There’s been a lot of talk about the idea of community at Bethesda over the last few months. Whether it’s the excellent work of our Invite, Welcome, Connect committee ushering new members into our fold, the extremely successful Palm Beach Empty Bowls event hosted at Bethesda which raised over $130,000 for the Palm Beach Food Bank, our clergy and other liturgical leaders expanding worship offerings like our recent Children’s Ash Wednesday service, or even our Lenten Sunday forum series on the Baptismal Covenant where we’ve been exploring the promises that we make to share a common life together. There’s no area of Bethesda’s various ministries, be it Outreach, Fellowship, Worship, or Formation, that has not leaned heavily on building up and fostering that Spirit of love and connectedness found in community.

Since 1889, the Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea has been a vital part of the town of Palm Beach and its surrounding areas. The Hebrew word “beth” literally means house, and Bethesda has been a spiritual home for generations of south Florida residents since its humble beginnings as a one-room schoolhouse with four communicants. The second Bethesda church building located on the intracoastal side of Palm Beach Island still features a road just off Flagler Blvd. called Bethesda Terrace where worshippers from West Palm Beach would ferry over for Sunday worship. And, of course, there’s the beautiful Bethesda campus we’ve come together in for almost 100 years now, seeking and serving Christ, sharing in the breaking of the bread, singing, crying, laughing, and loving our way through our life-long earthly pilgrimages on our way to our true home with the Divine.

Community is at the heart of what we do and who we are at Bethesda, and I am proud that coming up on Saturday, March 11 from 9:00 a.m.-12:00 noon, Bethesda will host a breakfast for those who serve our local community through the Palm Beach Police Department, Palm Beach Fire and Rescue, and the local Veteran’s Affairs Hospital. We are so grateful to these men and women who serve our community each and every day and it is only right that we say thank you in some small way for the services they provide us.

I pray that your own Lenten journey finds rest and renewal in the support of our loving Bethesda community!

Greg Knight
Associate for Christian Formation