Joyce Hollyday is a co-founder and co-pastor of Circle of Mercy, an ecumenical congregation in Asheville, North Carolina. Her most recent book, Pillar of Fire, is a historical novel that celebrates the extraordinary witness of the medieval mystics known as Beguines. She is the author of other several books, including Clothed with the Sun: Biblical Women, Social Justice, and Us and Then Shall Your Light Rise: Spiritual Formation and Social Witness. She was a founding member of Witness for Peace, a grassroots organization committed to nonviolence and led by faith and conscience. She was formerly the Associate Editor for Sojourners. 

Posts By This Author

A Delicate Balance

by Joyce Hollyday 03-01-1996

I did not expect a great blue heron to visit my neighborhood in northeast Atlanta.

All of Us Are Sinners

by Joyce Hollyday 01-01-1996

On May 12, 1982, Thony Green woke about dawn to put on the coffee at the Open Door Community in Atlanta.

Touchstones of Remembrance

by Joyce Hollyday 11-01-1995

"Can we make this a ritual?" my then-9-year-old niece asked me.

The Extraordinary Within the Ordinary

by Joyce Hollyday 09-01-1995
Reflections on the revised common lectionary (September 3 - October 29)

Finding a Way Out of the Brokenness

by Joyce Hollyday 09-01-1995

The assistant district attorney cleared the courtroom, while two sheriff's deputies searched the defendant. He was known to own 13 guns.

Invitations to Faith and Freedom

by Joyce Hollyday 07-01-1995
Reflections on the revised common lectionary (July 2 - August 27, 1995)

Grace Like a Balm

by Joyce Hollyday 07-01-1995

Anne Morrison Welsh remembers every detail of that day 30 years ago.

When Poverty is the Landscape

by Joyce Hollyday 07-01-1995
An inner-city physician's honest struggles.

A Celebration of Friendship

by Joyce Hollyday 05-01-1995

'Yesterday, it was like fire on glass," says Mary Etta of the sunrise we missed. We had missed them all.

The Wild Ways of the Spirit

by Joyce Hollyday 05-01-1995
Reflections on the common lectionary (May 7 - June 25, 1995)

Journey Toward Joy

by Joyce Hollyday 03-01-1995
Reflections on the revised common lectionary (February 19 - April 30, 1995)

The Adventures of Robo-Bambi

by Joyce Hollyday 03-01-1995

There are many callings. Some people teach. Some people write. Some people sing operas, and some train dogs.

Receive the Mystery

by Joyce Hollyday 12-01-1994
Reflections on the revised common lectionary (November 27 - February 12, 1995)

A Journey With Biblical Women

by Joyce Hollyday 11-01-1994

We started at the beginning, with Eve.

Strength Through the Ages

by Joyce Hollyday 11-01-1994

The parallel stories of biblical and contemporary women.

Crimes and Obsessions

by Joyce Hollyday 09-01-1994

I’m not sure why I turned on the television that Friday night. Mountains stand between me and most airwaves, and my old TV set tunes into only two channels.

The Nature of Things

by Joyce Hollyday 08-01-1994
I hope that in the battle of instincts, nurture and nonviolence will win out.

My dog is a practitioner of nonviolent resistance. I know you don’t believe this, so I will explain. Last Thanksgiving, at the age of six weeks, she came to live with me on the 13-acre farm in the North Carolina mountains where I rent a small garage apartment.

I knew from Day Two that Savannah was more than just a blonde pup with long eyelashes and a perpetual smile. On her first venture down the porch steps, she fell on her nose and rolled. On her second day, she backed up, took a running start, and spread all four paws out as she lept off the top step—as if to convince herself that if she couldn’t walk down, she would fly. With great aplomb, she picked herself up and trotted on. That was the moment my love for her was sealed.

She has been a source of endless delight, gracing me with an abundance of gifts—companionship, affection, chunks of horse manure, dead snakes. With great pride she set at my feet one day a large, decomposing catfish head, the odor of which reached the far hollows of the county (emanating as it was from her fur, since she had joyfully rolled in it before sharing it with me).

But, sadly, despite her talents, Savannah quickly learned that she was not Miss Popularity on the farm. The horses stomped at her; the geese hissed at her; and the goats menacingly lowered their horns whenever she came near. The grumpy old cocker spaniel who lives in the farmhouse next door growled at her whenever she licked his face (which was several times a day); still, she lavished her unconditional love on him, unable to accept that anyone or anything could find her anything but absolutely lovable.

Small Reaches for Hope

by Joyce Hollyday 07-01-1994

I will never forget those faces. Wide-eyed. Frightened.

With Wide-Eyed Wonder

by Joyce Hollyday 06-01-1994

We gathered in the courtyard outside the First United Methodist Church in Brevard, North Carolina, just about dusk on Good Friday.

Dream On

by Joyce Hollyday 05-01-1994

Dreams are the language of God, I’m told. If that’s the case, God has some wild ways of communicating.