• 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.


    phone-visitor.jpg (561) 655-4554 


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

    twitter-visitor.jpg @BBTSchurch



Worship Ministries

Bethesda depends on the faithful dedication of so many parishioners to help make our services glorious and worshipful. Since worship is at the core of our life and mission, people serving in these ministries find the joy of loving service to God and their faith community. There are several ways to serve in worship described below. Anyone feeling a call to serve in any of the following areas should contact the Rector or one of the Associates.

Acolytes provide assistance in worship by leading processions and assisting the clergy. They carry processional crosses, banners, and torches (candles) and hold the Gospel book for Deacons. The clergy and vergers offer training for acolytes regularly. Adults, as well as children as young as the third grade, may serve as acolytes.

Altar Guild
Members of the Altar Guild set up for all services at Bethesda and care for all the items needed for worship, such as the Eucharistic vessels, linens, vestments, and candles. Men and women of all ages serve on the Altar Guild.

Eucharistic Ministers
Eucharistic Ministers administer the consecrated wine to those receiving communion at the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. Both women and men over the age of 16 serve as Eucharistic ministers after thorough training with the clergy and vergers.

Eucharistic Visitors
Eucharistic Visitors, directly following a celebration of the Holy Eucharist, take and administer communion (the consecrated bread and wine) to members of the congregation who by reason of illness or infirmity are unable to be present. 

Flower Guild
The Flower Guild adorns our magnificent worship space with glorious flowers and other decorations befitting each different liturgical season and occasion. They also make small arrangements each week for parishioners in the hospital and homebound. For Christmas, Palm Sunday, and Easter the entire Flower Guild comes together to decorate the church and grounds for these most significant festival days. Over the last several months the Flower Guild has taken on various special events, such as the Annual Picnic and uses their talents to benefit other ministries with the church. All are welcome to join this ministry.

Lay Readers
Lay Readers proclaim God's word by reading the Lessons to the congregation and leading the Prayers of the People from the Lectern. Lay Readers are men and women of at least high school age, must be comfortable reading in public, and will receive training before being scheduled to read. 

Sound System Operators
Sound System Operators run our sound system for Sunday services. We have a few dedicated people serving in this capacity now, but we depend on them too often. It’s not a difficult job but is very important for the seamless flow of our worship. Anyone high-school age or above can serve in this ministry, and it’s a perfect way for you to contribute to our worship. We will provide training. Please contact Regine Reimann at or call her at (561) 655-4555 x117 if you would be interested or if you’d like more information. 

Bethesda's Ushers greet parishioners attending Sunday services, distribute service leaflets, and assist in the general flow of the service—especially with Communion. There are Usher teams and a team normally serves on a rotation. Men and women serve as ushers, and some children serve with their parents when scheduled.

Vergers at Bethesda-by-the-Sea are the behind the scenes coordinators who serve as the principle ministers of ceremony. They work closely with the Clergy to make sure each service runs smoothly. There are many interwoven parts in Episcopal services, and the vergers are charged with ensuring that all the others helping to lead a service have what they need to serve their very best. They coordinate the movements of Acolytes, Eucharistic Ministers, Eucharistic Visitors, and Clergy, and support and coordinate other ministry groups like the Altar Guild and Ushers. They also make guest Clergy and visitors feel welcome while always maintaining a warm, friendly disposition.



If you are interested in any of the ministries above, contact Regine Reimann at (561) 655-4554 x117 or e-mail her at for more information.