Who We Are | Growing in Faith Together | Equipping People to Find Their Place in God’s Story | Our Church Exists for the World around Us | Our Foundational Beliefs | Whoever You are, and Whatever You Believe, You are Welcome Here | Ancient Faith in a Contemporary Package | Haymarket Church’s Shared Convictions and Strengths |God’s Story: Learn it. Love it. Live it.| A United Methodist Church
Who We Are
Haymarket Church seeks to be a community where our faith makes a difference in our everyday lives – we believe that the things we believe should transform how we live. Therefore, we seek to create opportunities for people to be stretched and transformed by God’s love – through worship, study, service, community, and more – so that we can go out and put that love into action each day.
Growing in Faith Together
Growing in faith is something that is best done together, in community. We need people to stretch us, to help us see what we otherwise wouldn’t see, and to challenge us to become more of what God always intended for us to be. We work hard to create opportunities for people to challenge each other, serve together, and build relationships that will help them grow in faith and live lives of love.
As a part of this, we believe that families should have experiences of worshiping and growing in faith together. Too many churches hide teenagers and children away during worship. But we believe that children only learn to worship by worshiping – we believe that shared experiences help give children the foundation they will need to claim faith for themselves when they get older. Therefore, we do our best to maximize opportunities for children to participate in worship, while also creating space for them to learn God’s story in ways that fit their particular learning styles. For more on how we include children in Sunday worship, click here.
Equipping People to Find Their Place in God’s Story
God has a story. God is writing a story of love for our world. At Haymarket Church, we talk a lot about God’s Story. God’s Story is told to us in Scripture, but it is also something that continues to play out in our lives each day. We believe that each of us has a role to play in the story that God is telling in the world – our most mundane moments are part of a cosmic drama with eternal importance. In order for us to find our place in God’s continuing Story, we need to know the outlines of that story – we need to know where the story began, the key moments in the plot, and where the story is going. Scripture gives us those major outlines of that story. We also see many key moments in God’s Story in history – by paying attention to the lives of people who have loved and served God in the past (and in the present), we can learn about the kind of stuff that God is doing in this world. And so, we seek God in Scripture and in the world in order to learn about how God is moving – about what God is doing and where God is going – so that we can figure out what role God has for us to play, and about what we can do to get involved and find our part in the story that God is telling. Each of us has a special role – a special purpose that God has made us to fulfill. Life is better when we are playing the part that God has for us to play, and so we seek God so that we may find our role and play our parts, together.
Our Church Exists for the World around Us
We believe that the lives of our neighbors should be better because we are Christians. Haymarket should be a better place to live because our church is here. We believe in building up our community, improving the lives of our neighbors, and sharing God’s love with others through words and actions. God has called the church to be a gift to the rest of the world, and so we seek to indiscriminately bless our community. We don’t care if you’re a Christian, a person of some other faith, or a person of no faith at all – we are here to make your life better, and we are going to try to do that however we can.
Our Foundational Beliefs
We are a Christian church, and so we believe in the ancient faith that has been handed down to us from the days of the first disciples of Jesus. Our foundational beliefs are best summarized in the Apostles’ Creed – a statement of faith that has been used by Christians around the world and across denominations for almost two thousand years. That statement says:
We believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth.
And in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord;
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried;
the third day he rose from the dead;
he ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
from thence he shall come to judge the living and the dead.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic [universal] church,
the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting. Amen.
We also believe that this statement is something that we believe together, which means that not all of us have to believe every word of it all the time in order to be part of the church. When your faith falters and you can’t believe every line of this creed, the church gets to believe it with you and for you – to pray for you, support you, and show you how to believe in this stuff until you can figure out how to believe it for yourself. Faith is a journey we take together, and sometimes each of us needs a helping hand to keep going. We are proud of and committed to these beliefs, and you will hear us proclaiming them and talking about them, but we are also willing to question them, wrestle with them, and examine them. We believe that God is strong enough and reliable enough to handle even our toughest questions and even our biggest doubts.
Whoever You are, and Whatever You Believe, You are Welcome Here
Haymarket Church is a community of people who are moving towards Jesus. Some of us have been on this journey to Jesus for our whole lives, and some of us are just taking our first steps. Some of us are already very close to Jesus, and some of us feel pretty far away. Some of us are beginning our journey towards Jesus from one side, and some of us are beginning our journey from the other side. But, as long as you are seeking Jesus – or even if you just think that you might be interested in starting that journey of seeking Jesus – then Haymarket Church is a place for you. You will find people from a variety of political perspectives, with a variety of different experiences of church and spirituality, and with a variety of opinions about how Christian faith should look in everyday life. But, we are all moving towards Jesus and growing in faith together. This is a safe place to struggle with faith, to ask hard questions, and to discover who God is and who God wants you to become.
Ancient Faith in a Contemporary Package
At Haymarket Church, we seek to practice ancient traditions – singing, prayer, reading and reflecting on Scripture, baptism, communion, more – with a contemporary spin, so that ancient truths can speak into our contemporary lives. We believe that these ancient truths still have much to teach us, and that some of the most important wisdom this world has to offer is the wisdom that has stood the test of time. We also believe that our faith has real-life implications, which means that God’s Story still has essential implications for our lives today.
