April 2018 Tenant News: Warmer weather, Friends Child Care Center turns 40, and more


With the arrival of spring on the calendar, we look forward (eventually) to warmer weather. When it is nice outside, feel free to crack the windows open and let fresh air in! Also, the bistro table and chairs are back on the front porch, wistfully waiting for people to use them. The courtyard is available for your enjoyment, too. A Cooper’s hawk was often to be seen out there recently, but it probably continued its northward migration since then.

Speaking of the courtyard, there will be some disruption there this summer. The tunnel between the Meetinghouse and 1520 Race Street needs to be repaired. Work will start in the second half of June. We will keep you posted with more details when we know them.

— Chris Mohr, Executive Director


The phone system has now been transferred from AFSC to Friends Center. Previously you didn’t need to dial “1” before a number in the (215) or (267) area codes, but now you do.

We still have to switch out some digital or analog phones for “IP” phones; stay tuned for dates.

Also, Friends Center’s main phone number, (215) 241-7000, will soon be changed to (215) 241-7100. We will let everyone know once we have a firm date set for the change.

On Saturday, September 1, during Labor Day weekend, Friends Center needs to shut off the power to maintain our electrical switchgear. The Center will therefore be closed that day as well as on Monday, 9/3, Memorial Day.


Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Book Event!

Friday April 27th, 2018, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
@ Historic Arch Street Meeting House, 320 Arch St

$10 suggested donation

Arch Street Meeting House Preservation Trust invites you to enjoy an evening with historian Gary Nash, who will be talking about his new book, Warner Mifflin: Unflinching Quaker Abolitionist. Click for more info.


Friends Child Care Center, 40th Anniversary Cocktail Reception & Auction

Friday, May 18th 2018, 5:30 – 8:30 pm
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
Historic Landmark Building
118 N. Broad St, Philadelphia PA 19102

Singing City Presents: Serene Mystics
Sunday, May 6th at 3 pm
Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral, 23 S. 38th St, Philadelphia PA 19104
Tickets: $25; $35 for preferred seating; $10 for students. A reception follows the concert.
Click for more info.

Send us your news, or tag us in a tweet (@Friends_Ctr), if you’d like to be mentioned!


While not happening here at Friends Center, this event may be of interest to our community:

Old Pine at 250: Faith and Politics
Sunday, April 22nd 2018
Old Pine Presbyterian Church
412 Pine St, Philadelphia PA 19106

With Rev. Wilson Goode Sr., former Mayor of Philadelphia, and Ron Sider, professor at Palmer Theological Seminary & founder, Evangelicals for Social Action. A panel discussion on the relations between faith and political processes and the impact these have on social justice issues such as poverty, housing, and employment. Click for more info.


February 2018 Tenant News: Net Tuesday, Loving Friends Fiesta, Ujima Peace Center & more


 NET TUESDAY: How Nonprofits Can Manage an Effective Email List
March 6, Rufus Jones Room
Join a community of nonprofit leaders as we learn about managing effective email list from data guru Dan Bradley of Bradley Analytics. This is a bring-your-laptop-to-class style workshop where participants will have the ability to ask targeted questions and get help on their specific issue. Doors open at 6:00 and program begins at 6:30.  Food and drink will be provided.

The phone system has now been transferred from AFSC to Friends Center. Previously you didn’t always need to dial “1” before a number in the (215) or (267) area codes; now you need to dial “9-1-” first for all.

We still have to switch out some digital or analog phones for “IP” phones; stay tuned for dates.


Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting of Friends

Loving Friends Fiesta
Sat., March 17, 3:30 – 8:00 pm
You’re invited to this fun event to raise money for CPMM’s Friendly Fund, which supports Philadelphia-area groups that build community: solar, homeless ministries, immigration sanctuary, and returning citizens.

  • All-Ages Play Party, 3:30 to 5:30 PM
  • Dance Celebration, 5:30 to 7:00 PM
  • Silent Auction
  • Hearty Finger Food(Potluck)
  • $5 and UnderTable
  • Learn more

NAACP’s Jacqueline Patterson to Speak at Ujima Friends Peace Center
1701 Lehigh Avenue
Fri., March 2, 9:30-11:30am
Serenity Solar will host Jacqueline Patterson, the NAACP Environment and Climate Justice Program Director. Ujima Friends Peace House is a project of the Fellowship of Friends of African Descent (FOFAD). Several members of CPMM are actively involved in FOFAD and Ujima Friends Peace Center.

Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of Friends hosts Friends in Fellowship, a series of talks at the Historic Arch Street Meeting House, our sibling site at 4th & Arch Streets in Philadelphia. These fun talks are designed to bring Friends and “friends of Friends” together for fellowship, refreshments, and networking. Events are free and open to the public.

Wissahickon Habitat Repair: Plants & Birds & Rocks & Things
March 1, 7 pm
Research and best practices with restoration ecologist William J. Ryan Ph.D. from the Patrick Center for Environmental Research at Drexel University’s Academy of Natural Sciences.

Trans Cartooning & Op-Ed Cartooning
March 8, 7 pm
Ramona Sharples (“Trans Girl Trans Comic”) and Pulitzer Prize winning editorial cartoonist Signe Wilkinson will speak on the topic “The Art of Persuasion.”

Separately, PYM also has three job openings. See the full job postings online.

Tenant News

SINGING CITY: Debussy & His Legacy
Saturday, March 17, 7 pm
The Church of the Holy Trinity, 1904 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA
Featuring works by Debussy, Messiaen, Gershwin, Miles Davis, and the world premiere of Supplice by Benjamin C.S. Boyle. Special guest Laura Ward, pianist, and Gamelan Kusuma Laras, a classical Javanese gamelan orchestra. A Q&A with composer Benjamin C.S. Boyle follows the concert.

Feedback that Nurtures: Liz Lerman’s Critical Response Process
March 25, noon – 3 pm
How do you give feedback that sparks more creativity?  Register here for this upcoming Bartol workshop.

Kelly Woodland from After School All Stars is a founder of the new Philadelphia Black Giving Circle:

Send us your news, or tag us in a tweet (@Friends_Ctr), if you’d like to be mentioned!


While not happening here at Friends Center, this event may be of interest to our community:

Faith in the Public Square & the Challenge of Immigration
Sunday, March 4, Old Pine Presbyterian Church


January News: Tenant Handbook Online; Staffing and Tenant Changes


Tenant Handbook Now Available Online
Friends Center now has an online Tenant Handbook!

The page links to our guidelines and policies, including community standards, catering guidelines, holiday schedules, key fob policies, and more. It also has links to request forms for room reservations, and for phone/Internet changes.

We did a “soft launch” of the page a few months ago. Now, we’d like to make it more visible—and to get your feedback. Please look at the page and let me know if you have questions or want to suggest additional information to post.

– Chris Mohr, Executive Director


We are happy to announce Teneshia Washington is our new substitute evening/weekend desk clerk. You may know from her other roles with Prisoner Visitation & Support and Physicians for Social Responsibility – Philadelphia Chapter. Please introduce yourself if you don’t already know her!

Receptionist Jennifer Williams welcomed her new child, Josiah, in late December. Mother and baby are doing well. Please join me in wishing Jennifer, husband Stefan, and their family all the best.


In case you missed it last month, New Century Trust joined us as a tenant in the 1520 Race Street building in January. They work to end political and economic inequalities facing women and girls in Greater Philadelphia. They were founded in 1882; one of their co-founders was a Quaker.

Meanwhile, Greenpeace’s Pennyslvania office moved out at the end of 2017. Their local field organizer is not far away, though; she now works with the local chapter of the ACLU!


As mentioned in an email to all tenants, the phone system is being transferred from AFSC to Friends Center. We will be working with the service provider, Watson Communications, to make the transition as seamless as possible. Costs and services will remain the same for the moment. We will have to switch out some digital or analog phones for “IP” phones, but that is a fairly quick process.


Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of Friends hosts Friends in Fellowship, a series of evening talks at the Historic Arch Street Meeting House, our sibling site at 4th and Arch Streets in Philadelphia.

These fun talks are designed to bring Friends & “friends of Friends” together for fellowship, refreshments, and networking. Events are free & open to the public.

