May 2023 Newsletter: Farewell, Hiring, Beloved Community, and News


Friends Center is hugely grateful to Jennifer Williams for her 10 years of service at the front desk. Among her duties, she prepared this newsletter to keep our tenant community informed. Congratulations and best wishes, Jennifer! —Chris Mohr, Executive Director  


Friends Center is hiring! With Jennifer Williams’s departure, we need a new Front Desk Receptionist.   Click here for the Job Announcement.   PDF version.   Please share with your networks! Thank you.  



“Living with our neighbors. Growing into beloved community” Annual Sessions is one of the oldest Quaker traditions! Today, all over the world, yearly meetings gather once a year to bring together members and attenders from their local meetings. We call them “Sessions” because meeting for worship with attention to the business of the Yearly Meeting is central to these times together. During Sessions we ask: What is God’s big idea for PYM Friends?   But there’s so much more! The days are an opportunity to greet returning Friends and welcome Friends new to this gathering. It’s a time for learning — from keynote speakers, at the Quaker Witness Fair, and in conversations under tents and over meals. For children and youth, it’s a time to meet other Quakers their age and have fun together! For all ages, it is a time of spiritual renewal, community connection, and intergenerational worship and fellowship. Register here.


Strategic Goals The interconnectedness of our world has never been so apparent—nor the urgency to resist the many forces that fuel inequality, oppression, and violence. In our work for a better future, AFSC focuses on three strategic program goals and uses four core methodologies.    » Read more in our 2020-2030 Strategic Plan.


The Testimonial Life and the “Testimonies,” from CPMM’s peace & social concerns committee:

The heart of the Quaker approach to social change is to follow the leadings of the Spirit, which seeks always to lead us into right word and action. Our goal is to live our outward lives in accordance with the inward guidance of the Spirit. Over the centuries, this guidance has manifested in some ways so consistently and broadly among us that certain “testimonies” have become settled elements of our faith. They have evolved and matured as new truths are revealed to us. For instance, we once addressed all people as equals, regardless of whether we were below or above them in social station, using thee and thou; now we have a “testimony” of equality. Lists of such testimonies vary, but they commonly include the following: Peace and nonviolenceEquality and social justiceCriminal justice reformCare for the earthSimplicityHonesty and integrity Learn more about each testimony here.  

Becky Birtha, CPMM Member and Author, featured in The Inquirer, 5/30/2023:   New exhibit at Philly’s Historic Germantown looks at race and class through the groundbreaking 1946 children’s book Bright April “Becky Birtha, a poet and author who has written three children’s books herself, has a lot in common with the young girl who is the main character in the book Bright April.”  

Full Article:


Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania
Home Matters Day 2023

When: Tuesday, June 6, 2023 8 AM – 3 PM

Where: Pennsylvania State Capitol Commonwealth Ave., Harrisburg, PA  17120  

The Housing Alliance is excited to announce the return of Home Matters Day in Harrisburg! For the first time since the pandemic, Housing Alliance members from across the Commonwealth will join together for a day of in-person meetings to ask their state legislators to raise the cap on PHARE!   Also known as the state housing trust fund, PHARE expands opportunities for people in need and revitalizes communities. The program creates, rehabs, and supports local housing, blight remediation, supportive services, homeownership counseling, and home purchase.  

Singing City

Songbook Community Sing  

In celebration of its 75th anniversary, Singing City commissioned 27 composers to write short works to create the Singing City Songbook.  This compilation is intended for community singing everywhere—its themes echo the human experience, with messages of unity, hope, love, and the ties that bind. We invite you to come and sing through all of the works at two community events.

Composers will be joining us in person and on Zoom. Come and learn new music!  Part 2 – Tuesday, May 307:30-9:00 pm at Friends Center   Tickets are $20 each and attendees will
receive a copy of the Songbook.