Bethesda Friends Meeting

Our Affiliations

Bethesda Friends Meeting (BFM) of the Religious Society of Friends is affiliated with many Quaker organizations throughout the world. For some of these groups, we serve terms as liaisons, representatives, and/or coordinators.

  • If you would like to participate with us, please indicate your interest or questions via our Contact Us form.
Below is a partial list of such organizations and, if applicable, the role BFM plays.

Baltimore Yearly Meeting
(BYM): Bethesda Friends is one of 52 Quaker congregations in Maryland, Virginia, Washington DC, and central Pennsylvania who have joined together to form Baltimore Yearly Meeting (BYM), which first gathered in 1672 at West River (near Annapolis) with George Fox, the founder of the Society of Friends, in attendance. There are approximately 4,800 Quakers in the area.

  • BYM is the central organizing unit of the Religious Society of Friends in this geographic area and provides support to the local meetings. 
  • It also owns and operates three summer camps (Catoctin, Opequon, and Shiloh) which are open to all children from 9 to 17 years of age, as well as family camp weekends each fall and spring ( 
  • BYM hosts an annual gathering in early August at a Maryland location. In October, March, and June, there are Interim Meetings (or gatherings) for committees and other coordinating business. 
  • Bethesda Friends has two representatives and a number of people serve on Yearly Meeting Committees. See for information and annual reports.
  • Baltimore Yearly Meeting's online or print book “Faith & Practice” sets out what it means to be a Quaker in BYM. It includes advice on procedures within the faith, membership, current practice for conducting business meetings, and Friends' quotations on belief, worship, concerns, leadings, and testimonies.

Action in Montgomery (AIM) is a coalition of approximately 35 congregations which, through grassroots empowerment, works to bring the concerns of county residents to the attention of public officials. A major AIM focus since its inception has been to secure the commitment of more county funds for affordable housing in the county. In 2012, it was instrumental in the passage of the Maryland Dream Act, allowing undocumented graduates of Montgomery County public schools to pay in-state tuition to public colleges and universities. BFM has a liaison. See

American Friends Service Committee (AFSC): AFSC has more than nine decades of experience building peace in communities worldwide. Founded in the crucible of World War I by Quakers who aimed to serve both humanity and country while being faithful to their commitment to nonviolence, AFSC has worked throughout the world in conflict zones, in areas affected by natural disasters, and in oppressed communities to address the root causes of war and violence. See

Bethesda Help Representatives organize food collections in BFM, attend meetings of the Bethesda Help Steering Committee, and report to Peace & Social Justice Committee. Volunteers from BFM and other congregations assist in various capacities that include driving clients to medical appointments, delivering food, or obtaining financial assistance. See

New Leaf Shelter meal provider:  For decades, BFM volunteers have provided evening meals to shelter residents in Bethesda/Rockville, MD. New Leaf Shelter (formerly Dorothy Day Place) is under the auspices of Interfaith Works since 2022. The 30-bed single adult transitional emergency shelter in Montgomery County functions as a crucial bridge bridge between homelessness and permanent housing. It is managed by InterFaith Works under a contract with Montgomery County government’s Services to End and Prevent Homelessness. Every two months, BFM provides an evening meal for the residents. The BFM coordinator sets up volunteer teams to provide the food, with each individual team preparing food only twice a year. See more about this program

Camp Catoctin Weekend Coordinators: One weekend is reserved for BFM at Catoctin Quaker Camp, with opportunities to enjoy the mountains, camp, hike, sing, share meals, worship, stargaze, birdwatch, and pick strawberries. The Coordinators make the arrangements and publicize the events. See

Friendly Gardens Representatives: Friendly Gardens is a low- and moderate-income housing complex located between Bethesda and Silver Spring, MD. It is a 50-year project of Quaker Meetings in the area to provide low-income housing to families in the local area. 

Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) is the Quaker lobby in Washington, DC, founded in 1943. FCNL’s nonpartisan, multi-issue advocacy connects historic Quaker testimonies on peace, equality, simplicity, and truth with peace and social justice issues. FCNL fields the largest team of registered peace lobbyists in Washington. BFM participates in the process of choosing its legislative priorities and receives an annual report on its activities. See

Friends Conference on Religion and Psychology (FCRP)
Since 1943, the Friends Conference on Religion and Psychology has gathered annually on Memorial Day Weekend. A meeting between Carl Jung and a group of Quakers during World War II spawned the conference as an effort to help members and others heal their own inner pain, and thus, perhaps, reduce the likelihood of a repeat of the war. Today the conference continues to provide a respite for individuals of all spiritual and religious backgrounds who wish to delve more deeply into their inner lives.

Friends General Conference (FGC) provides services and resources for individual Friends, meetings, and people interested in the Quaker way. FGC is an association of regional Quaker communities in the U.S. and Canada working together to nurture a vital Quaker faith. See

Friends Journal is a monthly magazine with the mission of communicating Quaker experience in order to connect and deepen spiritual lives. See

Friends United Meeting (FUM) is an international association of Friends (Quakers). It is made up of 30 different regional Friends organizations around the world that work together in evangelism, global partnership, leadership development and communications. It cooperates in cross-cultural missions and cooperative ventures, coordinating yearly meetings through offices in Richmond, IN (USA), Kisumu (Kenya), and Ramallah (Palestine). Quaker Life is a magazine published by FUM. See

Friends Wilderness Center (FWC) is a place of peace and tranquility within a unique 1,400-acre wilderness preserve and spiritual sanctuary on the western side of the Blue Ridge, where the sounds you hear are the music of nature – a place to relax, renew, and recharge. FWC welcomes all who respect nature and its mission to care for the rustic, natural setting entrusted to us, and to enable others to find spiritual nurturing there. See

Friends World Committee for Consultation (FWCC) encourages fellowship among all the branches of the Religious Society of Friends throughout the world. Among Friends there is a rich diversity of regional cultures, beliefs, and styles of worship. FWCC is also associated with the Quaker United Nations Offices and offers a means to monitor and present Quaker contributions to world affairs. We join with those of other faiths through work with the World Council of Churches. See

Pendle Hill, located near Philadelphia, was established in 1930 as a Quaker study center designed to prepare its adult students for service both in the Religious Society of Friends and in the world. Pendle Hill was meant to be different from existing Quaker schools or colleges, which were mainly academic. Its mission is both educational and religious. It is strongly rooted in Quaker community life, where students and staff live according to Quaker principles and practices, and where learning is experiential as well as intellectual. See

Friends Place on Capitol Hill is a Quaker learning center and guesthouse that provides civic education and engagement opportunities for young people just blocks from the nation's Capitol. It is an ideal location for school, church, or community groups bringing young people to Washington D.C., on trips to promote civic engagement. They are an independent 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofit subsidiary of the FCNL Education Fund and affiliated with Friends Committee on National Legislation (both are Quaker nonprofit and nonpartisan organizations working together to advance peace, justice, and environmental stewardship). As a Quaker learning center and guesthouse, Friends Place is available for daytime and overnight rentals, which can include a programming component for groups renting the space. See

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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