Event 1/25, 7 pm:  “Teaching to the Heart, Teaching to the Mind”

  • Sydney Coffin, English teacher at Edison-Fareira HS in North Philadelphia and a Yale National Initiative Fellow: methods for fostering students’ creative expression through poetry and art.
  • Chris Bond, social studies teacher at West Windsor-Plainsboro North HS: impact of research in neuroscience on the importance of learning standards that involve social and emotional aspects of students.

American Friends Service Committee brownbag presentation:
“Tools for a new movement: Economic Activism”
Friday, Jan. 26, 12:30-1:30 pm
Martin Luther King, Jr. Room

Join AFSC’s Dalit Baum for a presentation entitled “Tools for a new movement: Economic Activism.” See the emails and the flyer in the lobby.


Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity (PLSE) founder Mike Lee leaves to join DA’s office; Zane Johnson named managing attorney
» Philadelphia Magazine
» PLSE Press Release
Art-Reach organizes MLK Day art project for students from Overbrook School for the Blind
» Read more

December 2017 News: Year-end celebration, holiday schedule, tenant news



You’re invited to join us on Monday, 12/18, 1-2 pm in the front lobby for some light refreshments and networking. We want to thank you for being part of the Friends Center community and wish you the best for the holidays and a happy new year.

Thanks for joining us on the Green Building Tour

Erick and I enjoyed the opportunity to show off our LEED Platinum certified green building to several tenants recently. We even saw some mushrooms on the green roof! We’ll schedule another tour some time in 2018. Stay tuned.


Jennifer Williams, our extraordinary receptionist, is expecting a baby soon, of course. Her last day before leave will be this Friday, 12/15. Please join me in wishing Jennifer, husband Stefan, and their children all the best for their growing family!

We have hired Judy Pluciennik to help as an interim desk clerk. You may know from her previous roles with American Friends Service Committee and, before that, with Friends Center. Please welcome her back if you already know her, or introduce yourself if you don’t.

Finally, I’m both sad (for us) and happy (for her) to announce that Nadia Beliveau will be leaving us after this month. She will be moving to a new home and job in upstate New York. We thank her for her service and wish her all the best!


Given the changes noted, we are seeking another evening/weekend desk clerk.

  • Click for job description.
  • If you know someone who might be interested, please have them email me. No phone calls, please.


  • Christmas: Friday 12/22, Saturday 12/23, closed EARLY after Quaker meeting, 12/24; Monday 12/25
  • New Year’s Day: Monday 1/1
  • MLK Day: Monday, 1/15

There is also a change for 2018:

  • We will be OPEN on Saturday, June 16.
  • On Saturday, May 26, Memorial Day weekend, we will be OPEN but the air conditioning in 1501/1515 Cherry Street will be OFF for maintenance. We hope it won’t be too hot.
  • Click for the full 2018 Holiday Schedule as revised.


Welcome, New Century Trust!
In early January, New Century Trust will join us as a tenant in the 1520 Race Street building. New Century Trust works to end the political and economic inequalities facing women and girls in Greater Philadelphia. They conduct research, convene partners, provide grants, and advocate for systemic change. They were founded in 1882, and one of their co-founders was a Quaker.

Thank you for picking up packages promptly.
Please continue!
You’ve all been doing GREAT in securing your packages from the lobby soon after they arrive. Thank you! Please keep it up as the volume of packages grows before the holidays.


CAIR says “U.S. Supreme Court’s Decision on Trump’s Muslim Ban Ignores Impact on Citizens and Their Families Abroad”: Press release.

Singing City: Holiday concert, Dec. 17

Girls Inc.: K’Nex donates to Girls Inc.’s STEM Gems, company CEO visits

November 2017 Tenant News:
Green Building Tours, Holiday Closures, Fall Colors



As mentioned last month, we will conduct at least two green building tours for you, our tenants. You’re also welcome to bring a friend or family member.

To come along, just meet Erick and me in the front lobby at these times:

  • Monday, Nov. 27, 2 pm
  • Tuesday, Nov. 28, Noon

Tours take about half an hour. If there’s enough demand for a third date, we’ll try to find another one in the near future.

