POSK – a force to be reckoned with
The acronym POSK stands for “Partipolitiskt Obundna i Svenska kyrkan” – meaning that POSK is a nomination group ‘free from political party affiliation within the Church of Sweden’. POSK gathers groups and individuals who want to take responsibility in decision-making assemblies and councils in the Church of Sweden without being connected to one of the political parties and their political programs.
POSK is active in the entire country and is represented in all thirteen of the church’s dioceses. We form the second largest group in the Church Assembly and the largest non-political group. POSK is active in many parishes and often receive 20–60% of the votes in these individual parishes. POSK forms a network gathering people active in the church on all levels, and in combination with the fact that POSK is present all over the country this makes POSK to a force to be reckoned with.
POSK envisions that the Church of Sweden will be a fellowship that reflects God’s will in worship and life and that speaks clearly about Jesus Christ.
POSK – a wise choice
POSK endeavours to build the kind of church that Sweden needs and to ensure that this church is available where it is needed. POSK has ideas and suggestions for the future, and wants to lead the development towards a church with room for diversity, characterised by respect.
Dare to be a church
The faith of the church is embodied in a congregational fellowship centered around services of worship. POSK endeavours to build living and active congregations that emphasize mission based on our common baptism. This is the church’s most important task and a shared calling for all who belong to the church. In a living congregation faith is embodied in love and practical diaconal care. When faced with new challenges in society, the continuous diaconal work in each parish must take on new form. Christ’s love compels us to take responsibility for development work and disaster relief, as well as for actions to protect the world and all of God’s creation.
POSK endeavours to
- work for the development and deepening of worship life.
- strengthen individual congregations to work ecumenically and be committed in their missionary work.
- ensure that when the Church of Sweden makes a statement it is based on theological principles rather than on political party platforms.
- introduce a statute in the regulations of church life (Kyrkoordning) that every parish is required to employ a deacon.
- support fair trade and a sustainable use of the Earth’s resources.
- support an active environmental work in dioceses and parishes, for example by working towards fulfilling standards of certifications and authentications.
- continue efforts to make the Church of Sweden anactive part and provider of services within the welfare sector of society.
- work towards a financially sustainableand effective administration of church-owned properties that is managed in a way that is both ethical and ecological.
- continue and intensify ventures to equip and prepare parishes for sustained and deepened work to welcome immigrants and refugees.
Diversity and respect
The various church traditions and expressions of faith that are contained within the Church of Sweden are a treasure. POSK has ideas about the future and wishes to lead the development towards a church that has room for diversity and is characterized by respect. For POSK it is obvious that all people, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression thereof, shall be met with respect and welcomed into the Church of Sweden.
POSK holds that
- traditions and praxes of devotion that are contained within the Church of Sweden’s faith, confession and teaching shall be allowed to be practiced and developed.
- an attitude of generosity shall characterize meetings between groups with disparate understandings within the church.
- the milieu for dialogue within the Church of Sweden shall be characterized by mutual respect for each other and for each other’s different views.
- the decision that the Church Assembly has made about marriage between people of the same gender shall be upheld in its entirety.
- a person’s view on marriage shall not make any difference in regard to who is offered employment within the Church of Sweden.
Music and culture
The various expressions of culture are a gift of God and form their own language, a language that is an essential part of human existence. Since people express faith in various ways, there needs to be sufficient space to interpret faith in relation to contemporary culture and life in society in general.
POSK endeavours to
- consolidate the responsibility for church music at the national level of theChurch of Sweden.
- strengthen the recruitment of church musicians and to work to increase the number of places for thehigher education of church musicians.
- ensure thata revision of the hymnal is given sufficient time, takes place in dialogue, and is rigorous with regard to the requisite linguistic and musical competences.
- preserve the important cultural heritage comprised, among other things, of churches and cemeteries, and to hold churches open with much
- found a group for consultation between the Church of Sweden andorganisations and institutions active in the field of music.
To give and take responsibility
A democratic structure is an important part of the Church of Sweden’s identity. Democracy has its basis in our faith that God calls people to commissions and tasks in the church and in every individual Christian’s responsibility for the church.
The Church of Sweden’s position in society is undergoing a major transition: from the privileged position of a state church to that of free church questioned and treated equally with other denominations of faith; from an organisation that primarily has relied on its employees to a church where the volunteers are of increasing importance. To make this shift both the people taking on positions in decision-making assemblies and councils and their visions are of vital importance. POSK wants to have competent and committed people, actively involved in the church, on leading positions. Young people are of special importance.
POSK endeavours to
- increase and facilitate efforts for volunteers to be recruited, educated, encouraged and given responsibility in the parishes.
- strengthen education for both new and re-elected members of assemblies and councils.
- make the church into an desirable place to work that attracts many competent people.
- lead a process towards the return of indirect elections to the Church Assembly and the dioceses’ assemblies.
- clarify the role ofthe local parish boards (församlingsråd) alongside a formal Parish Council and its responsibility as the governing body of the individual parish.
- give young assistant leaders of confirmation groups the possibility of enhanced and deepened education.
- give directions that the dioceses help make confirmation more accessible for all by taking on responsibility for confirmation groups/camps with special profiles such as minority languages or special needs.
- include in regulations of church life (Kyrkoordningen) the position of The Youth’s Church Assembly and that this assembly be allowed to choose representatives to the Church Assembly.