We are still deeply mourning the loss of our beloved, Edward Smith, who passed away peacefully this week. For years, Edward was an integral part of the Haywood Street staff, serving as Organist for nearly every worship service, memorial, wedding and celebration. At this time, we are holding Edward’s family and loved ones in prayer.

A big THANK YOU to Luella’s for smoking 20 turkeys and Strada and Bouchon for cooking 20 hams that were shared with our community this Wednesday for our Christmas meal. Special thanks to Haywood Street companions, Crystal and Steve, who coordinated logistics for this effort.

We are grateful to have recently learned that Central United Methodist Church is dedicating its Christmas offering this year in support of the Haywood St. ministries. We also remain thankful for all the ways CUMC supports Haywood St. and the Asheville community — including by now fulfilling the much-needed role for a warming center downtown.

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1. Viewing of the Haywood Street Fresco is currently available by appointment only. Email April to set up your day and time!

2. New employment opportunity: Assistant to the Program Manager, Haywood Street Respite. More…

3. Our year-long Community Residency program is designed to equip mission-minded individuals for effective and transformative ministry WITH the poor. The next program year will be (approximately) beginning of June 2021 through end of May 2022. Learn more about this opportunity HERE.

4.  Because we have received so many generous donations over the past few Tuesdays, and because Haywood Street is currently operating without the help of its beloved volunteers, we are placing a 6-week hold on all donations to our clothing closet. During this pause, staff will continue to sort previously collected clothing items, toiletries and camping gear and distribute them to those in need. Thank you for your patience and understanding.


1. Make a meal for Friends staying in Respite. Click here to sign up!

2. Click here to access our wish list and giving information.


We are thrilled to announce that Jody Halstead will be returning to Haywood Street, February 1, in the position of Associate Pastor. Please offer her a warm welcome and congratulations when you see her in this new year!

I have heard more than one person describe 2020 as a dumpster fire, just a big ole smoldering, smoky mess. And so many of us would agree. As I write this, I am sitting in a drive through Covid 19 testing line. It is December 21. The first day of winter and the shortest day of the year. I am listening to the Beatles sing, “Here Comes the Sun.” It’s alright.

About a month ago I offered a sermon on the parable of the talents from Matthew 25. The landowner gave the stewards talents; to one he gave 5 talents, to another 3 and to another 1. The one who received one talent buried it. He didn’t do anything. The gracious landowner gave him a gift and he wasted it. Oftentimes when I write sermons I am keenly aware that I am preaching to myself. The word speaks to me through my time of study and preparation. For this passage I was overwhelmed by the question, that while I love what I do and I love the people with whom I serve, am I wasting what God has given me? Am I playing it safe?

We all learned things about ourselves during Covid. I learned that without Haywood Street, l am unbalanced, off-kilter, quite frankly, a little lost. I learned that even though I am serving with people I love dearly, I still feel somewhat like a stranger, like I am in a foreign place.

The Sunday that I preached this sermon, II received a message from Brian asking if we could talk.Was I interested in serving at Haywood Street as an associate minister? I almost laughed out loud! He could have just as easily asked me if I was interested in living into my deepest calling? Was I interested in serving at Haywood Street? Jody, do you want to come home?

This is the shortest day of the year. Tomorrow the sun shines longer. Here comes the sun and it’s alright. It is better than all right. It is good, very good. I am coming home.

Even dumpster fires give off light and warmth.