QUAKERISM in the AGE OF THE INTERNET  An Online Program 
with Jon Watts, founder of QuakerSpeak    February 5 – 7, 2021 (Pacific Time) 



“We would have all to call upon the Lord, while he is near, and that is the intent of all our writing and printing”

                      -Thomas Atkinson, 1653

The internet is the most powerful, disruptive advance in mass communication technology since the printing press. How are Friends led to engage with it? Through reflection, worship sharing, and multimedia presentations, we will be exploring the past, present and future of Friends’ relationship with new communications technology and asking: what does the Quaker witness look like in the age of the internet?



As a Quaker musician and video maker, Jon Watts has been an advocate for a carefully discerned relationship with the internet since the freakish success of his first youtube video in 2009. Since then, Jon has published blog posts, articles, and youtube videos exploring Quakers’ relationship with this powerful new communication technology.

Jon has spent the past 6 years traveling the U.S. interviewing Quakers for the video project QuakerSpeak, which he founded in 2013. The project has boosted the profile of Quakers worldwide to the tune of 3.4 million views.




 FEBRUARY 26 – 28, 2021

“. . . (W)hat I experience in a gathered meeting is a form of communion of hearts and minds and spirits in the room – and a communion, not just with each other, but also with the Divine”                                                                 (reflection from an Upstate New York Friend in the gathered meeting study).

This workshop explores various themes and challenges about the paradox of preparation for the Quaker gathered meeting. Together, using a Quaker contemplative inquiry approach, we will reflect upon four main themes connected to spiritual preparation that emerged from a research project about the gathered meeting experience.

  • The letting go of the ego.

  • Various forms of prayer as preparatory practices.

  • Practicing worship together.

  • Deeper vocal ministry.

We will explore these themes (drawn from the study’s fifty-five Friends, both Pastoral and non-Pastoral) from the conversations about the Quaker gathered meeting and employ a contemplative, devotional approach together.


During the spring, 2020, Stanford Searl worked as the Carroll Research Scholar at Pendle Hill, completing fifty-five interviews (mostly virtual because of the pandemic) with both Pastoral and non-Pastoral Friends, asking them about the meanings of the Quaker gathered meeting.

In 2019, the Poetry Box published his poetry chapbook, Mary Dyer’s Hymn and other Quaker Poems. Also, in 2019, a small press published Songs for Diana, a poetry chapbook about the life, death and meaning of their severely handicapped child, Diana Margaret. In 2005, He completed two books about research into the meanings of silence in Quaker worship, Voices from the Silence and The Meanings of Silence in Quaker Worship. He lives in Culver City, California with his wife, Rebecca and is a member of the Santa Monica Monthly Meeting.


Gathered Meeting FLYER 



Annie Patterson | Rise Up and Sing

Peter Blood and Annie Patterson have Graciously provided Quaker Center with publisher direct copies of their original songbooks for a greatly reduced price.  Consider purchasing a Rise Up Singing or Rise Again songbook from us! These books are normally $20.00 when purchased on Amazon, but we are happy to make them available to you (or gift recipient of your choosing) for $15.00 and we’ll pay for the postage. 


CZU Lightning Fire Update

Above: Fire break at the Fawn Trail. Below: The Orchard, post fire.

As you may know, Quaker Center had been evacuated due to the fires in Santa Cruz County. NO MAJOR QC STRUCTURE HAS BEEN LOST! By all accounts, the Ben Lomond Fire Department did a great job defending the Center and the adjacent Sequoia Center. We have lost a woodshed and about two-years worth of firewood and have sustained damage to about 1800 feet of our water lines. The air quality (due to ash and smoke) combined with extreme summer temperatures have made repopulation challenging but we are in the process of cleaning up and starting over!

 We will do our best to keep you updated here over the next few days and weeks.



If you prefer to send a check, please send to:

 Quaker Center                                                                                                                           PO Box 686                                                                                                                               Ben Lomond, CA 95005


is a self-service conference and retreat center in northern California that offers simple, modestly priced, comfortable accommodations. We are located on 80 acres of redwood forest, an hour and a half south of San Francisco and 25 minutes outside of Santa Cruz. You are invited to come to this serene and beautiful place for:

Quaker Center is a nonprofit under the care of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). We welcome all people and groups, regardless of Quaker affiliation, who are in harmony with Friends’ values of integrity, unity,  equality, simplicity, peace and community. We also strive to live in harmony with all creation. All are invited to use our facility for gatherings and personal retreats, as well as participate in our programs and camps.


Quaker Center offers a daily online meeting for worship from 7:30 until 8:00 AM, Pacific Time. You can join us from anywhere in the world!

We welcome visitors. Please call 831-336-8333 to schedule a convenient time.