Haven Berkeley began in the fall of 2014 as a small group of recent transplants to the East Bay Area began to meet in the home of Leah and Jason Martens. The group was united by a shared interest in forming a new spiritual community centered on encountering Jesus in powerful, transformative ways, and extending His radically inclusive welcome to all kinds of people in Berkeley and throughout the East Bay.
While the group that has come to call itself Haven Berkeley is rather new, it is the fruit of a dream that has been nurtured for many years through the life of our lead pastor, Leah Martens. It was in 2001 when Leah, a rock musician living in Chicago at the time, first sensed God inviting her to imagine some day starting and leading a church. (You can read more about that process here and here.) Thirteen years after that process began, Haven was born.
Our mission at Haven Berkeley is to create safe spaces where people from all backgrounds can forge rich, healthy, meaningful relationships with others and with God. We believe these relationships are the key to a life lived with fullness and meaning. We find Jesus to be the unique person who serves as a guide and companion for this spiritual quest, welcoming all (regardless of religious affiliations or lack thereof) and leading each of us, wherever we are at, towards greater wholeness and fulfillment.
Our heart is moved especially by those who have felt a similar hunger as we feel for meaning and purpose, but have felt stifled, or even hurt, in their faith journeys by churches or other religious institutions in the past. We hope Haven can be a place that brings healing and renewed hope for spiritual community. We know we aren't perfect, but we try very hard to be humble, teachable, loving, and real.