Jonathan Vogel-Borne

Jonathan Vogel-Borne

Friends Meeting at Cambridge Invites You
to the Adventure of Quaker Worship

10:30am & 5pm Sunday • 8:30–10am Wednesday


  • We are a community that seeks to pray seriously and tries to avoid dogma and ritual. We have no creed.
  • Sometimes our deepest meetings for worship take place completely in silence. Most often three to six messages are offered in the course of roughly one hour of worship together.
  • Our worship is not programmed and is not led by a minister. We aspire to be led only by the promptings of the Spirit in our hearts and minds.

Quakerism has deep roots in Christianity.
Today, active Friends Meeting participants include people
from many religious traditions: Christianity, Universalism, Non-theism,
Buddhism, Judaism, etc. Many LGBTQ folks participate in our community.

All are welcome in a sincere search for spiritual depth

5 Longfellow Park, Cambridge • • 617-876-6883

7pm, May 4th, Authors’ Presentation, “Bayard Rustin: The Invisible Activist”


Bayard Rustin (center) speaking with (left to right) Carolyn Carter, Cecil Carter, Kurt Levister, and Kathy Ross, before demonstration, 1964
(Photo: Library of Congress, Ed Ford, photographer, New York World Telegram & Sun )

7pm, Monday, May 4th, in the parlor at the Friends Center, 5 Longfellow Park, Cambridge

rustinfrontcover-webMediumJacqueline Houtman and Walter Naegle, authors of Bayard Rustin: The Invisible Activist (2014 QuakerPress of Friends General Conference), will present a program on the life of Bayard Rustin (1912–1987)—an African American Quaker, pacifist, teacher, organizer, advisor, gay man, and one of the most important, and least known, activists of the civil rights movement. An advisor to the Martin Luther King, Jr., he promoted nonviolent resistance, participated in one of the first Freedom Rides, organized the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, and worked tirelessly for marginalized communities at home and abroad. As an openly gay African American, Bayard Rustin stood at the intersection of many of the struggles for equal rights. Walter Naegle is Bayard’s former partner and Jacqueline Houtman is a children’s author. In 2013, on Bayard Rustin’s behalf, Walter Naegle received the posthumous Medal of Freedom Award from Barack Obama.

This event is sponsored by the Friends Meeting at Cambridge Peace & Social Concerns and Friends for Racial Justice Committees. More information about the book is at QuakerBooks of Philadelphia and at Amazon

Now Available, a new biography for middle school ages and up…

We need, in every community, a group of angelic troublemakers—Bayard Rustin

To many, the civil rights movement brings to mind protests, marches, boycotts, and freedom rides. They often think of people like Martin Luther King, Jr. or Rosa Parks. They seldom think of Bayard Rustin.


Bayard in Trafalgar Square, London, England. (Photo: Walter Naegle)

Raised by his Quaker grandmother to believe in the value of every human being, Bayard made trouble wherever he saw injustice. As a teenager, he was arrested for sitting in the whites only section of a theater. More arrests followed, for protesting against segregation, discrimination, and war. His belief in nonviolent action as a means for social change gave him a guiding vision for the civil rights movement, which he used to mentor the young Martin Luther King, Jr. When A. Philip Randolph needed the best organizer on the planet, he turned to Bayard Rustin to bring 250,000 people to the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

Illustrated with over sixty photos, this book is the product of a unique collaboration between three authors: Bayard’s partner of ten years, a professor of religious studies, and a children’s book author. Though he is largely ignored in history books, Bayard’s ideas and actions will inspire today’s young (and not-so-young) readers to be angelic troublemakers.

Medal of Freedom Award

President Obama handed the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Walter Naegle as an aide announced, “Fifty years after the March on Washington he organized, America honors Bayard Rustin as one of its greatest architects for social change and a fearless advocate for its most vulnerable citizens.” (Photo: Pete Souza, The White House)

Threshing Sessions on Israel-Palestine

Below is a catalog of the Minutes/Notes from the continuing series of threshing sessions on the ongoing conflict in Israel-Palestine. We are seeking our unique response, as Quakers and as a whole Meeting, to the conflict. The issue was forwarded to the Meeting by the Peace & Social Concerns Committee.

