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
The Newest Sojourners
"It's a baby woman!"
Art Brown was showing me his art work.
Celebrating the First 10 Years
Sojourners Community's celebration of its first 10 years in Washington, D.C.
An interview with Jean Vanier.
"I know how to play soccer," he whispered--his first words to his great-great-aunt.
Roots of Prayer, Winds of Change
The Benedictine sisters of Erie.
Bringing out the Press
We do what we do because we want to be faithful.
Heart Attacks and Clean Hearts
An emergency room attendant offered us the precious gift of five minutes with Millie.
Conspiracy of Compassion: Four Indicted Leaders Discuss the Sanctuary Movement
Interview with Stacey Lynn Merkt, Jim Corbett, John Fife, and Phil Willis-Conger.
Joy in the Face of Indictment
Church workers are offering sanctuary to Central American refugees.
Food for the Journey
Our lives are a pilgrimage.
An Open Door in Atlanta
Making community with homeless people and prisoners.
With Rested and Joyful Souls
Meditations for Advent.
An Epidemic Of Violence
At a women's meeting in Sojourners Community a few years ago, we were discussing the vulnerability that we feel as women in an inner-city Washington, D.C. neighborhood.
"It's easiest to be friendly to children, and also easy to be warm to women and older people. But when I see a young man coming toward me, I feel myself closing in. I'm never sure whether to smile or speak or look right past him. I usually just look at the ground."
This comment got us sharing with one another the encounters that had brought us face to face with our own fears and powerlessness, and which had left us with a lamentable posture of vigilance in a neighborhood that we call home.
Each of us had experienced verbal assaults on the street. Some of these were violent, others couched as invitations—and all were aimed at our integrity.
Some women spoke of places that still held fearful memories: a bus stop where an exhibitionist once approached, a bank of shrubbery from which a man shouting obscenities emerged, a corner on which an attempted rape was fought off. We shared experiences from other times and settings: an inappropriate examination by a male doctor in the D.C. jail after a peace witness arrest, sexual advances from a college professor, a rape in an apartment and another behind a house. And we added to our own experiences those of other women we knew.
Bridging The Distance
I must begin with a confession—one that perhaps many of us could make.
The Stuff of Life
A visit to the Bruderhof.
A Law unto Themselves
The story of a mining disaster.
Rain or Shine
The rain fell in steady streams. The forecast said rain through the night and into Easter morning.
'She Took Real Good Care Of Me ...'
Toni walked into my life on Good Friday.
The Long Road To Jalapa
Tragedy and hope in Nicaragua.