May’s Tenant Newsletter: Retirement, Annual Sessions and a FREE Virtual Workshop

Issue 60, May 2020 Friends Center Tenant Newsletter

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S NOTE: We miss you!

We miss you! It is always nice to see some of you from time to time when you come in to pick up the mail or the like. And of course we are even more grateful for everyone’s cooperation in staying home to help slow down the spread of Covid-19.

                Friends Center is actively planning for your eventual return to work here at the facility, once Governor Wolf declares that Philadelphia is in the “yellow phase” of his reopening plan.

                I will soon share our guidelines with each organization. These will primarily cover our common spaces. Requirements include wearing a mask, maintaining a safe physical distance from others, and not having meetings of more than 10 people at a time. We’ll also be cleaning according to CDC guidelines. You’ll also need to report incidents of Covid-19 among your staff to us so that we may clean and disinfect work areas and so that people who had contact with that person can be efficiently traced. 

                Each organization here should have its own plan for safely returning to work in the facility. I recommend you read the section of the governor’s plan entitled Businesses in the Yellow Phase.” When I send our guidelines, I’ll also share the return-to-work guidelines of one of our tenants, who has given me permission to do so.

                I look forward to seeing you again—whenever it is safe for that to happen.

– Chris Mohr, Executive Director

Around Friends Center

Wil Mason to Retire at End of May!!

After 15 years of dedicated service, we are both proud and sad to announce the retirement of our facilities manager, Wil Mason, at the end of May. Wil is actually employed by our contractor Emcor Fluidics to provide building operations services. A plumber by trade, Wil is also a skilled carpenter, geothermal system operator, overall handyperson, and raconteur. He has been a huge asset to Friends Center. While we will miss him and his can-do spirit, we wish Wil and his wife Rose all the best as they spend more time at their home down the shore.

     Since we can’t have an in-person retirement party for Wil, please consider sending a photo of yourself holding a sign with your message for Wil. We will share the photos with him at the end of May.

AROUND PHILADELPHIA

One of the best ways to experience Greater Philadelphia is via the region’s acclaimed museums and attractions.

 But there’s another way to explore some of these fantastic destinations and their cultural and artistic offerings: virtual tours, online programming, and a wealth of video experiences—all available online for free at any time. Learn more here.

EQUITY PARTNER NEWS

AMERICAN FRIENDS SERVICE COMMITTEE (AFSC)

First COVID-19 related death in immigration detention

Pedro Rios, Director of the American Friends Service Committee’s US-Mexico Border Program in San Diego, had this to say.

PHILADELPHIA YEARLY MEETING (PYM)

Annual Sessions 2020 Goes Virtual

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and after careful discernment, the Sessions Coordinating Committee and the yearly meeting clerking team have thoughtfully and carefully decided that this year’s Annual Sessions (July 29 – August 2, 2020) will move to a virtual space in order to preserve the care and well-being of our community. Read more here

CENTRAL PHILADELPHIA MONTHLY MEETING (CPMM)

Friends Southwestern Burial Ground (FSWBG) Managing Director Job Opening

General Job Description: This is the top managerial position for the Burial Ground and is responsible for overseeing all operations, including managing staff, relationships with outside organizations (funeral directors, Upper Darby Police, St. Demetrios, community gardeners, etc.), contracting (tree work, mowing, etc.), and outreach with Quaker meetings and other Quaker organizations. The director will also be responsible for overseeing and conducting burials and all attendant preparation and paperwork on the days which they are scheduled to work. Reports to the Friends Southwestern Burial Ground Committee (“FSWBG Committee”). The Burial Ground operates under the oversight of Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting (CPMM) and Monthly Meeting of Friends of Philadelphia (MMFP).

More details here.

TENANT NEWS

Presser Foundation

Recipients call Presser Foundation awards of more than half million dollars “amazing” at a critical time. Read more here.

Stockton Rush Bartol Foundation

Presents The Creativity, Trauma Healing and Storiez Workshop

As we build on our knowledge about creativity and healing, we welcome Dr. Meagan Corrado. A valued presenter for Bartol’s Trauma-Informed Practice for Teaching Artist training, Dr. Meagan will share how creativity is central to the lives of trauma survivors. Through her Storiez approach, she helps people create, voice and honor their own narrative, a skill that translates to every art form.

