Haywood St. Updates for the Week of May 23, 2022

Haywood St. Updates for the Week of May 23, 2022



Thank you to our Sunday morning clean up crew for your hard work and service! If anyone is looking for alternative ways to worship on Sunday mornings, consider being a companion for our Sunday morning breakfast.


Our little library in the garden is in need of more books! Bring book donations to Haywood Street on Tuesdays between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm.

A memorial service will be held at 10 am for Deric Causby on Sunday, May 29th in the garden.

For the past month or more, Theirs is the Kingdom – the documentary on the Haywood Street Fresco – has been showing on PBS stations throughout the country. Please mark your calendars and check your local listings for next week, Theirs is the Kingdom will air on Asheville’s local stations.


  • UPCOMING: Mark your calendars for a Companion Fellowship Event Tuesday on June 21 in the dining room 5:00pm-7:00pm. Dinner will be provided! More information to come.
  • Art Room Companions Needed! – The I Am Home Art Project is in need of weekly companions. Click here to learn more about the project and how you can get involved!
  • NEW MINISTRY UPDATES – Starting the week of May 1
    • Sunday Bible Study – 11:00am in the sanctuary
    • Tuesday Prayer Group – 12:00 in the sanctuary – Gather for a time of communal prayer
    • 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.
  • Next Companion Orientation this Monday June 6 at 5:00pm in the sanctuary – Do you know someone that might be interested in joining the companion team? Please remind them of our monthly welcome orientation. Register here: https://fb.me/e/1B5vIrdlG

Welcoming new Lead Storyteller, Melanee

I come to Haywood Street to fill the big shoes of Lead Storyteller. For the three, short years that I have been in Asheville, I have visited the campus and followed the stories told of friends and companions. Before arriving in Asheville in July of 2019, I worked as an Interim Associate Pastor and Program Assistant for a Church of the Brethren congregation in Allison Hill, a neighborhood in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Never before had I experienced community in the way I did in that church. I was closer than ever to poverty, which, simultaneously, brought me closer than ever to Christ. My time in Harrisburg was too short, but I learned the importance of community, of serving and of being served, of patience, and above all, of being in the presence of those on the margins of our society.

Leaving Harrisburg and coming to Asheville to begin a life newly married, brought excitement and sadness. Sadness to leave the community I had come to love deeply, and excitement to see how God would be revealed to me. My arrival to Asheville left me feeling more alone and spiritually empty than I had thought possible in an area with such astounding beauty. I missed walking the streets of Allison Hill, seeing friends I met at our food distribution program at the church, and walking into the little, somewhat rundown, taco restaurant on Derry Street. I missed the familiar faces of community. Even with Asheville’s unique, quirkiness, the city felt stale and foreign. I longed to feel connected to Asheville as I had to Allison Hill, but I felt nothing, and I struggled to determine the cause.

It wasn’t until I found Haywood Street that I began to feel like Asheville could, in fact, feel like home someday. From the first time walking onto the Haywood Street campus, I felt the Spirit pull the covers off the shiny, artificial picture of prettiness and luxury as Asheville is often depicted. Standing in the sanctuary that first day, the authenticity that I had yearned for was felt powerfully. I realized, then, that Asheville has come to hide, whether intentionally or not, the very people who gave her beauty and uniqueness. She masks her vulnerability and suffering with hotels and brightly colored buses that tour only the superficially, appealing places.

As I sit in my new office, the sounds of deep sleep are heard from the foyer below. With compassion and hospitality, this place has indeed reclaimed the meaning of “sanctuary.” It is clear to me now that while visitors are walking through the Biltmore mansion or enjoying fine dining at the best restaurants, a strong beating heart of Asheville is meeting together at round tables in the basement of an unassuming church on the outskirts of the city. And that while people flock to the stunning trails in the Blue Ridge Mountains to see the blooming laurels and changing leaves, friends who have been hidden from view gather at Haywood Street to share a meal and rest their heads.

I am overjoyed—and humbled—to be joining this community, and I look forward to the relationships that will be built and to the growth that awaits me. I hope that I am able to safeguard the sacredness of the stories shared with me, just as I hope that I am trusted to tell them in a way that honors the dignity and worth of those who reveal themselves to me.