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Title: The grief support of bereaved family members in Evangelical Churches in Peninsular Malaysia
Author: Ng, Heng Cheong Edmund
ISNI:       0000 0004 2737 2680
Awarding Body: Prifysgol Bangor University
Current Institution: Bangor University
Date of Award: 2012
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Churches are expected to care and support their bereaved family members as their seasons of grief are often a difficult time in their lives with significant spiritual implications. This dissertation seeks to establish if there is a gap in the bereaved's expectations and experiences of the pastoral care they received and the actual care and support their churches extended to them, by interviewing both the pastors and the bereaved from evangelical churches in Peninsular Malaysia. All the Pastors interviewed believe that their church has a pastoral responsibility towards their bereaved. On the bereaved's side, 95% of them believe that the church should care and support them in their time of bereavement. However, the findings revealed that while the churches are adequate and effective in performing the bereavement services, the same cannot be said with regards to the longer term care and support of the bereaved. In particular, while most pastors do visit the bereaved once or twice in the first month of the deaths, many churches rely on their cell group structure as the first line of care and support for the bereaved and seldom monitor its adequacy and effectiveness unless something is brought up to their attention. However, it is also found that most of the bereaved do not freely open up to their cell groups and at the same time, they do not voice their concerns and dissatisfactions to the church leadership. This resulted in a gap that is risking neglect in the churches' pastoral responsibility towards the bereaved. One significant consequence is that more than 50% of the bereaved Christians turn to non-Christian family members, relatives and friends for comfort and support. Unfortunately, only 33% of the Pastors interviewed see the need to improve on the adequacy and effectiveness of their grief support services. Bridging this gap will involve transforming the pastors' attitudes, committing to longer term home visitations, improving on the effectiveness of grief counselling encounters with the bereaved and structuring the other aspects of grief support. To lighten the burden of the pastors and leaders, suitable church volunteers can be mobilised and trained for grief support as a faithful practice within the body of Christ. Meanwhile, the same services can be extended to the community as a witness for God and hence participate in His mission in this world.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available