As I wrote in an email to the building last Friday,
Friends Center is monitoring the evolution of the coronavirus (COVID-19)
situation closely. Our goal is to provide information and resources and
coordinate efforts to help slow the spread of the illness.
aid in our response, please let me know if your organization will close
or modify its in-office schedule. Also, please notify me if anyone
on your staff is diagnosed with or suspected to have the virus, so we
can take appropriate cleaning measures.
you for your understanding and collaboration in our community efforts to
respond, in order to reduce harm to everyone, especially the people who are
In the event of a large-scale infectious disease
outbreak, businesses and other organizations must both protect employees’
health and safety and limit the economic impact of the outbreak. The guidance
below will assist businesses in preparing for continuity of critical operations
if the COVID-19 coronavirus has a severe impact on Philadelphia.
The Philadelphia Department of Public Health
(PDPH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will provide
up-to-date, reliable information on COVID-19 as the situation unfolds.
6 million people, mostly Black and brown people, are blocked from voting by
various forms of felony disenfranchisement. All but two states, Maine and
Vermont, limit access to the polls for those with criminal justice involvement.
Contact your governor today and urge them to restore voting rights.
Greetings and best
wishes for the new year! May 2020 be a year in which your work is enhanced and
That said, I can’t ignore the tense world situation. And with Friends Center being the Quaker hub for peace and justice, you may see events, rallies, and flyers for peace over the coming weeks and months. (See “5 things to know about Iran,” below.)
Here is some context for you. As a historic peace church, the Religious Society of Friends—better known as the Quakers—have long had a testimony against war and for peace. See this article on Wikipedia for background. The best-known statement of the Quaker stance was in a 1660 letter to England’s King Charles II:
All bloody principles and practices we do utterly deny, with all outward wars, and strife, and fightings with outward weapons, for any end, or under any pretense whatsoever, and this is our testimony to the whole world.
In 1947 the Nobel
Peace Prize was awarded to “the Quakers.” On behalf of all Friends, the
American Friends Service Committee—one of Friends Center’s equity partners—and
the Friends Service Committee in Britain accepted it. A replica of the award
certificate is on display in AFSC’s headquarters here.
International peacebuilding remains a key issue for AFSC today. They advocate for a US policy framework of shared security that “recognizes the interconnectedness of all people.”
May Friends Center be a place where we sense and live that interconnection.
– Chris Mohr, Executive Director
AROUND FRIENDS CENTER
2020 Holiday Schedule – This link is always present in the sidebar of our monthly newsletter and the information within is always accessible via our website.
The new restroom on the first floor of the 1501 Cherry Street building is now open!
Thank you to the LGBTQ Staff Group of AFSC, who made the original proposal to build an all-gender restroom; other tenants who supported the idea; MJ Settelen, the general contractor; and the PYM Quaker Buildings and Programs Granting Group for financial support. We’d also like to thank our tenants—especially the ones located in the 1501 building—for so graciously handling the noise that this much-needed project came with.
“We agree and recognize that everyone has the right
to live a life not in economic and environmental turmoil, but in equitable
communities. We are in the spirit of realizing the Peaceable Kingdom is here on
Earth, and by supporting the PPC, we keep the choice to stand in solidarity
with communities and to keep our morals.”
(The Campaign was co-founded by Rev. Dr. William Barber II of North Carolina, who has spoken here in the Race Street Meetinghouse twice in the last few years. The Campaign will organize a national march on Washington in June 2020. Stay tuned for details!)
Greg Barnes reads from his newest book, Living into the Faith: A Quaker Diary
2, 12:45 PM.
Room, Friends Center
The Diary reveals the broad range of
activities in modern unprogrammed Quakerism and the Quaker principles , or
“testimonies,” that animate them. The setting is Philadelphia and Philadelphia
Yearly Meeting, the heart of American Quakerism as brought here from England by
is a diary and not a history. It follows one man through his Quaker and
Quaker-related activities for roughly 8 years. The reader should understand it
as reflecting my attempt, made out of gratitude to give back to Quakerism and
to my Quaker community…”
Greg has also written an award-winning collection of short stories based on his experiences in West Africa with the Peace Corps.
