Port Chaplains: Providing Comfort and Spiritual Support to Seafarers Around the Globe
Stop for a moment and take a look around wherever you have paused your busy life to read this newsletter. Chances are all the stuff you see traveled across an ocean by ship. And those ships are staffed by 1.89 million seafarers globally who face danger everyday to keep our economy afloat.
Seafarers can spend nearly nine months at sea each year. During their voyages, they face psychological and spiritual weariness, depression, isolation, and demands to work harder on longer voyages for stagnating pay. Seafaring is physically dangerous work and, alongside that danger, seafarers are also vulnerable to exploitation and bullying. It should come as no surprise then that seafarers are at a much higher risk for depression, divorce, and suicide.
The Seattle Center to Seafarers have chaplains who board the 30+ ships that arrive at the
port each month. For the port chaplains, each ship visit is a new adventure. Deacon Joey and Chaplain Julia, who are both experienced port chaplains in Seattle say that when they visit ships in port, they often find crews cooking in the galley and are invited to share a meal.
Port chaplains listen to seafarers’ stories, assess the crew’s wellbeing, provide transportation into town, or simply help seafarers with SIM cards so they can call home. Daily, the chaplains become an important part of helping with the essential things that seafarers need in order to find respite in the ports where their ships are docked.
To hear more about port chaplaincy and the work of the Seattle Seafarers Centers join us on May 24th to hear Deacon Joey and Chaplain Julia share their experiences of ministering to seafarers in the port of Seattle.
Links and Resources -
Learn more about the Seattle Seafarers Center - https://www.mts-seattle.org
Learn more about The Mission to the Seafarers - https://www.missiontoseafarers.org
Read more about Port Chaplains - https://www.epicenter.org/article/port-chaplain-buoys-spiritual-emotional-needs-of-seafarers/