It is the time when we give thanks for the gifts and beauty of the ocean and for all those who seek to support sailors and their families in the Merchant Navy, the Royal Navy, the RNLI, from fishing communities near and far, as well as in the broader commercial sector. We also give thanks for the seaside community in which we live and, in particular, we celebrate and ask God’s blessing upon the work of ‘The Mission to Seafarers’.
2020 has been a challenging year for the whole world, not least for those who serve at sea. The COVID-19 pandemic has put seafarers around the world in precarious situations. Travel restrictions have meant some could not leave their ships, be repatriated home or even get urgent medical attention. Other seafarers have seen their contracts unilaterally terminated or have been quarantined on ships for 14 days or more without pay. Many a ship’s company has been struck down by the virus.
‘Sea Sunday 2020’ is a time for remembering and lamenting, but it remains a time of thanksgiving, especially as it’s the first Sunday since Lockdown that Public Worship will be on offer in our church building.
Like a ship returning to it’s home port, fleeing stormy seas, our church community of St Peter Is returning home to our church building following a really difficult time for our local community. As we return to worship in church we remember all those who have died because of or with the virus, including two of our own - Peter and Brenda. May they rest in peace.
On this ‘Sea Sunday’, as we remember all who serve at sea and their families, we pray together for a break in the virus storm and we give thanks that ‘our home port’ is available to us once again for prayer and worship.
One of my favourite prayers, and one that brings us all hope in times of great uncertainty, is the traditional prayer of a Breton fisherman. I hope it is as helpful to you as it always has been to me.
Dear God, be good to me;
the sea is so large,
and my boat is so small.