Sea Sunday Studio Service July 14thth 2O19
Introduction Music Amazing Grace (3.00)
Good morning to you and a warm welcome to our studio service on this the 2nd Sunday in July, a Sunday which is kept by many different denominations as Sea Sunday, a time when the people of God give thanks for those who go to sea and those who minister to them.
Let us listen to our first hymn.
HYMN: Be Thou my vision, Newcastle Cathedral Choir (3.15)
We come together as the family of God in our Father’s presence to offer him praise and thanksgiving for the ministry of the church among seafarers; to hear and receive his holy word; to bring before him the needs of the world, the missionary work of his church and to pray for seafarers and their families of every nation; to ask his forgiveness for our sins and to seek his grace, through his Son, Jesus Christ, Our Lord, Amen.
In Hong Kong mission and ministry to seafarers is provided by 4 Seafarers missions, working together to serve seafarers who are visiting Hong Kong. The Mission to Seafarers, The Apostleship of the Sea, the Danish Seamen’s Church and the German Seamen’s Mission.
My Name is Stephen Miller, Senior Chaplain of The Mission to Seafarers. And joining us this morning for this service today are Elizabeth Bleynat, Rev Canon Andrew Dangerfield and Rev Kim Kee Lee from the Mission to Seafarers, Father Valan Arockiaswamy from the Apostleship of the Sea, Casper Plambeck from the Danish Seamen’s Church.
So we begin our worship this morning as we call to mind our sins and ask God for his forgiveness:
Lord of all creation, forgive us for the times we have ignored your teachings and wisdom. Help us to listen to your word and live by it each day. Lord in your mercy,
All: Hear Our Prayer.
Lord of all creation, forgive us for the times we have ignored those in need around us. Help us to become more aware of the needs of others. Lord in your mercy,
All: Hear our Prayer.
Lord of all creation, forgive us for the times we have ignored your will for our lives. Help us to trust you and follow you more each day. Lord in your mercy,
needs of seafarers and have taken them for granted. Help us to remember the vital work they do in ensuring that we have our daily needs. Lord in your mercy,
All: Hear our Prayer.
God our loving Father, forgive us our sins, keep your word alive in us and help us to know your peace and forgiveness in our lives each day. Help us to be a people who trust and follow you wholeheartedly as we live for you each day.
Hymn: Lead us heavenly Father, Lead us Christ Church Cathedral Oxford (2.00)
Almighty God on this Sea Sunday we pray for all who go down to the sea in ships, that you will protect them as they sail, keep them safe from all the dangers of the sea and give them courage when they face storms. May they know your blessing on the families that they leave behind. We ask this in the name of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Our First Reading comes from the New Testament from St Paul’s letter to the Colossians Chapter 1. Verses 1-14.
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,
To the saints and faithful brothers and sisters* in Christ in Colossae:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father.
In our prayers for you we always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, for we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. You have heard of this hope before in the word of the truth, the gospel that has come to you. Just as it is bearing fruit and growing in the whole world, so it has been bearing fruit among yourselves from the day you heard it and truly comprehended the grace of God. This you learned from Epaphras, our beloved fel-low-servant.* He is a faithful minister of Christ on your* behalf, and he has made known to us your love in the Spirit.
For this reason, since the day we heard it, we have not ceased praying for you and asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of God’s* will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you may lead lives worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, as you bear fruit in every good work and as you grow in the knowledge of God. May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled* you* to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins
The word of the Lord…
All: Thanks be to God.
We continue our worship as we hear the words of Psalm 82 Salisbury Cathedral Choir (2.34)
Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to St. Luke, Chapter 10, verses 25-37.
All: Glory to you Lord Christ.
Just then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus. ‘Teacher,’ he said, ‘what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ He said to him, ‘What is written in the law? What do you read there?’ He answered, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbour as yourself.’ And he said to him, ‘You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live.’
But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, ‘And who is my neighbour?’ Jesus replied, ‘A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan while travelling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, “Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.” Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbour to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?’ He said, ‘The one who showed him mercy.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Go and do likewise.’
