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Poatina Community
Orientation Series

In 2018 - 2019, the Poatina Community conducted a series of learning opportunities we called 'Learning Together'. This Orientation Series was developed and rolled out in 2021 - 2022.

That series was based on the core values identified by the community at its first major gathering in August 2017. These were then synthesized into a manageable list that formed the curriculum for Learning Together. That list (below) now forms the basis of the Poatina resident orientation programme.

  1. Introduction & Spirituality

  2. Hospitality & Generosity

  3. People matter/Respect/Acceptance/not Judging

  4. Reaching out & Outward focus

  5. Sustainability/Excellence

  6. Social justice/responsibility/Personal and community wellbeing

  7. Creativity/Adventurous spirit/Opportunity

  8. Community ownership/Collaboration/Engagement/Involvement

  9. Trust/Truth/Transparency & Accountability


he documents for each topic is available by clicking on the links connected to the headings below.

An exploration of what is meant by spirituality with a particular focus on Christian spirituality.

In this unit, we reflect more explicitly on the distinctives of Christian Spirituality and the implications of them on our corporate and individual lives in Poatina.

Creative spirituality describes our relationship with a creative God, as we learn to share the joy of his aliveness.

Communication is an outworking of three major distinctives of the Christian faith, namely the Trinity (God is a loving community in perfect harmony); the Incarnation (Jesus came to live on earth as a human being) and Forgiveness (God is actively working to address wrong and to make a better world).

In hospitality, the stranger is welcomed into a safe, personal and comfortable place, a place of respect and acceptance and friendship.  Even if only briefly, the stranger is included in a life-giving and life-sustaining network of relationships.

Generosity is the virtue of being unattached to material possessions, often symbolized by the giving of gifts. (Wikipedia)

“To be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” – Nelson Mandela

There are other practices like keeping confidences and requesting permission before you enter someone’s space or using someone’s time or possessions that are helpful ways of showing respect. No doubt you may be able to suggest some others...

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal... (C.S. Lewis)

The image of a stagnant pool is often used in this context. Without both an inflow and outflow of water, a pool quickly becomes stagnant and eventually dries up...

There is a particular tension between the value of the past (spirit and tradition), the needs of the moment (a dialogue with society and its prevailing values), and the pull towards the future (prophecy). Jean Vanier

Sustainability requires forethought and requires planning

When we talk about 'social advocacy' we are in the realm of social work - where the task is to find ways to advance the interests of disadvantaged, disempowered and those discriminated against.

But at the Christian heart of justice is the loving and just heart of God

. The Australian first nations’ notion of The Dreaming (Tjukurpa in Anangu) which describes the way in which individuals relate with and care for one another and the environment around them, is another.

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