• Welcome
  • What to Expect
  • Children & Youth
  • Worship Schedule
  • Directions
  • Contact
  • Greetings,

    Welcome to the Episcopal Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea, a community of people from all walks of life discovering the joy of knowing and following Jesus Christ. We gather on Sundays to hear the sacred stories of God’s love and to be spiritually nourished in sharing Holy Communion. Then, inspired by our fellowship, we strive to make God's love a living reality in our lives every day. At Bethesda, Sunday is the high point of the week. So, look around our web site. Then come and join us on a Sunday morning soon.

    Peace, The Rev. James Harlan, Rector

  • 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.


  • FROM I-95

    Take the Okeechobee Blvd East exit (70). Travel East on Okeechobee Blvd to the Intracoastal Waterway. Cross over the Intracoastal Waterway, and continue going East to the second light (South County Road). Turn North (left) onto South County Road, and travel 1/2 mile. The church will be on the Right.


    Click here and scroll to Directions and Parking Information.

  • Having the faith of a child

    Children and youth bring such wonderful life and energy to our community. Bethesda offers a warm welcome to every child, whether parents prefer to bring their children into the worship service, or put them in the special children's worship (when available), or let them enjoy the nursery. We strive to create a place where even our littlest members know that God loves them, where all of us can grow in our faith, and where parents can find their own sense of peace and support.



  • God is Love

    Our worship is formal, intimate, transcendent, reflective, fun, and inspiring. As we celebrate our life together, we focus on God's love for each and every person and encourage one another to seek that loving presence of God. We have communion as an integral part of every service where we share together in a simple meal of bread and wine. While our worship may not be entirely familiar, we encourage everyone to join in as they are comfortable. Read more here.


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Christmas at Sea

Christmas at Sea has arrived at the Port of Palm Beach! The gift bags began arriving on ships as of December 16 and at this writing, 72 gift bags have been delivered to crewman. One ship, the Heinrich Sibum, received their 14 presents via a net lowered over the side as she was preparing to depart for Europe. Now that is what I call casting a net! I am sure they were as surprised as Peter was when he was once told to cast his net one more time on the Sea of Galilee by a certain passenger.more...

From the Rector

[God] will rejoice over you with gladness, he will renew you in his love; he will exult over you with loud singing as on a day of festival. more...

From the Rector

Mission is a word we use in so many contexts. We hear it in stories about diplomacy and military conflict. We hear it in board rooms and classrooms. And we hear it in church. Unlike so many religious words that either only have a religious meaning or have a very different meaning in a religious context than in a non-religious one, the Church uses the word mission largely in ways with which we are familiar.more...

Bethesda Catalog

Every season at Bethesda is energetic with lots of activity from all of our ministries. Special worship services like The Blessing of the Animals, wonderful fellowship events like our International Potluck Dinner, glorious music performances like our Christmas Concert and Community Carol Sing, and many volunteer opportunities like Feeding in February—Bethesda has so much to offer.more...

From the Rector

Having now been in Palm Beach for four years, I have been taking some time here and there to get to know some of the other congregations and ministries in our diocese. I have had the chance to visit and have lunch with colleagues in Coral Springs, Plantation, Stuart, and Clewiston, for example, and will continue to get out and about when other obligations take me away from here during the week.more...

Dangers of the Seafaring Life

“And there are some who have no memorial, who have perished as though they had not lived…” —Sirach 44:9more...

From the Rector

As I write, we are still basking in the glow of a transcendent and prayerful Holy Week. The liturgies of Holy Week center our life as a parish family. The journey of Holy Week, culminating in the joy of Easter Day reminds us that at the center of all that we do is the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. more...

Outreach Highlights of the Season

What a busy season this has been for our Outreach Committee from October through April! The events have been fun, inspiring, and great for the community we serve. Below are just some of the highlights of the season. more...

Reflection of the Lenten Season

As I write this I am reflecting on the Lenten season which included three funerals of beloved Bethesda parishioners. On February 19, Ash Wednesday, we were all reminded of our mortality in this life with these words: “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” With the opening joyful hymn on Palm Sunday, “All Glory, Laud, and Honor” we quickly progress in the Liturgy on Palm Sunday to the Gospel account of Jesus’ betrayal, trial, and Crucifixion. The Gospel ends with the tomb being sealed, and so begins the holiest (and longest) week of the Christian year. Ash Wednesday seems so long ago to me, yet on that cool night, I was invited to hold an Ash Wednesday service on Monarch Countess, a car carrier which travels to Haiti. The crew is Honduran and Panamanian, and that night three crew members received the Ashes and communion on Miercoles de Cinzanas. The cadets that night did not realize that it was Ash Wednesday and were grateful to enter into a holy Lent with that impermanent reminder of death and that the Easter joy is to come. Death is not permanent, just like those ashes on our forehead at the beginning of Lent. The cross made on our head at Baptism with the words, “You are sealed as Christ’s own forever” cannot be washed away. Death has no dominion over us because of the grace of God poured out on the cross that first holy week. For the crews of the ships which come to the port, the majority of whom are either from Latin America or the Philippines, Holy Week or La Semana Santa is the most special time of the year filled with services and passion plays. It is especially stressful for those who are away from home and family during this time of family reunions. Holy Week is a time where those separated by distance can be offered a little sacred time in the midst of their busy day to reflect that the Lord is with them too not only in the loneliness of Maundy Thursday but in the joy that Easter morning will bring as we announce to all who will hear and believe: He is Risen! Feliz Pascuas! more...

Honduras Mission Trip: Day 4 and 5

Our team FINALLY completed the security camera project in the hot, hot, HOT sun yesterday. In total we placed six cameras around the exterior of the building and had to string all of the wiring through a hole into one office. The benefit of the new system is that it is connected to a wireless network rather than hardwired into one monitor, so the principal of Holy Family Bilingual School and staff will be able to monitor what’s happening on the grounds from multiple offices throughout the facility and even on their phones! It’s a great security upgrade for the students that come here each day. more...