Category Archives: Meetings

NSUK Nordiska Sjömans- och Utlandskyrkorådet – Council of Nordic Seamen’s Churches in Denmark, Faroe Islands, Finland, Norway and Sweden

Uppsala, Sweden 9–10 June 2017

written by rev Jaakko Laasio, FSM

The Nordic council gathers every second year. This year it was hosted by the Church of Sweden and its international department, the Swedish Church abroad. Present were delegates from Denmark, Faroe Islands, Finland, Norway and Sweden, in total 17 people.

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The two day seminar started with two presentations of Christian Calling and Interreligious Dialogue. Formal meeting and members’ reports filled the other day. Sweden and Uppsala was in full summer bloom and all delegates could enjoy the atmosphere of the old university town just north-west of the capital Stockholm.

The Christian Calling leads to a Social Responsibility, was one of the theses of the Very Rev Pernilla Parenmalm from Torshälla, Sweden. She has written a study around the theme for clerical meetings in Church of Sweden. Revd. Parenmalm took us to a personal journey on Christian calling and what it means for each and one of us.1

Professor Mikael Kurkiala from University in Uppsala, Sweden enlightened his subject with personal experiences from various periods lived in a native American reservation in South Dakota, USA. He studied the culture in an anthropologist’s perspective, but as a “natural culture” religion is constantly present. We discussed the importance of understanding different religious languages and even meanings on expressions in relations to different cultural backgrounds. Both themes are familiar to international seafarers’ missions.

Day 1 ended in a delicious meal in a top-floor restaurant with view over all Uppsala. After a peaceful night, it was time to meet again.

Members’ reports were given by the delegates.

Denmark was this time represented by the Danish seamen’s mission and church abroad (DSUK). They have activities around the world in 53 locations of which 22 are in Danish speaking areas in Northern Germany. DSUK has two main tasks: 1. to serve the Danish speaking minority south of the Danish-German border 2. to work elsewhere in the world (with Danish people and seafarers)

Faroe Islands has a seamen’s mission with 36 years of existence. Today it is a church with no priest and no church, but with an administration and active volunteers. They do fundraising by volunteers and are able to serve Faroe seafarers abroad in Iceland, London (UK) and Esbjerg (DK). A growing group of Faroese students living abroad is demanding more attendance.

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The Finnish Seamen’s Mission has worked with a renewed strategy now a year and a half. Service is given to seafarers and Finns abroad. The strategy includes also a plan for economic reform with a goal of no deficit by 2018. A deep cooperation with the Church of Finland continues especially on FSM stations abroad, but also with local parishes in Finland.

Earlier this year same sex marriage became legal in Finland, but not in the church of Finland. FSM reported that it made a bold statement to the church council urging it to change the church legislation. This statement raised positive reactions in the church and among Christian organizations working close to the church.

The Norwegian seamen’s church and church abroad, NSUK has recognised a new security situation in the world. It has connection with a new economic situation dictated especially of oil price, but also increased mobility of people. The organization is working for Norwegians abroad and seafarers. One of the challenges is to find right places to be. “Less cathedrals but more tents” is the line to follow now. With light constructions is easier to react on the movements of people. NSUK has worked with mobile chaplains for several years. They are totally 18 of which 10 serve on oil rigs at North sea, 5 for students around the world and 3 for Africa, Asia and South America.

Also NSUK launched a new strategy recently. It describes three signs of what it is to be NSUK: 1. close to life, 2. church searching for people and meeting them where they are, 3. caring for people

The Swedish Church abroad, SKUT is in the middle of a legal review of the whole organization. It has activities around the world and all stations are also local parishes connected to the diocese of Visby in Sweden. The structure is not compatible with local legislation in all countries and therefore a deep analysis is needed.

SKUT provided church and parish services for Swedes living abroad. The basics of the work are more or less the same than in other Nordic organizations.

