Get Involved!

Faith in Action

Parishioners are the heart of BBTS, contributing thousands of volunteer hours each year to more than forty ministries serving the congregation as well as the local community and beyond. It is a cornerstone of our faith to serve the community while engaging in fellowship with others.

Bethesda has a vibrant community of volunteer parishioners making sure that grants are awarded, high-school students are mentored, altar linens are prepared, flowers are arranged, and newcomers are welcomed. Read on to learn more about the many ways you can get involved.

Not sure which opportunity is best for you? We have a brief Spiritual Gifts Assessment for you to take that will match your gifts with one of the offerings below. To access the Assessment, click here, print it, and fill it out. Questions? Contact April Lawrence at or Rev. Canon Elizabeth Rankin at Enjoy!


Ambassador Program

The Ambassador Program serves to ensure a welcoming presence at Bethesda. The primary role is to greet those attending services with special attention to newcomers – making sure that their questions are answered and that they are invited to get more involved with Bethesda. Ambassadors manage the nametags and attend the Hospitality Hour following the service, to welcome newcomers and introduce them to other parishioners.

Please let us know if you are interested in joining this 100+ member ministry. Ambassadors typically serve once a month or every other month.

For more information, please click here:

Flower Guild of Bethesda

We want you! No experience required.
The Flower Guild is a ministry carried out by parishioners, in fellowship, to enhance the worship experience of our parish.

We arrange all of the flowers inside the church: Sunday Worship, Weddings, Funerals, Christmas, Easter, and Palm Sunday.

  • Wednesday mornings: cut-in the flowers after delivery and make the oasis bases used at the altars.
  • Thursday mornings: dismantle the flowers from the Sunday before and get set-up in the church.
  • Friday mornings: arrange church flowers, make boutonnieres for the ushers, create the small julep cup arrangements for both homebound/ hospitalized parishioners, and to welcome newcomers on Sunday.
  • Saturday and Monday we water, mist, and replace any dead blooms.

Some Flower Guild members work once a week, others find that they are only able to join in a few times each year. We welcome your participation at whatever level works.

For more information, please click here:

Altar Guild

Altar Guild is a group of parish men and women whose ministry is to organize and maintain the silver vessels, linens, communion supplies and candles used in the liturgy. The volunteers work in close coordination with the Clergy and Director of Music to prepare the sanctuary for services in a way that enhances the worship experience. They participate in managing baptisms, confirmations, wedding and funeral services. Cleaning up following a service is also a responsibility of the Guild volunteers. This ministry is sacred and most spiritually fulfilling. Although this is a voluntary ministry, the rector invites volunteers to be on the altar guild and the volunteers serve at the pleasure of the rector.

For more information, please click here:


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

For more information, please click here:


The Ushers at Bethesda play the important role of helping every worshiper find their way. More than just seating people, ushers also manage doors, receive the collection, maintain traffic flow during communion, and help with other logistics during church services and other important events in the life of the parish. Ushers are trained and organized into teams who are called on a rotation once every few weeks.

For more information, please click here:


Readers proclaim God’s word by reading the Lessons to the congregation and leading the Prayers of the People from the Lectern. Readers can be men, women, or children in eighth grade, must be comfortable reading in public, and will receive training before being scheduled to read.

For more information, please click here:

Lay Eucharistic Ministry

The Lay Eucharistic Ministry (LEM) program trains and empowers members of the congregation to assist Bethesda’s clergy in offering of the Eucharist during services.

For more information, please click here:


The Vergers at Bethesda provide discreet assistance for everyone who has an active role in the service. This includes checking that all assigned volunteers have arrived on time, lining up and providing cues for processions to begin, and being the contact point for all worship ministers before, during, and after services. Perhaps the most important role is supporting and serving the clergy and key worship ministers to allow them more time for pastoral and sacramental responsibilities. Vergers are trained in the various roles required and are vested while serving.

For more information, please click here:

The Bethesda Choir

The Bethesda Choir is an all-paid ensemble, directed by the Associate for Music and Liturgy, whose chief responsibility is to lead Sunday worship. Rehearsals take place on Thursday evenings, September through May. The choir rehearses every Sunday morning and sings at the11:00 a.m. service. There is also a choral service on the first Sunday afternoon of each month from October through May, and the choir plays an important role in numerous Holy Week and Christmas services, some of which include orchestral accompaniment. Some choir members are also scheduled to help lead the 9:00 a.m. Sunday service and/or the Summer Choir.

