Minutes from Congregational meeting 18 December 2022

Present:        Approx. 95 members
Interpreter: Marco Helles

§ 1                 Introduction
The chairman, Greger Hjelm, welcomed those present at the Congregational meeting. He then offered a prayer for the meeting and declared it open.

§ 2                 Adoption of the Agenda
When asked when the congregation will discuss the document “About Immanuel Church congregation”, which was distributed at the congregational meeting on November 13, 2022, the chairman replied that it will be discussed at the next possible congregational meeting where there is enough  time to do so. The agenda was then set.

§ 3                 Election of adjusters
Erik Amnå and Mikael Ivarsson were, together with the chairman, elected as adjusters for the minutes. These two were also elected as tellers.

§ 4       Decision on the calling of a new Senior Pastor
The chairman gave a recap of the information about the recruitment process and the criteria for recruiting a new Senior Pastor that had been shared with the congregation earlier on. (See the minutes from Sep. 25 and Dec. 4 2022, as well as the information sent by post about pastor Carin Dernulf).

The chairman underlined the hard work the board had done and how difficult it had been for the board to assess which of the applicants were suitable for the position. But, it is with joy that the board presented its proposal to the congregation to call Carin Dernulf as pastor and Senior Pastor in Immanuel Church. If Carin is called, she can take up her position on April 11, 2023. The chairman further emphasized that it is the congregation that makes decisions and with a two-thirds majority.

The floor was open for questions.

A congregational member thanked the board for a good and solid work. The members approved the board’s proposal, motivated particularly by Carin Dernulf’s background within Equmenia. As there were no other questions or comments, the congregation then made a decision.

The Congregation decided unanimously

to         call pastor Carin Dernulf as pastor and Senior Pastor in Immanuel Church’s

The chairman warmly thanked the congregation for the confidence it has entrusted in the board concerning this matter.

§ 5       Information on the decided budget 2023, appendix 1
The chairman clarified that the motion from the annual meeting in 2021 for the congregation to decide on the budget is about reviewing the statutes so that budget decisions are subordinated to the congregation. The board is working on a proposal for a constitutional amendment to be presented at the annual meeting in 2023.

Hans-Olof Hagén, board member and chairman of the finance committee, took over and first wanted to clarify that it is not normal for the board to present a deficit budget, but that the board want to, and dares make substantial investments in the budget for 2023, because profits from previous years can be used.

  • Revenue is expected to increase by approximately SEK 350 000. The big difference is that the congregation has started invoicing its rental of premises which till now was done via Probitas.
  • Operational costs are expected to increase by approx. SEK 2 260 000 depending, among others, on the new investment in the Immanuel production project, inflation, and costs for light and sound maintenance.
  • Personnel costs are expected to increase by about SEK 5 million, of which about half are from decisions made in 2022 and about half are in proposals for new investments. The Communication team with an IT specialist and two informants, are the largest part of the new investments. Hans-Olof underlined the importance of the congregation’s need to become sharper and more visible in digital media.
  • Other income and expenses are budgeted at approx. SEK 186 000.
  • The total budget for 2023 is minus SEK 7 206 000 and the deficit is supposed to be covered by profits from previous years.

The floor was open for questions.

A member commented on the offering and the fact that the fundraising collection in the Swedish service has become invisible. He considered that fundraising is an important symbolic act and when there is none, it gives a signal that it is not so important. Hans-Olof thanked for the comment and informed that for a long time the finance committee wished that information and announcements about the offerings would be better in our church services. Another member suggested that the congregation’s account number should be visible in broadcasts from the church and made clearer in agendas and information.

Another member believed that since the congregation has assets valued at SEK 4 billion, there should be a new overall plan to transfer resources to the church activities in the long term. Hans-Olof replied that the proposed investments are a first step in that direction.

The chairman thanked Hans-Olof Hagén for the information about the 2023 budget.

§ 6       Other matters

Farewell address to pastor Claes-Göran Ydrefors
The chairman delivered a speech in honor of pastor Claes-Göran Ydrefors, who is now leaving his interim position as Senior Pastor. The chairman expressed the congregation’s, the board’s and his own warmest gratitude to Claes-Göran for his generous, invaluable contribution during the year. Flowers and gifts were handed over to Claes-Göran who received a standing ovation. Claes-Göran thanked the congregation for the trust shown in him during the year.

§ 7       Conclusion
Pastor Claes-Göran Ydrefors encouraged the congregation to thank God for the decision the congregation made today and to pray for pastor Carin Dernulf and her start in the congregation. He said the benediction, after which the chairman closed the meeting.

Cathrin Sjöström, Congregational Secretary

Greger Hjelm, Chairman
Erik Amnå & Mikael Ivarsson, Adjusters