News and Updates

May 31, 2024

Companion Orientation

The next Companion Orientation is Monday, June 3rd, at 5:00 pm! Join us in the Sanctuary and invite your friends to share about being in relationship all together at Haywood Street Congregation!

Guns-to-Garden Safe Surrender Event June 8th

In recognition that June is National Gun Violence Awareness Month, you are invited to support a growing number of faith communities who are hosting a Guns to Garden Event on June 8th at First Baptist Church of Asheville at 5 Oak St.

A Guns to Gardens event is an occasion when a church uses chop saws and performs a service for gun owners by dismantling their unwanted guns. This gives gun owners an alternative to the market and the assurance their guns will not be used for future harm. RAWtools South, a local nonprofit, has been contracted to provide all the equipment and train volunteers in each process. The dismantled guns are transformed into garden tools and art, according to the prophecy in Isaiah and Micah: “They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks” (Isaiah 2:4, Micah 4:3).

You can support this venture by a donation, which will help fund gift cards that will be given in token of donated guns, and it will help support the costs of the event. For a $50 donation made by May 31, you can receive a card suitable for Father’s Day, indicating that you’ve helped take an unwanted gun out of circulation. 

Donations can be made online HERE or by check to Land of The Sky UCC, memo: gun surrender event; mailed to Land of the Sky, ATTN: Gun Surrender Event, 15 Overbrook Place, 28805.

Building Closed Monday, June 3rd

The building will be closed this Monday, June 3rd, for our All Staff Retreat. We'll return to regular hours on Tuesday, June 4th.

Want to be a part of our Haywood Street Beautification Club?

Like any other building, ours always needs some TLC. We have many ongoing projects that require skill and attention. If you would like to help on Tuesdays or Thursdays in this way, find your skillset category and sign up on our Google Sheet. Please contact Tiffany if you have any questions and she can get you started!

Collecting Reusable Water Bottles

As part of our commitment to supporting our unhoused neighbors while also being environmentally responsible, we have added a water fountain to the new patio.

We're collecting reusable water bottles to share with folks rather than providing disposable water bottles in the summer, as we've done previously.

If you'd like to individually collect reusable water bottles to share with our community, contact Community Engagement Coordinator Tiffany for more information and to schedule a drop-off.

Haywood Street Highlights

Jerry and Steve make a good team when they work together! Last week, they stuccoed the patio for us. Thank you both for your hard work and dedication!

As the summer season kicks off, we're excited for more days like we had on Wednesday with a full sanctuary and the regular presence of young people and all the gifts and joy that they bring with them! We love the relationships that we've built with CCC and AYM and we're so grateful for how they contribute to the Haywood Street ministry.

Weekly Ministry Opportunities:

Tuesday Haywood Street Holy Ground Keepers: 9:00 a.m. in the parking lot, weather permitting. 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 Downtown Welcome Table: Join us for lunch between 10:00-1:00 or help with kitchen and dining room clean-up from 1:00-3:00. Sign up here!


Wednesday Worship: 12:30 p.m. in the sanctuary.

Thursday Card Making:

10:00 am in the Respite Kitchen with Brother John

Weekly Sermons

Read the weekly sermons on our website here.

~Preaching Schedule~

June 5th:

Pastor Brian

June 12:

Guest Speaker, Rev. Rob Blackburn

June 19th:

Pastor Jody

June 26th:

Pastor Seth

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.


Empathy Through Proximity

by Lead Storyteller Melanee R.

In February 2017, while riding passenger in a small hatchback Fiat with a yellow plate, I crossed a checkpoint from Jerusalem and entered an unfamiliar town that became my home for several months.

Bethlehem was a consuming and perplexing little town. Somehow, its strangeness and discomfort persuaded me to enter the foreign culture vulnerable, allowing for an immersion experience that would finally make Jesus visible and reachable.

I returned to the Holy Land again in 2018 and 2019, and although my mind has wandered back to the rolling hills and spice-scented streets of Bethlehem in the years following, a day has not gone by since October 7th that I have not felt grief, anger, and hopelessness over the atrocities unfolding daily in Gaza.

As many know, Haywood Street has its own tragedies and moments of hopelessness. Whether conscious or not, I’ve compartmentalized the emotions surrounding the Holy Land from my current reality working at Haywood Street—perhaps my body’s way of safeguarding the capacity to be attentive to the relationships and responsibilities it’s bound to presently. Either way, the heaviness remains.

However distant Palestine and Israel feel right now, the truth is I wouldn’t be at Haywood Street if it hadn’t been such an integral part of my life. If I hadn’t been woken in the early morning to shouts of soldiers raiding a neighbor’s home or walked with other Christians in the Palm Sunday procession from the Mount of Olives to the Old City of Jerusalem, witnessing their harassment for simply being Palestinian, I don’t know if I would have seen Jesus so clearly—so clear in fact that I know without a doubt that God is closest to those who suffer most and to those who have experienced perpetual disregard and exclusion.

The relationships built on this unassuming corner of 297 Haywood Street, though—those like Roy and Carla, Laura and Patrick, Seth and Tim, and Katlyn and Norma—have become my sources of hope for the Holy Land and the rest of the world. Each person has proven that change happens

and stereotypes crumble when we're in close proximity to someone other. When our worldviews are challenged because we’re looking into the eyes of someone we perceive as different than us, listening to their story, becoming familiar with their very personhood—their movements, what causes the smile to dance onto their face, the sounds or memories that move them to tears—this is when we begin to see Jesus in the one we thought was so different.

Continue reading...

Facebook  Instagram  YouTube

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.