December 31, 2015

Posted by Unknown Thursday, December 31, 2015 0 comments

Early this morning I'm reading the devotional distributed by Union Baptist Church. The reading is from Jude 22. "Others save with fear, pulling them out of fire." The title is, "Get Involved."

It emphasizes the responsibility we have to go after someone we love who is taking the wrong step. That's a challenging reading because it makes the assumption one is able to discern the difference between right and wrong. It also makes the assumption that your relationship with a particular love one is strong enough that it can withstand the intrusion into another affairs.

I've lived long enough to accept both assumptions when it comes to the people I love. My circle of love is fairly expansive. I love my church members. I love my community members. I love my family members. That's a broad circle of love. In my interaction with each circle, I have leadership, teaching, modeling, and mentoring responsibilities. I love the give and take within each circle. I receive much more than I give. Why? Each interaction teaching me more about myself and my relationship to God. God is the driving force and the standards God sets establishes the bar for what is right and wrong. God also provides the mandate for me to activate this scripture as my responsibility to save my love ones from going the wrong way.

Within the church setting, the wrong way is when they are not deeping their relationship with God and being actively engaged in spreading God's word.

Within the community setting, the wrong way is when opportunities are being curtailed and safety is being compremised. It's when the aesthic fabric of the communtiy becomes frayed. It's when economic opportunity is derailed. It's when academic achievement is deferred. Unfortunately a community can too easily go in the wrong direction, largely by external forces that push it in that direction. To change the trajectory requires a full time commitment to service.

Within the family setting, its modeling the behavior of Christian love. It's also establishing a pattern that prayfully your love ones will seek to emulate. It's being in a real relationship with them so they fully understand that all you do is for their good.

Okay, make 2016 the year each of you get involved in the lives of people within the church, the community and your families so that none will go the wrong way in life, especially you.

Penn North or Gilmore Homes

Posted by Unknown Wednesday, December 16, 2015 0 comments

It is interesting that clergy leaders want to gather on the corner of Penn North to demonstrate their concern that we have no more distribances in the City of Baltimore. The April 2015 distribrance and the symbolic burning of the CVS on the corner of Penn North should not be the place for continuing demonstration. National media made that corner the focal point. The return of clergy to that corner reinforces the image that disturbances only occurs within our community. I would argue downtown near Camden Yards is a more powerful symbol. It was the point where the disturbances got out of hand and there was looting and breaking of store windows. Also, there were direct confrontation with police and destruction of police vehicles. For religious leaders to assemble on the Penn North corner is disconcerting. It says we are anticipating a fire on this corner when there is no evidence a fire will occur. Too often we direct our attention towards the symbolic versus the substantive. If we should have learned anything from the April 2015 distrubances, its that the problems that created the conditions are long standing. I believe a more effective place to gather would be within the Gilmore Homes projects. That is the real focal point. That is the point where you will find people with the greatest need.

Anticipating Violence

Posted by Unknown Tuesday, December 15, 2015 0 comments

The threat of violence and the reality of violence hovers over so thick, it's like a dense fog without an end. A fog that does not permit light to come in and even does not allow you to see your hand before your face. The density of the violence hovering over us has us jumping even when someone says, "boo!" I don't mean to minimize the reality and the threat of violence. It is very real. It is everywhere. But in this season of Advent, my prayer is that the light of God's child will shine once again within our land and piece its way into people's hearts. My prayer is that this storm is over!

Mentors and Sponsors

Posted by Unknown Monday, December 14, 2015 0 comments

Yesterday a successful global marketing executive spoke at Union Baptist Church. In the address the person outlined her 20 year experiences that led to her being named by Forbes magazine as the #12 global marketer out of #50 in the world. That's quite an accomplishment for a member who grew up within the religious crucible of UBC. As the member outlined the experiences that developed her career, the member continously acknowledged she knew people were praying for her. This confident African American female dropped a bombshell on the audience. She said that in life you need both mentors and sponsors!

Within the community we continously talk about people having mentors, but the idea of a sponsor was different. Please explain the difference? A mentor is a person who talks to you - a sponsor is a person who talks about you to others.

Maybe its time we change our strategy and adopt this idea as our own? Do you have both mentors and sponsors? Do you have a cadre of people who talk to you, people you can confide in, people you can go to for advice? And, do you have a group of people who talk to others about you, people who promote you in circles and with people when you are not around, people who open up doors for you and introduce your to an ever wider array of relationships? If the nature of our society is expanding your network of relationships, maybe more of us need to adapt the notion of identifying both mentors and sponsors?

On a person level, Jesus has been the best mentor for me. "He has walked with me and talked with me." God has been my sponsor. "He has opened doors no man could shut."

Within the earth realm, I suggest that each of you identify and develop a cadre of mentors and sponsors. Both will assist you in your journey through life.

Mr. Melvin Williams

Posted by Unknown Sunday, December 13, 2015 1 comments

Very few people live their lives in the public arena with all of their faults, flaws, failures, flattery and fortitude are known. Mr. Melvin Williams demonstrated many negative and positive things. I would argue the story of his life, which is legendary, is contained in these words, "how to rebound from a knockdown!" Few have risen as high in the underground life as Mr. Williams. Few have earned the street credibility on the public stage as Mr. Williams. Few have spent a vast amount of their years in prison, only to return with the opulence of a king, then Mr. Williams. People may have heard of "Little Melvin" but you have to be living under a rock, not to know of "Mr. Melvin Williams." People wonder what do you do with the large amounts of returning citizens. People who have been incarcerated and now are returning to the neighborhoods and street corners from which they were taken. The life of Mr. Williams should give you some insight. First, treat them with respect. Second, allow them to repent of their past mistakes. Third, utlize their experiences for the betterment of the community. Fourth, allow them to earn an income. Fifth, help them to reunite with their family and friends. Sixth, cause them to understand they are forever on the police department's watch list. Seven, channel their entrepetneurial spirit into positive endeavors. Mr. Melvin Williams is gone, but his legend and his life will live on because he demonstrated, "that its not how you start it is how you finish." Mr. Melvin Williams finished very strong!

A change one's mindset

Posted by Unknown Monday, December 7, 2015 1 comments

Life has taught me that the only way to change a situation is the person in the situation has to change their mindset. I define mindset as one's mental capacity to accept one's current reality and one's willingness to change that reality. A situation is what one perceives as the reality. Unless a change is made in one's reality, I don't believe you can change a situation.

