Bethesda Friends Meeting


Sunday Worship

You are always welcome at a Quaker Meeting for Worship!

BFM Meeting houseQuaker Meetings are open to all, Quaker and non-Quaker alike. If you would like to join us and share in our stillness, come! Our common ground is the experience of worship.

As we sit in silent worship as a community, we carefully listen in contemplative expectation of Divine guidance for ourselves and our community. We find both peace of mind and challenging insights, deep community and a renewed sense of individual purpose.

During our meetings for worship, it may be that a message comes to someone along with the clear knowledge that the message is to be shared. We listen to messages, and in our quiet center, consider what, if any, part of it might speak to us.

Toward the end of Meeting for Worship, people are invited to share joys and sorrows and to ask that a particular close relative or friend be “held in the Light.” The end of Meeting for Worship is indicated when those sitting nearby shake hands. It is a custom to ask visitors, or people who have been away for awhile, to introduce themselves to the community. There may be a few announcements. An important announcement is to introduce a member of the Pastoral Care Committee who is there to listen to any questions and concerns that one might have. It is customary to linger for a time when Meeting is over to greet one another and usually to share refreshments.

For more detailed information about our Sunday worship see this page and our FAQs.

Read details about our Sunday worship and other activities

For information about child care and children's religious education, please go to our Children's page.

Other Meetings for Worship

  • At the Spring Fling eventFor conducting business
    Please visit our Special Services page for “Meeting for Worship with a Concern for Business.”
  • For marriage
    Please visit our Special Services page for “A Marriage Under the Care of the Meeting.”
  • To celebrate the life of a deceased member of the community
    Please visit our Special Services page for “A Friends Memorial Meeting.”
  • Worship Sharing
    Some Quaker sessions will use a worship method called "Worship Sharing." This is more participatory than a Meeting for Worship and more structured than a simple discussion session. "Typically Worship Sharing focuses on a particular question and helps us to explore our own experience and share with each other more deeply than we would in normal conversation. It seeks to draw us into sacred space, where we can take down our usual defenses, and encounter each other in 'that which is eternal'.” (This explanation is copied from a Friends General Conference website on Worship Sharing.)

Worship Sharing offers a safe and loving environment where Friends are encouraged to give voice to their inner search. It seeks to draw us into sacred space, where we can take down our usual defenses, and encounter each other in vital ways. In the proposed revision of Faith & Practice (2012), p. 25, there are some guidelines for this:

  • - Reach as deeply as you can into the sacred center of your life
  • - Speak out of the silence, and leave a period of silence between speakers
  • - Speak from your own experience, about your own experience
  • - Concentrate on feelings and meaning rather than on thoughts and theories
  • - Do not respond to what anyone else has said, either to praise or refute
  • - Listen carefully and deeply to what is spoken
  • - Expect to speak only once, until everyone has had a chance to speak
  • - Use as few words as possible but as many as are necessary
  • - Remember you always have the option to pass
  • - Respect the confidentiality of what is shared

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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