News and Updates

February 16, 2024

Family Style Meal Training

Before transitioning to family-style meals on March 6th, there will be a training opportunity for companions. Join us on February 22nd as we go over the new logistics and flow of the Welcome Table.

Our time together will also include a family-style meal for you all to experience! We'll meet at 5:00 p.m. in the dining room.

Ash Wednesday Prayer and Blessing

In the Christian tradition, we mark the beginning of the season of Lent by marking our foreheads with ashes in the sign of the cross as a reminder of our mortality and the call to turn back to a God who is love. On this Ash Wednesday, we begin our long wilderness journey to the cross in reflective preparation for death before new life comes Easter. As we venture forth to sojourn together, we pray:

Loving God,

You have created us from the dust of the earth.

Grant that these ashes may be to us a sign of your eternal love in the midst of life’s impermanence, so we may remember that by grace, you gather us into life at our birth, and by grace, you gather us back into yourself at our death to live everlasting in the embrace of your love.

Bless these ashes to serve as a reminder that we are called to use our finitude to live a life reflective of you - a reminder that we are beloved, and to love we shall return.


Remembering Aimee Wallis Buchanan

A plaque honoring Aimee can be found in the garden between the sanctuary and the parking lot.

As someone committed to fostering the growth and development of young people from an early age, Aimee became the co-founder of Asheville Youth Mission before passing away in February 2013.

Believing strongly that the walls separating people had to be torn down, Aimee would teach youth the importance of putting a face and humanity to issues like poverty and homelessness.

Haywood Street was one of Aimee's beloved places and has become a partner of Asheville Youth Mission. We're so grateful for the opportunity to have known her and to continue to witness relationships being built because of her incredible impact.

HSCD Ground Blessing and Gift Match Opportunity!

The launch of construction on our first deeply affordable apartments in the West End/ Clingman Avenue Neighborhood is about to begin!

A small ceremony will take place on Wednesday, Feb 21st, at 12:45 pm to recognize this important milestone and commit to the next phase of work designing interior spaces, clarifying processes for lease-up, and more. We hope you will join us at the site for this groundbreaking event and site blessing.

In addition to this, the Wanda and James M. Moran, Jr. Foundation has presented a $250,000 matching gift challenge as we enter the new year! Help us keep the momentum going and double the impact of your gift by donating HERE!

Free Tax Resource

Learn more HERE.

On-going opportunities to participate at the Welcome Table:

  • Have a meal! - Join us on Wednesdays to enjoy a meal with our community!

  • Dining Room Clean-Up On Wednesdays at 12 pm - As always, clean-up is one of the places where we need companion support. We promise to make it fun!

  • Kitchen Clean-Up - On Wednesdays from 12:00-2:00, we would love for a couple of companions to help us clean up the kitchen and help serve the folks who come in during that time for a meal. You can sign up for this role on the sign-up sheet below!
Sign Up

Haywood Street in Photos

Jasmine (above) and Mariam (below) met on Wednesday when Jasmine was giving away flowers.

Jasmine explained, "You never know what someone is going through. Flowers might change someone's entire life! So I try to give them to people whenever I can--to my neighbors, strangers. Anyone I see."

“I’ve learned there’s just as much joy in serving tables as sitting and eating a plate of food. I went home yesterday, and I was just happy! I couldn’t stop singing!”


For as long as Haywood Street has been around, Derek has been around. Faithfully attending the Downtown Welcome each week, Derek will sit at a table to share a meal with someone.


This week, though, after all the years of being a diner, Derek put on an apron, picked up a notepad, and waited on his first tables!


"They would ask, ‘Derek, can you get me a bag,’ or ‘Derek, can you get me another drink?’ Things that I would usually ask for! I’d go as fast as I could to get it, and when I got back, they’d say, ‘Wow, that was fast!’ The 'thank yous' just kept coming, and it was good!”


After sharing his experience, Derek walked down the stairs to join the Thursday prep group. All the way down, you could hear him singing:

Down through the years, the Lord’s been good to me!