 Let's see if I can provide you with an example. I observed some homeless individuals living under cardboard boxes near an underpass. One would say, "this is a tough situation for a person to live in." The reality is the person is exposed to the changes in the weather and is unable to protect themselves from those changes. If I provided that same person with a minitrailer. The minitrailer would be placed in the same situation. Conceptually the person who was once homeless, living under a cardboard box, is now living in a minitrailer in the same place, but their mindset has changed because the person has an address-123 Minitrailer Way. Going from living under a cardboard box to living in a minitrailer would create a seachange, I believe, in the mindset of the individual. The person is in the same position, but because of a change in mindset, the person is in a new condition.

Let's apply this same logic to violence within our community. Currently, some persons preceive that the only way to respond towards another person is violently. The mindset is it is better to hurt or kill someone for something they have either done to you or to prevent them from doing something to you. The eye for an eye logic was evident in Old Testament law and society. Jesus proposed a change in one's mindset. Jesus suggests that one develop the mindset to turn the other cheek. He also suggests that one become wise as a serpent and harmless as a dove. Both suggests Jesus is saying to change one predisposition to violence by developing in your mind a predisposition for forgiveness. Forgiveness is the antidote to responding to either something being done to you or preventing something from being done to you violently.

I believe the current context we find ourselves in as a society requires, demands, a change in one's mindset to change the current reality we all find ourselves in.

Offering Tech Learning Opportunities to Community Youth

Posted by Unknown Sunday, December 6, 2015 0 comments

Union Baptist Church through its Cyber Center is offering training in the many Tech areas: 3D Printing, Robotics, Maker Camp, Web Site Development, and Coding. These skills are being introduced to middle school ages students that attend Booker T. Washington Middle School. It is our belief, and there are many examples, that if you introduce these skills to students at an early age, they will master the skills needed for jobs in the future. We are blessed to have a committed core of adults and talented youth who are assisting in this endeavor. The Digital Harbor Foundation is provided critical guidance and support as we model their program within the West Baltimore Upton Community we serve. It is ironic that our church sits on the corner that was the third stop on the infamous Freddie Grey police van ride. Now though our Tech Center we can provide opportunity and hope to area youth and a safe environment to learn critical skills. Keep us in prayer as we embark on this new journey to support our youth and increase their options for the future.

Where do you find safe space?

Posted by Unknown Wednesday, November 25, 2015 0 comments

We find outselves in an era where an unspoken question is, "where do you find safe space?" In recent weeks I have watched the news accounts from cities throughout the work where I have traveled: Paris, Istanbul, Brasilia, Oakland, Baltimore, St. Louis, Detroit, New Orleans, to name a few. it is someone startling to witness places where you walked, ate, and slept on the news as places where terror and danger exist. It causes me to thank God for traveling mercies. It seems like we are in a very violent era from government sponsored terriorism, to senseless police shootings, and to violence between people from similar backgrounds, ethnicity and conditions. Violence is everywhere and I wonder is there any safe space in the world? I was summoned to meet with Baltimore City Public School officials to discuss a recent violent episode in a school in close proiximity to the Union Baptist Church. Within the school was a violent stabbing of a student by another student. The violence threw the total school and community into shock and crisis. As a man of faith and a leader of a well respected religious institution, what do you do? I offered Union Baptist Church as safe space for the teachers, parents and students to assemble and discuss their feelings, pray for healing, and interact with crises interventionalists. Not withstanding the incident in Charleston, South Carolina, the faith institutions within a community must be safe spaces for those who are hurting and lost. The commands of our Biblical reading and Jesus Christ prompts us to be places of refuge and spaces of sanctuary. If one believes that our religious place is Holy Ground, then we cannot be afraid to function within those spaces as so. There is a traquil spirit when one enters into Union Baptist Church and sit in the main sanctuary with the rays of God's sunlight beaming through the stain glass windows. Sitting silently as the earth tone stone walls and stained oak ceiling and trussles evelope you within a historical setting that has stood firm in the midst of turmoil since 1905. Just being in the sanctuary affirms that God is from everlasting to everlasting. I'm honored to serve as the 10th Pastor of Union Baptist Church and stand on the shoulders of my nine predecesors as a beacon of hope during incredulous times. God is still on throne and He is still commanding us to study war no more and to seek salom at all times. I'm glad I can answer the question of where do you find safe space? You can find it in the inner recesses of your spirit when you are seated within the sacred space of Union Baptist Church. "You who are weary come home!"

The Cure for Spiritual Boredom

Posted by Unknown Friday, October 9, 2015 0 comments

"Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only." James 1:22

The meditation this morning deals with the idea of becoming spiritually bored. The implication is when one only hears the word of God without doing the will of God, it leads to one becoming spiritual bored. I will take the inference of today's meditation a step further. I believe one becomes spiritually bored when they refuse to hear or read the word of God. For me a clear symptom of spiritual boredness is when one refuses to encounter the source of spiritual activity. Spiritual activity is when the deep within your encounters the presence of a living God. There is an axiom that says, "action to an organization is like blood is to the body." Allow me to make an adjustment in that statement: "spiritual action in the body comes from a spiritual encounter with the ultimate Actor." When one has had a true encounter with the divine, I believe all boredom is gone and life becomes a series of exciting encounters with Him who loves you beyond measure. First hear the word, read the word, learn the word, live the word and do the word everyday of one's life and you will never experience spiritual boredness!

Peace of Mind

Posted by Unknown Friday, September 25, 2015 0 comments

"I am leaving you with a gift-peace of mind and heart."     John 14:27 NLT

At the end of a hectic week, I needed to read a thoughtful meditation. I'm reading Friday's devotional entitled, "Peace of Mind."

I've learned that you cannot control what flies over your head, but you can control what flies into your head.

I'm focusing my attention upon the things of God. When that happens the worries of the world seem so small. Within the short span of one week I will preach eulogies for three people. Life is far too short to live it in a state of unease. Life is too short to continue to allow bruise feelings to exists particularly with the ones you love.

An honest prayer towards the end of any week is to ask God for the gift of peace of mind and heart!

Get Into Place

Posted by Unknown Friday, September 18, 2015 0 comments

"There was not a man to till the ground." Genesis 2:5

Today Pastor Reid and I responded to the call of the Principal and staff of Renaissance Academy to speak to their students prior to their being dismissed because a week ago there was a fight between students on their way to the subway stop at State Center. We were joined by Communities United, Safe Streets, and the Mayor's representative. Men came to support the students and staff and to let them know the expectations we have for each of them. The Pastors of Bethel A.M.E. and Union Baptist Church were united in the safety, security and success of each of the students who attends the school.

