Announcement: Moving on From Friends Journal

Dear Friends,

I am writing to announce my decision that this will be my last year as the director of QuakerSpeak. This has been such an amazing journey for me, and I’m really proud of the work I’ve done. What an incredible impact the project has had in just 6 years.

When I first had the vision for a Quaker YouTube channel, I never imagined it would surpass 2.5 million views or generate the kind of widespread support it has seen. I am overwhelmed with gratefulness when I think of it. Remembering back to the discernment process that brought about the idea for the project, I am truly humbled and feel more confident than ever that when we listen and follow the leadings of the spirit, we often have an impact beyond our own imagination.

I’ll be staying on at Friends Journal through the end of the year to finish this season and help transition the project to a new director. I am interested and excited to see what a new creative voice can bring to the project and am glad to know that QuakerSpeak will continue beyond my time at Friends Journal.

My plan in 2020 is to give myself some space for reflection and discernment as I seek clarity about my next big project. My work on QuakerSpeak has been a tremendous opportunity to grow in my skills as a videographer, storyteller, and project manager… skills that are incredibly helpful in getting the word out about organizations that are doing good work.

If you, your meeting, or an organization you work with needs help spreading the word about a program or event, feel free to get in touch. I’ve updated my portfolio page to provide a sense of the scope of my collaborations.

I may also do some traveling to share with Friends what I’ve learned in my experience designing and implementing this groundbreaking outreach project, and welcome inquiries about visiting and speaking with Friends in your area.

Finally, if you’d like to follow my journey, I encourage you to stay in touch through my occasional newsletter:

It has been an honor to serve Friends as the founder and director of QuakerSpeak. Now I am seeking my next project, and would love it if you would join me for the journey.

Thanks so much for your interest and support over the years, and here’s to the next leading!

In peace
Jon Watts

How Quakerism Influences My Artistic Process

As a lifelong artist, Maggie Nelson began to notice some similarities between her experience in Quaker worship and her approach in the studio.

As a lifelong artist, Maggie Nelson began to notice some similarities between her experience in Quaker worship and her approach in the studio.

[+ show transcript]

It has been an honor to serve Friends as the founder and director of QuakerSpeak. Now I am seeking my next project, and would love it if you would join me for the journey.

Growing Up Quaker in Indiana

As a kid growing up in holiness-influenced Indiana Quakerism, Max Carter was taught to avoid a long list of sins, including soft drinks—“which led to hard drinks!“—and dancing—“a vertical expression of a horizontal desire!”

As a kid growing up in holiness-influenced Indiana Quakerism, Max Carter was taught to avoid a long list of sins, including soft drinks—“which led to hard drinks!“—and dancing—“a vertical expression of a horizontal desire!”

[+ show transcript]

It has been an honor to serve Friends as the founder and director of QuakerSpeak. Now I am seeking my next project, and would love it if you would join me for the journey.

How I Practice Quakerism Throughout the Week

Being a Quaker isn’t just about sitting in silence for an hour on Sunday morning. Fritz Weiss shares some of the ways he carries his Quakerism throughout the week.

Being a Quaker isn’t just about sitting in silence for an hour on Sunday morning. Fritz Weiss shares some of the ways he carries his Quakerism throughout the week.

[+ show transcript]

It has been an honor to serve Friends as the founder and director of QuakerSpeak. Now I am seeking my next project, and would love it if you would join me for the journey.

What to Expect at a Quaker Wedding

Planning to attend a Quaker wedding? Here’s what you can expect.

Planning to attend a Quaker wedding? Here’s what you can expect.

[+ show transcript]

It has been an honor to serve Friends as the founder and director of QuakerSpeak. Now I am seeking my next project, and would love it if you would join me for the journey.

QuakerSpeak Featured in Friends Journal

This months issue of Friends Journal is all about QuakerSpeak! Be sure to check it out online if you don’t already have a subscription!

https://www.friendsjournal.org/2019/quakerspeak-at-five/

It has been an honor to serve Friends as the founder and director of QuakerSpeak. Now I am seeking my next project, and would love it if you would join me for the journey.

