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Please Note

This text was published first on 3 October, 2021. It can therefore contain information or views that is inaccurate. It is online for archival purposes.

Minutes, Immanuel Church Annual meeting, 3 October, 2021, 13.30

Present: Approximately 110 members in the beginning of the meeting
and about 60 towards the end of the meeting 

Interpreters: Marco Helles, Gunilla Hjelmåker  

§ 1 Introduction
The Chair, Stephen James, welcomed everyone to the meeting. He opened with saying that it is impossible not to mention the Pandemic as the entire year has been affected by it. He used the book of the bible Habakkuk to provide an image of the situation, the happiness but also the sorrow. The fact that not all who belonged to the congregation 18 months ago are still here. But also, the fact that we are finally able to be together again. He said a prayer for the meeting and declared the meeting open. 

Stephen invited the Chair of the Board and the VP for the congregations’ three businesses: Probitas, Immanuel Church’s nursing home and Hotel Birger Jarl. They, as well as their employees were thanked with flowers for their contributions this difficult year. 

All Immanuel Church staff were invited to the front and were thanked for their valuable contributions with a symbolic flower each. 

§ 2 The question if the annual meeting has been announced according to the by-laws 
The meeting decided that the Annual Meeting had been announced according to the by-laws. 

§ 3 Determining of the agenda 
The Chair presented the agenda and the Annual meeting approved it. As far as the other questions go, it was decided that these will be brought up when the meeting gets to that point. 

§ 4 Election of Chair, Vice chair and Secretary for the Annual Meeting 
The meeting elected Karin Pettersson as the Chair of the meeting, Tobias Ejeby as the Vice chair and Cathrin Sjöström as secretary. The Chair of the Board then handed over the meeting to the Presidium. 

§ 5 Election of tellers
The convenor for the election committee, Karin Sandström presented the election committees suggestion that for the tellers, choose; Agnetha Dalemark as convenor, Jacques Lombard, David Nyori, Görel Byström Janarv, Lotta Hansman, Irene Tynnemark and Ingvar Kvernes.  

The meeting voted in accordance with the suggestion. 

§ 6 Election of Adjusters
The convenor for the election committee, Karin Sandström presented the election committees suggestion that as adjusters, choose; Jacques Lombard and Görel Byström Janarv together with the Chair and Vice chair to adjust the minutes from the meeting.

The meeting voted in accordance with the suggestion. 

§ 7 Annual report, encl. 1
Senior Pastor Ulla Marie Gunner started with mentioning that the year of 2020 has been a bewildering year. The congregation adapted and did not cancel. In this adaption it was clear that the congregation is not just the building, but the relationship with Jesus Christ as a congregation and the relationship between each other. 

The restrictions due to the Pandemic made planning difficult, and the ministries were making constant changes. She pointed out page 9 in the Annual report for an overview of the most important activities that have affected the life and fellowships of Immanuel Church. She continued with a few examples from the year. 

Diaconal Care:

Lunch in Community had to go through big changes to start serving meals outside. Tents were purchased, less volunteers were able to help, more hygiene and new logistics to enable handing out lunch bags. Lunch Concerts took place every week throughout the warmer months in the yard of Löjtnantsgården. Walks together have also been possible instead of visits. 

Children & Youth: 

International Sunday School switched to digital broadcasts every week, which demanded knowledge of new digital tools. Gaming became an activity that continued to work for the older kids. The Music School’s activities were able to continue as usual. 

Digital work: 

To adapt and switch over to everything digital was completely new for both staff and volunteers. It was a bit shaky to begin with but has become much better throughout the journey. Apart from digital services it has been possible to take part in digital worship, concerts and to meet in small groups, among other things. Ulla Marie mentioned that for example, digital meetings in small groups for parents of young children has been positive. 

But here at the Church, it was empty and gauntly since there were no opportunities to meet as a congregation. This made it even more clear how much the volunteers have provided for life and movement in the Church facilities. To record services at the Church, together with colleagues and other participants became a privilege. And even though the pandemic brought restrictions to only be able to meet in small groups, we were able to create a service with the conditions we were provided.

For the staff, all adaptations and cancelled plans have taken a lot of time and energy, as well as handling and planning of all new digital tools. The staff have also taken the opportunity to work on tasks that are hard to manage when the ministries are at a normal state, such as cleaning out closets, for example. 

View, Annual report 2020, encl. 1, page 6-19, for more information. 

Ulla Marie mentioned how hard the hotel has been doing throughout the pandemic with having to fire so many of their staff. Now that their business is increasing again, they are having problems hiring new staff. She asked the congregation to keep the Hotel and their staff in their prayers. 

