• 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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mentoring program at Bethesda

Here in Nova Scotia, I was reading the Sunday Toronto Globe and Mail newspaper the other week when I was reminded of the 2005 Kenyon College commencement speech delivered by the prodigious writer David Foster Wallace. The beginning of the speech opens with a short story that goes like this, “There are these two young fish swimming along and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says "Morning, boys. How's the water?" And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes ‘What the hell is water?’ “more...

Education and Nutrition

A few weeks ago, I was giving my weekly reading to the “Butterflies” class at the Opportunity Early Childhood Education and Family Center in the Westgate section of West Palm Beach—an agency founded by the women of Bethesda-by-the-Sea in the 1930’s.more...


I arrived at Bethesda a little early. My call was for 1:15 p.m., and I was very excited to be, for the first time, part of a team cooking for the homeless. Marty Straton and Lesli Rothwell arrived together, and June Sory joined us a few minutes later. Marty had not known that I was there to help, but seemed very relieved that we now numbered four. Things moved quickly—twelve enormous cans of black beans, a package of Jasmine rice (the size of June from head to toe), three hundred and fifty hotdogs, bread, and salad. After cooking all the rice, we put together eight huge pans of beans and rice. The scrubbing and cleaning of the cooking pans and the kitchen, followed. I asked for directions to St. George’s. Marty was surprised that I was planning to help serve, but she quickly thanked me for volunteering to do so.more...

Go where God has called you

In the Gospel of John, following the exchange between Peter and Jesus where Peter is instructed to feed the sheep, Jesus says something poignant and powerful to his eager disciple. “When you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and to go wherever you wished. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go.”more...

Stay Connected this Summer

Summer is a time for relaxation and fun, but if can also be a time for reflection and spiritual growth. Bethesda can assist you in this journey—even if you are away from Palm Beach. If you have access to a computer, Bethesda is as close as your fingertips.more...


In Orlando this past week, we have once again seen the depths to which the human race can sink into violence and hatred. We have also seen and heard such disappointing rhetoric in response to the tragedy. For me, the endless commentary all around has not necessarily led to clarity about what happened, why it happened, or how we can best respond to it. I have been trying to focus some prayerful attention on the question of how our faith in Jesus Christ might shape both our perspective and response.more...

The Church Mouse Thanks You

As The Church Mouse comes to the close from another successful season, we would be remiss if we did not mention our loyal and faithful donors. They are the ones who have year in and year out contributed so generously to The Church Mouse and made it possible with their donations to achieve our sales goals. more...

Little shop of Treasures

The Shoppe is nestled in a small corner off one of the corridors of our beautiful Bethesda-by-the-Sea and it has become a staple to parishioners and tourists alike. In our endeavor to be inclusive for all of the special occasions in people’s lives, we carry a variety of greeting cards such as mother’s and father’s day, anniversaries, birthday’s, communion, confirmation, as well as, welcoming new born babies and many, many more. Speaking of newborn babies, this year we added a new item called Wee Believers, it is the hallmark of introducing our children to the lord, through books, stuffed animals, and just all around fun items that are able to hold a young person’s attention. Some of our parishioners have taken the time and talent to have the Fishermen’s wives knitting group in Nova Scotia knit baby blankets for us to sell at The Shoppe. There is no greater gift than one made from the heart—thank you to our special blanket makers and parishioners. The Shoppe carries a variety of items that pay tribute to the episcopal faith and their beliefs along with all Christian life.more...

Making Miracles Happen

Bethesda Outreach Ministry Takes Homelessness in Palm Beaches to Task more...

Flower Guild: The Numbers are staggering!

The Flower Guild of Bethesda is 101 members strong. We are a large ministry with a big job to do:more...