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  • 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

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  • 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.

     

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  • 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.

    PARKING

    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.

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  • 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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Palanca Pantry

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Palanca Pantry

Hurricane Matthew last October spared very little in the island nation of Haiti, with a reports of nearly 900 dead, more than 200 injured, a half dozen missing, and more than 60,000 residents displaced, and mounting threats of a cholera in areas, according to a recent CNN news story.

The Reverend Jean Beniste of Holy Redeemer Church in Lake Worth, one of Bethesda's 13 grant beneficiary parishes and a native of Haiti, had recently returned from a visit to his home just before the hurricane hit.

"My heart is with Haiti and the disaster there, as it is my home, but my mission lies here," Father Jean said in a meeting with BBTS Outreach staff last week.

Holy Redeemer, one of the oldest parishes in the West Palm Beach/Lake Worth area, is renowned for its food pantry, Palanca (meaning “lever” in Spanish) Pantry, which opened in 1993 to serve food to the needy and homeless in the area.

Each Tuesday morning at 10:00 a.m., the Pantry opens its doors to feed the hungry a variety of fresh produce, dairy, meats, and dry good, to an average of 200-300 needy individuals. Bethesda-by-the-Sea has been one of the Pantry’s beneficiaries over the years, through its Outreach Ministry grants program.

One Tuesday morning last month, this correspondent arrived to a larger-than-usual crowd of people lined up at the church doors. The reason? Today was the day when the truck from Feeding South Florida was due to arrive, with a hefty shipment of eggs.

The truck ended up being delayed for several hours, but in the interim. Monica Beniste, Father Jean’s wife and the director of the Palanca Pantry, held a feeding anyway with the fresh and dry food stores already stocked in the Pantry’s kitchen.

Not long after the feeding was complete—to around 400 people this time—the truck from Feeding South Florida finally arrived. What to do? “We will have another feeding,” Monica replied, without hesitation.

Everyone on the volunteer staff—which numbered about 25 that day—chipped in to unload a staggering 3,000 lbs. of fresh food—including 1,000 lbs. of eggs and 1,000 lbs. of sweet potatoes. It was truly a sight to behold.

I returned to the church to assist in another Tuesday morning feeding, and met Marco Betancourt, who was doing some work in the church’s office.

Betancourt, 23 and an Accounting/Business Management major at Palm Beach State College, spends his days off—1-2 days a week—at the church, offering his technical expertise in tasks such as improving the lighting and sound system, and handling the drinking water needs of the Pantry.

“I do a lot of things; I try to help out as much as I can. I was in charge of improving the drinking water for the church. I contacted Nestlé and asked them to deliver some shipments of spring water in jugs. Eventually, I was able to have a new water filter installed,” he explained.

Betancourt is no stranger to the Palanca Pantry—he grew up in lake Worth and attended Holy Redeemer as a child with his parents, who were loyal members of the parish.

“My dream always has been to own my own business. My family was not a wealthy family. This church has helped me out for years by putting food on the table. Now I want to give back to my church and build the sanctuary back up to the way it was when I was raised here. So when I graduate I intend to help give back to it,” he said. “If you were raised here in the church, you will always be part of it; that’s what I believe.”

Contact information: Holy Redeemer Episcopal Church/Palanca Pantry, 3730 Kirk Road, Lake Worth;
(561) 965-8632; holymissio@aol.com; http://www.holyredeemerfla.org/

Lee Daniels
On behalf of the Outreach Committee

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