Please Note

This text was published first on 29 March, 2023. It can therefore contain information or views that is inaccurate. It is online for archival purposes.

Minutes from Congregational Meeting 26 March 2023

§1 Introduction and opening of the meeting

The chairman Greger Hjelm opened and welcomed all to the congregational meeting. He said a prayer for the meeting and then informed that no decisions are supposed to be made today.

§2 Adoption of the agenda

No other matters were added to the presented agenda.

§3 Election of secretary

Peter Dobers was elected as secretary for the meeting.

§4 Election of adjusters

Karin Mannervik and Anders Andersson were elected as adjusters.

§5 Feedback from the discussions on 22 Jan 2023

Ingrid Östlund began by giving a background on the discussions in the congregational meeting on January 22, 2023 about central issues in the document “About Immanuel”. Ingrid informed the meeting using PowerPoint slides (appendix 1). The floor was open for discussions and a few areas were touched.

An initial question was asked, for example, whether the congregation today requires pastors to marry same-sex couples, and according to the chairman, this is not a requirement from the congregation today, but that the congregation makes a pastor available for such marriages.

There were other issues in the document that were of concern (namely what is on page 2 of the document) and how the board intends to use the document in the future. The Chairman commented that the document should be seen as an information material from the board, a help document for the members of the congregation to understand what kind of congregation Immanuel Church is. After this congregational meeting, the document will be “closed”. i.e., no longer be revised) and that no continued process should be expected regarding the revision of the document’s content. It is not a formal governing document, but (is) an information document.

An additional subject of discussion dealt with the interpretation of the Bible regarding baptism and same-sex marriage as well as the interpretation of contemporary views on baptism and same-sex marriage. This was discussed and the chairman invited further discussions around these and other issues regarding interpretation and values.

§6 The forms for the congregational meetings

Greger Hjelm gave a general description of what can normally happen at congregational meetings and invited those present to comment on a) what works well, respectively b) what can be developed. Those present had the opportunity to provide their thoughts about a) and b).

A) What functions well? 

  • Good with discussions in hives, smaller groups.
  • Current forms of meetings work well.
  • The interaction works well because there is no top control.
  • The openness to discuss different positions is good.

B) What can be developed?

  • We should meet across language barriers.
  • The agenda should be presented earlier.

It will be good with a clear start point and end point regarding the time.

  • Great openness is required from the person leading the discussions to avoid preconceived ideas when questions for discussion are presented. It is important to be able to offer opportunity(ies) for written comments.
  • For meetings to be informative, translations between our languages ​​are extremely important.
  • We should be particularly clear about meeting forms and what is possible at congregational meetings and annual meetings, which are a special form of congregational meeting.

Greger mentions the following that the board has noted:

• The need to meet across language barriers.

  • The importance of understanding democratic procedures governing associations in Sweden.
  • It is important that the councils encourage the discussions held at congregational meetings to also be carried forward within the respective language group.

§7 Om Immanuel 153

Marco Helles begins with a brief background description:

Immanuel 153 was started as a project in 2005 and incorporated as a part of congregational life in 2009. The two worship groups at 11:00 and at 16:00 will from autumn 2023 celebrate worship together at 11:00. Charlotte Höglund gave an in-depth description of what Immanuel 153 has meant for Immanuel Church. We have learned from people between the ages of 20 and 35 and how their faith develops through community, deepening their faith, and passing on their faith to others. Over the years, other age groups have also been added who have enjoyed deepening their faith and been able to explore paths to an adult faith and deepening their faith. Jakob Molander also gave his view on Immanuel 153 and gave a message that the work with the youth will continue even when Immanuel 153 and the so-called Eleven (the group that sees its main community in the 11 o’clock service) merge.

Furthermore, three people, Paulina Fröling, Göran Kollberg and Irene Andersson, gave their personal thoughts about how they experienced the years in Immanuel 153.

The chairman expresses his sincere gratitude for what Immanuel 153 has meant to many people and to the congregation as a whole. He gave special thanks to employees and members who were responsible for and brought forward Immanuel 153.

The congregational meeting gave an applause on several occasions for the testimony, gratitude and compassion for the future.

§8 April 16: calling of pastor

The chairman invited all to an extra congregational meeting on April 16, 2023, when pastor Hugh Doyle is proposed to be called to Immanuel Church as a lead pastor in the international worship group. The chairman gave a brief account of the process and the unanimous proposal from the board to call him as pastor. This will be presented at the upcoming congregational meeting on April 16, 2023. Hugh will preach in the international service as early as April 2, 2023.

§9 Other information

The chairman informed that the Tegnérgård committee, as proposed, will be closed down. The work will continue in other routines, but the committee is no longer needed.

All congregational members are invited to the Probitas Annual General Meeting on Thursday 20 April 2023 at 18.00 and should register to attend.

Carin Dernulf is welcomed as the new Senior Pastor on April 23.

All members planning to attend the Annual Meeting should purchase their lunch tickets to the Annual meeting in advance.

§10 Other matters

There were no other questions.

§11 Conclusion

The chairman asked Anna Berndes to end the congregational meeting with the Lord’s blessing.

Secretary

Peter Dobers

Adjusters: 

Greger Hjelm Karin Mannervik Anders Andersson 

Chairman Adjuster Adjuster