As far as the pandemic goes, Ulla Marie encouraged the congregation to continue to show consideration, have respect and keep a distance. She also encouraged everyone who hasn’t been vaccinated and has questions on vaccination to contact her. In the congregation there are people who would like to help with this, and Ulla Marie will then connect people. 

Ulla Marie concluded by asking the congregation to stand up while she gratefully mentioned the names of the members who had died during the year, and said a prayer. 

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

The meeting accepted and gratefully submitted the report.  

§ 8 The Ministry Evaluation Committee, encl. 2
No representatives from the Ministry Evaluation Committee were present at the meeting. A question was raised regarding how the suggestions in the report, both to the congregation and the Board, will be handled.  

The meeting decided that the Ministry Evaluation Committee’s report, with all their suggestions, will be handed over to the Board for a report back to the congregation at a congregational meeting. 

§ 9 Administrative report and Profit and Loss Balance Sheet, encl. 1 and 3
The congregation’s new Chief of Administration, Marianne Eriksson, introduced herself and went through the 2020 finances of Immanuel Church. The numbers are presented in the printed publications of the Annual report for 2020, encl. 1 page 24-51. 

The congregation’s result for 2020 is plus 9.703 thousand SEK, which is a lot better than last years budget. To see the division of profit and loss, you may view the enclosure. 

In the enclosure there is a graph for collections over the past ten years, which has increased the past year. The amount of donors for the church fee has also increased. Donations are given more and more via postal giro, bank giro and Swish. Cash in a traditional collection box has dramatically decreased compared to the previous year. 

Marianne then presented the result for the different ministries in the congregation with profits, costs, and staff costs for each area. The areas that were presented were diaconal care, Immanuel youth, the congregation’s music, The Immanuel Church Music School, mission and aid, shared support, and shared costs. For more detailed information, view encl. 3.  

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

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

§ 10 The Auditor’s report, encl. 1
Martin Nääs who is an authorized Auditor at PwC has, together with the authorized Auditor Christina Gotting, performed the Audit for 2020 of Immanuel Church congregation including the Immanuel group. View the Annual report, encl. 1, page 52-54.

The audit shows that the finances and the books look good, and Martin mentioned that they have had a good dialogue with the staff involved in this work throughout the process. The finances of the congregation have a low-risk level. The Accountants present an Audit report without any notes and Martin read the statements that the accountants have made. The Auditors advise the Annual meeting to approve the Board members to be discharged for the financial year. 

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

The meeting accepted and gratefully submitted the report. 

§ 11 Determining of the audit for 2020 as well as the Profit and Loss Balance per December 31st, 2020
The meeting confirmed the Profit-and-Loss Account of the church and the Immanuel group for 2020 and the Balance sheet of the Immanuel group as per 31 December 2020. 

§ 12 Discharge from reliability for the Congregational Board for 2020 
The meeting granted the Board discharge from liability for the financial year 2020, according to the recommendation of the auditors.  

The convenor for the election committee, Karin Sandström, informed that it has been challenging for the election committee during the pandemic and that their tasks have been fewer this year. The people in the committees and groups that the committee has not worked with will remain appointed to these tasks, with respect if somebody decides to leave their post. 

She then presented the suggestion from the election committee, to appoint Greger Hjelm as new Chair of the Board. She referred to the presentations that had been published about Greger. 

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

The meeting decided to elect Greger Hjelm as new Chair of the Board for the next year. 

§ 14 Election of Board Members, encl. 4 
The convenor for the election committee, Karin Sandström, informed that two current Board members will not stand to be reelected. The election committee has also this year chosen a list of six names for the six posts that are to be chosen and then presented the election committee’s suggestion. 

The subject was opened to the floor. 

One member wanted to ensure that it is written in the minutes that a suggested list of six people should not be presented, but out of a more democratic standpoint more names should be presented to be able to be voted on. There were no other suggestions for Board members. 

The meeting elected the following people to be Board members in the congregational Board for two years: 

Maria Eriksson new election 

Johan Sahlén new election

Barbro Ericsson re-election

Evado Arfs re-election

Claes Jonsson re-election

Peter Dobers re-election

Until the Annual meeting of 2022, Cecilia Mjönes, Gunilla Hjelmåker, Hans-Olof Hagén, Ingrid Östlund, Mats Bernö and Roelof Hansman will continue to be Board members. 

§ 15 Election of two permanent auditors and two substitute auditors, encl. 5
The convenor of the election committee, Karin Sandström, presented the election committee’s suggestion; to elect Martin Nääs and Christina Gotting as permanent auditors and Susanne Westman and Tobias Ejeby as substitute auditors for a year. 

