• 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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Assisting Clergy & Staff

We are here to serve you as a caring community of Christ. Please contact any member of the clergy or staff using the contact information on this page. We do ask that you limit your e-mail messages to matters that are important to you, and that you not send us "junk mail," "chain-letter" e-mail, or any messages that would be considered spam. 

You may reach the phone extensions listed by dialing (561) 655-4555, then the extension of the person you need to reach. This telephone line will enable you to leave a message any time, twenty-four hours a day. 

You may send an e-mail by clicking the "envelope" under each staff description.  


The Rev. Canon Elizabeth R. Geitz

Assisting Priest

Canon Geitz serves as Consultant to our Evangelism Committee, in addition to celebrating, preaching and teaching during the winter and spring seasons. She is a nonprofit entrepreneur, columnist, and award-winning author with Morehouse/Church Publishing, Inc. With a focus on spirituality and justice issues, her writings speak to people of passion who want to make a difference in the world; two of her books are on evangelism/hospitality ministry. Elizabeth is Founder and Chair of Good Shepherd Sustainable Learning Foundation which builds and operates Good Shepherd Academy in Cameroon, West Africa, a residential co-ed secondary school that will serve 350 students when complete. She is the former Canon for Ministry Development and Deployment in the Diocese of New Jersey, CREDO Spirituality Faculty member, and Vice-Chair of the Board of Trustees of General Theological Seminary. Canon Geitz holds a BS from Vanderbilt University, an MDiv from The General Theological Seminary, and an MAT from the University of South Carolina. Elizabeth and her husband Michael live in Northeast Pennsylvania when not in Florida where they enjoy sporting clays and fly fishing. They are blessed to be the parents of two grown children, Charlotte and Mike; the grandparents of Lily, the cutest granddaughter ever born; and they hope they are good in-laws to Charlotte’s husband, Greg! Their Cavalier King Charles, Toby, also lights up their world.



The Rev. Dr. Cecily J. Titcomb

Deacon for Spiritual Direction & Pastoral Care (Nov - May)

As a Spiritual Director, Cecie listens with wisdom and grace for the movement of God’s Spirit in those she companions. Her practice is open to all who desire to journey to that deeper place with guidance. In every religious tradition across the ages, people have sought companions for the Spiritual journey. They turn to someone who will journey with them to a deeper place, listening to the movement of God’s Spirit within. In Spiritual Direction, the Director and the Directee seek God who forms their heart and their lives. Meeting monthly helps the directee develop inner peace, grace, a greater understanding of life purpose and discernment in decision-making. Cecie was educated at Cazenovia and Williams Colleges, Oxford University, Luther Seminary and Barry University. She and her husband, Rod, are parents of four and grandparents of nine. She enjoys reading, gardening, hiking in Colorado, and travel in her free time. She brings a variety of Pastoral and Outreach experiences as a Deacon to Bethesda. Contact Deacon Cecie, if you are interested in Spiritual Direction. Cecie has been a member at Bethesda since 1979 and on staff since 2004.

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The Rev. Clayton Waddell

Deacon for Port Ministry

Deacon Clay is a native Floridian, born in Sarasota. Moving to West Palm Beach in high school, he has been a member of Bethesda since 1978. Clay is a graduate of Palm Beach Junior College and majored in History at the University of Florida. He has taught Social Studies in the Palm Beach County School district for 27 years, and is still a full time high school teacher. During the 80’s he was a SCUBA Instructor and USCG Licensed Captain at the Norine Rouse Scuba Club. After returning to teaching, he worked at Abernethy Scuba Adventures running dive boats in the summer. Clay was called to serve in the ordained ministry to serve the commercial seafarers who visit the Port of Palm Beach and Port Everglades. He is a volunteer Chaplain at Seafarers House in Fort Lauderdale and at the port of Palm Beach. Here at Bethesda, Deacon Clay oversees the Eucharistic Visitors Ministry and assists in hospital and home visitation. Clay and his wife, Jackie, have two children in high school, Wade and Savannah. He enjoys travelling with his family and of course boating and diving. Clay has served as Deacon at Bethesda since 2007.

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Greg Knight

Director of Children and Youth Ministries

As the Director of Children and Youth Ministries, Greg is responsible for education and formation programming for all of our young people from birth through high school. Greg was born and raised in rural North Carolina, received an undergraduate education at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in Religious Studies, and attended seminary at Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley, CA. Greg worked for three years at an Episcopal parish in St. Louis, MO, before moving his family here. He has experience working with all age groups in religious education and is excited to follow the spiritual growth of our young people as they claim their place in our religious tradition at Bethesda. Greg has served at Bethesda since 2013.

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Jessica Hitchcock

Children & Youth Ministries Coordinator

As Children and Youth Ministries Coordinator, Jessica serves the Children and Youth Programs alongside Greg Knight; aiding in education and fellowship. Jessica first found her "home" at Bethesda as a middle-schooler singing in the Youth Choir. She now sings in the soprano section of the heavenly Bethesda Choir and is often featured as a soloist. Jessica holds a Bachelor of Music Education and Master of Music Education from Florida State University and has nine years experience teaching music in Palm Beach County Public Schools. Jessica has served Bethesda since 2008.

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Douglas Kwoka

Communications Coordinator

As Communications Coordinator, Doug is responsible for attractively and effectively broadcasting the church’s activities to connect our parishioners and community to Bethesda. He works with employees, clergy, and committee leaders to gather content (both written and visual) to enrich the promotion of various ministries. Doug designs all the publications, and manages all the electronic communications such as our website, E-mail Newsletters, and our social media pages. Doug approves all communications about/for Bethesda in advance to maintain consistency with the quality of design and to ensure all our materials properly represent Bethesda. You should contact Doug with anything concerning communications, marketing, or advertising at Bethesda. Doug has served at Bethesda since 2017.

