On Sunday, April 7, we held a congregational meeting after worship. At that meeting, we discussed the following items.
1) We are officially moving to a new worship location at Haymarket Elementary School beginning on Sunday, July 7, 2019. Sunday, June 30, will be our last Sunday at Gravely Elementary School. We are really excited about this new opportunity – a new neighborhood is about to be built right around Haymarket Elementary, and our church will get to be at the center of that neighborhood from the beginning. In addition, there are numerous neighborhoods that already exist nearby, and we have the opportunity to connect in new ways with the people who live there as well. We are really excited about our developing partnership with the teachers, staff, and administration of Haymarket Elementary School. God is going to do great things there!
2) We are moving out of the Old Bank Building and into a new space above Haymarket Town Hall. The Old Bank Building (OBB) is our “Ministry Center” – the place where we do everything other than Sunday morning worship. Being in the OBB has been an awesome opportunity for us – it has enabled us to develop strong ministries (like our Youth on the Roof program) and to build relationships with the people, businesses, and non-profits in the town of Haymarket. Our Facilities Team has been looking for an option for a facility to do what the OBB does (enabling ministry and community connection) while also saving money – so that we can move towards financial self-sufficiency (see point #3, below) and re-invest money in ministry and programs. The space above town hall will enable us to save money while still having a great space that does everything we need it to do. For more details on the cost savings and the layout of our new space, please feel free to contact Pastor Brian.
3) We are beginning to move towards launching as an independent, self-sustaining, United Methodist Church. Haymarket Church is a campus of St. Thomas United Methodist Church (which is based in Manassas). As a campus of St. Thomas, we receive various support (financial, administrative, prayer, people, etc.). We also have somewhat limited autonomy (major decisions must be approved by the administrative committees at St. Thomas). St. Thomas has been wonderfully supportive of the work being done here at Haymarket Church, and we are incredibly thankful for their continued support. But, the Haymarket Church Leadership Team is beginning to sense that God is calling us to something different – that God is calling us to stand on our own as an independent United Methodist Church.
There are a variety of reasons for this, but the chief one is that these two campuses (Haymarket Church and the Manassas Campus of St. Thomas) have very different identities at this point in our existence, and we believe that both campuses should be free to pursue ministry in their own unique contexts in ways that make sense in those contexts. There will always be a special relationship between these two campuses, and we hope to continue to partner with the people of St. Thomas for various mission and service opportunities, but we believe that God is calling us to take this next step.
A team has been formed, made up of representatives from Haymarket Church and the Manassas Campus of St. Thomas, who are beginning to work on a multi-year plan that would lead to the launch of Haymarket Church as a new congregation, independent of St. Thomas. This transition will take significant work and growth by Haymarket Church (due to the significant financial and administrative support we currently receive, we will have to increase our financial giving AND our administrative capacity in order to make this change happen). But, we believe that this will also give us an opportunity to be more authentically who God is calling us to be as a church. If you have any questions or opinions about this potential change, please contact out to Pastor Brian.
Lots of exciting things are happening at Haymarket Church. In September, we began praying our breakthrough prayer (find that here). In December, exciting changes – and transformational opportunities – started coming at us quickly. It feels as if God is answering our prayers and inviting us into something new, exciting, and powerful. Great things are happening at Haymarket Church. We have a bright future ahead of us. We hope you’ll hop onboard for the next exciting adventure!