Bethesda's Port Ministry provides a special outreach to seafarers and maritime workers while visiting our Palm Beach ports. Many of the ships visiting the port are ships which often stay in port for only a few (12-24) hours. The Port of Palm Beach is the 18th busiest container port in the U.S. and sees thousands of seafarers every year. These seafarers and maritime workers are responsible for transporting 80% of all the products used within the United States; and they spend months and sometimes years, away from home. Our Port Ministry lead by The Rev. Clayton Waddell is dedicated to greeting and caring for these seafarers coming from countries all over the world. This ministry to seafarers is one of hospitality, and though we do not seek to convert seafarers, we do attend to their spiritual needs which often, by request, include services with Holy Communion on the ships.
Bethesda's parishioners participate in this ministry by knitting caps, collecting toiletries during the summer, writing and sending the seafarers cards, donating funds to pay for calling cards, purchasing white socks, and sending care packages while they are away during holidays.
Every year Bethesda participates in the Harbor of Hope's Blessing of the Fleet—a celebration of the maritime industry and the local community surrounding the Port. The day usually consists of a Mariner’s Eucharist, Silent Auction, Raffle, Parade of Vessels for The Blessing, Food Trucks, and activities for children. Admission and parking is free. Save the date below for our next date!
Annual Blessing of the Fleet Fundraiser
Saturday, April 9