DSM is a valuable partner in ICMA

icma_logoThe Deutsche Seemannsmission is one of ICMA's largest members. The DSM was present when we came together for the very first time in 1969. In the 40 years since then, the DSM has taken a leading role in ICMA. The DSM is a permanent member of ICMA's executive Committee.

ICMA is an ecumenical association of 28 member organisations. Two things keep us together: we share the same faith, and we are all committed to care for seafarers. While we are all Christian, our faith traditions differ. and while we all serve seafarers, ICMAhopes to inspire its members to professionalism.

In both these respects, faith and professional care, ICMA has learnt that it can rely on the Deutsche Seemannsmission. The Deutsche Seemannsmission's ably contemplates the theology of our unique ministry. It is this underlying theology that helps us to respond appropriately to God when we interpret and understand our role in seafarers' ministry.

The Deutsche Seemannsmission ge- nerously shares this visionary theology and its practical application with ICma's other members by actively participating in ICma's education system. The DSM invests much time and effort in developing and delivering ICMA's training agenda. In doing so, the DSM enhances the professionalism of this global ministry way beyond its own chaplaincy. ICMA members thus find a valuable partner in the Deutsche Seemannsmission.

The Deutsche Seemannsmission truly lives up to ICMA's ideals of working ecumenically. But it is the seafarers who benefit ultimately from the DSm's approach. as the DSm contributes to the professionalism of faith-based care, it helps to improve the quality of services rendered to seafarers worldwide, even where the DSM itself cannot reach.

The DSM focuses its efforts on the pressing needs of seafarers. It is no surprise that the DSM reaches out to those affected by maritime piracy, embraces new communication technologies and strives to perfect the age-old ministry of centre-based care with good, old fashioned hospitality. In short, the adage "Support of seafarers' dignity" really does apply to the Deutsche Seemannsmission. The International Christian maritime association has the highest regard for the Deutsche Seemannsmission

It is appropriate, then, that the DSM and its ecumenical partners in Germany should host the august 2011 ICMA World Conference in Hamburg.    The theme of the World Conference will be: "Promoting seafarers' dignity." The values of faith and human dignity, unconditional care, professionalism, no discrimination and only-the-best-will-do, are all embodied in the Deutsche Seemannsmission. These values have become the aspiration of ICMA.

Reverend Hennie la Grange
ICMA General Secretary