Initially the call was for 100 men to join in the effort. While we were far short of the goal, we were not deterred by the shortage. While the Bible verse proclaims there were not enough men. A few good men with God is more than enough to fight the enemies of our student's future.

You'll Ask God To Bless Them

Posted by Unknown Thursday, September 17, 2015 0 comments

"Walk in love, as God also has loved us." Ephesians 5:2 NKJV

Yesterday the Police Sargent of Central District called to ask if Union Baptist Church would host a meeting with him and community leaders to discuss the rising incidents of violence within the community. Of course I agreed, but I quickly realized what could possibily be done to change the hearts and minds of people who see the use of violence as a viable option to address their issues with someone else.

I thought about this deeply and realized we are in a culture where verbal, mental and physical violence is too acceptable as the order of the day. I'm particulary concerned how easy believers are so willing to resort to mental and verbal violence to address their concerns.

I thought the essence of the faith experience hung on forgiveness and love.

I may be naive or alturistic, but my contribution in the upcoming meeting is we need more demonstrations within our homes, community and churches of the power of love to overcome life's tensions.

You'll Preserve Their Dignity and Self-Worth

Posted by Unknown Monday, September 14, 2015 0 comments

"Be full of love for others."  Ephesians 5:2 TLB

I had pancakes this morning and the choice was presented to me to have them with or without syrup. I thought about it for a moment. Pancakes are pancakes, why pour syrup over them?

As I pondered the decision, I thought about the meditation for this morning. What if instead of pancakes, it was people? What if syrup represented love? Would you want people without love?

I quickly poured a lot of syrup over my pancakes and they tasted mighty good.

Pour love over the people in your life and you will discover they are very good too!

You Won't Try to Intimidate Them

Posted by Unknown Saturday, September 12, 2015 0 comments

"You did not receive a fear, but...of sonship." Romans 8:15 NIV

The essence of life is relationship. The quality of one's life is defined by the quality of one's relationships. The ultimate relationship in life is your relationship with God. If you are secure in your relationship with your significant other, your family, your friends, and God, then nothing can intimidate you or cause you to fear. You have the ultimate assurance of security from the ones you love and the ones who loves you.

You Won't Talk About It

Posted by Unknown Friday, September 11, 2015 0 comments

"You meant evil...but God meant it for good." Genesis 50: 20 NKJV

9/11/01 is a day woven into the memory of the Citizens of America and around the world. It is a day forever etched into the fabric of our society. We, in the USA, have lived under the assumption that no one would attack us on our homeland. After facing up to the reality we are not safe anymore, the Department of Homeland Security was created. From that moment on our lives have been changed by the actions of a band of people far away who used airplanes as weapons and by goverments bent on keeping its citizens safe. If you have traveled overseas, we recognize there are security measures in effect all over the world, particularly in air travel.

Evil has a way of arriving at your doorstep. It may not be the attack of a terrorists, but it very well might be the attack of the evil one or his imps. No one is immune from evil. No one is exempted from its effects. But I'm so glad we have our own Homeland Security that is directed by GOD.

Your Quiet Time With God - Part 4

Posted by Unknown Wednesday, September 9, 2015 0 comments

"I have...treasured his words more than daily food." Job 23:12 NLT

Like food is to the body, God's word is to the soul. There is a saying, "You are what you eat." What you ingest you become. Maybe its time to change your diet: curtail watching television, slow down on your use of social media, listen less to you iPod; and take in more of God's word. You take it in by reading your Bible. You take it in by reading devotionals. You take it in by reflecting, meditating and living God's word. If your desire is to become "a solider of the cross and a follower of the lamb," then you will have to eat God's word daily to avoid the hunger pains of spiritual lack. "Taste and see that the Lord is good!"

Your Quiet Time With God - Part 3

Posted by Unknown Tuesday, September 8, 2015 0 comments

"He went out into the mountains to pray, and prayed all night." Luke 6: 12 TLB

An honset assessment of one's life reveals very few moments when you spend quality and quanity time with God. Our time of reflection is small. Our time for meditation is limited. What demands so much of your time, that you cannot spent quality and quanity time with God? If a believer understands they will spend eternity with God, then shouldn't you invest more time on earth to commune with Him? In life the time you spend with your maker is time well spent.

Your Quiet Time With God - Part 2

Posted by Unknown Sunday, September 6, 2015 0 comments

"And for thy pleasure they...were created."   Revelation 4: 11

I often wonder how a person is able to skip over the fact they are created. No one has made themselves. Everyone has gone through a birthing, inculbating and development process. I believe the life spark can only be given by God. If you are created, the question then becomes, what were you created for? You would created to praise God and to live according to His plan for your life.

Your Quiet Time With God

Posted by Unknown Friday, September 4, 2015 0 comments

"Seek first the kingdom of God." Matthew 6: 33 NKJV

Too often we focus upon the process and not the priority. We expect so much of God without understanding God has a basic expectation of us. Am I in first place in your life?

For God to be in the first position, it means you must not just place Him first, you must seek Him first. Seeking implies an action that put the onus on you to search diligently for God. Think about all the things, people or places you pursue. I suspect they are many. Why not take your precious time to seek God? I've learned that if you seek Him, you will find Him. He is available and waiting for you.

It's early in the morning, your home is quiet. Take this opportunity before the hectic place of this weekend dominates your time, seek God in the quiet moments and meditation in His presence.

Don't Be Cynical

Posted by Unknown 0 comments

"If you love someone you will...always believe in him." 1Corinthians 13:7 TLB

Today's meditation deals with the idea of cynicism. According to my electronic Meriam-Webster Dictionary, it means, "beliefs that people are generally selfish and dishonest." To start from that position reflects more on one's opinion of oneself versus the reality of others. In essence if you believe people are basically dishonest then you must believe when put to the test you are selfish and dishonest. This represents one of the distinctions between Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung. These distinguish psycho-analysists were basically on opposite ends of the poles in describing the core of human personality. In effect and I am oversimplifying their positions, Freud had a cyncial view of the human condition, while Jung believed in an idealistic view of the human condition.

For example, in my business dealings, I am idealistic and believe people are basically honest. I have a CFO who is the opposite, he believes people are dishonest. To reconcile his position and mine I adopt the attitude of skeptism. Skeptism sugguest that you test people in business dealings to determine if they are honest or dishonest. I had a vendor submit an invoice to me. The cynic says the invoice is overpriced. The idealist says it is priced right. The skeptic says provide me with the verification that supports the invoice you have given me. Which position is better only you can decide what works for you.