The meeting decided in accordance with the suggestion.

§16 Election of Ministry Evaluation Committee, encl. 5
The convenor for the election committee, Karin Sandström, presented the election committee’s suggestion, that for Ministry Evaluation Committee elect Ingvar Kvernes as convenor, Chinedo Deborah Oji and Kun Wan Kim for a year as well as Mirjam Olsson as an alternate for a year. 

The meeting decided in accordance with the suggestion. 

§ 17 Election of members in the three Councils encl. 5
The convenor for the election committee, Karin Sandström, presented the election committee’s suggestion and asked at the same time that the Board will review the organization and the councils to clarify their tasks.

The subject was opened to the floor. 

A suggestion was made to appoint Inga Johansson to the Swedish council for a year. For the International council, it was stated that an investigation might be needed to make clear if there are people missing whom should have been presented in the suggestion. If that is the case, these members will be chosen in an extra election at the next congregational meeting. 

The meeting decided to elect the suggestions that have been presented in the enclosed document, with the changes mentioned above. 

§ 18 Election of members of other committees and representatives, encl. 5
The convenor of the election committee, Karin Sandström, presented the election committee’s suggestion for the five committees they have worked with.

A new committee is the committee for diaconal care. For the music school committee there was an added suggestion that Anders Andersson should also be nominated. 

The subject was opened to the floor. 

The meeting decided that, including the above-mentioned adjustments, to choose those names and time periods that had been suggested in the enclosed document for these five committees. 

§ 19 Election of the nominating committee for 2022
Senior Pastor Ulla Marie Gunner presented that the nominees for members in the nominating committee had not yet been completed. Therefore, she suggested: 

  • That a decision on nominating committee will be taken at the next congregational meeting. 
  • That the current election committee be asked to be available until then. 

The meeting decided in accordance with the suggestion. 

§ 20 Information on Immanuel Senior, encl. 1 
The Chair of Immanuel Senior Rachel Norborg Jerkeby, informed that the association had 357 members when everything was closed in March of 2020. In the Annual report, encl. 1 page 17, 56-57 you can read more about the past year for Immanuel Senior. 

The association has now started their activities again and the program for the autumn is printed. It includes 17 get-togethers and four hikes. Rachel welcomed all people available during the daytime and reminded everyone that the association doesn’t have a minimum age for participation. 

§ 21 Information on Equmenia Immanuel Stockholm (EIS)
Stephen James provided a summary of what was mentioned at the 2020 Annual meeting from the board of EIS, on putting the association on hold. The congregation were upset over this decision. What EIS had mentioned was partially the difficulty of recruiting new members to the association as well as to a board and that the association have had problems knowing what their mandate is.  

The congregational board’s discussion after that raised the question if maybe it makes a difference between Immanuel youth and other churches youth groups as Immanuel Church youth ministries are led by staff and not by volunteers. And in that sense maybe it’s more difficult to know what an equmenia association can contribute with. In Immanuel Church there is also more diversity among the youth where many probably don’t know what Equmenia is or what their purpose is. 

At the informational meeting that was broadcasted digitally to the congregation’s members on 22 November, 2020, the discussion that the Board had had after the decision from EIS, was raised. Two questions were sent to the councils: 

  • Is an equmenia association possible at Immanuel Church? 
  • How will it be able to cooperate with our other ministries in a sustainable way and become a natural part in the congregation? 

The questions for the councils remain and the Board hopes the councils will be able to start looking into this again, now after the Pandemic. 

§ 22 Decision to extend the current ministry plan as well as a report on a new ministry plan, encl. 6
Senior Pastor Ulla Marie Gunner presented the process so far in the work towards a suggestion for a new ministry plan. A full day of discussions has taken place with the Board, the councils as well as the staff’s follow up work which has resulted in a smaller work group among the staff. The group has created a different structure from how the current ministry plan is presented. The new suggestion is a grid and starts with the church’s three parts: fellowship, diaconal care and testimony on the one axis. On the other axis all the congregation’s prioritized areas are listed and how they work within the three parts of the church. View the enclosed document for more details. 

The subject was opened to the floor. 

One member asked about the report for Immanuel 2.0, and when it could be given to the congregation to work through and analyze it so that the advice in the report can be added to the work on the new ministry plan. Ulla Marie Gunner thanked for the reminder on the report and presented that the management will get back to the report and find time to be able to discuss it. 

The meeting decided on extending the current ministry plan until the new one is completed. 

