Recurring Events

Description of the Monthly/Periodic and Annual Events at BFM

  1. Adult Religious Education (ARE) program
  2. Book Group
  3. Committee Meetings
  4. Coordinating Gathering
  5. Experiment with Light
  6. Friendly Eights
  7. Getting to Know One Another
  8. Newsletter Deadlines
  9. Potlucks
  10. Service Days
  1. Camp Catoctin Weekend
  2. Candlelight Service
  3. Christmas Celebration & Pageant
  4. Committee Nominations
  5. Spring Fling for Ramallah

Monthly/Periodic Events (for current dates and times, please see our Newsletter or Calendar)

Adult Religious Education programs                                                                             (return to top)
The Adult Religious Education (ARE) Committee organizes and sponsors programs, usually once or twice a month at 9:30 a.m. in the Music Room, which is in the basement of the Science, Arts, and Music (SAM) Building, across the patio from the Meetinghouse. In the past, ARE has sponsored a six-week introduction to Quakerism and discussions on Envisioning a Moral Economy, The New Jim Crow, An Apology for Perfection, the spiritual aspects of vegetarianism, right relation with creation, the power of early Quakerism, and individual spiritual journeys. Please check our Calendar or Newsletter for upcoming programs.  
 Book Group
This informal group usually meets once a month in a study room at the Bethesda Library for lively discussions on books chosen by the group. Please join the List Serve so you will be informed of the next meeting date and time, as well to participate in the online comments and read the post-meeting summary. Please use the Contact Us link to ask to join this Google group's List Serve or go directly to the sign in link.
Committee Meetings                                                                                                       (return to top)
Many Committees meet monthly, often at 9:30 or 12:30 on a Sunday morning. The remaining committees meet on an as-needed basis. Committee meetings are listed in the current Newsletter.

Coordinating Gathering                                                                                                   (return to top)
Representatives of BFM committees meet at 12:30 on Sunday once a month (the week before Meeting for Business) to discuss the upcoming agenda and to share our reflections on the spiritual state of our community, specific tasks, and Quaker processes. These meetings are open to all who wish to attend.

Experiment with Light                                                                                                      (return to top)
How do we quiet our brains enough to hear the still, small voice within us? How might we deepen our experience of meeting for worship? Experiment With Light is a meditative and centering practice based on Rex Ambler’s book Light to Live By, which describes early Quaker meditative habits and translates them into a highly accessible process of clearness and understanding. The structure is a guided meditation and the sharing of reflections.  Most gatherings are on the second and fourth Sunday evenings in homes of Friends. On the fifth Sunday of the month, a session is sometimes held at 9:30 a.m. (sponsored by both Adult Religious Education and Advancement & Outreach Committees). 
Friendly Eights                                                                                                                
Friendly Eights groups are sometimes held as informal gatherings for a simple potluck meal and fellowship in friends’ homes. If they are scheduled, then it is a fun way to get to know others at BFM, and you can participate even if you prefer not to host. To find out if dinners are being scheduled this year, please check our current Newsletter or look at the Committee page to see if the Friendly 8s Committee is currently active.
Getting to Know One Another                                                                                       (return to top)
At the rise of Meeting on some Sundays, we have a "Getting to know one another" gathering for about 30 minutes, in which those who are interested can share a bit about themselves, learn about others, and ask any questions they have. This “sit down” conversation gives people a chance to chat, get to know each other better, and hopefully feel more at home at BFM. It is a good way to deepen connections after more casual introductions at Sunday coffee hour or potluck.   

Meeting for Business                                                                                                      (return to top)
Much of our Quaker decision making takes place in a special service that we call our “Meeting for worship with a concern for business.” It is usually held the first Sunday of each month at 9:15 a.m. (See Calendar) Our business process does not rely on voting, nor does it involve what is commonly called consensus. Instead we make decisions based on “the sense of the meeting” where we give everyone a chance to speak, and try to listen deeply to what everyone has to say. Only when the meeting reaches a “sense of the meeting” do we feel free to proceed.  Please join us for this experience!