The Prayer Life of Quakers

What does Quaker prayer look like? Australian Friend David Johnson says it’s something every human being does naturally, and it leads to inordinate spiritual refreshment.

What does Quaker prayer look like? Australian Friend David Johnson says it’s something every human being does naturally, and it leads to inordinate spiritual refreshment.

[+ show transcript]

It has been an honor to serve Friends as the founder and director of QuakerSpeak. Now I am seeking my next project, and would love it if you would join me for the journey.

The Intimacy of Quaker Worship Spaces

Sitting in silence with a group of people every week can be an intimate experience. How do Quaker worship spaces encourage that?

Sitting in silence with a group of people every week can be an intimate experience. How do Quaker worship spaces encourage that?

[+ show transcript]

It has been an honor to serve Friends as the founder and director of QuakerSpeak. Now I am seeking my next project, and would love it if you would join me for the journey.

What Do Quakers Believe About God?

What is God? We asked 20 Quakers, here’s what they said.

What is God? We asked 20 Quakers, here’s what they said.

[+ show transcript]

It has been an honor to serve Friends as the founder and director of QuakerSpeak. Now I am seeking my next project, and would love it if you would join me for the journey.

The Paradox of Quaker Belief

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4pE6eewimjI

Most Quakers agree there is an Inner Light in every person. But is the Light Christian or is it universal?

[+ show transcript]

It has been an honor to serve Friends as the founder and director of QuakerSpeak. Now I am seeking my next project, and would love it if you would join me for the journey.

Leaving Quakerism Better Than We Found It

Norval Reece was giving a tour of his Quaker meetinghouse when someone asked, “What is this space used for now?” That’s when he realized we’ve got to do a better job of telling our story.

Norval Reece was giving a tour of his Quaker meetinghouse when someone asked, “What is this space used for now?” That’s when he realized we’ve got to do a better job of telling our story.

[+ show transcript]

It has been an honor to serve Friends as the founder and director of QuakerSpeak. Now I am seeking my next project, and would love it if you would join me for the journey.

Ministering to the Poor

San Francisco Quaker Meeting is located at the border of one of the city’s poorest neighborhoods and one of its richest. Member David Breitzmann discusses the meeting’s attempts to meet the needs presented by its location, and how it has grown and deepened in the process.

San Francisco Quaker Meeting is located at the border of one of the city’s poorest neighborhoods and one of its richest. Member David Breitzmann discusses the meeting’s attempts to meet the needs presented by its location, and how it has grown and deepened in the process.

[+ show transcript]

It has been an honor to serve Friends as the founder and director of QuakerSpeak. Now I am seeking my next project, and would love it if you would join me for the journey.

How Does Culture Influence Quaker Worship?

When Ayesha Imani found Quakers, she knew this was where she belonged. But she also felt limited by the culture she perceived in Quaker meeting—that is until she tried worshiping with other Quakers of African descent.

When Ayesha Imani found Quakers, she knew this was where she belonged. But she also felt limited by the culture she perceived in Quaker meeting—that is until she tried worshiping with other Quakers of African descent.

[+ show transcript]

It has been an honor to serve Friends as the founder and director of QuakerSpeak. Now I am seeking my next project, and would love it if you would join me for the journey.

The Power of Loving Your Enemy

During a lunch counter protest in 1960, a white supremacist threatened to stab David Hartsough with a knife. What David said to his would-be attacker was the last thing the man was expecting, and it transformed the situation.

During a lunch counter protest in 1960, a white supremacist threatened to stab David Hartsough with a knife. What David said to his would-be attacker was the last thing the man was expecting, and it transformed the situation.

[+ show transcript]

It has been an honor to serve Friends as the founder and director of QuakerSpeak. Now I am seeking my next project, and would love it if you would join me for the journey.

QuakerSpeak Turns 5 and Passes 2 Million Views!

Dear Friends,

thank you so much for your support throughout the years and for following along with my work. Thanks to viewers like you, the QuakerSpeak project is having an outsized impact. Can’t wait to come back into the office and work on Season 6.

in peace
Jon

It has been an honor to serve Friends as the founder and director of QuakerSpeak. Now I am seeking my next project, and would love it if you would join me for the journey.