When it comes to faith communities, as in many other spheres of life, labels such as "liberal", "conservative", "mainline", "evangelical", and so on are often as problematic as they are helpful. Each term carries different associations to different people, and there are no clear consensuses for exactly who fits where. Rather than define ourselves by which categorical label we might fall into, we'll tell you a few more things about our approach to following Jesus that help make us distinctively Haven.
As followers of Jesus, we are immensely grateful for the many centuries of Jesus-followers who have come before us, and the heritage we receive from them. Along with Christians throughout history, we affirm the articulation of faith found in the Apostles Creed and the Nicene Creed. But we also understand that much of meaning is contextual, and that different cultural contexts have necessarily led to differences in interpretation and understanding. We encourage folks at Haven to hold their beliefs sincerely but humbly, knowing our knowledge is limited as we grasp at infinite truths with finite perception.
We care deeply about the Bible for the story it communicates of God's interaction with humanity, and we find ourselves in that unfolding story. But we also care about science, and what it tells us about the universe we inhabit. We do not find these sources of truth to work against each other. Together they can take us into fuller knowledge and wisdom. We want to think about God and His creation with deep curiosity, always wanting to grow in our understanding, and willing to change our minds when necessary.
Our desire is to be a safe spiritual community for people from all walks of life to encounter Jesus, including those who self-identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender. We fully welcome LGBTQ individuals, couples, and families into all arenas of church life. We recognize ways in which the church has all too often marginalized the gay community and we long to be a place where Jesus extends his healing to those who have been pushed to the margins through welcome and inclusion.
We also recognize that the issue of LGBTQ inclusion in the church is a polarizing one. Our desire is not to align with any faction or camp on any side, but simply to make open the way for people of all stripes to encounter the living Jesus. Therefore, we invite all who desire an encounter with Jesus to come as they are, believing that Jesus alone has the love, the grace, the wisdom, and the power to lead each of us into a dynamic relationship with Him that helps us reflect His character more and more to the world around us.
Emotional Health and Maturity
We are not only concerned with "spiritual" beliefs or experiences. Rather, we believe the journey of faith engages all areas of our life, including our emotional life. We're not trying to be holier than anyone. We are trying to grow into healthy, mature people who can have healthy, mutually-loving relationships that honor God and one another. We think our faith should help us grow as parents, as friends, as life-partners. We emphasize wholeness and the whole person, honoring and respecting people’s choices. We resist pretense as we acknowledge the difficulties, pain, and challenges of life - grieving as we must, while always seeking joy.
Sometimes being healthy and mature also means having the freedom to laugh, and not to take yourself too seriously. We're not afraid to be silly, self-depracating, even a bit irreverent, when needed. We're pretty sure Jesus is with us in that.