ICMA Annual General Meeting and Seminar, London, UK, Sept. 12-14, 2017

International Christian Maritime Association Active During London International Shipping Week

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 London, 13 September 2017

The International Christian Maritime Association, the worldwide association of faith-based seafarers’ welfare providers, held its annual meeting and seminar in London this past week, coinciding with London International Shipping Week. Founded in 1969, the Association counts among its members seafarers’ welfare providers operating in more than 450 ports worldwide. Association member Queen Victoria Seamen’s Rest hosted the meeting, which included the Port Welfare Partnership Project launch and seminar at Trinity House on September 13 in collaboration with the International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN) and the Merchant Navy Welfare Board (MNWB). Seminar topics included best practice on the formation and function of port welfare committees per the MLC, 2006 and the use of new technology for the provision of seafarers’ welfare.

At the meeting ICMA recognized the statutory end of term for Fr. Bruno Ciceri of the Apostleship of the Sea as Chair of the Board. The incoming Chair is Rev. Heike Proske, General Secretary of the Deutsche Seemannsmission. Commenting on this change, Rev. Andrew Wright, Secretary General of The Mission to Seafarers and incoming Vice Chair of ICMA, offered thanks on behalf of ICMA to Fr. Bruno for “being passionate about ICMA and so committed to ecumenical work.” Wright said also that Rev. Proske “is ideal for leadership of the board – she has a deep ecumenical commitment, uncompromisingly believes in the ICMA project, and has a long experience with the Association.”

ICMA also announced a collaboration with the North American Maritime Ministry Association to bring on Dr. Jason Zuidema, Executive Director of NAMMA, as the General Secretary of ICMA. The arrangement will see Zuidema continue his role with NAMMA at two-thirds time, working with ICMA in the remaining third. Commenting on this arrangement, incoming Chair Rev. Proskesaid “we are pleased that NAMMA can work with us on this collaboration. We look forward to the next year of projects with Dr. Zuidema, including a renewed focus on professional development and networking.”

Zuidema brings with him experience in port chaplaincy and higher education in his native Montreal, Quebec, before becoming Executive Director of NAMMA in 2013. He has served as Vice Chair of the ICMA board since 2014. Addressing the board, Zuidema noted how pleased he was to work with ICMA at this time: “It is a privilege to serve as General Secretary of ICMA to help connect and encourage seafarers’ welfare across the globe. I welcome and encourage feedback and ideas on how ICMA can continue and improve service to its members.”

About ICMA: ICMA was founded in 1969 to encourage ecumenical collaboration and mutual assistance among faith-based seafarers’ welfare organisations. Such collaboration works at local level, in port, and at national and international level. In a fragmented and divided society, it is the mission of ICMA to promote unity, peace and tolerance. It is the duty of every ICMA chaplain and welfare worker to serve seafarers, fishers and their dependants regardless of nationality, religion, culture, gender or ethnic origin. www.icma.as

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