More Information about Friends Center
The Friends Center is a retreat and conference center for exploring Christian unprogrammed Quakerism and its meaning today. Rooted in Ohio Yearly Meeting and its tradition of hospitality for spiritual seekers, Friends Center is a place where we can explore, articulate and share a faith that is both unprogrammed and Christian. While this faith draws on the experiences and writings of earlier Friends, we seek to express it in ways that are appropriate to the language and conditions of our own time. Our intention is to learn together from the living presence of Jesus Christ, whom we experience teaching us directly from within, through the Scriptures, and through one another.
The Friends Center is located in a house between Stillwater Friends Meetinghouse and the campus of Olney Friends School. The Friends Center provides meeting and dining space, as well as a library and three bedrooms. Additional rooms for lodging are in the Mary Davis Guest House of Olney Friends School. Stillwater Meetinghouse can also be available. Barnesville, a pleasant town with a population under 5000, is only a few minutes’ walk or drive. Attractive quiet grounds and country roads are available for walking.
Space for Groups
The Friends Center will make its facilities available to compatible groups needing meeting space for small conferences. The Friends Center will gratefully receive donations toward its expenses in such cases.
Personal Spiritual Retreats
Take time out from the busyness of your life to accept Jesus’ invitation to come aside and rest a while. Friends have known since our beginning that times of retirement from outward activity nourish the soul and allow us to sink deeper into an awareness of God’s work in our lives. In solitude one can experience with William Penn that “True silence is… to the spirit, what sleep is to the body: nourishment and refreshment.”
A weekend, a day, or several days in a personal retreat offers time for refreshment of both body and spirit. It provides opportunity to take our lives into the silence before God and to listen more deeply to Christ, the Inward Teacher. Time at the Friends Center opens the way for God’s transforming work within us.
The Friends Center, when not otherwise scheduled, may be used for personal retreats. Persons who would like consultation during their time of retreat may arrange to talk with a Friend experienced in spiritual guidance. Frances Taber, a graduate of Shalem Institute’s Spiritual Guidance Program who also developed a personal retreat program at Pendle Hill, is available as her schedule permits.
A retreatant may enjoy the use of the Friends Center alone, or possibly with another retreatant in residence. Each person will have a private bedroom with a comfortable chair and a writing table. The bath is shared; an additional half-bath is available. A living room and a library of Quaker and other spiritual books are at the disposal of the retreatant. A patio and swing give opportunity for sitting outdoors. The retreatant may bring food to prepare in the Friends Center’s fully-equipped kitchen. Two grocery stores are within walking distance. Cost for a personal retreat is $35 per day or $200 for a full week.