Category Archives: News

Northern Europe Region to hold conference

rantasauna-3The caretaker-regional coordinator for the Northern Europe Region of International Christian Maritime Association, the Reverend Jaakko Laasio, has invited chaplains and other ICMA personnel from the region to register for its regional conference in September.  The Suomen Merimieskirkko (Finnish Seamen’s Mission) are our hosts.

The conference starts on 17th September 2013 in the Conference Centre Sofia,  Helsinki Finland and end on the 20th.  And of course, this being Finland, there will be saunas! (Pictured here.)

Highlights of the Programme will include:

Day 1: 17th September, Arrival and opening ceremonies
Day 2: 18th September, Understanding our work
Day 3: 19th September, Excursion to Tallinn, MLC2006
Day 4: 20th September, Networking

ITF ST LOGOPersons working for ICMA members within the Northern Europe Region are invited to attend the conference.  If you qualify, please register immediately.  Please contact Jaakko at Jaakko.Laasio@merimieskirkko.fi

Jaakko Laasio wrote:

ICMA has received a generous grant from the ITF Seafarers Trust for this conference. With help of this grant we can offer the conference in a reasonable price. We thank ITF ST for generosity.

July 16: Service at the departure of Hennie la Grange

Hennie la Grange, ICMA's General Secretary
Hennie la Grange, ICMA’s General Secretary

Dear Friends,

 

The Rev. Hendrik F. la Grange has resigned as General Secretary of the International Christian Maritime Association (ICMA), to pursue other interests.   The effective date of his resignation is July 31, 2013.  ICMA is very grateful for Hennie’s contributions and will honor him at an ecumenical worship service and reception at 11:00 a.m. on July 16, 2013 at St Michael Paternoster Royal, College Hill, London EC4R 2RL, England.

 

Please join us in thanking and honoring Hennie for his many contributions to ICMA on July 16.  I would appreciate your informing us that you will attend the service and reception by emailing the Rev. Canon Ken Peters at: KenPeters@missiontoseafarers.org

 

Loring Carpenter and Douglas B. Stevenson
Loring Carpenter and Douglas B. Stevenson

The Rev. Loring Carpenter will relieve Hennie as interim General Secretary on July 15 as ICMA continues its strategic study.

 

I am very grateful for the skills and friendship that Hennie brought to ICMA as General Secretary.  Hennie has made an indelible impression on me and all who have worked with him in ICMA.  I wish him the very best in his future pursuits and know that we will keep in touch.

 

With all best wishes,

 

Douglas B. Stevenson

Chairman, International Christian Maritime Association

Tour de Force: Julian Peter’s faces of seafarers

Career seafarer and photo journalist Julián Péter  has given us permission to publish his recent photo series

“Tour de Force”

featuring seafarers on his most recent contract.

We celebrate the human face of seafarers by publishing some of his striking photographs.

Faces
Faces

 

Follow the links below to see the full picture story.

 

Creative Commons License

Tour de Force: The power behind modern-day shipping by Julián Péter is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at htto://julianpeter.net.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://julianpeter.net.

 

Faces of the Sea

DOSF-logos #425 June 2013.  Day of the Seafarer.

Tributes to seafarers are being received from shipping companies, unions, international fora like the IMO and ILO, in fact from almost all who understand the invaluable role of seafarers in all our lives.

The 28 members of the International Christian Maritime Association, our seafarers’ centres and chaplains, committees, volunteers  and staff and the faith communities whom we represent, all of us applaud seafarers on this day.

We pray that you are safe.

We pray that your family life is happy.

We pray for your company, that your job is secure.

We pray that you will enjoy the fellowship of your faith family in every port.

We pray that you will experience fulfilment.

May you experience how close God is to you.

 

The members of ICMA are dedicated to your wellbeing.  Call on us if you need support or assistance.  We are there, in most ports of the world, to help you, or simply to be your friend.

The Liverpool seafarers’ Centre has sent us their contribution of seafarers’ faces in celebration of The Day of the Seafarer.  Faces of the Sea 2013 Liverpool

 

Moving forward, strengthening ICMA

The General Secretary of the International Christian Maritime Association has come to the end of his term in the role.  Reverend Hennie la Grange will leave ICMA at the end of July 2013 after being in post since July 1st 2007.  He will leave the office on July 15th. Hennie wrote:

Hennie Rome1The Strategic Review is moving ICMA forward in leaps and bounds.  The Association has now arrived on the eve of a new era that promises to strengthen ICMA by transforming the secretariat and promoting the work of its members.  These challenges call for new skills and fresh commitment. The last decade’s implementation of the GRUBB Report, ICMA’s previous review, and the ever changing environment of our ministries have led ICMA to branch out and break new ground.