The Gospel of the Lord
All: Praise to you, Lord Christ
Hymn: When I needed a Neighbour Wakefield Cathedral Choir (2.50)
My name is Father Andrew Dangerfield.
I am a Port Chaplain with the Sailors’ Home and Mission to Seafarers here in Hong Kong.
I have had the privilege of working with seafarers as a chaplain for the past seven years: firstly in Yokohama Japan, then in the Red Sea Port of Aqaba, Jordan and now here in the fragrant harbour that is Hong Kong.
And although I have been a priest for almost thirty years, it is only in these last few working as a Port Chaplain that I have come to truly understand something about which so many of us take for granted.
I had no idea, for example, that over 90% of the goods we buy come to us at some point by ship. The food we eat, the clothes we wear, all the possessions that make up our lives are moved around the world by sea.
A recent government report here in Hong Kong has suggested that if all the ships that come here were to stop today - it would only take 12 days for the shelves in our supermarkets to become empty and only one month before all our electricity would run out.
We rely heavily on the world of international trade and the global movement of goods via the world’s shipping industry. And every one of those ships has a crew of dedicated men and women who spend a large part of their lives at sea so that all the things we want and enjoy - we can have.
Seafarers are for the most part invisible, and over the years I have gained a great respect for these men and women. For their labours, for their courage, and their commitment to earning a living in such a way.
On this day, that we call Sea Sunday, we are given a unique opportunity to stop and pray for seafarers, to honour the work that they do and to thank them for being who they are.
The Gospel reading for our service this morning from Saint Luke’s tenth chapter is a familiar story that we call the Parable of the Good Samaritan. It reminds us that we should always be willing to help people who are in trouble and to respond to those who need our help. It challenges us to go beyond ourselves and to see people as neighbours, even though they may be different to us in some way.
Jesus told this story in answer to a question posed by a lawyer who simply asked him: “who is my neighbour?”
Each and every day as a port chaplain, I try to respond in ways that continually seek to address that same question: “who is my neighbour?”
My neighbour is often a seafarer who welcomes the fresh encounter of a new face on board his ship. Life at sea is often lonely, difficult and dangerous with long anti-social hours and the risk of shipwreck, piracy, or other accidents.
Seafarers find themselves far away from home, often sailing to countries where they don’t speak the language and where people can sometimes be hostile or unwelcoming. This can make them feel isolated and vulnerable. As a chaplain, I often find myself responding in the most simple ways. Stopping and just taking the time to be there as a neighbour in a different place.
My neighbour is also a seafarer who needs my help to keep in touch with his family. There are still many ships that don’t have access to the internet. Everyday I am able to help with that as I take on board internet cards for the seafarers to buy or offer to help send money home on their behalf to support their families at special times. Just the other day I was asked by a seafarer to send money home for his son’s school fees. He can’t do that himself as the time he has in port is too short and his current address is a ship travelling the world’s oceans.
Last month my neighbour was a seafarer called Domingo who was admitted to hospital here in Hong Kong following a serious injury to his leg whilst performing his duties as a second engineer on his ship. He broke his leg in several places and needed major surgery. Of course, he wasn’t from Hong Kong and he had no family here. But I was able to stop by and visit him and make sure his family back home in the Philippines were kept up to date on his progress. I was also able to contact my colleagues working for the Mission to Seafarers in the Philippines who could offer support to his family and to him when finally he was able to return home.
Last week my neighbours were a group of seafarers from a crude oil tanker who were desperate for some shore-leave. With the help of our Launch here in Hong Kong we were able to provide transport for the crew from their tanker to the public pier in central. As they stepped off our boat and onto the pier they said: “This is the first time in three months we have stood on dry land, thank you”.
But my neighbour does not just have physical needs that I respond to, I also seek to respond to spiritual needs as well. Prayer, support and guidance through ship visits and in our chapel. We also freely distribute bibles and prayer books in many languages for any seafarer that needs them.
Sometimes seafarers are left in dire situations just like the man who was left half-dead on the road to Jericho in today’s Gospel.
