Welcome and thank you for visiting our website! We hope you will find helpful information here about our parish. Bethesda is a vibrant and joyful community of people from all walks of life who come together to learn and to be inspired by our fellowship to make God's love a living reality in our lives every day. The very center of our church's life is Sunday worship, and nothing is a substitute for being here with us. So, look around our web site. Then come and join us on a Sunday morning soon.
The Rev. James Harlan, Rector
Who We Are
Bethesda’s Mission is to experience the clear and strong presence of God and to understand and spread Christ’s teachings through collective worship, learning, and service.
Central to our identity as a community of faith is our collective sacramental worship.
We live out our mission by:
• Loving God and Loving our Neighbor
• Nurturing Family and Thinking Critically
• Practicing Fellowship and Practicing Stewardship
• Serving Community and Supporting Personal Ministry
Click here to view, download, and/or print a Visitor's Guide. This brochure has a lot of helpful information about our parish.
Every Sunday is where the life begins at Bethesda. We celebrate the Holy Eucharist with glorious liturgy and music. We also celebrate Holy Eucharist during the week and offer a healing service on Wednesdays. All baptized Christians are invited to participate in the Holy Eucharist when visiting Bethesda-by-the-Sea. It is not necessary to be a member of the Episcopal Church in order to receive Holy Communion. Persons who have not been baptized are welcome to come to the altar rail and kneel to receive a blessing. Cross your arms on your chest as a sign that you will not receive Communion. Click here for our service schedule.
The Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea takes great joy in celebrating with couples as they marry or baptize their child. Click here for more information on special services at Bethesda.
You are welcome to enjoy our church and gardens and encourage you to pause and reflect during your visit. Please click here to review our Photography Guidelines.
Church Lecture Tour
September through May, we offer a Church Lecture Tour at 12:15 p.m. every second and fourth Sunday of the month. During the summer, we offer the tour at 11:15 a.m. every fourth Sunday. The tour will include information about architecture and the beautiful embellishments of the church. The tour is presented by Ann Elizabeth Hall and members of the Church Lecture Tour Committee. Upon request, the Church Lecture Tour is available year round to groups outside the church. Contact the church for more information.
Click here to view, download, and/or print a Art and Architecture Guide of the church and gardens. This brochure is also available in the tract rack located in the back of the church and the front office.
Nursery on Sundays
We welcome children from the youngest ages to enjoy church with their families. For those who prefer, we do offer a child care ministry at all of our Sunday services for children up to three years of age. You are welcome to carry your child to our nursery at any point during the service; just ask an usher to point the way.
The Nursery is located upstairs in the Sunday School Hall. The stairs leading to the nursery location can be found next to the kitchen. The hallway is at the very top following the signs marked "Church School." You may not access the hall through the stairs on the western side of the building beside the old nursery. That is an emergency exit stairwell only and the door to the Sunday School Hall is locked from the outside. The child's safety and parent's peace of mind are our primary concerns. Please sign your child in when you arrive, and be sure to sign him/her out when you leave. Pagers are provided should a parent be needed quickly.
Click here for more information about our children and youth ministry.
Concerts & Evensong
Our concerts and choral services throughout the year include our continuing series of First-Sunday Evensongs, each preceded by a half-hour recital. A service of Advent Lessons and Carols, the annual Christmas Concert and Community Carol Sing, and A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols are some of Bethesda's most popular concerts.
Click here to view our schedule of Concerts and Evensongs.
Directions and Parking Information
Bethesda is blessed with beautiful buildings and grounds but with almost no private parking. We make every effort to be good neighbors and ask that anyone visiting Bethesda pay careful attention to the parking guidelines for the various neighboring streets. We promise, coming to Bethesda is worth the effort!
Handicap parking is available on Via Bethesda (north side of Church). Any spaces along Via Bethesda not designated as handicap parking are available for those visiting the church. Via Bethesda is a private road, and anyone parking there for reasons other than visiting the church will be ticketed and/or towed. In addition, parking is never allowed on Via Bethesda east of the church’s property line, in front of the neighboring residences. Cars parked there will be towed immediately.
Barton Avenue (south side Bethesda) offers public, two-hour parking in marked spaces. The two-hour limit is suspended for services at Bethesda. For large church events, Barton from Ocean Boulevard to South County Road becomes one-way with parking on both sides for the entire length of this block. The Town erects signs to clearly indicate when Barton is one-way. All cars must be removed within 30 minutes of the conclusion of these events and any cars remaining in this section of Barton, with the exception of those in designated, public spaces, will be ticketed and/or towed.
Barton Avenue from South County Road west to Cocoanut Row is reserved for those with residential permits and those attending a church event. Cars parked in this area without a permit and not attending a church event will be ticketed and/or towed.
The Town allows parking on both sides of South County Road on Sunday mornings only.
Click here to see a map indicating parking options and other details about visiting Bethesda.