– Chris Mohr, Executive Director


 2017 Holiday Closures

Please note these year-end holiday closures:

  • Wed. 11/22: Close early at 6 pm
  • Thurs 11/23 & Fri. 11/24: Closed
  • Fri 12/23 & Sat. 12/24: Closed
  • Sun. 12/25: Closed after Meeting for Worship
  • Mon. 12/26: Closed

2018 Holiday Closures

Please download and save the full list of 2018 holiday closures from our website.


Friends Child Care Center Bake Sale
Bring your appetite and your dollar bills for affordable snacks and drinks! In the lobby, Nov. 13-17.

“Diplomacy, Not War, with Iran and North Korea”
Nov. 15, 7-9 pm, Rufus Jones Room
Presented by Coalition for Peace Action and the United Nations Assoc. of Greater Philadelphia
Panelists Joseph Gerson, Medea Benjamin, Mary Day Kent, and Rev. Bob Moore address these two urgent international situations. More info.


WHYY Interviews PHAN Director about ACA Open Enrollment, 10/30/17
“ACA open enrollment…well… opened Wednesday 11/1.  We get details from Pennsylvania Health Action Network Executive Director Antointette Kraus.”  (The segment with Antoinette starts around 3:45 or so in this episode of NewsWorks.)

“It’s time for a leader like her”
AFSC’s new General Secretary Joyce Ajlouny was featured in a Philadelphia Inquirer article on 11/5/17:
Read more.

Billy Penn makes Friends Center post their “Instagram of the Day”!
Shoutout for the fall foliage in the courtyard.

Billy Penn news website chooses Friends Center post as Instagram of the DayIf you follow Friends Center on social media and want us to follow you back, just send us a direct message via your account, or mention it to Jennifer Williams at the front desk. She will make sure it happens!

-Twitter: @FriendsCtr

-Facebook: www.facebook.com/FriendsCenterPHL

-Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/friends_center/

Tenant Newsletter, October 2017

Please note Friends Center will close for the 2017 year-end holidays on the following days:


  • Close EARLY at 6 pm on Wed. 11/22
  • CLOSED Thursday 11/23 & Friday 11/24


  • CLOSED Friday 12/22 & Saturday 12/23
  • Sunday 12/24 open for Quaker meeting for worship, closes early at 2 pm
  • CLOSED Monday 12/25

New Year’s Day

  • CLOSED Monday, Jan. 1

Our full 2017 holiday calendar is online here.

The 2018 calendar will be emailed to tenants and posted online after the Friends Center board of directors acts on it at their next meeting later this month.


Tenants in a Green Building: Wanna take a tour?
We often give outside groups tours of Friends Center’s LEED Platinum-certified green building features. These include the green roof, stormwater cisterns, geothermal heating and cooling system, and solar panels. Not to mention our five (count ‘em, 5!!) streams of waste.

Now, we’d like to invite our building residents for a tour, too! You’re welcome to bring a family member or friend as well.

Please email me if you’re interested. Also, let me know if certain days just don’t work for you (e.g., “never available Monday afternoon”; or “I’m only here Monday, Wednesday and Friday”).

If just a few people respond, I’ll use a doodle poll to find a date. If a lot of people are interested, we will offer 2 or 3 tours at varying times.

– Chris Mohr, Executive Director


Net Tuesday, 11/1/2017: How to Influence Online Conversations
Net Tuesday meets in the Rufus Jones Room here at Friends Center on the first Tuesday of the month. The topic for the November 1 meeting this month is, “Learn how to influence online conversations.” Doors open at 6 and discussion is at 6:30. Read more and (optional) RSVP.


Q&A with AFSC’s Gregory Corbin: Social Justice Leadership Institute
Gregory Corbin talks about the American Friends Service Committee’s Social Justice Leadership Institute (SJLI), a new program helping young people in the Philadelphia area to develop as social change leaders. Read more.

CAIR assists with legal victory for mosque in Ben Salem
The Council on American Islamic Relations, Philadelphia chapter, assisted with a legal case that recently led to a settlement between the US Department of Justice and Bensalem. Read more.

Essay by CAIR attorney Timothy Welbeck featured on WHYY.org:
He notes his daughter’s “hair is perfect, though it may take a lifetime to fully convince her”: “I am not my hair.”

Art-Reach film: How ballet made a difference for students with disabilities
Congratulations to Art-Reach on the successful premiere of their film, I Am. The piece received quite a bit of coverage, including this article on Generocity.

