I'm shipping out again, this time to a place where I may or may not have Internet access. So posts to this blog may be a little irregular and infrequent until the end of March or beginning of April. I'm going to put a few posts "in the can" so there will be a least a few regular Saturday posts for the next few weeks. In the meantime, here are some updates based on recent posts.
I am a Port Chaplain with Seamen’s Church Institute of New York and New Jersey. We advocate for the personal, professional, and spiritual well-being of merchant mariners around the world, extending hospitality to ALL, regardless of nationality, religion or culture. In this day and age, when many seafarers face little or no shore leave (due to a variety of reasons) and are viewed by many companies as little more than the commodities which they carry, a friendly welcome and attention to their needs is of crucial importance. Perhaps the most important thing that we do is connect the mariner with his/her family at home by providing them with phones, phone and sim cards and the ability to send money transfers. We also advocate for seafarers when rights are violated, or when conditions on board ship may endanger well-being. We provide free transportation service to the local mall and our seafarers’ center so that our mariners can spend that free time ashore in a safe manner. Meanwhile, our chaplains are sensitive to the varying cultures, nationalities and religions which we encounter on a daily basis. If prayer is requested, we gladly respond, and if there seems to be a need, we always ask before praying with an individual or a group. While our identity is deeply rooted in the Christian faith, we do not proselytize, but recognize that we are all children of God, all made in the image of God, and hence we are all sisters and brothers, whose dignity must be respected.
Contact the Institute at 241 Water Street in New York City (212-349-9090) or at seamanschurch.org.