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Sea Sunday Studio Service July 8th 2O12
(Introduction Amazing Grace (3mins)

Good morning to you all 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:       Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty:
Kings College Choir,Cambridge (3.01)

OPENING PRAYER.
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.

My Name is Stephen Miller, Senior Chaplain of The Mission to Seafarers in Hong Kong and joining me for this service today are Captain Luca Ferrerio from the Mission to Seafarers, Father Valan Arockiaswamy from the Apostleship of the Sea, Mette Hald Mikkelson and Peter Koller from the Danish Seamen’s Church.

We begin our worship this morning as we call to mind our sins and ask God for his forgiveness:

Confession
Let us be still for a moment and think about all those things
that we need to say sorry to God for:
We are sorry for all the things that we have said this
week which have hurt others, especially for those words said
in anger or said without thinking about the consequences.
Help us to control our tongues in the coming week.
All: Father forgive us.

We are sorry for all the things that we have done this week
which have hurt others, especially for those things that we
have done deliberately or done without thinking. Help us to
control our actions that others won’t be hurt by what we do in
the coming week.
All: Father forgive us.

We are sorry for all our bad thoughts this week, especially
those about people we know and love. Help us to see the
good in others in the coming week.
All: Father forgive us.

We are sorry for not caring about the needs of others –
especially those we depend on like seafarers who bring
us so much of what we need for our daily lives. Help us
to remember those we can so easily forget about.
All: Father forgive us.

Priest/Leader: For God did not send his son Jesus Christ
into the world to condemn the world but to save the world
through him. May each one of us know God’s forgiveness
and hope in our lives.
Amen

Hymn: Be Still my Soul: Choir of Paisley Abbey with Neilo Mackie, Tenor (4.18)

Introduction to the work of the Missions


95% of the worlds commodities are transported to the world’s markets by ship, the ships are crewed by seafarers of all nations. Today a total of 1.2 million seafarers are involved in crewing over 50,000 ocean going vessels.
From container ships whose containers have become a familiar sight on our roads to huge oil tankers, from luxury Ocean Liners such as the Queen Mary 2 to ferries doing much shorter journeys, from huge bulk carriers loaded with coal, iron ore, rice, wheat or corn to small chemical tankers bringing expensive sophisticated products for the manufacture of next generation materials. Whatever the ships carry, we depend upon the seafarers who run the ships to bring their cargo safely to port and to their final destination.

In years past the life of the seafarer has changed, seafarers no longer live in the days when you would go to sea to see the world, having a few days in each port, being able to visit new countries, see new sights.
Today the life of a seafarer is very different, ships stay in port for a short time only, many container ships may only spend 12-18 hours in port leaving no time for shore leave for the crew. Often the port is far away from the city centre, isolating the seafarers even further from the local community.

Life on board the ship has also changed over the years, now a ship’s crew may come from many countries, perhaps Ukrainian and Indian officers with a mixed crew from the Philippines and Myanmar. Often the language spoken on board which is generally English will be the second language for all of the ship’s crew. Lengths of time on board will vary but it is common that seafarers will be away from home for up to 6-9 months at a time, with work on board being 7 days a week, 4 hours on and 8 hours off. Without much shore leave during this period and with mixed crews, cultures and languages, this can lead to the seafarers feeling isolated and lonely.
The work of the seafarer’s mission is to try to alleviate this situation, by providing seafarers centres near or next to the port where even in a short time seafarers can relax, call home and be in touch with family and friends by email or facebook. The work of the seafarer’s mission is also to provide spiritual and pastoral care in an industry that often treats the seafarer as a commodity rather than a fellow human being. The chaplains also have a regular routine of ship visiting, caring for seafarers on board as well as to those who come into the centres. This care is provided to all seafarers regardless of race/creed/colour.

Around the world the Mission to Seafarers has chaplains and centres in over 250 ports. Working ecumenically with our brothers and sisters in the Apostleship of the Sea from the Roman Catholic Church, with the Danish and German Seamen’s churches, and with another 23 Christian missions we all joining together to form the International Christian Maritime Association. Collectively we have a network of chaplains and centres in over 1200 ports around the world providing spiritual and pastoral care for seafarers in many foreign countries and also in the countries from which the seafarer comes.

In Hong Kong The Mission to Seafarers has been providing support and care to seafarers since 1884, now based in two centres one in Tsim Sha Tsui and one near the busy container terminals of Kwai Chung The Mission to Seafarers works together with The Apostleship of the Sea, the Danish Seamens Church and the German Seamens Mission in two purpose built clubs known locally as The Mariners’ Club to serve seafarers of all nations when they visit the port of Hong Kong. Our chaplains visit those ships arriving at the container terminals, and also by use of a launch we visit those ships at anchor providing pastoral and spiritual support to all seafarers, getting them back in touch with those at home, and bringing a sense of community on board their ship.
So today on this Sea Sunday we pray for the work of all seafarers, for those who face many dangers, guiding their ships through storm and strong seas, through other dangers such as piracy off the East coast of Africa and the Indian Ocean.
Often facing times of loneliness and isolation, being far away from home and family, without the things that we today take for granted such as internet and cheap phone calls home.