Keystone Energy Efficiency Alliance holds 7th annual conference in late October
Seizing Opportunity in Transforming Markets

Michelle Angela Ortiz’s Monument Lab project, Seguimos Caminando (We Keep Walking)
The mutifaceted artwork by Michelle Angela Ortiz—who works for The Stockton Rush Bartol Foundation here at Friends Center—honors mothers detained at Berks Detention Center, a prison outside of Philadelphia for immigrant families. Ortiz’s animated projections based on writings from two mothers detained at Berks will be displayed on the north gate of City Hall on Wednesday and Friday evenings through November 19, 8–10 p.m.

Young Involved Philadelphia: Civic Engagement Fair Oct. 12
Bethany Chisholm Yost of Girls Inc. staff serves on the board of Young Involved Philadelphia, a non-partisan nonprofit that provides programming to connect young people to Philly’s civics, nonprofits, and community development. Their annual event series, State of Young Philly, kicks off with a free Civic Engagement Fair on October 12 at Painted Bride. Register for the fair here.
The rest of the SOYP lineup is here.

Friends World Committee celebrates World Quaker Day
The first Sunday in October was World Quaker Day. See how members of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), from the various branches of Quakerism, marked the occasion around the world: http://www.worldquakerday.org/

Park(ing) Day, New AFSC Leader, Water Use in Our Green Building: September 2017 Tenant News


Join us for Two Great Events, FRIDAY, 9/15!

 Park(ing) Day Philadelphia (all day)
For the 10th year in Philadelphia and the 2nd year at Friends Center, join us as we convert a parking space on 15th Street into a temporary “parklet” and reclaim public space for people not cars. Thanks to Friends Council on Education, Friends Assoc. for Higher Education, Friends World Committee, & CASA for volunteering on our parklet. Click here for info & a map of all Park(ing) Day sites.

“Back-to-School” Tenant BBQ! (Noon – 2 pm)
While summertime is now a memory, we’re ordering in some tasty barbecue as a last bit of summer for you, our wonderful tenants! There will be veggie options as well as meat ones, plus yummy side dishes. So bring an appetite and meet some of your fellow Friends Center-ians.

– Chris Mohr, Executive Director

Managing water is a big part of Friends Center’s green building practices.

Recently we installed a “hydration station” on the first floor, where both tenants and event customers will use it. We’re excited to have a bottle filler now! As of this writing, the counter says we have saved the use of 860 bottles. Keep it up, friends!

At a much larger scale, we manage as much stormwater here on site as possible with a green roof and a graywater system. Our goals are to reduce use of potable water, and to reduce our discharge into the city’s water treatment infrastructure, in keeping with the city’s “Green City, Clean Waters” plan.

The green roof is located on the 1501 Cherry Street building. Seven species of sedum, a succulent plant, grow in a layer of soil on top of an impermeable membrane. The soil and plants hold rainwater, reducing runoff into storm drains and also lowering the temperature of the roof, especially in summer. It’s also an urban haven for insects and birds.

Seven large cisterns in the basement of the Quaker Meetinghouse collect rainwater from its roof. This “graywater” is pumped over to the 1501 Cherry Street office building to flush the toilets, thus saving thousands of gallons of the city’s freshwater resource every year.

Finally, most of the bathroom faucets and some of the fixtures in the 1501 Cherry building have automatic on/off sensors to keep water from running when no one is there.

Of course, if you see a leaky faucet, toilet, or other fixture, please let our staff know right away so we can fix it and prevent water waste or damage.

Community Design Collaborative design grant
Friends Center recently engaged a volunteer team from the Community Design Collaborative to do a feasibility study for improvements to the 1520 Race Street building. Their final report will be shared with the Friends Center board of directors soon, and we will explore options. Meanwhile, here is the Collaborative’s summary of the study.

AFSC Welcomes New General Secretary, Joyce Ajlouny
On September 1, American Friends Service Committee, one of the three Quaker organizations that formed Friends Center, welcomed Joyce Ajlouny as their new General Secretary.

Thank you to previous AFSC General Secretary Shan Cretin
Friends Center congratulates Shan on her retirement, and thanks her for her service as a Friends Center board member during her tenure.


