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S pri n g 2 0 1 8  Vol ume 1 1 0 /Number 1

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In this issue

Director’s Log

2 Special

CAS turns 120!

“The more things change, distance feel even greater. What use is it,
the more they remain the same.” knowing via email or social media that your Why I Give
—Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr, 1849. child is having a hard time in school, your
mother is ill, or your spouse is struggling, Charting
With all the media speculation about

when you are oceans away and months Our Course
artificial intelligence, drones delivering
from the end of your contract? In many
packages, automated stores, and robots taking
cases, it only increases the stress and sense
over jobs, it’s sometimes hard to believe that

of helplessness that seafarers feel. Not to Mental Health
we are not in a sci-fi movie. The same talk
mention all the good times that are missed: Roundtable
is happening in the shipping industry too…
a kid’s sporting success, or blowing out the
larger, more advanced ships with smaller
candles at their birthday party. We often River
crews arriving in ports, some of which are

forget that it is the simple everyday moments Chaplaincy
fully automated. Life seems to be changing at
with family that are so special. And seeing
an ever-increasing pace.
posts of friends and family can increase

What has happened to the human crews the loneliness.
you may ask? Can you imagine being on a
So, as the Seamen’s Church Institute enters
large vessel interacting with very few people
its 184th year, how do we steward not only
each day and then arriving in port and not
for today, but for tomorrow? As a seafarer
meeting any people on land either?! One
welfare organization caring for the spiritual, Founded in 1834, the
thing is certain, if loneliness and isolation
practical and emotional needs of seafarers,
were problems for seafarers in the past, they Institute is a voluntary,
we are aware of the increasing focus of the
are likely to increase in the future.
industry on the mental health needs of ecumenical agency
In light of this, what is the single greatest mariners. Through interaction with mariners
affiliated with the
thing we could be doing for mariners 20 years themselves we see their concerns first-
from now? The things that do not change hand. SCI is in the perfect position both Episcopal Church that
or go away are the challenges facing them. to recognize the need, and to help meet it.
There are certain stressors to life as a seafarer We strive to champion mariners, and our role provides pastoral care,
that cannot be eased by technology. Isolation interacting with them on a one-to-one basis maritime education, and
for one: although now it is often easier to means that we show up to support them on
get in touch with loved ones at home, that the good days and on the bad. legal and advocacy
very ease of communication can make the continued on page 2 services for mariners.

The Seamen’s Church Institute
Champion the Mariner, continued from page 1
That’s why it’s important when Chaplain James Kollin to crews and listening to the everyday concerns they have.
visits ships in Port Newark day in and day out, transporting But when tragedy hits, as it did when an explosion on a
seafarers to the mall one day, or providing them with phone towboat docked in a shipyard in early February killed three
cards the next. These services may seem simple, but they of the workers there and injured many others, the river
make a huge difference to the quality of life for these crews. chaplaincy team springs into action. In that case, they gave
Moreover, these little things mean that when something practical assistance to recovery efforts, conducted crisis
more serious happens, seafarers know SCI is there to support intervention stress management sessions with the crew, held
them. Giving spiritual support and counsel after the death of a memorial service for the deceased, and provided much-
a crewmate, or listening to worries about contracts or shore needed spiritual and emotional support to those affected.
leave and referring to SCI’s Center for Seafarers’ Rights;
the serious business of being a chaplain is underscored at At SCI, we know that mental wellbeing is just as important as
these moments. the spiritual and physical. We believe that the best way to serve
seafarers to make sure all our staff are trained to meet those needs
It’s the same on the rivers. Senior River Chaplain Kempton
– but we can only do that with your support. Help us champion
Baldridge and his growing team of River Chaplain Associates
mariners together in 2018.
visit towboats regularly, bringing along books and newspapers