The choir’s repertoire focuses on cathedral-style music from the vast Anglican tradition. Strong sight-reading ability, and comfort with singing in straight tone, is required of all singers.

To schedule an audition, or to hear more detail about the program click here:

Boars Head Festival

The Bethesda Boar’s Head and Yule Log Festival was established in 1977. The traditional English Boar’s Head Festival dates back to the 1300’s in Queen’s College, Oxford. Wild boars menaced villagers in Norman England, and the serving of the boar symbolized the triumph of good over evil. In the beautiful gothic church, we relive the pageantry and drama of 14th Century England. More than 160 cast members of all ages, including parishioners, vocalists, the Bethesda Choir, Palm Beach Pipes and Drums, and Instrumentalists, dress as lords and ladies, sprites, pages, jesters, shepherds, huntsmen, and beefeaters, in a mingling of secular and Christian traditions. You will hear favorite Christmas Carols, enjoy fantastic costumes and performances, and feel the majesty of the arrival of the Baby Jesus. The festival takes place on the Sunday closest to The Epiphany, the twelfth day of Christmas, which is the date we commemorate the Three Kings’ arrival in Bethlehem. Please watch for church communications about participating.

For more information, please click here:


Daughters of the King (DOK)

Daughters are women who, while enjoying spiritual companionship with one another, come together to pray, serve, and evangelize. All women are invited and encouraged to prayerfully consider becoming a Daughter in our newly re-formed Chapter at Bethesda-by-the-Sea

Learn more about Daughters of the King on the national website:

For more information, please click here:

Eucharistic Visitor

The Ministry of Eucharistic Visitor is a ministry in which lay people, licensed by the Bishop of Southeast Florida, are trained to be “sent out” to those by reason of sickness or injury, or who cannot attend services, and who would like to receive Holy Communion. The Eucharistic Visitor brings the Sacrament of Communion from the Altar to those in hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, and at home, directly following the Sunday service. This special and unique ministry shares the Gospel, prayers, and the love of Christ.

For more information, please click here:

Healing Prayer

  • Weekly Wednesday Eucharist at 12:05pm is followed by prayers with Laying on of Hands for Healing & Anointing.
  • The last Sunday of each month, Laying on of Hands for Healing & Anointing is offered after the 9 and 11am services.


Every member of Bethesda is assigned a Shepherd who emails them monthly with parish information, offering their assistance in times of need. The Shepherds are extensions of the Pastoral Care Ministry of Bethesda and serve as trained conduits of pastoral information and caring souls to get pastoral ministry done. They also serve to integrate members into our large and diverse community – establishing important relationships with new members who may not know other Bethesda members.

If you’d like to know the name of your Shepherd, or for additional information, please click here or email

*You may indicate your interest in becoming a Shepherd, but please note this ministry is by clergy invitation.


Nursery (3 years old and under)

All ages are welcome in our worship services – including our youngest members. However, for parents that would like a safe, caring space for their infants and toddlers to relax and play in during worship and events, we offer childcare for all children ages 3 and under.

The Nursery is available in the Sunday School Hall from 7:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. each Sunday during the program year. We have a staff who have pre-school experience and extensive training, working with young people. No registration is necessary. Children must be signed in/out by a parent or guardian.

For more information, please click here:

Sunday School (Pre-K – 7th Grade)

Participating in the worship life of the Episcopal Church is the primary way that children are formed in our faith. Sunday School serves as a helpful supplement to all things learned in weekly services. Classes range from a fun, interactive storytelling experience in our 3 – & 4-year-old Pre-K Class; a variety of learning experiences in our rotation classes for our K-5th Grade children, and a chance to explore tough questions about faith and life in our 6th & 7th Grade Pre-Confirmation Class.

Sunday School Classes meet most Sunday mornings from 9:45 a.m. -11:00 a.m.. No registration is necessary for participation. Children must be signed in/out by a parent or guardian.

