Minutes from the digital Congregational Meeting in Immanuel Church March 21st 2021

Present in the broadcast:
Peter Dobers, Chair of the Meeting  
Ulla Marie Gunner, Senior Pastor 
Cathrin Sjöström, Congregational Secretary 
Roelof Hansman, incoming messages 
Isak Wang, AV Technician 
Michael Taubert, Camera and Videographer 
Lotta Hansman, Adjuster 

Simultaneous interpreter: Hanna Zuring Peterson

Connected: Approximately 25 devices

§ 1 Introduction

Peter Dobers informed the meeting that Stephen James was not able to attend and therefore, Peter, as a member of the Board, had accepted the mission to be the Chair of the Meeting. 

The Chair of the Meeting welcomed all present both physically and digitally connected, to the Congregational Meeting. He then described the possibility of participating through emails and text messages. 

The Chair presented the agenda for the meeting and informed that the adjusters for the meeting would be the same people as for the Congregational Meeting on the 24th of January, Anders Andersson and Lotta Hansman. 

§ 2 The Pandemic and the Congregation  

Senior Pastor, Ulla Marie Gunner, informed that the Church currently is open twice a week. It is hard to say when the Church will be able to be open more frequently but preparations have been made to be able to open as soon as the agencies give the OK. She also informed that there has been a big vaccination program in the works, together with the Region of Stockholm, which the staff have been working hard on. Now the Region of Stockholm have decided to decline due to the delays in the deliveries of vaccine and no longer need the Church facilities. 

Ulla Marie ended with giving everyone a warm welcome to take part in the meetings, activities, and possibilities there is to come to the Church. 

§ 3 Annual Meeting Moved    

The Chair informed that the Board have decided to move the Annual Meeting to Sunday October 3rd. The hope is to be able to wait until the pandemic allows meeting for a physical meeting. The decision has also been made to give the Election Committee more time to complete the tasks that have been placed upon them. 

§ 4 Finances and offerings, encl. 1

The Chair named the budget and the result for 2020 and concluded that the costs for 2020 were lower than what had been budgeted for. This is because there are less costs for the ministries and activities during the pandemic. The dividend from Probitas has gone according to plan. The offerings during 2020 have, despite the pandemic, been very good and the high goal was almost reached. Only 100 000 SEK away. 

The Chair presented the budget and increase that the budget shows for 2021. The offerings for January and February are not in line with the budget so there is a general concern for the total budget for 2021. The Board would like to encourage everyone to hold on to and continue to give offerings. 

§ 5 Work on the Ministry Action Plan 

The new Ministry Action Plan is late. The Chair presented that the background to this is that the current Ministry Action plan (from 2019), was extended. Since then the Board have been in discussion throughout 2020, and the Fellowship Councils and the staff have had a conjoined meeting on the 6th of February 2021. A lot of thoughts and ideas have been collected for the new Ministry Action Plan, how it is connected to the budget both short-term and long-term, among other things. The work on the Ministry Action Plan continues. 

§ 6 Immanuel 2.0, completed study 

The Chair and the Senior Pastor could happily inform that the study for Immanuel 2.0 has been completed. The study has been performed by Erik Amnå and Anna Helander. A big thank you was extended to them and all who have participated. 

The study is called” Congregational Life – 48 stories from Immanuel” and is available to be downloaded on the membership page. The Board encourages all to read it to gain a larger perspective and understanding on the diversity and who we are in Immanuel Church. If you want to know more about your Congregation, download the study from the members page and read it. 

§ 7 Immanuel Church Community 

Senior Pastor Ulla Marie Gunner concluded that it isn’t always easy to live with diversity. When we don’t understand each other or have different opinions we know how painful it is when conflicts occur. Lately it has been shown that the Congregation and the Board see importance in continuing to work on who we are. 

We fit under a big umbrella, and we don’t want to make the umbrella smaller. Our calling in and for Stockholm is to be able to live and work together, in respect of each other. It is built on the understanding of who we are, that we are a Congregation with many differences and to have respect for different expressions of belief. We need to feel secure in our standpoint theologically, and to be careful not to spread conspiracy theories and other things that are not true. 

To make this clearer, we sometimes need to refer to our fundamental documents that can be found on our website. We are a part of the Uniting Church of Sweden with roots in the Baptist Union of Sweden, United Methodist Church of Sweden, and Mission Covenant Church of Sweden. Immanuel Church is the largest congregation in the Uniting Church of Sweden and have possibilities other congregations don’t have. We both can and should stand for our differences and to create possibilities for all of us to be able to participate, to feel they have a place and to feel at home. 

Ulla Marie cited from the Congregation’s Constitutional Documents: 

Congregational Constitution – Foundational Principles: 

Prominent features of this heritage include the emphasis on personal commitment to Christ, the responsibility of the individual within the congregation and society, and democratic forms of decision-making.


It is through the unity of Christians that the world will come to faith. This unity needs to be continually renewed and confirmed, growing in diversity of faith and deed.

Congregational Statutes: 

… the visible body of Christ. Only God knows who in truth belongs to God’s people. The fellowship is enriched when different experiences, varied interpretations of the Bible and independent points of view on questions relating to the consequences of faith in life are shared in humility, openness, love and sensitivity. Each and every one serves the congregation and the surrounding world as they are able. 

For membership in the Congregation the Congregational Statutes say that it is the will to follow Christ that is the basis for membership.

§ 8 Staff update and changes 

Senior Pastor Ulla Marie Gunner gave an update over the staff. 

  • Maria Ottosson is the Congregation’s new Communicator and started a few months ago. 
  • Frida Fritzon starts in April as a Deacons Assistant and will have completed her Diaconal studies by the summer of 2022. By then Management hopes that the Congregation will call her as a Deacon. 
  • Daniel Nilsson, whom is the Congregation’s “Husmor”, has decided to quit his position. For the time being Helena Erkenborn will keep working with our kitchen, part time. 
  • Mats Engen is no longer working for the Church. Recruitment for a new head of Administration is underway. 

§ 9 More information 

a) Next Congregational Meeting May 30th 

The next Congregational Meeting will take place on May 30th at 14.00. During that meeting representatives for the Church Conference will be chosen, among other matters. 

b) Invitation to learn how our digital tools work

Senior Pastor Ulla Marie Gunner acknowledged that it isn’t in everyone’s everyday life to use digital tools and there is a possibility, even though we are in a pandemic, to meet up and have small meetings. She invited everyone who would like to learn how the Congregation’s digital tools work to email info@immanuelskyrkan.se . 

§ 10 Other matters 

Roelof Hansman read a greeting that had been sent in to the meeting saying thank you and sending encouragement to the simultaneous interpreting and the technical team who have been responsible for the broadcast as well as making it possible to be involved in the meeting from home. 

§ 11 Conclusion

Senior Pastor Ulla Marie Gunner said a prayer, and the Chair of the Meeting declared the meeting closed. 

Secretary of meeting:
Cathrin Sjöström, Church Secretary

Adjusted by: 
Peter Dobers, Chair of the Meeting, 
Lotta Hansman & Anders Andersson, Adjusters