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. 


**October 27th, 9:30 in the SAM Music Room

  "Spiritual Journey" 

Continuing in the long tradition of BFM members and attenders recounting their life’s spiritual journey, Eric Sterling will present his own at 9:30 a.m. in the Music Room of the SAM Building.  Eric has spent decades working on criminal justice reform issues, and especially related to drug convictions.  All are invited.

  • 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.

**November 10th, 20th, 9:15 in the Groome Building (NOTE the early start time)

  "Living in the Light of Death," presented by Bill Dietrich.

Denial of death pervades many cultures, reflecting our fear of the inevitable and perhaps our illusion of immortality. It denies the essential unity of death and life, which Richard Rohr calls "two sides of the same coin." As Etty Hillesum, echoing countless spiritual teachers from many traditions, once wrote: "[B]y excluding death from our life, we cannot live a full life, and by admitting death into our life we can enlarge and enrich it."

  • This forum will explore how a healthy awareness and acceptance of our mortality empowers us to reclaim life's essential wholeness and freedom.
  • Through presentation, small group discussion, and experiential learning we will look at what our fear of death and dying might have to teach us about our fear of living (or, as Richard Rohr, suggests, our fear of God).
  • Lastly we'll look at practices that can help us integrate our living and dying towards living more freely, courageously, and compassionately
  • 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.


  • October 13th, 9:30. "Responding to a Dark Time"

  • September 22, 9:15. "A Workshop on The Gift of Presence," lead by Bill Dietrich

  • 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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