For more information, please click here:

Confirmation Class (8th Grade)

Confirmation is a sacrament offered by the Episcopal Church where a young person is invited to make a mature affirmation of faith before the bishop and the community. According to the Book of Common Prayer, a period of study is necessary before entering into this commitment. Bethesda’s Confirmation Class invites young people to explore deeply into the sacraments, history, and beliefs of the Episcopal Church.

The Confirmation Class meets from 9:45 a.m. -11:00 a.m. in the ECW Room most Sunday mornings. It is open to all youth in 8th Grade or older. Pre-registration is encouraged.

For more information, please click here:

Pilgrimage Class (9th – 12th Grade)

Each year, our Bethesda high school students work on a year-long pilgrimage or mission project. In 2021-2022, our youth will be organizing a pilgrimage to northern Spain, walking the Camino Ingles to Santiago de Compostela. A pilgrimage is an ancient Christian practice of taking a spiritual journey, usually by foot, to visit a holy site. It is an opportunity to empty oneself through physical, mental, and spiritual exertion in order to be filled with the gifts of the Holy Spirit through community, curiosity, and discovery.

The Pilgrimage Class is open to all high school youth in 9th-12th Grade. We meet weekly in the Youth Room on Sunday mornings from 9:45 a.m. -11:00 a.m.. Members of the group are also asked to participate in occasional fundraising projects and special events.

For more information, please click here:

Middle Way

Have you ever wanted to dig a little deeper into Christian faith and spiritual practices or learn more about religious history and cultural analysis from qualified thinkers? Then Middle Way is the right place for you. Middle Way is an adult education series that offers a diverse slate of classes for the body, mind, and soul, featuring Bethesda clergy and staff as well as expert guests. If you’re serious about learning more about what it means to live a life of faith, then you will be right at home at Middle Way.

Middle Way meets Wednesday evenings with a community meal beginning at 6:00 p.m. Classes follow dinner at 6:30 p.m. and the evening ends with a brief candlelight prayer service at 7:45 p.m. There are no prerequisites for attending classes.

For more information, please click here:

Bethesda Youth Group

For teenagers, Bethesda offers a regular weekly Youth Group Wednesday nights for all those in 6th-12th Grade. The Bethesda Youth Group engages in fascinating conversations about faith and life while leaving time for fun and games. We also have many special events over the course of the year including annual Universal Studios and camping trips, as well as volunteer opportunities with local outreach organizations.

The Bethesda Youth Group meets Wednesday evenings in the Youth Room. We begin with dinner at 6:00 p.m. and end with prayer in the church at 7:45 p.m. No registration is necessary to participate.

For more information, please click here:

Little Way (Kindergarten – 5th Grade)

Little Way is our Wednesday night Children’s Group geared for 5 -10-year-olds. Each week we learn more about a bible story through fun games and crafts.

Little Way is open to all children from Kindergarten through 5th Grade. The class meets in the Sunday School Hall following dinner at 6:00 p.m. We end with a brief candlelight service in the church at 7:45 p.m. No registration is necessary to participate.

For more information, please click here:

Theology in Film

We live in a world that features more popular culture than at any other time in human history. The Theology in Film class explores the messages of popular culture in movies to provide new and interesting ways of looking at our own Christian story. Each month we will take a couple of weeks to discuss the Gospel Reading from our Sunday services and pair that story with a popular film.

Theology in Film is a class for adults that meets via Zoom on Tuesday evenings from 7:00-8:00 p.m. Films are assigned every other week for participants to watch on their own. The movies discussed are typically available on popular streaming platforms or digital rental and are also frequently available on DVD through the Palm Beach Library System.

For more information, please click here:

Sunday Adult Forums

Sunday mornings are all about community at Bethesda; from our common worship to our common coffee time. Our Sunday Adult Forums build from that concept of community through two unique education opportunities. The first is a Community Forum that provides an informal information booth each week highlighting an ongoing Bethesda ministry or upcoming special event. The second is a Bible/Preaching Forum that features a discussion about the scripture reading for the week and the inspiration that went into the formation of that Sunday’s sermon. Get to know more about the life and leadership of Bethesda each week.