A threshing session is a formal meeting for worship for business where no decision is expected. It is a time to listen deeply to one another and to the Spirit for guidance on a specific and challenging issue.

The notes from these sessions and other background materials are linked below:

  • Sunday, May 17, 2015, Threshing Session #7 Minutes/Notes
  • Sunday, March 22, 2015, Threshing Session #6 Minutes/Notes
  • Sunday, March 1, 2015, Threshing Session #5 <snowed out>
  • Sunday, January 25, 2015, Threshing Session #4 Minutes/Notes
  • Sunday, January 4, 2015, Threshing Session #3 Minutes/Notes
  • DRAFT Status Report on the Threshing, resulting from the December 18th Threshing Session
  • Thursday, December 18, 2014 Threshing Session #2 Minutes/Notes
  • Sunday, December 7, 2014, Threshing Session #1  Minutes/Notes
  • The George Mitchell Boston Globe article (a three-part series, Sept 7-9 2014) referred to at the December 7th Threshing Session
  • Wording of two proposed minutes from the Middle East Peace & Social Concerns subgroup and other links:
    • Minute One — principal author, Skip Schiel
    • Minute Two — principal author, Cliff Harrison
    • Links to other information compiled by Skip Schiel

Read more

Quakers Brave Rain & Chill for a “Pray-In” at Coal–Fired Plant Property


See article on Brayton Point “Pray In” in the eco/RI news for Southern New England.

Brayton Point electric plant in Somerset, MA was a site for peaceful demonstration, December 6, 2014.

A group of about 20 people — mostly Friends (Quakers) from The Religious Society of Friends in Cambridge — gathered for worship at the gate to the Brayton Point Electric Plant in Somerset, MA on Saturday afternoon, December 6. Despite a cold drizzle, they remained seated in their circle at the gates of the facility on Brayton Road, currently being sold to Dynergy by Energy Capitol Partners. In Quaker terminology, they were giving “witness” to the global climate disruption that science has shown to be largely caused by burning fossil fuel. They were calling attention to the prediction that – without massive action — Earth’s temperature will likely rise another 4 to 6 degrees Celsius and cause unimaginably horrific global calamity.

A printed statement explained their purpose:

“Consistent with our spiritual leadings, we are compelled to act and “witness to” the excessive burning of fossil fuels that are despoiling the earth and its atmosphere. Brayton Point and other fossil fuel plants have had cumulatively devastating effects on all Creation; we believe it is immoral to stand by while climate disruption causes harrowing havoc worldwide.”

Read more

Quaker Voluntary Service Boston House Approved by FMC

Planning Meeting 6:00–9:00 pm, Monday, November 3, 2014

A New Expression of Quaker Witness & Spirit-Led Service for Young Adults On Sunday, October 5, 2014, FMC approved of serving as the Host Meeting for a Quaker Voluntary Service (QVS) House in the Boston area. This will make Boston the third city to host a QVS House since the program’s initial launch in Atlanta, GA, in 2012.

Based on Quakers’ long-standing practice of living our faith, QVS offers young adults the transformative experience of engaging in service and social justice work while living together and practicing Quaker simplicity, worship, and decision making. Volunteers are placed in full-time professional positions in agencies and organizations that offer support to marginalized individuals and communities, and that work for social change.

In order to make this a reality in the Boston area for August 2015, the planning phases are underway. Help is needed, and gladly welcomed! Although there will be a local paid coordinator, we will have many opportunities to work on this project. For example, the program will need spiritual nurturers for the Volunteers, curriculum planning and training help, site placement ideas and connections to organizations, help finding and furnishing a local house, and fundraising and welcoming activities.

If you are interested in being involved with this project in any capacity, please come to the next planning meeting on Monday, November 3, at FMC from 6:00–9:00 pm. Ross Hennesy (QVS Assistant Director) and Noah Baker Merrill (QVS Board member and NEYM Yearly Meeting Secretary) will be sharing their wisdom and experience as we make our first planning steps.