In our world today some governments, ship owners and other organisations and people involved in the shipping industry find it very easy to pass by on the side of the road and ignore the needs of seafarers.
We seek to respond to this by showing compassionate action and prophetic leadership.
We respond to situations of injustice especially where seafarers are abandoned in ports or where they haven’t been paid. We act on their behalf by campaigning for justice within the shipping industry and we do this because we truly believe that in their all too transient and isolated life at sea - “we are their neighbour”.
There’s a Hindu proverb that says, “Help your brother’s boat across, and lo your own has reached the shore”
Jesus asks that we care about our neighbours with the same intensity that we care about ourselves. We are to love as he loved us, and even an enemy is redefined as a neighbour. This love is more than simply smiling at strangers and trying to develop positive attitudes towards people we don’t particularly like.
The command to love our neighbour is placed immediately after the command to love our God, and it demands a serious effort to elevate the neighbours’ need to the same level as our own.
I hope on this Sea Sunday that as you listen to this broadcast you will not find the work we do for seafarers as a surprise: but, as an authentic expression of Christian love and support.
It is, I believe, preaching the Gospel but without using specific words. It’s showing others that being a Christian makes a difference to our lives and our attitudes.
It is a genuine response to the final words of Jesus in today’s Gospel reading when he says: Go and do likewise!
Let us pray:
Teach us, good Lord, to serve you as you deserve, to give and not to count the cost, to fight and not to heed the wounds, to toil and not to seek for rest, to labour and not to ask for any reward, save that of knowing that we do your will. Amen.
Hymn: The Lord is my Shepherd
Let us thank God who has brought us together to this day, who sustains us by his power, strengthens us by his Spirit and nourishes us with his word. May we worship him in spirit and in truth. Lord hear us.
Lord, graciously hear us.
Today we pray for the work of Seafarers’ Missions, their chaplains and ship visitors around the world as they care
for and welcome seafarers. We pray that you will help
them in their work of caring for and supporting seafarers. Lord hear us
Lord, graciously hear us.
We pray for seafarers as they work on ships, often many
miles from home, missing their families and facing dangers
and hardships such as piracy, storms, little time in port and
loneliness. We ask that you keep them safe in their work,
protect them when they face storms and help them to keep in touch with their families.
Lord hear us.
Lord graciously hear us.
We pray for the families of seafarers who are left at home.
We pray for wives and husbands as they miss their partners and care for their families, for children as they miss a parent and for others as they miss a boy or girl friend, grandparent or son or daughter. Bless those who remain at home whilst a loved one is away at sea.
Lord hear us.
Lord graciously hear us.
We pray for all ship owners and ship managers that they will take their responsibility seriously to care for those who crew their ships. We pray that all ships may be properly maintained and kept in a seaworthy condition.
Lord Hear us.
Lord graciously hear us.
We pray for ourselves that we may have grateful hearts for all the food and other necessities of daily life that we so easily take for granted. Help us to remember the seafarers who work so hard that we can enjoy an easy life.
Lord hear us.
Lord graciously hear us.
Let us join together in the words that our Lord Jesus himself taught us:
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.
Thy Kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory,
for ever and ever.
Creator and Father of all, we pray for those who go down to the sea in ships and on whom we depend. Bless them and those who long for their safe return and bring us all to your kingdom, where there is no sorrow, no tears, but joy and life everlasting, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Hymn: Eternal Father strong to save Ely Cathedral Choir (3.06)
May the love of the Lord Jesus
Draw us to himself.
May the power of the Lord Jesus
Strengthen us in his service;
May the joy of the Lord Jesus
Fill our souls.
May the blessing of God Almighty,
The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit
Be amongst you and remain with you always. Amen
Thank you for joining us for our worship this Sea Sunday, please remember in your prayers all Seafarers who go down to the sea, all who serve in the merchant marine, all who bring us the commodities we depend upon from around the world. May God bless them and be close to their families and love ones now and always. Amen
Finale Sunset 1.42