Executive Director’s Log
Dear Friends,
I recently spent time with my SCI colleagues, trustees, and industry leaders at the Connecticut Maritime
Association’s Shipping 2018 conference. The theme of this year’s conference was “Profits and Values.” Of
course, every company is concerned with profits! More impressive was the emphasis
placed on “values,” particularly the human value in the maritime industry. Naturally,
this theme resounds with the work we do at SCI, and our staff were privileged to
SCI SUSTAINING take part in a various panels throughout the conference.
SCI’s new Strategic Plan, Charting our Course 2018–2023, launched recently
(see page 4). This new plan reflects our own values and sets forth our goals and
objectives in a clear way. With a focus on expanding chaplaincy and initiatives to
better serve mariners, particularly in the area of mental wellness, we have already
begun making good on some of these objectives. For instance, SCI has begun
partnering with maritime academies to emphasize resources available to their
students, preparing them for the challenges of life on the water.
SCI has long benefited from great leadership on the board. We celebrated two
gentlemen at our Annual Meeting on February 28, 2018, who dedicate their time and
© Spring 2018 Volume 110/Number 1
talents to creating the best SCI possible. As he retires as Chairman, we extend huge
Published by thanks to Richard du Moulin for his energetic and enthusiastic leadership these last
The Seamen’s Church Institute 6 years, and we celebrate him continuing with SCI as a trustee. During Rich’s tenure, we
have upgraded our simulators in both Paducah and Houston; started a comprehensive study of seafarer wellness beginning with the publication of our first ever report on the
psychological effects of piracy on seafarers; and even established the SCI Mountain
212-349-9090 Challenge event to raise awareness and funds for mariners. In his stead, we are delighted
fax: 212-349-8342 to welcome longtime trustee and friend of SCI, Bruce Paulsen, to the helm.
And of course, there is no initiative or strategic goal that would be complete
Bruce G. Paulsen, Esq. without thanking you, our supporters. You put humanity at the forefront. As we
Chairman, Board of Trustees often say, “the world depends on mariners, mariners depend on SCI, and SCI
The Rev. David M. Rider depends on YOU.”
President and Executive Director
Yours faithfully,
The Rev. David M. Rider
Editor, Naomi Walker
Design & Production, Bliss Design
The Lookout is printed on recycled paper.
President & Executive Director

2 • The Seamen’s Church Institute The Lookout Spring 2018
120 Years of Christmas at Sea

Christmas at Sea

turns 120!
Day after day, boxes upon boxes of knitted garments pile into the
Christmas at Sea headquarters at SCI’s International Seafarers’ Center
in Port Newark, NJ. Year after year,

we are witness to the kindness
and generosity of people who take
time to knit and crochet hats and
scarves for others whom they don’t
even know.
All these days and years add up!
In 2018, Christmas at Sea marks its years
s at Sea
C h r i m1898-2018
st a
120th anniversary. It was a caring of
and generous spirit that sparked
Christmas at Sea back in 1898, and
keeps it going today.
So often folks wonder how a knitting program can actually have an impact on something as large-scale as the shipping
industry. Waterborne transportation continues to be the primary, most efficient way of moving goods around the globe,
and it has seen huge technological changes over the years, from the introduction of containerization to advances in
GPS and communications. It is an industry with long history, outsized machinery, and lots of hard edges.
However, even in such an environment, two things will never change: humans need contact with one another and
humans need warmth. Christmas at Sea demonstrates those two ageless tenets.
Christmas at Sea is special for many reasons…its continuity, its value to mariners, its simplicity. But first and foremost,
it’s special because of the many knitters and crocheters working
tirelessly with talent and creativity.
We celebrate a great 120 years of tradition and warmth.
If you are interested in getting involved, or learning more
about the historic Christmas at Sea program, please contact us

Legacy Giving: 1898 Society
We are proud to announce the launch of the 1898 Society,
commemorating this 120th anniversary year for Christmas at Sea.
This special society honors knitters who include SCI in their estate
plans. If you are a knitter and choose to give a legacy gift to SCI,
upon notification of inclusion in your estate plans, we will enroll
you in the 1898 Society. Your name will be featured in the SCI
Annual Report, taking your place alongside all those who support
SCI. And as an extra expression of our gratitude you will receive a
commemorative Christmas at Sea ornament for you to treasure for
years to come! For more information, or to enroll as a member of
the 1898 Society, please contact The Lookout Spring 2018 • 3
Charting Our Course:
the years ahead
for SCI

Charting Our Course
SCI Strategic Plan • 2018 – 2023

The Seamen’s Church Institute HEADQUARTERS SCI–PORT NEWARK
50 Broadway, Floor 26 SCI–PADUCAH

