Bethesda Friends Meeting

Adult Religious Education Programs

The Evolving Face of BFM Adult Education Programs

In November 2019, Bethesda Friends Meeting thought carefully about the religious/spiritual education of BFM adults. All agreed that educational programs and forums for our adults are an important function that should continue, even if there is not a standing committee to organize these sessions.

Both the Nominating Committee and the current Adult Religious Education Committee proposed laying down the formal Adult Religious Education (ARE) committee as a separate committee for 2020. 

In the place of a standing ARE Committee, the group proposed

  1. Asking each committee to take responsibility for organizing periodic programs of interest to that committee, in particular asking Ministry & Worship to take the lead on spiritual programming, and

  2. Providing a mechanism to coordinate the scheduling of committee-sponsored programs or forums.

    • This might take the form of asking each committee that supports programming to appoint one or more committee members to serve on a programming coordinating committee that would have the limited role of coordinating schedules and topics, or the designation of a single individual to address such schedule coordination.

    • This will normally include a standard session on "Introduction to Quakerism" once a year, usually in the fall. 

Friends approved proceeding with these proposals.  As programming is developed and scheduled, it will be listed in the Newsletter, on the website Events calendar, and on this web page. 

These  Adult Educational Programs will usually be held on the 2nd (and perhaps the 4th) Sundays, usually at 9:30 a.m. and usually in the "common area classroom" in the Groome Building

  • DIRECTIONS to the Common Area Classroom: Enter the Groome building via the large doors in the patio & breezeway. Go across the cafeteria to the far left side of the stage. Pass through the stairwell into the classroom area.  This room is wheelchair accessible. 

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


**Hunger Relief in Montgomery County -- This event will be rescheduled after BFM re-opens

  • Jackie DeCarlo, member of our Meeting and CEO of the Manna Food Center, will talk about new trends in hunger relief in Montgomery County and how her participation in the life of Bethesda Friends shapes her professional journey. Please click here for more information. 

    • 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.

    **Effective, Spirit-Led Quaker Committees -- This event will be rescheduled after BFM re-opens

    • How do we run committees that are both effective and Spirit-led?
    • We will use queries to examine how we discern our work in BFM committees, as clerks, committee members, and potential participants. 
    • For more details, please click here.
    • 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.

    NOTE: The location is in the "common area classroom" in the Groome Building (enter the building via the patio & breezeway, go across the cafeteria to the left side of the stage, then pass through the stairwell into the classroom area).  This room is wheelchair accessible.  

    Past adult education programs and events  Please use the Contact Us form if you would like BFM to consider repeating a class listed below.


    • February 9, 2020, 9:15 a.m. "End of Life Care: Five Wishes

    • January 12, 2020, 9:15. "Held in the Light for Transformative Conversations about Race" sponsored by BFM's Diversity Change Group.


    • November 28, 2018: "My Favorite Quaker"
    • October 14, 2018: "My Summer of Solidarity," an inspiring presentation of Lauren Brownlee's service, teaching, peacekeeping or other activities in Bethlehem, China, Washington State, and Washington, DC.  
    • September 23, 2018: "Radical Faithfulness in Action"
    • July 22, 2018: "Spiritual Coffeehouse" (bring the songs, art, writings that are meaningful to you)
    • 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 (share the songs, art, writings that are meaningful to you).


    • November 12, 2017: Living in Afghanistan.
    • October, November, December, 2017: Six-class series "Exploring Quaker Faith and Practice" using Letters to a Fellow Seeker by Steve Chase with a Discussion Guide.

    • August 13, 2017: Spiritual Coffeehouse (bring the songs, art, writings that are meaningful to you).

    • 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, using the workbook “Exploring Quakerism” by Marsha Holliday and the book “Letters to a Fellow Seeker,” by Steve Chase.  
    • September 18, 2016: Visit with Omega Interfaith Forum

    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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