In continuing with our “Going on Ten” series (celebrating Haywood Street’s upcoming tenth birthday), let us delight in the reflections of Rev. Joy Moss, Associate Pastor at Skyland United Methodist Church.
Q.) Can you share a memory from Haywood Street’s very first year? Why do you think that memory has stayed with you?
A.) I remember the first Christmas, Brian Combs and I drove Central’s van around downtown looking for people on the streets to pick them up for a Christmas meal at Haywood Street. It was the first meal that began our Welcome Table vision, before the worship services had even begun. We were all so hopeful that we might get at least 10 people for a meal! I don’t remember how many we actually served that day, but it was a small, special group of people with lots of food, hope and vision.
Another memory that first year is sitting on the Board and trying to decide what to name the ministry – after so many ideas were thrown around (The Lighthouse was one I remember) we finally saw the wisdom of naming it for it’s location. Can’t imagine any other name now.
Q.) What is one of the best changes you’ve seen over the years?
A.) The continued diversity of people (and animals) that have come to be part of Haywood Street – different denominations, faith backgrounds, socioeconomic levels, races, sexual orientations, and the list goes on – at Haywood Street, all those walls are broken down.
I also love how some of the local restaurants have embraced the Welcome Table and gotten involved in the outreach to our community in need – pulling our community together for good!
Q.) What keeps you coming back to this home of Holy Chaos?
A.) The relationships – the genuine Spirit of love.
Q.) What is the Haywood Street you envision five years from now?
A.) I would love to see us continue to grow in relationships with the city businesses, planners, police department and continue to be a model for other cities of how to build relationships with the homeless and empower them – body, mind and soul.