ 2 A greeting from the Deputy Church leader Joakim Hagerius at the Uniting Church of Sweden
Senior Pastor Ulla Marie Gunner presented today’s guest Joakim Hagenius, who has been the Deputy Church Leader in The Uniting Church of Sweden for almost a year now. Joakim gave a sermon this Sunday in the Swedish 11.00 Service and was now presented to the entire Congregation.
Ulla Marie and Joakim had a conversation on how Joakim’s first year had been in this important role he has and Joakim went on to say that it has been strange to start a new position and not be able to meet colleagues and congregations in Sweden. Due to the pandemic, the contact with other people has solely happened through the small boxes on his computer screen.
Joakim and the rest of the management at The Uniting Church of Sweden have struggled with questions on how they best can support congregations in opening again and the changes that might come with that. What was normal before the pandemic may not be normal after. How can the congregations connect with people who, due to the pandemic have started to think about existential issues?
Regarding The Uniting Church of Sweden’s international work, Joakim informed that there is a suggestion for the Church Conference that the five areas where The Uniting Church of Sweden currently support work and projects, will be three. An important thought with this suggestion is to complete Diaconia and not work within the same areas. If the suggestion would go through at the Church Conference, there is nothing that will hinder local congregations to decide to continue engaging in their current projects, even if these places are no longer one of The Uniting Church of Sweden’s prioritized areas.
Ulla Marie Gunner gave Joakim Hagerius a warm thank you for wanting to participate and share a moment at the Congregational Meeting and sent him well wishes and Gods blessing in his assignment.
§ 3 Testing of digital voting via SMS
The Chair informed on how members can send in their questions or comments during the meeting and then went on to explain the procedure of how the SMS voting works.
Four test questions were used with a voting time of one (1) minute. This was a multiple-choice question with three possible answers, Yes/No/Abstain. After the completed testing the Chair went on to the voting on the points in the agenda.
§ 4 Approval of the Agenda
The Chair presented the agenda for the meeting which was accepted with 98% of the votes.
§ 5 Election of Adjusters
Greger Hjelm and Anna Walfridsson were voted to be adjusters with 92% of the votes.
§ 6 Offerings, see ppt-presentation
The Chair presented the situation on the offerings in the Congregation and showed two clear images. During 2020 the offerings landed at just about 70 000SEK below the budgeted amount, even though the church had to close. The Chair gave a warm thank you to the Congregation for this.
For 2021 it is looking worrisome. The budget for January-April is 1,7MSEK, but the result for this period is 1,43MSEK which is 270 000SEK below the budgeted amount.
The Chair encouraged everyone to give more and hoped it will be at the same level as 2020. It is looking like a lot of ministry activities will be able to start up again, so the offering is needed to be able to support those. The Chair asked the members to think about and pray on how each one of us can help to support the Congregation.
§ 7 Information to the Congregation
Senior Pastor Ulla Marie Gunner reminded everyone about the printed version of the annual report for 2020 that has been sent out by mail to all members. The annual report is available in both Swedish and English. Ulla Marie encouraged everyone to read it and save it for the Annual Meeting in October. She also informed on a typo in the year that is in one of the charts on page 25. The chart is meant to have the same years as all other charts.
Ulla Marie informed on how the church will be able to be open, going forward. She reminded the meeting that we are still in a pandemic and that is why opening will happen in small steps. She referred to the Congregational Newsletter that was sent out 28th May where there is information on how opening will take place and how the summer services are planned.
- The Korean and International Services will continue to be broadcasted online and will open in some way this fall.
- The Swedish Services at 11.00 and 16.00 will open for 50 people from Sunday June 6th and for a few Sundays following. After that, prerecorded services will be broadcasted for the rest of Summer.
- All are welcome for a Communion Service every Sunday and Wednesday at 14.30 for a few weeks in June.
- All are welcome for a Communion Service every Sunday at 18.00 from Midsummer and throughout the rest of Summer.
Open Church and other matters:
- The Church is open on Sundays from 13.00-14.30 and on Wednesdays from 13.30-14.30 for a few weeks in June.
- You are welcome to come to the Main Sanctuary for a moment of stillness, lighting of a candle or prayer. From the 23rd of June the Church will be open on Wednesdays from 13.00-15.00.
- From the middle of August, we are planning on opening the Church Square again with a manned information desk.
- From the middle of September, we hope to be able to start having After Church Coffee again.
The Swedish authorities decide on the rules and guidelines and the Church Management and Staff do what is possible within these rules and guidelines to meet the needs of the Congregation.
Lastly Ulla Marie presented a few recruitment processes that are underway:
- Principal for the Music School when the current principal, Peter Eriksson, retires.
- Director for Service when Michael Taubert retires.
- Husmor after Daniel Nilsson. Ulla Marie asked for any recommendations from the Congregation.
- The University Chaplaincy choir will start this fall with Åsa Bosdotter as choir leader. This has been made possible when the Frescati institution was closed.
§ 8 Election of delegates for the Church Conference at the Uniting Church of Sweden in September 2021
The Chair presented the election committee’s suggestion for delegates to represent the Congregation in the Church Conference at the Uniting Church of Sweden in September 2021.
With 92% of the votes, the Congregation voted to support the suggestion and the following people will represent Immanuel Church at the Church Conference:
Mikael Ivarsson, convenor
Anders Andersson Camilla Widäng
Evado Arfs Bibbi Ydrefors
Anna Berndes Claes-Göran Ydrefors
Erik Fröling Ingrid Östlund
Agnetha Dalemark Eva Vidén
Anita Hansbo Kjell Walfridsson
§ 9 Other matters
Throughout the meeting a question came in regarding if it would be possible to announce the suggested names earlier. Senior Pastor Ulla Marie Gunner responded that, normally, the names would have been presented in the meeting. Now the names were presented on the website a day or two before the meeting.
Ulla Marie reminded everyone to go in on the member page on the website. This is a more internal page for the members to take part in reports from the board, minutes, the constitution, and other documents that are specific for the members of the Congregation.
Out of the comments that had been sent in during the meeting regarding the SMS-voting, it seems to have worked well and most are positive to the procedure and think it was very easy to use.
§ 10 Conclusion
Senior Pastor Ulla Marie Gunner said a prayer, and the Chair thanked everyone for participating and then declared the meeting closed.
Secretary of Meeting:
Cathrin Sjöström, Church Secretary
Stephen James, Chair of the Congregation
Greger Hjelm & Anna Walfridsson, Adjusters