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. They were updated on December 4, 2022. 
  • 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

Diversity Change Group

Our Collective Journey to Redress Systemic Racism (2022-present)

Organizing for Our Collective Journey to Redress Systemic Racism

Fall 2022 Implementation

          At the July 17, 2022, Meeting for Worship with a Concern for Business, BFM confirmed its interest to move forward on “A Collective Journey to Redress Systemic Racism.” This was made possible by the work of the Threshing Preparation Group, whose members researched, identified, and secured approval for the engagement of reparationWorks. We wish to express our deep appreciation for the thoughtful and diligent work that group undertook. The Diversity Change Group is taking responsibility for implementation.         

  •           An ad hoc group was formed to negotiate the contract arrangements with reparationWorks in 2022.
  •           The Diversity Change Group scheduled four Discovery sessions and other conversations with ReparationWorks to help the leaders (Lucy Duncan and Rob Pearler) get to know the Meeting more deeply and vice versa. They spoke with 32 BFM community members, including those who pre-registered, those who self-identify as People of Color, and those were not yet sure whether they could join and wanted more information on what was involved.  These conversations allowed for a tailored roadmap and schedule that will be distributed in January. 
  •           A final Information Session is scheduled for January 8, 2023 at the rise of Meeting, including options for non-participants. Participant registration closes on January 15, 2023. 
  •           The opening retreat session will be an all-day event on January 21, 2023. The Journey will continue with monthly large and small group sessions, and is expected to extend through May/June of 2023.  Participants will give monthly updates at Meeting for Business. 
  •           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 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 a community that is aware of and committed to redressing systemic racism within and beyond BFM.  If you have suggestions on how we might best do that, we’d be interested to hear from you.

For more information or to register, please write to

The Change Group and reparationWorks have completed four Discovery sessions and other conversations to get to know the Meeting more deeply.  To prepare for our collective journey for inward and outward healing pertaining to systemic racism, they spoke with 32 Friends and will use their insights to refine the Journey roadmap. 

January 2023 update:

  • Twenty-five (25) Friends have signed up to participate so far.
  • The Change Group will hold a final information session to answer any questions that remain at 12:15 on January 8th
  • Registration closes on January 15th.
  • The opening retreat session will be an all-day event on January 21st. Please hold your calendars and look for further communications on the schedule.
  • The Journey will continue with monthly large and small group sessions expected to extend through May/June of 2023.
  • Each participant will pair up with a Friendly Listener (a BFM member or attender who is not a participant). They will share aspects of the journey after each session. 

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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