Bethesda Friends Meeting

Officers & Committees

The following information is provided to help us all understand how the Meeting works and to emphasize how much we depend on everyone’s participation to keep our community running smoothly.

Meeting for Business
Much of our Quaker decision making takes place in a special service that we call our “Meeting for Worship with a Concern for Business.” It is usually held the first Sunday of each month at 9:00 a.m. and is open to all who wish to attend. Child care is provided for children through age 11. (See Calendar)  

Coordinating Gathering
Representatives of BFM committees meet at 12:30 on Sunday once a month (usually the week before Meeting for Business) to discuss the upcoming agenda and to share our reflections on the spiritual state of our community, specific tasks, and Quaker processes. These meetings are open to all who wish to attend. (See Calendar)  


OFFICERS 

Co-Clerks (2018)
Lee Ingram                    Jabez McClelland
email: Use our Contact Us link

The CO-CLERKS are responsible for convening Meetings for Worship with a Concern for Business, guiding deliberations, and carrying out the Meeting’s instructions.

The RECORDING CLERK is responsible for preparing an accurate record of the proceedings at Meetings for Business.

The TREASURER is responsible for the management of Meeting funds, under the guidance of the Stewardship & Finance Committee. Duties include overseeing the work of the assistant treasurer, responding to queries, preparing periodic reports to the Meeting, and preparing donation acknowledgments. Email: Use our Contact Us link

The ASSISTANT TREASURER maintains the books for the Meeting. Duties include receiving and depositing donations, writing checks for the Meeting’s expenditures, and entering all transactions in the Meeting’s accounting system. Do you need to be reimbursed for a purchase or do you want to donate your expense as a "gift in kind"? Please use the BFM Expense Reimbursement Request Form (pdf). Do you need to specify which account your donation should be directed to? Please contact the Assistant Treasurer (see Directory) or use our Contact Us link.

THE RECORDER records births, deaths, marriages, and changes in membership, and provides a status report annually to Meeting for Business and to Yearly Meeting. 

The SCHEDULING COORDINATOR is the liaison with the Sidwell Friends school and with Meeting committees and individuals regarding times and locations of various activities.

The SIDWELL FRIENDS SCHOOL LIAISON discusses issues with Sidwell Friends other than use of space for specific events, such as procedures, requirements, limitations, or expectations governing our access to and use of the school’s classrooms and facilities.

The EDITOR puts notices in the weekly bulletins (if received by Thursday evening) and articles in the monthly newsletter (if received by the 13th of the previous month). The Editor maintains the mailing list and, with lots of help, updates the annual Directory.

The LIBRARIAN encourages others’ interest in reading and supports efforts to collect and make readily available Library reading materials for people in the Meeting.

The ARCHIVIST keeps all permanent files and records, the history of the Meeting.



COMMITTEES
(*Asterisk indicates open only to Meeting members; others are open to all.)

Committee Meetings
Most Committees meet monthly on Sunday mornings, either at 9:30 or 12:30. Some committees meet on an as-needed basis.

Committee Nominations
Beginning each September, the Nominating Committee asks people who attend our Meeting to learn about the committees who do the important work at BFM. We invite you to consider joining a committee that reflects your interest! Joining a committee is an important way to meet people and to be called into the life of our community. Please use our Contact Us form to obtain additional information. New committee membership begins in January of each year.


* PASTORAL CARE (PC) is concerned primarily with the well-being of the people in the BFM community and helping those in times of need. PC arranges clearness committees for membership, marriages, and personal or spiritual concerns; considers and recommends Meeting action on membership applications and requests to marry under the care of the Meeting; responds to ill, troubled, mourning, or needy Friends; and provides a Friendly Ear each week at the rise of Meeting to hear personal or spiritual concerns and address questions about the Religious Society of Friends and BFM. The committee also designates a committee member to serve as a “personal friendly ear” to each member and attender, to learn how the Meeting can be of support, and to be a personal point of contact with the committee. PC has set up a Friends Helping Friends list that they use to connect those requesting assistance or counsel on particular issues with those in the meeting who have offered to share relevant skills or life experiences. This is a confidential referral list. For a list of the topics, please open this PDF document. The committee can make small grants to those in the meeting suffering urgent financial hardships and for Quaker camping and Friends learning opportunities. PC meets on committee night. It provides hospitality at the rise of Meeting in August.

* MINISTRY & WORSHIP is concerned primarily with what happens when the Meeting gathers for worship (including Meetings for Worship for the Conduct of Business). Members of this committee serve as Head of Meeting (on a rotating basis), bring closure to Meetings for Worship, and make the announcements. The committee is responsible for special gatherings such as weddings and memorial meetings. From December to February each year, the committee drafts an annual report on the Spiritual State of the Meeting (SSOM). It provides hospitality at the rise of Meeting and at potluck in October. 

* NOMINATING strives to understand the interests and talents of individuals in our community and how Friends may feel led to contribute to the well-being and work of the Meeting. With the benefit of that understanding, Nominating identifies friends to serve as BFM officers, as members of standing committees, and as liaisons to other organizations. It endeavors to make nominations that strengthen our community, serve BFM’s needs, and support personal growth. All members of the Nominating Committee must be members of BFM. The Nominating Committee provides hospitality at the rise of Meeting and at potluck in January.