I take the position of an idealist, with the option to be skeptical every now and then.

Hope after Freddie Gray

Posted by Unknown Thursday, September 3, 2015 0 comments

This week has provided me with a sense of hope after the distrubances related to the death of Freddie Gray. I attended classes organized by two of our major universities: University of Baltimore and University of Maryland Law School. It was hopeful to witness a collective total of over 200 persons very interested in making a difference in policies, programs and practices to improve the quality of life for residents of our City. The language was brutely frank but also very optimistic. The challenges while dauting seen manageable with the collective will and brain power demonstrated in the classes I participated in.

I remarked that after the 1968 riots in Baltimore, it appeared to me that segements of our society retreated from engagement. Now after the April events, it appears many people from different sectors are looking honestly for answers and seeking how to make real change to improve our City.

We can have hope after Freddie Gray if we become a community willing to trust the innate goodness within each of us. We can have hope after Freddie Gray if we are willing to have honest conversation about our hopes, dreams, fears and aspirations. We can have hope after Freddie Gray if windows of opportunity are opened and barriers to achievement are eliminated. We can have hope after Freddie Gray if persons from the generation of today, 20 - 40 year olds, not lose hope in the goodness of humankind to become better.

I will continue my studies with optimism and a fervent prayer that I will witness positive change in our community within my time and space.

"I will...remember their sins no more." Hebrews 8: 12 NIV

This mornings blog and meditation deals with carrying the baggage of the past into your present and your future. Far too often we miss the true meaning of repentance. It is not only to ask for forgiveness. It also means to turn around and go into another direction. When God has forgiven you for a past indiscretion, He wants you to turn yourself around and walk in the opposite direction from your sin. Too often we ask for forgiveness but we fail to turn from the wickedness of our ways. As a result the baggage of the past is carried into the present and future because we really have not let some habit, practice, or situation go. If you want your sins to be thrown into the "sea of forgetfulness,' then you must thrown the habit, practice or situation into the sea as well. Jesus, after he has forgiven someone, then says, "go and sin no more."

Strengthen Your Marriage

Posted by Unknown Wednesday, September 2, 2015 1 comments

"Husbands ... be considerate." I Peter 3: 7 NIV
"Wives of respect." I Timonty 3: 11 NIV

Excuse my lateness in writing this blog, please don't misinterpret my lateness as avoiding the subject. After 33 years of marriage, I understand five fundamental things one must do to strengthen their relationship, marriage.

1) Have a compatible faith perspective. Believe in God who is the essence of love, forgiveness, peace, provision, protection, grace and mercy. A compatible faith permits you to have an anchor and a mediator as you journey in life together.

2) Believe in fidelity. Fidelity is the trust one has in each other that their relationship is based upon honesty and truth.

3) Have a joint management plan for your finances. Two incomes are better than one. Two mispent incomes is no good to none. (excuse the language, I wanted to rhyme to make a point). In your planning make certain you tithe, save, and live within your means. Learn the power of becoming debt free. Learn the power of saving for purchase verses using credit. Learn the power of managing income, interest and increase.

4) Place your extended family in its proper perspective with your nuclear family. You and your mate are one and all others rotate around that unit. Don't allow extended family to interfere or interupt your primary relationship with your mate.

5) Place your friends in their proper perspective. Never allow your relationship with friends supercede your relationship with your nuclear family.

These are the keys: faith, fidelity, finances, family and friends. With these keys you can strengthen any marriage.

Never, Never Quit

Posted by Unknown Tuesday, September 1, 2015 0 comments

I recommend that you obtain a copy of the Union Baptist Church's "The Word for you Today." It's a quarterly devotional which is designed to guide each of us through daily scripture readings. You may contact our office, 410-523-6880, to obtain your copy. Invest your early morning meditation time by reading this devotional and rest assured you are joined in the readings by like minded Christians throughout our faith community.

September 1st devotional is entitled, "Never, Never Quit." The scripture reference is, "Commite your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed." Proverbs 16:3 NLT.

I've learned in life to press on to see what the end will be when your journey is towards God. Can you distinguish between your plans for yourself and God's plans for you? It is so easy for the lines to be blurred in your mind. I clarify the difference by asking myself this simple question, "Will my actions help me or others?" If the primary beneficiary is me, then I realize I may need further prayer to discern God's plan. If the primary beneficiary is others, then I'm fairly certain God has placed this action within my spirit and if I proceed He will give me favor.

I remember all the years I've spent in school pursuing religious training and education. At first I thought it was for myself, because I desired the prestige of becoming a Doctor. As I have walked the journey, I now realize all of the hard work, long hours, and study was to be more effective in my preaching and sharing of God's word to his people. I'm so glad I didn't quit or become misdirected.

Never, never quit when you are following God's plan for your life.

A Tale of Three Cities

Posted by Unknown Friday, August 21, 2015 0 comments

Baltimore has surpassed New York City in homicides

Baltimore has surpassed New York City in homicides this year
Baltimore has surpassed New York City for homicides this year. 
New York peaked with 2,245 homicides in 1990, but that number has been 
tumbling and hit a historic low in 2014, with 328. 
Baltimore saw a peak of 353 killings in1993, and recorded 211 homicides in 2014.
Adjusted for population, Baltimore's murder rate through 
Aug. 19 is 34 per 100,000 people, while New York's is so far this year 2.5 per 100,000. If New York had Baltimore's murder rate, it would have seen 2,874 killings already this year.
Chicago has seen the most killings of any city, with 284. 
With 2.7 million people, Chicago's homicide rate is about 10.4 per 100,000 people so far this year.
Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore SunI'm shocked that we are living in an era when life seemingly has little value. To think Baltimore, New York and Chicago are trumpeting murder rates as a measure is depressing. The violence in America is alarming. The rate of murder, suicides, and deaths from drug overdoses, if taken together would reflect a level of violence that exceeds any totals from wars and international conflicts. Unless America faces up to it violent nature and begins to adapt and instill moral and human values into its public life, we are doomed by the tremendous weight of families impacted by loved ones who lives have been senselessly lost forever. Those scars will never be removed from the psyche of our citizens and impacts us all.I'm looking at my copy of the "Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire." If the rate of deaths from violence is not curtailed, we may be witnessing the rise and fall of America.

