Rejuvenated Friends Center is Open to All
Almost 30 years ago, area Quakers opened the Michigan Friends Center to promote connection to the natural environment. Emerging from the pandemic, there has been a renewed awareness of their mission. Center Manager Carolyn Holland says, “Groups of fewer than 100 find a renewed sense of interrelation with each other, the natural world, spirit or purpose and even with themselves after time spent at the center.”
Richard Tucker, president of the board, explains, “A unique aspect of the Michigan Friends Center is its membership in Friends Lake Community. Groups that engage the center for day use may enjoy the trails and lakefront along with members. As a nonprofit, the center is serious about sharing its mission of promoting peace, justice, sustainability, holistic health (including spiritual health) and community. While the Quaker roots have a lot to do with the formation of the center, we don’t want to give the impression that it’s a place for Quakers only, or that its activities are religious.”
Holland notes, “The center is only 30 miles west of Ann Arbor and two miles north of Chelsea, yet feels a world away. It’s nestled in the wooded 80 acres of Friends Lake Community, where walking trails and a wooded lakefront offer contemplation and unhurried conversation.” The meeting room window walls flood the interior with natural light. Recent technological improvements allow for contact with those that can only be present virtually. Within the building, people are surrounded by the woods, light and each other. “It’s an ideal setting for yoga, meditation, therapeutic work, small weddings, memorial services, retreats or celebrations and meetings of all kinds,” she says.