Dear Haywood Street community,
I am writing to announce some exciting news for my fiancé Colin and I. Colin, a recent graduate from Union Presbyterian Seminary, has accepted a call to a church in Georgia. We are so excited for our future together and this next adventure on our journey! However, I am deeply saddened to share that this means I will be leaving Haywood Street and my role as Companion Coordinator. Haywood Street is now hiring for the Companion Coordinator position, and information about the opening can be found here.
I am not leaving just yet, as I want to make sure I can help with a healthy transition for the next Companion Coordinator. I will keep you all updated as to when that will be. But I feel that it is necessary now to take some time to reflect on my time here. As the Companion Coordinator, I’m constantly saying “thank you” to all that serve with our ministry and help make our community run each week. So it’s only natural that I continue thanking you all for everything you have done for me.
First, I have to say thank you to the entire Haywood Street community who welcomed me in the fall of 2013. I came to Asheville as a recent college graduate to participate in a year long service program called Hands & Feet of Asheville. I had no idea that I would find a place like Haywood and stay here for almost 5 years. I’ll never forget the first time I worshipped on a Wednesday. Never in my life had I experienced a community so authentic and genuine, where people cared for each other regardless of background and life circumstance. I immediately felt at home.
Thank you to the Haywood Street staff and committee that hired me into this position, taking a chance on a young woman who had a lot to learn but also had a lot of love in her heart and a spark for justice in this world. You all have watched me grow and learn, and have also watched me struggle and question. I’m so grateful to have a group of people who support Sabbath and self care, and who allow each other to be vulnerable and ask for help. You all have become not just co-workers, but family.
Thank you to all of the Haywood Street companions who served in so many different ways. It was an honor for me to walk alongside you. I will never forget you all and your lives that you shared with me and the memories we made inside these church walls. I’ve watched you all grow as you’ve watched me, realizing that relationship and community are way more important than any work to be done. And we both know – there is a lot of work to be done!! You have touched my heart and will forever be my church community and friends.
On Sunday I was able to catch the last few minutes of worship to take communion and sing “This Little Light of Mine”. A song I’ve heard hundreds of times, but never has it had more meaning to me than on Sunday. I have a light inside me that shines with the love of God. And even though I may be leaving Haywood Street, my light will always shine because Haywood Street has lit a fire inside me that will always choose to love others, to welcome the stranger, and to recognize the worth and value of every person – because we are all God’s children!
I will always call Haywood Street my home and you all my family – no matter where I may be. As difficult as it may be to leave this beloved community, I find solace in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who we celebrate this weekend. A beautiful reminder of our commitment, humanity and loving one another.
“Make a career of humanity. Commit yourself to the noble struggle for equal rights. You will make a greater person of yourself, a greater nation of your country, and a finer world to live in.”
Grace and peace,
For more faces & stories from our Congregation, click here.