Quaker Meeting for
You are welcome to join CPMM for meeting for worship on Sundays at 11am followed by a coffee hour.
Cultural Accessibility Forum & Exchange (CAFE) is an initiative driven by Art-Reach to focus on cultural accessibility. These workshops gather cultural organizations, human service professionals, members of the disability community and national experts in the field to learn from one another. The next CAFÉ will be held on Wed, February 12, 2020 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM EST. Click here for more details
Jan. 18, 10 am – 4 pm Germantown Friends Meeting 47 W. Coulter Street, Phila. 19144
As people of faith, Friends are
called to witness for a more just and livable world. This gathering will
explore the intersections of our climate crisis, economic inequality and
racism. We will share ideas on how, as individuals and as a faith community, we
can address the climate crisis. We will explore whether to advance a minute
establishing the Climate Crisis as a corporate witness.
Playing in the Light: Godly Play®/Faith & Play™ Training Pendle Hill 338 Plush Mill Rd., Wallingford PA 19086
Saturdays, January 11, February 8, and
March 21,Melinda Wenner Bradley
(PYM’s Youth Religious Life Coordinator) will lead a series of three workshops
in Playing in the Light– core training in Godly Play and Faith & Play.
Godly Play is a Montessori-inspired resource that helps children find words and
images for expressing their experiences of holy mystery and wonder in their
lives. Inspired by the stories, materials, and methods in Godly Play, Quakers
created Faith & Play Stories to add Quaker stories of faith, practice, and
witness to the Bible stories in the Godly Play collection used by Friends. This
powerful way of being with children can transform your First Day program for
children and nurture your own spiritual life.
This is Playing in the Light training for commuters to be completed in three Saturday sessions. Participants are required to attend all three sessions to be trained as Godly Play/Faith & Play storytellers. Registration is for all three Saturdays (9:00 am to 5:30 pm).
Greg Barnes will discuss and read from his newest book, Living into the Faith: A Quaker Diary.
The Diary reveals the broad range of activities in modern unprogrammed Quakerism and the Quaker principles , or “testimonies,” that animate them. The setting is Philadelphia and Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, the heart of American Quakerism as brought here from England by William Penn. “This is a diary and not a history. It follows one man through his Quaker and Quaker-related activities for roughly 8 years. The reader should understand it as reflecting my attempt, made out of gratitude to give back to Quakerism and to my Quaker community…” Gregory A. Barnes has also written an award-winning collection of short stories based on his experiences in West Africa with the Peace Corps.
When: Sunday, February 2nd at 12:45 PM. Where: Lucretia Mott Room, Friends Center, 15th and Cherry Streets, Center City.
do we know CO2 increases are human-caused? What are climate scientists
highly confident about? What will my children’s generation experience?
Meet a panel of climate scientists and put
your questions to them yourself.
Climate Up Close is a group of climate scientists who believe Americans should reach their own judgments about climate science by seeing the evidence themselves and putting their questions directly to climate scientists. Presenters include scientists from Princeton University, Harvard University and UC Berkeley.
early Quakers did not recognize holidays, or “times and seasons” as they called
them. Over time, that stance has softened. Still, I like to keep in mind a
primary reason they had that position: Because every day is, or can be, a holy
One thing I like about working at Friends
Center is every day truly has that potential. Such as when you… train
volunteers to advocate for a child in foster care… convene a meeting of
behavioral health practitioners… train teaching artists in trauma-informed
practice… match a mentor to a middle schooler… make sure children have a chance
to learn and play, and girls have a chance to become leaders… And when you organize
people against fracking, the death
penalty, or war, and organize them for
justice, peace, love, and life.
Whatever it is that you do here—whether organizing
or communications or development or admin—it means something. I’m grateful to
be a part of helping this work happen. May we recognize and live that, this day
and every day!
– Chris Mohr, Executive Director
AROUND FRIENDS CENTER
It has been our pleasure to watch our tenants grow stronger and closer to the communities they serve. We hope that you can also reflect back and smile at the progress you have made.
As we prepare to say good-bye to 2019
and welcome 2020, we began to consider some memorable events that you’ve all
held these past 12 months; and we could think of no better way to commemorate
those fabulous events than by writing you a song! Yup, that’s right, a new
twist on an old classic, Friends Center Style.
