Bethesda Friends Meeting
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We worship concurrently via Zoom and in-person under outdoor tents on Sundays at 11:00 a.m.

If you want to join us outdoors on the Sidwell Friends Lower School campus, please read the instructions below, as well as this information on safety details and parameters, including BFM supervised play for children. REGISTRATION is required by Friday evening.  


Sunday~November 22, 2020


Nov 21



Celebrating Life with Deedie Runkel & Family (via Zoom)


Nov 22



Peace & Social Justice Committee (via Zoom)



Meeting for Worship (via Zoom; some in-person)



Medea Benjamin on A New Peace & Justice Movement



Experiment with Light (on own followed by Zoom sharing)


Nov 24



Mid-week Meeting for Worship with FMW, via Zoom


Nov 25



Mid-week Worship (Sharing afterward via e-mail)


Nov 29



Meeting for Worship (via Zoom)



Coordinating Gathering (via Zoom)

Head of Meeting:  Linda M.  

Pastoral Care: If you have concerns about personal issues or questions about membership, Bethesda Friends Meeting, or Quaker faith and practice, please be in touch with Jane M.C. or David W. (see the paper copy of your directory).

          The Social Concerns Box for November is A Wider Circle. It is a local non- profit organization that assists individuals and families moving out of shelters to more stable living situations. A Wider Circle also offers intensive courses on job skills, financial planning, stress management, nutrition, and parenting. Its mission is to end poverty. Anyone in need of help can find it there. Each year, A Wider Circle furnishes the homes of more than 4,700 families (through donated items), helping to create the stability and dignity that everyone deserves. They also provide more than 400 educational programs per year. After A Wider Circle receives or picks up your donated item, it only takes about 24 to 48 hours for it to find a new home. More than 30,000 volunteers come to serve at A Wider Circle every year, including members of BFM. For more information:  or contact Bernie B. (see Directory).To donate to the Social Concerns Box or to make a general contribution to the Meeting, please go to: and clearly designate whether your contribution is for the social concerns box or is a general contribution. If you prefer, you may send your check, made payable to Bethesda Friends Meeting, to Marion B., Assistant Treasurer, Bethesda Friends Meeting (using her new address in the BFM Directory).

11:00 - 12:00 on Sunday  Meeting for Worship Bethesda Friends continue worship together each Sunday.  Friends can participate by videoconference using Zoom, or we will have a small group who have registered to meet outside under a tent on the Lower School campusSimultaneously, Friends who wish to worship in other settings or individually at home should do so knowing that others are sharing in worship.

At noon, all are welcome to open the BFM list serve and share their messages, joys and sorrows, and announcements.  It has been a real joy to see so many people, including out-of-town Friends, and some families with kids, joining us each week.  

Friends joining via Zoom are invited to log in at 10:45 to chat before settling into silence around 10:55 a.m. There is also an informal chat time at the Rise of Meeting at about 12:15.

See the most recent Bulletin for access information and a current link to the Zoom Meeting for Worship.  We will share joys and sorrows via Zoom and also via the BFM list-serve after Worship. If you have trouble joining the list-serve, please use our "Contact us" form.

Visitors: If you'd like to worship with our community, please use our "Contact us" form and tell us about your interest in Bethesda Friends. We welcome your joining us. 

         Opportunity to worship in-person:  Friends now have an opportunity to worship together outside, under a large, open-sided tent at the Sidwell Friends Lower School.  If you would like to participate in person on this coming First Day, you must register in advance at this link.  Attendance is capped at 20 persons. See other safety protocols listed below.

Joys and Sorrows:     For those Bethesda Friends worshiping by Zoom, there will be an opportunity to share joys and sorrows with one another at about 12:00 noon in the Zoom meeting.  For Bethesda Friends worshiping at home on their own, without connecting to Zoom, there will be sharing of joys and sorrows on the list-serve. You may want to check the list-serve after the Zoom meeting is over and see what other Friends have said. You might want to add your own joys and sorrows to the list-serve as well.  (The list-serve is for BFM members and attenders. For more information, please use our Contact Us form). 

          Supervised Play. Young friends are welcome to join their families for outdoor meeting for worship. As an alternative, a supervised outdoor play option is available for children ages four and over during meeting for worship. Children will need to wear a mask and follow other safety procedures. Details on this option are available at  Children, like adults, will need to be registered on-line by Friday evening, so we can determine whether our child caretakers are needed for that week.


          Medea Benjamin on A New Peace & Justice Movement for a New Administration. Maryland United for Peace & Justice is sponsoring a presentation by peace activist and Code Pink founder Medea Benjamin on Sunday, November 22 at 3:30 p.m. To get the Zoom link sent to you, send an email to To learn more about MUPJ, see

       Experiment with Light. Experiment With Light is a meditative and centering practice based upon Rex Ambler’s book Light to Live By, which describes early Quaker meditative habits and translates them into a highly accessible process of clearness and understanding. All are welcome. First-time participants find the process quite easy to follow and, often, richly rewarding. On Sunday, November 22, from 7:30 to 9:00 p.m., those who wish to participate will listen to the prompts at their own homes and write or draw responses you have experienced during those prompts. The audio of the prompts is available at: At about 8:30 p.m., there will be a check-in by Zoom. Contact Jane M.C. for information.

