by the Rev. Nick Parker, Senior Port Chaplain at the Mission to Seafarers in Vancouver/Roberts Bank, British Columbia, Canada
As an Anglican cleric, employed for the last five years as the Senior Port Chaplain to the Mission to Seafarers in Vancouver, BC, I felt it was time to experience some continuing education. Few places specialize in Maritime Ministry let alone the combined role of Centre Management and Chaplaincy. Gaining, acquiring and refreshing the necessary skill sets to operate and function within the challenging sphere of the seafaring world is daunting. Fortunately, the Seamen’s Church Institute (SCI) is one such place that endeavors to offer training. Part of their strategic plan is to provide a nurturing environment for those who come seeking information and learning.
From May 7-11, 2012, I spent four days in dialogue with those responsible for the running of operations, finance, gift giving, Christmas at Sea, administration, pastoral and seafarers’ advocacy services. Those I journeyed with were confident, engaging, knowledgeable and passionate. Each had a story to tell while enticing me to share my own. Together, it was a mutual walk of discovery.
I experienced a centre that was alive, forward thinking and realistic with a staff equally at home with the ability to share and learn. To top it off, the centre was bold, bright and airy providing a welcoming atmosphere and an area conducive to learning and relaxing.
I left both refreshed and rejuvenated in my ministry, with new tools to embrace and engage in the expression of the ministry that I am steward of in Vancouver. Thank you SCI!