I am gratified by the time I spent with ICMA.  Moving across continents to take up this role has been worth every sacrifice. 

I have been blessed with a world of new friends and family in faith. I have met remarkable people. I have discovered treasures in Christ’s church that I had never imagined.  I have seen growing unity.  Together we have celebrated difference. We have shared moments of great achievement while battling the complexities of life and work. We have seen excellence and failure, and together we have overcome. We have experienced firsthand the love of Our Father at work in this unique ecumenical community. Of course ecumenical communities need nurturing, and tolerance remains key.  God’s Spirit, I pray, will help you to guard over this precious chunk of his kingdom.  

I have the utmost respect for port chaplains who serve God and care passionately for his people of the sea. I thank God for you. Your labours, performed against impossible odds, are an inspiration.  May God bless you with fulfilment, as that is the reward, I know, you desire most.

I hope that I have been able to contribute, just a little, to Christian unity, to the dignity of port chaplains and to the wellbeing of seafarers, fishers and their families.

I hope that I may have instilled in the industry and among our partners in the welfare sector, a sense of faith’s value in inspiring selfless commitment to care. 

I hope that ICMA, its members and its chaplains, are a little more valued as a resource that can be relied upon even to swim that extra mile, when walking on the water is not an option.     

Thank you all for having me!  Thank you for your friendship and hospitality. I have not always been able to deliver what was expected or required, but you loved me all the same, as Christians do.

May God bless you all.

Hennie la Grange

 

Seafarers are human too

Sea Faces 2Sea Faces 2013The IMO’s Day of the Seafarer 2013 campaign will reflect the human face of seafarers.

ICMA members have begun to participate by sending us photographs of seafarers plying their trade.  This photo is from Florin Garbea, Director of ICMA member LIFE International Ministries in Constantza, Rumania.  Florin himself visits ships and runs the local seafarers’ centre.  LIFE International will host this year’s ICMA Annual General Meeting in Bucharest.

This smiling seafarer affirms the positive attitude of seafarers who work to keep ships moving.  Seafarers are professionals. Seafarers are happy at doing their jobs.  Seafarers are a vital workforce.  Seafarers are real human beings.

Florin wrote:

Those pictures were taken in Constantza port this year, 2013, and remind us of the sacrifices that the seafarers make for all of us.  May God bless all seafarers around the world, their families and all the seafarers’ centres dedicated to the benefit of those who work on board.

The International Christian Maritime Association’s members continue to serve seafarers in every way we can.

 

Old enough to be “heritage”…

The years of service delivered by seafarers’ missions is often forgotten or underestimated. It is gratifying when port communities understand the significance of centres for seafarers. 

When The (Australia) National Trust recently hosted a conference on the future of Melbourne’s maritime heritage, it was acknowledged that the domed roof of the Mission to Seafarers is iconic to Melbourne’s port.  It is an unmissable beacon to seafarers and landlubbers alike.  Docklands News reported:

Maritime heritage links the North Wharf and South Wharf areas.  The Shed 5 and Mission to Seafarers on the North Wharf have together served in history and today present unique opportunities to restore the balance back towards preservation of maritime history.  The iconic dome structure of the mission building is a notable landmark for seafarers and many visitors daily. The dome and Shed 5 are earmarked for restoration and will become even more noticeable.

“But “, Docklands News asks, ” what if the mission building was not there?”  The building, it says, will be preserved as part of the City of Melbourne’s heritage.

“…The vision for Melbourne’s Docklands was developed as a result of an extensive consultation program conducted by VicUrban (now  Places Victoria) and the City of Melbourne. The vision recognised and builds on Docklands’ unique qualities and positions it to play a vital part in maintaining and enhancing Melbourne’s role as a global city.”

We who work from these buildings know that the structures themselves, though significant part of the local architecture, are merely the spaces from where the love of God is made apparent in acts of hospitality and the pursuit of justice for all people of the sea. It is for our fellowship and faith that we are remembered and valued by seafarers.

