Bethesda Friends Meeting

Monthly Queries

Monthly Queries

  • Queries are open-ended, probing questions with many possible answers.
  • They are based on the Baltimore Yearly Meeting’s (BYM) Faith and Practice, which is built on 400 years of Quaker tradition (sometimes referred to as “The Testimonies”).
  • They arise from the basic Quaker testimonies of simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality, and stewardship.
  • Quaker query for MayThe queries encourage individuals to examine our lives as we relate to these essential values.
  • We never have “the answer.” We continuously ponder the questions to figure out what they mean to us at this time in our lives and collective history.
  • Quaker practices are shaped by the continuous revelation and evolving answers that responding to queries provide.

At Bethesda Friends Meeting, we have a different set of queries for each month, corresponding in some instances with events or activities within the Meeting. They are based on ones developed for Baltimore Yearly Meeting’s (BYM) Faith and Practice.

SEPTEMBER: Fostering Community

What helps our Meeting build trust of one another?

How do we get to know one another in community? How do we make time in our lives for our faith community? How does conflict enrich the life of our community? How do we provide for spiritual refreshment of ages at all stages of the spiritual journey?

OCTOBER: Personal Spiritual Life: Learning

Conversation at a Spring Fling eventHow can we most effectively foster a spirit of seeking the Light? What helps us to be open to new under-standing, support, and guidance? What encourages us to share our spiritual insights with others and to willingly receive from them in turn? How does meeting nurture our spiritual growth and transformation? What efforts are we making to become better acquainted with the sources of our spiritual heritage and the contributions of other religions and philosophies?

NOVEMBER: Meeting for Worship

In what ways do I prepare my heart and mind to receive the power of God’s presence and love? How does worship deepen my relationship with God? How is this inspiration carried over into my daily life? Are our meetings for worship held in expectant waiting for Divine guidance? How do activities of our meeting find their inspiration in worship? In what ways does worship uphold meeting activities?

DECEMBER: Meeting for Business

Are our meetings for worship with a concern for business held in the spirit of worship, seeking the guidance of God? In what ways do we each take our right share of responsibility in the service of the meeting?

Service Sign at Sidwell Friends SchoolJANUARY: Simplicity

What in my present life most distracts me from God? What am I ready to release so that I can give my attention to what matters most? How do the ways in which I choose to use my time, my possessions, my money, and my energy reflect my most deeply held values? How do we support one another in our search for a simpler life?

FEBRUARY: Caring for One Another & Listening

How can we most effectively foster a loving and understanding attitude in our community? What helps me to listen deeply and with a open heart to others? When is it hardest for me to be ready to listen? How do we share in the diverse joys and transitions in each other’s lives? In challenging or stressful times, how open am I to seeking support from the Meeting community?

MARCH: Social Concerns

How have I expressed my faith in action? How are my actions grounded in my faith? To what extent is my sense of justice based in love? In what ways do I endeavor to respond to my own pain and suffering, that of others, and in the wider world? How do we teach our children and show through our way of living that love of God includes our affirming the humanity and dignity of everyone and seeking that of God within every person? How do we prepare ourselves and our children to play active roles in a changing world?

APRIL: Integrity

How do we seek truth by which to live? How do we know it when we find it? In what ways does my life speak of my beliefs and values? In what way is my life out of harmony with the truth as I know it? Why?

MAY: Outreach

As the way opens, how do I share Friends’ principles with others? In what ways do I make everyone, including newcomers, feel welcome in meetings for worship? How can I find ways to encourage a sense of community within the Meeting?

BFM KidsJUNE: Stewardship

How do we cherish and protect the beauty and balance of the natural world? How do we demonstrate our belief that our lives, talents, and resources are gifts from God, to be held in trust and shared according to the Light we are given? How do we as individuals and as a Meeting support one another in nurturing those gifts and in our search for a simpler life?

JULY: Young People

How do we provide young people with explicit guidelines in Quaker faith and practice? In what ways do we honor that of God in children and young people? How do we share our deepest beliefs with children, while leaving them free to develop as the spirit of God may lead them?

Drawings of "The Light Within"AUGUST: Peace

What does it mean to live “in virtue of that life and power which takes away the occasion of all wars?” What can I do to create a more peaceful and just world? As we work for peace in the world, how are we nourished by peace within and among ourselves? How are we serving as instruments of reconciliation and love?

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 organization of the Religious Society of Friends
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