News from Quaker Center (updated 1/7/2023)

Quaker Center, a retreat and conference center located in Ben Lomond, California, offers annual calendar of in-person programs that explore spiritual growth and deepening, the faith and practice of Quakerism, peace and social justice, environmentalism, and much more. Here’s what’s coming in January, February, and March:

Quaker Mystical Experience: Science, Sharing, and Vision
Weekend In-person Retreat
January 27-29th, 2023

This highly interactive program explores Quaker mysticism and offers a broad, inclusive understanding of all types of mystical experience. It draws on the Quaker mystical tradition, as well as the broader study of mystical experience that comes from the psychology of religion, neuroscience, and philosophy of religion.

Facilitator Don McCormick is a member of Grass Valley Friends Meeting. His interests include Quakerism & mystical experience, minfulness & Quakerism, and Quaker spiritual autobiography. He also trains mindfulness teachers for Unified Mindfulness, which he co-founded. As a professor, he taught psychology of religion (among other things). He is a regular contributor to Friends Journal. His articles include “The Mystical Experience:Reclaiming a Neglected Quaker Tradition” and “Mystical Experience: What the Psychological Research has to Say.”

Embodying the Light Within
Online, pay-as-led
Tuesdays, Feb 7,14,21,28, Mar 7 5:30-7:30PM Pacific

Take a deep dive into Thomas Kelly’s essay “The Light Within” in order to grasp and embody its mystical message using Brother Lawrence’s practice of the presence, sacred reading and writing, Centering Prayer, discursive meditation, and sharing reflections.

Barbara Birch is a member of Strawberry Creek Meeting, a board member at Ben Lomond Quaker Center, and the author of a forthcoming book called Eating with Christ: Feasting, Fasting, Food, Fun and Friends from Barclay Press. She is married and has three daughters.

Dancing with History: a life for peace and justice
Friday March 3rd-Sunday March 5th

George Lakey return to Quaker Center to talk about his new memoir Dancing with History and the growing anxiety around polarization in our country. With lessons he learned as a young man facing violence in the streets and risking his life for human rights, Lakey shows readers how to find hope in even the most challenging times through strategic, joyful activism.

For more information about Quaker Center and its programs, visit its website.

Thee Quaker Project

A Vision for Quakers in the 21st Century

John Watts, the founding director of the QuakerSpeak project, is launching a new venture called Thee Quaker Project, which seeks to disseminate Quaker values through a podcast and other online platforms, as well as to establish a new approach to funding Quaker Organizations. Watch the video below to learn more about the project.

Learn even more about the project here.

Thank you from Friendly Water for the World

A Note of Appreciation

In December 2021, our meeting donated approximately $3000 to Friendly Water for the World, a non-profit organization whose mission is to train and equip communities in sustainable village-scale technologies to safeguard, conserve, and expand essential resources. Our money was used to build two water catchment tanks at Bulovi Friends Primary School (Under Malava Yearly Meeting of Friends) in Kakamega County, Kenya. Because of these tanks, the children at the school no longer need to walk miles to collect water every day.

Below is the text of a thank you letter we received from Eric Lung’aho Lijodi, the Africa Programs Manager for Friendly Water for the World:

Date: 2nd September 2022

To all Friends,
Orange County Friends Meeting,
Religious Society of Friends,
Costa Mesa, California

Dear Friends,

REF: Appreciation

Calvary greetings in Jesus name with an expectation that this letter will find you all well. On behalf of my organization, I would like to express our deepest gratitude for your unselfish contribution towards construction of two Rain Water Catchments at Bulovi Friends Primary School (Under Malava Yearly Meeting of Friends).Your donation was very important to us as it geared us towards our commitment towards serving the community.

Attached to this appreciation note you will find the following documents which I beseech you to find time to read in order to have a deeper understanding of how important your donation has been not only to us as an organization but to the beneficiary community:

We are blessed to have you as our partner and once more thank you very much for your generous support and we look forward to working with you again in the near future. If you have questions or needy clarity, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.

Eric Lung’aho Lijodi
Programs Manager