Sara Horowitz, founder of the Freelancer’s Union (my union) and a winner of a MacArthur “genius grant” in 1999, defines the “New Mutualism” on her blog:
“Do It Ourselves — The people (the builders, the makers, the consumers) have to be in control. That could mean a worker-owned cooperative or maybe a membership organization. It’s not about venture capitalists funding the next fancy app and receiving all the profits. New Mutualism is about working together and a community reaping the benefit.
“Driven By a Social Mission — New Mutualist organizations are driven by a social good and serve a true need in their community. Their income makes them sustainable but isn’t their sole priority. They care about the greater good instead of fixating on profiteering.
“Do Together What You Can’t Do Alone — New mutualist groups draw their power from the strength of community and a feeling of solidarity, those spiritual and economic connections that make a group more powerful than any individual. A single freelancer might not be able to afford their own office space, but fifty freelancers working together can have a fantastic office that’s all the more powerful because of the like-minded individuals who built it.”
— The values behind Horowitz’s New Mutualism are not all that different from the values behind our liberal congregations: we, too, do it ourselves; we are driven by social mission; and we do together things that we could not do alone. Seems to me there are some striking similarities between our liberal congregations and the New Mutualism.