Bethesda Friends Meeting

Ad hoc Committees

BFM Clerks form ad hoc Committees as they are needed.

  • Information about current ad hoc committees is listed below. 
  • Use this link for information about past ad hoc committees.  


The ad hoc Covid Advisory Committee (2020-present)

Mission:  As of 2022, the purpose of the COVID Advisory Committee is to review the current status of the pandemic (taking into consideration federal, state, and Sidwell Friends School [SFS] guidelines); rates of infections, hospitalizations, and deaths; as well as the specific context of the Bethesda Friends Meeting community. With that data, the committee would then advise the co-clerks and the Ministry & Worship (or other relevant committees) on recommended courses of action. (BFM guidelines will always be guided by SFS rules since our meeting is housed on the SFS campus.) 

  • The committee members are appointed by the BFM Meeting co-clerks, and consist of the Meeting co-clerks; a representative from each of Ministry & Worship, Religious Education, and Childcare; and at least two other community members with medical and/or epidemiological experience. 
  • The committee meets at least monthly to assess to what extent the Meeting’s practices need to be amended. Should anyone in the community wish to communicate directly with the committee members they can be reached by email at  
  • The decision to set up an activity (such as an adjustment to our worship venue or holding a hospitality event) arises from individual BFM committees. The ad hoc Covid committee's role is only to weigh in on the safety of an event. 
  • On May 1, 2022, the Covid Safety Guidelines were approved by BFM Meeting for Worship with a Concern for Business. 
  • The Risk Factors will be evaluated each week to determine the rules under which in-person meetings will be held.   
  • The current Risk Factor and in-person rules will be posted on the website and emailed via the weekly Bulletin

The ad hoc Diversity Change/Threshing Preparation Groups (2021-present)

Mission: In February, 2021, Bethesda Friends Meeting (BFM) agreed to move forward on a Threshing process to discern whom we wish to become as a Meeting (as it pertains to systemic racism) and which of the BFM-wide ideas generated will be taken up by the Meeting as a whole with an action plan.  The Meeting agreed: 

  1. to seek external expertise and support to help us with blind spots and with the organizational identity change we seek to clarify; and  
  2. to sanction the formation of a self-organized Threshing Preparation ad hoc Committee to investigate external options and shape an approach to the Threshing effort, with input from many sources, that will be imbued with Spirit and Quaker process.

A 2015-2021 timeline of BFM milestones, as we have examined our testimony of equality

 For several years and in many ways, individuals and groups within the Bethesda Friends Meeting (BFM) community have sought to uplift our testimony of equality, especially as it relates to race. Click here for a timeline giving an overview of some of our journey milestones at BFM. 

On July 18, 2021, Meeting for Business approved the use of Anti-Racist Queries for Decision Making at BFM 

  • The BFM Change Group encouraged the BFM co-clerks to follow the Baltimore Yearly Meeting (BYM) example and create anti-racist queries that can be applied to our decision-making process at Meeting for Business and during committee meetings.  As a result, and drawing upon the BYM queries and modifications made by other Monthly Meetings, the co-clerks drafted two anti-racist queries for use at BFM.  These were approved at Meeting for Business on July 18, 2021. 
  • Please click here to see the queries and a summary of how they evolved. 

please click here to see the previous activities from 2021 through july 2022

Organizing for Our Collective Journey to Redress Systemic Racism

October/November 2022 Implementation

          At the July 17, 2022, Meeting for Worship with a Concern for Business, BFM confirmed its interest to move forward on “A Collective Journey to Redress Systemic Racism.” This was made possible by the work of the Threshing Preparation Group, whose members researched, identified, and secured approval for the engagement of reparationWorks. We wish to express our deep appreciation for the thoughtful and diligent work that group undertook. The Diversity Change Group is taking responsibility for implementation.

  •           An ad hoc group was formed to negotiate the contract arrangements with reparationWorks, and hopes to finalize its work by the end of September.
  •           At that time, the Diversity Change Group will confirm a series of discovery sessions for reparationWorks to get to know the Meeting more and vice versa. Over an October-November timeframe, reparationWorks will tailor their approach to what they learn about BFM. In the course of the discovery phase, they would like to meet with those who have pre-registered, BFM community members who self-identify as People of Color,  and those who are not yet sure whether they wish to join the “Collective Journey” and seek more information on what is involved.
  •           The Diversity Change Group is planning to have the opening retreat on Saturday, December 3, with a November 20 deadline for signing up. Although we recognize that not everyone in the Meeting will choose to participate in this work, given the time and energy commitment, it is our hope that the entire Meeting will greatly benefit from it. We encourage the Meeting to view it as work being done on behalf of the whole Meeting. The Diversity Change group will continue to find ways to communicate and reach out to engage those who want to stay close to the work as we evolve towards a community that is aware of and committed to redressing systemic racism within and beyond BFM.  If you have suggestions on how we might best do that, we’d be interested to hear from you.

For more information or to register before November 30, 2022, please write to

The ad hoc Committee on Digitization (2017-present)

(a) The first ad hoc Committee for the Digitization of Records (DRC) was formed in April 2017.

The DRC was formed and charged in April 2017 to support BFM in a Meeting-wide discernment process for identifying the best way to assure that information about our community is accessible, useful, up to date, and secure. Read the full charge here.


In May 2018 the DRC presented a final report, which recommended that the DRC be laid down, and in its place some type of ad hoc Records Implementation Committee be formed.

In June 2018, BFM concluded that:  "After nearly two years of sustained effort, the ad hoc Digitization of Records Committee (DRC) has completed its work and proposed a set of next steps for the implementation of a digitization plan for Bethesda Friends Meeting. With deep gratitude for the sheer industry and clarifying insight of the DRC, and in keeping with its recommendations, the Co-Clerks now appoint an ad hoc Committee for the Implementation of a Digitization Plan (CIDP)...."

(b) Thus the second digitization ad hoc Committee was formed in June 2018 and called the Committee for the Implementation of a Digitization Plan (CIDP).

The CIDP was given a two year mission to set up a new digitization system and to follow that system for one trial year. Read the full charge here

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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