Foursquare’s foundational emphases on mercy works and the miraculous were celebrated in a fast-moving final morning at Connection 2013 that featured inspiration and challenge. Children and teens joined with their parents for a multi-generational worship time that preceded communion and commissioning as the 2,900-plus attendees prepared to return home from Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
Kip Jacob, lead pastor of SouthLake (Lake Oswego Foursquare Church) in West Linn, Ore., introduced Undivided, a new documentary about how his congregation has forged a remarkable relationship with a local high school by going there to serve without an agenda. “Any church can do this,” he said of the partnership, which includes a clothes closet, food pantry and coaching.
With an Undivided program and resources available for other churches to follow, Kip said that a national movement of similar school links could help move the church “out of our suburban places of retreat, which they have become for many, and allow us to go into the culture and become catalysts of real-life transformation.”
Jerry Stott, Foursquare Missions International’s (FMI) area missionary to the South Pacific, shared news of how God is moving in his part of the world, where the denomination has expanded into 10 more countries in the past decade, with the number of churches growing from 1,100 to 20,000.
“We have seen a wave of the supernatural,” Jerry affirmed, citing dramatic healings and deliverances. “The God of Acts 2 is still at work today,” he said to cheers, “and we still have much more to come.”
With the theme of “Engage: Learn. Live. Lead,” the convention’s emphasis on health continued with De Rockwell, wife of Gateway District Supervisor Sam Rockwell. She told how in their area they have initiated a development program to encourage their leaders to pursue physical and relational balance and well-being.
In a humorous and straight-talking message, Ricky Temple presented personal lessons from the life of Joseph. The bicoastal senior pastor of The Church On The Way (Van Nuys Foursquare Church) in Van Nuys, Calif., and Overcoming by Faith Ministries in Savannah, Ga., also shared the principles he follows that enable him to remain healthy while simultaneously leading churches on opposite sides of the country.
The short QuickTalk presentations introduced this year continued to prove inspirational. Eduardo Bogea, senior pastor of Iglesia El Calvario (Ontario Hispanic Foursquare Church) in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., told how a monthly prayer event is attracting young people hungry for the presence of God.
Mauricio Rodriguez, licensing coordinator and Hispanic ministries liaison for the Southwest District, shared his moving testimony of being left for dead by his birth mother but then adopted by “an incredible woman” who had raised him to know God and find healing and wholeness. “The incredible reality is we have a good God working on our side even in the darkness,” he said. His Foursquare Missions Press book, The Gift From Heaven, which further details his testimony, was given away to each attendee.
While the morning celebrated the future, in welcoming the young attendees who had enjoyed their own program during the rest of Connection 2013, it also honored the past. Eleven people were recognized for 50 years of Foursquare service, and 24 for 60 years. Those in attendance were later special guests at a private luncheon.
In the day’s business session, Jim J. Adams, Ed.D., was introduced as the new president of Life Pacific College (also called LIFE Bible College). He said that he is “humbled, slightly scared, but mostly feeling the anticipation” as he takes on the role from Dr. Robert Flores, who stepped down at the end of last year.
This is “a defining moment” for the school, said Foursquare President Glenn Burris Jr., as it looks to build on its 90-year history and make adjustments to meet the growing interest in education that prepares people for marketplace as well as traditional church-based ministry.
The business meeting also saw motions to expand the Foursquare board of directors from 20 to 25 members, and to allow absentee voting for president at future conventions, electronically or by mail, approved by 464 votes to 57 and 395 to 168, respectively.
Three outgoing board members were recognized for their service: Richard Casteel, senior pastor of Grace Chapel (Scottsdale Foursquare Church) in Scottsdale, Ariz., who had served for four years; Paul Harmon, senior pastor of Hope Chapel (Huntington Beach Foursquare Church) in Huntington Beach, Calif. (six years); and John Mazariegos, FMI missionary to Central Mexico (eight years).
Four board members were appointed: Wayne Cordeiro, New Hope (Oahu South Foursquare Church) in Honolulu; Remi Lawanson, Greater Los Angeles District missions representative and assisting minister at Valley Community (El Monte Valley Community Foursquare Church) in El Monte, Calif.; Alyson Salz, a Foursquare credentialed minister from Azusa Pacific University; and Juan Vallejo, assisting minister at The Cornerstone (Anaheim East Foursquare Church) in Anaheim, Calif.
At the close of proceedings, Glenn Burris donned a cowboy as district supervisors and other Fourquare executives rushed the stage for a flash mob line dance. The group announced the location of Connection 2014: Dallas. The 2014 event will head to Texas May 26-29. The following year will see the event hosted in Anaheim, Calif.
Don’t miss anything that Connection 2013 has to offer! Order the Foursquare Connection 2013 Experience Kit at a special rate of $149 (a $300 value). The kit includes all the speakers' messages, video updates from the week’s events and more. Order online now.
By: Andy Butcher, a freelance writer living in the Orlando, Fla., area