Connection '09 continued Tuesday in Anaheim, Calif., as The Foursquare Church met to inspire and enrich ministers and emerging leaders at our annual convention.

The morning session was adjusted from the previously published program to allow for the Foursquare family to process necessary business and an important statement from Foursquare President Jack Hayford. Pastor Jack announced that he would not seek a second term of service as president when his current season of leadership comes to an end this summer. He shared his heart about his current and future influence within the Foursquare family and, as he finished speaking, the crowd—many weeping openly—rose to their feet and applauded the humility of this man of God.

Continuing with Monday's challenge to integrate the next generation of leaders into fruitful ministry, worship leader and recording artist Tommy Walker led the group in worship with some help from an emerging worship leader. Tommy introduced Jacob Park, a young worship leader from his home church, Christian Asssembly, a Foursquare church in Eagle Rock, Calif. Jacob brought the worshiping congregation before the throne of God in adoration while Tommy accompanied.

In addition to a time of honoring those ministers who have served in active ministry for 25 years, the 14 new district supervisors, who assumed their leadership appointments on May 1, were introduced to the group. District gatherings will take place later during this week's convention, during which ministers and the new supervisors will meet and interact regarding plans for their newly consolidated districts.

Keeping with the "Wide Open" theme, Tammy Dunahoo, vice president of women in leadership ministry, joined General Supervisor Glenn Burris Jr. to celebrate an event last February that refocused and released many Foursquare women to God's call for their lives. Pastor Jack then introduced long-time friend Bruce Marchiano, who has played the role of Jesus Christ in several Hollywood films and recently released a new book called Jesus, the Man Who Loved Women (Howard Books).

Bruce spoke briefly about the life-changing experience it was for him to portray Jesus and the revelation he received as he memorized significant portions of the Gospels while preparing for his roles. Particularly impressive to Bruce was the insight of how deeply Jesus cared for women, and the many ways in which He demonstrated His love and esteem toward them. In keeping with Jesus' perspective on women as worthy of favor, the Foursquare family has worked diligently to ensure that women have an equal place of leadership in our church.

"The Foursquare Church is wide open to women in leadership," Pastor Jack said. A dramatic presentation of Foursquare women in leadership and introductions of Foursquare people whose lives have been touched by Foursquare women led to a panel discussion regarding the implications for The Foursquare Church worldwide. Emerging from the discussion was a consensus that women and men in equal partnership, serving side by side, is the desired model of ministry leadership and the biblical pattern endorsed and affirmed by Jesus.

The evening concluded with keynote speakers Pastors Larry and Devi Titus speaking on the theme, "Wide Open to Sons and Daughters." With a passion for building health in the lives of men and women, Larry and Devi spoke with passion about God's restorative and creative work in people. Through personal insights and powerful illustrations, they brought the audience of fellow shepherds to a place of commitment and surrender to see all leaders—men and women—released to God's fullest anointing in their lives.

Connection '09 continues through Thursday night at the Anaheim Convention Center. Live video is available online during each morning and evening session. Also included are photos and backstage footage.

==
By: Rod Light, National Church Communications Facilitator