§ 23 Motions sent to the Annual Meeting 

a) Motion om Immanuel 153, encl. 7

The writers Erik And Paulina Fröling presented their arguments for developing Immanuel 153’s reference group to their own council. This Fellowship has been active for 16 years with their own services, their own culture and their own identity. They deem it to be difficult to motivate people involved in 153 to be dedicated to the Swedish council as the council has had just a small insight in the group and ministries of 153 and in their opinion, it is ineffective and off topic. According to them, it would be enriching for both the Swedish 11o’clock service and Immanuel 153 if they were able to shape their own ministries. The writers of the motion said thank you for the answer from the Board and emphasized that Immanuel 153 want a church that cooperates, and that having their own council would not hinder that. 

Stephen James represented the Board. He thanked them for their dedication and presented the Board’s answer to continue discussing this with the entire group of 153. It is important to analyze how their own council would be beneficial for the congregations’ ministries as a whole and not just Immanuel 153. 

The subject was opened to the floor. 

Karin Sandström suggested adding a comment to the Board’s answer; to include looking at the organization as an entirety. 

The meeting decided to approve the Board’s answer to the motion. 

b) Motion on budget, encl. 7
The writer Claes-Göran Ydrefors presented his arguments that it should be the Annual meeting that decides on budget and offerings. In his opinion, the order is peculiar and that the current order sends a signal to members that they are not trusted to make such a decision. He also mentioned that the power over budget and finances in the congregation is a theological and democratical issue. 

He also voiced his opinion that the Board had not responded to his question on what is so difficult in Immanuel Church that members can not be responsible for their own budget. In his opinion, it’s good that the Board aims to give the congregation influence over the offering budget but that it isn’t enough. How will the offering be understandable if it is not known where the money is going? He demanded an acceptance of his suggestion, to change the order so that the entire budget is the congregation’s decision. 

Hans-Olof Hagén represented the Board. He presented the Board’s answer to this motion where there is a lot of similar interest in what the writer is saying. However, the Board do not agree on the writer’s view on that the current democracy would disempower the members of the congregation. The Board is responsible for the budget whereas the ministry plan is the important instrument that the congregation has influence over. 

The subject was opened to the floor. 

Claes-Göran Ydrefors repeated that he had not received a response to his question on what is so difficult and complicated that the members are not able to take part in the decision-making. In his opinion, it is a question of power and encouraged the members of the congregation to, together discuss the budget. 

The meeting decided to approve the suggestion from the writer of the motion. 

c) Motion on Communication and by-laws, encl. 7
The writer Ruby Bleppony read her motion. It has its base in how she views the procedure of the congregational meeting on January 24th, 2021. With a background to how some decisions have been made in the congregation during the Pandemic, she would like to, for the future, ensure that communication is clearer, and that information is sent out two weeks ahead of time to the members of the congregation. It is especially important when deviations from the by-laws need to be made. She also highlighted the importance of more purposefully work with a fellowship where our differences will be considered. 

Emma Darelid represented the Board. In the answer to the motion, it is mentioned that when the Board needed to deviate from the by-laws it has been communicated via mail and there has also been an opportunity to get in touch digitally. The board has aimed to follow the by-laws as far as possible and when the Pandemic made it impossible, information has been sent out on that matter. Information has been available in both Swedish and in English. She also informed that the Board has an ongoing project on improving fellowship. 

The subject was opened to the floor. 

Pieter Trapman also pointed something out from the congregational meeting on January 24th, 2021. In his opinion, if diversions from the by-laws needed to be made, the congregation should be informed at least two weeks ahead of time. The information must be available in all languages. 

The meeting decided to approve the Board’s answer to the motion. 

d) Motion on Mandate Periods, encl. 7
None of the writers of the motion were present. 

Claes Jonsson represented the Board and presented the Board’s answer to this motion. The congregation has determined the mandate periods for the councils at a congregational meeting in 2016. The Board does not share the writer’s experiences that the current mandate periods are limited. 

The subject was opened to the floor. 

The meeting decided to approve the Board’s answer to the motion. 

e) Motion on Saturday/Sunday at Immanuel, encl. 7
The writer Bengt-Olov Tengmark presented his motion. He mentioned that he meets people all the time at church, and especially through his dedication to Lunch in Community. Bengt-Olov has noticed that the congregation wishes to be able to meet not only in the services. In his opinion, it is very difficult to enter the community of the church. For him, it took three years. In his opinion, the volunteers for Christmas in Community would like to come to Immanuel Church but not to the services and therefore Bengt-Olov would like the congregation to find new ways to meet, so that it can be easier to be included and fellowship to be encouraged. 

Bengt-Olov is not satisfied with the answer from the Board as they, in his opinion, are moving the responsibility over to the councils instead of a decision being made by the congregation. He then sent in a counter proposal as a compromise to the Board’s answer to the motion.  