Throwing out the first pitch

Posted by Unknown Thursday, August 20, 2015 0 comments

Over the year's I have witnessed persons standing on the pitcher's mound and throwing the ceremonial first pitch to the catcher of the team. The pitch has left the guest thrower's hand with varying results. One only get's one pitch and you don't have an opportunity for a do over. If it's not your best pitch the audience, televised and in the stadium, witnesses your miscalculation. I've laughed on many occasions as a person has thrown a ball without the neccessary velocity and it fell short of the home plate only to roll on the grass to the catcher. I've seen some throw the ball over the catcher's head and into the crowd. I've seen some completely missed the plate by throwing so far off line you leave wondering what were they throwing at. In other words, they couldn't hit the side of a barn.

I will have the honor of throwing out the first pitch this Friday at the 7:00 p.m. game of the Orioles versus the Twins. I will represent the Baltimore Interfaith Community and the Union Baptist Church family.

I've learned to do anything well, you must practice. To prepare for this historic moment, I have been exercising in the gym daily. I've gone to the Druid Hill Park baseball field and measured off 90 feet from the home plate and practiced throwing the ball across the plate. While I practiced throwing at 90 feet, the actual major league distance is 60 feet 6 inches. I must admit it is not as easy as it appears. Especially knowing you only get one pitch and no oops is allowed. 

Well, rest assured I will continue my practice tomorrow, Thursday, and be ready for the big day on Friday. 

Batter up, strike three, your out!

A Salute to the Ed Waters Track and Field Team

Posted by Unknown Wednesday, August 19, 2015 0 comments

I'm aware the name has been changed of this historic track and field team from Ed Waters Track and Field Team to Baltimore Track and Field Team. My days as a parent, assistant trainer and supporter of Baltimore City's summer recreation program was when the team was named after Ed Waters. It was in tribute to a Baltimore athelete who was a world class 400 Meter runner. During my 10 years with the team, it produced many Olympic athletes and was a magnet for talent from all over the metropolitan area. The unwritten story about the program was it success rate in producing not only champions, but also amazing college students, professionals and good citizens.

On a personal note my son is an alumnus of the program and God has blessed him with a successful academic career (Compter Engineering, Electrical Engineering, MBA, and JD)  and business career (Vice President of Consumer Banking, J.P. Morgan Chase). I attribute some of his success to the discipline he learned from track and field after he stepped onto a track at 7 years of age. He ran from age 7 to age 17 with the Ed Waters team.

During that 10 year period of time I became involved in the lives of some amazing young men and women. I continue to marvel at their accomplishments and character.

Rodney Williams, successful academic career earning four degrees, and founded a start-up company named LISNR. His firm employs over 20 people and he is seen as one of the rising superstars in business tech start-ups. He recently met with President Obama and has on his roster of clients, Roc Nation, Dallas Cowboys, VISA, AT&T, and Budweiser.

Brandon Scott, a Baltimore City Council Member, who recently led a group of young men on a walk from Baltimore to Washington. DC. He co-founded the group 300 Men March. He has emerged as one of the rising leaders of our City.

Now Baltimore City will be introduced to Mr. Calvin Young, an engineer and graduate of Harvard Business School with a MBA. He has thrown his hat into the ring at age 27 to run for the office of Mayor of Baltimore City.

From success in track and field throughout the City and Country, we are discovering Baltimore talent that are leaders of our City's and Nation's future. On your mark, set, go!

Walk to the White House

Posted by Unknown Monday, August 17, 2015 1 comments

Later this morning 40 of Baltimore's best young men will reach their destination - Washington, D.C. After an overnight walk from Baltimore to Washington, these youmg men will demonstate to the nation a very plausible solution to addressing the ranging violence going on within urban communties throughout this nation. The solution is the total engagement of our youth in addressing public policy, managing programs, and inclusion in the economy in their local communities.

Young legs are able to walk 35 miles in 20 hours, but praying hands can surround our youth with the protection from on high so that they can reach their goal without harm or danger.

I've witnessed one of the young men who attends Union Baptist Church emerce himself in the 300 Men March program. He is developing into the type of leader that makes all of us proud.

Channel the youth within your communities into this program and you will find them discovering a greater purpose and becoming a better citizen of our nation.

Happy Birthday "Tina"

Posted by Unknown Saturday, August 15, 2015 0 comments

August 15, 2015

Happy Birthday Wishes from Rev. Dr. Alvin C. Hathaway, Sr. to Mrs. Twelvatine “Tina” Crowell Nesbitt

One of the difficulties in my ministry is my inability to be in two places at one time. I unfortunately had a prior commitment that has prevented me from personally conveying these sentiments to my dear friend “Tina.”

My relationship with “Tina” extends for many years. From my days in junior high school, playing in Edmondson Village, and attending those red lights in the basement parties. “Tina” and I developed a plutonic relationship that took on the qualities of a brother and a sister. She was my big sister my mother and father did not give me. She was a confidant whose advice I respected and followed. She was as the Bible declares, a friend that sticks closer than a brother.”

Knowing “Tina’ brought me into relationship with an amazing array of her friends who befriended me and whose friendship I still cherish.

We never know how the hand of God may lead you. But, what we do know is that when you place your faith in God, he leads you in paths of righteous and he leads you beside the still waters of life.

“Tina” has been that friend over the years that I have had the pleasure to tabernacle with. She has been a friend who I respect highly and dearly.

She has achieved a milestone in her life by celebrating 65 years on earth firmly being held by the hands of almighty God. She is an authentic Christian who lives out her faith without pretense or fanfare. She is my beloved in whom I am well pleased.

Enjoy your moments of celebration and continue to thank God for his grace and mercy that is following you.

Be assured that even as I write this note, I’m praying for you, your family and friends. And always remember you are loved, admired and cherish by many, and especially by me.

Happy Birthday!!

Rest from Stress

Posted by Unknown Friday, August 14, 2015 0 comments

I've returned to writing my blog and I'll return to the pulpit this Sunday. I'm thankful I had a brief vacation break. I had the opportunity to travel to Costa Rica and attend my family reunion in Richmond, Va. Both experiences were relaxing and provided me with a rest from stress. If you are able to attend this Sunday's worship service, you will recognize the words, "Rest from Stress,' are the title of the sermon.

I'll not share the essence of the message, but all throughout the Holy Bible you will discover Jesus takes breaks to release himself from the tension of a stressful life. Even the Genesis story reveals God takes a break from the work of creation. It's called recreation, The Sabbath.

Periodically take a stress break and you will discover the tension level in your home and on your job will be dialed down significantly and the relationships you treasure the most will improve.

