September/October 2007 Issue
Canadian Sailing Ministry Brings Youth to the Sea
By Sandra Reimer
Twenty-one young adults and seven professional crew members set sail in June on a one-year “Pacific odyssey” from Victoria’s harbour aboard the Pacific Grace. The Grace is a 138-foot schooner operated by the Sail and Life Training Society (SALTS). SALTS is a non-profit Christian organization based in Victoria that is committed to the spiritual, mental and physical development of youth.
The youth, ages 17-27, are headed for the South Pacific with stops in Hawaii, Tahiti, Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Osaka, Japan. In the online Captain’s log, Bonice Anderson, the Captain’s wife, writes: “We woke with the trysail up but part way through the day we put a reef into the main and raised it under sail with a following wind. It was an incredible exercise in working together and listening to the crew.” Anderson describes deep discussions, singing, playing guitar, eating, laughing and working together as the youth and crew build community on board the Pacific Grace.
Every year about 2,000 young people experience all aspects of shipboard life from “helmsmanship” to galley chores aboard traditional wooden ships – most of which are built or restored by the SALTS staff in their heritage shipyard. Youth also receive formal instruction in navigation, piloting a boat, sailing techniques and small boat handling. Most trips are five to 10 days long and take place during the summer.
On both the shorter trips and longer voyages youth experience the beauty of creation and live in community with the Christian crew members. Prayers are said or sung at each meal and a simple service is held on Sunday.
SALTS is dedicated to helping young people reach their full potential regardless of their personal beliefs. During one of the short trips, teachers with a school group warned SALTS executive director Loren Hagerty that a particular kid was going to be hard to handle. “On the ship he was a star performer. He was in an environment where he thrived. Hopefully this gave him some confidence,” says Hagerty. There have also been times when the crew has baptized people during a voyage.
More Samples from This Issue
Subscribe to get the full magazine
Every Church Needs a Healthy Board
Suggestions for Better Governance
Policy Governing Boards: A Cautionary Note
Reflections About Governance
So What Can Your Board Do Now?
Come on in for Healing Prayer
From the Inside Out: City-wide Events
Reaching Immigrants Over Coffee
Love Thy Great Canadian Neighbour
Sailing Ministry Brings Youth to Sea
From the Editor
What Comes First
The Gathering Place
Healthy Ministry Requires Clarity
God at Work in Denominations
A Rose by Any Other Name
Ask a Theologian
Should We Forgive Those Who Show No Repentance?
What Do You Think?
Respond to an articleby sending a letter to the editors