January 31, 2023

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Emmanuel Church, Kulturarina | Emmanuel Church, a cultural square

I refer to my post in HA on Friday January 13th under the Opinions column and to the answer of church guardian Per Holger Andersen and cultural director Knut Olaf Breklund Seves, published on Saturday January 14th. For both, thank you for your complete and good answer. I realize that my claim of lack of communication doesn’t quite hold up and I realize I should have read carefully the Cultural Plan as it was presented in 2022.

Despite this, I still think that there are good enough reasons for me to highlight the cooperation agreement that has been concluded for the next year.

The church makes Emmanuel Church available. The cultural unit provides experience and the ability to work ‘you write’. But what about the costs associated with this? In 2001-2009 I was one of two who washed the church weekly, for income from the installation business. After the cultural events, there was an impressive amount of rubbish that either visibly floated around in the church room, or was hidden under the cushions on the pews. It had to be removed before the next liturgical action. Is the cultural sector responsible for washing after cultural events, or is it included in the church budget? Will the cost of heating the church room for the monthly concerts also include the congregation’s need for a warm church to hold services for the rest of the month?

What about ‘behind the scenes’ space requirements for artists? Should the priest’s workplace and church treasury be available for this need? Artists are good at making demands to organizers about what to do behind the scenes. No doubt this means beer and other beverages have to be in place. Anything else would be unreasonable, as long as the cultural agency is officially involved as an organizer. In the Church’s usage guidelines, no alcohol is allowed except as a possible choice for communion wine, although it is mostly alcohol-free nowadays.

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Who initiated the collaboration? Was it the church or the municipality? If the municipality: why? Did they need more cultural arenas? Cooperation is usually good, but in this case, I see that the representatives of the Church do not see that they have forgotten the importance of January 1, 1997 and January 1, 2017. The ways of the separation of the State and the Church, and the Church received the right to rule its own house. This court has used it in ia to accept cultural actors of various kinds, but who are evaluated by the parish council. The background to such assessments has always been that the church is a dedicated home for ecclesiastical business.

A church building is not – and should never – become a value-neutral space! On the other hand, the cultural sector does not adhere to these directives. If I’m wrong, please correct me. The first thing that strikes visitors entering the Emmanuel Church is the image of Christ. Haldense: Search Kulturkirken Jakob, watch and read. He did not go from church to today’s cultural church overnight. It took many years. Today, it’s full of permanently installed lighting equipment – a result of the fact that it’s become very tiring and time consuming to get all the equipment ready and removed. There is also a permanent liquor license there, presumably for reasons of renting out the church to closed businesses, but the bar is there.

When you intend to boil the lobsters, put them in a bowl of cold water. Then he doesn’t notice the overheating, and eventually he dies.

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My concern is that the day may come when “the culture” raises the curtain because they don’t like Jesus being a nuisance during an event. Then the Immanuel Church died and the Haldensers stood with the term: “Kulturkirken Immanuel”.

If this post is viewed as if I were painting hell on the wall, the intention is exactly the opposite:

I want to preserve our beautiful and dear Emmanuel Church as a sacred space where respect for God and gratitude for Jesus will fill the visitor with the honor of the sanctuary. It is the heritage and message of the Christian people. The municipal needs of cultural spaces must not take precedence!