Welcome to Pastoral Ministries. Here you will find much of the activity aimed at affecting the spiritual lives of the people who live in the Diocese of Lake Rukwa. We believe that God made us to know him in our lives and that through Jesus Christ we are able to enter into a living relationship with him. In Pastoral Ministries we seek to encourage all people to enter into a relationship with God and to know him more fully in their lives. Living his way helps us to renew our minds and to transform our communities.
Our Vicar General, Rev Canon Edidia Kasela oversees Pastoral Ministries. In the office he is assisted by Rev Paul Hunter and Festo Magesa.
There are 5 branches to Pastoral Ministries, which are:
Deanery and Parish Ministry
The Diocese is divided up into 26 parishes. Each parish has a pastor and a main church and many of the parishes have smaller local churches which are served by the pastor and his team. Parishes are grouped together into deaneries, for mutual support and encouragement and one of the pastors in each deanery is chosen to be the rural dean, with oversight of all the parishes in the deanery.
The pastor has spiritual responsibility for everybody who lives in his parish. This is a big task and our pastors are assisted by evangelists (full time lay leaders of local and main churches) and church elders. The pastors can also find help from their rural deans and the rural deans are looked after by our Vicar General, Rev Canon Kasela.
Mission and evangelism
In a variety of ways we want to reach out to all the people in the regions of Rukwa and Katavi with the good news of new life in Jesus Christ. Through his death on the cross he has opened the way for us to know God and live with him for eternity. Our pastors, evangelists and church members seek to share the good news and the love of God through the way they live their lives and speaking to family, friends and neighbours. A number of parishes have held outreach events and established local churches in new areas and, as a diocese we invite speakers and teams to come and share in outreach events.
Here we focus on getting to know the Bible better, what Christians really believe and how that should affect their lives. Many of our churches have a Bible Study on Wednesday and Friday afternoons, in addition to the preaching of God’s Word in our Sunday services. For children and young people we have Sunday School, which usually takes place alongside the Sunday morning service.
The discipleship course Rooted in Jesus has been used to some extent and a number of our pastors and evangelists have been trained to lead Rooted in Jesus study groups. We hope to expand the use of this resource and also encourage other groups of people, such as the Christian children in the schools in our diocese, to study the Bible and learn more about their faith.
Mobile Bible School
In our young diocese we are constantly in need of new leaders. As our parishes expand their work and set up new churches evangelists are required to reach out and bring people into the church and then lead them to grow in their faith together. Rev Paul Hunter has prepared a programme to prepare new evangelists and, as we do not have a Bible School in the Diocese, Paul will travel round and teach them in the areas in which they carry out their ministry.
As we continue to grow we hope to increase the work of the Mobile Bible School to give in service training to pastors and other leaders.
The Youth Department was inaugurated in 2012 at a rally attended by 260 of our young people in Mpanda. There were 4 days of celebration, worship, teaching and fellowship and at the end of their time together they elected their leadership committee. Members of the committee are:
+255 (0)768 516686
Vice Chair Faraja Luoga phone: +255 (0)765 561000
+255 (0)766 761877
Vice Secretary Noel Kihombo phone: +255 (0)763 656329
Treasurer Noelia Daniel phone: +255 (0)767 093820
Members Dickson Yotham
The leaders have represented the Diocese at regional and provincial meetings and have made official visits to each of our 5 deaneries: Mpanda, Mishamo, Ndurumo, Namanyere and Sumbawanga. On their visits the leaders have encouraged the young people in each deanery to recognise their identity and place within the Body of Christ and encouraged them to be fully involved in the life of the Church. Last year the leaders took part in a rally in our Sumbawanga deanery which was attend by over 100 young people, where a leadership team for that deanery was elected.
This year the Youth Department is looking forward to a meeting of all the youth in the Diocese, which will take place between 29 June and 3 July 2016. The rally will be hosted by the Church in Mpanda. The text for the meetings is Isaiah 55:6 – 7 “Seek the Lord while you can find him. Call on him while he is near. Let the people turn from their wicked deeds. Let them banish from their minds the very thought of doing wrong! Let them turn to the Lord that he may have mercy on them. Yes, turn to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.” Everybody is warmly invited to join our young people – karibuni sana!
Mehu stands for “Mafunzo Endelevu Hudumani”, a Kiswahili phrase meaning continuing training in ministry. This is a refresher course for pastors which comes from Moore Bible College, Australia. We have 8 students who meet once a year to receive training. They then work through their workbooks and put into practice what they have learnt in their ministry situations. The students are also equipped to pass on their training to their colleagues and in that way the training reaches more and more of our pastors and evangelists.