The church takes its ministry to the real world
The church, in serving seafarers, follows Christ’s commission to be present in their world.Â This was the theme of Douglas B. Stevenson’s sermon delivered at Trinity Wall Street Church in Lower Manhattan, New York City, last Sunday to commemorate Maritime Day in the United States on May 22nd.Â
Douglas Stevenson is the Chair of the International Christian Maritime Association (ICMA) and Director of the Center for Seamen’s Rights (CSR) at the Seamen’s Church Institute of New York and New Jersey (SCI).
We depend completely on merchant shipping.Â The world’s prosperity depends on shipping. People make shipping possible: seafarers. We depend on seafarers for our national security, our prosperity and our daily living. Virtually everything that we consume has travelled on a ship.
Seafarers face perils, among these pirates. At the very moment of the service 209 merchant mariners are held hostage by Somali pirates. Since 2006, 4800 seafarers have been held hostage.
Seafarers are strangers wherever they go. Chaplains are friends to the friendless.Â The core mission of the SCI is support for the personal, professional and spiritual needs of the world’s seafarers.Â Ours is a ministry of hospitality.
The church takes its ministry to the real world.Â The maritime industry is blessed by having the church as part of it. The SCI works with the International Christian Maritime Association, the most ecumenical and cooperative part of the church, unprecedented in Christendom.
Stevenson urged parishioners to pray for seafarers and to remember mariners’ contributions to our lives.