Michigan Friends Center (MFC) in Chelsea, Michigan

History of Michigan Friends Center

A vision for planning and building the future

The historic and present-day focus of the work of Friends (Quakers) centers on building community, fostering peace and social justice, and protecting the environment. These values underlie the design and operation of Michigan Friends Center. The Center is situated on 90 lake-shore acres at the Friends Lake Cooperative Community. Founded in 1961 by a group of families associated with the Friends Meeting in Ann Arbor, this recreational and residential community has been open to all for membership and participation. In its original vision, it included a plan to build a meeting place. As the potential for broader Quaker outreach became a compelling concept, plans developed to build a day use facility that would be offered to outside groups especially to groups that share humanitarian values and could benefit from the natural setting and quiet alternative offered by MFC.

Friends Lake made land available and a new nonprofit corporation was formed to work closely with Michigan area Quakers. Michigan Friends Center was launched as a directorate that would own and operate the facility for educational, religious, and recreational purposes. A board, appointed by Friends Lake Community and Green Pastures Quarterly Meeting, has oversight and a director manages day-to-day operations. Donations, programs and rental fees provide all financial support.

Since 1995, MFC has presented programs consistent with its mission and a variety of renters have chosen the Center as an ideal change-of-pace setting for a conference, workshop, day retreat, or celebration. Michigan Friends Center is the realization of a long-held dream to share the rejuvenating beauty of the woods and lake setting with others, to nurture the spirit, and to promote a more harmonious world.