Compassion Expanding–Updates for the Week of August 29, 2022

Compassion Expanding–Updates for the Week of August 29, 2022




The hair cutting ministry is set to start on October 5th! We are so excited to get this ministry started. Haywood Street recognizes that one of the first things the streets take away is the opportunity to present oneself as beautiful; But we know the truth is that God has provided all of us with beauty. This is our way of offering a place for people to feel the reality of this truth!

Thank you for your patience with us as we work on the Respite porch. After experiencing some bumps in the road, we’ll be back at it to get the project done so our friends can enjoy the new space! Reach out to Robert if you’re interested in helping with construction!

Golf for Awareness registration closes in one week! Make sure to sign up before September 9th to participate. Watch a clip from last years event to see what it’s like.

Register Here 

The little yellow house at 324 West Haywood Street officially belongs to Haywood Street Congregation! The plan is to make this space available to staff as a place of rest and sabbath. We’ll be looking for furniture donations–chairs, couch, dining room table, etc–so that we can make it a comfortable retreat.

We’re also thrilled that it is right across the street from the future housing community that we’ve been working on! For more information or to donate, click here.

On Wednesday, September 7th, we’ll be having a service to remember our friend, Kornbred. We invite everyone who had the opportunity to know and love him, to join us at 12:30 in the sanctuary.


Weekly Ministry Opportunities:

  • Sunday Bible Study – 11:00am in the sanctuary
  • Tuesday Prayer Group – 12:00 in the sanctuary – Gather for a time of communal prayer
  • Worship on Wednesdays at 12:30 in the sanctuary
  • Thursday Card Making Group – 10:00am in Room 1 (off the main lobby) – Gather together to make cards for our community and friends in prison or in the hospital.

Click here to see the list the places in the community to donate clothes and to find free clothes. If you know of a place not on this list, reach out to Melanee at




  • Servers are invited to join us at the Welcome Table: The kitchen is in need of additional servers at the Downtown Welcome Table on Wednesdays and Sundays. If you’d like to help, please let Katlyn know or sign up and feel free to bring a friend!
  • Meal Train for Respite:  Every night of the week a wonderful home cooked meal is provided for our friends in Respite. This month there are several open days that we need folks to sign up for. You can do so here: Feel free to share this need with your friends, Bible Studies, etc.
  • Clean Up Companions Needed for the Downtown Welcome Table on Sundays and Wednesdays: Wednesdays 12:00pm-1:00pm and Sundays 10:00am-11:00am companions are needed to help clean up. You can sign up or just show up!
  • Haywood Street Hair Cutting Ministry – We are currently in the process of reimagining the Hair Cutting Ministry here that we have had in the past. If you would like to be a part of that process or would like to cut or wash hair when it is open, let Katlyn know!
  • To Go Boxes – Since reopening in December, we have gone back and forth with to go containers at the Welcome Table. Because we served only to-go-boxes during the pandemic, our community got used to the option and we didn’t want to take that away abruptly. We have slowly been phasing out of providing to-go containers and have decided to begin phasing them out completely. Once we run out of our current supply, we will not purchase any more containers. This is both for sustainability purposes (creation care & budget sustainability) and because we want to focus on the experience at the table and allow other places that serve to go to do that well. In the case of an emergency, staff will work directly with an individual and provide food to go if needed.

Sermon by Companion Coordinator, Katlyn

“Compassion Expanding”
Luke 13:10-17

For 18 years all that she had seen was the ground in front of her. Due to an unknown condition her body was contorted and bent in half. In the first century to live in a body such as this was to be considered unclean, an outcast. When we encounter this woman in today’s texts, it’s the Sabbath, a day of lawful rest. Jesus is teaching in the Synagogue, and with only the view of her feet below her, this woman quietly walks in.

With all eyes on him, Jesus has a choice to make. Withhold his power to heal or violate the law of the Sabbath. Jesus chooses the path of most resistance. Without a cue, he stops what he’s doing, walks towards the woman and heals her. He lays his hands on her, she stands up straight and begins praising God.

In this story it’s clear that healing occurs in the physical body, but we know that healing can occur in more ways than one. As we read today’s text, let us wonder together, what does this scripture teach us about healing?

For over 30 years, Father Greg Boyle has worked with ex-gang members in LA. He began Homeboy Industries to provide job opportunities. But they quickly realized that what people needed more than jobs was healing.

At Homeboy, they say that an educated gang member may go back to prison and an employed one may or may not, but it’s a guarantee that a healed gang member will never re-offend and go back to prison. And their approach to healing is through what they call a community of tenderness. Through this community they allows folks to find a sanctuary. In this sanctuary they can address their trauma and eventually become a sanctuary for themselves and their families. Through this work they are breaking intergenerational cycles of trauma. And what they find is that as people heal, their circle of compassion expands. And as it expands, others are invited into their own journey of healing.

Like the healing work done at Homeboy Industries, today’s healing account teaches us that our healing is delicately intertwined with the healing of our neighbor.

As the woman is healed, the leaders and crowd are healed along with her. The leaders of their merciless adherence to the law, and the crowd of the societal maintence of “us” and “them.” Jesus transforms the Synagogue into a sanctuary of healing for all. He widens the circle of compassion.
Many of us allow social expectations and assumptions to keep us from expanding our own circles of compassion. When given the opportunity to encounter those we don’t understand, we take the easier route and cast judgment and blame in order to maintain separation.

But if we take a second to look below the surface, we may realize that what we are trying to avoid is not the other, but our own brokenness.

Father Greg Boyle says “The measure of health in any community resides in our ability to stand in awe at what folks have to carry. And when we do so, we all become friends with our own brokenness and our own wound, and it keeps us from being tempted to despise the wounded.”

Every moment of every day we have the choice to judge or stand in awe. We have the opportunity to create sanctuaries for healing, to be vessels of tenderness, and to expand our circles of compassion. Jesus’ healing reminds us that God is one of extravagant tenderness who is constantly inviting us to be healed. Who will always prioritize grace over law. Who sees our created goodness and longs for us to see it as well.

Whether you identify with the bent over woman, the relentless leaders or the crowd, you are invited to experience the freedom and fullness of healing.



Previous sermons can be found here.