Minutes from the Congregational meeting 12 June 2022

Present: approximately 70 members

Interpreter: Tomas Eriksson 

§ 1 Introduction

The Chairman of the Board, Greger Hjelm, welcomed those present to the congregational meeting, said a prayer and declared the meeting open.

§ 2 Adoption of the agenda  

Another question was added to the agenda, after which the agenda was adopted.

§ 3 Election of adjusters   

Claes Ericsson and Brenda Taylor were together with the chairman, elected as adjusters for the minutes. 

§ 4       By-election to the Ministry Evaluation Committee

The Election Committee proposes the election of Ingvar Kvernes for a by-election to the Ministry Evaluation Committee.

The Congregation decided according to the proposal.

§ 5       Calling of deacons

The Interim Senior Pastor Claes-Göran Ydrefors reported on the recruitment work carried out in order to be able to propose the appointment of a new deacon today. The proposal to the congregation is to call deacon Sara Stignäs, a trained teacher who has worked with students learning Swedish as a second language, is also experienced in working within Hela Människan in Botkyrka and within Equmenia associations and works as an instructor in group training. Sara works with humans as a whole, with spirit, body and soul. The board believes that Sara, with the experiences she has acquired will be a strong addition to the congregation’s diaconal team. The board proposes that the congregation calls deacon Sara Stignäs to the congregation, starting on August 15, 2022. If the congregation says yes, Sara will be installed in a joint service on Sunday October 9, 2022.

The congregation had some questions that Claes-Göran answered and a strong desire was expressed to have all deacons presented in all the language groups this autumn.

The congregation decided to call deacon Sara Stignäs starting August 15, 2022. 

§ 6       Information on Interim Pastor Gábor Lassu

As promised in the congregational newsletter, the chairman provided additional information about Interim Pastor Gábor Lassu’s background, education, and family. He also explained that when it is a temporary / interim pastoral position, it is the board that decides on the employment of a pastor. 

Representatives from the recruitment group informed that the work in the recruitment group had worked very well. The group’s focus has been on finding the right person for this one-year position and that the person can start working as soon as possible. The recruitment group is very pleased with both the process and the fact that the election landed on Pastor Gábor Lassu.

Based on the questions that came up, it was clarified that after the agreed period of service, Gábor is free to apply for the permanent pastoral position if he wishes.

§ 7       Information on other recruitments

The chairman informed that so far there have been 6 applications for the position of Senior Pastor. The application does not have an end date, but the board’s working group (Ingrid Östlund, Barbro Ericsson and Greger Hjelm), which is responsible for finding candidates for the position, also works to contact suitable candidates and ask them to apply for the position. The process takes time and the chairman asked the congregation to pray for the right person to apply. Claes-Göran Ydrefors has promised to be at the Congregation’’s disposal during the autumn as Interim Senior Pastor. This vacancy can last for a while. 

Interim Senior Pastor Claes-Göran Ydrefors took over and informed the congregation about other recruitments and the staff situation. In connection with the Equmenia Church’s Church Conference in Vårgårda in August, Winnie Olofsson and Frida Fritzon will go into what is called the guidance year and may thus be called pastor and deacon respectively.

On Sunday, September 25, there will be a congregational meeting where the board will propose that the congregation call Frida Fritzon as a deacon in the congregation and to call pastor with a focus on young people. Furthermore, Claes-Göran informed that Isabelle Erkenborn started as Café Manager 50% on June 1, that Åke Larsson will start as an HR generalist 100% on August 15 and that the coordinator for music life in the congregation is underway. He also informed that the Swedish Work Environment Authority has made an inspection of the workplace.  

§ 8       Financial report

The Chairman of the Finance Committee, Hans-Olof Hagén, gave a short report on the offering situation. During the first pandemic in 2020, the offering was at a good level, despite the fact that the church was closed to most activities. In 2021, the offering was lower, but from a budget perspective, still acceptable because the congregation had less activity. Now in 2022, operations have started up again, but the offering is even lower than in 2021. For the first quarter of 2022, SEK 250,000 is needed. If it continues, SEK 1 million will be lost on an annual basis. Hans-Olof urged members to open their wallets.

§ 9       Other questions 

Agneta Källmark, landlord at Löjtnantshuset, was worried that the broadcasts of worship services to Löjtnantshuset (and Löjtnantsgården) would take a break this summer. Many of the congregation members cannot go to the church and it will be a very long time to wait until September to participate in the worship services from the congregation via broadcast.

Interim Senior Pastor Claes-Göran Ydrefors explained that the summer break is due to the fact that after the pandemic, there are fewer people in the voluntary technical teams. There are simply no resources available this summer. The small group of technical volunteers needs time off. He emphasized that there is a great need for volunteers for several of the congregational groups. 

§ 10     Conclusion

Interim Senior Pastor Claes-Göran Ydrefors said a closing prayer after which the chairman closed the meeting.

Cathrin Sjöström 

Greger Hjelm, Chairman               
Brenda Taylor & Claes Ericsson