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Joann LaBarca

Financial Assistant

As our Financial Assistant, Joann will be responsible for compiling all the necessary paperwork for payments and submitting it to our new accounting firm: GuideServe. She will also oversee the weekly process of counting and depositing receipts. Her regular workdays will be Monday and Tuesday. Joann has served at Bethesda since 2017.

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April Lawrence

Evangelism, Fellowship & Membership Coordinator

As Fellowship and Membership Coordinator, April will assist Fred Staley and Hal Pysher while also providing support for our Fellowship and Hospitality Committee and that group's programs and ministries. April is responsible for maintaining a dynamic membership database. She is also responsible for keeping the Necrology List current. You should contact April if you have any changes to your address, e-mail, or phone numbers; if you are interested in volunteering or connecting with others in any of our Ministry Groups; if you have any questions about vestry meetings; or if you want to learn more about Bethesda, become a member, or transfer to Bethesda. April came to Bethesda in 2014.

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Turia Roebuck-Hayden

Outreach and Development Coordinator

As Outreach and Development Coordinator, Turia provides support for our Outreach Committee and that group's programs and ministries. You may contact Turia if you have a stewardship or commitment related question or if you want to get involved in one of our upcoming outreach events. Turia has served at Bethesda since 2017.

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Ayana Pineiro

Assistant to the Rector

Ayana is normally the first contact church members, visitors, vendors, and the community have with Bethesda-by-the-Sea. She not only answers the phone, but also works with employees, clergy, committee leaders, and outside organizations as a point of connection between needs and resources, and is an information bureau, providing answers to general questions regarding the history of the church, the Episcopal faith, worship service hours, and directing inquirers to resources for more specific answers. She maintains the church calendar and manages requests for scheduling rooms for meetings and events. She also assists Father James with his calendar, correspondence, meetings, and other support. She is the person to contact if you need to speak with or meet with Father James, if you need information about weddings held at Bethesda, or have any questions about baptisms. Ayana has served at Bethesda since 2015.

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Amy Warfield

Worship and Pastoral Care Coordinator

Amy coordinates monthly schedules for all our worship ministries, prepares the prayer list and intercessory prayer list, and coordinates hospital lists for pastoral care. She also coordinates funerals and pastoral visits by clergy, Eucharistic Visitors, and others, and serves as Father Burl’s assistant. If you would like to have memorial flowers dedicated to someone, or, flowers in honor of someone, contact Amy. You should contact Amy for any general questions relating to Worship or Pastoral Care, Bethesda Cares, prayer list requests, and funeral inquiries. Amy has served at Bethesda since 2018.

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Bob Mancuso

Sexton for Liturgical Support

Bob is responsible for the church on Sundays. As Sexton for Liturgical support, he handles setting up rooms, clean ups, and transitions. It is Bob’s responsibility to ensure Sunday services have what they need, from Hymnals in the pews to proper sound and light. Bob is also responsible for support for weekday services, for funerals and inurnments, and, providing support for the worship guilds. If you need something for a service, Bob is your man. Bob is also generally responsible for keeping the Bethesda campus in good order. During the week he assists with grounds upkeep and building maintenance. Bob has served at Bethesda since 2013.

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Keith Risley

Sexton for Grounds

As Sexton for Grounds, Keith is responsible for overseeing the maintenance of the Church grounds, the Rectory, Vicarage, and the Church Mouse. Those duties include mowing, trimming, irrigation, planting new shrubs, trees and flowers, pressure washing, as well as maintaining the Koi pond and all of our fountains. He schedules and supervises sub-contractors for trimming as well as fertilization, pest control, and tree work. Keith assists our Flower Guild, especially at Easter and Christmas. Keith has served at Bethesda since 1985.

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William (J.R.) Thompson

Sexton for Building Preservation and Lead Sexton

As the Sexton of Building Preservation and Lead Sexton, it is JR's job to handle all of the day to day maintenance issues around the Church and church buildings. This can include anything from a leaky faucet to running a new data line for a new computer or phone system. He is also responsible for routine maintenance such as as painting and HVAC maintenance. JR has served at Bethesda since 1999.

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Daisy Alvarez

General Manager for Retail Operations of The Church Mouse and The Shoppe

Daisy is in charge of the daily office operations and bookkeeping for The Church Mouse. At The Church Mouse, she manages the donations stockroom, pricing, and merchandise flow onto the sales floor. At The Shoppe, she supervises the product selection and buying, working closely with the new and existing wholesalers. In addition, she coordinates the volunteer scheduling for both outlets. Daisy has served at Bethesda since November of 2010.

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Evaristo (Coy) Riestra

Manager of The Church Mouse and The Shoppe

As Manager of the Church Mouse and The Shoppe at Bethesda, Evaristo who is known as Coy, is responsible for the stores’ operations, employees, and volunteers. He coordinates the pickup of donated items, the merchandising of the stores, and the training of the volunteers. Coy has served at Bethesda since March of 2010.

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Jonathan Goodine

Employee of The Church Mouse and The Shoppe

As a Church Mouse employee, Jonathan is responsible for processing donations and writing donor receipts. Having excellent customer service skills, he assists donors and customers by carrying large items to and from vehicles and helps wherever he is needed. Jonathan has been with Bethesda since 2007.

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