Three other organizations belong to this group, but were not represented at the meeting: Indenlansk Sømandsmission (the Danish domestic seamen’s mission), the Seamen’s missions in Sweden and Finnish church abroad.

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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The Journey to Montreal 2015…..

The momentum is building this month for the gathering with ICMA and NAMMA at Montreal September 29th-October 2nd 2015.

MONTREAL
MONTREAL

As the General Secretary opened the proceedings of the recent ICMA Executive Committee meeting in August we committed our work together at Montreal in prayer :  “. . . .let us pray for our time in this meeting and for all the preparations for our Montreal gathering, for the spirit of adventure, discovery and for safe passage and arrival, for success in all we do in the name of International Christian Maritime Association, and especially for the work of those who serve in ports to meet seafarers, and for all at sea in ships in all kinds of conditions, for their wellbeing, their safety, and their families. In Christ’s name.  AMEN

Dr Jason Zuidema Executive Director of NAMMA reports that a hundred people have registered so far for the event, and ICMA will be welcoming some 12 of their 28 member organizations to be represented at the ICMA Annual Meeting Thursday October 1st at 15:00 hrs. at the Conference Venue ; Hotel Zero 1, 1 René-Lévesque Est (East) Montreal, Quebec, H2X 3Z5

ICMA members’ representation 2015:

– Apostleship of the Sea
– Christian Seamen’s Organisation
– Deutsche Seemannsmission
– Mission to Seafarers
– NAMMA
– Nederlandse Zeemanscentrale
– Seemannsmission der Nordkirche
– PCT Seamen’s/Fishermen’s Service Center Taiwan
– Sailors’ Society
– Seamen’s Church Institute of New York & New Jersey
– Stichting Pastoraat Werkers Overzee
– Suomen Merimieskirkko

The meeting will bring many partners in seafarers welfare together with us to share the programme for the week. Significant topics of concern are discussed and our networks are reinforced for the wellbeing of seafarers worldwide. Our partners and contributors here include Seafarers UK, Merchant Navy Welfare Board, ISWAN, ITF Seafarers’ Trust, ITF/SIU, Lutheran Advocates for Maritime Mission, Port Ministries International, AOS-USA and more.

NOTE TO ICMA MEMBERS AND REPRESENTATIVES : Papers and Agenda/Reports for the Annual General Meeting have been emailed already to organizations. This year we are offering for those unable to travel to Montreal to join us on Thursday 1st October by video-conference link.  If an organization can provide representation and want link information; then members are asked to email the General Secretary gensec@icma.as  in advance and we can send details as soon as they are available.

Richard Kilgour. General Secretary

ICMA ExComm Rotterdam 2015

The ICMA ExComm is meeting in Rotterdam for the next few days. Thank you to Chaplain Stephen Hazlett and his team for welcome at the Mission to Seafarers in Rotterdam. Thank you to Capt. Bernt Koning of the Nederlandse Zeemancentrale for organizing the meeting!

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AGM & Consultative Forum Dates Announced

The 2014 Annual General Meeting and Consultative Forum will be held in Copenhagen Denmark. The dates are 19-20 September 2014. Participants will have opportunity to tour the Maritime Museum of Denmark in Helsingor, where the AGM meeting will be held. A Preliminary Schedule will begin at 1000 on 18 September with the Executive Committee meeting. AGM members are asked to arrive for lunch on 19 September. The AGM meeting will be held 20 September a the Maritime Museum. Registration information and materials are being sent to existing member contacts. Email secretariat@icma.as if you need more information.

Collaboration is key to ICMA

It became apparent once again that the members of the International Christian Maritime Association (ICMA) benefit from our Association when individual members share expertise and publicly support one another’s goals.

David Dickens and Queen Elizabeth II
Commodore David Dickens with Queen Elizabeth II

Commodore David Dickens (The Royal National Mission to Deep Sea Fishers), Alexander Campbell (Queen Victoria Seamen’s Rest) and Reverend Hennie la Grange (outgoing general secretary of ICMA) met at the QVSR in East London on Friday.

