Mutuality makes a beautiful summer day

Circle of Hope council meeting. Over 80 people showed up.

Mutuality is one of those words that I use all the time that not everyone uses a lot. I find myself in a bubble of common meanings and associations that I occasionally realize are not so common. Maybe you do that too, so here’s some definition:

  • Mutuality is all about having things in common—sharing, agreeing, supporting, and knowing.
  • “The feeling is mutual” and “mutual funds” come to mind.
  • Mutuality, from “mutual”—”Directed and received by each toward the other; reciprocal.”

Our council meeting on Saturday, June 25th and the Grill and Chill 20th Anniversary Party at FDR Park (aka “the Lakes” for the Old School Philadelphians reading) was a wonderful expression of our mutuality, a living definition.

Backside of the Grill and Chill t-shirts.

Up-cycled shirt from the Grill and Chill.

At the Council about 85 of us gathered to pray and even started coming up with more ideas for how we would achieve the goals we were affirming in our map. The map was the result of a long process of dialogue and prayer that started in every cell, where everyone (including those who were at a meeting for the first time) was included in a conversation about what the world is facing and how God is leading the church to respond. We then collated the answers that the cell leaders reported and started to see patterns and themes emerge. It’s pretty incredible how a cell from South Jersey and a cell from Germantown can have the exact same idea! The Leadership Team and the Pastors continued to dialogue and pray and we had several other open meetings as well as opportunity to comment virtually. The resulting map is ambitious. The process by which we came to our agreement is inspiring. The exercise required a level of mutuality that is uncommon in many organizations today. Jesus is doing something among us!

At the Grill and Chill we celebrated everything the Lord has done over the past 20 years in and through Circle of Hope. We got up-cycled T-shirts, ate chips and tons of hot dogs, told stories, played games, and pretty much chilled with the best of them. I didn’t want it to end. A highlight was Gwen White’s story about the birth of Circle of Hope back in 1996. We caught it on video. Take a look. Circle of Hope started with some mutuality too.

More stories led up to the Grill and Chill too. Check them out on this video playlist.

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