By ACNS staff
A global Anglican mission agency is appealing for churches to put aside July 14 as the day to remember and pray for seafarers around the world.
The Mission to Seafarers, an Anglican Mission agency founded in 1856, supports seafarers in need in over 260 ports in 71 countries around the world, through its global network of chaplains and volunteers who offer a warm Christian welcome, practical and financial support, advocacy services, access to legal advice and family liaison.
“Every year, The Mission to Seafarers asks churches everywhere to organise a Sea Sunday service of thanksgiving,” said the agency’s Joanna Sanders, “for the 1.3 million men and women who risk their lives on a daily basis to bring us essential food and supplies on ships around the world.”
She explained that to help church’s mark the day—which this year has the theme ‘The Good Samaritan’—the agency supplies full resources including sermon notes, a pew leaflet, children’s materials and posters.
Joanna said Sea Sunday is a chance for churches to come together to remember the brave and dedicated seafarers who we rely on to keep our global economy afloat; and to celebrate the work of seafarers by holding special services, fundraising events, parades or ship blessings.
The work of a seafarer is one of the most difficult, dangerous and challenging jobs in the world today. Away from family and friends for many months at a time, in multinational crews with others who may not speak the same language, seafaring can be a tough, lonely and hazardous career.
The seafarers' centres offer a 'home away from home', providing a range of facilities including telephone and email services, which enable seafarers to contact loved ones; the opportunity to relax away from their ship; and the chance to seek counselling and spiritual support.
Whatever problem a seafarer is facing, be it piracy, shipwreck, injury, non-payment of wages or abandonment in a foreign port, they know they can turn to the local Mission to Seafarers for help.
For those who are unable to come ashore due to port duties or short turnaround times, the ship visitors bring low cost phone cards and internet-linked laptops on board so that crews are not completely cut off from family and friends.
You can find out more about how to support our work this Sea Sunday by downloading all the material from www.seasunday.org