Information from August Congregational Meeting
On August 4, we held a congregational meeting after worship, with updates on the details of the Haymarket Church 3-Year Plan. (See more information about the vision behind the plan in the information from the April Congregational Meeting, below.)
The major focus of this meeting was on the administrative steps that are necessary in order for us to reach our goal of launching as an independent, self-sustaining United Methodist Church. In order to understand this plan, it’s important to remember some crucial context (shared at our previous congregational meetings in February and April):
Haymarket Church is a new church start, sponsored/supported by St. Thomas United Methodist Church (Our Mother Church). St. Thomas provides administrative/financial support for Haymarket Church. In January our Leadership Team, in the midst of a season of deep prayer, began to sense a call to launch as a separate church, no longer supported by St. Thomas UMC. Around the same time, St. Thomas UMC came to us and told us to cut our costs (Their congregation has also been prayerful about their future. In order to prepare for their next steps, they are starting to manage finances differently than in the past).
In response, we moved our offices from the Old Bank Building to our new Ministry Center above Haymarket Town Hall, saving $40,000 annually (beginning in June 2019). In April we told you our next step was to craft a plan for launch as a separate United Methodist Church, no longer sponsored by St. Thomas UMC.
Over the last several months, a team including leaders from Haymarket Church, the Manassas Campus of St. Thomas UMC, and the District Superintendent for our region of the United Methodist Church, have been meeting to help work on a plan that will enable us to take this next step.
The details of this plan are administratively focused – it’s about numbers and metrics to help us reach this goal of independence and self-sufficency. This means that what is shared here doesn’t mention much of what’s important to us at Haymarket Church. These administrative details are things that are necessary to support our work of making disciples of Jesus, putting God’s love into action, and helping people find their place in God’s story of love. This plan doesn’t directly address our growing youth and children’s programs, our focus on helping people grow spiritually, the new neighborhoods we are trying to reach around Haymarket Elementary School, our non-profit partnerships, and much more. Rest assured that our focus remains on those things – and that this plan is simply about helping us grow in such a way that we can do those things even better!
Target Date: Haymarket Church will launch as an independent, self-sustaining United Methodist Church by July 1, 2022.
Average Worship Attendance Goals:
Our church exists to reach new people and share the love of Jesus with our community. Average weekly worship attendance is the best metric we can track to let us know if we are reaching new people and people are connecting to God through worship at Haymarket Church.
Average Worship Attendance, July 2018-June 2019: 80
Goal for July 2019-June 2020: 90
Goal for July 2020-June 2021: 110
Goal for July 2021-June 2022: 140
Currently, a significant portion of our budget is supported by St. Thomas UMC. For 2019, St. Thomas is contributing $75,000 to our $230,000 budget (our projected income is $155,000). Our projected costs in 2020 are dropping to $210,000 (those savings are based on ending the lease on our office space at the Old Bank Building). St. Thomas is stepping down its financial support for Haymarket Church over the length of this 3-year plan. In 2020, we will receive $40,000 in support, in 2021 we will receive $20,000 in support, and in January through June of 2022, we will receive $5,000 in support. This means that we need to increase our income (particularly giving) in order to reach our goal of self-sufficiency. This will require all of us to step up.
Projected income for 2019: $155,000
July 2019-June 2020: Increase income $25,000 over current levels.
July 2020-June 2021: Increase income $50,000 over current levels.
July 2021-June 2022: Increase income $75,000 over current levels.
Other Areas for Growth
Over the course of this plan, Haymarket Church will also need to take on various administrative responsibilities that are currently covered by St. Thomas UMC (things like having our own bank account, our own insurance, our own policies, doing our own printing, etc.). These items will happen at various times throughout the plan.
Progress on this plan will be evaluated regularly throughout the three-year timeline. There will be a special check-in in December 2020. If we aren’t meeting financial goals and/or making significant progress towards them then, the leaders of St. Thomas UMC will, at that time, have freedom to say that they will discontinue support on July 1, 2021. This means that the next 18 months are particularly important for us as we work towards taking our next steps.
How Do We Do This?
- This is a spiritual process, so all of us need to grow in faith in order to get there.
- Invite your friends to worship and/or events, share about Haymarket Church in our community.
- Connect with the new neighborhoods near our new worship location.
- Continue to strengthen partnerships with local organizations (including Haymarket Elementary School).
- Continue to invest in and strengthen our excellent children’s and youth programs.
- Continue to focus on our community, serving those at risk and working to make a difference in the lives of others.
- Ramp up invitational activities (example: end of summer family video game event).
- Together (we need to count on each other, trust each other, and as we grow continue to really get to know each other).
- Pray! We have to listen to God and follow where God leads!
Information from April Congregational Meeting
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!