At the 2002 convention a resolution was passed in which the convention body directed Foursquare leadership to develop both a clearer position paper and a report regarding women in ministry. Those documents were to affirm the commitment of our church family to embrace the place of women in public ministry leadership and to indicate the degree to which that commitment has verifiable outcomes manifest in our ranks. It is a deep concern of our president and leaders that this report be presented in this, our 2005 convention business meeting.
While it is not apparent than any action has been taken on the earlier resolution, which requested a report by the 2004 convention, there have been significant appointments made over that season of time that verify and validate our commitment in these regards. For example, not only are husband/wife preaching teams being found more commonly in local pastorates, but women pastors have also been appointed as district supervisors.
We are all aware of the fact that the transitions of the past year have required the preemption of time that might have allowed for the expected report to be prepared for this convention. Accordingly, and with the agreement of the parties who made and moved the original action that was confirmed by the convention, our president has indicated that completing this report is a priority for the coming year, and he has given his assurance that the earlier resolution shall be addressed prior to our next convention. On behalf of all of our constituency–men and women alike–he offers this acknowledgement of gratitude for steps of validation already manifest and expresses confidence in the forthcoming study and action by our leadership.
Our president’s supportive position on these matters is known not only to most of us in The Foursquare Church but throughout the Body of Christ, where he has been an advocate for women in ministry–even in environments where his stance was not the popular view. The preponderance of our leadership is obviously favorable in these regards as well; the original resolution did not challenge that fact, but asked for clarification of our statements and a summary of evidence of our validation of that. Therefore, I ask you to receive this report as your affirmation of understanding the delay, and also as an indication of your trust in our leadership’s readiness and will to advance this matter.