Divorce and remarriage among the Shambala Christians : the pastoral response of the church; Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania, north eastern Diocese, southern district.
Shemsanga, Eberhard Ngugi.
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This dissertation critically reflects the problem of divorce and remarriage within the North Eastern diocese of the Lutheran Church in Tanzania. A problem which has become rampant in the whole church. The situation became apparent to me as I was ministering in different parishes in the area of the research for five years. Divorcees are not accorded the full membership in the church because of their divorce status.Their failed marriages and criticism from church members makes them feel out of place in their own churches. They feel desperate, tending towards a sense of personal failure. The Shambala traditional customs whereby divorcees and/or remarried people are looked upon as outcasts make things even worse. Divorcees, makomanyumba 1., have no place in the Shambala Christian community. The goal of this dissertation therefore is to address divorcees' crisis through counselling. Many of these people are members of the church. I feel the church needs to face the biggest challenge to alleviate divorcees' crisis through counselling. I believe sincere pastoral care and counselling within the Lutheran Church in Tanzania will bring about healing, support, reconciliation and restoration of the hurt and deprived people, in this sense, the divorcees. Estardt (1997) believes that pastoral support is one of the services that persons committed to the church have the right to expect. He sees pastoral counselling as a relationship in which the minister assists the client in dealing with the difficulties, frustrations and tragedies of life. It is for this sense a new model of pastoral care and counselling is suggested for whole church. The model in which pastors in parishes are not the only solitary sources of counselling. The new model suggests that both trained and untrained laity is a good source for pastoral care and counselling. If these sources are fully utilised in parishes, a minister's counselling work might well be assisted, enhanced and improved by the parishioners. Referral counselling is also suggested in the new model.1.Makomanyumba - plural, divorcees. Komanyumba- singular, a divorcee.
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