Newsletter Deadlines                                                                                                      (return to top)
The monthly newsletter deadline is the 13th of every month except July. The editor sends it out to the printing service approximately a week later, after which it is forwarded electronically and uploaded to the website. Printed copies are also available.

Potlucks                                                                                                                           (return to top)
On the second Sunday of the month from September through May at the rise of Meeting, we have potluck in the Multi-purpose room of the Groome Building for feast and fellowship.  All are invited to bring a dish to share, which adds greatly to the occasion. Responsibility for the event rotates among the committees of the Meeting.

Service Days                                                                                                                    (return to top)
Three or four times a year, the Peace & Social Justice Committee sponsors Service Days. These are usually on a Saturday morning at A Wider Circle or helping with a clean up day with the Rock Creek Conservancy.

Annual Events (for current dates and times, please see our Newsletter or Calendar)

Camp Catoctin Weekend                                                                                                (return to top)
Our weekend at Camp Catoctin is usually on a weekend in early June. Catoctin Quaker Camp is 385 acres of beautiful wooded hills and grassy meadow with a small lake for canoeing and a lovely rocky stream. An old stone lodge attached to a large camp kitchen and dining room provides a cozy place to gather. There are four cabins with electricity, 12 screened houses with bunks, and places for tents. This is an unstructured potluck weekend, meaning that there is a spaghetti dinner on Saturday evening, but other meals are donated by those attending. Friends and families are asked to contribute as they are able toward our rental and food expenses.

Candlelight Service -- Meeting for Worship                                                                  (return to top)
The Candlelight Meeting for Worship is usually at 8:00 p.m. on weekday before Christmas. During the past decades, Friends have come to appreciate, in the midst of non-stop holiday activity and anxiety, this peaceful hour together. It affords us some needed respite. From infants to teens, oldsters and youngsters, all are most welcome. This is a refreshing way to celebrate the season, so please join us.

Christmas Celebration & Pageant                                                                                                      (return to top)
The Christmas Celebration, which is a continuation of Meeting for Worship, is usually held on the Sunday before Christmas at approximately 12:00 noon. At the appropriate time, F(f)riends are led from the Meeting room into the Groome Building where the First Day School children present a play or pageant. Our orchestra accompanies with carols and a concert. Friends and extended family usually come for the occasion.

Committee Nominations                                                                                                      (return to top)
Beginning each September, the Nominating Committee asks people who attend our Meeting to learn about the committees who do the important work at BFM. We invite you to consider joining a committee that reflects your interest! Joining a committee is an important way to meet people and to be called into the life of our community. Please use our online form to ask questions or to indicate your interest in one or more committees. New membership begins in January of each year.  

Spring Fling for Ramallah                                                                                                (return to top)
(For information on the most recent or upcoming Spring Fling, click here) Spring Fling is a fun and festive inter-generational event that includes a tasty Middle Eastern buffet lunch; a large “White Camel” (aka rummage) sale; a silent auction of donated goods and services; lively music and swirls of kids. It begins at rise of Meeting in late April or mid-May and benefits the Ramallah Friends School financial aid program. Ramallah Friends, founded by American Quakers in 1869, is a co-ed K-12 school that provides a first-class, peace-oriented education to children of all faiths. In 2016, we were able to raise more than $12,000 for school scholarships. Can you help us organize a section of Spring Fling or can you donate food or goods or services? If so, please use the "CONTACT US" button on the bottom of the web page. If you are helping with food, please click here where you'll find a list of instructions and fun recipes (pdf) that you can use. If you have expenses to be reimbursed or to donate as a "gift in kind", please use the BFM Expense Reimbursement Request Form (pdf).

A variety of activities at BFM's Spring Fling 
Bethesda Friends Meeting
Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 30152, Bethesda MD 20824
Our Meetinghouse is on the campus of the Sidwell Friends Lower School at the intersection of Edgemoor Lane and Beverly Road in Bethesda, Maryland
We are a member of the Religious Society of Friends
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