Sunday Adult Forums are offered in the Parish Hall during the Education Hour from 9:45 -11:00 a.m. The more formal Bible/Preaching Forum will be on the side with the stage and screen, while the more informal Community Forum will be in the coffee and refreshments area.

For more information, please click here:

Previewing the Lectionary

Want to learn more about the Bible? Join Tom O’Brien’s “Previewing the Lectionary” Course that examines the meanings and background of the readings for each upcoming Sunday.

This one-hour Zoom class meets on Fridays at 10:00 a.m. by Zoom.
If you are interested in exploring this, send an email to. We will sign you up and send you the readings for each week, a few days in advance of the class. If you cannot make a class, there is a recording of it that you can watch at your leisure.

For more information, please click here:

Ladies Bible Study

This ladies’ study meets in the Guild Room Wednesday mornings, 10:00 -11:30 a.m. during the academic year, with breaks that coincide with school vacations. Participants are primarily ladies with school-age families. We use video-based topical studies with ample time for group discussion — but we also change our format from time to time. Themes we have covered in the past: God’s Grace, Using Words Wisely, The Miracles of Jesus; Ruth, Philippians, “Bible 101.”

All levels of Biblical Literacy are welcome. We participate in at least two outreach events every year, such as the Easter Homebound Luncheon and the Angel Tree project. Sorry, childcare is currently not available for this study.

For more information, please click here:

Bagels & Bible

Bagels & Bible Study is open to all adults and is a chance to dig deeper into one book of the bible at a time. Tuesdays at 9:00 a.m. Greg Knight will lead this group discussion of scripture. We’re not a group looking for bible experts, just people who are curious about how the stories from the bible echo in our lives today. And we occasionally have bacon. You can bring your own bible or use one of ours. This is a great way to study scripture, engage in fellowship with Bethesda parishioners, and foster a spirit of life-long learning in community.

Education for Ministry

Education for Ministry (EfM) invites participants into small, mentored groups that provide the framework for understanding life and shaping actions as Christian faith is deepened. EfM provides a four-year curriculum that develops a theologically informed, reflective, and articulate laity.

For more information, please click here:

Bethesda Little Blessings

Having a baby comes with a lot of questions. When should we get him/her baptized? Should we start going to church more often? Is there something I am supposed to be teaching my child? Are we the only family that is asking these questions? Bethesda Little Blessings is a chance to meet and create a social network with other Bethesda parents who have the exact same questions you do. Through quarterly meetings, parents with newborns can learn more about the other families that call Bethesda home and how to connect for playdates, community events, and more.

We meet for informal party-style gatherings on Saturdays with parents and little ones, about four times per year, before scheduled baptisms in November, January, April, and June. Invitations will be extended to all parents who request their child’s baptism. Participation is not required for baptism but is encouraged for those who are interested in meeting other young Bethesda families.

For more information, please click here:


Bethesda Book Club

The Book Club was started over 20 years ago by Ros Warren (former Rector Warren’s wife), and has met traditionally monthly, in the Church’s Library, during the Palm Beach Season (November – April). We meet on the first Wednesday of each month at 3:00 p.m. for about 1.5 hours. During Covid we have met using Zoom and continued through the summers but hope to return to in-person meetings this Fall. The members choose the books and then agree to lead the discussion; our guidelines are that the books must be less than 500 pages, accessible to the reading public, and available at local bookstores or Amazon. About half of the books are fiction and half are non-fiction.

For more information, please click here

Events (Planning/Setting Up/Cleaning Up/Hosting)

We will always need you to assist in planning, setting up, hosting and cleaning up after events and this is a wonderful way to meet people while being of service to your church community.

For more information, please click here

Men of Bethesda

The Men of Bethesda (known at the M.O.B) is a group of men from our congregation who share a monthly fellowship and prayer, gathering on the second Monday morning of each month in our Parish Hall. All men of our beloved church are invited and encouraged to attend. We enjoy occasional evening socials at our church, homes, and local restaurants, with our loved ones and friends.

For more information, please click here

St. Mary’s Guild

Membership is open to all women who wish to deepen their spiritual life while supporting the Mission of the Church through worship, study, fellowship, and service.

We meet the first Monday of the month and begin with a general meeting, followed by a speaker, and then a luncheon. In 2019, we celebrated our 70th year.

