A big THANK YOU to the non-profit ‘Street Dog Coalition’ which provided free care to 33 dogs and cats (and one bird!) this past Sunday at Haywood Street.

Our first outdoor worship service was a success! We give thanks to the many folks who made it happen and to all who were in attendance. We will continue these services in the Haywood Street parking lot on Wednesdays at 12:00. We will also continue to stream them via Facebook Live.

Documentary film producer, Chris Zaluski, and his team are getting close to the finished product of “Theirs Is The Kingdom” — a film examining the intersection of poverty and portraiture, following the creation of the Haywood Street Fresco which immortalizes those on the margins. You can follow the journey of this film via Instagram by clicking here!


1. Haywood Street Respite has an open employment opportunity. Click here to learn more about the Hospitality Coordinator position!

2. Registration to play is full, but it’s not too late to become a “Friend of GFA”!

3. “Working Class” — sermon by Rev. Brian Combs, 9/9/2020


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

2. Clothing Closet needs: camping gear — tents, blankets, towels, tarps, sleeping bags, etc. Can be dropped off Tuesdays 10am-12pm.



                                                (Dell, pictured right)

On leaving HSC…

In a few weeks Sherman and I will be moving to Raleigh to live at a retirement community which is close to our daughter and son in law and two active granddaughters.  I know that we will never leave Haywood in our hearts, but not being able to actively participate in the fellowship as we have done over the years will be so very difficult.

HSC changed my life dramatically and forced me to examine the Christianity I had learned all my life.  Although I had been a member of 10 Methodist churches over the years, I had never experienced a relationship with a homeless person.  In fact I feared a relationship like that. I carried a lot of guilt about that fact because I knew what Jesus said in Mathew 25.  So I substituted my good fortune for the love that Jesus talked about.

Then HSC came into my life when I heard a young pastor named Brian Combs speak at Central about the plans for a ministry that would be dedicated to serve the homeless, the poor, the folks who had been burned by religion, the “least of these” to use Jesus’s words.  An arrow pierced my heart that day and I knew I could be a part of this ministry.

In the days, and months, and years that followed, something happened to me every time I walked onto the HSC property that I felt but did not understand. The closest I can come is when God told Moses as he approached the burning bush to take off his sandals because he was standing on Holy Ground. And I truly believe that HSC is Holy Ground, a place that is different from where I am coming.

Holy Ground is a place where dignity and respect are not just words but how we treat one another.  It’s a place where each person is valued whether rich or poor, clean or dirty, addicted or sober, gay or straight, whether you live in a house, a shelter, a car, a campground, or on the street, and where your ethnicity does not matter.
Holy Ground is a place of safety.  It’s a place of hospitality. It’s a place where you can find something to wear. It’s a place where you can serve or be served. It’s a place where you can console or be consoled. It’s a place where you can weep or be joyful. It’s a place of fellowship and a place where relationships are built.
Holy Ground is a place where you will be nourished with healthy food even during a pandemic by companions who prepare and serve you with cheerfulness and care.  Holy Ground is a Respite where you can recover from illness with loving care and compassion.

I am grateful for so many experiences at HSC. Worship here is so real and down to earth.  The music is joyful and stirring.  The “preaching” is not really “preaching” but a participative discussion based on scripture where every person has the right to express their views.  But the most meaningful things to me from the very beginning has been communion and the closing tradition.  When I first received the bread and blood from a homeless person and looked into his eyes, I finally understood who Jesus is.  The closing tradition when someone asks “Whose Child Are You” and we all reply “God’s Child” is in my opinion the great equalizer and sums up the essence of HCS perfectly.

The pandemic makes leaving Haywood so much more difficult because I cannot embrace and thank each of you for your love and support over the years.  HSC is the result of an unbelievable competent and effective staff and dedicated cadre of companions.  You have helped me see Jesus as he really is.