Art-Reach Premieres Documentary, I Am
Art-Reach premieres its first documentary film, I Am, at the Prince Theater, 9/19, 6 pm. The film follows the journey of 6 students from St. Katherine’s Special Education School and 8 dancers from the Pennsylvania Ballet’s Second Company to create an original ballet.

Care: Documentary on in-home elder care
Tony Heriza, an AFSC staffer who is also an independent filmmaker, recently premiered a new documentary film on PBS. According to the film’s website, “Care pulls back the curtain on the poignant and largely hidden world of in-home elder care.”

Philly Neighborhoods profiles Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity
Michael Lee describes how he founded PLSE to advocate for a more equitable social environment for those with criminal records, including expanding access to employment and social services.

Singing City announces fall season
For over half a century, Singing City has been Philadelphia’s premier avocational chorus, committed to bringing people of diverse races, creeds and backgrounds together under the common purpose of music making. Singing City both rehearses and has its office here at Friends Center.

Staff changes, tenants in the news: Tenant Newsletter, July 2017

Executive Director’s Note

We’re very pleased to announce two promotions from within, effective July 6.

Shakirah Holloway will be our new Events and Administration Coordinator. She’ll handle your tenant events and coordinate outside event rentals. To book your in-house events, please continue to email Shakirah, call her at (215) 241-7098 (Courtney’s old number), or use the online form.

Jennifer (Hatchell) Williams will be our new daytime Receptionist. She will assist with office and marketing tasks as well.

While we’ll miss Courtney Feild, I’m pleased that Shakirah and Jennifer are stepping up to increase their responsibilities.

In addition, Freeman Miller is our newest substitute desk clerk. Freeman is a retired Mennonite bishop. We’re glad to have a member of another historic peace church join us!

– Chris Mohr, Executive Director

REMINDER: Building CLOSED July 4 & Sat. July 8

Friends Center will close early at 6 pm on Monday, July 3; remain closed on Tuesday July 4; and reopen as usual on Wednesday, July 5, at 7 am.

Friends Center will also be CLOSED on SATURDAY, JULY 8, for maintenance of the geothermal heating and cooling system.


We hope you agree that one of Friends Center’s best features is that it is a green building complex. Energy-efficient buildings using clean energy sources, managing stormwater runoff, and reducing fossil fuel uses are one of the best tools for stopping climate change and maintaining a clean, healthy environment for everyone.

As part of our practice, Friends Center has five streams of waste. To help you fulfill the green mantra, “reduce, reuse and recycle,” here is a brief guide:

  1. Office paper: Just what it says. Don’t mix other recyclables in with your paper.
  2. Cardboard: break down boxes and leave them near the bins (in the 1501 Cherry Street building in the elevator lobbies). You can also call for a pickup if there is a large quantity.
  3. Mixed recycling: Similar to what you recycle at home, but with office paper separated out: Cans, bottles, most types of plastic. No aluminum foil, styrofoam, or paper products.
  4. Compost: All food waste goes here! In addition, you can compost paper cups and plates without wax coatings; compostable cold drink cups; and compostable utensils.
  5. Trash: Everything else that doesn’t fit in the above categories.

In the NEWS

Don’t Call Kensington a “Hellscape”

Inquirer op-ed co-written by Joe Pyle, Scattergood Foundation

Mike Lee Named to Billy Penn’s “Who’s Next Law”

Mike, the executive director of Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity, is one of 16 young minds shaping Philly’s legal landscape

Race Street Meetinghouse featured in PHL Airport Exhibition

If you fly through Terminal A at PHL in the next year, stop by the new World Heritage City exhibition. It features all 67 National Historic Landmarks in Philadelphia, including our own Race Street Quaker Meetinghouse. Read the story in the Inquirer.

Historic Arch Street Meetinghouse on CSPAN History

Our sibling site was featured on CSPAN History recently.


Tenant Newsletter, May 2017

News From the Director: Springtime… Mostly

Image of tables with food and lemonade on them, in a brick courtyard in front of the Race Street Quaker MeetinghouseToday you’re invited to our Pop Up Lemonade Garden out front! We’ll have light refreshments and the aforementioned lemonade to celebrate the arrival of spring… or maybe that’s summer… With climate chaos, it’s hard to tell. You can also enjoy the return of our bistro table and chairs on the Meetinghouse porch.

