Our Stories: News of Our Members


Ken Sehested reports on the graduation of the first class of new prison chaplains in Cuba in June 2011.

     Cuban Prison Chaplains Graduation


Greg Yost was one of close to 400,000 people who marched Sunday 21 September 2014 in the “People’s Climate March” through New York City. This commentary was read by another at a supporting rally in Asheville that same day. Greg, a high school math teacher and long-time climate justice activist, calls for a revolutionary approach to climate action. As Ken Sehested says, Greg provides a  corrective vision for how we carry out every piece of our larger ministry of reconciliation.

        Ambitious About The Small

Mahan Siler offered this tribute to “Chap Sehested” at an interfaith farewell service at the Marion Correctional Institution in Marion, NC, on June 30, 2013, upon Nancy Sehested’s retirement from thirteen faithful years of prison chaplaincy.

Tribute to Chaplain Nancy Hastings Sehested

On Monday, May 20, a group of religious leaders held a press conference in front of the Asheville courthouse, to protest state budget cuts. Circle of Mercy co-pastor Joyce Hollyday offered the following statement:

Press Statement


Ken Sehested shares the address he presented at the Coalition for Baptist Princdiples Breakfast, American Baptist Churches USA Biennial, June 21-23, Overland Park, Kansas.

       The Baptist Impulse: Notes toward a Renewal of Baptist Identity


In observance of the 10th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq (March 19, 2013), Ken Sehested shares letters exchanged with a young member of our congregation at the time of the invasion. He was a member of an international group of peacemakers who demonstrated opposition to the invasion at the Iraq border.
       Journey to Iraq/Letters to Caitlin


Tim Nolan discusses immigration policy and for-profit incarceration and exploitation of undocumented immigrants in an opinion piece published in the Asheville Citizen-Times online, December 8, 2011.

        Prison Profit Problem


Cuban theologian and professor Francisco Rodes G., reflects on the moving story of a 16th-century friar, on mission in the Americas at the time of the Spanish Conquest, who mounted the pulpit and spoke truth to power in a way that reverberates across the ages: 

        A Sermon for the Ages: Friar Antonio Montesinso and the Quintencentenary of Indigenous America's Reformation


Greg Yost of Circle of Mercy is an environmental activist whose action in opposition to mountaintop-removel coal mining is described in this article by Joyce Hollyday for Baptist Peacemaker, January-March 2010, pp. 12-13.

        Taming the Monstrous Machines: A Bold Witness Against Mountaintop-Removal Mining


Co-pastor Joyce Hollyday receives a press award for her report on the witness against mountaintop-removal coal mining.

        Circle of Mercy Pastor Receives Associated Church Press Award


Mark Siler of Circle of Mercy, lived with his family in Cuba for 9 months in 2010-2011, joining with the Rev. Paco Rodes to establish and teach a new countrywide training course in prison chaplaincy. Read a report about the graduation of the first class of 87 prison chaplains.

        First Class of Prison Chaplains Graduate


Will Farlessyost reflects on his experiences as a member of a Witness for Peace youth delegation to Nicaragua, Summer 2011.

        Faith Story: Youth Witness for Peace in Nicaragua


Ken Sehested reflects on the killing of Osama bin Laden.

        Precious Lives: Reflections on a post-bin Laden World by Ken Sehested


 Tim Nolan participated in an action on January 11, 2007, to protest torture of detainees at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo. the following articles discuss that event and the trial that followed.

        Holy Obedience: Tim Nolan: Witness Against Torture

        Charges Dismissed Against Anti-Torture Activists


Kim Christman participated, along with Annika Williams, in a 70-mile desert walk to draw attention to the plight of immigrants.

        Kim Christman Participates in Christian Peacemaker Teams Immigration Walk


Linda Mashburn chose to "cross the line" onto Fort Benning (GA) property during an annual demonstration demanding closure of the notorious "School of the Americas" training ground for members of South American military forces who have then brutalized their own countrymen. For their participation in this protest action, Linda and several companions faced trial, and Linda served a three-month sentence in the federal prison for women at Alderson, WV.

        Circle of Mercy Member Prepares for Jail by Ken Sehested


These reflections are offered by members of our Circle who have traveled to visit our partner congregation, Iglesia Getsemani, in Camaguey, Cuba.

        While Washing My Daughter's Feet by Kiran Sigmon

        Humbling, Sacred Moments by Beth Maczka

        Cuba Travel 2008

        Religion Professor Mullinax Visits Cuba


As a faith community, we take united actions seeking justice and pursuing peace.

        Circle of Mercy Contingency Fund

        Saint Nicholas' Day

        Sending Rice Bags to President George W. Bush

        Tax Rebate Statement

        We Say No


Stephen Buys, age 12, traveled to Colombia in the summer of 2010 with his dad, Matt, and brother, Zach, to visit the Walker-Wilson Family at their mission site in Bogota. He offered these reflections on the experience during the children's portion of worship on Sunday, June 27.

        Stephen's Story from Bogotá by Stephen Buys


Circle of Mercy was the first organization in our area to be certified as a living wage employer through Just Economics' Living Wage Campaign.

        Living Wage Issue Picking Up Steam by Hal L. Millard


Marc Mullinax wrote this profile of Circle of Mercy several years ago for the Asheville Daily Planet.

        The Circle of Mercy Congregates for Uncommon Christian Witness by Marc Mullinax

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