SCI’s Annual Board of Trustees meeting held on Wednesday, New York, NY 10004

February 28, 2018, had a full program. Significantly, it
T: (212) 349-9090

marked the transition of Chairmanship after six years from
Richard du Moulin to Bruce Paulsen. Mark Knoy assumes the
role of Board Vice Chair. SCI thanks Richard du Moulin for six
incredible years at the helm, and celebrates the fact that he will
continue as a trustee.
We welcome three new members to the Board of Trustees: Boriana Farrar of
the American P&I Club, Jennifer Moehlmann of Ingram Barge Company, and
Gordon Keenan of Kirby Corporation. SCI thanks retiring trustees for their years of
service—Bob Burke, Gerhard Kurz, and
Deirdre Littlefield.
Additionally, the meeting saw the official
launch of SCI’s Strategic Plan, “Charting
Our Course, 2018–2023” (to download PDF, visit
Despite this recent unveiling, the plan has already borne fruit in the life of SCI.
One major focus is cross-training among different areas of SCI activity, especially
among chaplains. In the spirit of this, Senior River Chaplain Kempton Baldridge
recently spent a week in Port Newark for ship visiting and dialogue with his
blue-water counterparts. “It was humbling to see him at work and I have nothing
but respect for James [Kollin, Port Newark Chaplain],” Baldridge said, adding,
“James climbs a gangway five stories high at a 45-degree angle and he’s not even winded. Amazing!” Cross-training and
professional interaction between blue-water and brown-water chaplains will occur on a regular basis as part of SCI's new
strategic plan.
The new plan also focuses on enhancing relationships and collaboration with the various maritime academies. In December,
the Director of SCI’s Center for Seafarers’ Rights, Douglas Stevenson, and the President and Executive Director, the Rev.
David Rider, met with the President and senior staff of SUNY Maritime to discuss areas of potential collaboration, with
Doug providing a public lecture on seafarers’ rights recently as immediate follow-up. On Monday, February 26, 2018, trustee
Jack Noonan and five SCI senior staff met with counterparts at Kings Point to pursue a comparable discussion focusing
on topics like orientation and acclamation for new cadets, sexual harassment and bullying, group cohesion and bystander
leadership, and suicide intervention training. The discussion was very fruitful, and we look forward to working together with
both institutions in the future.

4 • The Seamen’s Church Institute The Lookout Spring 2018
SCI’s River Chaplaincy Update
2018 welcomes a
new phase for the
Seamen’s Church
Institute’s Ministry
on the Rivers and
Gulf, as Chaplain
Kempton D. Baldridge
is promoted to Senior
River Chaplain.
Kempton joined SCI
as Chaplain for the
Upper Ohio river
system in 2010, and
has tirelessly served
mariners ever since.
Since his arrival,
he has coordinated
all aspects of SCI’s
shipboard outreach to
crews of professional
mariners operating
on the Ohio,
Illinois, Tennessee,
Kanawha, Upper & Lower Mississippi Rivers; served as a 24/7 pastoral crisis responder to the river industry;
and trained in and offered Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) interventions.
In his new position, Kempton will oversee SCI’s chaplaincy throughout the inland rivers and Gulf, training
and managing a growing cohort of River Chaplain Associates while continuing his own role as an active
SCI Chaplain.
New full-time chaplain Tom Rhoades of Hardy, AR joins SCI in April 2018. A long-time friend of the Institute,
Chaplain Rhoades served as non-stipendiary River Chaplain Associate for 3 years before making the transition
to staff. Tom brings with him strong credentials in ministry and river experience. He served for 9 years as a pastor
in rural Arkansas. He entered the river towing industry as a deckhand for ACBL in 2008 and became a cook in
2010, stationed more recently aboard vessels on the Upper Ohio. SCI extends him a very warm welcome.
A rising demand for our services has seen an increase
in the number of River Chaplain Associates who
serve SCI. This is a non-stipendiary team of ordained
clergy, who give their time and effort to SCI’s ministry
when required. Some have a maritime or military
background, and some do not, but all are trained to
the highest standards, and operate on behalf of SCI
when deployed. Having a team of River Chaplain
Associates enables SCI to increase our geographical
reach, enhancing our capacity for ministry; going
forward, Chaplain Kempton will recruit additional
associates in the Lower Mississippi and Gulf regions.
Finally, after eight years of service to SCI, Michael
Nation has resigned his position as our Lower
Mississippi River Chaplain and CME Business
Developer. All at SCI congratulate Michael on
completing his MBA in December, and wish him well Senior River Chaplain Kempton D. Baldridge (left), in
as he considers his next step. conversation with new SCI chaplain Tom Rhoades (right),
while Tom was still serving as boat cook in 2017. The Lookout Spring 2018 • 5
Special Events Why I Give
Calendar 2018
Ginger Smellie is 80 years old, and
41st Annual Silver Bell began knitting for SCI’s Christmas
Awards Dinner at Sea program 20 years ago. As
Wednesday, June 6, 2018 Christmas at Sea celebrates its 120th
Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers,
New York, NY anniversary this year, we asked Ginger
6:00 pm Cocktail Reception why she gives to SCI both through her
7:30 pm Awards Dinner craft and her finances.
Silver Bell Award How did you first hear of SCI?
Mr. Jim Lawrence, Chairman,
There was an article in the Needlework column in
Marine Money & Founding Partner,
my newspaper about SCI’s Christmas at Sea program –
MTI Network
they had the phone number so I called and received
Lifetime Achievement Award the patterns through the mail. That was twenty years Ginger Smellie (far left) with the
Admiral Charles D. Michel, Trinity Reformed Church Knitting
ago! Since then I’ve knit 286 vests, which is about Circle, visiting the Christmas at Sea
USCG (ret.) 10 a year! HQ in Port Newark, NJ.
Humanitarian Award I knit while I’m watching television because I enjoy
Crowley Maritime Corporation, it. I don’t like to sit with idle hands. I was already in a knitting group at
TOTE, and Trailer Bridge my church when I began knitting for Christmas at Sea. There were four of
us back then: Betty G., Bunny, Miep, and myself. Since then, two of that
Port Newark Food Truck Fest original group have passed away, but Betty’s daughter Barbara has joined us,
Thursday, June 28, 2018 along with Pat, Joanne, Betty W., Miep and me. So our knitting group only
Port Newark, NJ has six people in it, but we make as many items as we can. Just last month
we sent in 15 pairs of hats and scarves.

