It is an assigned function of the president's office to develop plans for forthcoming conventions. As is consistent with all my procedures, I have pursued this in partnership with the executive team and the International Board. Moreover, we have presented the following to the entire Foursquare Cabinet as well. We are pleased to propose the following:
- 2006 - Washington, D.C. (Monday, May 29-Thursday, June 1)
- 2007 - Jerusalem, Israel (dates being processed between mid and end of July)
- 2008 - Houston, Texas (Monday, May 26-Thursday, May 29)
With the obvious exception of the proposed international site (a first in our history), the Washington, D. C., and Houston dates are consistent with our pattern.
The board and cabinet are united in proposing this site for several practical reasons, not to mention significant spiritual values it incorporates.
- It demonstrates to our global fellowship of churches our acknowledgement that we do not presume the United States to be "the center of the universe." We believe such a site would not only occasion a welcomed indicator of our embracing the world, but that the site would probably increase the number of international registrants.
- It can be structured in ways that will allow us to serve hundreds of our pastors and churches by enabling groups from local congregations to join their pastors on this trip. They will be able to both experience convention and add 4-5 days of inspirational and educational travel in Israel--witnessing "His Land" in what for most people is a "once in a lifetime" journey, laden with spiritual significance.
- Two years of advance notice, combined with the fact this event is being proposed for midsummer, provides adequate time for planning in regards to both finances and schedule.
NOTE: The intention is not to presume all local churches would be able to fund the travel expense for this event. Some may do so as a courtesy or love gift to their pastors. Other pastoral leaders may be able to budget to complement the church's convention fund to the dimension their own plans require. FURTHER, local churches can arrange tours for their groups. Our offices are working on ways to make this a possibility, allowing some wonderful benefits to be realized by the church/pastor. The agency we work with hopes to provide a supplement to the church's convention fund in proportion to the number from that church making the trip.
We are cautious that no leader feels this proposal is made casually or without caring concern for all our leaders. Issues of security in traveling to Israel, and questions regarding the risk of appearing indifferent to any who may not be able to manage arrangements have been seriously discussed. The cabinet--with a broad range of our regional and district pastoral and supervisory leadership--has unanimously endorsed this proposal.
By: Jack Hayford, president, The Foursquare Church