Today marks a special milestone. On September 28, 2001, the mission that would become the Seattle Seafarers’ Center was incorporated. Thanks to faithful efforts of leaders like Charlie Hubbard, Erica Cohen-Moore, and Ken Hawkins, seafarers ministry in Seattle began a new chapter. The vision of these leaders ensured that ministry with seafarers would thrive for years to come. Twenty years later, we continue to put that vision into practice. Thanks to them and people like you, seafarers who visit Puget Sound continue to be welcomed and cared for every day.
Each year, the Easter Vigil begins at night. Everyone gathers in the dark, and then, a new fire is kindled. Only then, does light scatter the darkness. As light dances across everyone’s face, hope is made visible. A candle is lit from the newly kindled fire and carried into the assembly. But first, this light of Christ is etched with a cross. As the Paschal Candle is carved, the bishop utters the words, “Christ yesterday and today, the beginning and the end, the Alpha and the Omega…”
Yesterday and today. Twenty years ago, Love was put into practice in a special way. A new commitment was made to serve seafarers who visit Puget Sound. Since then, thousands of crews have been welcomed by scores of volunteers, interns, and staff. Over 25,000 ditty bags have been given away during the holiday season. More than 100,000 seafarers have been transported for brief shore leaves. This year, over 4,000 seafarers have obtained access to life-saving COVID-19 vaccinations. Twenty years ago, a vision born of hope became reality. That vision continues today. Because of you, seafarers know that they matter and are cared for. You make this possible. You make hope visible. Thanks be to God!
The Rev. Cristi Chapman
Executive Director -- Seattle Seafarers' Center