World Quaker Day | New Exhibit, New Staff, New Map

Tenant News, September 2023


World Quaker Day is October 1

Living the Spirit of Ubuntu

The first Sunday in October is World Quaker Day. It’s a day when Quakers—formally, the Religious Society of Friends, hence our name as Friends Center—gather across theologies and geographies with each other, the public, and seekers.

This year’s theme is “Living the Spirit of Ubuntu.” Ubuntu is a Zulu term that refers to the belief that every person is worthy of being recognized, respected and heard, and that we are all interdependent with one another and the environment.

Many Quaker groups across the globe will hold special online and in-person meetings on the theme, open to people from any country to join. See the list from the World Office of the Friends World Committee for Consultation:

Of course, Friends Center is open to everyone, and we have no “Quaker requirement.” But in case you’re interested, World Quaker Day is an excellent chance to learn more about the practices of Quakers around the world today (and not just 300 years ago).

—Chris Mohr, Executive Director, Friends Center


Covid Levels Are Rising Again

Recently covid cases have increased in the US. The US CDC & the City of Philadelphia Department of Public Health recommend everyone over 6 months old get the new vaccines. You may also want to consider wearing a mask in the open areas of the facility.

New Walkie Talkies

Thanks to a donation from Wireless Electronics in Northeast Philadelphia, Friends Center has a set of 10 brand-new portable two-way radios, aka walkie talkies. These are positioned in key areas of Friends Center, including office suites and maintenance areas. They enable us to communicate with tenants in the event of evacuations, shelter-in-place events, and other emergencies. Friends Center staff are currently reviewing and refreshing our emergency procedures and protocols. Look for details about a presentation soon on our emergency procedures for tenants both new and old.


Before 5 pm, the loading zone is for PICKUP AND DROPOFF only!

  • Our contractors and delivery vehicles need access.
  • We simply don’t have room for everyone with a car to park there.
  • VERY IMPORTANT: Let the staff at the front desk know if your car is in the loading zone and leave your phone number in case you have to move your vehicle.
  • ALSO VERY IMPORTANT: Do not leave the property while your car is in the loading zone!

Mark your calendar:


The Friends Center board recently approved our 2024 holiday schedule. Get an early start and mark your calendar now for 2023 year-end holidays and for 2024.



How one conscientious objector helped protect religious liberty for all

Dan Seeger is a long-time Quaker activist who has served in leadership roles for AFSC, Friends Center, among others. AFSC recently wrote: “In the 1950s, Dan Seeger refused to register for the draft because of his moral beliefs. He was tried and convicted for draft refusal and sentenced to a year and a day in prison. But Dan remained true to his beliefs, pursuing his case all the way to the Supreme Court. Eventually, his efforts would expand who qualifies for conscientious objector status in the United States—and help safeguard the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious liberty.”

Snippet of George Washington's 1789 letter to Quakers.

The US Supreme Court’s 1965 ruling in the case of Quaker Dan Seeger vs. The United States is remembered in a new National Constitution Center exhibit on the First Amendment. The exhibit also includes a 1789 letter from President George Washington to “the Quakers” (shown).


Service Day at the Friends Southwestern Burial Ground

236 Powell Lane, Upper Darby 19082

This burial ground in Upper Darby is under CPMM’s care. On Saturday, September 30th, from 9 am to noon, please join CPMM in an opportunity to show love and care in tangible ways to our burial ground. We will mulch trees, weed, prune and improve the appearance of the grounds and community garden spaces.

» RSVP is helpful to ensure we have enough tools:


PYM Welcomes New Deputy General Secretary, Salvador Orellana

Salvador will provide direct support to the PYM General Secretary in this new operations leadership role. Salvador served in various roles over his 14-year tenure at American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) including Director of Intercultural Ministries, Director of Rebuilding, Restoring, Renewing Puerto Rico and as a National Coordinator for Latino Ministries. He also served in congregational ministry for 19 years. Salvador is also Friends Center’s newest board member. Welcome, Salvador!

» Full story

PYM Webinar Series: Energy Stewardship for Friends Institutions

» Starting with Solar Schools and Nonprofits, 10/10/23, 3:30 pm: Learn more and register.

» Overview and future sessions: Click here.


Friends World Committee for Consultation, Section of the Americas

Find Friends: New Quaker Map!

FWCC has launched a new “Find Friends” map of Quaker meetings and Friends churches in the Americas, which will eventually include Friends around the world.


Please send an email to with comments, errors, or other feedback you have. If you notice an error in the data for your meeting or church, there is a link at the bottom of each entry to send corrections.


Muslim Youth Summit

CAIR held a summit for Muslim here in August 2023.  Young leaders from the greater Philadelphia area joined CAIR-Philadelphia over a Saturday and Sunday, learning from local leaders, community organizers, and politicians.

» Full story.

Philadelphia Youth Sports Collaborative (PYSC)

PYSC Summit: Women in Sports

The Philadelphia Youth Sports Collaborative proudly announces our first PSYC Summit: Women in Sports. Join us at the Loews Hotel (1200 Market St) on November 1, 2023! Registration will open, and we’ll announce our fantastic speaker lineup very soon! Special thanks to TeamSnap, NBC10, NBC Sports Philadelphia, and Telemundo for supporting this event, which we expect to be a huge day for the sports community in Philadelphia. For more information, please visit

Community Ventures

Old First House will offer 34 permanent supportive homes for formerly homeless individuals

The development is a collaboration among Community Ventures, Depaul USA, and the Old First Reformed United Church of Christ. The Church, founded in 1727, donated a portion of its property historic Old City campus for the development and partnered with Community Ventures, because of their expertise in building low-income housing and working with community groups. Construction is estimated to take about 14 months.  The development is in Old City at the corner of 4th and Race Streets.

» Read more.

» Note: Friends Center’s property was once a burial ground for Old First Reformed Church!

Singing City

Fall Concert: Singing for the City

Sunday, October 29, 3 pm

Temple Performing Arts Center

1837 N Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19122

A concert celebrating the colorful tapestry of Philadelphia choral composers past and present, including Melissa Dunphy, Suzzette Ortiz, Donald Dumpson, Robert Lowry, Ke-Chia Chen, Charles Albert Tindley, Andrea Clearfield, Andrew Bleckner, Jennifer Higdon, and more.

» Tickets: Online Box Office


Our own CARLA GAMBLE Sings In Dilworth Park!!

Wed., October 4, Noon – 1 pm

Take a lunch break away from your desk and join the Friends Center community in support of our Receptionist, the one and only Carla Gamble!

» Details:

» Can’t make it? Check out Carla’s website: