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In This Issue
Contact Us
Boston/Chelsea Office
77 Broadway
Chelsea, MA 
(617) 889-3222
Portsmouth Office
231 Gosling Rd
Portsmouth, NH 03801 
(855) 661-0330


Portland Office

Marine Trade Center

2 Portland Fish Pier

Suite 103

Portland, ME 04101

(207) 956-7677 

Board of Directors
Mr. Steven C. Dodge, Chair
Mr. Andrew Wandell, Treasurer
Capt. William F. Malloy Jr USN (Ret.), Secretary
Rev. John Carson
Mr. Charles Itz
Mr. Walker Martin
Capt. Angel Montanez
Mr. Tom Reinfuss
Capt. Jim Staples

Executive Director
Ms. Meredith Connell

Rev. Tim Owen 
Mr. Tom Reinfuss
Mr. Lance Williams, Sr

Operations Manager
Mrs. Crissy Jache

Support Seafarer's Friend
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We make it easy to support the mission of Seafarer's Friend. 

Without ongoing financial support from churches, individuals and businesses we would not be able to provide for the needs of today's seafarers.

Feel confident that you can safely and securely Donate Online through PayPal or mail a donation to our office in Chelsea, MA.

We also accept old vehicle donations through Donation Angel. The money received will directly fulfill our mission.

Please consider a donation today.

December 2015 - Merry Christmas 
& Happy New Year
A Word from our Director - Meredith Connell
Greetings Friends!  As we are about to celebrate the New Year, I find myself thinking about expectations, hopes and dreams for the future. I think we all do.  

Two days before Christmas, I went on board the Maersk Katalin, a Gulf oil ship docked here in Boston, with our Port Chaplain, Lance Williams. This pre-Christmas visit was very special. I don't know why exactly. Every ship visit is unique. Each time I meet amazing seafarers and walk away humbled and grateful for the opportunity.  

The crew consisted of Russians, Romanians, Indians and Filipinos. Lance and I were graciously invited to join them for lunch. We sat in the mess hall; one Filipino came in with his plate and blessed himself before eating, Lance spent a great deal of time with another making his phone card work so he could call back home.  

During this time, I struck up a conversation with other Filipinos who filtered in and out to have lunch .....they shared about their wives and children and the daily loneliness they experience not being with them as they labor to provide for their needs back home. We talked about Christmas traditions in our respective countries. The U2 song "Unforgettable Fire" was playing loudly in the background as they spoke about their expectancy of when they would be reunited with their loved ones after their lengthy contracts at sea. 

After a time of sharing, a few of the crew members requested to go to the CambridgeSide Galleria where they could do some shopping.  As we were waiting for a couple of the men to get to the van which we had parked outside of security, I asked the Filipinos- Jay, Juneray and Lonwell if they needed warm clothing-to which they exclaimed in unison "YES M'am"! (They later referred to me as "Merry" Jay -joked that I was Merry as in Merry Christmas).  

We made a "pit stop" at our office where they could sort through our store house of supplies.  Although the Ditty Bags consist of some warm clothing such as scarves, hats or gloves, the bags are too small to contain desperately needed outwear. The experience was like watching grown men turn into little boys opening presents at Christmas as they excitedly and carefully looked at what was spread out before them. I had previously called the office to inform Crissy Jache, our Operations Manager, that we would be coming by, and she thoughtfully chose some items she thought they might like in order to save them time sorting through racks of clothing.  We told them to fill their backpacks to the brim with whatever they could fit in-coats, sweaters, socks....They were so grateful!

Jay has two young sons back home, and Lonwell three daughters ages 3,6 and 9.  We found some items for the kids-a teddy bear, a Red Sox hat, a box of new barrettes.  They were so excited to be given these gifts for their children who they would see in the months to come.

We COULD NOT have done this without the generous contributions of our faithful supporters! Whether it be in the form of a monetary donation, a box of toothpaste, a knitted cap, gently warn clothing, etc. 

I cannot thank you enough as 2015 comes quickly to an end. My prayer is for God's peace, joy and health to be upon you and those we continue to serve in 2016.  
Thank you for being a Seafarer's Friend,
Juneray, Meredith, Jay and Lonwell at Seafarer's Center in Chelsea. 
Ten Years of Blessings - Chaplain Tim Owen
Pastor Mike Glidden and I recently had the privilege of delivering Ditty Bags to a ship named the "Curia". This ship had come from Columbia with a shipment of Coal and an all Filipino Crew. The crew was overjoyed to receive such nice full bags just in time for Christmas. They did not want to even open them so they would have something to open on Christmas Day while they were at sea. 