Pilot Boat Harbor Cruise
Thursday, September 20, 2018
Did you have any connections with the maritime
New York, NY before starting to knit for SCI?
I grew up on Staten Island, and every day as I rode the ferry to work I would
Maritime Training see all the ships in New York Harbor. At that time SCI was based down by
Benefit Luncheon South Ferry. I never visited that building, but I always knew it was there, and
from an early age I knew that seafarers were an important part of our lives.
Thursday, October 25, 2018 My father worked for a company that delivered products to Port Newark just
Houston, TX
after the war; it has changed a lot since then. Our knitting group visits the
Port almost every year to help with packing for Christmas at Sea. Last year we
19th Annual River Bell packed 330 bags – it was like an assembly line!
Awards Luncheon
Thursday, December 6, 2018 Why do you think giving financially is important, as
Paducah, KY well as knitting?
Because SCI needs the money! The hats are wonderful and very important,
2019 SCI Mountain Challenge but they don’t pay the bills. Most of the goods we use are not made in
Thursday–Sunday, America, so they have to get here somehow. By ship is the most common
September 26–29, 2019 way. We have to look after the seafarers on those ships because they do so
Sunday River, ME much for us. It’s important to support the Seamen’s Church Institute because
SCI supports the seafarers.
For further details of all our
events, visit
Follow us on Instagram

6 • The Seamen’s Church Institute The Lookout Spring 2018
Seafarer Mental Health Roundtable