6:00-7:00 p.m. on Tuesdays     Friends Meeting of Washington Mid-Week Meeting for Worship.   To join via Zoom, please email "admin [AT]" or see information at

8:00-8:30 p.m. on Wednesdays     BFM Mid-Week Meeting for Worship. Held virtually (with email) each week. While some of our regulars prefer to simply join in Spirit at the appointed time, others are enjoying the brief connection provided by an email at start and end of worship. At rise of meeting, those on that session's email list who are moved to do so may share experiences by using reply-all.  Contact Dot L. (see Directory) for more information.

          Coordinating Gathering. Representatives of most BFM committees meet during the week before Meeting for Business to discuss the upcoming agenda. These meetings are open to all who wish to attend. There will be one on Sunday, November 29, at 1:00 p.m., via Zoom, in preparation for the Meeting for Business on December 6. For more details & to get the Zoom link: Lee I. or Jabez M.  (see Directory).

Toy Drive for A Wider Circle's Holiday Program. The Bethesda Friends Meeting’s Religious Education Committee is sponsoring a toy drive for A Wider Circle's Holiday Program. Toys will be distributed to families visiting A Wider Circle's  Center during the month of December, as well as through their partnership with the DC Housing Authority, a partnership through which AWC will seek to provide gifts to over 10,000 children living in public housing in Washington, DC. All members of the Bethesda Friends community are invited to participate. Please join us in donating a toy to help make a child's Christmas more merry!

Here's how:

            1. Purchase a toy (or toys) of your choice. This is for children of all ages and the toys should be unwrapped. AWC asks only that it be nonviolent, and if is is a doll, it be brown in skin tone. (Some suggestions: A game such as Qwirkle, Kerplunk or Scrabble Jr., a Wilson NFL Football, Soft baby sock toys, Baby Alive Ready for School (with black curly hair), Crayola Color Caddy)

            2. Let Susan M. (see Directory) know that you will be participating.

            3. Sign up for one of the two pick-up Saturdays, December 5 or December 12. (Signup coming soon!)

            4. On your appointed Saturday, make sure that the toy is outside for the "driving elves” (aka volunteers) to see clearly.

            5. Once our elves have collected all of the toys, they will bring them to A Wider Circle to be added to their North Pole. For details, Susan M. (see Directory)

next week

Bible Study will not meet on November 26, but will resume in December (Thursdays, December 3, 10, 17). This is via Zoom with the Great Courses series, Understanding the Old Testament The December lectures cover Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Joshua, and Judges. We will not meet on Dec 24 or 31. Please contact Alex B. (see Directory) if you have questions and to get the Zoom link.



Pastoral Care (PC) formulated a plan to provide loving outreach, caring assistance of many kinds, and practical and spiritual support during this time of physical distancing and isolation for many Friends. Personal Friendly Ears have been calling people in the BFM community to touch base. In the meantime, please be in touch with one another by phone and e-mail and let the clerks of Pastoral Care (Jane M.C, see Directory) know if anyone in our Meeting community has contracted the virus or is quarantined from contact with an infected person. This information will allow us to provide help and to hold this person and their family in the Light.


instructions for in-person worship

Each Sunday at 11:00 a.m., Friends can participate in an in-person, outdoor meeting for worship

at  the Sidwell Friends Lower School under two (unheated) tents set up by SFS.

The tents are on the plaza in front of the Groome Building. 

This in-person meeting is in addition to our Meeting for Worship via Zoom videoconference.  

There will be a “Tent Head of Meeting” each Sunday.

Children who are 4 and older can join our paid child care providers in supervised play.

Please read these details and safety requirements.

  • The Tent Head of Meeting will have a laptop to connect Friends in the tents to the Zoom meeting for worship. Friends may bring their own laptops.
  • A person worshipping under the tent who has a message can speak directly, using their own laptop. Or they can ask the Tent Head of the Meeting to bring the laptop with microphone closer so that all can hear the message.

These safety rules will apply to in-person meeting for worship:

  • All Friends must wear a face mask at all times.
  • If you are feeling at all ill, have a fever, have recently tested positive for COVID-19, or have been exposed to someone who has recently tested positive, do not attend.
  • Attendance will be capped at 20 persons and Friends must register online by FRIDAY.
  • Register using this form:   
  • Registration is necessary to maintain social distancing and for contact tracing, if needed. 
  • We will maintain social distancing at all times.  20 sanitized chairs will be at least 6 feet apart under the tents on the plaza in front of the Groome Building. Family members may rearrange their chairs to sit together.
  • Friends will not shake hands, hug, or otherwise get closer than 6 feet, or remove their face mask while at the Sidwell Lower School.
  • Do not take any risks that you are not totally comfortable taking.
  • There is supervised field play for children who are 4 and older with advance registration and when adhering to these safety requirements
  • The playgrounds will not be open.  
  • The bathrooms in the Groome Building will be accessible.

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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