by the Rev. David M. Rider, President & Executive Director
As 2012 comes to a close, I thank the Seamen’s Church Institute’s (SCI) trustees, donors, staff, knitters, volunteers and other supporters who provide the lifeblood of our mission.
Of course, we will publish an annual report of SCI’s successes and challenges serving domestic and international mariners during the past year, but several highlights come to mind on the last day of 2012:
- Our Center for Seafarers’ Rights’ international work to develop and promote clinical guidelines, including the publication of the first report from SCI’s clinical study for medical and psychological treatment of seafarers following extended piracy hijacking episodes;
- Daily visits to ships in the Port of New York and New Jersey and ports in the Bay Area of California, extending to fatality crisis ministry, hospital visits or time with arrested crews;
- Chaplains underway with vessels transiting the Mississippi and Ohio River systems and out in the Gulf of Mexico, strengthening a protocol of pastoral follow-up after injuries or fatalities to towboat crews;
- Diversifying Center for Maritime Education curricula, offering new Open Enrollment classes for small towing companies, e-learning opportunities and creating a new specialized simulator at our Houston facility;
- Hurricane Sandy and the heroic work of SCI staff and port workers to get operations back underway;
- Implementing a recently adopted Strategic Plan while creating the foundation for an endowment campaign to strengthen SCI’s mission to the next generation.
None of this work could have occurred without your faithful prayers, generous financial support and thousands of volunteer hours. I especially thank those who worked hands-on to support the Institute’s mission in 2012: trustees, ship visitors, knitters, packers and other volunteers.
The old maxim says a picture’s worth a thousand words. In 2012, SCI posted over 5,000 photos to its Flickr site, so we must have something to say. With complete subjectivity and in no particular order, I selected 50 images from 2012 that celebrate SCI’s staff at work, the mariners we serve and the beautiful surroundings we are privileged to behold in our daily outreach. Click through them here.
I wish you a blessed 2013 and look forward to another fruitful year of collaboration in serving the maritime industry we love.