We pray for the families of all seafarers away from home, for their safe return, we pray also for the work of the seafarer’s missions, both here in Hong Kong and around the world, for all who care and provide help to the lonely and isolated.
For all who have been called to work with seafarers in this very special and dedicated ministry.
We also pray for all involved in the shipping industry, for all ship owners and managers and for all who work for Port Authorities, all who can make a difference to the lives of the seafarers who we serve.
To focus our worship today we now pray the collect for Sea Sunday:
Let us pray

Collect

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. Amen

Our first reading comes from The Book of the Prophet Isaiah, Chapter 42, verses 1-9.

“Here is my servant, whom I uphold,
my chosen one in whom I delight;
I will put my Spirit on him,
and he will bring justice to the nations.
He will not shout or cry out,
or raise his voice in the streets.
A bruised reed he will not break,
and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.
In faithfulness he will bring forth justice;
he will not falter or be discouraged
till he establishes justice on earth.
In his teaching the islands will put their hope.”

This is what God the LORD says—
the Creator of the heavens, who stretches them out,
who spreads out the earth with all that springs from it,
who gives breath to its people,
and life to those who walk on it:
“I, the LORD, have called you in righteousness;
I will take hold of your hand.
I will keep you and will make you
to be a covenant for the people
and a light for the Gentiles,
to open eyes that are blind,
to free captives from prison
and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.

“I am the LORD; that is my name!
I will not yield my glory to another
or my praise to idols.
See, the former things have taken place,
and new things I declare;
before they spring into being
I announce them to you.”
This is the word of the Lord…
All: Thanks be to God.

We continue our worship as we hear the words of Psalm67 set to music by Herbert Howells and sung by the Choir ofSt. John’s Elora,Toronto, “Let the people praise thee O God” (5.30)

A reading fromSt Paul’s second letter to the church inCorinth, Chapter 12, verses 2-10.

2I know a person in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know; God knows. 3And I know that such a person—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know; God knows— 4was caught up intoParadise and heard things that are not to be told, that no mortal is permitted to repeat. 5On behalf of such a one I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except of my weaknesses. 6But if I wish to boast, I will not be a fool, for I will be speaking the truth. But I refrain from it, so that no one may think better of me than what is seen in me or heard from me, 7even considering the exceptional character of the revelations. Therefore, to keep* me from being too elated, a thorn was given to me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me, to keep me from being too elated.* 8Three times I appealed to the Lord about this, that it would leave me, 9but he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power* is made perfect in weakness.’ So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 10Therefore I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of Christ; for whenever I am weak, then I am strong.
This is the word of the Lord…
All: Thanks be to God.

Hymn: All Creatures of our God and King (RoyalSchool ofChurch Music, massed choirs) (4.40)

The Gospel
Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to St. Mark, Chapter 6, verses 1-13.
All: Glory to you O Lord.
He left that place and came to his hometown, and his disciples followed him. 2On the sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astounded. They said, “Where did this man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been given to him? What deeds of power are being done by his hands! 3Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him. 4Then Jesus said to them, “Prophets are not without honor, except in their hometown, and among their own kin, and in their own house.” 5And he could do no deed of power there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them. 6And he was amazed at their unbelief.

Then he went about among the villages teaching. 7He called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. 8He ordered them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts; 9but to wear sandals and not to put on two tunics. 10He said to them, “Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave the place. 11If any place will not welcome you and they refuse to hear you, as you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them.” 12So they went out and proclaimed that all should repent. 13They cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.
This is the Gospel of Christ
All: Praise to you, O Christ

Hymn: Dear Lord and Father of Mankind.Kings College Choir,Cambridge (3.34)

Intercessions
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 ships 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 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. We pray for protection
on all ships and their crews when they sail in seas affected
by piracy. HelpMission chaplains and others as they care
for seafarers who have experienced a piracy attack. 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.
Amen.

Hymn: God be in my head. Kings College Choir,Cambridge (1.42)


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.

Lord God, of the universe, the fertile land, the swarming sea, bless those who leave their families and friends to sail the seas in dangerous and lonely conditions to make a living and to bring us the things we depend on. May they be given courage when they are in danger; friendship when they are lonely; strength when they are weary; and hope when they feel discouraged, so that they may return to loved ones with the knowledge of a good job done.  Give them faith when they doubt, hope when they despair, and the joy of home-coming through Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Heavenly Father, you sent your Holy Spirit to guide and give courage to the saints of old as they crossed hostile seas carrying the good news of your Son, Jesus Christ.  We thank you that you brought them safely to land, enabling them to preach the good news of your kingdom.  Guide us today with the same Spirit, as we journey through the troubled waters of our lives - when battered, by the winds of doubt and change, strengthen our resolve and purpose, so that standing firm on the rock of our faith we may ever feel your presence with us on our pilgrimage to that distant shore which is our heavenly home.  Amen.

Hymn:    Eternal Father strong to save – the choir of St Mark’s ChurchNorth Audley Street.(3.07)

The Blessing.
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 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 (1.26)












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    Hong Kong, SAR China  
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