Christmas at Sea
Lutheran Advocates for Maritime Ministry
When we think of Christmas, we usually think of time spent with family and friends; going to Christmas Eve service, singing carols gathering in a warm home eating a feast of turkey, ham, potatoes, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. Of course we share gifts.
There is some irony that the Christmas gifts we will share with family and friends in the warmth of our homes will most likely have arrived from overseas, aboard merchant ships whose seafarers will spend Christmas in the middle of some ocean far away from their own families and friends. It is just another day alone at sea.
Port Chaplain Luisito Destreza of Seafarers and International House in New York City presents Christmas at Sea gifts to a crew from a Maersk ship.
(Photo: Marsh Drege)
But all of us ashore have the opportunity to return the favor to these seafarers and unselfishly share the spirit of Christmas. There are local seafarers' ministries with Lutheran chaplains at the ports of the oceans and lakes around the United States and the Caribbean.
Chaplains meet with the seafarers when they come to their ports and provide an ear to listen and a smile to encourage. Each port has a program to provide gifts to the seafarers that come to their ports during the Christmas season.
Lutheran Advocates for Maritime Mission (LAMM) is an independent Lutheran organization that relates to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America through the Evangelical Outreach and Congregational Mission unit. Since 2001, LAMM has received ministry grants from the churchwide organization totaling more than $180,000.
Visit www.lammworld.org to find a port ministry you can support. You can help bring some joy to those who will be separated from family and friends during this Christmas season.