And it goes a little something like this! On the 12th day of the holiday season, Friends Center gave to me:
12 tiny bakers, 11 vegans shopping, 10 tenors singing, 99 meetings, 8 am orientation, 70 kids a camping, 6 ceremonies, 5 groups meditating! 4 keystone testings, 3 Quaker Colleges, 2 many trainings And a meeting with Mayor Kenney.
We hope that you have find this tidbit as entertaining as we do! Thanks for being the best tenants ever. Please have a safe and happy holiday and new year!
You are invited to help change the
narrative on youth and our collective power. We are not at risk; we are 3
Are Not At-Risk” campaign is a youth-led
narrative change movement that is transforming the stories media tell about
young people. Throughout December and January, we will be collecting stories of
youth and their allies, educating our audiences on the impacts of harmful
narratives about youth, and sharing positive youth stories through social
media. We will harness the power of art and collective action to enter into
conversation with media outlets about who we are and the stories that we want
to tell. We are #3BillionStrong, and will we make our truths heard.
We are calling on you, as young people and allies—as people who care about and love young people, and who see them in their full humanity—to join us in the Cherry Street room on Tuesday, December 17th, from 11am-1pm to create art, share stories, and learn more about the campaign. Refreshments will be served.
Yearly Meeting has much to report on its news page: www.pym.org/news.
One story is even
about one of our tenants, the Tri-College Consortium Philly Program!
Bryn Mawr, Haverford and
Swarthmore Colleges team up for Tri-Co City classes
This fall, about
35 students from Bryn Mawr, Haverford and Swarthmore Colleges took courses at
the Friends Center in Philadelphia as part of a new Tri-College Philly Program.
Students present their projects
to each other and Friends Center guests.
The courses focused on the themes of sustainability and environmental justice, from different disciplines: math, environmental studies, political science, education and anthropology. » Read the full article.
The annual Messiah sing-along hosted by Ingrid & George Lakey will be Friday, Dec. 20th at 7pm, here in the Cherry
Street Room. CPMM encourages all to bring a score, a friend who likes to sing
(this is not a performance, but a sing-along), and also goodies to share during
Coming in January:
Up Close: Talk with a
climate scientist face-to-face
Saturday, January 4th, 2:30 pm
Hosted by CPMM at
Free and open to
How do we know CO2 increases are
human-caused? What are climate
scientists highly confident about? What will my children’s generation
Meet a panel of
climate scientists and put your questions to them yourself.
Climate Up Close
is a group of climate scientists who believe Americans should reach their own
judgments about climate science by seeing the evidence themselves and putting
their questions directly to climate scientists.
Presenters include scientists from Princeton University, Harvard
University and UC Berkeley.
announced in its
November newsletter that it has hired Taylor Pacheco and Sarah Coyle
as staff attorneys:
According to the organization’s
website, Pacheco “is a 2016 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law
School where she was senior editor of the Journal of Law and Social Change, an Edward V. Sparer Public
Interest Summer Fellow, and a volunteer with the UPenn Criminal Records
Expungement Clinic run in partnership with PLSE. She also interned with Community Legal Services in the
Housing Unit and the Montgomery County
Public Defender’s Office. Her career after law school included positions
with the New Jersey Office of the
Public Defender and the Support
Center for Child Advocates.”
Coyle “joined PLSE in September 2019 from Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania (LASP), where she had been a staff attorney for over two years and ran the Media office. After receiving her JD in 2016 from Savannah Law School, she worked in a private firm concentrating in criminal defense before joining LASP, where she developed a program assisting victims of domestic/sexual violence under a program funded by the Victims Of Crime Act (VOCA).”
QuakerBooks Pop-Up Store @ Friends General Conference
1216 Arch St # 2B, Philadelphia
Dec 18 @ 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Pop-up bookstore with a selection of books and pamphlets of
interest to Friends. Many newer publications, some hot off the press! Subjects
include Quaker practice, spiritual deepening, anti-racism, environmentalism,
and many children’s books. If you are looking for a particular book, it is
recommended you call FGC (215) 561-1700 in advance.