The missional challenge of the HIV/AIDS pandemic for the leadership of the URCSA Kwazakhele Congregation in Port Elizabeth

Kibito, Mziwoxolo Enoch (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2011-12)

Thesis (MTh)--Stellenbosch University, 2011.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study is about the missional challenge of the HIV/AIDS pandemic to the leadership of the Kwazakhele congregation in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. This undertaking should be dealt with from the premise of a practical theological point of view. In this context, the HIV/AIDS pandemic aggravates the plight of those in the community with the least resources, i.e. orphans and the destitute. Very limited resources, for example financial, psychological and spiritual, are available to them. This has severely impacted on the lives of South Africans across the country. And, this impact of HIV/AIDS is being felt at all levels of the society with its ever-increasing cases of infections, deaths, rejections, stigmatization, number of orphans and households headed by children. This social reality poses a burden on ministerial health budgets, thus a dilemma for health resources. Through her leadership, the Church, as an instrument and field for the Triune God‟s missional praxis, is called to respond and act upon this plight. In that sense, a clear understanding of the missional Church is central in this theological and practical undertaking. The Kwazakhele leadership's empowerment will enable them to lead the congregation in a faithful response to the HIV/AIDS pandemic while taking cognizance of appropriate theological reflections that relate to the Triune God's salvific work. In essence, the researcher intends to investigate how the congregation of the Kwazakhele Uniting Reformed Church of South Africa (URCSA) can combat and deal with HIV/AIDS in a compassionate Christian manner while taking cognizance of biblical imperatives. In that respect, the researcher has been engaged with interviews of families in the Kwazakhele congregation, members of whom had died of AIDS. The objective was to shed light on their experiences and to determine whether the Church is doing enough to support their members regarding this pandemic. Furthermore, this research also challenges the Kwazakhele congregation, in particular, whether she fulfills her calling, that is, crosses the boundaries to take care of the plight that the community faces regarding HIV/AIDS. In actual fact, the discernment of God's will is possible by a critical and sensitive leadership who should determine whether the congregation whom they serve is competent enough to deal with this HIV/AIDS pandemic, or not. This, indeed, challenges their Christian consciences. The researcher believes that the information and the resource material, as well as the institution to which he referred, will be of assistance to the Christian leadership of the Kwazakhele congregation and also the entire URCSA congregation at large.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die fokus van hierdie studie is die missionêre uitdaging van die MIV/VIGS pandemie aan die leierskap van die Kwazakhele gemeente in Port Elizabeth. Die studie word onderneem vanuit die gesigspunt van die Praktiese Teologie. Binne hierdie konteks, vererger die MIV/VIGS pandemie die lot van diegene in die gemeenskap met die minste bronne, naamlik die weeskinders en hulpbehoewendes. Baie min bronne (sielkundig, finansieel en spiritueel) is beskikbaar vir hulle. Die impak op die lewens van Suid-Afrikaners landswyd is drasties. Daar is toenemende sterftes, verwerping, stigmatisering en weeskinders, asook kinders aan die hoof van huishoudings. Hierdie maatskaplike werklikheid plaas groot druk op die nasionale gesondheidsbegroting. Die kerk, as instrument en lokus vir die missionêre praksis van die drieënige God, is geroepe om op te tree en hierdie haglike toedrag van sake aan te spreek deur haar leiers. 'n Duidelike verstaan van wat 'n missionêre kerk is, staan sentraal in hierdie teologiese en praktiese onderneming. Bemagtiging van die leierskap in die Kwazakhele gemeente sal hulle in staat stel om die gemeente te lei om getrou te wees aan hulle roeping om die MIV/VIGS pandemie aan te spreek. Terselfdertyd moet hulle ook bewus wees van toepaslike teologiese nadenke oor die drieënige God se ingrype om Sy reddened genade te laat realiseer. Die navorser poog dus om te ondersoek hoe die Kwazakhele Verenigende Gereformeerde Kerk (VGK) die MIV/VIGS pandemie kan teëwerk en daarmee op 'n barmhartige Christelike wyse kan handel, en voortdurend bewus wees van Bybelse imperatiewe in hierdie verband. Die navorser het ook onderhoude gevoer met familielede van persone wat as gevolg van VIGS gesterf het ten einde, aan die hand van hulle ondervindinge, vas te stel of die Kerk genoeg doen om lidmate te ondersteun ten tyde van hierdie pandemie. Hierdie navorsing is ook 'n uitdaging aan die Kwazakhele gemeente om te bepaal of sy haar roeping vervul, grense oorsteek, en omgee vir 'n gemeenskap in nood. Onderskeiding van God se wil is moontlik deur kritiese en sensitiewe leierskap wat moet bepaal of die gemeente, waarin hulle dien, in staat is om genoegsaam aandag aan die MIV/VIGS pandemie te skenk. Hierdie oefening daag hul Christelike gewete uit. Die navorser is van mening dat die inligting en navorsingsmateriaal, asook die instelling waarna verwys word, die Christelike leierskap van die Kwazakhele gemeente, sowel as hele VGKSA, van hulp kan wees.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/18038
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