For more information, please click here


The Vestry of Bethesda-by-the-Sea is the governing body that manages the temporal (nonspiritual) affairs of the parish. It is composed of the rector and a group of elected parishioners. The Vestry has three primary responsibilities. The first two are managerial: to take care of parish finances and the parish buildings. The third is to identify, encourage and provide opportunity for members of the congregation to serve in leadership positions. The Vestry approves the choice of a new rector, the choice of delegates to the diocesan convention, the slate of nominees for Vestry service. and the selection of others as the diocesan canons may stipulate. The Vestry also serves as an advisory council to the rector who by church law is the parish’s chief liturgical and pastoral officer.

The Vestry of Bethesda-by-the-Sea currently has twelve elected members. Vestry members normally serve a three-year term and must be members in good standing of the parish.

Each fall, members of Bethesda are invited to submit their own name or the name of another member to serve on the Vestry. Those names are reviewed by the Vestry Nominating Committee and a slate of nominees is presented for election at the annual parish meeting in January. For more information, watch this website and weekly parish email.

Audit Subcommittee

The mission of the Audit Subcommittee lies in two related areas. First, it oversees the work of the certified public accountants (auditors) engaged by Bethesda each year to opine on Bethesda’s annual financial statements. The Subcommittee advises the Vestry in engaging the auditors and oversees their work (audit), reporting to the Vestry the audit’s progress, any ob-stacles to audit’s timely completion, and any reservations of the auditors about providing an unqualified report (clean opinion). Second, the Subcommittee advises the Vestry on how to address misdeeds that may harm Bethesda financially, whether discovered by the auditors or reported by employees or volunteers. In this area, the Subcommittee as certains who committed each such misdeed, how it was committed, how better policies and procedures could have prevented it, how Bethesda might recover any losses arising from it, and how to deal fairly and effectively with the wrongdoer. Except for the Chair, members of the Subcommittee need not be Vestry members.

For more information, please click here:

Buildings and Grounds

The Buildings and Grounds Subcommittee has oversight of our beautiful facilities. It is chaired by the Junior Warden and needs members interested in the restoration, upkeep, and improvement of the structures and gardens.

For more information, please click here:


Changing Lives through Education

Mentoring entails working in a group environment with hard working, driven, polite, thoughtful, and impoverished students. We work to improve their skills and provide guidance to help our students succeed in college. We meet as a group at either Forest Hill High School or Lake Worth High School one afternoon (typically at 3:00 p.m.) a week for 60 to 90 minutes.

Bethesda-by-the-Sea provides a four-year university tuition-based scholarship. The State of Florida matches our funding, and mentoring is required for the scholarship. Currently, we have twenty students in the program—all attending university throughout Florida and beyond. To ensure the safety of students, the PBC School District requires a Level 2 Federal Background Check conducted only by the District.

For more information, please click here:

Volunteering in Early Childhood Education with Opportunity Inc.

Opportunity Inc. was created in 1939 by Bethesda-by-the-Sea parishioners who wanted to help the fishermen’s families in Riviera Beach. Today, it is thriving in a new center on the westside area, providing stellar pre-school education to 96 working families.

Volunteers from Bethesda-by-the-Sea can help in three ways – working with 4- and 5- year olds in the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) lab, helping in the Family Resource Center (filling shopping bags, stocking the food pantry), or simply reading to a class.

For more information, please click here:

Grants Committee

The Grants Committee awards funds to agencies working in the areas of education, food, and shelter in Palm Beach County. With monies attained through sales at The Church Mouse, we award grants to agencies who are working to strengthen the educational advantages of students, alleviate food insecurity throughout the county, and provide shelter to the homeless.

We are looking for people who are passionate about helping our fellow community members in these three areas. The Grants Committee works over several months reading applications, visiting the applying agencies, and fulfilling many requests while turning down others.

For more information, please click here:

Empty Bowls

Empty Bowls is a national event hosted on a local scale. Attendees enjoy a simple meal of soup, bread, and water. The theme is to “Eat Simply So Others May Simply Eat.” Local community leaders, restaurants, and volunteers, donate their time and soups to create an awesome event for all. This grassroots event raises money for hunger relief in Palm Beach County.

