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UEM Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) in Africa Region

Participants of the Clinical Pastoral Education; Photo: UEM Africa Region

From the 23rd to 28th April 2018, a CPE workshop was hosted by the Evangelical Lutheran church of Tanzania, Karagwe Diocese (ELCT-KAD) at Nyakahanga Hospital. Bishop Dr Bagonza Benson shared that “the UEM General Assembly resolution called churches to strengthen CPE knowledge/skills and empower chaplains’ capacity in member churches”.16 multipliers in Africa Region attended the training.

UEM Africa Region planned and implemented this activity in the framework of UEM yearly planned goals and activities. The training was conducted by the Rev Dean Lermy Lwankomezi of the ELCT-NWD. Participants have also learned various experiences from German context as presented by one of the German facilitators, the Rev Astrid Klumb, Pastor of Evangelical Church in the Rhineland (EKiR), Chaplain at Sankt Lukas Hospital in Solingen.

The main aim is that UEM offers to African church leaders a Clinical Pastoral Education which serves as a part of one's preparation for parish ministry, chaplaincy, lay ministry, teaching, and counseling.  Churches are to stand firm and assist people in critical incidents such as wars, terrorism, mass disasters, violence, the loss of loved ones, and any events wherein human actions result in injury, destruction, and/or death. Church co-workers may possess especially powerful restorative attributes. More specifically, CPE is an interfaith professional education for ministry. It brings faith and theological practitioners into supervised encounter with persons in crisis. Out of an intense involvement with persons in need, and the feedback from peers and teachers, trainees develop new awareness of themselves as persons and of the needs of those to whom they minister.  From theological reflection on specific human situations, participants are brought to gaining a new understanding of ministry and proper ways of reacting to situations. Within the interdisciplinary team process of helping persons, they develop skills in interpersonal and interprofessional relationships.

The training offered an opportunity to participants to share not only their experiences, successes and challenges in their daily work toward patients particularly  in hospitals, prisons and churches, but also to reflect on the clinical pastoral tasks of the UEM member churches.  After sharing on the successes and challenges, trainees gave some recommendations to churches and UEM, as follows:

·        CPE should be given priority as a part and package of pastoral ministry and a continued learning process in UEM member churches,

·        Churches should enhance chaplaincy services and establish cooperative networks within UEM member churches, help all church leaders to understand what CPE is all about.

·        CPE training should be provided to all Pastors and other people working in church Hospitals, schools and especially those serving in prisons.

The work was implemented by the UEM Co-workers in the UEM Africa Region.                  

Rev. Dr John Wesley Kabango, Africa Executive Secretary

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