Date: Wednesday, May 13

Time: 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

Cost: Free

Event Category: Teaching Artist Workshops

Website: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/creativity-trauma-healing-and-storiez-tickets-104083741272

April newsletter – FC Updates, NHL (National Historic Landmarks) and Going Virtual

Friends Center Tenant Newsletter

Issue 59, April 2020

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S NOTE

Lately I have been signing off on emails with the phrase, “With prayers for peace and health for all.” May we keep in mind and heart everyone who is at risk, who is suffering, who is caring for the afflicted, who is working the front lines.

                I would like to add a word of gratitude to the Friends Center staff who continue to provide facilities support on a rotating basis. Thank you, Ed, Erick, Jennifer, Shakirah, and Wil!

                We do not know yet when the stay-at-home order will be loosened or modified. When that happens, we will let you know of any changes to hours or staffing patterns that may affect you.
                A Quaker I know compared the pandemic to the dye used (usually by children) to highlight plaque on teeth. Where the dye shows up, you need to brush more. The result is you learn to brush more effectively. Similarly, the pandemic is highlighting the problems of our society. Will we start to “brush” more effectively now, reducing harm and increasing health well-being, and not just wait for things to go back to “normal”?

                Thank you, as always, for your work to help make our city, state, nation, and world a better place. It’s needed now more than ever!

– Chris Mohr, Executive Director

Around Philadelphia

A quote from the open letter by Mayor Kenney to Philadelphians:

“I write to tell you that even amid our silent streets, the spirit of this great city has not, in any way, been diminished by this virus.”

4/18 is International Day for Monuments and Sites

https://mcusercontent.com/5f6cc5092c3ad445858943688/images/8f5fa940-65ed-4238-b421-b440d6bba717.png

Saturday, April 18th, marks International Day for Monuments and Sites, which celebrates cultural heritage around the world and focuses on preserving and conserving historical and archaeological sites.
                In Philadelphia, we have a rich array of historical sites, including 67 National Historic Landmarks, which are those sites that are federally recognized as representing an outstanding aspect of American history and culture. Our own Race Street Quaker Meetinghouse is one of them!

                Discover Philadelphia’s 67 National Historic Landmarks (NHLs) in this beautifully illustrated map. Designed by a local artist, this map is both a useful guide to Philadelphia’s rich heritage, as well as a unique souvenir or gift for visitors and Philadelphians alike. You don’t have to leave the house to learn about Philly heritage. In addition to the online interactive map of the NHLs, many of them have online resources.

EQUITY PARTNER NEWS

AMERICAN FRIENDS SERVICE COMMITTEE (AFSC)

Check out this interview between @KUNMnews and Sayrah Namaste (of AFSC New Mexico). Quaker Group Connects N.M. Organic Farmers With Food Banks During COVID Outbreak

  • Farmers have food, but many of their markets (like restaurants) are no longer buying perishable produce.
  • Food banks are experiencing unprecedented need.
  • AFSC program is bridging that gap.

PHILADELPHIA YEARLY MEETING (PYM)

Annual Sessions 2020 Goes Virtual

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and after careful discernment, the Sessions Coordinating Committee and the yearly meeting clerking team have thoughtfully and carefully decided that this year’s Annual Sessions (July 29 – August 2, 2020) will move to a virtual space in order to preserve the care and well-being of our community. Read more here

CENTRAL PHILADELPHIA MONTHLY MEETING (CPMM)

You can take part in an effort to virtually build, support and encourage the community that Quaker meetings have already been building in person, through worship, fellowship and social witness.

If you are already a member or attender, but do not have an FGC Quaker Account, click the link below and fill out the form to send a note to the Quaker Cloud administrator for your meeting. Be sure to let them know your name and your connection to the meeting.

Request to Join This Online Meeting

Online meeting for worship with CPMM is at 11:00 AM on Sunday mornings.

TENANT NEWS

Singing City Spring Concert:

Stephen Paulus’ To Be Certain of the Dawn –
A Commemoration of the Children

POSTPONED UNTIL EARLY FALL 2020

New Century Trust:

Philadelphia’s poverty problem is bigger than you ever imagined

Generocity, 3/16/2020

When we measure income using the federal poverty rate, the results far underestimate how many people are actually struggling to meet daily needs, say guest columnists Marianne Bellesorte and Farrah Parkes (New Century Trust). Full Article Here

March Tenant Newsletter – COVID-19 Awareness, Project Funds Available and 2 must see concerts!

Issue 58, March 2020

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S NOTE

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.

