Our Mission: Relationship, above all else.
Haywood St. Congregation is an urban ministry nestled on a corner of Asheville, North Carolina. In all that we do, we seek to include and prioritize those in our community who are often overlooked, knowing that humanity’s collective hope starts with the least of these.
We have set out to be a community that favors the city’s outskirts, lavishes the dinner table with folded napkins and flower bouquets, and prioritizes an individual’s inherent worth over their status.
We seek to subvert the divisive labels “us” and “them” by inviting all to experience preparing the table and all to experience sitting at the table.
Everything is informed by our understanding of Jesus’ ministry as fundamentally counterintuitive to culture.
How do community members describe Haywood St?
"At first, it was difficult for me to make sense of everything I was experiencing. As time went on, I slipped into a space where I felt useful and grateful to be needed -- in the dishroom. There was a whole lot more going on, though, and I was encouraged to move out of my comfortable place. So I stretched a little and then a little more. The people I met were so much like me and again so different. I began to fully understand that the sameness and difference were the true design and I slowly began to live into that."
"I first entered the doors of Haywood Street in summer 2011 with my daughter and a group of campers from CCC (Carolina Cross Connection). I sat and cried like a baby as I watched the fellow behind me dig in his backpack and drop a handful of coins into the offering plate - my world had been shattered, rearranged, and put back together in the most beautiful way never to be the same again."
"Every time I come to Haywood Street, something happens to me that I cannot rationally explain. My Spirit soars as I anticipate the day’s activities. I am excited to see familiar faces and glad to greet folks coming for the first time."
"Every week, I see small acts of love being shared in countless ways. Love is shared as Friends plan and prepare delicious food, beautifully arrange it on serving platters, and cheerfully dish up seconds and thirds. Love is shared in the setting of the tables with china dishes and fresh flowers that signify the dignity and importance of all who will share a meal. It is shared as Friends pass food and engage in conversations."
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