Quaker Center is 75

This year, Quaker Center celebrates its 75th anniversary.

In 1949, Lucille Manley felt led to donate 51 acres of beautiful redwood forest in the Santa Cruz Mountains to Quakers. The gift was accepted by the College Park Association of Friends, and the land was put towards furthering the work of Quakers in Northern California.

The Ben Lomond Quaker Center has had an extraordinary history, and a variety of evolutions – you can read about the Center’s origins in some detail in John deValcourt’s wonderful book, which is on our website.

In the last three-quarters of a century, Quaker Center has served as a spiritual home and touchstone for generations of Quakers and visitors from near and far. It has been the site of countless gatherings striving towards a better world. It has hosted celebrations without number, and thousands of friendships have been born here. And it has offered decades of rich, provocative Quaker programs in the name of nurturing faithfulness and spiritual deepening among all guests. Sometimes, visitors may have a transformational experience here – perhaps even you yourself have had one.

Hundreds of staff, board members, volunteers and supporters have given of themselves to care for this vision. Friends have labored together to steward the land and historic buildings, and the campus is imbued with Friends worshipful and joyful presence.

As the Quaker Center community continues to walk forward together, we want to take a moment to look behind us and remember, to celebrate this special anniversary, and to look ahead towards the future of our shared hopes. We’ll be celebrating all year, and over Labor Day weekend, we’ll invite everyone to come help us celebrate at an anniversary gathering. Read more about that here.

This is the time to support Quaker Center – attend programs, visit, spread the word, plan a retreat, send a kid to camp, make a donation.
Your financial support of Quaker Center goes directly towards:

  • Offering Quaker programs that strengthen Friends and Meetings in the West and beyond. Quaker Center programs are varied, stimulating, challenging and fun. They serve as an invitation to all of us to live faithful lives and be patterns and examples in the world. They allow us to connect deeply with others in our own communities and in new ones. They are an inexpensive, accessible opportunity for newcomers and visitors to explore Friends’ faith and practice. These programs cannot operate without your support.
  • Stewarding this land, and maintaining and improving Quaker Center’s historic grounds. All visitors to Quaker Center can appreciate the enormity and the importance of caring for our buildings and campus. It’s a never-ending endeavor of love – the maintenance is constant, and we are always striving to make our facilities more functional, accessible, and comfortable. This year, we’ve got to replace the heating system for the Orchard Lodge, dig a new 350-foot well, and much more.
  • Securing our shared future, and Quaker Center’s next 75 years. As we take stock of our Religious Society and the world we live in, the Ben Lomond Quaker Center feels more important than ever. As we enter this next chapter, we’re ready to redouble our efforts. We want to ensure that the invitation offered at Quaker Center remains open for all of us, and for future generations of Quakers, campers, elders, Young Friends, seekers, and all.

Make a donation to support Quaker Center today!

Now is also an ideal time to remember Quaker Center in your will, as we look ahead to the next chapter of this witness. Help us secure the future of Quaker Center. Please talk to us about planned giving, or click here to see sample will and trust provisions.