Welcome! We find no better summary of what we are all about than the words of Pope Francis: “Knowing Jesus is the best gift that anyone can ever receive. That we have encountered Him is the best thing that has happened in our lives. And making Him known by our deeds and words is our greatest joy.”
Our Vision Statement
OUR VISION AT OUR LADY OF MERCY IS TO OFFER EVERY PERSON A LIFE-CHANGING ENCOUNTER WITH JESUS, GROW DISCIPLES, AND SEND THEM ON MISSION.
Father Mark’s Vision & Values 9/15/19 Homily exhorts us to think of the following.
Proverbs 29 says that without a vision the people will perish. And in the parable of the Prodigal Son in this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus left the parable open ended because He is asking us whether or not we are going to buy into God’s surprising vision of relentlessly seeking the lost, seeking those who are not of the fold.
And so it is also open ended for us as well, whether or not we will buy into God’s bold vision that He has given Our Lady of Mercy.
Will you buy into God’s bold vision for our parish; that is,
to offer every person a life-changing encounter with Jesus, grow disciples, and send them on mission.
Our Core Values
Evangelically Catholic | To say we’re Catholic is to say that we at OLM proclaim, teach, support and believe the teaching of the Catholic Church. More importantly, to say that we’re Evangelically Catholic is to say that we emphasize the primacy of having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and making Him known through our word and deeds.
Constant Tinkerers | At OLM we strive for excellence so that more people will encounter Jesus Christ, grow as His disciples and be sent on mission. If something is good, we want to make it better; if it’s great, we want to make it incredible. Therefore, we are constantly analyzing our ministries, processes and events, and asking ourselves, “How can we make this better next time?”
Willing to Sweep Floors | If Jesus was willing to wash the feet of His disciples, is there any task too menial for us? In the spirit of humility we strive to check our egos at the door and do whatever it takes to get the job done so that every person will encounter Jesus Christ.
Our Aspirational Values
Intentionality of Prayer | We dream to be a parish where everyone is committed to a daily prayer life, and our first instinct is to rely and call upon the Holy Spirit in all things we do.
Primacy of Sunday Eucharist | We dream to be a parish where everyone hungers to be nourished by the true presence of Christ in word and Eucharist, giving priority to coming to Mass every Sunday.
Radical Hospitality | We dream to be a parish that pulls out all the stops to welcome, embrace, and accompany everyone with unconditional love.
OLM Game Plan
How our parish can become what Pope Francis describes as a ‘community of missionary disciples’ meeting our vision, becoming a genuinely evangelizing community that brings people into an encounter with Jesus is through a well-developed discipleship process.
We call this process of discipleship the OLM Game Plan.
The starting point is to become an ‘Invitational Church’; which is not a program but both an attitude towards those outside the Church and a parish culture. We measure ‘success’ not by the number that shows up but by the number of invitations that are made by parishioners, recognizing that the responsibility of the parish lies in the invitation being made, not the response.
Alpha is the ‘pump’; it’s our primary evangelizing tool that introduces people to the life of discipleship:
‘At Alpha, people hear the Gospel in a fresh way, they often encounter Jesus, experience the Holy Spirit and are welcomed into an experience of Christian community like no other. We have found that Alpha is the best first step for people who have been away from church or have had little to no experience of the Christian faith.’ Divine Renovation Guide Book.
The emphasis on Alpha as a way of ‘on boarding’ people into the life of discipleship recognizes that the Catholic Mass presumes so much, being as it is worship for the initiated. We encourage all who wish to be part of the parish to take Alpha. The Alpha process provides an experience of hospitality and community life, exposure to the kerygma, and group discussion that is welcoming of both newcomers and more established Catholics, recognizing that people seek to belong before they believe and behave, and forms the primary evangelizing tool at Our Lady of Mercy.
Our Lady of Mercy uses Alpha not only to initiate the journey of discipleship but also to develop lay leaders. It also forms part of our RCIA process.
Following Alpha, guests are invited to come back as members of the team on the next Alpha. Our Lady of Mercy aims to have 50% of first-time team members on every Alpha and to move those who have already served on the Alpha team to other ministries, thereby creating a continuous leadership pipeline. We encourage a term of service of no more than 2 years, creating space for new leaders to grow.
Grow Groups are where Alpha alumni go to connect and to grow. Grow Groups are small to mid-size groups (around 20-30 people) that retain the key ingredients of Alpha such as eating a meal together, praise and worship, a talk, and prayer for one another. The groups, each led by discerned leaders, meet weekly and socially where their primary focus is to build community. This is how the parish ensures that all parishioners are known individually, loved, nurtured, and taken care of.
Currently, we are launching grow groups, one group at a time. To date, we have CRHP, Consuming Fire Young Adult and Vine & Branches. In the Winter of 2022, we hope to launch a parish-wide grow group called Salt and Light Grow Group. Members of this group are expected to have attended Alpha, RCIA, and/or CRHP before joining the group.
The most trusted leaders within the parish are invited to pastor a Grow Group and the parish leadership team prioritizes investing in these leaders.
As a sidenote, parishioners are also invited to spiritual nourishment offerings that are focused on learning content, such as catechesis and Bible studies. Unlike Grow Groups, these are temporary, only meeting to do a particular program with no expectation beyond that. Parishioners are free to choose any program approved by the parish and are encouraged to engage in one faith development program each year.
Any parishioner can take part in ministry, which is symbolized by a hand offering a heart. Our Lady of Mercy’s intention is that every parishioner is involved in at least one ministry. The leadership team through an in-house Charisms workshop as well as with our Grow Group leaders help identify parishioners’ gifts and talents and encourage and support their current ministry or to join one if they haven’t done so.
The final icon represents worship; in particular, the Holy Eucharist.
It is our conviction that it is only when the fullness of the Christian life is being lived with some kind of involvement in these other aspects that the Eucharist has its proper place as the ‘source and the summit of the Christian life,’ as the Second Vatican Council said. When we are evangelized and in a discipleship process, seeing, experiencing, and serving community, worship, especially the Mass, will come to life.