Bethesda Friends Meeting

Adult Religious Education (ARE)

The Adult Religious Education (ARE) Committee schedules classes on a variety of topics. Anyone is welcome to attend! They are usually held on the 2nd and/or 4th Sundays at 9:30 a.m. in the basement (music) room of the SAM building (Science, Arts, Music building) of Sidwell Friends Lower School campus.

Please look below or check our calendar or current newsletter for an up-to-date schedule. 

**September 22, 9:15 in the Groome Building multipurpose room

A Workshop on The Gift of Presence, lead by Bill Dietrich

  • Please join us for a workshop on the gift of presence.
  • This workshop will explore several dimensions of what it means to be present in service to another, what can get in the way, and how we might overcome those obstacles. 
  • While focusing primarily on presence at end of life, we will also explore simple practices for being present to all of life. 
  • We will draw from several sources, particularly Frank Ostaseski’s book, "The Five Invitations: Discovering What Death Can Teach Us about Living Fully." 
  • Our time will include experiential practice and sharing of experiences and inner wisdom. 

It’s been said that “presence” is the most important gift we give to another, especially at the end of life. True presence for another means more than physical presence. It involves “ offering of our awareness, our willingness, and our participation,” says author Gunilla Norris.

At times our calculating minds can get in the way, and we think we must “do something,” defaulting into helping or fixing mode, or getting distracted and not really seeing or hearing the other. Yet what the one with whom we sit most needs is for us to simply “be” there in self-giving service.

The workshop will be led by Bill Dietrich. a BFM member living in Rehoboth Beach DE, where he offers individual spiritual guidance and serves as Lead Volunteer Chaplain at the Delaware Hospice Center in Milford. Bill also teaches in the Shalem Institute's program for spiritual guidance and serves on the Board of --Companioning the Dying: Opening Fully to Living, a 9-month formation and enrichment program in Montgomery County for those accompanying persons at end of life. 

If you'd like child care through Grade 6 while attending, please use the "Contact Us" form or email Marion H. (see Directory) 10 days in advance.  

Past ARE Events  Please contact the ARE committee clerk if you would like them to consider repeating a class listed below.


  • July 21, 9:30: 9:30. “Spiritual Coffee House”

  • June 30, 2019, 9:30. "Spiritual Journeys Series: Lauren Brownlee"

  • May 15, 2019: 7-9 PM. Joan Maxwell on "Soul Support: Providing Emotional and Spiritual Support to the Dying," based on her memoir, Soul Support: Spiritual Encounters at Life's End

  • April 14, 2019, 9:30. Deborah Haines on "William Penn and Equality." 

  • March 24, 2019, 9:30. Discussion on "The Burning One-ness Binding Everything," a Pendle-Hill pamphlet by Bruce Birchard.
  • January 20, 2019, 9:30. 6 sessions of "An Introduction to Quaker Faith and Practice." Sessions held on 1/20, 1/27, 2/10, 2/17, 2/24, and 3/10, using Letters to a Fellow Seeker by Steve Chase.
  • January 13, 2019. "William Penn and Equality" (postponed to April)
  • November 28, 2018: "My Favorite Quaker"
  • October 14, 2018: My Summer of Solidarity
  • September 23, 2018: Radical Faithfulness in Action
  • July 22, 2018: Spiritual Coffeehouse
  • June 24, 2018: Good Grief: Co-Creating Ourselves by the Choices We Make
  • June 10, 2018: Spiritual Formation Information Session
  • May 13, 2018: Are we a Blessed/Beloved Community? Handout link here.
  • March 25, 2018: Margaret Fell and the Growth of Early Quakerism
  • March 11, 2018: Worship Sharing to consider our best responses to the challenges of the current political and cultural environment
  • February 25, 2018: Friends and Money
  • February 11, 2018: Workshop on Implicit Bias (Sponsored by Peace & Social Justice Committee)
  • January 28, 2018: Spiritual State of the Meeting.
  • January 14, 2018: Spiritual Coffee House.


  • November 12, 2017: Living in Afghanistan.
  • October, November, December, 2017: Six-class series "Exploring Quaker Faith and Practice."

  • August 13, 2017: Spiritual Coffeehouse.

  • June 11, 2017: Sharing our Journeys to Quaker Faith and Practice.

  • May 28, 2017: What we Learned Listening to Trump Voters in Conway, S.C. (Jane Chalmers & Frank Greves) Summary essay.

  • May 14, 2017: Vocal Ministry Workshop. (Guest leader: Betsy Meyer, past clerk of Baltimore Yearly Meeting) Summary documents: Vocal Ministry-1 and Vocal Ministry-2.
  • April 9, 2017: Spiritual Journey Series (Ralph Steinhardt)
  • March 12, 2017: Spiritual Journey Series (Alex Bell)
  • February 12, 2017: “Faith and Practice”: A discussion of the document that was written by Baltimore Yearly Meeting as a guideline for the meetings within BYM. (Susan Kaul)
  • January 22, 2017: Finding Meaning and Purpose in the Recent Election. (Bernie Benson & Stephanie Koenig) Essay by Clarissa Pinkola Estes.
  • January 8, 2017: Interfaith Worship Sharing -- based on the queries: “How can we most effectively foster a caring attitude among all the faiths in our community? What helps us to listen deeply to one another, and to understand one another’s perspective? How can we best support one another?” (This forum was a collaboration between the Omega Interfaith Forum and Bethesda Friends Meeting.)
  • October & November 2016: Exploring Quakerism: A 6-part series for newcomers as well as more recent and long-time Friends. Series summary.

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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