News and Updates

June 28, 2024

Companion Orientation Monday, July 1st

Join us in the Sanctuary on Monday, July 1st, at 5:00 pm for the next Companion Orientation! Invite your friends to share about being in relationship all together at Haywood Street Congregation.

Participation Opportunities during 4th of July Week

With the 4th of July holiday on Thursday, the Welcome Table has a busy week coming up! Anyone is invited to join us for meal prep on Tuesday and the meal and clean up on Wednesday. Here's a look at some of the companion spots to be filled:

Tuesday from 9-12: Help forming hamburger patties and prepping sides.

Wednesday from 10-3: help cutting watermelon, setting up for meal, tearing down, etc.

For more information, contact Interim Companion Coordinator Jenny.

Collecting Art Supplies

Haywood Street is thrilled to share that we're preparing to begin an art ministry that will allow space for folks to rest and create.

As we continue to plan out this new ministry, we're beginning the process of collecting art supplies. If you would like to make a donation, please contact Tiffany.

Public Health Mobile Team

Wednesday, July 3rd

The Buncombe County Mobile Team will be at HSC on Wednesday, 7/3/24, with their new Mobile Unit/RV!

In addition to their regular services (vaccines, rapid HIV + Hep C testing, resources), they will now offer more STI testing (chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis) and more privacy (and A/C!). 

Here's a summary of the current services:

  • Immunizations (Tetanus/Tdap, COVID, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Mpox, Shingles)
  • All of our vaccines are free and available for people with or without insurance.
  • The only exception is the shingles vaccine (Shingrix), which is only for ages 50+ and requires insurance coverage (which we can look up). Those without insurance can submit an application to cover the cost (we can help with this). 
  • Rapid Testing (results in ~20 minutes) for HIV, Hepatitis C, and Syphilis
  • Harm Reduction education and supplies (Narcan)
  • Community Resources and handouts (condoms, wipes, lists of local healthcare providers, etc.)
  • STI Screening (Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, HIV, Syphilis)

Choir Practice, Tuesdays at 1:00 in the Sanctuary

Join Pastor Jody and Director of Music Hazel in the sanctuary at 1:00 pm on Tuesdays for choir practice.

Contact Pastor Jody for more information.

Haywood Street Highlights

I’m not one for taking free things,” Dimmy said while eating lunch on Wednesday. “They’re usually in rough shape or just no good, but meals here are different. I haven’t ever had a bad one.”

The quality of clothes, food, and other materials we give another person reflects what we think that person is worth. For this reason, Jinnia and her kitchen companions are committed to preparing each meal with the utmost care and detail. Every Wednesday, our hope is the same—that our meals reflect the kind of love, dignity, and respect we have for each person sitting at our tables.

Ashley is one of the leaders with AYM who has been around campus, introducing youth groups to Haywood Street, giving out popsicles on hot days, and inviting folks to play different games. These groups have brought so much life and excitement with them!

It was a pleasure to welcome UNCA's Department of Education and its Fresco Institute participants this week. Six high school teachers from Asheville City Schools and Buncombe County Schools and one community member from Asheville Parks and Recreation were here for an experiential and applied learning experience. 

The department received funding to sponsor an institute for local teachers where they create standards-based field trip lesson plans centered on the Fresco. The educators enjoyed seeing the Fresco and sharing a meal in community at the Downtown Welcome Table.

If you are interested in bringing a group to see the Fresco, contact April:

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!


Housing Huddle: Join Director of Housing Laurie in the Sanctuary, from 10 to 11 to learn more about Haywood Street's housing project.

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~

July 3rd:

Pastor Brian

July 10th:

Pastoral Intern Khloe

July 17th:

Pastor Jody (Baptismal Service)

July 24th:

Pastor Brian

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.


The Weeping Christ

June 26th Memorial Service

Sermon by Pastor Seth 


The smell of anointing oils have long since succumbed to the scent of a body letting go, the linen wrap now collecting a thin layer of dust like an offering from the earth gently embracing the stilled form beneath it, a reminder of our beginning — dust cradled in the creative palm of God’s loving hand coming back home. It’s quiet in the womb of rock encasing the one now at rest, settled and secure behind the stone.


It’s too late; Lazarus is gone. 


It’s been four days since his passing. A bereft Martha stands up and takes leave of her sister Mary and the company of mourners who have come to console them as they grieve the loss of their brother. Walking down the road, she meets Jesus upon his late arrival in Bethany, and Martha has some words.


“If only you had been here,” she laments. “My brother would not have died.” There is a heaviness to Martha’s longing for things to be different, confusion and frustration claiming her in the grips of her sadness.

“Your brother will rise again,” Jesus responds. “I am the resurrection and the life.”


There is a certainty and confidence to Jesus’s claims here in the passage preceding our scripture for this week — a solace to his words, engendering the hope of belief in him amidst the despair of loss. Upon hearing Jesus’s reply, Martha professes her faith in him: a seemingly stoic Christ with grand spiritual statements keeping his feelings in check and under control in the wake of his friend’s death. Something shifts, though, once Mary herself ventures out of the house to go meet Christ with the company of mourners in tow — an encounter that leaves Jesus no choice but to confront his own grief.

SCRIPTURE: John 11:30-35


In his book, The Wild Edge of Sorrow, psychotherapist and author, Francis Weller, remarks, “Beyond the crazed hunger in our culture to be exceptional, loss and sorrow wear away whatever masks we attempt to present to the world…We are stripped of excess and revealed as human in our times of grief.” Having spent decades working with individuals navigating loss, steeped in his own personal familiarity with it, Weller has spent a career tending to the messiness of mourning — the winding, rolling terrain of denial and acceptance, confusion and numbness, despair and anger and everything else that breaks through our heart’s barriers in the face of death and dying.


“Grief punctures the solidity of our world,” he says, “shatters the certainty of fixed stars, familiar landscapes, and known destinations…We worry that this house of sorrow will be our final resting place, that our days will always be overcast, gray, and dulled by the sadness we carry.” 


As a society, we are uncomfortable with grief, especially the expression of it. It makes sense. Feeling lost in the wake of loss and the full weight of overwhelm is a harrowing journey to make and be witnessed by others. Some of us try desperately to cling to what we can if we can at all — encouragement, distraction, clichés, life rafts to help bypass the murkiest of waters that threaten to drown us. We claw at hope in the hereafter — a see you later rather than a goodbye, they are with God now, death is not a period — because it is impossible to reconcile that they are gone from our lives.


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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.