For more information, please click here:

St. George’s Dinners

Bethesda parishioners volunteer on the first and third Wednesday of the month to prepare a dinner meal to serve between 150-225 people at St. George’s in Riviera Beach. Food prep begins at 1:30 p.m. at St. George’s Center and takes about 3 – 3 ½ hours. Setup requires volunteers to arrive between 4:30-5:00 p.m. We begin serving at 5:30 p.m. and complete serving at 6:30 p.m. Cleanup is from 6:30-7:00 p.m.

For more information, please click here:

St. George’s Sandwiches

Every Friday, people of all ages meet in the Kitchen to make sandwiches for the St. George’s Community Center in Riviera Beach. It takes approximately 1.5 hours. The Center serves over 1,900 meals a week. This is a fun opportunity to help feed those in need in our community while getting to know fellow parishioners.

For more information, please click here:

Christmas and Easter Homebound Luncheon and Eucharist

We host a luncheon during Christmas and Easter followed by Eucharist for all homebound members of our parish and nursing long-term care facilities in Palm Beach County.

Help is needed setting tables, transporting wheelchairs, serving meals, and cleaning up from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

For more information, please click here:

Port Ministry at Bethesda-by-the-Sea

The Port Ministry at Bethesda-by-the-Sea is part of the worldwide Mission to Seafarers Ministry of the Anglican Communion. The Port Ministry at Bethesda provides spiritual and material support for the mariners of every nation who call at the Port of Palm Beach. The people of Bethesda provide donations of clothing, knitted caps, treats of all kinds, as well as support for Christmas and Easter at sea. Donations are used to give the mariner of every ship which arrives in Palm Beach during the season of Christmas, a Christmas gift. This is an important ministry which welcomes the stranger in our midst and shares the love of Christ to the ends of the Earth.

For more information, please click here:

Saturday Stitchers

Saturday Stitchers are now meeting in the BBTS Library on the first and third Saturday of the month at 10:00 a.m. We invite anyone to bring needlework and join in the fellowship or bring a project you want to learn. Current members may assist with knitting, crochet, needlepoint, counted cross stitch, and embroidery, among others. If any child aged 10-up has a project, we are available to teach the craft. Please join us!

For more information, please click here:

Angel Tree

Perhaps one of the hardest times of the year for families in need is the Christmas season. At this time, we partner with various local agencies to provide gifts for children and teens who would otherwise not receive a gift.

We are looking for people to join in this effort at many different levels. You can keep an eye out for the Angel Tree during Advent, select a name or two or more from the tree, and bring back your chosen gifts for us to distribute through our partner agency. You could also help other parishioners find names of children to buy for, track the names that have been selected, and help collect gifts as they are brought to the church.

For more information, please click here:

Blessing of the Animals

In the celebration of the Feast of St. Francis, we invite you to join us at 9:00 a.m. for a Morning Prayer service with the Blessing of the Animals. We encourage you to bring your pets to the service for them to be blessed. Please gather in the Garth with your pets at 8:45 a.m.. Volunteers collect pet food and supplies for local pet shelters.

For more information, please click here:

Share What You CAN

Share What you CAN is the food drive part of Feeding in February. This is the perfect activity for those whose job or family limits their availability since most of the work is done before and following Sunday services.

In February, we will attach instruction sheets to grocery bags and after worship services, we hand out those bags. On the Sunday when the bags are returned, we staff the drop off points so that the heavy bags do not have to be carried far.

For more information, please click here:


The Church Mouse

The Church Mouse funds Bethesda’s Outreach programs. We provide for those in need of shelter for the night, education opportunities, and a meal for the day. Let’s roll up our sleeves and lift ourselves towards a higher purpose. It is only through our sweet and generous actions that we show the love within our hearts. Come join our ministry. Our hard work and dedication will highlight the best of humanity. Our volunteers assist by servicing the clientele in our retail setting. We ask that you serve at least one shift per week. Each shift consists of three and a half hours. We look forward to seeing you this season.

For more information, please click here:

141 South County Road, Palm Beach, Florida 33480 | (561) 655-4554

Social Media – Subscribe, Like, and Share

Stay connected with us through our YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and our Instagram pages.