Beacon Hill Friends House is a Cambridge, Mass., center for Quaker learning and action, the home of Beacon Hill Meeting, and a residential intentional community grounded in Quaker principles. Website: bhfh.org.
Beacon Hill Friends House (BHFH) is an independent Quaker nonprofit organization and 20-person residential community based in a historic house in downtown Boston, which provides opportunities for personal growth, spiritual deepening, and collective action.
This past summer, BHFH staff wrapped up a master planning process with an architectural preservation firm to help care for its building. The house also began welcoming people into guest rooms and outside groups back into the space.
In June, BHFH celebrated over 40 events in the virtual series MIDWEEK: Experiments in Faithfulness before taking a summer hiatus. This weekly facilitated spiritual practice restarted in September. BHFH also held a book talk with some of the co-authors of The Gatherings: Reimagining Indigenous-Settler Relations: gkisedtanamoogk (Mashpee Wampanoag); Alma H. Brooks (Maliseet, St. Mary’s Reserve, New Brunswick); Marilyn Keyes Roper (Quaker, Houlton, Maine); and Shirley N. Hager (Quaker, Chesterville, Maine).
This fall, offering hybrid programs will be considered to allow Friends from anywhere to participate (including lectures and workshops). In September, BHFH welcomed two volunteer program fellows who will help expand and deepen the public offerings, including hybrid programs.
Beacon Hill Friends House (BHFH) has been focusing on building community and connection amid the COVID-19 pandemic through its residential and online programs.
With its intentionally diverse residential community, BHFH recognizes the opportunity to share and utilize the tools of Quakerism in a group setting that includes non-Friends. Many residents combine these Quaker concepts of living in community—decision-making, shared work, and clearness—with their own ideas and perspectives, resulting in committee work that is flexible and focused on the community’s leadings and needs.
BHFH continues to host a broad array of online public programs, including Responding to the Call: Healing from the Sin of Separation. This course focuses on the inner and outer work required to interrupt and address White supremacy, the climate crisis, and the ongoing harm of settler colonialism, and begin the work of reparations. More than 80 Friends from New England and beyond have committed to this two-month-long program. The course is led by Lisa Graustein, Emma Turcotte, Briana Halliwell, Jen Higgins-Newman, and Aiham Korbage. Resources from the course will be available on the BHFH website.
Beacon Hill Friends House (BHFH) is an independent Quaker nonprofit organization and a 20-person residential community (of Friends and others) in a large historic house in downtown Boston, Mass. The Friends house works to provide opportunities for personal growth, spiritual deepening, and collective action—drawing inspiration and guidance from the values, principles, and practices of the Religious Society of Friends.
The center of BHFH’s work (since 1957) continues to be its residency program where people can live for up to four years in intentional community centered around Quaker values.
Additionally, over the past couple of years, the BHFH staff, Board of Managers, committees, and residents have been expanding BHFH’s public program offerings to nurture and support individual reflection and collective action—for Friends and others beyond the current residents.
“How do we share the Light of Quakerism even during this time?” This is one question Beacon Hill Friends House (BHFH) has been sitting with throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has spurred BHFH into moving programs online and developing new programming. The Friends house’s newest online event series is “Midweek: Experiments in Faithfulness”—a free, weekly, facilitated spiritual practice with “a Quaker flavor and an experimental ethos.” Each Wednesday evening a guest facilitator engages attendees in a spiritual practice. Short recordings of these practices are available on the BHFH website.