Philosophy

MT TABOR CHARTER 1997

1. AIMS

1.1 The aim of Mt Tabor is to create a community that, at its core welcomes people with an Intellectual Disability. We seek to respond to the distress of those who are too often rejected and to give them valid place in society.
1.2 MtTabor wants to be a sign of hope. A Community founded on relationships between people of differing intellectual capacity, social origin, religion and culture, seeking to be a sign of unity, faithfulness and reconciliation. (this is maintained even if contrary to the prevailing ethos)
1.3 MtTabor is deeply concerned by the distress of wounded people who suffer injustice and rejection. We aim to create a place of welcome. We seek to reveal and nurture the particular gifts of our people. Therefore we seek to offer not a solution, but a sign that a society to be truly human must be founded on welcome and respect for the weak and marginalised.
1.4 MtTabor aims to be a community of faith and love, trusting in God. We seek to be guided by God and our weakest member, through whom god’s Presence is revealed.
1.5 MtTabor aims to create a community of people who live simply, inspired by the Beatitudes and the Spirit of the Gospel. Each community member is encouraged to discover and deepen their spiritual life and live it according to their particular faith and tradition. Those who have no religious affiliation are also welcomed and respected in their freedom of choice. We aspire to unconditional love.

2. VISION STATEMENTS

2.1 Whatever their gifts or their limitations, people are all bound together in a common humanity. Everyone is of unique and sacred value, and everyone has the same dignity and the same rights. The fundamental rights of each person includes: the right to life, to care, to a home, to education and to work. Also the deepest need of a human being is to love and to be loved. Each person has the right to friendship, to communion and to a spiritual life.
2.2 If human beings are to develop their abilities and talents to the full, realizing all their potential as individuals, they need an environment that fosters personal growth. They need to form relationships with others within families and communities. They need to live in an atmosphere of trust, security and mutual affection. They need to be valued, accepted and supported in real and warm friendships.
2.3 People with an intellectual disability often possess qualities of welcome, wonderment, spontaneity and directness. They are able to touch hearts and to call others to unity through their simplicity and vulnerability. In this way they are living reminder to the wider world of the essential values of the heart, without which knowledge, power and action lose their meaning and purpose.
2.4 Weakness and vulnerability in a person, far from being an obstacle to union with god, can foster it. It is often through weakness, recognized and accepted, that the liberating love of God is revealed.
2.5 In order to develop the inner freedom to which all people are called and to grow in union with God, each person needs to have the opportunity of being rooted and nourished in religious and cultural tradition.

3.LIVING IN COMMUNITY

3.1 Living a home life together is at the heart of the Mt Tabor community. The different members of the community are called to be one whanau. We live, work, pray and celebrate together, sharing our joys and sufferings and forgiving each other as in a family. We have a simple, inclusive lifestyle which gives priority to relationships.
3.2 Mt Tabor community is a place of hope. People are encouraged to grow and progress together in love, self giving and wholeness, as well as interdependence, competence and the ability to make choices. We seek to reveal the particular gifts of our core members, who belong at the heart of our community and who call others to share their lives.
3.3 Mt Tabor community is open and welcoming to the world around us. We form an integral part of life in our localities and seek to foster our relationships with neighbours and friends. We work especially to maintain friendships with families, advocates and former friends of the community.
3.4 We support people with other living styles who choose to share in the life of the community. Core members are at the center of community life. The efforts of the community are aimed at maintaining the life of the community in such a way that the core members have valued roles in the wider society. Trust and unity are built up over time and therefore priority, in support offered, is given to people who wish to share their lives and develop enduring relationships. All people who come to live or work in the community need to go through the ongoing community formation process.
3.5 The community wishes to secure for its members education, work and well being activities which will be a source of dignity, growth and fulfillment for them.
3.6 Eachmember of the community is called to contribute to the running of the whole and encouraged to be competent in the tasks they do.
3.7 We believe work to be an important means of integration; therefore people have the right to experience paid employment.
3.8 In the spirit of nurturing and accepting the particular gifts, knowledge and skills of people, we expect these to be offered freely, but we acknowledge they can be rewarded.
3.9 We need constant awareness of the need to share power at every level and in all community structures and activities.
4.0 We recognize there is a tension between our need to be a sign of the positive value of difference and our need to be integrated and valued by society. Therefore we seek to work closely with professionals and government authorities and with all those who work in a spirit of justice and peace for people who are disabled.
4.1 We acknowledge that personal history is the strength of our community therefore; we welcome continued and renewed friendship of those who have called Mt Tabor home or their Turangawaewae. Many others have bought real inspiration and life as well as contributing to the “Wairua” of Mt Tabor, we acknowledge these people as belonging to our support community.

CONCLUSION
Mt Tabor is deeply concerned by the distress of people who suffer injustice and rejection because they are disabled. This concern should impel the community of Mt Tabor to do all it can to defend the rights of people with an intellectual disability, to support the creation of places of welcome for them and to call on our society to become more just and respectful towards them. The community of Mt Tabor wants to be in solidarity with the poor of the world and with those who take part in the struggle for justice.

Mt Tabor Trust acknowledges a debt to L’Arche in the development of this Charter.

 

BEATITUDES FOR FRIENDS OF THE DISABLED

Blessed are you who take time to listen to difficult speech, for you help us to know that if we persevere, we can be understood.

Blessed are you who walk with us in public places and ignore the stares of strangers, for in your companionship we find havens of relaxation.

Blessed are you who never bid us to “hurry up” and more blessed are you who do not snatch from our hands our tasks, to do them for us, for we often need time rather than help.

Blessed are you who stand beside us as we enter new and untried ventures, for our failures will be outweighed by the times we surprise ourselves and you.

Blessed are you who ask for our help, for our greatest need is to be needed.

Blessed are you who help us with the graciousness of Christ who did not bruise the reed and quench the flax, for often we need the help we cannot ask for.

Blessed are you, when, by all these things, you assure us that the thing that makes us individuals is not in our peculiar muscles, nor in our wounded nervous systems, not in our difficulties in learning, but in the God given self which no infirmity can confine.

Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, and know that you give us reassurances that could never be spoken in words, for you deal with us as Christ dealt with all his children.

L’Arche International