From the meeting it was clear that funding was increasingly difficult to find.  While funders have changed their funding priorities and have developed application procedures to ensure diligent grant giving, it has become tougher to get money for crucial services and emergency response.  It was floated that, perhaps, the changing needs of the welfare sector have not been recognised or understood by our traditional supporters.

While funders were reluctant to support hostel-style accommodation in London, the QVSR boasted 99% occupation levels each year. QVSR’s longer term residents from maritime backgrounds tended to resist being re-housed in council-supported private accommodation, as they needed the maritime feel of the Rest and its sense of community.  Years at sea have severed their links to onshore community life, and that is what the Seamen’s Rest is able to provide.

Similarly the Fisherman’s Mission has deepening concern for foreign seafarers working in fishing.  Recent incidents of foreign sailors incarcerated for being in the UK illegally, abandoned here due to failed contracts (a recent case highlighted by AOS GB), and of families abroad left destitute after loss of a fisher’s life, strengthens the Fishers Mission’s resolve to use the ICMA network internationally to reach these families, and to roll out assistance to international seafarers.

The leaders of RNMDSF and QVSR came away from the meeting committed to helping one another in matters of faith and resolved to collaborate on matters ofmutual interest.

NAMMA Conference approaches

800px-PortEvergladesAffiliates to ICMA’s founding member, the North American Maritime Ministry Association (NAMMA), are urged to register for the upcoming NAMMA Conference.  The NAMMA Conference commences on August 5, 2013 and concludes on August 8.

“It is shaping up to be a great time of sharing and learning,” said Loring Carpenter, the NAMMA Executive Director and soon to be General Secretary of ICMA.

The quality of speakers, the content and relevance of the presentations, and the chance to share mutual issues as we serve seafarers make this an invaluable few days. In addition, you’ll have fun in the sun! We will have a chance to meet the new General Secretary of Mission to Seafarers, and hear from him on the life of Fishers (he was most recently the leader of a mission to Fishers). Our keynote speaker will be Keynote Speaker: Rev. John W. Crossin, OSFS, Executive Director, Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops from the Bishops Council and a dynamic advocate of mariners. And we will have opportunity to learn more about Critical Incident Stress Management from one of the internationally known trainers.

So don’t hesitate. Get to the web site and make your reservation now!

ICMA comes to LIFE

RumaniaAt the invitation of ICMA member LIFE International Ministries, the 2013 Annual General Meeting of the International Christian Maritime Association is, God willing, set to take place in Bucharest, Rumania.

At its meeting in London on Friday 17th May, the Executive Committee accepted the invitation of LIFE to gather in Bucharest.   The decision was taken in line with the policy to visit members of the Association.  Two members had offered to host the 2013 Annual General Meeting.  ICMA appreciates its members’ hospitality.

Our smaller members face unique challenges.  Our visit to LIFE shows the Association’s solidarity with its smaller members.

Director of LIFE, Florin Garbea, said:

“We are a small member, but would be honoured to host the ICMA family in Rumania.”

Members will be expected to arrive in Bucharest by the evening of September 30th, in time for the opening reception.

The members will meet on the 1st of October to discuss the results of the ICMA Strategic Review, and will participate in the planning for its implementation.  The Executive Committee will present a Strategic Plan for ICMA that reflects the outcomes of last year’s Members’ Consultation in Rome.  The Strategic Plan will be available by September 1st, 2013.

The Annual General Meeting will take place on the morning of October 2nd, 2013, followed by an ecumenical service of worship.

Members will depart from Bucharest after lunch on 2 October.

At its meeting earlier this year in Dublin, the Executive Committee urged members to participate in the discussions on the Strategic Plan.  To facilitate input from the whole Association, papers would be circulated well in advance. Comments and suggestions sent to the Secretariat by e-mail before the meeting, would be considered, even if the member cannot be present in Bucharest.  In London, the Executive Committee invited members to send delegations to Bucharest.  It was hoped that all members would be represented.