Counter proposal from the writer: 

  • that the Annual meeting decide to grant the councils with a tangible suggestion in the spirit of the motion, 
  • that the suggestion should be presented to the congregation in the spring of 2022. 

Ingrid Östlund represented the Board. The Board are positive towards the motion as it is but point out that the writer now has presented a new suggestion that the Board hasn’t had a chance to consider. 

The subject was opened to the floor.  

The meeting decided to approve the writer’s new suggestion. 

f) Motion on Diaconal Care, encl. 7
The writer of the motion was not present at the meeting. 

Barbro Eriksson represented the Board and she read the motions’ three action points as well as the Board’s response to these. 

The subject was opened to the floor.  

The meeting decided to approve the Board’s answer to the motion. 

g) Motion on a Joint Council, encl. 7
The writer of the motion was not present. 

Claes Jonsson represented the Board. The Board view closer cooperation and exchange between the councils as positive. The opinion of the writer is that it is unclear which responsibilities and mandates the councils have. Claes informed that the description of the responsibility and mandate has been intentionally written a little unclear since there are different traditions and maturity in the three councils. The Board do not think it is the right time to decide on a new organization at the Annual meeting and instead encourage the councils to work towards a better cooperation in-between themselves. The Board would be happy to join in such meetings if the councils want them to. 

The subject was opened to the floor.  

Lotta Hansman voiced her opinion that it is unclear how the different councils can and should communicate with each other, as well as how the councils and the Board can and should communicate with each other. 

The meeting decided to approve the Board’s answer to the motion. 

§ 24 Farewell and thank you to outgoing Board Members 
Claes Jonsson, member of the congregational Board, said a thank you to the three outgoing board members Stephen James, Lynda Eneh and Emma Darelid with a bouquet of flowers each. He said a warm thank you to them for everything they have contributed, with their different backgrounds and additional skills. And that it is among the differences that Immanuel Church has its challenges and its strengths. 

§ 25 Other Matters 

Kjell Walfridsson asked about the election committee’s work throughout the year. He is wondering why the work of the election committee has been so confined. He is missing, i.e., Groups in the brochure and has reacted to the explanation in the text on this matter. 

He highlighted that it is the congregation who appoint a election committee and that they report to the Annual meeting, not to the Board. The Annual meeting is the congregation’s meeting and the goal for the meeting should not be making the meeting as effective as possible. Immanuel Church shall not transfer company thinking upon a congregation. Volunteers are responsible for very large contributions in the congregation’s ministries, and, in his opinion, it is a minimum requirement that all permanent groups are made visible and that it should be a part of the election committees task to suggest responsible people for each group. 

Kjell urged the congregation to decide that the Board’s future suggestions for the election committee should be submitted to the following Annual meeting to be processed and decided upon. The election committee work for the Annual meeting and therefore their tasks should be decided by the Annual meeting. 

Karin Sandström spoke from she experience of the work in the election committee and their efforts. She means that the election committee’s work needs to be changed, otherwise no one will want to take on that work. Karin views it as inappropriate to connect a decision on the work of the election committee to an Annual meeting as it would slow down the process. 

The meeting decided that the Board will work on a suggestion and present it to the congregation on how extensive the work of the election committee should be. A decision on the suggestion will be taken at a congregational meeting. 

b) Communication when a selected member steps down 
Pieter Trapman found out in April that one of the members of the election committee decided to leave its post. He then asked why the Board hadn’t communicated this to the congregation, since the person had been chosen by the congregation. He was satisfied with the answer he then received from the Board but noticed that the person’s name was still in the presented material for this years’ Annual meeting. Therefore, the person’s exit from the committee has been made known even though the Board mentioned in their response to him that such things aren’t communicated to the congregation. In Pieters opinion, if a person should be included or not in the presented material should not be up to the Board to decide as the election committee has been chosen by the congregation. 

§ 26 Conclusion
The congregations’ newly chosen Chair of the Board, Greger Hjelm, said a thank you to everyone for the trust he has received in becoming the new Chair. He feels very happy and inspired to begin working. The list of matters for the Board was long even before the Annual meeting and now, with the decisions made throughout the meeting, the list has become even longer. He asked the congregation for patience, support, and prayers. 

Senior Pastor Ulla Marie Gunner ended with a prayer and Chair of the meeting Karin Pettersson declared the Annual meeting of 2021 closed. 


Cathrin Sjöström, Secretary of the meeting


Karin Pettersson, Chair of the meeting

Tobias Ejeby, Vice chair of the meeting

Jacques Lombard, Adjuster

Görel Byström Janarv, Adjuster