WELCOME FROM HAYWOOD STREET:
Every day at Haywood Street, we navigate the Holy and Chaotic intersections of law, Christian theology, public health, and safety. Our Friends drag the weight of warrants, poverty, illness, and injury onto our campus, and while much of the world seeks to cuff, cage and restrict, it is our calling to unshackle, embrace, and overwhelm with more than just enough. At Haywood Street, the marginalized are prioritized; the back of the line is always tended to first.
Haywood Street is a church that supports both science and personal choice, and as a staff, we understand the CDC and Gov. Cooper’s most recent guidelines. We also recognize that at Haywood Street, we live, work and breathe amongst those on the margins; that our population is not representative of the larger population, and that we remain a highly vulnerable community in need of its own considerations.
At this time, our policy and approach is as follows:
● Wearing a mask is an individual choice that should be led by love and care for your neighbor.
● Mask wearing will not be required (with the exception of the staff and companions of Haywood Street Respite), but we encourage keeping one on your person at all times.
● Wellness stations will continue to provide access to thermometers, masks, and hand sanitizer.
● We continue to support and encourage vaccinations.
And while this may feel like yet more changes in a change-heavy year, please know that, quite simply, we are being asked to do what we always do, in every situation that arises at Haywood Street – to meet each other where we are, to live into our mission, ‘relationship, above all else‘, to operate from a place of abundant grace, and to respect one another in a way that supersedes, and is not subject to, the volatility of any mandate.
Thank you for your mindfulness as we move forward, together.
Outdoor worship has begun! Please join us Wednesdays at 12:30 beneath the large white tent in the parking lot.
Rev. Combs sermon (“Left Behind”) from 5/19/21 is available here.
2. Sign up to provide a meal for Respite meal here!
3. The Haywood Street clothing closet is now requesting warm weather clothing. All donations may be dropped off on Tuesdays from 10 am-12 pm.
New and returning Companions: please click HERE to register for one of our orientation events! During each orientation, we will walk through our current ministry opportunities and take time to share the mission, theology and values of being a companion with Haywood Street Congregation.
A HAYWOOD STREET REFLECTION BY KALEB:
(May 31 will be Kaleb’s last day in the role of Community Resident. Kaleb’s contributions to Haywood Street and the lives of our Friends have been innumerable. He will be greatly missed, but we are thrilled to watch his journey and cheer him on. If you see Kaleb this week, please share your gratitude for the love and service his has brought to our ministry.)
As the community resident at Haywood Street, you are able to encounter every person that walks on campus most days of the week. I have often been the first person someone connects with and that has been a true blessing. It can be a minor need or a friend of ours is looking for someone to listen to their story. Both are equally valuable. Over this past year I have truly learned the importance of listening. Often times we are quick to jump from one task to the next in our lives, but I have had to learn that life is much more than checking off our to do list. I have learned that ministry is done when we stop and listen to what the spirit is telling us. Once we recognize that everyone, we encounter is a beloved child of God our view on ministry changes. I very quickly realized that it is not what I can do for others but what can we do together to further our relationship and strengthen the kingdom of God.
I believe this past year has only affirmed my call to go into ministry as well as helped shape my view on how-to live-in community with every person we encounter. It has been a privilege to work at Haywood Street. Truly there is no other place like it, the mutual agreement to walk through life together is what makes this place special. I have learned a lot about making cobblers and casseroles. In the dining room there is a sign that reads, “food is the language of love, and Jesus shows up hungry” or something along those lines. Well, I never truly knew what that meant until this year. Our friends on the streets often show up longing for a hot meal and in each person on campus there lies a chance to encounter Jesus. I have encountered so much love in and out of the kitchen this year but in some way, food was the center of that love. It allowed me to connect with people I never dreamed possible such as my good friends Popeye. A man that has taught me something about almost every city in America along with some very interesting hitchhiking stories.
Haywood Street will forever be a second family to me, and I know I have a place to call home anytime I want to venture back through the Welcome Table doors. If there is one word, I could use to describe Haywood it would be family. Families do not always look alike or get along every day, but one thing is for sure the Haywood Street family sure does love on each other in beautiful way. I am so fortunate to have been a part of this community. I know one thing is for sure, love is beautiful but complicated. To truly love one must love without expecting anything in return. This has been the most transformative and valuable year of my life even through a pandemic. There is nothing but gratitude in my heart for Haywood Street.