WELCOME FROM HAYWOOD STREET:
On Wednesday, a small group of friends and family gathered for Edward’s graveside service. Rev. Combs delivered his eulogy. You may read it here.
We are still experiencing frequent changes throughout our core ministries. This page is intended to help you stay up-to-date on all the basics!
A HAYWOOD STREET REFLECTION BY: APRIL
I’ve been thinking about the way 2020 has taught me new ways to communicate. When I was helping out at Respite in the Spring and Summer, Mike P. taught me some sign language – just enough for the two of us to carry on simple conversations, and share an inside joke or two. One sentence he taught was, “I work at Respite.” There is not a word for respite so he taught me the word “home” (touching hand to chin and cheek), and the word “hospital” (making a cross with your hand on the opposite shoulder). Mike taught me how frustrating it is for people who are deaf and hard of hearing to communicate when people are wearing masks because so much depends on facial expressions and lip reading. These lessons taught me greater empathy.
Another form of communication we’ve had to reckon with is video conferencing. Each week staff members gather in front of laptop, computer, and phone screens to connect and collaborate. A ministry built on closeness has had to regroup, especially as we realized it was much more likely the virus could be spread from us than to us while on campus. We’ve all been on the embarrassing end of being told, “You’re on mute,” after being at least a sentence into saying something probably brilliant. Grace abounds.
All the ways we’ve had to pivot remind me of the resilience of many in our community. Whether there is a pandemic or not, finding the basics of food, clothing, and shelter often depends on being on lists and in lines, navigating bus schedules, social services, and medical care. There is not a vaccine for these challenges, but I hope that, later in the year, some of the barriers this year has brought will be torn down in effort to be closer in proximity and in relationship.
While we’ve had to stay agile in our communication there have been other ways we’ve been reminded that we are not alone. These are things that our resilience training would call resources. Here’s a short list of some of my “resources”: the gift of a handful of figs from the garden, a text of encouragement from a co-worker, sharing God moments in the closing moments of a challenging staff meeting even if my voice shakes, Katie’s dog Cedar sidling up beside me – demanding to be loved on, making and flying paper airplanes with Soleil, the faithfulness of Rob who rode the bus from Arden to Haywood Street to be able to read scripture during outdoor worship, and the labor of carrying a keyboard to the parking lot so that our beloved Edward could remind us with music that “Blest Be the Tie That Binds.”
This is a never ending list, one that honors those who came before us and those who will come after, humbly proclaiming, in whatever language we can, “Here we are God.”