Please take a moment to admire our newly planted native shade garden out front, as well as the new native plants in the courtyard. The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s Roots to Re-Entry crew did the work last Thursday and Friday, so not only did we gain native plants, we supported this important program that enables returning citizens to get training for landscaping and horticultural jobs as they transition back into society.

The large fluctuations in temperature are tough on the system, in particular, in the 1501 Cherry Street building, you may notice it’s a bit warm one day and a bit cool the next. While we are very proud of our geothermal heating and cooling system, the changes are tough on the equipment. Rest assured, we monitor the system closely and adjust the controls as best we can based on existing conditions.

Remember also, you are welcome to open the windows to let in fresh air! We just ask that you close them again at the end of the day to prevent intrusion of water, bugs, or people.

– Chris Mohr, Executive Director

Around Friends Center

You can now refer to Friends Center’s policies and guidelines—such as for key fobs or catering—as well as our forms—such as to add or subtract phone or Internet users—on our new Tenant Handbook web page: https://www.friendscentercorp.org/?page_id=3741

Image of front door to Tableau cafe at Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, PAFA

Our neighbors at Tableau, PAFA’s full-service café have invited us to a coffee social on Monday, May 15th from 2-3pm. This is a great opportunity to meet your Friends Center and Cherry Street neighbors.

Presented by The Philadelphia Foundation and the Knight Foundation, On the Table Philly is a forum designed to engage Greater Philadelphia area residents in an open dialogue, foster new relationships, and inspire solutions to strengthen communities.  On May 23rd, Philadelphia residents across the region will gather in small groups to share a meal and discuss the opportunities and issues we face in our region. If you are interested in hosting one of these gatherings, Friends Center is prepared to donate the space credit-free, please contact Courtney. To learn more about the event, click here.

Just a reminder that our free Tai Chi is now running. Classes are Mondays from noon to 12:50pm in Room 136. All are welcome.

In the News

Read about Joyce Ajlouny, American Friends Service Committee’s next General Secretary.

On May 10th, Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity (PLSE) will receive the 2017 Louis J. Goffman Award, from the Pennsylvania Bar Foundation. The award recognizes individuals and organizations committed to outstanding pro bono service. Read more here.

Physicians for Social Responsibility: Workshop on the Health Impacts of Air Quality
On Communities in the Vicinity of Philadelphia’s Refineries
Friday June 16, 2017
Physicians for Social Responsibility, along with Philly Thrive, is presenting a public health workshop about air pollution. This free event is being held JUNE 16th. For more information visit here.
Featuring the community perspectives and the research of
Dr. Tyra Bryant-Stephens and Dr. Peter DeCarlo
South Philadelphia Health and Literacy Center 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
1700 South Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19145-2392

Emergency Evacuation Trainings

Friends Center conducts quarterly emergency evacuation trainings. These trainings are open to everyone; especially those new to Friends Center. The next trainings are scheduled for 10am July 11th, and October 10th. If you have any questions, please contact Erick.

REMINDER: Smoke-Free Facility

We thank you for not smoking on our campus, including any outdoor brick areas inside the gates and fences.

Mid-Week “Refreshment” & Wellness Opportunities


All are welcome at this small group to explore scriptural themes in a progressive framework that is relevant to our times. Monthly Meeting Room, Meetinghouse Wednesdays, Noon-12:30pm


You are invited to sample of half hour of expectant, “waiting” worship in the manner of Friends. These is no set program or agenda. It may be silent, or not, if people feel led to speak out of the silence. Monthly Meeting Room, Meetinghouse, Wednesdays, 12:30-1:00pm


Relaxation and mindfulness are at the heart of Tai Chi practice, which can be conceived of as a form of mediation in motion. All are welcome. Room 136, Mondays, 12:00-12:50pm; Drop-in practice, Room 136 Wednesdays 12:15-12:45pm


Meditation helps us on many levels, from simple relaxation to freedom from suffering and full liberation of heart and mind. You are invited to participate in guided meditation in the Vipassana (insight) tradition. Monthly Meeting Room, Thursdays 12:15-12:45pm