Inspiring news moment! A couple of Haywood Street’s youngest congregants held a hot apple cider fundraiser and raised nearly $100 for Haywood Street Community Development (as well as BLM and Brother Wolf!). Thank you Rennie and Levi!

We’re grateful to announce that our beloved Organist, Edward, will be providing music in the sanctuary during Fresco viewing hours on Thursdays (12:00-2:00). Further details regarding viewing hours provided in the announcements below.

This year we’re flipping the Giving Tuesday script a bit and providing our newsletter subscribers with 7 days of faces, stories and reflections from Haywood Street. This week of additional content is intended to be a gift to you and others who have described feeling lonely, isolated and disconnected from community due to COVID. Be on the lookout for these special emails in your a.m. inbox (and a very exciting announcement on December 7th!)


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!



(Marie pictured right and friend, Renee, pictured left)

I am new to North Carolina, having moved here from Turkey where I had retired in a small fishing village on the Aegean. I came back after the twin crises of the epidemic and protests hit. I knew I could no longer sit in comfort while the US was falling apart. I am originally from California but wanted to come to a swing state to help. I chose North Carolina, having been here many years ago and remembering it as a welcoming and picturesque place. Since I knew little about the state and no one, my first course of action was to travel a bit and get a feel of where I might want to settle.

I started in Raleigh and one day decided to visit the North Carolina Museum of Art. As I wandered around the beautiful park studded with sculptures and galleries filled with world-class art, I came upon the Haywood St. Fresco exhibit. I stood there, dumbstruck: the charcoal drawings, the videos, the preparation of the wall and paint, the testimonies….Since there were no benches, I sank onto the floor and gazed in reverence at the photographs of the rendering of the story of the people of Haywood St. and, indeed, of all of us.

Others passed by, noting the beauty of the art, but I was rooted to the ground. Reading the story behind the mural and seeing the photographs and videos of the incredible people Christopher Holt portrayed in his work was one of the most memorable museum memories I have ever had. The painstaking attention to details, the concept and dedication of Christopher and his crew is something unique in this modern world of minute sound bites and easy fixes.

I determined to go to Asheville and see the fresco in person. I wanted to feel it and the sanctuary.

April was amazing – she responded to my request immediately and we set up a date. Driving into the parking lot, it was apparent that this is a place of refuge. We cannot underestimate the extent of trauma so many men and women undergo and the damage they suffer, and here is a sanctuary open to all.

April was there waiting to greet me and my friend. She was warm and informative and showed us around, explaining the church and allowing us to absorb the atmosphere and the work ‘in situ’. The story of its development from idea to reality is a lesson in love and commitment. It reminded me of the quote from Rabbi Hillel:

If not me, who?
If not now, when?

And the fresco? It is magnificent. Words cannot adequately describe what a privilege it is to view it close up. There is a peace about the chapel, with its simple pews and soft light from the old stained glass windows. Some people may scoff, but there is a spirit of goodness: I felt it embrace me and strengthen my resolve to do something positive to make this world a better place.

I hope that many pilgrims come to visit this magical site and be inspired to get involved in something beneficial to their community and country.

I wish you the best in everything. You epitomize the ideals of the basic idea of all religions: be a good person. God bless you.