                To 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.

                Thank you for your understanding and collaboration in our community efforts to respond, in order to reduce harm to everyone, especially the people who are most vulnerable.

– Chris Mohr, Executive Director

AROUND FRIENDS CENTER

CORONAVIRUS: City of Philadelphia Resources

Planning guidance for businesses and nonprofit organizations

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.

EQUITY PARTNER NEWS

AMERICAN FRIENDS SERVICE COMMITTEE (AFSC)

Campaign to End Felony Disenfranchisement

Nearly 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.

Learn more: https://www.afsc.org/action/end-felony-disenfranchisement

PHILADELPHIA YEARLY MEETING (PYM)

Continuing Sessions will be Saturday March 28, 2020 and registration is now open.

Location – Westtown School, 101 East School Lane in West Chester, PA 19382.

View the 2020 spring continuing sessions schedule here.

  What is Continuing Sessions?

  • Meets twice a year
  • Includes worship, business sessions, &  fellowship.
  • Offers opportunities to share information from members,  meetings, committees, and other Friends’ organizations.
  • Learn more in our Faith & Practice

CENTRAL PHILADELPHIA MONTHLY MEETING (CPMM)

CPMM is interested in providing operating and/or project support to local nonprofit organizations in the Philadelphia area that are doing exemplary work in any of our priority areas:

  1. Combating Climate Change
  2. Meeting Basic Human Needs of Housing, Food, etc.
  3. Undoing Racism
  4. Ending Mass Incarceration

Friendly Neighbor Funds Application Form

TENANT NEWS

After School All Stars

After School All Stars is hosting a networking event at Yards Brewing Co. Co. on March 10, from 6-8 pm. Register to attend here: http://igfn.us/f/2o0j/n. See you there!! #afterschool #networking

Singing City Spring Concert:

Stephen Paulus’ To Be Certain of the Dawn

A Commemoration of the Children

Sunday, May 3, 3 p.m.

Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel
8339 Old York Road
Elkins Park, PA

With the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Philadelphia Boys Choir
and Philadelphia Girls Choir; Kara Mulder, soprano; Misoon Ghim, mezzo- soprano; Michael Hogue, tenor; and Daniel Teadt, baritone

Purchase Tickets: $35 general admission;; $15 students

Anna Crusis Women’s Choir

Purchase Tickets: Music for the New Revolution Showcase Concert

March 14 @ 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm

The Folk Factory presents “Music for the New Revolution” w/ ANNA Crusis Women’s Choir, Kora Feder, Lydia Munoz

February Newsletter: FC on TV, Fracking Discussion, Friends Journal job opening

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S NOTE

Friends Center—Famous in Chile!

Last summer we had a visit from Chilean TV personality Federico Sánchez. His original show, “CityTour,” features the architecture, culture, and people of Chilean cities. For his second show, “CityTour on Tour,” he does the same while visiting cities in other countries.

                While in Philadelphia, he and his film crew stopped in at Friends Center. They interviewed Robin Mohr, executive secretary of the Friends World Committee for Consultation (FWCC), Section of the Americas. (Special thanks to Ralph Medley of AFSC for introducing Sánchez to us that day.)

                The whole episode is now on YouTube. Friends Center is featured from 28:15 to 31:15. It’s fun to see the Race Street Quaker Meetinghouse from a different, global perspective!

– Chris Mohr, Executive Director

AROUND FRIENDS CENTER

COMPOSTING CHANGES

Friends Center has changed composting companies to better fit what we dispose of and to keep up with changes in the composting industry.

Here is what we will be collecting:

  • Paper towels from the restrooms
  • Compostable paper plates. They should not have anything printed on them, or any type of coating.
  • All food items, including meat.

We will no longer collect:

  • compostable plastics (cups and utensils).

We are in the process of deploying new signage to help make sense of the changes. We all strive to compost as much as possible, but please keep in mind that getting the wrong materials in the collection bins hinders the sorting process, so please remember: “When in doubt, throw it out.”

If you have questions, please contact Erick Emerick at (215) 241-7190 or eemerick@friendscentecorp.org.

Environmental Event

AMERICAN FRIENDS SERVICE COMMITTEE (AFSC)

“Our federal budget should be used to improve our communities, not tear them apart.”

Article: Trump’s budget is bad for New Hampshire! By Maggie Fogarty and Sandra Pontoh

PHILADELPHIA YEARLY MEETING (PYM)

The Annual Sessions 2020 Workshop application proposals are now being accepted.

