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Faces & Stories – Meet Aaron
If you’re going to sit down with Aaron, buckle up. He comes with 42 years of peaks and valleys and an urgency to recount all the journeys in between. For a man who describes himself as the thing that doesn’t fit, Aaron grew up in the considerably form fitting tradition of Jehovah’s Witness. His knowledge...
Eulogy for Nancy Bennett
Eulogy for Nancy Bennett Written & Delivered by Rev. Brian Combs, 6/16/2021 Adopted at birth, Nancy Bennett grew up with autism in Connecticut before boarding school in Lenoir brought her to Western North Carolina.  Strolling the boardwalk at Myrtle Beach and skiing the Black Diamond at Cataloochee Mountain were her favorite pastimes.  But when life wasn’t an...
Left Behind
Left Behind Sermon by Rev. Brian Combs, 5/19/21 Jesus didn’t spend his last day on earth assigning a beneficiary for his pension fund.  No, he, perhaps, asked one of the disciples to return the borrowed colt to its confused farmer back in Bethphage. Or took a slow walk through the Old City, leaning against the Western...
Michael & Family
I often see Michael from my office window; sitting, smoking, waiting patiently until it is time to pick his two-year-old daughter up from daycare. For our staff, who care tremendously for Michael and his family, it has become painful to ask if they’ve been placed in housing yet. We’ve been asking for four years. The...
A Letter From Rev. Brian Combs, 3/1/2021
Dear Haywood Street Community, Before the oil paint dried, Janet McKenzie’s icon, “Jesus of the People,” was immediately controversial.  The artist chose an African American woman as her model- thick eyebrows, generous lips, locked hair- to portray a non-binary Savior.  One covered in the unadorned robes of a peasant, a tangle of barbs encircling her...
Eulogy for Edward
Eulogy for Edward Written and presented by Rev. Brian Combs We are decedents of wandering Arameans.  Beginning with Adam and Eve in Genesis through the book of Revelation, salvation history narrates a people who spent much of their lives as homesick itinerants, on the road East of Eden in search of something lost, praying to be...
Week of Giving
This year, in lieu of Giving Tuesday, we are sharing a week’s worth of extra faces, stories, and reflections from Haywood Street friends, companions and staff. These special posts are intended to be a gift for you and others who have described feeling lonely, isolated and disconnected from community due to COVID-19. The links below will...
The Greatest Work
The Greatest Work Sermon by Father Mike, 11/18/2020 It should have come as no surprise when he said it—a peasant carpenter from Galilee, born amidst straw and dust, enveloped by the bare earth beneath him. From the moment the stable doors swung open to the world, Jesus’ status was abundantly clear—low class, unremarkable, unimportant. So...
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