This is to address some of the questions you might have about us, or at least, if we were you, the questions we'd have.
Are you a church?
It depends on what you mean by "church". We're not trying to be coy, but we are sensitive about language and what we are communicating. If by "church" you mean a winsome band of mostly Jesus-followers, gathering together to encourage one another, connect with God, and bless the world around them...then yes, we're totally that. (Or at least we aspire to be on our best days. Nobody's perfect.) But if "church" means pipe organs, gender inequality, a disdain for science, or a propensity to try to tell you how to think, then it's not a good description for what we're doing (though we honestly have nothing against pipe organs!). That's why we often opt for calling ourselves a "Community of Faith", because, honestly, we are.
Are you Christian?
Similar to "church", "Christian" can be a loaded word, meaning different things to different people. We try to follow Jesus. We believe Him to be the most clear picture of God we've seen in this life. By and large we seek not only to follow His teachings, as communicated through the stories in the Bible, but to live in connection with Him. We try to cultivate interactive relationships with Jesus so that we may be continually transformed by Him and made to be more like Him. Our hope in this is that, we, like He, can bring fullness of life to the world we inhabit. We welcome the religious, the non-religious, the agnostic, and the skeptical-but-curious to come along for the ride and be a part of this search for meaning that we find Jesus so helpful for. Call that what you will.
SO You're a Faith "start-up"? What is that?
It's really not that different from a tech start-up, but in this case we're channeling our entrepreneurial energies toward furthering a spiritual revolution, rather than a digital one. Right now we're in the early phases of community life, and are looking for folks to partner with who find the idea of building something new as important and exciting as we do.
Are you a part of a denomination or anything?
Not really a denomination in the classic sense, but we are associated with other like-minded people of faith who are also seeking to innovate in their practices. Like us, these folks tend to enjoy living and pursuing Jesus in largely secular, highly-educated areas (like college towns). The umbrella organization we all call home is called Blue Ocean Faith, and we are really grateful for our friendships and support network there.
Who leads this thing?
Leah Martens is our lead pastor. Leah came to faith in Jesus as a theatre student at Northwestern University in Chicago (of all places!). After spending several years as a professional gigging singer/songwriter fronting an alt/folk/rock band in Chicago, she did something equally crazy and impractical and entered seminary to begin the process of preparing for someday starting this group that would come to be called Haven. In addition to leading Haven, Leah is wife to Jason and is mother to three young ones, Elliott (10), Junia (7), and Gwendolyn (4). Learn more about her story here.
What do you have for kids?
At this point, our group is composed primarily of adults in their 20s and 30s, and a number of us have young children. So, though we are small, we are eager to incorporate our kids into what we are doing, and, as we grow, to make sure Haven is a place that provides a home for all of us, youngest to oldest, and allows all of us to connect with Jesus.
Haven Kids meets in a dedicated classroom during our Sunday service. Parents may check in children beginning at 10:15 and pick them up by noon. Haven Kids is open to children age one and up. At Haven Kids, children will experience musical worship, an age-appropriate, interactive story, crafts, a snack, and time for free play.