On Becoming a Merchant Mariner

Posted by Unknown Monday, August 3, 2015 0 comments

One of my favorite uncles was named Uncle Jimmy. He lived in Portsmouth, Va. He was, as we called him, a Merchant Marine. As a child, I really didn't know what a merchant marine did, I only knew that when I visited Uncle Jimmy, he was a lot of fun. He could tell amazing stories. He had traveled to far away places. He was tough. He was strong. He was a man. 

When I visited him, it was like going to a never ending party. He filled the house full of food, music, and plenty of soda pop. He would give me a $5.00 bill when others would give me $.50. He must of been rich because he dressed well and while others were riding street cars, he had a Buick. 

I entered into a conversation with the President of the Maryland State AFL-CIO. He introduced me to the Port Agent for the Seafarers International Union. The SIU represents and trains Merchant Mariners. These are the professionals who staff the commercial boats and shipping lines. They are the ones responsible for the maintenance of the vessels, the movement of the cargo, and the safe travel of the vessels through international and state waterways. 

Our church, Union Baptist, has developed a relationship with SIU to expand their reach within the community we serve and to make persons aware of the opportunity they have to join an apprenticeship program that will prepare them to become Mercant Mariners. 

Tomorrow, August 4, 2015 beginning at 6:00 p.m. we will hold an introductory session for persons interested in learning about this opportunity. 

Come and learn, share and inform, persons you know who could benefit from having an exciting career as a member of the Merchant Mariners.

The Seafarers Harry Lundeberg School of Seamanship

Located on the campus of the Paul Hall Center for Maritime Training and Education

If you have attended the Unlicensed Apprentice Program previously you are not eligible to apply and retake the program.


The Seafarers Harry Lundeberg School of Seamanship (“SHLSS” or “School”), affiliated with the Seafarers International Union of North America, Atlantic, Gulf, Lakes and Inland Waters District/NMU, AFL-CIO (SIU) is a vocational school dedicated to preparing students for successful careers as U.S. merchant mariners. The School has been training individuals for careers at sea since 1967. The SHLSS provides entry-level training for individuals who wish to begin a seafaring career. We do not accept students that already hold a rating(s).  The program is called the “Unlicensed Apprentice Program.” SHLSS also offers classes for experienced seafarers to permit them to upgrade their skills. There are eligibility requirements for both the Unlicensed Apprentice Program and the upgrading classes. The requirements for the apprentice program are set forth in these materials. Seafarers must meet additional eligibility requirements in order to participate in the upgrading classes.

The School is located on the campus of the Paul Hall Center for Maritime Training and Education. The campus consists of over 60 acres on the waterfront in Piney Point, Maryland, which is approximately 60 miles from Washington D.C. The campus includes the SHLSS, as well as the Joseph Sacco Firefighting and Safety Training School; various classroom facilities, including a cooking lab for hands-on training and culinary demonstrations; the Paul Hall Library and Maritime Museum, marine simulation equipment; and the Seafarers Training and Recreation Center, which contains dining facilities, living quarters, and recreational and laundry facilities. Hands-on-training is also conducted on board the John F. Fay, a vessel which is docked at the campus’s waterfront.


Is a Seafaring Career for Me?

The U.S. merchant maritime industry employs men and women who work on a variety of vessels in the deck, engine and steward departments. If you become a mariner, you will have job opportunities in different sectors of the maritime industry. Jobs are available on U.S. flag commercial vessels sailing on the deep seas, inland waterways and Great Lakes; including cargo vessels, tugs and cruise ships. There are also civilian mariner positions available on military vessels operated by private maritime companies, as well as on vessels owned and operated by the U.S. Navy and other government agencies.

Although the merchant marine is sometimes referred to as the nation’s “fourth arm of defense,” America’s mariners who choose to work on government vessels are part of a civilian crew supporting military missions. Mariners sailing in these positions are not members of the armed forces.

Shipboard life is very demanding. Mariners live and work together in a confined and isolated environment, and may be away from home for months at time. There is often no immediate access to medical care. However, seafaring is a rewarding career, with good pay and benefits. If you continue your training, you will have the chance to continue to move up the career ladder into more skilled and higher-paying positions. You will also have an opportunity to travel all over the world, and to be part of the “brotherhood of the sea.” Once you complete the Unlicensed Apprentice Program, you will have the skills necessary to begin a career as a seafarer.


The Unlicensed Apprentice Program

The Unlicensed Apprentice Program at SHLSS is the largest training program for entry level seafarers in the United States. It is designed to prepare students with little or no maritime experience for a seafaring career.

There is no charge for tuition or room and board for Program participants. However, students are responsible for paying the costs of their uniforms (once the student receives their uniform the fees are non-refundable), a physical exam, drug test, benzene test, and fees for the following required documents: a U.S. Merchant Mariner’s Credential, a Transportation Workers Identification Credential, and a current passport. These fees and costs are approximately $3000. Students must also pay for the cost of their transportation to the Center.


The Curriculum

The Unlicensed Apprentice (UA) Program is approximately one year long, and includes a combination of classroom training at the SHLSS, as well as an apprenticeship on board a vessel. The Program is broken down as follows:

Phase I – twelve (12) weeks of entry level training at the SHLSS.

Phase II – ninety (90) days or more shipboard training as a non-crew member unlicensed apprentice. This includes thirty (30) days in each department with required completion of a designated sea project. Apprentices receive a stipend while they are training on board the vessel during Phase II.

Phase III – seven (7) weeks of follow -up training in Piney Point, MD. This phase focuses on the specific skills of each department (deck, engine and steward).

Phase IV – employment as an entry level crew member on a designated SIU-contracted vessel for a minimum of 120 days.

Phase V – completion of department specific upgrading classes in deck, engine or steward department. Upon successful completion of upgrade, the apprentice will receive a probationary Union book as a member of the SIU with B-seniority, which is the second highest level of seniority. You must successfully complete all five phases in order to receive credit for the UA program and it must be done within one year of your completion of Phase III or you will be discontinued and your seniority will be dropped to C-seniority.

Training covers the duties and responsibilities of seamanship in the three shipboard departments: deck, engine and steward, through a curriculum that includes both classroom learning and hands-on training. Skills that are taught include:

Deck – marlinespike seamanship, cargo handling, watch standing duties, routine maintenance regimes and shipboard safety.

Engine – diesel and steam plant familiarization, use and care of tools and equipment and shipboard safety.

Steward – food preparation fundamentals, handling stores, nutrition, shipboard sanitation, laundry operations and shipboard safety.