 

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

 

A Hijacking

To be able to say that Kapringen – A Hijacking is good as a film, would be a fitting tribute to the seafarers and the shipping company whom it depicts.  In fact, it is a very good film indeed.

The Maritime Piracy Humanitarian Response Programme (MPHRP) presented a pre-screening of Kapringen – A Hijacking in London.  The special screening to an invited audience was sponsored by the ICC International Maritime Bureau, the International Chamber of Shipping / ISF, The Nautical Institute, Videotel and INCE & CO.

The film, inspired by a real incident of piracy, follows both the crew and the company through the ordeal from capture to release.  It makes for 100 minutes of harrowing viewing.  In the panel discussion that followed, IMO Secretary General Mr Koji Sekimizu said that while, after seeing such a film, one normally leaves the theatre relieved to return to reality, this film is too close to home:  it is our reality.

The film’s focus is the effect of piracy on its characters.  Pilou Asbæk  delivers a riveting performance as the ship’s cook who is left damaged by the events.  Equally captivating is Søren Malling as the company negotiator.  Clearly, piracy leaves all those affected devastated.  Gary Skjoldmose Porter essentially plays himself: he was the company’s security adviser during the actual events that inspired the film.  He brings such credibility to the role that one is drawn into the claustrophobic atmosphere of the negotiating room.  Speaking after the screening he said that the filming of those scenes was done on location where the negotiations were conducted.  The reenactment  of the negotiations brought back difficult memories for him.   The location and genial direction of Tobias Lindholm clearly paid off.  The film has deservedly won awards at the Venice Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival, in addition to several accolades in its native Denmark.

There are no heroes in this film. Seafarers and company bosses are ordinary people who seek only to get on with the business of everyday life.   They are catapulted into extraordinary events.  That they survive is in itself heroic.

It is the seafarers behind this film that should be brought to mind; those 79 still held captive, and those who, upon release, now find it tough to deal with life.  It is to assist these seafarers that the MPHRP exists.  The International Christian Maritime Association is a member of this cross-industry alliance.  We bring to piracy response a network of welfare responders and religious support for seafarers and their families.  ICMA members are eager to do more.  Our members are willing to work with the industry to provide fellowship and humanitarian assistance to affected seafarers and families.

Kapringen – A Hijacking is a thought provoking film.  It deserves an audience for its own sake.  For us who care for seafarers, even more so.

CLICK HERE to see the trailer.  

Chaplains: common sense, not therapy

Chaplains’ responses to seafarers affected by piracy requires common sense, not therapy.  Pastors should be professional in fulfilling their limited but crucial role, and establish themselves as a vital resource.  

The ICMA Regional Conference in Odessa was addressed by the Maritime Piracy Humanitarian Response Programme.  Toon van de Sande delivered a paper to raise awareness of the Programme’s work and its ideals for ICMA’s continued partnership.

Toon van de Sande (pictured with Alexander (left), the MPHRP representative in the Ukraine) was previously a chaplain of the ICMA member Stichting Pastoraat Werkers Overzee, emphasised the need for training in appropriate responses to seafarers affected by piracy.  The Programme valued highly ICMA’s participation in the industry-wide alliance to care for seafarers and maritime families affected by piracy.  ICMA was a founding partner of the MPHRP. The need for a continuum of care, a concept devised by psychologist Dr. Marion Gibson, is central to understanding responsiveness to the humanitarian needs of seafarers in crisis. The role of chaplains can best be described as humanitarian first aid.  Welfare response is common sense, not therapy. Chaplains are chaplains, not lawyers, inspectors, mental health professionals, or anything but chaplains.  Our work has limitations, but has immense value. Chaplains should limit themselves to their role, and be the best they can be in delivering that role.  Evidence suggests that the role of chaplains may reduce the eventuality of complications after traumatic events. Van de Sande explained his experience of working with the industry as chaplain to the Dutch dredging industry,  responding to crises in dredging companies.  The conference deduced that the chaplains should aspire to be included in first- and emergency responder teams. The problem is that the industry is not sufficiently aware of what chaplains can contribute.  First emergency and welfare response should be demonstrated and be delivered with professionalism.  The ideal is that pastors will be recognised for their crucial role and professionalism in delivering support. A standard of professional conduct for pastors was suggested to the MPHRP by a workshop of chaplains held in Durban in 2012.

ICMA continues to support all initiatives to counter piracy and to support seafarers and their families who are affected by piracy.