Haymarket Church’s Shared Convictions and Strengths:
These five commitments characterize our church’s life together.
1) People matter to us and to God!
Cultivate heart, mind, spirit, and relationships.
2) Community matters to us and to God!
Invest in the community wherever we are.
3) Growth matters to us and to God!
Develop yourself and future generations of Christ followers & leaders.
4) Sharing matters to us and to God!
Put our faith in action in response to God’s generosity.
5) Prayer matters to us and to God!
Seek God daily and depend on God fully, so that we may encounter God and be transformed.
6) Worship matters to us and to God!
Worship God together in community, so that we may grow in faith and learn to live for God each day.
God's Story: Learn it. Love it. Live it.
God has a story – a story of love for the entire world. We encounter this story most clearly in Scripture and through God’s history with the church, but it is not a story that is limited to the past. God’s story of love is still being written – God is still working, and God has invited us to join in that work of transforming the world in the power of God’s love.
“Learn it. Love it. Live it.” is a phrase we use at Haymarket Church to talk about how we find our place in God’s story. First, we must discover that God has a story and that there’s a place for us in it (“Learn it.”). This step is about being introduced to God’s love and the church community.
Once we’ve begun to learn God’s story, the next step is for us to grow in love with God by developing an understanding of God’s story of love (“Love it.”). We each have a role to play in what God is doing in our world, but in order to play that role fully, we have to grow in faith and fall more deeply in love with God. Too many of us stop at a shallow faith – but if we want to discover the full transformation that God is offering us, we have to be willing to dive deeper.
Faith is not something that’s just about us – faith is an invitation to follow Jesus every day of our lives and to put God’s love into action with every person who we meet (“Live it.”). Jesus doesn’t just call us to believe in him – he calls us to follow him on the road that leads to God (a road that includes mercy, compassion, justice, and peace).
At Haymarket Church we strive to be a church where people get to learn God’s story, fall deeply love with God, and live their faith together!
A United Methodist Church
Haymarket Church is proud of our Methodist heritage. At Haymarket Church, you will find people who grew up in a variety of Christian traditions (Catholic, Episcopalian, Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran, non-denominational, and more), or in no faith tradition, but all of us have found a home together in this United Methodist Church. The United Methodist Church is the spiritual descendant of a spiritual renewal movement founded in 18th Century England by Rev. John Wesley. Wesley challenged Christians to come alive in faith – to practice “not just the form” of religion (the outward rituals), but “the power” of faith. He particularly challenged his followers to pray more, to give their money to the poor, to work for justice, to seek to grow closer to God, to spend time caring for each other, and to put God’s love into action. (Wesley’s followers are often called “Methodist” or “Wesleyan” Christians.) At our best, the United Methodist Church retains that passionate commitment to living lives of holiness each day.
The United Methodist Church is one of the few truly global Christian denominations, with Christians from the United States and people from around the globe making decisions together about issues of theology, care for the poor and suffering, how to spend our money, and how to put our faith into action. The global nature of our denomination enables amazing global partnership: we can make a real difference because there are United Methodists on the ground in many places of real need, and churches can cross borders to transform lives – fighting disease, feeding starving children, helping create opportunities for work and development, learning from our global neighbors, and more.
The United Methodist Church, like Haymarket Church, is also a big tent. We span the globe, we span theological and political perspectives, and we somehow find a way to be united by our faith in Jesus even in the midst of all of our many differences. In a world of division, our diversity as a church is something worth celebrating.
The United Methodist Church also has its problems, and we’re honest about that at Haymarket Church. Recent years have seen the United Methodist struggle to be truly inclusive, and there have been some painful disagreements at the global level. But, at Haymarket Church, we’ve chosen to embrace the best of what the United Methodist Church is and can be, while also honestly naming how we disagree with decisions made at the global level. To learn a little bit more about how we’ve reacted to global decisions, you can read our Statement of Welcoming and Inclusivity here.
For more about the United Methodist Church, you can check out http://www.umc.org/who-we-are.
A Missional Partner of St. Thomas United Methodist Church
Haymarket Church began as a dream by the people of St. Thomas United Methodist Church (located in Manassas, Virginia). A few years ago, a few people from St. Thomas felt a call from God to plant a church in Haymarket that could help people in this growing community connect with God and each other and put their faith into action. That sense of calling is the beginning of the story of Haymarket Church. We continue to exist as a missional partner of St. Thomas, which means that St. Thomas offers us various forms of support to help us achieve our mission. Even though most of the people of Haymarket Church will rarely (if ever) attend an event at St. Thomas in Manassas, the people of St. Thomas support Haymarket Church through prayer, kindness, encouragement, financial and administrative support, and more. In particular, St. Thomas provides administrative and spiritual support to our community. St. Thomas is Haymarket Church’s mother in faith, and we encourage the people of Haymarket Church to pray for St. Thomas and its ministries each day. We continue to give thanks for St. Thomas and for the opportunity to work together to make disciples of Jesus Christ in Haymarket and Manassas. Together, we are putting God’s love into action in amazing ways! For more information about St. Thomas, check out stthomasumc.org.