News and Updates

July 21, 2023

Fresco Speaker Series Recap

We had a beautiful, thought-provoking conversation with McKenzie and Eva on Tuesday at the Fresco Speaker series.

Our conversation centered around how their experiences at Haywood Street have influenced their desire to advocate for deeply affordable housing.

A big thank you to all those who came out to support the event and learn more about affordable housing!

Card Ministry Update

Pastor Jody's card ministry for incarcerated friends has been moved from Thursdays at 10 am in the dining room to Wednesdays at 8:30 am in the Sanctuary!

As always, everyone is invited to join us!

Patio Progress

We hit a couple of bumps with timing and permits, but progress is being made on the patio project!

Concrete footers have been poured, and plumbing should begin next week!

Respite Transport

On August 2nd, a current Respite Resident has a doctor's appointment in Charlotte. We are looking for a Companion willing to transport them.

If you are interested, you can reach out to Elizabeth Bowers at

On-going opportunities to participate at the Welcome Table:

  • Have a meal! - Join us on Sunday or Wednesday to enjoy a meal with our community!

  • Dining Room Clean Up - As always, clean up is one of the places that we need companion support. We promise to make it fun! On Sundays, we need companions from 10:00-12:00, and on Wednesdays from 12:00-2:00

  • Kitchen Clean-Up - On Sundays from 10:00-12:00 and Wednesdays from 12:00-2:00, we would love for a couple of companions to help us clean up the kitchen and help serve the folks who come in during that time for a meal. You can sign up for this role on the sign-up sheet below!
Sign Up

Haywood Street in Photos

This group came all the way from Tulsa, OK! They worked with us on Tuesday to prepare for the Downtown Welcome Table and then came back on Wednesday to be a part of the Downtown Welcome Table!

Our beautiful Miss Mary! Kim, an out-of-state visitor, had the chance to meet Miss Mary while at Haywood Street. This is what she shared:

"As I was leaving Haywood, Miss Mary and I started talking and she asked if I would take her picture because she doesn't have any of herself. We have been talking about what a beautiful smile she has. I wanted to send it in hopes that you can show her. I have to say [being at Haywood Street] was one of the absolute most beautiful and rewarding days we experienced."

Weekly Ministry Opportunities:


Sundays at 11:00 and Wednesdays at 12:30 in the sanctuary

Tuesday Prayer Group: 12:00 in Room 6. Gather for a time of communal prayer.


Wednesday Card Making: 8:30 am in the Sanctuary. Gather together to make cards for our community and friends in prison or in the hospital. 

Grief Support Group: Tuesdays from 11 am-12 pm in the community room. We’ll strive towards healing together through relationship with each other.

Weekly Sermons

Read each week's sermon and previous sermons on the stories and sermons page of the website.

Community Resources

Click below to see a list of places in the community to donate and find clothes, and when recovery meetings are held.

Click Here

Fresco Viewing Hours:

Sundays 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Monday-Thursday 10:00 a.m.- 2:00 p.m.

By appointment, contact April at


Why Are You Here?

By Lead Storyteller, Melanee Rizk

Early Christianity started with simple invitations to a table—strangers and friends preparing a meal, eating together, and sharing conversations. Unfortunately, the simplicity and intimacy that characterized the movement seem to be less evident these days. 

What's more common, though, is a relationally detached, task-oriented, and institutional method of Christianity that wants to help those who can’t help themselves. Pair this with a culture that’s addicted to work and crossing off boxes on the “to-do” list, and the fruits of our labor are unbeatable!

I suppose it would be hard to argue that Christians lack ambition since we're behind some of the most well-known charitable organizations. Compassion International, World Vision, Salvation Army, Samaritan’s Purse, and Catholic Relief Services, to name a few. 

That said, I don’t discredit these groups. They provide services that help folks who have been affected by war, poverty, and natural disasters. People willing to give their time and skill for that work is needed. No question.

A question I do pose, though—to those of us fortunate enough to be housed and have support networks—regards the posture taken when we step toward others whose circumstances are different from our own. Are we standing over them without knowing their names, assuming we have what they need, or are we sitting beside them, shoulder-to-shoulder, willing to receive whatever they have to give? 

The latter requires slowing down. And moving slowly can feel counterintuitive when there’s stuff to get done. But the Jesus movement is counterintuitive. That’s why God’s kingdom is also called the “upside-down kingdom.” It’s countercultural, nonsensical, and uncomfortably unnatural for us. When we rush, trying to get as much done in one day as possible—we risk missing the wisdom behind Jesus's mission. 

Jesus’s mission wasn’t about numbers, just like it wasn’t meant to fit inside human social and cultural paradigms. 

Haywood Street chooses not to use the term “volunteer” for this reason. Rather than folks coming to fill an open spot in the dish room, we want folks coming to Haywood Street because they have a hunger for something deeper and more flavorful than what the world provides.

While names are always the priority, we choose to refer to folks who participate in our ministries as companions. This isn't some tactful way to stand out by having a trendy new word for volunteer. The word choice is important to us. 

And here’s why—the original, literal meaning of companion was together with bread. 

Companions were literally the people you ate with, broke bread with, and sat with at a common table (1). This implies that “strangers and acquaintances become companions through eating together” (1). Sounds a little like the vision of the Downtown Welcome Table, I hope!

In companionship, there’s no hierarchy, no class system, and no us and them. Meals are “the primary means of breaking down relational walls between folks” (1). Every person who sits at the table is a companion. Some may choose to bring the plates or clear the table, but make no mistake, companionship happens when we’re at the table, sitting eye-to-eye together.

So, why are you here? Are you here to volunteer or fill a need? 

If the answer is yes, then in love and respect, that’s not why we need you. 

We need you at the dinner table because it isn’t complete without your presence. And because we can’t know you or be known by you without sitting eye-to-eye and seeing each other. 

Put your apron to the side. Scrap your task list. It’s time to lean in and embrace the ludicrous and unnatural way of living with others we’ve been invited into.


  1. Emery, Paul. “The Etymology & Theology of Companionship,”
Facebook  Instagram  YouTube

A witness to include the most excluded, Haywood Street not only welcomes every child of God–especially sisters and brothers of every mental illness and physical disability, addiction and diagnosis, living condition and employment status, gender identity and sexual orientation, class, color, and creed–but we celebrate your presence, certain that the kingdom of God is coming closer because you are here.