Bethesda Friends Meeting

Religious Education: K-8

The Meeting House at Sidwell Friends Lower School is closed during the Covid-19 pandemic.

  • We welcome visitors to join our online Zoom Quaker Meeting OR meet with us outdoors under tents on the Sidwell Friends Lower School campus
  • Please go to this page to see our Sunday schedule and to register in advance for our outdoor worship.  
  • Children's activities: The registration page will give up-to-date information on whether playground supervision or other children's activities are available.  

children's activities during 2019-2021

  • The BFM youth have sponsored some activities even during the pandemic.  
  • Please go to this page to see brief summaries. 

Religious Education (RE) for Children & Youth (Grades K-8)

Religious education classes for children in grades K-8 is called "First Day School" (FDS)BFM children deliver canned goods to Manna Foods, Bethesda, MD

First Day School (FDS) emphasizes Quaker values & history, Bible stories, and community service activities. It is held each Sunday during the school year (except for holiday Sundays).

  • 1st, 3rd & 5th Sundays: Children meet for multi-age activities. Parents are welcome to join their children.
  • 2nd & 4th Sundays: Classes are held for K-2nd graders and for 3rd-8th graders. Parents are encouraged to help the teachers on a regular rotation.
  • Upcoming events are always featured in the BFM Newsletter.Celebrating World Quaker Day
  • During the summer, children K-6th Grade are supervised in the playground or at other informal activities.

Sunday Schedule for First Day School (FDS) children

11:00 - Children K-8 attend Meeting for Worship in the Meetinghouse with their parents for the first 15 minutes.
11:15 - Children leave the Meeting and meet their teachers for First Day School classes and activities.
12:00 noon - Children return to Meeting with their teachers. They may wait quietly in the library or rejoin their parents in Meeting.
12:15 - Refreshments in the Library. [Note: On the second Sunday of the month, potluck is held in the All-Purpose room of the Groome Building.]

Grandparent and student at BFM

Resources for Parents 

  • Friends Meeting of Washington, DC keeps an updated list of Quaker camps for children of various ages and interests. Please click here for more information.
  • Friends Meeting of Washington, DC also has a wonderful list of resources to support parents as we integrate Quaker beliefs and practices into our family life.
  • This link goes to a catalog with all of the issues of the children and young people’s work resource titled "Journeys in the Spirit." It is a treasure trove and includes the special issues as produced by Quaker Life in London, England (2007-2016).
  • The Quaker Religious Education Collaborative (QREC) is "a grassroots network of Friends holding a sense of stewardship for life-long Quaker faith formation through religious education." Their website offers numerous resources such as a library,  annual conferences and retreats, and "conversation circles" (online video conferences). 

A link to BFM's youth and children's safety policy: BFM Youth/Child Safety Policy (2019) 

  • Our First Day School classes are about Quaker Faith and Practice, often with a focus on the life and teachings of Jesus.
  • In addition to classes, teachers and guest teachers discuss Quakerism in action and facilitate multi-age community service activities.
  • The children will participate in Meeting activities such as the Walkathon for the Homeless, the annual Christmas Pageant, and Spring Fling for Ramallah Friends School.

Panel submitted to 25-million-stitches

In  February, 2020, the First Day School children stitched this panel and submitted it to the 25 Million Stitches Project (

The project invited people around the world to submit hand-stitched panels with each stitch representing one of the world's 25 million refugees. The year-long project collected over 1,150 panels as of early 2020, with 13 million stitches counted. The final installation will open in Sacramento, California on June 20, 2020, World Refugee Day, circumstances permitting.

"Unity" is a theme at BFM youth education

Do you have a question about First Day School?

  • Please call or email the current clerks of the Religious Education Committee (see our print Directory) or use the Contact Us form.
  • Upcoming FDS special events will be featured in our Bulletin and Newsletter.
  • Do you want general information about the Sunday schedule for First Day School? Please click here.

Thank you for your interest, and we look forward to sharing our time with you and your children! offers many videos about Quaker beliefs and practices. 

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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