* AD HOC COMMITTEE TO NOMINATE THE NOMINATING COMMITTEE. This typically consists of Friends who left the Nominating Committee the previous December 31. It finds people to fill Nominating Committee slots that fall vacant the following January 1. Since the Nominating Committee draws from the same membership pool, the ad hoc committee completes its work by July, if possible.


ADULT RELIGIOUS EDUCATION was laid down as a standing committee in 2020.

However, Ministry & Worship and other standing committees will set up monthly programs oriented to adults, usually on the second Sunday of the month. These programs will foster spiritual growth and development in the Meeting.   The programs will be of interest for everyone -- from newcomers to seasoned Friends. It will include sessions on topics such as Quaker faith and practice; readings and discussion of Quaker history and testimonies; personal spiritual journeys; prayer and meditation; topics on grief, death, and dying; as well as shared reflections on our spiritual experience. Please go to our event calendar to look for upcoming sessions. 

The AUDITORS conduct an annual audit of the Treasurer’s records and report to Meeting for Business in November. Annual Reports available upon request.

CHILD CARE is responsible for ensuring that children from age six months until Kindergarten (or when they move into the First Day School program) are cared for in a safe and nurturing environment while their parents attend meeting for worship. Committee members recruit volunteers who have attended BFM for at least six months to assist the certified child care professional in the room. Friends can indicate interest in volunteering in the child care room by filling out an online form. The committee meets as needed. 

FELLOWSHIP & HOSPITALITY keeps hospitality supplies in stock and coordinates with committees responsible (on a rotating basis) providing hospitality after Meetings for Worship, and potlucks on the second Sunday of most months. It provides hospitality for special occasions, such as memorial meetings. It meets as needed. It provides hospitality at the rise of Meeting and at potluck in May and for the rise of Meeting and the Pageant in December. Please click here to see the Hospitality Instructions. 

FRIENDLY EIGHTS [laid down] was set up to organize opportunities to meet others who attend BFM. The structure is for adults or families with children to meet for fellowship over a simple shared meal in groups of eight on a rotating basis. In January 2017, the committee was laid down due to other opportunities to engage with BFM Friends.

LIBRARY is responsible for the acquisition, care, and circulation of the Meeting’s books and videos. It meets as needed, about every six weeks. It provides hospitality at the rise of Meeting and at potluck in February. Click here for details on How to Use the Library. To see the 2016 report of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Future of the Library Committee, please click here.

LITERATURE/BOOK TABLE friends organize the book table display and sales at the rise of Meeting three Sundays per month, September through June, and occasionally during summer months. They offer a special holiday book gift table during November and December. 

OUTREACH & COMMUNICATION (O&C) welcomes newcomers and visitors, helps them connect with Meeting community activities, and furthers community-building activities. It manages BFM publications, the List Serve, the website, and the online member software system. It hosts Getting to One Know Each Other gatherings and Experiment with Light. The O&C Committee meets on the third Sunday of the month at 9:30 a.m. in the Teachers’ Lounge. In September, it provides hospitality at the rise of Meeting and at potluck. [The committee was formerly called Advancement & Outreach.] 

PEACE & SOCIAL JUSTICE furthers prospects for peace by deepening the Meeting’s engagement in peace building and social justice and by empowering all of us as individuals. Advocacy, education, vigils, and financial support of community groups are among the ways the committee pursues its mission as well as through its liaison with the American Friends Service Committee, Friends Committee on National Legislation, the Quaker UN Office, and other like-minded groups. It designates the Social Concerns Box each month. The committee is self-constituted with Nominating being attentive to its membership. There are no term limits. It meets the fourth Sunday, at 9:30 a.m. It provides hospitality at the rise of Meeting in July. 

RELIGIOUS EDUCATION (ADULT) is known as ARE (Adult Religious Education). Please see the description that is listed alphabetically above under "A."

RELIGIOUS EDUCATION (CHILDREN & YOUTH) is called First Day School (FDS) to help demonstrate Quaker Values & Leadership. The committee organizes the FDS -- religious education for children in the Meeting -- including recruiting teachers and getting appropriate educational materials. It also helps set up the Christmas pageant each year and the Walk for the Homeless.  The committee meets on the second Sunday at 9:30 a.m., usually in the Teachers’ Lounge Annex. It provides hospitality at the rise of Meeting and at potluck in March. 

STEWARDSHIP & FINANCE is responsible for preparing the annual budget, raising the funds to meet the approved budget, providing guidance and support to the Treasurer, and ensuring proper care and use of Meeting investments and property. It meets on Committee Night. It provides hospitality at the rise of Meeting and at potluck in November. Budget materials available upon request. 

(BELOW) Peace & Social Justice Committee and the children's First Day School classes
sponsor a work day at A Wider Circle



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

www.bethesdafriends.org
301-986-8681
info@bethesdafriends.org

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