Please consider sharing your work and witness, as well as your gifts and skills with the yearly meeting at Annual Sessions.
Annual Sessions will be at The College of New Jersey from July 29 through August 2, 2020.

To be considered for a workshop, please fill out an application:

  • There is a firm deadline of February 28, 2020. We will not be able to accept applications past the deadline this year.
  • The workshop dates are Thursday, July 30th, Friday, July 31st, and Saturday, August 1st.
  • Workshops are 3 hours, with a 1 or 2 day option.

CENTRAL PHILADELPHIA MONTHLY MEETING (CPMM)

CPMM is one local point of Light in a wider constellation of Quaker organizations. We are directly affiliated with some and more loosely associated with others. We provide links to these organizations’ websites here.

TENANT NEWS

Friends Council on Education invites you to join them for the following panel workshop they are hosting on the opening day of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) 2020 Conference in Philadelphia.

Legacy and Future: Quaker Education Preparing Students to Transform the World

A panel of Friends school alumni educators share how their experience of Friends education has lead them to where they are today.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Friends Center

4pm-5pm with closing worship until 5:30, followed by a reception at Con Murphy.

Panelists:

Darryl Ford (Friends Select School ‘83)

Rachel Kane (Westtown ‘98)
Lee Payton (Friends Select School ‘95)
Drew Smith (Westtown ‘82) – moderator and host

Rebecca Zug (Westtown ‘89)

Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity (PLSE)

Two Temple Law students join Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity for the spring term.

The only possible way PLSE can file 3,000 expungement petitions per year with just two staff attorneys is by relying on law students for help.

OF INTEREST OUTSIDE FRIENDS CENTER

  • Philadelphia, otherwise known as the City of Brotherly Love, changed its nickname Thursday in honor of the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment. The city’s honorary nickname will be the City of Sisterly Love until the end of 2020!

Episode 8 – Friends Child Care Center

This episode features the director of FCCC, Raechel O’neal Coates, along with the lead teacher of the Quads, Cordella Young.

Chris Mohr, Raechel O’neal Coates, Cordella Young, Jennifer Lee, Shakirah (Left to right)

January Tenant Newsletter – A Grand Opening, Iran Update, Godly Play

Issue 56, January 2020

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S NOTE


Greetings and best wishes for the new year! May 2020 be a year in which your work is enhanced and amplified.

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.

GRAND OPENING!

Brand New, Gender-Neutral, Handicapped-Accessible Restroom

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.

EQUITY PARTNER NEWS


AMERICAN FRIENDS SERVICE COMMITTEE (AFSC)

AFSC’s 5 things to know about Iran:

  1. U.S. aggression toward Iran has brought us to the edge of war.
  2. These recent developments are just the latest in a long line of provocations between Iran and the U.S.
  3. Congress has the power to say “NO” to war with Iran but has so far refused to do so.
  4. The calls for war with Iran echo the misguided calls for war with Iraq.
  5. War with Iran—or any country—is never the answer.

» Details available here

PHILADELPHIA YEARLY MEETING (PYM)

Young Adult Friends Support 2020 Poor People’s Campaign

At a retreat in early January, Young Adult Friends of PYM united in support of the 2020 Poor People’s Campaign: a National Call for Moral Revival. The minute they approved says, in part:

“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!)

CENTRAL PHILADELPHIA MONTHLY MEETING (CPMM)

CPMM Author Event:

Greg Barnes reads from his newest book, Living into the Faith: A Quaker Diary

Sunday, February 2, 12:45 PM.

Lucretia Mott 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 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…”

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 Worship

You are welcome to join CPMM for meeting for worship on Sundays at 11am followed by a coffee hour.

TENANT NEWS


We are proud to announce that Joe Pyle, President of The Scattergood Foundation, is due to give a speech at the national conference for the National Council for Behavioral Health, which will be held from April 5th-7th. Details and registration here

Art-Reach

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

OF INTEREST OUTSIDE FRIENDS CENTER


Climate Crisis and Environmental Justice Thread Gathering

PYM Eco-Justice Collaborative

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.

» Register here

Playing in the Light:
Godly Play®/Faith & Play™ Training
Pendle Hill
338 Plush Mill Rd., Wallingford PA 19086

On three 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).

» More details here

Author Event: Greg Barnes, Feb. 2

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.