On Wednesday, February 21, 2018, the Seamen’s Church Institute held a Seafarer Mental Health roundtable at the
International Seafarers’ Center in Port Newark, NJ. In attendance were: Captain Steve Bomgardner and Ruphene
Sidifall, Esq. of Liberian International Ship and Corporate Registry; Dr. Adrienne Buggs of USCG’s Office of
Merchant Mariner Credentialing; Danielle Centeno and Boriana Farrar, Esq. of the American P&I Club; Dr. Rafael
Lefkowitz of Yale School of Medicine; Jennifer Love of Royal Caribbean Cruises; Dr. Conor Seyle of the One Earth
Future Foundation; and SCI staff, the Rev. David M. Rider, President and Executive Director; Douglas B. Stevenson,
Esq., Director of the Center for Seafarers’ Rights; Dr. Naomi Walker, Director of Communications; and Cora
Koehler, Seminary Intern.
The day began with a discussion of seafarers’ medical certificates, and the mental health factors that must be
considered when issuing them, including which diagnoses, therapies, and medications are deemed to be disqualifying.
The distinction between “fitness for certification” and “fitness for duty” was considered, including the question of
when different roles in a ship’s hierarchy demand different levels of medical fitness.
Medical certificates rely heavily
on seafarers’ self-reporting
and they may be motivated to
conceal conditions that might be
disqualifying. The tension between
the disclosure of medical issues
or the use of certain medicines
– which is vital information for
companies – with the risk that
disclosure may lead to a denial of
the right to work for individual
seafarers was explored. The
bottom line is that safety at sea is
paramount, and crew must meet the
minimum requirements for health:
the conclusion drawn was that case-
by-case consideration is preferable
to across-the-board decisions.
The topic of PTSD caused by
piracy incidents was discussed; it
was pointed out that PTSD is not
diagnosable until at least 6 months
after a traumatic incident. After
such an event, almost everyone
affected will display immediate, Participants at the Seafarer Mental Health Roundtable, Wednesday, February 21, 2018
short-term reactions, but these
aren’t necessarily predictive of ongoing mental illness. The stigma facing piracy survivors was discussed; an increased
awareness of the effects of trauma in society more generally often has the counter-productive result of prejudicing
fellow crew members against survivors of such an attack. The point was made that the economic impact of mental
illness going untreated can be much greater than identifying and treating it as it occurs.
Turning to the topic of mental illnesses among seafarers, the exacerbating factors of life at sea were discussed. These
include the isolation seafarers often experience, and the separation from common support networks (friends and
family), as well as work-related stress issues, relationship issues, problems adapting to ship life, and the potential
“blessing and curse” nature of an increase in communication capabilities.
It was observed that, according to at least one company’s data, many self-destructive threats and acts happen during
a seafarer’s first contract, when they are relatively young (19–27 years). This may be because of the “healthy worker
effect”: those who are robust enough for a life at sea are the ones who continue past the first few years and continue
their career as seafarers.
continued on page 8 The Lookout Spring 2018 • 7

The Seamen’s Church Institute U.S. POSTAGE
50 Broadway, Floor 26
New York, NY 10004 PAID
SCI CENTERS: Port Newark, Paducah, Houston
Ways to Give to SCI 
Use the envelope in this Volunteer Follow
Support the people who deliver the edition of The Lookout or mail
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of life possible. the Institute. Call one of our click “like.”
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Donate Call 212-349-9090 and make
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a contribution over the phone Collect @seamenschurch
with your credit card. and @scievents.
Many companies match employee In addition to handknit scarves
donations to eligible nonprofits. Sponsor and hats, SCI’s Christmastime Check out our photos
Ask your employer about SCI provides prominent recognition to gift to mariners includes
increasing the value of your gift items found at most ordinary seamenschurch.
its underwriters. Become a corporate
to support mariners. sponsor and link your company’s supermarkets donated by people
like you. To find out more, contact Remember SCI in your estate

Donate online at philanthropy with North America’s plans. Email legacygiving@ largest and most comprehensive or visit our website. for more
give. mariners’ service agency.

Seafarer Mental Health Roundtable, continued from page 7
Various strategies were discussed regarding mitigating the cases. Added to this is the fact that blue water suicides offer
risk of suicide among seafarers, with training and awareness a “skewed sample” when they happen off-vessel. Once at
being viewed as key to this. SCI’s representatives gave an home, when seafarers are off-contract, any deaths that occur
overview of the ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills are under the radar for companies.
Training) workshops offered by the Institute. The possibility
The idea of providing a form for mental health evaluations
of using e-learning tools to raise awareness of risks and
that ship owners could use was suggested; some companies
intervention strategies was also raised: SCI has a 40 minute
already have this provision. The feeling is that being on
e-learning module on suicide awareness that is tailored to
the front-end of an investment in health and wellness
the inland river industry. Plans are underway to adapt it to
pays dividends by reducing claims for companies and
the international fleet.
maximizing productivity.
The discussion moved to the challenges of gleaning
All in all, the roundtable provided a forum for stimulating,
accurate statistics on deaths by suicide in the maritime
in-depth discussion of the many important issues
context. There is also the problem of differentiating
surrounding seafarer mental health. To read the official
between accidental death and death by suicide in some
report on the topics covered, visit

8 • The Seamen’s Church Institute The Lookout Spring 2018