Students are required to take classes concerning shipboard emergencies and operations including: fire fighting, water survival, first aid, CPR, industrial relations and social responsibilities on board a vessel. Each course is designed to provide the students with skills and knowledge to perform safely and effectively aboard a ship. Apprentices also learn about citizenship and individual responsibility through a series of classroom discussions and visits to the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., and the SIU Headquarters in Camp Springs, Maryland. The prospective seafarer will also learn about the nature of the shipping industry, the economics of marine transportation, and government policies and regulation that affect the vitality of the U.S. fleet.

Seafarers Harry Lundeberg School of Seamanship Policy Regarding Requests for Accommodations

The Seafarers Harry Lundeberg School of Seamanship has the right to set and maintain standards for admitting students and evaluating their progress and is not obligated to waive any requirements that are fundamental or essential to the integrity of the programs. Students with disabilities must meet the academic, technical and physical standards for participation in the programs. Generally speaking applicable law does not require the School to provide accommodations that fundamentally alter the nature of a program (such as by diluting academic integrity) or that pose an undue hardship (defined as significantly difficult or expensive).

Pursuant to Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA) and any relevant state law, the Seafarers Harry Lundeberg School of Seamanship will consider the request for reasonable accommodations from qualified students with disabilities. Accommodations are subject to the United State Coast Guard regulations governing training and education of merchant mariners and are considered on a case by case basis.

To receive accommodations for a disability a student must provide documentation of the need for accommodation at least 30 days prior to arrival at the Seafarers Harry Lundeberg School of Seamanship. The evaluation should be less than two years old to demonstrate the current impact of the disability and to identify appropriate accommodations for merchant mariner training. Documentation should be in the form of a psycho-educational or neuropsychological evaluation conducted by a licensed or certified psychologist, educational diagnostician or other relevant professional with training and experience in identifying and diagnosing learning disabilities on professional letterhead and signed.

The School reserves the right to request additional information or evaluation. Your written permission will be required to release information to the School. The School will maintain the confidentiality of your request for accommodation and supporting documentation, unless you give the School permission to release this information.

What Should I Expect if I Attend the Unlicensed Apprentice Program?

The work of a seafarer is physically demanding, and requires a certain level of physical fitness. You should be aware that upon arrival you will be evaluated to determine whether you are physically able to perform the essential tasks of a merchant mariner. This evaluation will include an assessment of your ability to climb ladders and stairs; your agility; your sense of balance; your ability to lift loads of at least 40 pounds; your ability to crouch, kneel, crawl, and stand on your feet for extended periods; your manual dexterity; and your ability to use survival equipment. If you are physically unable to perform these essential tasks, you cannot work as a mariner on a ship. For this reason, you may be sent home to improve your fitness level if you cannot successfully perform these tasks upon arrival. In addition, as part of your training at SHLSS, you will be required to participate in regular fitness training.

The UA Program curriculum has been developed to meet all US Coast Guard requirements. The daily routine of a UA is very much like the routine a merchant mariner will experience on board a ship. Below is a typical day in the life of a UA during the first phase of the program:

0400 - wake-up
0415 - prepare dorm for morning inspection
0430 - breakfast
0445 - report to work in the Galley
0730 - mustering for morning colors
0800 - march to class
0800 - 1100 class
1100 - march to lunch
1130 - report to galley for lunch detail
1300 - march to class
1300 - 1600 afternoon class
1600 - return from class and march to evening meal
1630 - report to galley for evening meal duty
1630- 1930 - galley duty
2000 - lights out

In addition to the daily routine, a UA is required to work scheduled watches that are similar to the watches stood while working on a ship. An ideal candidate must be able to handle the mental and physical aspects of shipboard life. Working long hours requires fitness and the mental capacity to remain safe onboard a ship.

The Unlicensed Apprentice Program is a structured and disciplined program. The UA is required to wear a uniform (once the students uniform has been issued the fees are non-refundable) and march to and from classes. Apprentices must adhere to strict grooming standards. Students are not allowed to wear jewelry or makeup. Students are not permitted to have cars on campus, and are not allowed to leave the campus. Drug and alcohol use are prohibited at all times and students may be required to submit to drug and/or alcohol testing.

An applicant must be self-motivated to succeed in the classroom and other assigned areas of detail. The UA is observed and monitored during all phases of training. Excelling in the classroom is not the only requirement. A UA must also possess a strong work ethic to succeed.

All apprentices must comply with the Program’s Rules and Regulations. Apprentices are required to sign a copy of the Rules and Regulations upon arrival. Disciplinary issues are handled by a Review Board which consists of staff and members of the UA Program. Demerits are issued for violations of the rules and regulations. Five demerits will result in dismissal from the Program.

Estimated Costs (these costs vary)

Step #1:
Six (6) passport size photos = $30

Step #2:
Merchant Mariners Credential = $140
TWIC = $128
U.S. Passport = $110
Dental = varies depending on work that needs to be completed

Once scheduled and prior to arriving to school:
Uniforms = $470
Physical/drug test/benzene/functional capacity/shots - $675
Travel to be held in account at school = $200
Transportation expense to get to school = varies depends on location and mode of transportation
Miscellanous/required clothing costs = $450 (varies)


Academic Policies

Students are required to pass an exam at the end of each course in order to pass the course. If a student fails the exam, he or she is allowed one additional opportunity to take the exam. If a student fails a course, the case will be referred to the Review Board to decide whether the student should be allowed to continue in the Program.

Applicants should be aware that if they do not complete the entire Program, (Phase I through Phase V) they will not be eligible to receive certificates for the courses they have taken up to the point that they were dismissed, decided to leave or discontinued by the school for not completing all five phases.

Application Process and Admission Requirements

The application process to the Unlicensed Apprentice Program is selective. The Program only accepts applicants whom the Admission Committee determines will be able to successfully pursue a seafaring career. A candidate must demonstrate that he or she possesses the discipline, ability, and fitness level necessary to work as a merchant mariner in order to be accepted into the Program. Candidates are accepted throughout the year. The detailed description of the Application Process below contains more information about how frequently applicants are accepted.


Admission Requirements

Applicants seeking admission to the Unlicensed Apprentice Program must meet the following requirements:


General Requirements

All applicants must meet the following general requirements:

• Must be 18 or older.

• Must be eligible to work in the United States.

• Must be able to meet all U.S. Coast Guard qualifications/requirements for the issuance and upgrades of a Merchant Mariner’s Credential.  Do not currently hold a MMC above OS, WI, SD(FH).  Must also obtain a USCG issued 2 year STCW medical certificate.

• Must be able to obtain a Transportation Workers Identification Card (TWIC) issued by TSA.

