The Ministry to Seafarers (M2S)

Chaplaincy & Care Sunday 2020

The Christian Reformed Church marks Chaplaincy & Care Sunday on November 15, 2020. The tag line—being there in moments that matter—perfectly sums up the role of a chaplain.

The Ministry to Seafarers Vancouver and Montreal have lived through many moments that matter in 2020. The pandemic has created a growing humanitarian crisis for seafarers since many are being denied shore leave and crew changes due to travel restrictions. The result is that they're working far beyond their contract deadlines and in many cases, beyond the 11-month maximum contract allowed by the MLC (maritime labour convention).  

The plight of seafarers has meant that chaplains must adjust and adapt. As federal, provincial and local regulations change, arriving seafarers don't always know what they can and cannot do and shipping companies or captains may want to enforce their own rules for the safety of their crew. Stepping in to advocate, listening more deeply to the concerns of seafarers and opening new avenues for digital chaplaincy are some of the ways M2S is responding to the challenges.

During this time of crisis, the emphasis of chaplaincy may have largely shifted from pastoral care to practical support and advocacy. But the reason for our work remains the same: to bring the presence of God into the seafarers' environment and to reflect the love of Jesus to each one.

Thank you for praying for our chaplains and for seafarers at this time.

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