In 2010, Mercy Hill began in the Henry's living room as a new church congregation in South Jersey committed to "helping people thrive in Christ." Our focus was simple: pursue joyful and biblical worship of God each Sunday (through both Word and Sacrament) and show our love for God through practical and tangible expressions of love for our neighbors.
Our mission is to help people "thrive in Christ." This means we want to introduce people to Jesus through the truth of God's word and deeds of love and mercy.
We work out our mission through the following three-part vision: (1) worship on the Lord’s Day in Word and Sacrament, (2) gathering in homes as disciples in community, and (3) tangibly serving those around us ("mercy ministry"), sinners, skeptics, and everyone seeking God’s mercy.
WHAT WE BELIEVE
The theological and philosophical convictions that undergird our mission and vision are summarized in the following ideas or terms: "evangelical," "reformed & presbyterian," and “missional."
The story of Jesus Christ is called the "evangel", which means "Good News." This is also known as the Gospel.
Evangelical refers to beliefs which are similar to many other Bible-based protestant churches, centering on three items:
1) belief in the Bible as God's inspired, inerrant, and infallible Word;
2) salvation through Jesus Christ alone; and
3) a commitment to live out our faith under the Lordship of Jesus Christ in all aspects of our lives.
The word "reformed" comes from the Protestant Reformation, a time in which learning, scholarship, and piety flowered as the Church recaptured many of her ancient roots. This means we love Luther's teaching on Galatians, Calvin's summary of the Christian faith, and the lives and ministries of great early protestant divines like Ursinus, Knox, and Turretin, as well as their sons and grandsons, like Owen, Rutherford, Bunyan, and Edwards.
We are a presbyterian church, and a member of the evangelical denomination known as the Presbyterian Church in America. This means three basic things about our church:
1) We are governed by elders (the Bible's word for "elder" is "presbyter");
2) We are connected to other churches in South Jersey in a region or district called a "presbytery"; and
3) We are aligned with other congregations in different denominations that hold to Protestant theology called the Reformed Faith, as summarized in the Westminster Confession of Faith.
Part of the emphasis of the Reformation was a protest against dead orthodoxy; and early on in the Protestant movement, missions and expansion by way of preaching the Gospel were strongly emphasized. Christians who believe the Gospel are to show and display that love to others: "we love because He first loved us." (1 John 4)
Also emphasized in the reformation was the importance of the laity, or what's sometimes called "the priesthood of all believers." Ministry is both a professional and specialized calling, but also the calling of every believer: "...to equip the saints for the work of ministry so that the Body of Christ might be built up." (Eph. 4:12)