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  • 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

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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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  • WE LOOK FORWARD
    TO MEETING YOU...

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    env-visitor.jpg info@bbts.org

    fb-visitor.jpg Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea

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Blog

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Sea Sunday, July 8

Every summer, the Mission to Seafarers appoints one Sunday as Sea Sunday. It is a Sunday when seafarers are included in the Prayers of the People. Many people around the world and in this country do not realize that 90% of all our daily needs--such as food, clothing, fuel, and building materials, you name it--are transported by sea. The people who operate and work on these ships are unknown to us, but their lives at sea make our standard of living possible. Did you know that all the fuel we use in south Florida arrives by tanker at Port Everglades? You may have heard that during our last hurricane, when supplies became scarce and we waited for that tanker truck to appear at the gas station. It came from Port Everglades, where the fuel was brought in by ship. That is just one example of our dependency on commercial shipping. But who can the seafarer depend on when the trials of life away from home under dangerous conditions leave in the wake a sense of isolation--being cut off from the rest of the world they serve? That is the purpose of the Mission to Seafarers and one of your ministries at Bethesda by-the-Sea. Through ship visits--supplied with your generous donations of everyday items such as knitted caps, reading materials, and basic necessities including toiletries--the mariners who no one sees are connected with the wider world in the name of Christ. It is this simple hospitality which lifts their spirits in the routine of life aboard ship. This year, July 8 has been appointed Sea Sunday. Remember the mariners in your prayers, knowing that they welcome us as we go on their ships, and that the Christ is revealed in the guise of the stranger.more...

Summer in Palm Beach

Summer in Palm Beach means things generally quieten down-the traffic lessens, the lines at Publix shorten, the social obligations wane-and even here at Bethesda, we use the summer months to take stock of the year that has past, plan ahead, work on maintenance projects that we can't do during season, and generally get our house in order. But while we're getting our house in order for the coming year, the campus is still abuzz with activity. Vacation Bible School is the last week of June, preparations happen for the Keys mission trip and for the Honduras mission trip for our youth, Palm Beach Day Arts Camp is in July, the Flower Guild and Altar Guild maintain their regular schedule of work and artistry, Hal (and others) still practice organ, AA and Al-Anon meet nine times during a week, the two teams that prepare food for St. George's cook twice a month and the sandwich team gathers faithfully every Friday morning, the Men of Bethesda gather, the Cursillistas gather, the Intercessory Prayer Group meets every Monday, the Nautical Knitters are in the library on Saturdays, SafeChurch and Safeguarding God's Children training is in late August, and some committees even continue to meet during these summer months. We still have two services on Sunday mornings-mark your calendar, Scholarship Sunday is 5 August!-and a service at 8:00 a.m. Tuesday and 12:05 p.m. on Wednesday. Whew. While the Associates and staff fit in our vacations amidst the activity, we never stop at Bethesda, because working toward the Kingdom of God never stops.more...

A Lavish Gift

These are the words the Venerable Bede uses to describe the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and in our lives: a lavish gift given "to everyone in every place, regardless of sex, state of life or position" (Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles 2.17). This Sunday we celebrate this lavish gift from God, given to each of us. God's Holy Spirit, that descended on the disciples at Pentecost and is given to us at our baptism, empowers us for the life and ministry for which we were created.more...

Recognition Sunday

This Sunday is Recognition Sunday, the day we recognize those persons who participate in the 60 varied ministries of Bethesda-by-the-Sea. It is the day we vocally and visibly acknowledge the incredible number of people who are Jesus' hands and feet within our congregation, those people who give of their time and talent in service of God and others. At each service this Sunday, we will call out each ministry by name and ask for those involved in that ministry to stand. By the end of that long list, most of the congregation at each service is standing, many remaining standing for participation in multiple ministries. It is a beautiful sight to look out from the chancel and see the witness of so many Bethesdans who give selflessly of their time and their abilities to build up this community and to serve God around the corner and around the world. We hope you'll join us this Sunday as we recognize these many ministers of the Gospel AND perhaps be inspired to find your place serving where God calls you to serve.more...

Come and worship with us

Episcopalians like to say that anyone who wants to know what we believe, needs simply to come and worship with us. Holy Week like no other week enacts what we believe about the world, ourselves, and God who created us. Through the liturgies of these next four days, we bring into our present reality the surpassing gift of Jesus' life, death, and resurrection. Indeed, to fully celebrate the resurrection of Easter we need to remain with Jesus through the Last Supper, the night in the garden, the arrest and trial, and the crucifixion and burial. The redeeming, healing work of our Lord happens because Jesus suffered and died and rose again. For Episcopalians, to celebrate the Resurrection apart from the observances of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Great Vigil on Saturday simply rings hollow. We give ourselves a tremendous gift by giving ourselves fully to our life of worship for these next four days.more...

The Very Holy Week

There is an awesome holiness, a power to each day next week. There is a majesty and a terror, an exquisite awfulness to the journey we take in Jesus' footsteps to the cross, the retracing of a path of sorrows from the hideous triumphalism of Palm Sunday to the rent Temple curtain on Friday and its midday darkness. Each day is powerful. Each day the cross we carry for Jesus gets heavier. Each day the trash heap of Golgotha becomes clearer and clearer. Each day brings us inexorably closer to the Friday they call Good and the Saturday for which even a name is difficult.more...

Lenten Retreat: Rediscovering the Magic of Bible Stories

Did you ever go to vacation bible school in the summer when you were young? How well do you remember bible stories? So many of us were taught bible stories as young people, but we have neglected to revisit them as adults. If we do, what happens when we revisit Jonah and the big fish (it's a FISH, not a whale!), or Queen Esther's crafty heroism, or Peter walking on water, as adults with our critical, skeptical, faithful, and loving minds? How do we rediscover the magic of those bible stories that have captivated the attention of the faithful for centuries, even millennia?more...

Missions: He loved. We share.

Mission work is foundational to the identity of Christians. It's so ingrained in who we are that it's part of our baptismal covenant: "Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself?" As we know, our neighbors are around the corner and around the globe, and our youth mission projects this summer will reflect that reality.more...

The Great Litany

On the first and final Sundays in Lent, we begin the 11:00 service with the Great Litany, an ancient and complex series of penitential petitions that Christians have prayed since at least the fifth century. The prayers are so central to Christian liturgy, in fact, that they were the first rite translated from Latin to English by Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury under Henry VIII, in 1544, when he gathered the petitions into their present order. The Litany begins with an invocation of the Trinity and continues with petitions for deliverance from evil, spiritual harm, and natural calamities; pleas for the power of Christ’s Incarnation, life, death, and resurrection for deliverance; and prayers of general intercession, concluding with both the Agnus Dei (O Lamb of God…) and the Kyrie (Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy).[1]  At Bethesda, we intone (chant) the petitions while in procession, the congregation responding to each grouping of petitions with a different text. Slow, steady, and intentional, praying the Great Litany is a beautiful way to begin and end Lent, that season of penitence and introspection that leads us to Holy Week and Christ’s death upon the cross for our redemption, and it is our hope that praying the Litany this Sunday will afford us each that beauty of solemn holiness at the beginning of this season.more...

Welcome the Season of Lent

I invite you...more...

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