Bethesda Friends Meeting

Ad hoc Committees

BFM Clerks form ad hoc Committees as they are needed.

  • Information about current ad hoc committees is listed below. 
  • Use this link for information about past ad hoc committees.  


The ad hoc Covid Advisory Committee (2020-present)

Mission:  As of 2022, the purpose of the COVID Advisory Committee is to review the current status of the pandemic (taking into consideration federal, state, and Sidwell Friends School [SFS] guidelines); rates of infections, hospitalizations, and deaths; as well as the specific context of the Bethesda Friends Meeting community. With that data, the committee would then advise the co-clerks and the Ministry & Worship (or other relevant committees) on recommended courses of action. (BFM guidelines will always be guided by SFS rules since our meeting is housed on the SFS campus.) 

  • The committee members are appointed by the BFM Meeting co-clerks, and consist of the Meeting co-clerks; a representative from each of Ministry & Worship, Religious Education, and Childcare; and at least two other community members with medical and/or epidemiological experience. 
  • The committee meets at least monthly to assess to what extent the Meeting’s practices need to be amended. Should anyone in the community wish to communicate directly with the committee members they can be reached by email at  
  • The decision to set up an activity (such as an adjustment to our worship venue or holding a hospitality event) arises from individual BFM committees. The ad hoc Covid committee's role is only to weigh in on the safety of an event. 
  • On May 1, 2022, the Covid Safety Guidelines were approved by BFM Meeting for Worship with a Concern for Business. 
  • The Risk Factors will be evaluated each week to determine the rules under which in-person meetings will be held.   
  • The current Risk Factor and in-person rules will be posted on the website and emailed via the weekly Bulletin

The ad hoc Diversity Change/Threshing Preparation Committee (2021-present)

Mission: In February, 2021, Bethesda Friends Meeting (BFM) agreed to move forward on a Threshing process to discern whom we wish to become as a Meeting (as it pertains to systemic racism) and which of the BFM-wide ideas generated will be taken up by the Meeting as a whole with an action plan.  The Meeting agreed: 

  1. to seek external expertise and support to help us with blind spots and with the organizational identity change we seek to clarify; and  
  2. to sanction the formation of a self-organized Threshing Preparation ad hoc Committee to investigate external options and shape an approach to the Threshing effort, with input from many sources, that will be imbued with Spirit and Quaker process.

A 2015-2021 timeline of BFM milestones, as we have examined our testimony of equality

 For several years and in many ways, individuals and groups within the Bethesda Friends Meeting (BFM) community have sought to uplift our testimony of equality, especially as it relates to race. Click here for a timeline giving an overview of some of our journey milestones at BFM. 

On July 18, 2021, Meeting for Business approved the use of Anti-Racist Queries for Decision Making at BFM 

  • The BFM Change Group encouraged the BFM co-clerks to follow the Baltimore Yearly Meeting (BYM) example and create anti-racist queries that can be applied to our decision-making process at Meeting for Business and during committee meetings.  As a result, and drawing upon the BYM queries and modifications made by other Monthly Meetings, the co-clerks drafted two anti-racist queries for use at BFM.  These were approved at Meeting for Business on July 18, 2021. 
  • Please click here to see the queries and a summary of how they evolved. 

please click here to see the activities from 2021 through july 2022

July 2022: Next Steps in Our Collective Journey to Redress Systemic Racism

The Diversity Change and Threshing Prep groups are pleased and grateful to share that our proposal for “A Collective Journey to Redress Systemic Racism,” which was originally presented at the June 5, 2022, Meeting for Worship with a Concern for Business, was approved at the 17 July Meeting.

  • Now we’re seeking to get a sense of who already knows they wish to participate and who is still contemplating taking the journey with us and wishes to have further questions answered so they can make an informed decision.
  • Since the initial Threshing session last fall, Friends have been engaged in learning more about the proposal and the internal work we’ve proposed to undertake. Many have already committed to this journey. That’s based on an expected time commitment of roughly a two-hour large group session on a weekend day and a one-hour small group session scheduled at the convenience of the group per month for 6-9 months. There is a $200.00 participant fee. If this would be a barrier to participating, then please let us know what you would be led to contribute.
  • Presently, we want to encourage all who are interested to pre-register for the sessions which are planned for the fall. For now, that simply means sending an email indicating your interest to If you have already committed to participating, then you do not need to reconfirm.  Formal registration is planned for late August or early September.
  • If you are still unsure about participating, please send an email to with any questions or concerns you may have. We want to figure out how to respond to any outstanding questions, so everyone has the information they need to make an informed decision.
  • For those of you who have already signed up, we’re interested to hear from you if you’d like to take a more active role in supporting the implementation. If you’d like to help with the contract or relationship management or convening the small group work, please send an email to

Although we recognize that not everyone in the Meeting will choose to participate in this work, given the time and energy commitment, it is our hope that the entire Meeting will greatly benefit from it. We encourage both participants and the Meeting to view it as work being done on behalf of the whole Meeting. The Diversity Change group will continue to find ways to communicate and reach out to engage those who want to stay close to the work as we evolve towards an anti-racist community. If you have suggestions on how we might best do that, we’d be interested to hear from you.

The ad hoc Committee on Digitization (2017-present)

(a) The first ad hoc Committee for the Digitization of Records (DRC) was formed in April 2017.

The DRC was formed and charged in April 2017 to support BFM in a Meeting-wide discernment process for identifying the best way to assure that information about our community is accessible, useful, up to date, and secure. Read the full charge here.


In May 2018 the DRC presented a final report, which recommended that the DRC be laid down, and in its place some type of ad hoc Records Implementation Committee be formed.

In June 2018, BFM concluded that:  "After nearly two years of sustained effort, the ad hoc Digitization of Records Committee (DRC) has completed its work and proposed a set of next steps for the implementation of a digitization plan for Bethesda Friends Meeting. With deep gratitude for the sheer industry and clarifying insight of the DRC, and in keeping with its recommendations, the Co-Clerks now appoint an ad hoc Committee for the Implementation of a Digitization Plan (CIDP)...."

(b) Thus the second digitization ad hoc Committee was formed in June 2018 and called the Committee for the Implementation of a Digitization Plan (CIDP).

The CIDP was given a two year mission to set up a new digitization system and to follow that system for one trial year. Read the full charge here

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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