Please Note

This text was published first on 13 February, 2023. It can therefore contain information or views that is inaccurate. It is online for archival purposes.

Minutes from Congregational meeting 22 January 2023

Present: Approximately 90 members

Interpreters:  Tomas Eriksson, Marco Helles 

§ 1 Introduction and opening of the meeting

The chairman, Greger Hjelm welcomed those present to the congregational meeting. He thanked everyone participating in today’s joint service and introduced the interpreters of the congregational meeting. He then declared the meeting open.

§ 2 Adoption of the agenda 

Item 8, Other matters switched place with item 7, Conversation about the Congregation thereafter the agenda was set.

§ 3 Election of adjusters  

Agneta Dalemark and Bengt-Olov Tengmark were elected as adjusters for the minutes together with the chairman. The chairman then said a prayer. 

§ 4 Election of representatives to organizations 

The convener of the election committee, Karin Sandström, presented the election committee’s proposal for representatives in three of the organizations the congregation is involved in.

The Free Church Council of Stockholm (Frikyrkoråd) 

Frida Fritzon, deacon

Hela Människan in Stockholm county

Anna-Carin Persson Stenbeck

Sara Stignäs, deacon

The Social Mission

Johannes Nilsson 

Stefan Nilszén 

Brenda Taylor 

Bibbie Ydrefors 

Anna Berndes, pastor

The Congregation decided in agreement, according to the election committee’s proposal.

§ 5 Decision on changes to the election committee’s mandate

The chairman informed the congregation that this year’s election committee had asked to be released from the task of coming up with proposals for members for the music committee and the interpretation committee.

The convener of the election committee, Karin Sandström, explained that the music committee had been dormant for many years, among other things because the committee’s role and work style had been difficult to define. The election committee’s proposal is to wait for the new proposal for organization that the board is working with and in that process believe that the music committee’s mission will be defined.

Regarding the interpretation committee, the election committee believes that there is  little chance of succeeding in the assignment. The interpretation committee has not been in existence for a few years and it is difficult to make a good arrangement for interpreting and translation of texts. However, the election committee is asking the congregation to reflect on how the provision of translators should be resolved.

The floor was opened for questions.

Voices were heard regarding the music committee and the importance of one in operation for the congregation’s interests and the whole musical life. The lack of an overall music director makes the current situation difficult and the music needs the coordination a music committee can provide. The chairman informed that the organization committee works with a holistic view of the church’s activities, including a comprehensive approach to music.

The Congregation voted by way of hand raising.

The Congregation decided to release this year’s election committee from the work of coming up with proposals for members for the music committee and the interpretation committee.

The vice-chairman, Ingrid Östlund raised the issue of expanding the election committee’s mandate. This is based on the fact that the board has decided to transform the congregation’s environment and justice group into a sustainability committee and thereby, among other things, give sustainability issues more weight in the congregation.

The Congregation decided to expand the nomination committee’s mission to include the work of developing proposals for selecting members for the sustainability committee.

§ 6 Idea concept around the 50th anniversary, (for pictures, see the agenda)

Erik Amnå, who is part of the working group for the 50th anniversary, presented in a few pictures the group’s thoughts and direction after their first planning meetings.

The group’s idea is to use the whole year to create a jubilee year of joy, celebration, deepening of the mysteries of faith, renewal and fellowship. The starting point is the light and the faith: our source of power. To celebrate, with faith at the center and with music, education, care and children/young people as focus areas. All with an awareness that we live in God’s creation.

The planning group is made up of: Sibongile Chaza, Michelle Job, Dahae Choi, Josh Hyungyum Kim, Görel Byström Janarv and Erik Amnå. Feel free to contact any of them and come up with your ideas for the anniversary. 

§ 7 Other matters

The Chairman informed about the following events:  

  • On March 12, there will be a joint service and farewell to pastor and former Senior Pastor Ulla Marie Gunner.
  • On April 20 at 6 p.m., the congregation’s members are invited to Probitas annual general meeting
  • April 23 is a joint service followed by the annual meeting where our new Senior Pastor Carin Dernulf will probably be installed. 

§ 8 Conversation about our Congregation, Appendix 1 & 2 

The chairman informed about how the document “About Immanuel Church’s congregation”, the basis for today’s conversation, was produced and supplemented with references. All with the aim of clarifying what the congregation Immanuel Church is so that members know what they are or become members of. We have different faiths and don’t have to think alike, but certain common attitudes and decisions hold us together as a whole.

A member asked for clarification regarding the purpose and status of the document and how it is intended to be used. The member felt that the document is more like terms and conditions that exclude rather than include.

The chairman thanked for the important questions that were asked and replied that:

  • the purpose of the document is to clarify and create an understanding of the congregation of Immanuel Church,
  • regarding the status, the board sees the document as a good summary of already made decisions and practices. It does not stand above the congregation’s decided constitution, organization or other basic documents,
  • the use of this document is to engage in conversations within the congregation and for new people who want to become members.

Those present were then divided into 12 groups with a moderator each for conversations about primarily three points from the document:

  1. We welcome women as pastors and leaders.
  2. There is one baptism but the Congregation accommodates various baptismal practices.
  3. We offer same-sex marriage.  

There were good conversations within the groups. The board collected the groups’ points of view and other comments in order to work further with the material. The material will also be shared with the staff. The chairman encouraged everyone to keep the conversation going and the board will revert to this issue at a congregational meeting.

§ 9 Conclusion

The chairman thanked everyone for a fruitful and well-functioning meeting. He reminded all about the next congregational meeting to be held on March 26. Pastor Christina Molin read the benediction after which the chairman declared the meeting closed.

Cathrin Sjöström

Congregational Secretary

Adjusters:

Greger Hjelm                          Agneta Dalemark Bengt-Olov Tengmark
Chairman                                 Adjuster Adjuster