Report from the Board, 17 Nov 2022

The board gathered in the church premises for one of the last board meetings of the year. The meeting began with the board reflecting on the chapter Unity in the book Roadmap by Uniting Church in Sweden. Discussing unity in particular is always relevant for a congregation, not the least for a congregation like Immanuel Church with its exuberant diversity of opinions, backgrounds, language, culture, place of residence and so on. Many thoughts were raised; the gathering around Christ and the focus on Him is a unifying force. A member expressed the idea that our mission is to give body to the diversity that exists in creation. Diversity offers more perspectives of God and can help us dig deeper in sermons or texts. Can the ambition to achieve diversity become divisive? It is central for us to know what kind of congregation we are. The humility resides in not having all our questions answered and that is also important, remarked one member.

The board members were delighted that we got a candidate to accept the position of Senior pastor. The pastor will preach on the 4th of December and a call to the congregational meeting will be laid out. When our Interim Senior pastor ends his term at the turn of the year, there will be a vacant period. This means, among others, that the highest official will not be available. A solution for this was discussed, among others. The Chief of administration will have an expanded role during the interim period so that the administration functions without disruption. An interim solution for the service in English was also developed, to create space for a possible permanent solution in the coming years.

An offensive budget was adopted. Good years in asset management can be used for a period to develop the church’s activities at several different levels. One trend, however, is that offering has been low during the year and other income have been lower, e.g., changed focus on serving and renting.

The Senior pastor was able to report a strong influx of members, not the least among slightly younger people. The church can now also be seen on a LED sign board of the Hotel Birger Jarl’s premises. This is a much-appreciated collaboration and the hotel highlighted that it adds meaning to their work knowing that the profit goes to Immanuel Church.

There is a pronounced desire to increase the worship life of many. The Mission and Aid committee’s concrete work with Congo and India were highlighted.

The church’s property has had a number of measures taken to increase safety, to work on the interior design, maintenance, and better fire protection.

Finally, it was reported that several of the board’s members met with the environment and justice group to discuss how to take environmental issues forward. There was a constructive conversation about how the congregation can work on these issues both on a concrete and strategic level. The Uniting Church in Sweden has produced good material that can both guide and serve as inspiration.