• 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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Finding the Courage to Break Away

“I don’t think I can do it, Mrs. Pat. I’m scared I won’t succeed, it’s too far from home, and what if no one likes me?”more...

the season is winding down

As the season is winding down and many are heading north, the rhythm of life at Bethesda slows down a bit. During this past Sunday’s services, we had the joy of recognizing everyone who has been serving in any ministry this year and also to advance our choristers who have passed their exams and demonstrated their readiness to move up a level in our Youth Choir. We also will take a moment to give thanks for our Sunday School students, teachers, and assistants who have built a tremendous community of learning and love together.more...

2016 Blessing of the Fleet

“Three months later we set sail on a ship that had wintered at the island, an Alexandrian ship with the Twin Brothers as its figurehead.” Acts 28:11more...

2016 Mission Trip to Our Little Roses

We met at Bethesda-by-the-Sea at 8:00 p.m. We weighed everyone´s luggage and distributed everything to 40 lbs per bag. Mother Kimberly took our group picture and said a prayer over us for safe travels. Then, we departed for the airport at 8:30 p.m., right on time. There was light traffic on our drive to the FLL airport and we arrived at 9:30 pm. After dropping off our 26 bags, Ross, Rick, and Mike parked the cars. The check-in line looked long but it went by quickly. It may have been our smoothest check-in ever. We gathered at the gate and Greg led us in a brief group prayer and then we boarded the plane. Some of the group got lucky and were bumped up to¨"big, comfy seats." The new driver, Ruben, picked us up at the San Pedro Sula airport. We loaded our 26 bags and 13 team members and drove to OLR. It was now 2:00 a.m., so we pitched our bags into the apartment, assigned beds, and went to sleep as quickly as possible.more...

Rector's 2016 Address

I’ve been thinking lately about what I said in my first sermon here 4 ½ years ago. You may remember, I said that it felt like a first date. I observed that the place was full of excitement and anticipation, along with no small amount of nervous tension. And looking back, it occurs to me that, while some people seemed determined to find what’s wrong rather than what’s right (also not unlike some first dates), most wanted to make a good first impression and most wanted to see and celebrate the best in one another. Now, let’s be honest, this really isn’t an apt metaphor; some would argue it was more like meeting one’s spouse for the first time in an arranged marriage.more...

Rector’s Reflections on 2015

I find myself filled with gratitude as I look back on 2015 and the tremendous ministry we shared at Bethesda-by-the-Sea. More than that, I am filled with incredible joy that we can look back and see so clearly that even insofar as we accomplished amazing things together, even more we experienced the clear and strong presence of God in our growing capacity to carry out all our programs. more...

Christmas at Sea

Christmas at Sea has arrived at the Port of Palm Beach! The gift bags began arriving on ships as of December 16 and at this writing, 72 gift bags have been delivered to crewman. One ship, the Heinrich Sibum, received their 14 presents via a net lowered over the side as she was preparing to depart for Europe. Now that is what I call casting a net! I am sure they were as surprised as Peter was when he was once told to cast his net one more time on the Sea of Galilee by a certain passenger.more...

From the Rector

[God] will rejoice over you with gladness, he will renew you in his love; he will exult over you with loud singing as on a day of festival. more...

From the Rector

Mission is a word we use in so many contexts. We hear it in stories about diplomacy and military conflict. We hear it in board rooms and classrooms. And we hear it in church. Unlike so many religious words that either only have a religious meaning or have a very different meaning in a religious context than in a non-religious one, the Church uses the word mission largely in ways with which we are familiar.more...

Bethesda Catalog

Every season at Bethesda is energetic with lots of activity from all of our ministries. Special worship services like The Blessing of the Animals, wonderful fellowship events like our International Potluck Dinner, glorious music performances like our Christmas Concert and Community Carol Sing, and many volunteer opportunities like Feeding in February—Bethesda has so much to offer.more...