Tuesday morning worship opened as George Howard centered the house with words of faith and hope. The West Ohio praise band, led by Annual Conference music director, Chuck Bell, began with a rousing rendition of the song, "Ain't No Grave," followed by more praise music. Bishop Palmer introduced the morning preacher, Bishop Mande Muyombo, Bishop of the North Katanga Episcopal Area, a mission partner of West Ohio.
Rev. Julie Alsip shared the morning's text, Hebrews 11:6, followed by Bishop Muyombo's sermon entitled, "Keep Your Faith." Bishop Muyombo began by reminding the congregation that it is a gift to work across diverse contexts. And faith, he said, is the foundation of the Church - it is a muscle that needs exercise, a seed that requires water to grow. Bishop Muyombo recounted the vision of Peter from the book of Acts, saying it was a moment of faith seeking understanding.
"Faith seeking understanding is the definition of theology," Muyombo stated. "God gives us the desire to understand him."
Muyombo also spoke about keeping faith in God's mission: "When you withdraw from mission, you withdraw from God."
"Keep the faith!" was his final exhortation to the people of West Ohio.
Following the message, Bishop Palmer called for the Conference's missional offering for the Light the Way campaign, which funds new church starts and church revitalization. It will also help provide funds for new churches in North Katanga. Bishop Palmer reminded the people of West Ohio to see their neighbors and neighborhoods in new ways.
As ushers collected the offering, the band led the congregation in singing traditional African hymns. George Howard returned to pray with thanksgiving for the offering. Morning worship ended with the joyful singing of "We are Marching in the Light of God."