Meeting for Worship at Textron Industries


As many of us know, for the last five years a group of FMC community members has been gathering for Worship at Textron Industries every third Sunday of each month. Textron manufactures an especially gruesome “cluster bomb,” used by our military and also sold to other countries.

For the last three years, on the yearly anniversary (in October), the entire Meeting assembles at Textron for the regular First Day worship. We will gather in worship between two signs that read “Quakers Praying for Peace.” We contact Textron ahead of time as well as the churches in the area, and submit a letter to the editor of the local newspaper. Read more

Reflection on “Quakers Praying for Peace” at Textron

Whether it’s a cold windy or a hot sunny day, once a month on Sundays, Quakers hold a meeting for worship on the sidewalk in front of Textron Defense Systems in Wilmington. We pray for ourselves, for the workers at Textron, and for our world.

We sit in silent witness without proselytizing or accusing. Our next meeting for worship at Textron will be Oct 19 at 11:15 and we invite you to join us.

Last time I prayed at Textron, my thoughts strayed from my vision of peace in this world. I thought of strangers who have bombed and murdered US citizens. I thought of how many countries the US has bombed in the last 5 years: Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Yemen, Somalia, Libya and now Syria. I wondered how many of Textron’s cluster bombs were being used in these bombing campaigns. Read more

Exploring the Depths of the Gathered Meeting for Worship

12:30 pm – 2:30 pm, Sunday September 28th
light refreshments in library at 12 noon.

This workshop is the first of three workshops on evolving Quaker spirituality sponsored by Ministry and Counsel and led by Cornelia Parkes. Light refreshments will be provided in the library at noon. Read more

Got Service? Quaker Voluntary Service Coming to the Boston Area?

Proposal to Sunday 5 October 2014 Meeting for Worship for Business that Friends Meeting at Cambridge become the host Meeting for a Quaker Voluntary Service house in the Boston area.

Fiscal Year 2014–15 Budget for the National Quaker Voluntary Service organization.

What is Quaker Voluntary Service? How Can We Bring QVS to the Boston Area?
Quaker Voluntary Service (QVS) is a national program that selects young adult Quaker applicants to be volunteers at social change agencies in a target city. (A large part of the costs are covered by the agencies employing the volunteers.) The volunteers live together and worship at local Friends Meetings and Friends Churches. At present QVS has programs in three cities — Atlanta (GA), Philadelphia (PA), and Portland (OR) — and after receiving a letter of interest from FMC in July, they have enthusiastically agreed to consider opening a program consider opening a program in Boston, which holds the possibility of collaboration between FMC and other area meetings (Beacon Hill, Framingham, Fresh Pond, Wellesley). We are in the process of learning more details about the benefits of such a collaboration; the plan is to come to Meeting for Business in Worship on October 5th with a concrete proposal.

From David Anick

Hello Friends,

Some of you know of my long-standing enthusiasm for the Quaker Voluntary Service (QVS) program in which 20-something Quakers spend a year working for a non-profit while living in community with other Quakers. It’s a 21st century resurrection of the once proud Quaker Work Camps. You probably know that FMC submitted a proposal to become a host Meeting / host city for a QVS house. Our proposal has been accepted by the QVS board (yay!) and the issue will come to our Meeting for Business in Worship on October 5th, where we will talk about FMC making major commitments of fundraising and person-hours to the project.

Briefly, I would love to recruit more of you to the cause of making QVS happen in Cambridge. We will need folks who will do any of the following: talk with non-profit and activist groups to identify internship opportunities; fun(d)-raise; set up the furnished housing for the volunteers; and serve as spiritual mentors for the volunteers once they arrive. There is also a part-time job to serve as local coordinator — perfect for a YAF. Read more

International Day of Peace

2:00 pm, September 21st, Boston Common, near Park Street Station
The Boston Celebration of the United Nations International Day of Peace on the Boston Common near Park St. station. This event, co-sponsored by the Meeting features dance, music, song, story-telling, meditation and a walk to the Garden of Peace. Also, displays from peace organizations.