Down through the years, the Lord’s been good to me!

Down through the years, the Lord’s been good to me!

The Lord’s been real good to me!

“If you’re coming to Haywood Street with a posture of love and relationship, then you’re a part of Mercy League. It’s the whole point we’re here in the first place.”

Like Mark, Wayne, and James said at the training on Tuesday, Mercy League is central to Haywood Street's ministry. Being cognizant of how we interact with our community in and outside times of conflict begins with a foundation of relationship. Rather than jumping when a crisis arises, most of Mercy League's work happens before a crisis. It happens in the ongoing effort to invest in relationships and genuinely connect with people in our community.

Weekly Ministry Opportunities:


Wednesdays at 12:30 p.m. in the sanctuary

Tuesday Haywood Street Holy Ground Keepers:

8:30 a.m. in the parking lot. Walk the grounds of the church campus and our local neighborhood, cleaning up along the way.

Tuesday Prayer Group: 12:30 p.m. in Room 6. Gather for a time of communal prayer.


Wednesday Art Ministry: 8:30 a.m. in the Sanctuary. Join us for a time of fellowship, prayer, and art-making.

Thursday Card Making: 10:00 a.m. in the Sanctuary. Gather together to make cards for our community and friends in prison or in the hospital. 

Weekly Sermons

Read each week's and the previous week's sermons on the sermons page of the website.

~Preaching Schedule~

February 21st:

Pastor Brian

February 28th:

Guest Speaker, Philip Cooper (Change Agent)

March 6th:

Pastor Brian

March 13th:

Guest Speaker, Rev. Mary Brown (Pastor of Central UMC)

Community Resources

Click below to see a list of places in the community to donate and find clothes, and when recovery meetings are held.

Click Here

Fresco Viewing Hours:

Monday - Thursday, 10 am - 2 pm (with the exception of during our worship service, which is 12:30 pm every Wednesday).

Contact April if you would like to make an appointment to see the Fresco outside of those hours.


A Long Awaited Dream

By HSCD Board Chair, Mckenzie D.

The story of housing affordability finds its way into our lives in and around Asheville almost daily - Whether news outlets are releasing the latest reports on rising costs, our child’s teacher is looking for a third job, or the restaurant server sighs at their long commute after locking the door on our favorite restaurant for the evening. Being a native to Asheville, I have seen this crisis unfolding for years. I have watched friends leave town for better homes and communities and people pushed to the streets, not because they don’t have income but because they simply cannot find a roof within their budget.

In 2020, Brian and Laura approached me to discuss implementing a long-awaited dream of creating more space, more homes, and more community, all while leaving wallets full. Joining the Board of Directors for this project was an easy “yes”. The hard part has certainly been the roadblocks, red tape, and unexpected U-turns that got us to this point. As a board we worked together to build relationships with donors, the local

government, other non profits and most importantly the WECAN neighborhood in which these homes will be located. With each disappointment and struggle, we found new opportunities and inspiration for the final product- deeply affordable housing. 

It is now time that we break ground on this decades-old dream; our inaugural project will be the first of its kind in our community. As a deed-restricted project, the affordability of these 41 homes will be kept affordable in perpetuity. It has been called a “unicorn” of a project due to the partnerships that led us to this point and the holistic impact it will make for those in need. Not only will people and families have a roof but also a community, a place of security, and, most importantly, dignity. 

I could not be more proud to have a very small part in making this project a reality, and I look forward to seeing our first residents walk through the doors of their homes. It has been an arduous endeavor, but we all hope this work can be replicated for many years to come, impacting more and more of our friends and neighbors. 

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A witness to include the most excluded, Haywood Street not only welcomes every child of God–especially sisters and brothers of every mental illness and physical disability, addiction and diagnosis, living condition and employment status, gender identity and sexual orientation, class, color, and creed–but we celebrate your presence, certain that the kingdom of God is coming closer because you are here.