This write-up does a great job at explaining the innovative partnership between Asheville Strong, Haywood Street and local restaurants. The relationships that have been formed between the Downtown Welcome Table and the Asheville, culinary community over the past eight years, have only been strengthened through the challenges of this exceptional time. More…


1. Next Companion Zoom meet up: November 17 @ 6 p.m.

2. Fresco viewing hours: Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 12:00 – 2:00 p.m.. During these times a Fresco Host will be on hand to share stories about the artwork, or you are welcome to experience it through quiet reflection. While the sanctuary will be open, other areas of the church will not be. We will be following all safety protocols including mask wearing, physical distancing, and limiting number of guests at any given time. Contact April if you’d like to make a reservation for an alternate time.


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. *This week we are asking for donations of coats, sleeping bags, and tents in particular!



I’ve been reflecting lately on my church upbringing. It wasn’t much. My parents admit they forgot to baptize me. There was a short stint at a Unitarian church, but all I remember is failing a Bible study class and sneaking out to the playground. My whole maternal side of the family was Southern Baptist. Great-Grandma Grace had a painting of the Brad Pitt version of Jesus in her dining room and everything about Christianity felt solemn. I suppose the most committed I ever was to a Sunday morning routine was attending the Quaker Friends Meeting with my mom. In the summers, she’d send me to their wood-working day camp. It was led by this real nice, hippie woman. Her teenage daughter would hang out with us younger kids and I thought she was both strange and cool the way she’d eat a green pepper like an apple.

This Quaker church was a one-room school house. It was in the old part of Charlottesville, in a predominately black neighborhood, and sat right along the train tracks. It was an interesting group that would show up to those services. There were intellectuals and ex-musicians. There was a homeless guy and another guy who was addicted to crack. Later I found out there were a couple kind-of famous people.

It was hard to sit there as a kid. But it wasn’t the worst. Mostly I’d just watch the grown-ups with their eyes closed; wonder what in the world they were thinking about and why they’d nod their heads once in a while. In the Quaker tradition, there is no preacher. Congregants stand when they feel they’ve been spoken to by God. And they share the message. Then, they sit back down and it’s quiet again. I can sit in awkward silence. Maybe this is where I learned it.

What else did I learn in this small room, from the back pew where the light came in? I think I learned that time with God can be simple. It can also be boring. Every week, someone was announcing an “action move” – a march in Washington, a law that was being protested, a re-settled refugee who needed meals. I learned that when you can, you do.

Looking back, I feel a kindred link between Haywood Street and the Sunday meetings of my youth – the conversational homily, the sitting with, the showing up. And to be trusted as Haywood Street’s Lead Storyteller, I rely heavily on that main principle of the Quaker practice – listen before your share.