• Cannot be on any form of probation or parole.

General Physical Requirements

Applicants must meet the following physical requirements:

Be in good physical, mental and dental health. Applicants must be able to pass a complete physical and drug test performed by a Seafarers Health and Benefits Plan contracted clinic for employment purposes.

• Have blood pressure normal for their age.

• Have teeth in good medical condition. (see dental requirements)

• Have normal color vision as determined by USCG approved color vision testing or mariner could be restricted to sailing steward department.

• All deck department applicants must have a minimum of 20/200 vision in each eye, and corrected to 20/40 in both eyes.

• All engine department applicants must have a minimum of 20/200 vision in each eye, and corrected to 20/50 in both eyes. NOTE: If the applicant does not meet the vision requirements for upgrading in either the Deck or Engine departments, he/she may be restricted to sailing in the Steward department.

• Applicants who wear corrective lenses or glasses need to bring either two (2) pair of glasses or one (1) pair of glasses and one (1) pair of contact lenses.


Application Process


Step #1


1. Please read all information about the Unlicensed Apprentice Program in its entirety prior to filling out the application. Fill out the electronic application online.

2. On a separate paper write an essay, of no less than 400 words, about “Why I want to be a Merchant Mariner.” The essay may be handwritten or typed on a computer. At the end of the essay, you must include the following statement: “I hereby affirm that this essay was written by me, and no one else.” After this statement, sign your name. Please mail this to the Admissions Office along with other required paperwork.

3. Provide three (3) non-family character references (ONE FROM EMPLOYER SEE BELOW) to be mailed to the Admissions Office by the person writing the reference. Letters should include the persons name writing the letter, their relationship to you and a contact phone number.  Please be sure they include your full name and mail to SHLSS Admissions, PO Box 75, Piney Point, Maryland 20674.
ONE REFERENCE LETTER MUST BE FROM YOUR CURRENT OR MOST RECENT EMPLOYER ON COMPANY LETTERHEAD.  LETTERS FROM EMPLOYERS NOT ON COMPANY LETTERHEAD WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED!!  If you are not currently employed you need to provide a written statement explaining why you are not employed and when you last worked.  
4. Provide high school and/or college transcripts.

5. If prior military, provide a copy of your DD-214 long form. If discharge from military was anything other than honorable please provide information about discharge as well.

6. Send six head shot size photos (similar to those used for a passport) (no hats, head covers or sunglass unless hat or head covering is worn for religious reasons)  FAXED or SCANNED PICTURES ARE NOT ACCEPTABLE.

Please mail all necessary paperwork to the Admissions Office, Attn: UA Program, PO Box 75, Piney Point, Maryland 20674. Physical address is 45353 St. George’s Ave., Piney Point, Maryland 20674.You have 30 days after an electronic application has been submitted to forward the remainder of the necessary paperwork and test at your local SIU Hall or your application will be VOID and you cannot reapply. Once your application is received you will be contacted via email (make sure you give a correct, active email address) and instructed to schedule a reading and math test at one of the SIU Halls. (If you have not heard from the school within 7 days after you submit your application it is your responsibility to follow up on your application, call 301-994-0010, Ext. 2).  You must contact the Union Hall prior to arriving to set up the test and you must take your letter with you in order to be permitted to test.  This all must be done within 30 days of your application being received by the Admissions Office, including testing!

Upon completion of Step #1, including testing, your application will be submitted to the selection committee. The committee will meet once a month to pick applicants to move onto Step #2. You will be contacted by mail or email within 60 days after completing Step #1 if you have been selected to move onto Step #2. Due to the economy and other conditions, the need for apprentices fluctuates throughout the year therefore, the class sizes will fluctuate depending on the amount of mariners needed. At any time the school reserves the right to not hold a selection committee.  Any money spent as part of the application process is non-refundable and the sole responsibility of the applicant.
All SIU Halls are located within the United States or a territory of the U.S. You MUST take the reading and math test in the United States at a SIU Hall in order to complete Step #1.


Step #2

You will be notified by mail or email whether you are selected to continue on to Step #2 of the application process. At this time you must provide copies of the following documents within 90 days or your application will be VOID. If you are unable to obtain the following documentation within the allotted time frame it is the applicant’s responsibility to advise the Admissions Office of any issues.

1. Transportation Workers Identification Credential (TWIC). TWIC centers and appointment scheduling can be done online at or by calling 1-855-347-8371.

2. Merchant Mariners Credential (MMC) from the USCG.   Your MMC must state OS, WI, SD(FH), make sure it states food handler (FH).  You must apply for your TWIC before you can apply for a MMC. Contact your local USCG Regional Exam Center for information and an application for a MMC, or go online to for further information.
3.  When applying for your MMC you must also apply for a 2 year STCW medical certificate, please indicate this request on your USCG form CG-719 under Section #2 in the "applying for" box.

4. Valid passport.

5. All applicants must have a complete dental examination administered by his/her private dentist. A dental letter must be sent to the Admissions Office, on your dentist’s letterhead and must specifically state that the applicant does not have any cavities, pyorrhea, or periodontal disease and currently needs no work to be done. The letter must contain a current date.
Any money spent as part of the application process is non-refundable and the sole responsiblity of the applicant.

All official government documents (TWIC, MMC, passport) should be copied and mailed to the Admissions Office, please do not send originals. Make sure you send all pages of your MMC, the page that contain your picture and any endorsements issued by the USCG (pages 4 & 5).  Please be sure to send the original dental letter.

Once an applicant has a completed file they will be advised approximately three months prior to their report date that they have been selected for class. The applicant will need to contact their local SIU Hall to set up their trainee physical, functional capacity exam, drug test and benzene test. This is a conditional acceptance letter and all medical exams must be completed and passed at least two weeks prior to the date the applicant is scheduled to report to the School.  If the applicant is unable to pass all medical exams within six (6) months of his/her origianlly scheduled start date, the applicant will lose their conditional acceptance.  The applicant may re-apply for admission after waiting at least one year from the date their conditional acceptance was withdrawn, but must re-submit the entire application, beginning with Step #1 and be selected to move to Step #2.  They must pass all medical requirements (physical exam, benzene test, drug test and functinoal capacity test) before he/she will be considered for admission.  Students will be scheduled for classes on as needed basis depending on industry needs. 
Once the student has paid for their uniforms and they have been issued the uniform fee is non-refundable.

Elizabeth Brown
Port Agent
Seafarers International Union
2315 Essex St
Baltimore, MD 21215

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