Information and registration forms will reach members shortly.   Guests are encouraged to book flights well in advance to ensure the best fares.  LIFE has secured excellent accommodation in Bucharest at a good price.

Delegates will pay all their own costs.  ICMA and LIFE will do our best to keep costs down.

Regional Conference commits to priorities for ministry

The final report from the ICMA Regional Conference held in Odessa concludes with a set of statements by the delegates that underline the region’s commitment to caring for the welfare of seafarers.

The outgoing Regional Coordinator, AOS Deacon Ricardo Rodriguez Martos from Barcelona, Spain, wrote that the region was committed to pursue the following goals and priorities in delivering care to seafarers and families in the Black Sea, Mediterranean and Middle East Region of the international Christian Maritime Association.

  1. Port Welfare Committees: PWC’s are very important for achieving more efficient assistance to seafarers. The region’s chaplains would promote such committees in each port.
  2. Maritime Piracy Humanitarian Response Programme: In cases of emergency or of piracy, port authorities, ship owners and the ship’s agents should be aware of the important role that port chaplains can play in welfare response and first emergency response.
  3. ICMA Code of Conduct: To enhance ecumenical working, chaplains, volunteers and welfare workers from ICMA’s members should follow the ICMA Code of Conduct.
  4. Networking:  Being connected to one another benefits seafarers and should be an ongoing goal of all ICMA members’ personnel and centres.
  5. Cruise ship ministry:  Given that access to cruise ships is not easily gained, a short and simple directory of ports and welfare providers in the region would be produced and distributed among crews and crew coordinators on these ships.
  6. MLC 2006: ICMA centres should promote the ratification of MLC 2006 in those countries where it is not yet incorporated in national legislation,  and are urged to  collaborate in its implementation in all ports of the region.
  7. Ship visiting: Given the fast turnaround and workload while in port, many seafarers have no time to go ashore. Therefore, ICMA personnel should prioritise ship visiting
  8. Onboard welfare:  Chaplains could facilitate groups on board that care for the welfare of fellow crew members.  These groups could form informal welfare committees or prayer groups.
  9. Seafarers Rights:  Chaplains are encouraged to engage advocacy for seafarers rights

This ICMA Regional Conference was made possible by a grant received from the ITF Seafarers Trust.  ICMA thanks the Trust for its generous support.

CLICK HERE for the full report from the Regional Conference

 

CODE OF CONDUCT
OF THE

INTERNATIONAL CHRISTIAN MARITIME ASSOCIATION

 

 The Mission of ICMA

Membership of ICMA carries an obligation to abide by the Constitution of the Association and of this Code of Conduct.

The seafarers of the world remind us of the ultimate purpose of all God’s plans:” And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come” (Matthew 24,14 NIV). In a fragmented and divided society, it is ICMA ’s mission to promote unity, peace and tolerance. ICMA was founded for promoting and co-ordinating Christian ecumenical co-operation in maritime ministry.

Chaplains and staff of all ICMA Member Societies at local, national and international level are therefore to:

  1. Show an unconditional love to the seafarer as a human being, created in the image of God, and a sincere respect for her/his personal values and beliefs;
  2. Serve seafarers and their dependants of all nationalities, religions, cultures, language, sex or race;
  3. Fight prejudice, intolerance and injustice of any kind;
  4. Respect the diversity of ICMA Members and Churches and to develop that which unites them;
  5. Respect the loyalty of those engaged in maritime ministry to their particular ecclesiastical discipline and tradition and refrain from proselytising seafarers;
  6. Co-operate with persons, organisations and institutions, Christian or non-Christian, which work for the welfare of seafarers.

 

CLICK HERE for a printable version of the ICMA Code of Conduct

CLICK HERE for the French version of the ICMA Code of Conduct