We have had a busy but very fulfilling year in 2017.
Looking back we had lots of activities in connection with celebrating the 500th year of the Reformation. In that regard pastor Birgitte Saltorp arranged activities every single month, which kept us all tuned in. It was very rewarding, I felt.
In addition to our regular Annual General Meeting (AGM) in March, we also had to have an Extraordinary General Meeting in April, as a thorough testing of the air and water qualities at the parsonage by an environmental engineering company could not be done until after the AGM. I think everyone was very pleased that the results were negative, and we could keep the parsonage after all.
The biggest event of the year was the selection of our new pastor. Your Board of Directors had their plates full, with many meetings, as this obviously is a key decision to get right. We were pleased to invite pastor Susanne Ivalo Rasmussen to give us a sample sermon in May of 2017 and to meet the congregation at the same time. She was accompanied by her husband Søren Søndergaard. Of course it is very important for both parties to get to know each other. Shortly after that we extended an offer of employment to pastor Susanne; she accepted; and she and her family arrived here in September. All good news.
We made some improvements to the church last year, and that will be in Jack Larsen's report later.
We celebrated the church's 80th Birthday on August 13th. (The actual anniversary date being August 15th.) First the service led by pastor Birgitte Saltorp with a sermon delivered by pastor Bodil Toftdahl visiting from Denmark, who introduced her husband Hans Jørgen Mikkelsen to us. It was great to see Bodil Toftdahl again. After there was a delicious kroplatte lunch downstairs for a full house. There were many greetings from friends of the church, and many songs were sung. Many thanks to Tina Taylor and her very busy and capable helpers in putting the food together. It was delicious. Also a big Thank You to Erik Hougaard and his daughter Liva Eistrup Hougaard for providing the musical accompaniments during the service and not the least during the lunch. It was great having music throughout.
Before pastor Susanne's arrival a thorough upgrading of the parsonage was called for, and thanks to especially Kurt Nielsen with others giving a hand from time to time, the job got finished just in time. I think we can be pleased with the result. Kurt will report on that later.
As you can see it was an unusual year with so many one-time events happening within a relatively short span of time. That does not take anything away from all the other activities which went on in our church, and which in a way are our 'bread and butter' functions. Many volunteers are involved to make these events successful, and a big THANK YOU to all of you who have given a hand again this year to keep our church vibrant and relevant.
One group I wish to give a special thank you to this year is the Church Paper Group who does an outstanding job in getting Kirkebladet sorted and stuffed in envelopes in a timely manner. You are a great group and very much appreciated. Thank you.
Finally I wish to give a big thank you to all the board members for their work over the last year, and a special thank you the outgoing members of the Board: Ebba Grey, Ida Taylor, Jack Larsen who have served 4 years on the Board, and to Anita Neumeyer who as an alternate served 3 years, for their many valuable contributions to the board over the years they served.
Jørgen Rohweder, President.