I told them that the ditty bags were put together by a group of loving people from the First Congregational Church of Searsport, Maine.I explained about a lady there named Dorothy Alling who coordinates all of this specifically to bless Seafarers like them at Christmas time. This church who just celebrated their 200 year anniversary has been blessing Seafarers for over 10 years now. The men on this ship wanted to make sure that they conveyed how thankful they were for this tremendous act of kindness.

Merry Christmas and God Bless.
Chaplain Tim Owen

 The crew from the Curia showing off their Ditty Bags
 Sea Stories - Notes from Ship Visits

Our chaplains make notes of every ship visit. Here is a glimpse of what they encounter while visiting with the crew. It is a heart warming reminder of the critical work God has entrusted us with to help these Seafarers connect back home with their loved ones and to have the opportunity to receive His word. After reading these Sea Stories, please pause for a moment and pray for those mentioned - God knows their every need. 

Portland - 
11/17 - Captain Thomas came to visit at the office. He specifically wanted to say goodbye to us and thank us for everything we have done for him and his crew on the Transfighter. He is being reassigned elsewhere. 

11/27 - Had some extra time to spend with the captain who is a Christian. WE really feel like he has the gift of a pastor; we told him so and he shared that God has been dealing with his heart along these lines as he deals with his upcoming retirement. Bob and I had a great time of prayer with Captain Ferman before we left.
Boston - 
11/18 - Ship visit to an auto ship with 23 crew, Chaplain was not allowed to go to the mess hall, had to remain in "Tally Room" off the auto ramp where it was quite cold. The captain is not allowing any crew off the ship and the bosun said that the ship was like a prison. We must pray for these crewmen.

November Ship Visiting Statistics

November 2015

28 out of 32
Ships visited
6 out of 10
Ships visited
14 out of 14
Ships visited
88% of ships
in port visited
60% of ships
in port visited
100% of ships
in port visited
Seafarers reached
Seafarers reached
Seafarers reached
Van Trips provided
Van Trip provided
Van Trip provided








~Ship Visitors~


We are always seeking Volunteer ship visitors to help us carry out our mission to extend the ministry of the churches to meet the unmet spiritual, social, and practical needs of seafarers from around the globe.  We visit approximately 525 ships each year, climbing the gangways bringing modems and phone cards so the crews can communicate with their loved ones back home. We distribute such things as Bibles, devotionals, reading materials, and personal care items to the crew on board. We also provide the seafarers with transportation to the local shopping malls.  In addition, we listen to their stories and try to offer a caring and respectful ear to those who have so little contact with anyone other than their shipmates.



  • Must be a good listener and able to respect other cultures.
  • Must be reliable, professional, and available for ship visits from one to two hours in length.
  • Must have a good driving record and be willing to drive vans around the Port.
  • Must be both willing to follow rules (security procedures, Seafarers' Center paperwork) and open to surprises (such as ship schedules changing, or a seafarer suddenly confiding about a sad situation).
  • Must be able to keep seafarers' confidences confidential.
  • Must be in good enough health to climb stairs and ladders.
  • Must interview with the Director, train with Port Chaplains, and pass a simple background check (at no charge to the volunteer).

Rewards of Volunteering:

  • Representing God's unconditional love to seafarers of many faith traditions (or none), many cultures, all ranks. Much of our work doesn't involve talking about God, but we do try to leave seafarers feeling valued.
  • Experiencing the hospitality and trust of people from all around the world.
  • Encountering challenges creatively.
  • Getting to know other volunteers, some of the most dedicated people you'll ever meet.
  • Making an impact on the Port community; an exciting part of the global economy not familiar to many.
  • Giving something back to the invisible servants of our economy.


If interested, please contact: Crissy Jache, Operations Manager at 617.889.3222 or by email.

Seafarer's Friend Wish List

Our Wish List at Seafarer's Friend is another opportunity to connect with us. Our resources are limited and we put all we can into providing for the Seafarers. Some of our current needs are:

- IT support to clean up our data base and help our systems run more efficiently.

-New Computers

- Marketing support. Our informational materials for outreach and fundraising purposes are in need of re-design.

- Web Site support.  Our website needs to be re-developed in order to be more inviting and resourceful.

The material needs for the Seafarers remain and any support you can provide is always appreciated:

- New Bibles (Tagalog Bibles are in high demand)
- Personal Care Items
- Warm clothing for the cooler months
- Hats, Gloves
- Jigsaw Puzzles
- Books, magazines and other leisure items such as
   playing cards, word searches, etc.

Thank you for considering a donation to support the needs of Seafarer's Friend. 

Seafarer's Friend | 617-889-3222 | |
77 Broadway
Chelsea, MA 02150