Friends Center
of Ohio Yearly Meeting

A Retreat and Conference Center for the Exploration of
Christian Unprogrammed Quakerism and its Meaning Today

Adjacent to Stillwater Meetinghouse near Barnesville, Ohio

For information, contact:
E-mail: Katharine Jacobsen at
or write
Friends Center Coordinator
61388 Olney Lane
Barnesville OH 43713
or phone
Fran Taber at (740) 425-1248

2011-2012 Friends Center Brochure

Personal Retreat
Group Rentals

For More Information

2010-2011 Scheduled Events

A Language for the Inward Landscape

A Weekend for Friends in the Ministry

Friends Center Registration Information

Registration Form


The Friends Center is a retreat and conference center for outreach for the Christian unprogrammed Quakerism of Ohio Yearly Meeting.  The Friends Center expresses Ohio Yearly Meeting's grounding in Christian faith and its tradition of hospitality for spiritual seekers.  Here we can explore, articulate and share an understanding of Quaker faith and practice that is both unprogrammed and Christian.  While that faith is rooted in the experience and writings of earlier Friends, we seek to express it in ways appropriate to the language and conditions of our own time.  OYM's witness was shaped by its original rural location in the hills of eastern Ohio.  Thus, the Friends Center is an appropriate place in which to explore issues affecting rural life and community as they grow out of faith.     [back]


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.  The facilities of Barnesville, a pleasant town of under 5,000, are within a few minutes' walk or drive.  Attractive, quiet grounds and country roads are available for walking.      [back]

Group Rentals

The Friends Center will rent space to compatible groups needing meeting space or facilities for small conferences.  Use of the Friends Center for a half day is $20; for a full day, up to 12 hours costs $35.  Lunch or supper from the Olney School kitchen, by arrangement, costs $7.50 per person, per meal.      [back]

Personal Retreats

Take time out from the busyness of your life to accept Jesus' invitation to come aside and rest awhile.  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 the solitude of a personal retreat offers time for refreshment of both body and spirit.  It provides opportunity to take our lives into the silence before God, to listen more deeply to Christ, the Inward Teacher; opening the way for God's transforming work in us.

The Friends Center, when not otherwise scheduled, may be rented for personal retreats.  Persons wishing for 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.

One 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.         [back]

For More Information

To inquire about or schedule a personal retreat or a group rental, contact Frances Taber at (740) 425-1248 or