• 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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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...

Feeding in February

We all know if it is February at Bethesda it is time for "Feeding in February," three events, one cause: eat a meal, make a meal, share a meal! February is when we as a Christian community focus on hunger.more...

Sunday Conversations: The Results

The Results 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...

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...

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...

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...

Honduras Mission Trip: Day 4 and 5

Our team FINALLY completed the security camera project in the hot, hot, HOT sun yesterday. In total we placed six cameras around the exterior of the building and had to string all of the wiring through a hole into one office. The benefit of the new system is that it is connected to a wireless network rather than hardwired into one monitor, so the principal of Holy Family Bilingual School and staff will be able to monitor what’s happening on the grounds from multiple offices throughout the facility and even on their phones! It’s a great security upgrade for the students that come here each day. more...

Honduras Mission Trip: Day 2 and 3

Greetings once again from Our Little Roses in San Pedro Sula, Honduras! Day 2 and 3 of our mission trip looked surprisingly similar as you can tell by the pictures posted on Bethesda’s Facebook wall. We have been working hard mounting and wiring security cameras around the facility. This involves several trips up and down ladders, drilling holes through concrete, and laboring in weather that is about 10 degrees warmer than what we left behind in Palm Beach. The entire group has pitched in to ease the effort and we wrapped up this project before we leave Friday.more...